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Old 02-26-2009, 10:09 PM
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Vortec head lift Q's

Ok so I'm pretty close to building my new engine and I start thinking about the cam/vortec head combo I have. I took a spring out of the vortec heads and measured the distance between the bottom of the retainer to the top of the valve seal and got ~.470". Then out of curiosity I took a spring out of the set of fuelies I have and measured the same distance and got .475". I have z28 springs in the fuelies and stock everything in the vortecs. The retainers on the fuelies have a very long bottom on them and they have umbrella valve seals so they also take up room.

I thought about the ghetto grind for the vortecs but it looks like I would only be able to grind about 0.030" more before exposing the locks. I'm a little nervous putting either of these heads with my XE-262 that has a max lift of .469". I guess it is worth grinding that little bit off of the retainers on the vortecs for the added clearance right?

Or should I play it safe and get the 550 lift kit off ebay? Anyone ever try that kit? ~$70 just seems ridiculously expensive for pioneer spring and retainers that were probably just machined down a little.

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Old 02-26-2009, 10:26 PM
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I wouldn't chance the stock vortec springs, I ran them with an blueprint L-79 cam thats .447 lift and I tore up two seals.

I wouldn't grind on the retainers either.

I hear, almost did it before I went the beehive route, that you can take the inner dampner out of a Z or strong 1.250 spring and that it'll clear the seal. I don't know what this does to the spring pressure open and closed.

Also, there's supposed to be comp cam retainer that will give you more clearance on the bottom also but I don't know the part number and this may just be a rumor. But after you buy comp retainer's and some springs you'll probably be looking at $80 or so.
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:52 PM
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Maybe a set of +.050 valve locks?
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Old 02-27-2009, 12:20 AM
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changing a cam with stock heads almost always means changing springs to match the cam profile.

Stock Vortecs handle .470" or so. Aftermarket springs can take .550". So, since you need aftermarket springs and retainers anyway, just get the ones that will take the higher lift.
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Old 02-27-2009, 05:53 AM
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Springs are not the problem, the retainers are. I have a set of springs for the cam btu i did nto get different retrainers b/c I thought they would be the same as the stock ones. Where can I get + 050 valve locks?
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Old 02-27-2009, 06:15 AM
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.030" is a little too much to shave off the stock retainer bottoms. .015" ok.

Crane makes a drop on spring.retainer set that creates more lift clearance.

Comp sells beehice springs/retainers same purpose.

Comp sells all the tooling nessessary to step up to a larger diameter spring and lots of lift.
Why don't you just order the tooling to machine the spring seats and guide boss and do it right? You can do this yourself at home with a decent drill.
You have two sets of heads that could use this mod.

You want lift+.060" between the retainer bottom and installed seal top.

Last edited by F-BIRD'88; 02-27-2009 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 02-27-2009, 07:50 AM
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ok, I wasn't sure how much people usually 'ghetto grind' off the bottom of the retainers. Actually I am looking into getting a guide cutter because, like you said, I have a few sets of heads I can use it on and then I can use the vitron valve seals instead of the stupid umbrella ones.
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Old 02-27-2009, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericnova72
Maybe a set of +.050 valve locks?

BINGO! Just make sure that the lock is not protruding through the bottom of the retainer (which it shouldn't be anyways). You will also need to check your spring installed height and possibly shim them up. Shims and locks will run you a total of about $30. Cheapest easiset fix. Be sure to check rocker arm to retainer clearance though, I've heard of them rubbing in some cases with guided rockers.
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Old 03-01-2009, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap72
BINGO! Just make sure that the lock is not protruding through the bottom of the retainer (which it shouldn't be anyways). You will also need to check your spring installed height and possibly shim them up. Shims and locks will run you a total of about $30. Cheapest easiset fix. Be sure to check rocker arm to retainer clearance though, I've heard of them rubbing in some cases with guided rockers.
Ok, so I found these on summit:

+50 valve locks

Stock locks and retainers are 10 deg right? I have spacers but would I be better off using another set of rockers? Why do these have 'self-aligning' rockers anyway?

Last edited by maxpower_454; 03-01-2009 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 03-01-2009, 09:40 AM
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The stock locks and retainers are 7, not 10. And 7 is better at the spring pressures you'll be using.
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