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Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

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Old 10-05-2017, 08:18 PM   #1
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Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

See the title

1989 Iroc Vert, 79,000mi, 305 TPI smokes on startup so I'm banking on valve seals and an afternoon of drinking in the garage. While I have the rockers off, I was thinking of going with a set of full roller 1.6 rockers from Summit. $200.

car has manifolds and stock Y, cat, and flowmaster 2.5" catback. No other motor mods, just got it recently.

Probably go with shorty headers and an aftermarket Y eventually. so a little help for the peanut cam cant hurt right?

Not looking to race, just a little more go. I figure it's a quick proven power adder while I'm already in there.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-05-2017, 08:32 PM   #2
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

Sounds great on paper, but changing to 1.6 rockers moves the pushrod inwards towards the rocker stud. If your heads have the factory pushrod slot, then most likely a bind will be created. There is a tool made to elongate the slot using a drill bit. It's called a Louis tool. Obviously the process will make cast iron chips that will fall into your lifter valley, unless you are prepared to remove the intake manifold.
Upgrading to 1.6 rockers is not just a simple bolt-on.

Even though you only have 79K miles, your valve springs are 18 years old. You might want to consider changing them.
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Old 10-05-2017, 09:20 PM   #3
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

Valve springs are 28 years old, but who's counting

I thought the 1.6 swap was pretty straight forward, I read a lot of threads and review of folks dropping them in. Is that not the case? I know sometimes you have to clearance for high ratio rockers but I didn't think 1.6:1 were a problem?

Interesting.
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Old 10-05-2017, 10:19 PM   #4
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

Depending on which rockers you purchase you will need new valve covers as well to clear the new rockers.
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Old 10-05-2017, 10:36 PM   #5
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

Most of the time, the springs, keepers, rotators, blah blah blah on the stock valves will interfere with aftermarket rockers. As in they will physically rub. Lots of people have just thrown a set on an engine and never bothered to look and see if they actually cause problems. Lots of used 1.6 full roller rockers out there with rub marks and worse.

The proper way to do it would probably involve new springs, keepers, locks, machine the spring pockets in the heads, have threaded studs installed, new valves without the stupid O-ring groove, a valve job, and check for issues with the rockers while you're in there... But yeah, at that point you're spending money on a 305 when you could be putting the cash into a 350.
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Old 10-05-2017, 11:02 PM   #6
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

I had no issues with 1.6 rockers on my 86, but it's not a roller engine and uses non-self-aligning rockers. My understanding was that all of the TPI heads had enough clearance in the pushrod slot for 1.6 rockers. I checked and had plenty on mine. I went with Comp Magnum 1.6 roller tip rockers. According to my VE calculations I gained 4 peak HP. Was it worth it? In the grand scheme sure - they were cheap and I was doing springs and stem seals anyway.

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Old 10-06-2017, 12:07 PM   #7
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

I was going to go with these:

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/pro-66915

but if they're not just going to bolt in, then I'll just do the valve seals and call it a day.
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Old 10-06-2017, 12:25 PM   #8
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

I wouldn't go with those. The aluminium body rockers aren't known for their longevity and Proform stuff is typically chinese junk. More than one engine has been lost from the roller tip axle sliding out and causing serious wreckage. I bought a Proform pinion depth setting tool kit and it was the WORST POS I've ever seen. Completely worthless garbage. If Harbor Freight sold auto parts and tools, that's the quality from this brand.

You really don't gain much on a stock engine from having full roller rockers. I went with the Comp Magnum roller tip - the win here is the ratio change, not really the losses due to sliding friction. You will not even be able to measure the difference between a standard pivot ball rocker and a roller body rocker on a low RPM, otherwise stock motor.

GD

Last edited by GeneralDisorder; 10-06-2017 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 10-06-2017, 04:37 PM   #9
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

When I did my valve seals I put on a used set of 1.52 roller tips I picked up for I think like $100. Not sure if it made any difference, but for the money I tried it. But my intake setup is far from stock, lol. Motor "feels" like it's still pulling to about 5800+, but will never know unless I dyno it. What sucks is after doing the seals, motor still blows oil smoke on a warm restart, so doing the seals was a waste of time...
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Old 10-06-2017, 05:18 PM   #10
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

I just did mine. I wouldn't risk the headache on an LB9. I reused everything but the springs and seals and it came out great.

Have you checked the timing set? Mine was very sloppy. Did that too. Engine runs amazing now.

I take it you have done valve seals with the head on? Not one of the easier jobs on these cars.

