No this isn’t going to be one of those talks and no we aren’t going to run out and hung a tree, ok…if you must…go ahead I’ll wait…..(insert bored whistling)……(more bored whistling)…..Ok…are you done?!!
As I get closer to getting the heads on the Mustang, I’m going to have to begin picking any changes I want made to the CJ heads. While cruising the web checking out options, I ran across this piece (Corvette related but springs are springs as far as an engine is concerned) and there are some good tips here.
Quick! What the fastest moving component in your engine? If you’ve taken a hint from the title of this article, you probably guessed correctly – it’s your valve springs, those tight little bundles of joy that open and close your engine’s valves.
Beehive springs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The benefits of moving to Beehive springs where possible (and today few situations are not Beehive compatible) are many.
Beehive springs, such as those offered by COMP Cams, offer a huge number of benefits over stock-style cylindrical springs; reduced valve spring mass, faster valve acceleration, increased valve train rigidity, reduced valve train component stress and a whole laundry list of other positives.
Best of all, the word has gotten out and folks all over the country are using them for a wide variety of applications from street performance to extreme racing endeavors. That’s a really good thing.
Along with their success has come some confusion over exactly which beehive is right to purchase. Currently there are over a dozen beehive spring styles out there, each offering some unique take, be it in the seat pocket diameter, ovate wiring diameter, pitch or internal spring “frequency.” Regardless increased selection has bred some minor confusion, albeit easily cured.
Beehive springs are conical shaped springs that employ this powerful shape in the creation of a spring that can deliver both excellent performance and lowered seat pressures. With lower seat pressure, valve train components (especially the pushrods, rockers and lifters) are less stressed to perform the same work.
This beehive spring weights in at 99 grams, while a comparable conventional spring is 121 grams.
The difference between beehive and conventional cylindrical springs is obvious especially when you compare them in this manner. Note the dramatic difference in retainer diameter equating to less valve train weight.
According to COMP, effective beehive springs can support an additional 700rpm over stock cylindrical springs. How? It just stands to reason that the smaller coils at the top of the spring don’t require as much force to get the valve moving quickly, much quicker than conventional style springs. The higher rpm potential equates to better durability and performance.
There are some very knowledgeable engine builders who don’t understand how a single coil spring can be better than a dual conventional spring.
“Its like watching a race car running 60-foot elapsed times on the drag strip,” stated Bill Godbold, Chief Engineer for COMP Cams. “For example, take two identical cars with equivalent 500 hp engines.
“One has stock suspension and the other a sophisticated racing suspension. The car with the race suspension will get going more quickly and achieves better 60-foot time. The same principle works with beehive spring mechanics.”
Thanks for reading. Part II coming up.