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Old 06-10-2012, 06:49 PM
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SBC Poly Lock Rocker Arm Nuts

I have a 71 Vette with a Gen I Engine that I recently built. When I put it together I used Poly Lock Nuts, but ran into a problem with my stock valve covers, which are the finned, aluminum valve covers that were used on 1960's and 1970's Corvettes. The valve covers hit the tops of the poly locks. I had thought about using taller valve covers, but I don't think there's enough room to get the tall valve covers off. On the right side it looks like I'd have to remover the brake system vacuum booster to get the right side valve cover off and on the left side it looks like a vacuum diaphragm could be a problem. Beside that, and most important, the valve covers our professionally polished and look awesome so I'm hoping someone here will have a solution.

Has anyone ever put poly locks on a SBC engine that had stock height valve covers and if so, how did you do it?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 06-10-2012, 07:39 PM
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Somethings I forgot:

I'm using roller tip rocker arms if I find a solution.

Maybe there are good rocker arm nuts that have a better bite than the Com Cam nuts I have. All I want, besides needing clearance to the underside of the top of the valve covers, are rocker nuts that won't loosen up when they are taken off and put on again.

If someone knows of a good nut that can be used more than once then please let me know.
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:13 PM
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hoops,

Back when I was a pup and there weren't any "poly-locks" we all used a jamb nut. We used a fine thread nut to adjust the valve-lash then we would install a thin nut on top of the regular nut. The two nuts "lock" the setting and you can still adjust the valve-lash again and again. Just loosen the thin lock nut and then adjust the lash. Then re-tighten the lock nut. It all will fit under the stock valve covers.

Just a thought from an old geeser

Scholman
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scholman
hoops,

Back when I was a pup and there weren't any "poly-locks" we all used a jamb nut. We used a fine thread nut to adjust the valve-lash then we would install a thin nut on top of the regular nut. The two nuts "lock" the setting and you can still adjust the valve-lash again and again. Just loosen the thin lock nut and then adjust the lash. Then re-tighten the lock nut. It all will fit under the stock valve covers.

Just a thought from an old geeser

Scholman
Just a great old trick from days gone by! Just put my 327 heads back on and this is exactly what I did too. But then I'm another old geezer at almost 62!
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Old 06-11-2012, 01:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoops
Somethings I forgot:

I'm using roller tip rocker arms if I find a solution.

Maybe there are good rocker arm nuts that have a better bite than the Com Cam nuts I have. All I want, besides needing clearance to the underside of the top of the valve covers, are rocker nuts that won't loosen up when they are taken off and put on again.

If someone knows of a good nut that can be used more than once then please let me know.
If the amount of clearance you need isn't too great, you can use either double valve cover gaskets or thick gaskets made for this.
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Old 06-11-2012, 04:11 PM
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like cobalt327 says the double thick gaskets work, the only problem with the tall covers is the clearance to the alternator. I'm running the doubles on my motor since I cannot go with the tall covers since the intake is in the way.
You can always try 2 of them together before you go buy some FelPro #1604 3/8" thick gaskets with metal in-between.
I never had any problems to the power booster with any valve cover.
Don't use silicone on them either.
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:48 PM
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FWIW
I've got a set of the LT1 valve covers that gave me the same problem.
I used a dremel tool to cut out the cast-in oil drippers, and it gave me the clearance I needed.
I know its some what sacrilegious to carve on what are IMO the best valve covers Chevy ever made, and the drippers are one of the main reasons I bought them. They worked great until I installed the poly locks.
I'm not saying that you should do this, I'm just saying it worked for me.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:00 AM
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Sorry I've taken so long to get back to this thread. The last few days have been hectic.

After reading all of your comments I've decided I'm gonna go with putting on the lock nut over the jam nut because that seems like the simplest way to go.

Thanks to all. It is sincerely appreciated.
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:34 PM
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It's a Vette, Why not keep what you have since you paid for better quality parts and have them installed and adjusted.
Go out and spend the $20.00 and get the right parts to finish it off correctly.

They also make a 1/2"spacer with a gasket on each side or you can make one.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:43 AM
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1bad80, I had originally bought poly lock nuts but the ones I bought, as I remember, would not fit even if I raised the valve covers a 1/2". I already have 3/8" thick valve cover gaskets. However, I think I'll look at it again. Maybe use some clay on the rocker arm so I can get an accurate dimension on the current clearance between the stud and the valve cover.

Thanks
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