Engine Valve Springs

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Valve Springs
Valve Springs

Valve springs keep the valves closed tightly against their seats, until the camshaft opens the valves, releasing any pressure built up. As the camshaft progresses through its motion, the valve will be released and quickly closed by the pressure built up in the spring. With the various amounts of springs on the market, it is common to have one installed that is not seeking the full efficiency that the engine can produce. Valve springs are categorized based on their pressure, diameter, and maximum lift.

A valve spring’s pressure should remain constant over its life span unless the engine is abused which can cause the spring to become stressed. If a spring loses pressure, it must be replaced or shimmed to the correct pressure. To be able to stand up to the constant change in pressure and abuse, valve spring are made out of an extremely strong material such as steel. A popular spring material is chrome silicon which is durable steel that is capable of withstanding high stress, shock and impact loading, and extreme temperatures.

There are two main types of springs commonly used in most vehicles. These two types of springs either have a single or dual spring design. The single spring can be used on the engine to support the pressure of the valve on its own. The duel spring is the same as a single spring but it has an additional small spring built into the original spring. The difference in these two spring designs is seen by the amount of pressure put down on the valve. The duel spring can take more pressure than a single spring which makes it ideal for high performance applications were the combustion process may be putting more pressure on the valve to open.

After installing a new spring in a vehicle, it has to be put through a breaking in period. To do this, the vehicle should be turned on and allowed to run until the temperature of the engine reaches normal operating temperature. During this time, the engine should be idling at no more than 1500 to 2000 RPM. Once the operating temperature is reached, the vehicle should be turned off and allowed to cool until it reaches room temperature. This break in method will eliminate early breakage and will help prolong the spring’s life.

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