You may have seen my recent post and the ensuing discussion about a valve lifter that failed in a thousand mile engine.
I neglected to take a picture, but the #3057 valve spring seat pins also showed a great deal of wear and some of them would most likely have failed in another thousand miles or less.
I'm currently scrounging here for some original Ford pins, but not having any luck so far. If I don't find them, have you found a source for new ones that are made correctly, or will I have to try making my own?
One poster was of the opinion that the current retainers are also junk, so the same question applies. Is anybody making good ones?
Steve, your cam may be of stock lift, but is anyone running a higher lift cam than stock, having any problems caused by the extra lift or spring pressure?
Those pins have always been a problem. Well, since the late '20s anyway. I suspect Ford used a really good metal on them originally. And real originals probably hold up well. But after nearly a hundred years? And many of them are NOT originals anymore!? They have been pretty much a crap shoot ever since.
I feel I must say this again. Be grateful for the many wonderful new parts that we can buy. We could not have as many cars on the road today as we do with out those new parts. And the truth be known, I probably could not ever have more than one driveable car because a few rare pieces would have been out of my price range many years ago.
Valve stem pins, are not so critical. Many years ago, the available reproduction ones were all either so soft that they would cut through in a couple hundred miles. Or somebody decided to make and sell some hardened steel ones that often broke in about the same amount of miles.
Over forty years ago, I started making my own. I find old nails (good material) that closely fit the pin holes in the stems (this is actually more important than you may think!). Larger nails for worn holes, smaller pins for new valves with holes that are not worn. I clamp the nail in a vise, hacksaw off the first end. Figure the perfect fit length and hacksaw off a pin. Cut off pins until there isn't enough good material left on the nail. IF ANY CUT GOES TOO EASILY? (Okay, that is a tough one, "too Easily" is a judgmental impression, and difficult to define. You should expect it to cut easily, just not TOO easily.) Throw all pieces of that nail out and find a tougher nail.
I have over the years had a couple wear through. I have also had a few break (too hard). Some, I have run many thousands of miles and on routine inspection found them to appear to still be perfect. I usually carry a small can of spare bolts in cars that I drive much (I have given away more bolts on tours to other people than I have used on my own car on tours). In that can, I usually keep a couple spare pins.
That has been my experience.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Consider using modern Ford valves with modern spring retainers with split keepers. Some minor adaptation is required.
In my view this is an adaptation of modern parts to a Model T Ford engine rebuild that spares you the poorly made reproduction parts being sold.
Makes me wonder if I should pull the valve cover and have a look at mine - I have put nearly 3000 miles on my '24 without any problems (yet).
Steve, was there wear on both the pins and the new valve spring seats? I also used the #3057 pins (Hardened, Best Quality) and the new seats last winter. I also remember seeing a thread here not that long ago showing the pin wearing right through the seat. Unfortunately, add me to the list that are now concerned about these parts.
I'm right in the middle of putting new valves and lifters in my '25 so this thread is good timing.
(Message edited by JunkyJud on November 26, 2016)
I've heard of using drill bit shanks in other applications. Any idea in this case?
Interesting thought. I can buy "drill rod" locally
I am also wondering about getting the valve spring retainers "Nitrided" to harden them. It is a surface hardening process and makes the top about .003" to about 50 Rc
I use modern "Chevy 350" valves,keepers and spring cups.A little STP holds them in place while you apply spring pressure I also like the adjustable lifters.
Stainless steel rods from china, cheap as chips and usually free postage, can't cut it with a hack saw but a thin cutting disc in a 4" angle grinder does the job.
I have used drill bit rod. The after market pins are too soft and fail shortly after installation. If they don't break they bend. I couldn't find the rod at a supply house I bought drill bits and cut the end off of them with my dremal tool. I would chuck the drill bit into my vise and cut the size pin that I needed. Place a white rag under the vise to catch the pins. It also easier to see the pin.
Austenitic stainless steel pins, the 300 series stainless , likely work hardens in use so you have a harder outer surface and a ductile center. I think Frank has an excellent recommendation.
I had that problem on my Henderson, same style pins, a friend recommended drill rod. I made some of that and have had no problems in about 4,000 miles worth of riding. I check them every once in a while. so far so good
I use Chevy valves and keepers after the pins failed on my rebuilt 17 Touring many years ago.
There are also fifties Ford 6 valves that fit the guides and are the right length.
My machinest, now retired and moved Away, gave me plenty of keepers and retainers.
Model A valve springs were the right length for that set-up.
I used Chevy 350 exhaust valves, Model T springs, Ford 8N tractor retainers and Chevy keepers. I used adjustable lifters with lock nuts. The lifters all had about a 64th tit right in the middle from machining. I faced the lifter on both ends, nothing was square with the barrel. I'm going to check this winter to see how they're holding up. PK
How about using pins out of a modern universal joint, I was always able to get them from a local mechanic. Jim
The valve pins which are sold by Lang's are hardened. Lang's has been selling hardened pins for at least 7 years now and I have not heard of any problems with these pins. Prior to that the pins were made of soft steel and did not last.
I have no idea what any of the other suppliers are selling.
Here's the original size info for the pins, from the Ford parts book: 3057 PIN (Valve retaining, 7/64" x 17/32”)
You can buy a 12" 7/64 drill bit for under $4 on Amazn. It will make a full set of pins and leave you with a nice drill bit when you get done.
Here's a thread from last year about some bad valve spring seats. Anyone know if the ones the vendors are now selling are of the same poor quality?
Steve if you pay postage I will send you a set of original Ford valve spring retainers. You get to clean off the grease.
More questions it seems on this thread than answers. Guess those of us who used these parts will just have to bite the bullet and dig in deep to see if these parts are as defective as they seem to be.
John there is an answer. Original Ford parts are usually better than reproductions. Once you have a spring retainer fail you learn to not replace them.