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Bought some Titanium Valve Spring Retainers for my rebuild. Are these things really worth it though? 260 bucks from FWD, and I might have buyers remorse. The dude at the machine shop who's doing the work on my motor said they aren't really necessary unless you are running an extremely high horsepower car or if it's high revving, like over 9,000rpms. He said he's done alot of work on rebuilds of 500hp cars running standard steel retainers with no problems. Are these just a gimmick or do they actually DO anything? Performance wise, reliability? Anything? Does anyone have proof of the claims?
 

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If that guy knew anything about our Lotus heads he would say different. The spring tension stock is super tight and these babies help big time with timing belt life and revving is noticeably faster. I can say that after I installed mine and drove my car, I was very glad I put them on.
 

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If that guy knew anything about our Lotus heads he would say different. The spring tension stock is super tight and these babies help big time with timing belt life and revving is noticeably faster. I can say that after I installed mine and drove my car, I was very glad I put them on.
That's interesting. What was the change in your timing belt life? Was it enough to write home about? So if it alters spring height and in turn relaxes tension, what is the science behind it improving revving?
 

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If that guy knew anything about our Lotus heads he would say different. The spring tension stock is super tight and these babies help big time with timing belt life and revving is noticeably faster. I can say that after I installed mine and drove my car, I was very glad I put them on.
and the raised height not only helps timing belt life, but also helps on premature cam wear. and as most t-3 owners know the cams can get pretty ugly and are costly to repair. anything to help longevity and reliability is great. The fact that there are titanium and helps the motor rev is just a good by-product. Has the machine shop you are using ever seen a t-3 motor? besides your's of course LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #5
and the raised height not only helps timing belt life, but also helps on premature cam wear. and as most t-3 owners know the cams can get pretty ugly and are costly to repair. anything to help longevity and reliability is great. The fact that there are titanium and helps the motor rev is just a good by-product. Has the machine shop you are using ever seen a t-3 motor? besides your's of course LOL
I don't see how it would be so much drastically different than other 16v DOHC.
 

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what -the 16v lotus motor itself? or the change in install height on the retainers?

The lotus uses springs that have excessive spring pressure than what is really needed. The change in install height changes spring pressure.

Just because a head has 16v doesn't make them all equal. The lotus head was a very low production item with only a couple of thousand cars having the t-3. Most machine shops have NEVER seen one, and don't know the quirks about them.
 

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I've been wondering the same thing, palmetto.

I've heard some people swear by them and that they're the greatest thing to happen to that engine, and others swear them off like "snake oil". (I'm not saying that they're either, I'm just trying to figure out if they're worth my money)

Sometimes people buy into "hype" and I'm wondering if that's the case with the ti retainers.

Are they really worth the money? Do they really make that big of a difference on their own, or have people's glowing reviews come after taking the car out for a spin the first time after doing a bunch of mods while the engine was apart, and it's the combination of all of their work that made the difference, not just the retainers?

Any more info/opinions?:)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
where can i find doors for my omni it goe t boned and i got it running again but need two doors, and a quarter panel?
While this is not pertinent to the thread, or appropriate for the TIII section, I don't personally know. If you address your problem in the right section of the forum I'm sure you'll get a better answer.
 

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I had them installed on my car before any major mods and noticed an immediate difference in the engine's willingness to rev and how smooth it climbed to the upper rev range...
 

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This may get me in some trouble , mabey not. Heres my .02.

The Ti retainers reduce installed height .070, this takes a noticeable amount of spring pressure off the valve, but for every valve its fighting against to open theres another valve getting pushed shut. Make of that as you will.

Another point is the less weight on the valvetrain the faster you can spin the engine without valve float, but you reduced spring pressure so you reduced more of the ability to rev higher. But if you arent reaching the point of float then your fine. You will free up a little h.p. from less weight and effort opening the valves.

I have S3 cams in my Omni and with the Ti retainers I got valve float at 7800. I since shimmed up the springs to get more valve pressure, but still benfit from the lighter weight.
 

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The Ti retainers reduce installed height .070, this takes a noticeable amount of spring pressure off the valve, but for every valve its fighting against to open theres another valve getting pushed shut. Make of that as you will.
not sure where you are going on that since each valve/spring is independant

But if you arent reaching the point of float then your fine. You will free up a little h.p. from less weight and effort opening the valves.
yes

I have S3 cams in my Omni and with the Ti retainers I got valve float at 7800. I since shimmed up the springs to get more valve pressure, but still benfit from the lighter weight.
no one else runs stage 3 t-3 cams, so I doubt that will be an issue and most people 7800 is more than they run. The benifit of longer lasting timing belts and cams is the primary function of the retainers. the added benefits of being titanium is a bonus
 

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Discussion Starter #19
That would be nice. I'm sure there's someone out there that can put in the time and effort for R&D. Unfortunately, I can't :(
 
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If you really dont want to spend 260 on the Titanium FWDP now has a cheaper alternative.

And for my .02 cents,I think every TIII out there should have either Titanuim retainers or the machined stock ones in them. Taking that 070 off the installed height is a huge deal for these engines. They never changed the springs when these went into production after they were used to run 9K all day when they raced them. Your valvetrain will be sooo much happier if you end up putting a set in there. I have about 10 running TIII motors right now and ALL OF THEM have either Ti or cut retainers in them.
 
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