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Pushrod priority

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In our July RET-Monitor, we looked at Terry Manton’s projected use of a copper-hybrid pushrod adjuster tip to aid NHRA Pro Stock runners in the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Manton Pushrods, of Lake Elsinore, California tested the initial product with Warren and Kurt Johnson, and then took the new pushrod unit to Joliet to see if anyone else was interested. The upshot? Fourteen Pro Stock drivers – some fulltime, others who run the category on a part-time basis – are...

Valve spring progress

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Nitromethane-fed engines have different ways of destroying their valve springs. There are challenges, as there are in every type of motor racing, to help valve springs survive the sub-four-second damage realities these springs face. Jim Oberhofer, responsible for the Top Fuel Kalitta Motorsports rail run by Doug Kalitta on the NHRA Full Throttle Racing Series' 24-race tour, explains what the challenges are for a nitro motor. “We don't have high lift camshafts and high engine...

That hollow feeling

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Following on from Anne Proffit's recent article on the application of hollow valves in drag-racing, we look at some of the more general benefits of hollow valves and their use in racing. These valves are used in all sorts of racing engines (and have also been used in production engines in the past). Particularly in Formula One they are used extensively. Whilst hollow valves would offer a weight saving over their solid equivalent (given the same stem diameter), they would be less stiff...

Its all in the tip

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According to Dr Andy Randolph, engine technical director at NASCAR championship contenders Earnhardt Childress Racing, the interesting period for pushrod development was a couple of years ago. “Many teams were looking into alternative materials for a stiffer, yet lighter solution, compared to the traditional chrome moly steel” that had been in use for many years. Dr Randolph notes that the exotic materials solutions produced some beneficial effects, but to his mind, the...

The sting is in the beehive

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Donn Rickard was designing valve springs even before 1981, when he started R/D Valve Springs in Hesperia, California. A veteran of the racing game, Rickard is responsible for design work and farms out his actual manufacturing to Performance Springs, Inc. in Michigan, known throughout the industry by their acronym, PSI. “In the late 1990s I helped design the current racing valve spring and it really hasn’t changed much over the years. It is still made of an alloy silicon chrome...