A Little Search For The Valve Keeper Lock


Dang its a little oily in here.

Welcome back to the next episode of Lost Lock. Well, later the next day after buying a bunch of small magnets and getting advice on how to get them on a string and yada yada. Well, funny thing, getting the magnet into the area is close to impossible, so as the manual states, just leave it in the oil pan, so I resigned myself to that.

is it here?

So I spent the day looking for a new set of locks, and the only place they exist in our rural area is an old machine shop. Which of course they knew exactly what I needed, and after some fumbling around in a drawer pulled two out.


So, there I go. I have a set, but before I start, maybe one more search.. And then it happened. One little click, and there it was, tucked in a nook and cranny of the block, it never had dropped into the oil pan, carb.

I did a little more looking around

Woohoooo! So I did what any person would do when its 95 in the barn. I turned off the light, closed the door and am gonna wait for Jimmy!


So, there ya have it. This weekends project. The good news if I spend every weekend working on the engine, it will not break any more! HA.

Boat rides with buddies always help a little as well!

16 replies
  1. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    I am really impressed by how well you kept the Woodyboater shirt and hat clean while searching in there!

    Leaving it in the oil pan is only a good idea if you KNOW it is in the oil pan. Glad you recovered it without any nasty surprises down the road.

  2. MO Whaler
    MO Whaler says:

    Gee Whiz – – What suspense – – Excellent images of the exploration – – Soon to be ‘and we all lived happily ever after-ish’ sorta ending – –

  3. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Oh yeah, who gave you the magnet on a string idea? How is that supposed to work when EVERYTHING is magnetic? You would need to have the magnet on something like a wire fish tape that is flexible but rigid enough to not get hung up on the nearest iron or steel component. Your odds of success are still pretty low unless you can see the target and know where to steer. Save the magnet for the stuff you drop in the water.

  4. Bilge Rat
    Bilge Rat says:

    While you’re in there and up close and personal with the tappets, may as well get out your stepped feeler gauge and measure the lash. At your reduced size, you might have a tough time turning the adjusting nuts though.

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      That is why he needs to wait for Jimmy. Mini Matt will measure from the inside and full size Jimmy can do the adjustments from the outside.

  5. Johnny V./John Vyverberg
    Johnny V./John Vyverberg says:

    Gotta admire you for tackling a job many people would have stayed away from and publicly showing your foibles. We’ve all done this-the tiny screw that falls on the garage floor or the nut that inevitably ends up in the bilge under the oil pan. Just remember Murphy is always lurking……………..

  6. Chug-A-Lug
    Chug-A-Lug says:

    I once had problem with lost item in car motor.Used a small stick with stick um from mouse glue trap.Worked for me.

  7. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    “Honey, I shrunk the…no, that’s normal shrinkage”. We put grease on the locks (or valve “keepers” as we call them) as was mentioned by someone earlier. That acts as a glue to hold it onto the valve stem until you can release the valve spring compressor. I keep forgetting you have the big “W” model engine, I’ve always wanted one and an appropriate boat to go with it.

  8. Mike U
    Mike U says:

    What device are you using to compress the valve spring? Any picture(s) of it in action available?

  9. Bilge Rat
    Bilge Rat says:

    There is a ‘C’ shaped valve spring compressor tool typically used for a L head engine. I guess there’s enough clearance around the manifolds on a W engine for this. Watch your fingers when trying to insert the keepers while the spring is compressed!

  10. Bilge Rat
    Bilge Rat says:

    It looks from yesterday’s pic that a different kind with a handscrew is being used by Jimmy.

  11. Old Salt
    Old Salt says:

    Seems to me Matt has been putting to “cart before the horse” in his repairs. With all the experts and tricks the experts may have on Woodyboater, he should reach out to all of us for tricks and solutions before he starts the projects….

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