December 29, 2022

Zip Kit FAQ: What's Up with Plugging Separator Plate Ports?

A common inquiry Sonnax receives on our tech line relates to plugging separator plate balance ports in some of our Zip Kits®.

WHY do we do this?

The constant valve oscillation in the bore can wear both the valve and casting. When bore clearances become excessive, it’s necessary to address this wear to restore control. Without reaming the casting, a replacement valve will not fully correct the problem. With some castings however, we can install a sleeve and valve assembly in a modestly worn OE bore to solve this issue. The only caveat with this approach is how to regulate balance oil with the new assembly in place.

HOW do we do this?

By using a special valve with an internal passage that feeds the balance pressure through its axis to the balance port. By blocking the balance port in the separator plate, we can control balance pressure and allow the hydraulics to maintain full functionality. Without doing this, the plate can create a leakage path that could cause an unwanted force on the sleeve and move it out of position.

WHERE do we do this?

A 6F35 separator plate is shown below (Figure 1). In this example, blocking the solenoid pressure regulator balance port is accomplished by drilling the original hole out to .062" and inserting a plug into the orifice.

Figure 1 – 6F35 Separator Plate
Ford 6F35 Separator Plate - Blocking Solenoid PR Balance Port

This can be done by using either a straight plug or our optional small rivet that are both included with the Zip Kit (Figure 2). The rivet makes the process easier, as the head helps locate the plug during install: simply insert the rivet in the orifice, snip stem end with wire cutters and peen in place. Zip Kit installation instructions include additional tips for plugging the separator plate port.

Figure 2 – Rivet & Plug
Zip Kit Rivet and Plug

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