Valves allow substances, particularly gases, to stream into and out of the cylinders and close the combustion regions to develop compression. In reaction to the lobes on the camshaft through the valvetrain, they open and close. When the intake valve opens, the air/fuel mixture moves in, and when the exhaust valve starts to open after the power stroke, the accumulated exhaust gases flow out. There is at least one intake and exhaust valve in each engine, though several have a pair.
Many unique types of engine valves occur depending on construction methods and materials, in addition to the classification of engine valves by feature—intake vs. exhaust. The key engine valve types involve:
Monometallic engine valves, as their name suggests, they are constructed from specific elements that form both the head and stem of the valve. These types of engine valves provide both high heat resistance and excellent anti-friction properties.
A hollow engine valve is a unique bimetallic valve that contains a sodium-filled hollow cavity. If the valve temperature increases, the sodium liquifies and is expelled by the valve's movement, which helps disperse energy or energy from the hotter valve head. Hollow valves are particularly ideal for new vehicles that produce more power from smaller, higher density engine prototypes with higher exhaust gas temperatures that can not be handled by solid valves.
Bimetallic engine valves, a valve with austenitic steel on the valve head and martensitic steel on the valve stem, are created by linking two separate components together using a friction welding technique the bimetal engine valves.
An internal combustion vehicle's rocker arm converts radial motion into linear movement; a reciprocating lever is appropriately called this type of unit. The overhead camshaft's rotating motion is taken and transformed into the up-and-down operation that opens and closes the valves. Rocker arms have a tremendous amount of durability given their size, as they are usually made of steel, and can thus wield a significant amount of power.
As per camshaft position, valvetrains vary. The cam is in the cylinder block on the Overhead Valve motors. One or two cams are on the cylinder head on the Overhead Cam motors. On OHV engines, lifters sit on the camshaft lobes, pushrods travel up to the cylinder’s head, and rocker arms pivot on valve actuating shafts or studs. Between both the valves and cams, OHC valve trains can have a pivoting rocker for followers and lash adjusters or containers.
Valvetrain concerns are often triggered by unnecessary clearance. Clearance is improved when carrying cam lobes, rocker arms, pushrods, and lifters/followers. When clearance continues to climb, as the lash opens and is taken up during valve function, the pounding endured by each part becomes stronger. This will lead to pushrods and damaged rocker arms that are twisted. In the valve train area, knocking noise can suggest unnecessary clearance, which can sometimes be verified by a thorough observation. For a bent state, search pushrods by flipping them on a level and flat surface. At the pivot and valve contact points, check the rocker arms for damage.
Overheating, particularly on exhaust valves, is the most prominent valve malfunction, causing the valve to be "cooked" and deform and break. The exhaust valve is subjected to high heat, and to pass this heat to the cylinder head, the valve must be content to rest completely. Heat transfer can be stopped by carbon buildup, improper valve adjustment, or other aspects that prevent the valve from being seated. The combustion chamber would not close a damaged valve, resulting in diminished compression and strength from the cylinder. To help decrease their temperature, some output engines are filled with sodium exhaust valves.
Valve springs will also put a lot of stress on mileage and engine heat. To secure the valves closed and sustain the valve lash, the valve springs must provide adequate pressure. The appropriate amount of effort with the engine's pressure can not be applied by poor valve springs, which can trigger malfunction and misfire as the engine frequency increases, leading to "valve float" where the valves fail to shut. In extreme circumstances, the valve float may enable the valves on some engines to reach the pistons, crack or fracture the pistons, and bend or split the valves.
Vivid Racing carries intake valves, exhaust valves, valve seats, valve springs, and valve guides. We carry only the highest quality valve components in the performance parts industry.
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