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Old 10-22-2012, 05:52 PM
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loose Valve keepers

I have a 355 SBC that has under 10000 miles. Cam, intake, and slightly worked 128 alluminum heads.
Problem started when I started to hear a rocker tap. I checked into it, probably should havr checked sooner cuz I knew there was a loose rocker but ir wasn't real bad. Well I went through them useing the EO/IC method and tightened a couple that seemed to have excessive clearence. That helped a little but looked further , this time to find half of the Valve keepers loose on 3 or 4 valves. All were the half closest to the carb. And one valve tip has uneaven wear.
What do you guys think caused this. I have screw in studs and valve guides WITHOUT self-aligning rockers. The rockers were running in the correct location on the valve tip before hand.
Except for the oddly worn valve tip , Can I try to fix this with out removing the heads. Or do I have a set of Dart heads in my future . Because if I pull these that is what is gonna replace them. PLEASE HELP!!!!
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:19 PM
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If you have loose valve keepers, you have a problem with either the springs or the valves themself. Look for broken springs.
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:52 PM
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And you know I very, very Rarely race the motor. It does rev up passed 6500 and has some double valve springs . What gets me is I didn't see any interferance marks on the under side of the rockers or on the valve retainers. But a plain old failure is possible.
I was thinking of preasuring up the cylinder and compressing the valve and re-set the keepers. But I'm afraid that the groove in the valve is worn from slipping around.???????????
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nawlins-tim View Post
I have a 355 SBC that has under 10000 miles. Cam, intake, and slightly worked 128 alluminum heads.
Problem started when I started to hear a rocker tap. I checked into it, probably should havr checked sooner cuz I knew there was a loose rocker but ir wasn't real bad. Well I went through them useing the EO/IC method and tightened a couple that seemed to have excessive clearence. That helped a little but looked further , this time to find half of the Valve keepers loose on 3 or 4 valves. All were the half closest to the carb. And one valve tip has uneaven wear.
What do you guys think caused this. I have screw in studs and valve guides WITHOUT self-aligning rockers. The rockers were running in the correct location on the valve tip before hand.
Except for the oddly worn valve tip , Can I try to fix this with out removing the heads. Or do I have a set of Dart heads in my future . Because if I pull these that is what is gonna replace them. PLEASE HELP!!!!
The 2-piece keepers are really not able to be loose unless the retainer or keepers are worn, or the retainer is made to use 10 degree keepers and the keepers (aka 'locks') are 7 degree instead.

The reason for this is the valve spring pressure causes the locks to engage the retainer in such a way that the two become tightly wedged together. So I'd be looking at the retainers to see if the locks are starting to pull through the retainers, or if the keeper grooves on the valve stem are sloppy. Check the springs to be sure they're OK, if the inner is broken the valve could float much easier and that can dislodge the keepers- but you'd be more likely to see the keeper halves popped out instead of loose.

The valve tip can be worn unevenly for a number of reasons. Check the pushrod alignment- you may need adjustable guideplates for instance. Could be a worn rocker arm trunnion, a very loose guide, bent p-rod, bad geometry, etc. If the rockers won't hold adjustment, the cam and lifters could be going flat.

Not to be too anal about nomenclature, but I believe you mean you have screw in studs and guide plates. And you are correct to use non self aligning rockers if you have guide plates.

You can reseat the keepers by a quick whack w/a dead blow hammer on a socket that straddles the valve tip if the keepers are out of position, just be sure the keeper(s) don't come all the way out in the process. A much safer way is to use a valve spring compressor and air up the cylinder on TDC compression stroke, or fill the cylinder w/cord and bring the piston up towards TDC on compression to hold the valve closed.

Last edited by cobalt327; 10-22-2012 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:12 PM
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You should at least pull the loose keepers out and inspect them and the valve stems to know which is the issue. Were the heads new, rebuilt, etc. and was there any valve work done to them? Maybe someone did'nt get the keepers in right to start with.
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:33 PM
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I think he is refering to the retainers or rockers as keepers.

The worn valve tip is from running a bad/loose rocker on it.

The correct way to repair is to remove it and have machine shop re-grind tip.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:13 PM
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Cobalt has it right I was talking about the two-piece "keepers" or "locks" on top of the spring retainers that wedge into the valve. Probably disassembly is inevitable, but do yo really think wacking the keepers with the correct size sleeve or maybe a socket will re-seat it? Can't be worse than it already is.
And I kinda knew the odd wear on the top of that one valve is from the loose rocker. And one other thing to clear up is the rockers are holding . The issue was that after tightening the clearance some , the noise was still there. which led me to further investigate and find the screwy keepers. Thanks guys
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