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Welded rods, an advantage?

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In previous articles about pushrods, several designs have been discussed and explained. And although in these articles the developments, manufacturing and control processes are said to have matured over the years, there are still many race series worldwide where top-end pushrods are not used. Often the reason is product cost. These race series rely on performance parts that are not as sophisticated as the high-level series, or not even production components. That's not to say these...

Longer life for valve springs

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Getting valve springs to live in a World of Outlaws sprint car engine - one that is 408-410 cu in and makes 850 hp (with more than 700 lb-ft torque at 6300 rpm) - is one of engine building's black arts. At Shaver Specialties Racing Engines (SSRE) in Torrance, California, the challenge is to overcome the "voodoo of valve spring breakage," according to Dennis Hardesty, right-hand man to owner Ron Shaver. "For the past year-and-a-half, the majority of our racing valve...

Reed valves for two-stroke induction

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Most of the articles I've written about valves have looked at the design of, or materials in, conventional poppet valves as applied to many four-stroke engines. So I thought it would be good to take a brief diversion from this and look at something completely different. Two-stroke engines have been used widely for grand prix motorcycle racing (although this era is soon to come to an end), motocross, snowmobiles, jet skis and so on, and are currently enjoying something of a resurgence...