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Triumph TR6 - Total Seal and Valve Seals

In search of that little bit extra torque, I just taken delivery of a set of "Total Seal" rings with the "gapless" second ring. The company, Total Seal, say that the rings seal so well that the vacuum pressure will be increased and recommend that engines using these rings have valve seals installed.

Does anyone on the board have any experience fitting valve seals on a TR6. With the double valve springs, is there any room in there for seals? What make of seals will fit? etc...

Thanks,

JP
John Parfitt

To fit valve stem seals to a TR6 engine with the double springs you have to have the valve guides fly cut. This will allow the fitting of smaller OD seals. I know that APT (http://aptfast.com) sells valve guides already cut for seals they sell. If you have not done the cylinder head build yet, this may be a good route to go. I have dealt with APT and have pleased with both the products and service. To give you an idea of the level of service, one order had a mixed lot of parts I needed (5 were correct, 1 was wrong). I called them, they sent out a replacement before I even had a chance to get the wrong one on the way back to them.

That being said, I have not used their guides and seals myself. There is a local guy that we know that fly cut my guides and installed seals since I already had the guides installed in the head before changing my mind on the direction of this particular build. Most of his business is from drag racer types and if you aren't one of the drag racer guys, he can be a little slow during the racing season (gotta take care of his primary customers), but his work is pretty good and is reasonably priced. He machined my head to a thickness I had determined by cc'ing the head then verified chamber volume, fly cut the guides and installed his favorite teflon stem seals, then installed and set up my valve springs (Isky VWE005 outer/SP116 inner) to specific set of seat pressures all for something in the neighborhood of about $150 US.

This last step is something that you do not want to leave out, so get some recommended values for spring loads at full closed and full open from your cam source and set up the spring installed height accordingly. The TR cams are cast in a rather soft base metal and if your seat pressure is too high, you will find yourself with a flat cam in a hurry. The typical surface treatments on the lobes of these cams to provide a better wear surface are not thick and once worn through, the party is pretty much over for that camshaft. What we need is good, through section heat treatable billet blank for TR camshafts...........
SteveP

Stephen,

Thanks for that excellent detail. One thing I'm a bit confused about in your second paragraph - do you mean the guides were fly cut after they were installed in the head?

My problem is I had the head all done, and is sitting in my workshop, prior to deciding to try the gapless rings.

I suppose I could always just try it without seals - see what happens. With my brand new guides, the tollerance should be tight and not much oil gets in the chamber.

JP
John Parfitt

John,

Yes, I was in the same boat, guides were already in the head. I discussed the situation with the machine shop guy and he had all manner of cutters for doing a fly cut with the guides in place. He selected the seals, then selected the cutter and went to town.

The other option is to knock out the guides, turn them down in lathe if they are OK after being knocked out, then replacing them. I'd go for the in-place fly cut if at all posible. Best to have your springs picked out ahead of time so the machinist can take the ID of the inner spring into account when selecting the valve stem seals.

Note that for those running the single springs such as that on an early carb engine TR6 the Perfect Circle VS19 (if memory is serving me correct) will fit with no additional work required.
SteveP

SteveP,

PERFECT, that's what I'll do. One last question related to something I read somewhere about valve seals causing a lack of, or reduced, valve lubrication causing higher than normal valve wear.

Anyhow - thanks for the advice that sure helps.

JP
John Parfitt

John - I mentioned it when it came up months ago. I suggested you contact Garry Altwasser who did this on his Red/White TR3A. He lives in Calgary. Ken Gillanders at BFE is the one who told me not to do it. He has built racing engines for TR's since 1955 and I respect his opinion, even though Garry never burs oil and his red TR3A is one of the fastest I ever came across. As I said before there are two sides to this story.

Don Elliott, 1958 TR3A
Don Elliott

John,
A word of caution about gapless rings. I put them in
my pontiac 389. The engine smokes at mid to high rpm's. I did a lot of asking around about these rings and found out that a lot of people had the same problem. These rings do not like crankcase pressure. It causes the rings to flutter and oil gets past the rings into the cylinder. My car was fine when first starting up but as pressure built in the lower crankcase oil smoke would start coming out the exhaust. I have headers on the pontiac so I installed a moroso pan-evac system and it cured the problem. The only problem is the pan-evac system will only work with open headers. The dual 2.5" exhaust system creates too much back pressure for the pan-evac system to work. Now if I want to run my gto on the street I will either have to go to a 3" exhaust or use an engine driven vacuum pump in lieu of the pan-evac system.
Not everyone has had this problem with gapless rings but a lot of people have. I have no experience with them in my triumph, but if I was you I would find out if anyone has used them and see if they worked. If I had to do it over again I would not use them. Its a crap shoot. Do you feel lucky? If you do experience these symptoms maybe one of the later model air pumps would cure it. I also found out that these rings were designed for alcohol burning engines.
Steve H
Steve H

Stephen,

Thanks for the heads-up. I'm talking with engine people about these rings and about the only thing I know so far is they are contraversial.

Here is a guy with a fast GT6 running Gapless rings.

http://www.dimebank.com/Bubbaspec.html

I'm going to try and track him down on the telephone.

I'll tell you one thing for sure - If oil smoke comes pouring out the exhaust with the Total Seal rings, it's off with the head, drop the pan, out come the pistons and I'll change em out. But part of the hobby for some of us is experimentation with a reasonable amount of research.

The thing I liked about the concept of the gapless ring is the idea of longevity where the gap doesn't increase with wear over time. I also like the possible 10% increase in torque etc.

JP


John Parfitt

John - For valve seal info - go to Hasting web-site:-

www.hastingsmfg.com

Then click on Catalog along the top menu, then click on Service Tips

Down near the bottom, they discuss Valve Seals.

Don Elliott, 1958 TR3A

Don Elliott

This thread was discussed between 26/10/2002 and 16/11/2002

Triumph TR6 index

This thread is from the archive. The Live Triumph TR6 BBS is active now.