broken valve seal - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old May 14th, 04, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
Senior Tech
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Iron Mountain,MI
Posts: 300

I was changing the gaskets on my valve covers the other day and, to my suprise, I see a little piece of metal resting on the head. Took me about 2 seconds to figure out it was a piece from the little spring on the top of a valve seal. I found the guide it came from and will be replacing it tonight. I will also see how much metal I am missing from that spring. It obviously came into contact with the retainer and was smashed apart. The engine has 2 seasons on it, no problems. What coud have caused this? I would like to know so that it could be avoided again. I sure am glad I installed lifter vally screens when I built the engine, but it still makes me nervous to think of running it!

J Early
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old May 14th, 04, 03:31 PM
Join Date: Aug 1998
Location: Waldorf Md. USA
Posts: 3,290

2 possibilities I can think of. Not enough clearance between the retainer and seal to begin with or valve springs broken or starting to "go away" allowing the valve to jump open further than it should be. If it's a roller you are pushing your luck with 2 seasons woth of racing anyway.

Bill Koustenis
Advanced Automotive Machine
Waldorf Md
1971 Chevelle "Heavy Chevy" original owner

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old May 16th, 04, 05:00 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Houston, TX USA
Posts: 797

And one last theory.. Perhaps that one seal was not crimped/clamped tightly enough onto the valve guide boss and it rode up with the valve, and then was crushed the next time the valve reached full lift as the seal could have cocked once it came off the boss.

This happened on my engine. I HAD a relatively small cam (.465.488) lift, and had plenty of retainer to seal clearance so I was stumped. I started removing springs and checking some of the other seals and found that some would pull off the valve boss quite easily while others were stuck on there pretty well. I then determined that perhaps that one crushed seal simply was not clamped down tightly enough.

Good luck with your repair.
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