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Old 03-15-2017, 02:55 PM   #1
hardtimes
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Default flathead valve springs Q...

simple question:
Are all (new) flathead valve springs alike, as in I can use such in ford flathead engines right up thru '53 ? And, are Isky flathead valve springs same as Ford valve springs ??
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Old 03-15-2017, 04:17 PM   #2
Bruce Lancaster
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Default Re: flathead valve springs Q...

From memory, early flatheads and then up through '50 are the same spring, 78 part # but applicable to earlier. Las couple years use a longer spring and a different retainer set which makes them easy to spot. Most people use the early hardware when rebuilding since it is available everywhere in sets while the '51-53 stuff requires more searching.
Pretty sure all the aftermarket non-radical spring setups are dimensioned for the early setup.
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Old 03-15-2017, 05:23 PM   #3
flatjack9
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Default Re: flathead valve springs Q...

Actually the later 51 - 53 springs are shorter as they were used with the rotator retainers. The Isky springs are a stronger piece.
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Old 03-15-2017, 09:19 PM   #4
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Default Re: flathead valve springs Q...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Lancaster View Post
From memory, early flatheads and then up through '50 are the same spring, 78 part # but applicable to earlier. Las couple years use a longer spring and a different retainer set which makes them easy to spot. Most people use the early hardware when rebuilding since it is available everywhere in sets while the '51-53 stuff requires more searching.
Pretty sure all the aftermarket non-radical spring setups are dimensioned for the early setup.
Hey Bruce,
Thanks !
So, if 78 part # same length and strength (new) , good to use up to '50 !
Great info !
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Old 03-15-2017, 09:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: flathead valve springs Q...

Quote:
Originally Posted by flatjack9 View Post
Actually the later 51 - 53 springs are shorter as they were used with the rotator retainers. The Isky springs are a stronger piece.
Hey flatjack,
So Isky flathead valve springs are of stronger (thicker spring wire). But , is Isky of the shorter variety mentioned and will need spacers to get wanted seat pressure, OR is Isky the longer, as pre '50 valve springs !

Thanks jack/Bruce. I'm using V8 (up to '50 longer type) in '32 banger blocks and old OHV heads.
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Old 03-15-2017, 09:37 PM   #6
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Default Re: flathead valve springs Q...

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You can use any of the three springs. Isky sells the longer springs, as an aftermarket product. And are not used with the 51-53 rotating assemblies. The other manufacturers make both the long and the short springs. The point is: only use the shorter springs with the rotating valve keepers. You can use the longer springs without the rotators in all flatheads, 51-53 as well.
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Old 03-16-2017, 02:02 AM   #7
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Default Re: flathead valve springs Q...

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Originally Posted by Russ/40 View Post
You can use any of the three springs. Isky sells the longer springs, as an aftermarket product. And are not used with the 51-53 rotating assemblies. The other manufacturers make both the long and the short springs. The point is: only use the shorter springs with the rotating valve keepers. You can use the longer springs without the rotators in all flatheads, 51-53 as well.
Hey Russ,
Good info, thanks. Makes since !
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Old 03-16-2017, 08:26 AM   #8
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Default Re: flathead valve springs Q...

The Valve springs should be used for their application. The installed spring pressure is designed to prevent valve float at hi RPM's. Stock is around #40, for street, I use #50 lbs on all cams including the L-100. Other cams like the 400jr require more pressure. So the length isn't as important as the pressure it places on the cam. The Isky spring is not made for a street application. Now what harm does it do? Increas wear of the cam and lifters while you drive down the road. When changing any part of an engine from the factory, there must be a reason. Think about it. I like the rotators on a street cam like the Max#1 with a /060 spacer under the stock spring.
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:59 AM   #9
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Default Re: flathead valve springs Q...

With the new valve spring shim setup we put together almost any spring will work on almost any build? This allows a wide variation of closed/open pressures WITHOUT the need for another type spring!

Using a machined guide and a spring locator we can now "stack" as many as 5 shims below the springs along with the locators. (photos below)

There is very minor machining on the guides to get the locators to fit, 10 minutes in a small lathe! And the entire ass'y fits through the guide hole allowing them to be installed as one piece.

Has made life simpler for us doing the valve train ass'y!

Thanks, Gary in N.Y.

P.S. Have already helped a few members here with this setup. We use it along with the bronze-lined guides, but it will work with any later style (8BA) guides.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Flathead Guides-Spring Locators.JPG (70.7 KB, 95 views)
File Type: jpg Flathead Guides-Spring Shims A.JPG (74.0 KB, 92 views)
File Type: jpg Flathead Spring Assy-5 060 Shims.jpg (62.5 KB, 89 views)
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:26 AM   #10
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Default Re: flathead valve springs Q...

There are also different spring pressures on the same length (longer springs). I've seen some that come in around 40# (stock Ford) and then sometimes you'll see somebody using what was known as the Lincoln Zephyr spring - which will be 10 - 15 lbs heavier on pressure. The Isky 185-G single spring will be approximately 30 - 40 lbs heavier . . . and is usually only needed on really big cams (high lift), on race style engines where you are revving the engine over 5000 RPM, and/or with things like roller tappets (roller cams - which are extremely rare).

As Ron said, having lighter spring pressure does reduce wear in the valve train - if you don't need it, don't use it!
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Old 03-17-2017, 12:17 PM   #11
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Default Re: flathead valve springs Q...

The longer Chevy valve affecting the stated spring pressure hasn't been mentioned. Using them will increase the installed height of the spring, thereby decreasing spring pressure. I used Red's Zephyr springs with the Chevy valve and a .060" shim on each spring and an occasional additional .010" to get in the 50# range.
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Old 03-17-2017, 03:40 PM   #12
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Default Re: flathead valve springs Q...

Hardtimes, as the above shows, the issue can be made complicated when you get into hot cams and other non-stock applications. With a simple stock build, forget about shims and the like. Keep it simple.
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Old 03-17-2017, 05:10 PM   #13
Karl Wolf
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Default Re: flathead valve springs Q...

Gosfast,
What's the source/ application for the spring locator?

Thanks for the idea!!

Karl
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Old 03-17-2017, 06:28 PM   #14
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Default Re: flathead valve springs Q...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karl Wolf View Post
Gosfast,
What's the source/ application for the spring locator?

Thanks for the idea!!

Karl
Hi Karl, we ended up making them here, I have a good friend who does the machining!

They will work with just about any spring combination AND any valve length, including the .100" longer Chevy's!

From the original spring seat location on the OEM guide we can alter the installed spring heights by a total of just under .375".

Even with the locator and a stack of shims we still have room for the Viton stem seals on top of the guides if someone wants to take that route! As long as that locator is on top of all the shims the springs never "move" around on the bottom and remain stable.

Thanks, Gary in N.Y.

P.S. Here's a shot of an assembled valve/guide with the setup. If you look closely between the top of the locator and the bottom of the seal you can see a very slim section of the original guide itself. If anyone chose not to use any stem seals there would be add'l room for more shims. I can't possibly imagine needing even the 5 shims, but it would be possible, the layout would allow for it.
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File Type: jpg Flathead Spring Locator Assy.JPG (65.7 KB, 80 views)

Last edited by GOSFAST; 03-17-2017 at 06:30 PM. Reason: C
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