Quick Tech: How To Shop For The Right Valve Springs For Your Build

Valve springs are the conductor of your engine’s valvetrain, as they ensure everything runs smoothly during the combustion process. If you want to keep your valvetrain from derailing and causing catastrophic engine failure it’s critical to select the right valve springs for your application. The correct valve springs are just part of the equation — you have to also be sure they’re installed properly, too.

Spring pressure is one of the most important pieces of valve spring information to pay attention to when you’re selecting springs. You want the spring pressure at the seat and the maximum lift to meet your specific application’s requirements. The last thing you want to deal with is a set of valve springs that aren’t strong enough for your engine build. You should always talk with your engine builder and the spring manufacturer to make sure the springs you’re looking at will work.

Where the spring lives on the cylinder head is another important item to take into account. The cylinder head might need some machine work so the valve spring will sit inside the pocket correctly. You’ll also want to make sure the valve spring has been positively located on the cylinder head. This is done by using the correct retainers, seat cups, and I.D. locators to keep the spring where it needs to be at all times.

How you handle valve springs before and during installation is something that’s pretty important; you can’t manhandle valve springs no matter how strong they feel, and it’s best to keep them separated to prevent surface damage. You also want to keep the anti-rust coating on the springs intact during assembly to keep rust from forming on the springs.

These are just a few basic tips about how to select and install valve springs. You can learn more about how to properly install valve springs and how to break in a set of springs correctly right here on the COMP Cams website.

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About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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