32 year old value springs VS New (China)


Well-Known Member
As I am SO DEEP into the van engine I am now concerned about my nearly 32 year old springs and pressed in rocker studs. Back in 2004 they were checked and ruled good.

As were the valve guilds. But this was in 2004 they were only 14 years old...now they are over 18 years older. On the other hand I do not trust new parts as I am fairly sure that they will be made in China.

One idea would be have the heads and springs checked over and at the same time milled down say .0050 giving me that .015 head gasket thickness by removing the .006 off the heads when running the .021 Copper gaskets. What do you think?? Or even take them done more??

Perhaps someone here might have a much newer set of stock rated valve springs they do not have any use for.



Well-Known Member

3) Myth of spring tension Is the claim that feathers lose elasticity if they are burdened over time a myth?... Judge for yourselves.... I've gotten and torn apart a fully rusted-together B20 engine that hasn't been touched since 1975. After checking with the farmer I got it from, he confesses that no one has touched the car since it crashed 37 years earlier. And given the flora (and incidentally the fauna) that has taken over, I can't help but believe him. This gives me a new perspective on feathers.... ________________ Stood untouched from 1975 – 2012 = 37 years. Mileage 14,365 miles (Two owners, the farmer's father who collided it and himself)

Suppose it's gone 14,000 miles at an average speed of 1500rpm and an average speed of 70km/h (Yes – yes, my mock figures in terms of rpm and speed are certainly questionable... But it doesn't really matter if the numbers hit here or there, see the big picture.) 14,000 km / 7 km/hr = 2000h 2000 h x 60 = 120,000 min 120,000 min x 750 rpm (camshaft spins half the engine speed) = 90,000,000 Ninety million times!! Thus.. ninety million times the valve spring has opened and closed and then stood crammed together in a firmly roasted block for 37 years. The spring is completely flawless, has not been measurably matted at all.... And as everyone says... "– Don't forget to loosen the spring in the torque wrench"... Bahh!...

More on this:

... a story about following a boy's dream of building a car as if it were from the 30s, with a very long bonnet... I have now built the world's first and only straight 16-cylinder car engine of all time. There has never been such an engine so far. As a basis, I have used four engine blocks from the Volvo B20, but I have not "put together 4 engines", I have built an engine from its parts. For me, this journey began eons ago with the Christmas calendar Herkules Jonssons Storverk. (Click on the name) As a technically interested 12-year-old, I was fascinated by the fact that the kid was working on an old car and countless hours, and countless projects later I have built... a completely unreasonably long engine.

People usually ask me, "What are you going to wear it for...?" How to answer such a question...... Have it to....... Have it for...... "- I'm going to start it and hear it go..." Just the thought of pressing the black start button, hearing the bendix drive of the starters hit and get carried away by the sound of 8.1 liters in 16 cylinders.... Well, what the saying goes, how am I ever going to explain... To know what the sequence of ignition should be like, to get a "good sound", I built a "smattering crow" (Click on the name) and drove in the lathe. (see photo – ignition system) Anyone who doesn't see the allure of this, surely has no use for my image gallery. The rest of you, watch and enjoy... Speaking of the name HERCULES in 1934... one might be tempted to assume that it would be a model year -34 engine. It has also been my intention to let people draw that conclusion for themselves, because the idea is that the engine could have been built at this time. However, it is only the model name because the engine is newly built. /Pelle

PS Some may wonder why I spend a lot of time and money on this... this is how Bosse Bildoktorn's opinion sounds in the whole thing: 50 sec clip from Ask the Car Doctor DS


Well-Known Member
That is encouraging, but he did not TEST the springs, seems he did not find any broken ones, and he has no record of the real life and mileage.



solid fixture here in the forum
No cracks on retainers and springs and. test pressure on each spring.

About all that you can do.

New ones will also fail at some point in time.

IMHO I would rather have something 100 years old than something made in China. Quality is what counts.


Well-Known Member
I agree which one of the reasons why I used a original Chevy 400 crank and rods.

