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Old 06-20-2010, 01:41 PM
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GM Beehive Springs

Anyone used the GM Beehive springs? I just got off the Summit site and they're a lot cheaper than Comp or Crane. Since I'm not a racer, I don't require 10,000lbs closed pressure and I don't go over .500 lift.

Anyone?

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Old 06-20-2010, 02:37 PM
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Comp Cams

I installed Comp Cams 983-KIT (valve spring kit) on The 1991 S10 Blazer 4.3L V6. The kit includes correct 10 degree keepers, 10 degree retainers and ovate valve springs. The valve springs are "ovate" but not "ovate beehive" I cannot figure out the real purpose for beehive springs unless it is to achieve more spring load without going to a larger diameter valve spring thus saving on the cost of machine work . The top coil of the beehive springs also fits stock diameter retainers which do not cause a clearance problem between the retainers and rocker arms.

When using Comp Cams ovate valve springs, I did not have to machine the heads to achieve higher spring loads by using larger diameter valve springs. They also allow higher valve lifts without machining the spring seats for taller valve springs. Those ovate drop in type single valve springs are 1.250" diameter, just like the stock valve springs but they have 105 lb. seat load at 1.700" and 310 lb. open load at .500" valve lift. That is what is required for the Comp Cams 09-412-8 roller camshaft. Since that cam has relative short duration to be computer compatible, yet has .500" valve lift for rapid off the valve seat cylinder filing for low end torque production. That cam needs higher valve spring loads in order to follow the radical lobe contours. Camshafts with short duration and high valve lift have fast ramps on the cam lobes and require high spring loads to follow them. I call those type cams "short track cams" and are called "RV" cams by others. Those type radical cam lobes toss the lifters off the lobes on the closing flank if the spring load is too weak to force the lifter to follow the lobes. That results in valve float and instant loss of power. Roller cams can also withstand higher spring loads when using no zinc oil . Thanks to the EPA we cannot have bone crushing valve springs and use pump gas. Those days of "old school" street racing are gone forever.

All the machine work to the heads was not avoided using ovate springs but the thin valve spring pockets were only kissed. It was necessary to machine the valve guide bosses to 0.530" diameter for positive stop teflon valve seals and machine the spring locater bosses on the valve guides to 0.775" to accept the smaller 0.836" ID of the ovate valve springs. The ovate valve springs have a smaller ID because they are made of oval shaped wire..thus the name... "ovate".

Last edited by MouseFink; 06-20-2010 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 06-20-2010, 02:51 PM
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GM springs.
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Old 06-20-2010, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MI2600
Anyone used the GM Beehive springs? I just got off the Summit site and they're a lot cheaper than Comp or Crane. Since I'm not a racer, I don't require 10,000lbs closed pressure and I don't go over .500 lift.

Anyone?
The GM p/n 12499224 springs you're referring to are used on the LS engines, hydraulic roller applications primarily.

You can certainly use them in other applications where their specs (90 lbs. @ 1.8", 295 lbs. @ 1.250", .570" maximum lift) are called for. What are you wanting to use them on?
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Old 06-20-2010, 06:03 PM
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I'm building a 406 with Vortec heads. I'm torn between two retrofit roller cams with .495 and .474 lift, respectively. I'll need some machining on the guides to get the lift.
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Old 06-20-2010, 06:53 PM
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Yes you will.

Vortec heads can tolerate up to .450" to 0.465" valve liift before the valve spring retainer hits the valve guide boss. As I wrote above, on my 1991 V6 center bolt heads, my machinist had to cut the valve guide boss down and reduce the boss to 0.530" OD to fit positive stop teflon valve seals. He also had to reduce the spring locator boss to 0.775" OD so the Comp Cams 983 single ovate valve springs would fit. The valve springs now have .030" clearance of the valve spring 0.836" ID. There are cutters availble that can handle those jobs. Most well equipped automotive machine shops would have 'em or you can purchase them from several places such as Summit, Jegs, Howards, Crower, Manley, Comp Cams, etc.. My machinist uses Comp Cams equipment most of the time unless a customer says otherwise.

y machinist avoided cutting the spring pockets deeper on the thin SB center bolt heads by using Comp Cams 983 ovate valve springs yet still achieved the desired spring load of 310 lb. open at .500" valve lift. I never used those type springs before so I will see how they work out.
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Old 06-20-2010, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MI2600
I'm building a 406 with Vortec heads. I'm torn between two retrofit roller cams with .495 and .474 lift, respectively. I'll need some machining on the guides to get the lift.
Depending on the depth of your budget, there are several options open to you, from the low end ghetto grind deal that costs some of your time and maybe $40 for springs and seals, and is good for ~0.500" lift. All the way to the high-end Comp beehive springs and retainers along w/machine shop work to rework the guide boss.

If you've not read THIS thread, you might want to go through it, there's some good info on the Vortec heads and mods to them.
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Old 06-20-2010, 09:01 PM
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I'm currently running another 406 in my '86 El Camino with Vortecs, with a flat tappet Comp XE268. I love it. Runs circles around the 383 in my '67. I thought I'd try a roller set up...tired of losing lobes. The roller should pack a lot more torque...at least according to Comp's CamQuest.
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Old 06-20-2010, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MI2600
I'm currently running another 406 in my '86 El Camino with Vortecs, with a flat tappet Comp XE268. I love it. Runs circles around the 383 in my '67. I thought I'd try a roller set up...tired of losing lobes. The roller should pack a lot more torque...at least according to Comp's CamQuest.
Glad to hear you're getting such good results. In the right hands, the Vortec heads are a very good deal.

The roller cam (hydraulic, I'm guessing?) sure should be a load off anyone's mind when it comes to longevity/dependability/reliability, given the sorry state of affairs we hotrodders find ourselves regarding the available motor oils.

Keep us posted.
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:32 AM
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Roller cams

The roller cams are noted for the steep ramps and faster valve accereration off the seats. That provides for faster cylinder filling below 2500 RPM, providing more low end torque which is what is needed, especially on a relatively heavy street driven vechcle. Roller cams need higher valve spring pressure in order to follow the more radical cam profiles. The ovate springs on my V6 have 105 lb. seat load and 310 lb. open at .500". That may be a little low for competition but I did not want to risk cutting the thin center bolt head spring pockets for larger springs and longer valves may have presented a valve cover clearnce problem. The 1987 - up center bolt and Vortec heads have issues to solve that the earlier heads did not have. I used the Comp Cams 1.5 narrow body roller rockers with ARP 3/8"-24 screw-in rocker studs and the rockers fit the center bolt valve covers with no problems.

I suppose if I wanted really lightning fast valve opening, I could have used 1.6 ratio rockers with the roller cam. The 1.6 rockers create more problems than they are worth. I used 1.5 self-aligning full roller rockers on my V6 heads with a Comp Cams 09-412-8 computer compatible roller tappet cam. Computer compatible means a cam has short duration (less than 210 deg.) and only 39 degrees valve overlap. That keeps the vacuum high enough to properly operate the ECM and the EGR system. The positive back pressure EGR valve has a operating vacuum range that cannot be too high or too low . Low back pressure exhaust system (headers and high flow catalytic converter) can also cause a problem with a computer controlled engine. It requires carefull planning to work around the ECM if you don't modify the system in some manner. Otherwise you may drive around with the SES light brightly lit. Then it would be time to uses som "88 tape" to cover it up and have a good buddy at the state inspection station. .

Last edited by MouseFink; 06-21-2010 at 07:37 AM. Reason: mispelling
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