And unless you've got one, you want this tool:

https://www.thirdgen.org/forums/misc...ml#post6174467 (Proform Valve Spring Compressor - Used Once)

Last edited by Tootie Pang; 10-06-2017 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:02 PM   #11
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneralDisorder View Post
I wouldn't go with those. The aluminium body rockers aren't known for their longevity and Proform stuff is typically chinese junk. More than one engine has been lost from the roller tip axle sliding out and causing serious wreckage. I bought a Proform pinion depth setting tool kit and it was the WORST POS I've ever seen. Completely worthless garbage. If Harbor Freight sold auto parts and tools, that's the quality from this brand.

You really don't gain much on a stock engine from having full roller rockers. I went with the Comp Magnum roller tip - the win here is the ratio change, not really the losses due to sliding friction. You will not even be able to measure the difference between a standard pivot ball rocker and a roller body rocker on a low RPM, otherwise stock motor.

GD
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:05 PM   #12
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

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Originally Posted by FART_NUGGETS View Post
I was going to go with these:

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/pro-66915

but if they're not just going to bolt in, then I'll just do the valve seals and call it a day.
Be sure to get the umbrella type of seals (Viton). The o-rings are a waste of time.
After 28 years, you will not even find your old ones in there. They dried out and cracked and ended up in the oil pan long ago.
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:46 PM   #13
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

Gonna pass on the rockers for now. Saving the budget, I am feeling the itch for a TPI 6.3. Thanks guys. I am going to still do the seals, never done that particular job before but looks like I have enough room, and I will pressurize the cylinders to keep the valves from falling in. Watched a few youtube vids, I've swapped engines before so I wont have a prob. Looking forward to the weekend lol...

Went with the soft blue felpro umbrellas and seals for the intakes, and the hard plastic felpro umbrellas and the rubber seals for the exhausts. Good?

Also ordered a spring compressor, dont have one.

And plugs since I'll be removing them anyway.



And valve cover gaskets.

Forget what else.
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:11 PM   #14
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

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Old 10-07-2017, 02:40 PM   #15
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

Why match new rockers with old cam?
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Old 10-08-2017, 06:15 AM   #16
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

Because I'm taking the Rockers off anyway to do the valve seals. Cam swap is a massive job.
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Old 10-08-2017, 01:13 PM   #17
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

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Originally Posted by NoEmissions84TA View Post
Be sure to get the umbrella type of seals (Viton). The o-rings are a waste of time.
After 28 years, you will not even find your old ones in there. They dried out and cracked and ended up in the oil pan long ago.
All of my old ones were in there and I confirmed with Fel-Pro that they are recommended with the new lower seals on both valves which is why they are still included with the lower seals as a single kit.
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Old 10-08-2017, 02:24 PM   #18
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

As 84TA suggests, I used silicone umbrella seals and ditched the o-rings, rotators, etc.

My oil consumption promptly went to zero. And the o-rings will never disintegrate, nor will the silicone umbrella seals. They are forever and will never require replacement since they ride *with* the valve rather than the valve sliding through the seal and so are impervious to age, heat, and valve cycling.

Fel-Pro is not the end-all source of engine building information. They feel most confident suggesting you put back in what came out - then they aren't liable for bad advice. They make a lot of products and while some are great, quite a few of their "gaskets and seals" - especially for Import applications - are utter garbage.

GD
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Old 10-09-2017, 12:40 AM   #19
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

Well, I got a lot of advice on shimming if I ditched the rotators, and I could toss the o-rings, etc, etc, etc but how the shims had to be "just right" or else disaster and where I could find shims and all that and I decided to forget it- whats coming out is going back in. I just wanted to keep it simple. It's not really any harder nor less reliable to re-use the rotators and reinstall new o-rings. It's an LB9 nothing more and the improvement was awesome and it runs solid.

Now for my build, that will be an entirely different story.

Last edited by Tootie Pang; 10-09-2017 at 12:44 AM.
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Old 10-09-2017, 05:04 AM   #20
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

Changing the rocker arms and even lifters is NOT "keeping it simple"!
IMO your asking for trouble shortly down the road.................

I replaced the valve stem seals in my 84 with 175k miles with the name brand
umbrella and O ring set I bought online.
Cleaned Painted the stock valve covers and reinstalled with new gaskets.

Oil consumption dropped to zero and no hot start oil smoke clouds.
No issues in 5000 miles...................

