59 Nailhead Rebuild SAGA

Discussion in ''Da Nailhead' started by Deadsled59, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. 8ad-f85

    8ad-f85 Well-Known Member

    Do you have a range for the installed height yet?
    Don't say 'stock length valve' :D Need an actual measured height or good guess for starting point.
    Has the difference between the height of a beehive retainer and any other been established?
    It could be .100" different.
    I forget if this is a Buick retainer or std aftermarket?
    What #'s seem to fit from the catalog page shown above?
  2. Deadsled59

    Deadsled59 Well-Known Member

    Range for the installed height?
    No sir, not yet.

    I had a brief call with Mike the other day and he mentioned that the Valve Height would have to be some 1.740 to begin to move the Roller Sweep closer to the middle of the Valve Tip.
    He mentioned that this may be problematic, as thats quite a bit taller than "stock".

    Also, that may eat up some of the 1.9 ratio... Thats just my thinking though.

    However, he doesn't have a block there to check and see how this would clear the pushrod holes in the heads, etc which only seems to complicate things.
    So, no. I still haven't enough info to pick a spring, and I don't have my hands on any retainers other than my stock ones.

    What I DO have is a few moments (hours) to have looked back at my note-BOOKS this morning and found a few things..

    GSGTX used the 26915 Valves.

    Also, according to those notes I found AHHH65RIV recommended a guy named GARY STEVENSON at ERD who apparently sells a "kit" with no actual part numbers supplied. Of course...
    I believe i called him last year and he would not supply the part numbers....

    This "Kit" is/or was $539.44 Total
    Comp Beehives - $179.04
    11/32 Valves with Undercut stems.. Im guessing 3/8 valves w cut stems...?
    1.920 Intake
    1.550 Exhaust
    Valves cost $305.00
    7 Degree Locks $5
    Comp retainers $50.40
    and "mild cutting" of seat to get 120 open pressure and 290 open.

    Its tough to decipher what springs this "kit" uses because the pressure is meaningless to me without a height to correspond to it so I could track it down.

    The springs ive eyeballed out of these pages all call for roughly a 1.8 installed height, so that seems to go in line with Mikes measurement of 1.740 to move the sweep.

    Thanks for the continued help, all....
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
  3. 8ad-f85

    8ad-f85 Well-Known Member

    Mike might be referring to a valve height based on tip protrusion (?) not sure.
    If so, you'll have to have retainers and locks on the actual valve to measure how far down from the tip.
    If he's referring to that then you have what you need.
    This is a catch 22 for the machinist. Might not have stuff on hand.
    One reason it's good to have a couple of batches of orders going or research the combo with some flexibility in mind.
    Usually 11/32" stems means just that, and necked down smaller near the head.
    Are these Buick retainer 'ed valves or sbc based?
    Just giving you more to think about.
    Deadsled59 likes this.
  4. Deadsled59

    Deadsled59 Well-Known Member

    As if theres not enough in life to think about, let alone, all the intricacies of the Nailhead build haha.

    Tip heights measured from the flat machined head surface up top, so yes thats the valve protrusion/Valve height we've been talking about. Not overall height yet.

    I completely understand what you mean about the Catch 22.
    Finding a height to move the sweep is one thing, but matching springs and retainers when their starting point are not established.... yeah, it complicates things.

    And judging by the comp catalog pages im browsing online, its safe to say most of this stuff is SBC based, as im shooting for titanium keepers and retainers.

    is 7 Degree preferred over what I believe is 10 degrees stock?
    Theres one thing that SHOULD be easy enough to settle on.
  5. Deadsled59

    Deadsled59 Well-Known Member



    Heres the two links.
    They're a bit cleaner than the images I uploaded.

    Solely based off the ID of the Spring Pocket in the head (1.310 I measured)
    26915 and 26918 seem to be the closest fits with ODs of 1.290 and 1.310 respectively.

    That also narrows retainers down to numbers 762, 772, and 788

    What do you guys think?
    105 lbs @ 1.8 installed height or 125 lbs @ 1.8 installed height...
    1.8 installed height is taller than Mike seemed comfortable going, but would be damn close to the number he gave me to start moving the sweep across the valve tip.

    Trying to nail at least one part down to run with..
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  6. 8ad-f85

    8ad-f85 Well-Known Member

    I think you are not quite seeing the tip height vs installed height thing yet... :)
    The tip height is going to be higher than the bottom of the retainer where the spring fits.
    Need to have a retainer and locks on the valve to check that.
    I have an LS coming through in the next few days, so I can tell you how much lower the spring height is, but bear in mind these are still different parts than your nail.

    I don't know if your valves have the Buick style groove or the sbc type. Mike has those, right?

    The spring pocket can be enlarged a little bit and your builder will have to make sure the pushrods still clear if so.
    He has the rocker arms and a short block?
    Is there enough adjustability to the rockers to maneuvre?
    IF they get cut bigger, some shims drop into the pocket to control the depth, just FYI.

