Cheap Valve Spring Option

Discussion in 'Mazdaspeed 3/6 Engine' started by AYOUSTIN, Jan 19, 2017.

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  1. AYOUSTIN

    AYOUSTIN Silver Member

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    Okay guys so as of late I've been experimenting and researching head stuff and now that we are starting to get cam options (CS, Piper and soon Freek), valve spring upgrades will also be needed for those looking to run mildly aggressive to very aggressive cams.

    Anyone looking to run mild cams (like CS or Piper S1) you'll be fine with stock springs. For the guys who want to run mega lift and high duration, you've gotta pay to play, fancy (read: expensive) dual spring setups are pretty much your only option (PS don't forget about valve-piston clearances). So this doesn't really apply to you unless you're feeling frisky.

    But for those looking for a healthy profile that's somewhere in between one step up from stock and all out race cam, I'm happy to say I've got a very good option for you!

    Crower offers a 65lb/in spring for us. This kit retails around $280, not horribly expensive but I did some digging (read this thread for details: http://www.mazdaspeedforums.org/forum/f10/let-s-talk-about-valvespring-retainers-208176/) and found that the reason for that price is because the kit includes titanium spring retainers. After pawing through Crower's catalog I found the 65lb/in spring that they use for our spring kit, it's around $70 for a set of 16. That means the other $210 is the retainers. I'm not super thrilled about spending that amount of money to save 3-4g, especially since we're not having valve float issues with current valvetrain weight. We can't reuse our stock retainers because our stock spring is a beehive and gets narrower up top and the Crower is a straight spring so the stock retainer isn't even close to fitting.

    Also in the catalog there are a couple of retainers listed for use with the spring. So I ordered up one spring and one chromoly retainer to see if it'd all work. A set of 16 for the chromoly retainers is around $70 so that's already considerably cheaper than the Ti ones. I got them in the mail a couple days ago and yesterday I got around to fitting them and taking measurements. And pretty quickly I found an issue. The chromoly retainer option is made for a 6mm valve stem. Our valves are really odd in that they are a 6mm stem but at the tip they neck down to 5.5mm. So the retainer fit perfectly on the spring and in the head there weren't any clearance issues, but the bottom third of the valve keepers were sticking out the bottom of the retainer. I know I wouldn't feel comfortable running that on my engine and I certainly wouldn't recommend it to others, so I start looking for other retainer options.

    This is where this unnecessarily long story gets good. I spent HOURS yesterday flipping through catalogs and calling manufacturers trying to find a retainer that would fit and wasn't over $100 for a set. Tried Crower, Ferrea, Manley, Supertech, Howards, Cat Cams, Comp Cams, SBI and no one had anything that fit the bill. So while I was talking about this with one of the engine builders at work he joking said "why don't you just use the retainers from that junk head you brought in". I'd brought in a cylinder head from my roommate's cobalt because it had shit leakage and he wanted to see if I could fix it cheap. So I gave one of the retainers a try, and low and behold it was a perfect fit! To make things even better, they're the same weight as the stock retainer and stupid cheap.

    Stock, Crower, Ectotec

    [​IMG]

    Crower spring with Ectotec retainer on valve

    [​IMG]

    TL;DR:

    If you want a cheap 65lb/in valve spring option, order the following:
    - x1 Crower Springs (part number 68195-16) $77.33 from Crower
    - x16 GM Ecotec Spring Retainers (part number 90537243) $60.16 from officialgmparts.com

    Boom, upgraded valve springs for under $150!

    Lastly, as a bit of a disclaimer, I measured the 65lb/in Crowers and they have a seat pressure of around 47lb/in, not 65. If you want more seat pressure than that you should shim them. The spec that crower gives isn't wrong but our installed height is not 1.400".

    [​IMG]
     
    AYOUSTIN, via an iPhone, Jan 19, 2017
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  2. Maisonvi

    Maisonvi Silver Member

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    did you see the thread on the other forum where @bRitzCrackers compared my brand new OEM vs other springs? Might be something to look at as well.
     
  3. AYOUSTIN

    AYOUSTIN Silver Member

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    I have. He wasn't measuring at installed height.

    The big drawback of the stock spring isn't its rate. It's the fact you can't safely run a cam with more than ~.400" lift.
     
    AYOUSTIN, via an iPhone, Jan 19, 2017
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  4. Maisonvi

    Maisonvi Silver Member

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    Yeah, stock cams are good enough for me. it was more a comment on people doing this on a budget. Springs dont need to be upgraded unless you swap cams IMO
     
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  5. GCPhotographers

    GCPhotographers Greenie Member

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    So are you saying we just need to worry more about the bottom end and leave the springs, valves and more oem?
     
  6. Maisonvi

    Maisonvi Silver Member

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    Depends on goals I guess. I'm looking for 550 whp or so and not planning on reving much past oem redline. So the stock system is just fine for that

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
    Maisonvi, via a mobile device, Feb 4, 2017
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  7. GCPhotographers

    GCPhotographers Greenie Member

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    I am looking at a 650 build with 450-550 DD. I am looking at maybe 6700-7000... basically redline and a little over while being safe
     

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  8. Maisonvi

    Maisonvi Silver Member

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    People have been to 800 I believe on the stock valve train (someone correct me if I'm wrong). Valve springs and cams won't hurt, but I don't think they are nessisary

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    Maisonvi, via a mobile device, Feb 4, 2017
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  9. GCPhotographers

    GCPhotographers Greenie Member

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    So I guess...worry more about the bottom end than the head
     
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  10. AYOUSTIN

    AYOUSTIN Silver Member

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    Freek made 690whp on a stock head/valvetrain with just springs. I think he just popped them in as a precaution though.
     
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  11. djohns

    djohns Silver Member

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    Well this is interesting to know. Just picked up a spare head, thinking about running a piper stage 2 cam. So this would be quite the cost savings.
     
    djohns, via an iPhone, Sep 12, 2017
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  12. ConeKiller

    ConeKiller Motorhead Greenie Member

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    Race car has run this setup, without any issues.
     
    ConeKiller, via a Nexus device, Sep 16, 2017
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  13. djohns

    djohns Silver Member

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    So if the Crowler springs are rated for 65lb but are actually 47lb, what are the stock springs rates? I'm assuming that 47lb would be okay to use with a stage 2 cam without worrying about lift? @ConeKiller what cam is the race car running with these springs?
     
    djohns, via an iPhone, Sep 17, 2017
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  14. AYOUSTIN

    AYOUSTIN Silver Member

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    The rating on the spring isn't wrong, what Crower lists as installed height isn't actually our installed height, thus the actual rate is lower than advertised. Stock is 29-30lbs/in, I believe I posted results on them in another thread.

    These springs should work fine for an S2. Crower should have a coil bind number published that will tell you how much lift you can run. Rule of thumb is you want to give yourself at least .020" headroom between your lift and coil bind.
     
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  15. ConeKiller

    ConeKiller Motorhead Greenie Member

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    Currently stock, stage 2's planned
     
    ConeKiller, via a Nexus device, Sep 17, 2017
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