Good luck!
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Old 10-09-2017, 10:27 AM   #21
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

Comp makes a great set of affordable well made roller rockers stick with them over proform

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/c...2-16/overview/
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Old 10-09-2017, 06:57 PM   #22
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

Everybody talks about the rope method, or pressurizing the cylinders...I was too lazy to pull the plugs and go thru all that, lol. As long as the piston is on tdc, the valves will not drop out.
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Old 10-10-2017, 12:23 PM   #23
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

Heres a low cost valve spring tool from Jegs.



I bought a similar one from Harbor Freight for $6 bucks when I did my 84s seals.
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Old 10-11-2017, 06:58 AM   #24
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

Thanks again everyone. Ordered the Fel pro kits for intake and exhaust.
And some door weatherstripping.
And some silicone valve cover seals.
And new plugs.

I read that the #8 cylinder is tough to get the tool on due to clearance at the cowl/firewall. Any recommendations for a tool that will work? Will that one above from Jegs clear?
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Old 10-11-2017, 07:33 AM   #25
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

I agree lifters are a bigger job, intake has to come off, etc, etc.

But I'm confused as to why you say rockers would not be a simple swap. I am going to have them off anyway to do the seals, and I've replaced and adjusted standard friction ball types before. What, other than potential pushrod clearance issues with the 1.6 ratio, would make this any less simple than re-installing the factory rockers?



Quote:
Originally Posted by sonjaab View Post
Changing the rocker arms and even lifters is NOT "keeping it simple"!
IMO your asking for trouble shortly down the road.................

I replaced the valve stem seals in my 84 with 175k miles with the name brand
umbrella and O ring set I bought online.
Cleaned Painted the stock valve covers and reinstalled with new gaskets.

Oil consumption dropped to zero and no hot start oil smoke clouds.
No issues in 5000 miles...................

Good luck!
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Old 10-11-2017, 08:33 AM   #26
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

That tool I posted above will work just fine.
May be a bit tough to use on the rear cylinders near the firewall
but doable.
Its a afternoon of work job but the results are worth it!
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:46 AM   #27
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

I can see the Jegs tool working but the Proform tool locks in the down position holding the spring and retainer down so you can work the valve stem and seals with two hands. It also provides leverage to break the retainers free of the keepers. Mine had been on there for 29 years. They were stuck good.
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:31 PM   #28
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

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It also provides leverage to break the retainers free of the keepers. Mine had been on there for 29 years. They were stuck good.
A socket and a hammer takes care of that situation real quick. Couple taps and they unstick real easy. I used one of these and it fit without issue on every spring:

https://www.amazon.com/Neiko-50609A-Overhead-Compressor-Compatible/dp/B002GQ5HY0/ref=pd_sbs_263_4?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B002GQ5HY0&pd_rd_r=KJSHET47EBCDE8SDEC94&pd_rd_w=eL7X6&pd_rd_wg=gSBiR&psc=1&refRID=KJSHET47EBCDE8SDEC94 https://www.amazon.com/Neiko-50609A-Overhead-Compressor-Compatible/dp/B002GQ5HY0/ref=pd_sbs_263_4?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B002GQ5HY0&pd_rd_r=KJSHET47EBCDE8SDEC94&pd_rd_w=eL7X6&pd_rd_wg=gSBiR&psc=1&refRID=KJSHET47EBCDE8SDEC94


GD
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:50 PM   #29
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

I liked those, but I need self aligning rockers in my 89.


​​​​​​​
Quote:
Originally Posted by midias View Post
Comp makes a great set of affordable well made roller rockers stick with them over proform

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/c...2-16/overview/
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Old 10-11-2017, 06:31 PM   #30
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tootie Pang View Post
I can see the Jegs tool working but the Proform tool locks in the down position holding the spring and retainer down so you can work the valve stem and seals with two hands. It also provides leverage to break the retainers free of the keepers. Mine had been on there for 29 years. They were stuck good.

Ya gotta take off the valve springs anyway to side the umbrella seal down
the valve to the hump.
Easier with the springs gone.
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Old 10-14-2017, 01:07 AM   #31
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

Here is a picture of what happens when you swap to 1.6 rockers.
The pushrod moves inward and can create a binding issue.
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Doing Valve Seals, pop in 0 roller rockers while I'm in there?-sguide_plate.jpg  
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Old 10-14-2017, 02:32 AM   #32
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Re: Doing Valve Seals, pop in $200 roller rockers while I'm in there?

I didn't encounter clearance issues with my pushrods. I checked for this while turning the engine over by hand. The consensus seems to be that the stock peanut cam doesn't have enough lift to cause a problem when installing 1.6 rockers on a stock LB9 or L98.

GD
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