Plus much less block and cam clearance problems.

And I was then able to keep my KB "D" dish pistons.



The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer.
Staff member
most guys tend to run the valve springs that came on the cylinder heads they purchased,
in my experience, few even check valve train clearances until they run into problems.
most problems are rather easily avoided if you understand the need for checking valve train clearances, and degree in the cam, and talk to the cam manufacturers tech department guys, about your particular application, rocker ratio, intended rpm range, and take their advice., keep in mind the cam lobe acceleration ramps have a large effect on the valve spring load rates, harmonics, and compression heights required to maintain valve train stability.
many guys seem to think that the tech guys just want you to buy more expensive components, or swap valve springs to boost their profits,
this is very rarely true, they don't want you to have issues/problems, as you'll bad mouth the product endlessly if you have a catastrophic engine failure, and they know that an extra hundred dollars in premium parts and careful clearance and valve train geometry checks can avoid that, making you far more likely to recommend their products to other potential buyers.
,that's one reason I was forced to learn how to do a great many things myself and had to acquire
a number of skills and a good many expensive tools,
as I got very tired of paying good money for sloppy half assed machine work,
and a we will get to your project when we get the time, and dealing with machine shops that think...
we damn sure won't put the time and effort into precise machine work that it requires in the vast majority of cases.

what you save initially, in lower price ,on any engine components
will more than likely be made up in the cost of required additional machining and time & effort added in required balancing/clearance work
you tend to get what you pay for, quality machine work and precision measurement and careful inspection processes take time and that costs money.
there is ALWAYS a compromise, made between quality and price
I learned that long ago,
“Quality is like buying oats: like:. If you want nice, clean, fresh oats, you must pay a fair price.
However, if you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse ...
that comes a little cheaper.”:facepalm:

The following recommendations are from Erson Cams.

If you have questions, you can reach their tech department at 800-641-7920.
most cam manufacturers do extensive testing with each engine design to verify the limits and limitations of each engines valve train design, so it generally helps to talk with the cam suppliers tech department engineers.
cam lobe acceleration / de-acceleration rates have a large effect on the required spring load rates, as do rocker ratios and cam lobe size and lifter diameters.
Hydraulic Flat Tappet Camshaft: 110 lbs Seat pressure/250-280 lbs open pressure

Solid Flat Tappet Camshaft: 130 lbs Seat Pressure/300-325 lbs open pressure

Hydraulic Roller Camshaft: 130-140 lbs Seat Pressure/300- 355 lbs open pressure

Solid Roller Camshaft: (Minimum Safe Pressures DEPEND ON SEVERAL FACTORS)

Up to .600Ë valve lift: 200-235 lbs Seat Pressure/600 lbs open pressure

Over .600Ë valve lift: 250-280 lbs Seat pressure /100 lbs pressure for every .100Ë of valve lift
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The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer.
Staff member
I generally remind the guys I build engines for or consult on, those builds to keep in mind the realistic limitations on intake port air flow rates matched to reasonable piston speeds, and valve train stability.
rule #1, if it won't consistently hold together under high stress,
it doesn't make any difference how much peak horse power it made just before it started puking parts out of the oil pan and block!
you'll need to match the exhaust header tuning and flow rates to match cam timing, intake port flow and piston speed limitations,
compression ratios and fuel octane must be carefully considered ,and you darn sure need an oil/lube system designed to keep up with load rates and cooling limitations.
it makes little sense to build an engine with a, radical cam, designed to produce power at 7500 rpm, unless you match the port flow, exhaust flow rates, and rotating assembly, you will need to select a cam , and valve train that safely stand up to that rpm, and maintain valve train stability, while maintaining more than adequate oil flow and cooling, and lubrication.
its generally a good idea to invest some time and research into designing an engine before you open your wallet, and a good place to start, if you build a performance engine, is a forged rotating assembly, and a baffled 7-8 quart oil pan, and checking all the valve train clearances, and rocker geometry.

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