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Lighten valve spring retainers?


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I was reading the "Valve train balancing" sticky, as well as the valve train section in the "How to Modify" book. Seems like all the weight reduction effort is focused on the rocker arms. Anybody ever lighten the valve spring retainers? Wouldn't it be worthwhile to do so if lightening the rocker arms is? An easy way I can think of to do this would be to drill holes in the retainers along the circumference...the only potential downside to this I can imagine is that the holes might cause an odd wear pattern on the seating surface of the valve spring. Any thoughts?

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I personally dont think that would be a good course of action... I understand the thought process, and it does seem like it's a step in the right direction in theory... but the spring retainer is a part that's under a lot of stress... that's one of the few peices where making it "lighter" might cause you serious problems.


That's just my opinion on it, dont know if I'm right or wrong either, so I'd love to hear some more educated opinions on this as well.


*EDIT* I would definately agree with using a lighter but equally strong replacement, but making it lighter by drilling holes or anything like that would probably do more harm than good.

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Aluminum retainers are available from Nissan Motorsports, but is only slightly lighter than the steel ones according to the how to modify book. Titanium is also mentioned but is not considered cost-effective.


I think the most effective valvetrain weight reduction start at the valves themselves since there is a chained effect. A lighter(titanium) valve require less spring force to control, meaning a weaker(lighter) spring is allowed. Weaker springs will allow lighter(weaker) retainers and rocker arms.

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I don't know how is aware of the fact that I have a set of roller rockers for the L engine. There was ONE cam designed and ONE roller head ever built.


I got on to this stuff because I am still planning on building this head. So you could say I have researched this whole topic at length and had a few ideas I was going to go with.


The first thig I looked into is the spring. I was looking very closly to the spring comp cams makes for their bee-hive springs. This will reduce this harmonic, or remove it all together, I have heard mention about a number of times.

The spring retainers will be reduced in size by about 20-30% and lighter. Also I looked into titanium retainers for this application. (NOTE: if you want to reduce the weight of the retainer then go with the titanium set that now can be bought.)

The valves are then next. A 7mm stim is in order for this head, stainless steel and go for it.


So there is now a vendor on the titanium retainers, use those.

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Do you have any pictures of the roller rockers? I don't think I'm the only one who would love to see those.


Also, where do you get valves with a 7 mm stem diameter and the associated valve guides?

Yes that would be interesting - are these the Malvern rockers, or something else?


Ferrea has 7mm valve stock, but you'll have to have them made to order. I actually was considering this, but the thing is that this then requires special guides (as Dane noted), and then you'll have to have spcial retainers made that can work with our lash pad setup, too. Jeff's roller rockers might be able to use some other setup, so there might be an off the shelf setup that could work for him.


I have limited funds this time around, so I decided to stay with 8mm stems.

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