    Look at the rate of the springs and you can figure out the new height's installed PSI, when you have that dimension to work with.
  7. Deadsled59

    Deadsled59 Well-Known Member

    Yessir, I comprehend that the two "heights", installed height for the springs and Valve Height are two different things.

    Just trying to bounce numbers around again, and these two springs seem to be in the ballpark just because of the spring pocket ID/ springs OD.

    Valve height, with the springs installed height calling for 1.8, may be too high?
    Mike did NOT seem too keen on going higher than 1.740 even.
    See what im saying?

    No, I don't have have Valves, looking at Titanium ones on ebay, as suggested from another post here.
    They can be machined to your specs as they're used Nascar Valves. JARVIS is the company/ebay name.
    However, im not 100% stuck on going that route. Titanium at that price would be awesome though. ($25 per valve)
    Other than those, custom Manley valves are my other option it seems.

    And no. Again, Mike does not have access to a block at the moment.
    So, theres a LOT up in the air to say the least...
    Ill make another call or two tomorrow and report back with any new findings.

    Thanks for the continued help.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  8. telriv

    telriv Well-Known Member


    Since more than likely Mike will be using 11/32nds. valve stems they will more than likely have SBC retainers & locks. Mike & I have discussed this MANY times.


    I will try & give you a call tomorrow. A convenient time???

    Tom T.
  9. Deadsled59

    Deadsled59 Well-Known Member

    I should be free later in the evening, Tom.
    Thanks in advance
  10. 8ad-f85

    8ad-f85 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info, Telriv.
    I was fairly confident on the valves and it seemed as if the OP wasn't sure.
    I'm posing the questions he needs to ask himself to be able to figure out what parts he needs.
    It's rhetorical to me.
  11. Deadsled59

    Deadsled59 Well-Known Member

    UPDATE 3-12-18

    I had a few more moments to sit down and stare at the heads/rockers and part numbers.

    I noticed something.
    The pictures and specs I uploaded for lift a while back are a bit off.
    To clarify, I somehow managed to account for "taller valves" with spacers (washers) a while back while setting up the dial bore gage, and didn't account for that in my measurements/notes...
    Ive been simply juggling a lot in life, and that was my error.

    What that means is, at the "Stock Valve Height", with Toms adjusters all the way out, and an adjustable pushrod, the actual valve lift is
    .614 INTAKE --- 1.98 Ratio
    .626 EXHAUST--- 2.0 Ratio

    I didn't think id see over .600 Lift, at all.

    Heres what I also observed.
    When I properly accounted for Taller Valves with a .220 spacer between the valve and the roller tip, adjusters all the way out, and an adjustable pushrod, I observed
    .578 Intake
    .585 Exhaust
    The numbers were "right" a while back, I just forgot to mention that they were for Taller Valves.

    This means that using Taller Valves, which is also necessary to use ANY of the Beehives i've been looking at, I lose a little lift.

    From the area of the Spring Pocket that any of these springs would be sitting on, to the stop of the Stock Valve Height, is actually 1.8". Thats the Installed Height of a LOT of these springs. The .220 spacer is just an arbitrary spacer I had (those parallel ground SS head washers), but it was able to help me see what exactly changes with the added Valve Height, which is simply a lower Rocker Ratio, and the roller tip sweep moves outboard of the motor.

    IMG_0329.jpg Picture uploaded for reference of Spring pocket to valve tip meas. being 1.8". Measuring from the "Top Step" where the ID is roughly 1.31

    This works out in my favor, it seems.
    A Taller Valve to accomodate spring installed height, also moves the sweep more centrally to satiate my OCD tendencies about it being spot-on.
    I just need to nail down an exact Valve height, and go from there.
    Then figure out how to have the valve retainer notches cut/made to an exact height for whatever spring I go with.

    In the meantime, I may order a couple springs to see exactly how they fit in the pockets.
    Comp 29615 1.290 OD
    Comp 29618 1.310 OD

    Titanium Retainer for 11/32 Valves #788

    I hope what I observed translated well here.
    8ad-f85 likes this.
  12. gsgtx

    gsgtx Silver Level contributor

    you are going to run in to problems using to tall of valve with push rod hitting in the push rod hole. you will also lose power with a 2.0 ratio exhaust.
    8ad-f85 likes this.
  13. Deadsled59

    Deadsled59 Well-Known Member

    From what I was looking at, the pushrod is close, but definitely clears the top of the pushrod hole in the head. Since Mike doesn't have access to a block, it helps if I can at least eyeball these kind of things

    Are you saying power would be lost due to too high of a lift?
    Exhaust being too open as the intake opens, due to the added lift?
    That wont be my case, im just curious.

    This is all hypothetical, as it looks like i won't have the 2.0 ratio, remember?
    Taller Valves showed me lifts of .586 or so, where the "stock" height yielded the .626 Lift.

