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Profiles critical to performance: Part 2

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Following on from my recent article on valve-head profiles, we will look a little further into the valve-head profile, and how this is applied to the modern Formula One engine. As speeds rose above 20,000 rpm in Formula One, this was an area of intense development, but the pressure has been slightly removed owing to the decrease in speeds as imposed by the yearly rev-cut regulation. Into the third year after the 20,000 rpm race engines of 2006, we now have a mandated 18,000 rpm engine...

Hollow drag

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The use of hollow stem titanium intake valves is slowly beginning its reach into the drag racing community, as a few Top Fuel teams are taking on the use of these weight saving and power enhancing parts that are used in many other series. Sometimes it just takes the drag racers a bit longer to embrace newer technology, notes Tom Abbett, team manager and cylinder head specialist at Mike Ashley Racing. According Abbett, this type of intake valve significantly lightens the overall valvetrain...

Valve spring destruction

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Roy Johnson, engine builder for son Allen Johnson’s NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Dodge Stratus, lives to demolish the valve springs provided by Performance Springs, Inc. (PSI). “Valve springs are an ongoing problem for us. If I get a good spring, I can always find a way to tear it up by increasing the engine’s rpm and changing the cam lift velocity. The advances in materials and the heat treat processes that PSI has developed help but they can hardly keep...

Burning the cap

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The Pro Stock contingent of National Hot Rod Association Full Throttle Drag Racing competitors has always had a problem with pushrods: they just can’t find a way to stop them from burning up, particularly at the cap. For two years, Terry Manton of Manton Pushrods in Lake Elsinore, California has been working to find a solution to stop these burn-up difficulties. “It’s been two years worth of study and testing and nothing solved the problem until now. Those pushrod tips were...

In a nutshell

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Despite the general movement of production engines toward smaller displacement, overhead-cam designs, single-cam-in-block-pushrod-rocker arm V8 engines are firmly rooted in several popular segments of the stateside motor sports world (NASCAR Cup, Truck, NHRA Top Fuel, Funny Car, etc.). In these (and other) areas of extreme racing, the engineering challenges to make a pushrod-rocker valve system operate reliably above 8000 rpm are severe. To make a pushrod valvetrain work at all at 10,000...