Valve Spring Retainers and Rotators

S.B. International, Inc.® offers Valve Spring Retainers and Rotators for Popular applications. The SBI® Valve Spring Retainer offering covers Agricultural applications as well as Popular Domestic Small Block and Big Block Performance Applications. The SBI® Valve Rotator offering covers Popular Domestic Automotive, Light and Medium-Duty Trucks, Agricultural, Industrial, Marine and Heavy-Duty Diesel applications.


Valve Spring Retainers are mated and fixed to the tip end of the valve to maintain a working spring height. Working together with the Valve Keepers, the Valve Spring Retainer is responsible for keeping the correct pressure on the valve spring by locating it between the Valve Spring Seat and the Valve Spring Retainer itself. The pressure (Force) that varies according to the position of the valve when actuated by the camshaft is what controls the valvetrain and is critical to the performance of an engine. During operation, the Valve Spring Retainer is subjected to high stress, heat and corrosion. From this environment, small hairline fractures can develop from stress and in many cases can go undetected if not inspected properly. SBI recommends replacing all Valve Spring Retainers to prevent a potential catastrophic failure. Our Stock Valve Spring Retainers are designed and manufactured based on the OEM Design using Hardenable Steels or Low Carbon Steels and are either Machined or Cold Formed then case hardened. The SBI Domestic Performance Valve Spring Retainers are designed and manufactured using 4140 Bar Stock and are heat treated to 38-42 HRc as well as coated with a black oxide finish for additional corrosion resistance.


Valve Rotators also known as Rotocoils, play a very important role in maximizing the life of a Valve. Depending on the application, the internal designs can vary, however a typical Valve Rotator consists of a cap, body, an internal spring washer and spring. Most ALL OE Manufacturers do not advise reusing Valve Rotators and do not print specifications or provide inspection protocol or test methods to reuse them. Unfortunately, without using the specialized equipment required to test a Valve Rotator for proper rotation or are willing to inspect them while on a running engine, there is no readily available reliable test method to test used Valve Rotators. Upon inspection of a used Valve Rotator, If there is no clear external damage, or if the spring inside the body has broken allowing the Valve Rotator to collapse, there is typically nothing to indicate a used Valve Rotator is good or bad. This is why it is recommended to replace all Valve Rotators during assembly. SBI® Valve Rotators are Designed and Manufactured using the highest grade steels, internal components and Quality Controls providing a component that will Meet and/or Exceed The OE Manufacturer Requirements.

In most applications, Valve Rotators are typically installed above the valve spring and mate with the valve and lock into position with the Valve Spring and Valve Keepers, essentially acting as a Valve Retainer and a Valve Rotator. Depending on the application, the Valve Rotator can be positioned above or below the valve springs. Whether an Upper Valve Rotator or a Lower Valve Rotator is in place, depending on the OE Manufaturers design, both function with either a Single or Dual Spring Design achieving Valve Rotation. In some Heavy-Duty Applications, Valve Rotators are used on the Intake Valve and the Exhaust Valve. During engine operation, Valve spring tension pushes upward on the body of the Valve Rotator. While the Valve Keepers hold the Valve Rotator in position on the valve, downward force from the rocker arm or valve bridge collapses the internal spring of the Valve Rotator when the valve opens. During operation the force of the valvetrain compresses and releases the internal spring allowing the Valve Rotator to rotate the valve and reset.

By having a new and properly functioning Valve Rotator installed, You can expect even wear of the Valve and Valve Seat Insert, even heat distribution across the Valve and the mating surfaces of the Valve and Valve Seat Insert to be mostly free of deposits. Without a properly functioning Valve Rotator, you can expect the potential for Zonal Overheating or Hot Spots to develop that lead to torching of the Valve Face, Valve Stem galling or Seizure, Premature Valve and Valve Guide wear, Excessive Deposit buildup between the Valve and Valve Seat Insert leading to Thermal Overstress of the Valve, Loss of compression and Catastrophic Engine Failure.