Our friends over at Ferrea Racing Components have been one of the racing industry’s leading valvetrain manufacturers for nearly five decades — longer than your author, and we suspect, most reading this — have been alive. During those years, the company has been tapped by some of the world’s greatest engine builders to develop valvetrain programs for competition engines from Formula 1 to NHRA, and in the process learned what works and what doesn’t for thousands of different engine applications.
The lock and retainer are designed to fit snugly together to prevent movement, especially at high RPM levels.
So when Ferrea’s Zeke Urrutia is willing to share some of his technical knowledge, we listen. In this Tech Tuesday from Ferrea, Zeke expands upon the differences for particular valve retainer and lock degree angles, and why they are important to the health of your competition engine.
He explains each style — 7-degree, Super 7, and 10-degree — and how each should fit together in the grooves on the valve.
What are the differences in each type? 7-degree locks and retainers were standard for many years on many applications. 10-degree parts came to life for two reasons: they provide more area to prevent the locks from pulling through in high valvespring rate situations, and they were also less susceptible to splitting – not to mention easier to disassemble between rounds in a drag racing application. The Super 7 system is actually an 8-degree setup that became popular with NASCAR engine builders due to its ability to grip the valve stem more securely than a 10-degree arrangement, whjich is critical in high-revving endurance applications.