    Thanks for the reply
    8ad-f85 likes this.
  14. 8ad-f85

    8ad-f85 Well-Known Member

    There's ways to move things around or deal with pushrods hitting, but that's a different adventure.
  15. gsgtx

    gsgtx Silver Level contributor

    if your using a high lift fast ramp cam to start with, am saying there will very little gain or any gain at all going above 1.7 on intake, and on exhaust there will be little or no gain from 1.6 to 1.7 and might even lose power. plus a high ratio will have some weird angles with push rod tips and adjuster and put on a lot of side pressure on the valve guides, also you will need some very high pressure valve springs to control harmonics and valve float. there is no way a nail head hyd cam and lifters will handle this. just my opinion, but you can always try it on prove me wrong.
    8ad-f85 likes this.
  16. 8ad-f85

    8ad-f85 Well-Known Member

    One problem with the long running saga type threads is that the readers forget details of builds.
    I don't recall if this is a hydr. roller or ? , nor did I recall what types of valves were being used along with many aspects as this pops back up.
    It can be difficult to put thought into some of these without asking that the pertinent information be posted as each topic comes up again.
    It's a different intensity of focus when someone hands you a check for a build, and you can work out all the details on the clock.
    I appreciate whenever anyone takes the time to offer something in a post.
  17. Deadsled59

    Deadsled59 Well-Known Member

    I fully understand that, 8ad-f85.
    LOTS of ground has been covered here, and nobody is obligated to help me, whatsoever.
    Much less, sort through 12 pages of this build/"saga".
    Thats why im always MORE than grateful for any and all responses from those who have a few more years experience with the Nailhead
    or certain technicalities than myself.

    The Cam?
    Custom Comp grind, Hyd. Flat Tappet made for hydraulic lifters.
    Ive been told numerous times solids may be better, as the Comp-Pro-Magnums (.003" preload had lifters) ive considered
    seem to basically be a solid lifter as it is, noisy, and finicky to setup.

    Thats WIDE open, really.
    Custom Manley, or an off the shelf valve that I could have turned down to some 1.920 and 1.550
    Considering the Beehive, I want as light of a valve as I can use, obviously.
    Thats where I found that link to those Titanium Nascar Valves that can be turned down to specs provided.

    I do apologize for the lengthy/monotonous build, and numerous questions/issues.
    Trying to get the build knocked out with what time I have left to do so.
    Hopefully this "saga" pops up on google for someone searching about an issue thats been covered here, too!

    Lest we forget thats an important part of the rodding community! Helping when possible and spreading knowledge so the sport/hobby continues to thrive.
    That being said, I placed that order for the springs to see how they actually fit in the spring pockets, and a spring height gage, and a couple retainers and locks to see how things look.

    Eye-balling some PAC or PSI springs in the meantime (1518, 1215, 1218, 1218X), as ive found NUMEROUS complaints of broken Comp Beehive Springs (26915 and 26918). That seems to have just been a bad batch or two, but still... Maybe comp orders PAC or PSI and re-packages as they have identical spring measurements on some.
    PSI and PAC both seem to offer a higher quality spring thats nano-peened and nitrided for extra life and durability.
    The saga continues.
    Thanks again for the continued help.
  18. 8ad-f85

    8ad-f85 Well-Known Member

    Hopefully no negativity taken :) None was implied, nature of the beast I guess.
    It's still an interesting thread to follow.
    The only way I'd consider using the titaniums is if you can still find them for the $x price they were a while back.
    I wouldn't put more than $100 into them including your cost of modification because of the fatigue life and inherent problems in machining them in the finished state.
    They don't show up problems as easily as the softer of the stainless alloys, they simply let go.
    I have many boxes of these things and would gladly grind up some for my own special one-off projects knowing full well they are still expendable.
    AFAIK, Comp reboxes springs or has them made to their specs.
    There's about as many sbc or LS candidates as anything that could easily be ground to fit your needs, and fairly inexpensively considering the quality/competitive pricing.
  19. Deadsled59

    Deadsled59 Well-Known Member

    None taken, sir.
    I always appreciate your input.

    I’ll tread a little more lightly on the idea of those Titanium valves, then.
    From all I’ve heard, they’re the “best”.
    “Best” is subjective.
    “Lightest” may more accurately describe them.

    The idea of ANY of this work getting damaged, or these parts “letting go” makes me sick.
    Even having cold feet about Beehives due to the fact that there’s no backup if one decides to break on me.

    I’ll still probably end up using them.
    More than likely from PAC or PSI though, for the reasons I mentioned.

    In Toms words, the “Pandora’s Box” of valves/springs/retainers/locks/lock degrees to chose from is enough to make a mans head spin!

    One thing at a time though. I’ll see how these springs fit in the pocket tomorrow and then hunt down more valve options.
  20. 8ad-f85

    8ad-f85 Well-Known Member

    In the interests of longevity, many people steer from the Manley and Milodon harder alloy valves for the SI and Ferrea's.
    The harder alloys are just fine, until a minor bump from a piston or debris put a slight bend in them. Then they break quickly.
    The softer types bend but live long enough to let you know to replace them...and are 1/3 the cost.
    Deadsled59 likes this.

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