Engine Valve Spring Retainers
Valve spring retainers are used on top of the valve spring,in order to ensure that its positioning and pressure,remain constant. These retainers are circular pieces of metal with a diameter a little larger than the spring it is being installed on. This gives the spring a surface to distribute its built up energy evenly which will keep it from losing its hardness and shape. The inner side of the retainer will usually have circular channels to hold the spring in place. These channels also prevent the spring from sliding out under the retainer as it experiences constant changes in pressure. Some retainers will have multiple channels indented in them to support a wide variety of different size springs.
To endure the extremely high amounts of pressure put on the retainer by the spring, extremely durable material must be used. To fit this application, the retainers are often made out of high strength steel or titanium. This steel is often heat treated which makes it almost impossible to dent or break even at high RPM’s. A broken retainer can cause severe damage to the engine and its components. A special finish is put on the spring retainer to prevent rust and other forms of corrosion that can degrade the metal and possibly cause it to break. Valve spring retainers are often bought in a kit which usually comes with the retainer, spring, and valve lock. This will ensure that they all fit together properly when having to replace one of the components, and will help reduce the risk of one of these parts failing again in the future.
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