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How to balance your valve train

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Tim, i think you may have missed what i was getting at? Yes, weigh the collets, retainers, lash pads, valves etc. But the spring itself, is not nessesary (do you weigh the spring washers?), but the tension & return rate, are the factors involved in the balance. The weight of the springs is of no consiquence, if the prior factors are taken into account.


Well, one end of the spring is stationary (the end with the spring washers), but the other end moves with the valve assembly, so its mass is significant to this exercise. Since one end moves with the valves and the other doesn't, only half of the spring's mass counts as moving mass.


This is exactly the same way you measure the spring's contribution to the unsprung mass in a suspension, btw.


Anyway, so yes, i mostly agree with you, but i was just being really anal about it. lol (as someone said earlier, "if your going to be anal, might as well be really anal!".)


I guess that was what I was getting at - the spring's moving mass does make a significant contribution to the total moving mass, and there's no point in measuring everything else with hyper accuracy and then ignoring the spring.


Now as Tony already pointed out, this extent of accuracy is way more than what is needed to keep the valves from floating at RPMs that are far higher than most are likely to be able to use, so the conversation is pretty much academic at this point.

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Just finishing up 3 custom L-series road race cylinder heads, all three receiving new Isky springs and retainers. 2 received the titanium retainers, the other steel. Thought you all might be interested in a weight comparison of Isky's Steel vs Titanium retainers, gives a good perspective as to what that extra expense in titanium retainers is actually getting you in weight savings at the valve.

Almost a 60% weight savings in retainer weight, (assuming the packaging weight is similar of course). :2thumbs:


Isky Steel;



Isky Titanium;


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But seriously, we like people who spell things out here when they speak accurately. (Or was that precisely? hmmmm....)


Precision vs Accuracy


Learned this in lab class.


In the fields of engineering, industry and statistics, the accuracy of a measurement system is the degree of closeness of measurements of a quantity to its actual (true) value.


The precision of a measurement system, also called reproducibility or repeatability, is the degree to which repeated measurements under unchanged conditions show the same results. Although the two words can be synonymous in colloquial use, they are deliberately contrasted in the context of scientific method.


Point: You can be precisely inaccurate, but never accurately imprecise. :lmao:

Edited by Phlebmaster
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