While this month’s tool isn’t some super-high-tech gizmo made from billet aluminum, it is one of the most practical tools we have in the shop. Welcome to Summit Racing’s valvetrain organizer tray combo. This tray set’s usefulness has made it a permanent part of the shop. In fact, you might remember seeing it a while back in our GT40 cylinder head refresh article. So instead of that quick glance, we’re going to share it with you, in depth.
While also available individually, the combo kit comes with two distinct trays. One for your valves, valvesprings, and retainer hardware and the other for rocker arms, and other valvetrain hardware. Both are made from a high-impact red plastic that will withstand being tossed around in day-to-day operations. The red color is more than a fashion statement as well. The color provides good contrast between the tray and its various pockets and your valvetrain components.
Valve and Valvespring Tray
The first tray in the kit is the shallow one designed to hold your valves and valvesprings. At first glance, it looks like a bunch of random circles molded into a plastic sheet, but upon further inspection, a method to the tray designer’s madness becomes apparent. There are recesses 2.5 inches and 2.0 inches in diameter, respectively, designed for the 16 of the largest big-block intake and exhaust valves on the market.
Those are accompanied by another 16 recesses the same size as the exhaust valve spots, but with an additional recess in the center making them suitable for either valvesprings or retainers. There are 16 additional smaller holes, which will fit the cone of most retainers, or can be used for your valve locks. We found that our preferred configuration for this tray was to have the retainer sit atop the valvespring in the larger cutouts, with the valve locks in the smaller cutouts.
In order to keep everything organized — because after all, that’s the point of this tool — there is a molded-in L and R in each end of the tray, so that you don’t mix up the valvetrain between cylinders. Additionally, the molded-in handles not only make it convenient to carry the tray, even when fully loaded, but make for a great mounting bracket too, if you decide to hang them on a wall.
Rocker Arm, Pushrod, and Lifter Tray
The second tray is noticeably deeper than the first, and that’s to accommodate the 16 rocker arm cubbies on the outside of the tray. Moving inboard, there is a deep hole, .550 inch in diameter to accommodate all but the absolute largest pushrods on the market. Just inside that, there is another deep 1.15-inch diameter hole for your lifters, and then another .630-inch hole for your rocker mounting hardware (in our case, a 5/16 bolt, but a poly lock would fit as well).
The tray also features four deep rectangular bins on the ends of the tray for miscellaneous items, like guide plates or any of the specialty hardware, with a molded-in handle similar to the other tray, which makes lifting a full tray off a flat surface easy. Unlike the valve tray, the deeper one is marked with “F” and “R” for front and rear instead of left and right, but it still gets the job done.
When you’re servicing your cylinder heads, keeping everything in the proper order is critical. With these trays from Summit Racing, doing that is easy and convenient. Both offer the ability to keep everything organized by cylinder and simultaneously move it out of the way around the shop.