How to Choose and Fit Performance Valve Springs in a Ford Mustang GT’s V8 Engine?

April 19, 2024

In the world of high-performance automobiles, the Ford Mustang’s prowess is undeniable. Its various models, including the Ecoboost and Coyote, have etched their marks in the annals of car performance history. In this article, we delve into the heart of the Mustang – its engine, specifically its valve springs, a seemingly simple component that plays a pivotal role in engine performance. We’ll also take you through a step-by-step process on how to choose and fit these performance valve springs into your Mustang GT’s V8 engine.

Understanding Valve Springs and Their Significance

Valve springs, typically nestled within the engine’s camshaft, are crucial for maintaining the correct valve operation. These springs are often underappreciated, but their role is paramount. They keep the valves in place, ensuring they open and close at the right moment to let air and fuel in and out of the engine.

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There are different types of valve springs, including the Beehive springs, known for their unique shape and outstanding performance. The Beehive springs, compared to their cylindrical counterparts, are lighter and more efficient, leading to increased engine performance.

It’s also essential to understand the concept of ‘cam’, a component closely tied to valve springs. In simple terms, a cam is a rotating or sliding piece in a mechanical linkage used especially in transforming rotary motion into linear motion or vice versa. In an engine, the cams open and close the valves, dictating the engine’s performance.

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When to Consider a Valve Spring Upgrade?

Have you noticed an unexpected decrease in your Mustang’s performance? Do you hear unusual noises coming from your engine, or did you recently install a performance cam? These could be signs that it’s time to upgrade your valve springs.

In several instances, an upgrade might be necessary. If you’ve heightened your Mustang’s horsepower, the stock valve springs might not be able to keep up, which would affect your vehicle’s performance. For example, if you’ve installed a Borla exhaust to increase horsepower, the valve springs might need upgrading to match the new power levels.

You’ll also need stronger valve springs if you’re planning on using a quick fuel setup. The high-pressure, high-flow environment in these fuel systems may overpower the stock springs, causing valve float – a situation where the valve does not follow the cam profile accurately.

Choosing the Right Valve Springs

Choosing the right valve springs for your Mustang GT’s V8 engine is contingent on various factors, including your engine’s specifications, your vehicle’s intended use, and the camshaft profile.

The selection process can be quite daunting, especially when you have to compare a plethora of options. However, when looking at the different valve springs, consider their open pressure, installed height, coil bind height, and spring rate.

The spring rate refers to the force required to compress the spring a certain distance. A spring with a higher rate will be harder to compress, which might be necessary for higher-performance applications.

When considering the open pressure, this refers to the amount of pressure the spring exerts when the valve is at its maximum lift. Higher open pressures can help prevent valve float in high RPM engines.

Fitting Performance Valve Springs

Installing performance valve springs into your Mustang GT’s V8 engine requires precision and a bit of mechanical know-how. It’s a task that you can undertake if you’re comfortable working on your vehicle’s engine, but it’s advisable to seek professional help if you’re not confident in your abilities.

The first step in fitting the springs is to remove the existing ones. This process involves removing the valve covers, the rocker arms, and the pushrods. Once these components are removed, you can then take out the old springs.

After removing the old springs, the next step is to install the new performance springs. This process involves placing the new spring over the valve stem and using a spring compressor to compress the spring until the valve keepers can be installed. Once the keepers are in place, you can then release the spring compressor, allowing the spring to expand and hold the valve in place.

Understanding the Cost of Performance Valve Springs

When budgeting for performance valve springs for your Mustang GT’s V8 engine, you’ll need to consider several factors. These include the cost of the springs themselves, the cost of any additional components needed for the installation, and potentially the cost of professional installation.

As for the springs themselves, the price can vary significantly based on the brand and type. For example, beehive valve springs might be more expensive than traditional cylindrical ones. On average, however, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $500 for a set of performance valve springs.

Despite the absence of a standard MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) due to the variations in models and the components involved, investing in performance valve springs is undoubtedly a worthy investment. An upgrade can significantly improve your engine’s efficiency and performance, providing a more responsive and powerful driving experience.

Comparing Famous Brands: CCA and Borla Springs

Brand choice is crucial when you’re looking at performance valve springs for your Mustang Ford’s V8 engine. Two brands that often stand out are Comp Cams (CCA) and Borla. Both manufacturers have a long history of producing reliable, high-performance engine components.

Comp Cams has a wide range of valve springs suitable for various applications, from street use to full-on racing. The brand is renowned for its technical innovation and performance-driven products. Its valve springs are no exception, designed to deliver optimal performance and longevity. They feature advanced designs using top-quality materials and manufacturing processes.

On the other hand, Borla is famously known for its exhaust mufflers and tips. But did you know Borla also produces high-quality valve springs? Like their exhaust systems, Borla’s valve springs are designed to maximize performance.

When comparing CCA and Borla, it’s essential to look at the detailed specifications of their valve springs. Pay attention to factors such as the spring rate, open pressure, installed height, and coil bind height.

For a quick view, Comp Cams’ valve springs tend to offer higher spring rates and open pressures, making them suitable for high-performance applications. Borla, conversely, provides a balance between performance and affordability, making them an excellent choice for those on a budget.

Conclusion: The Impact of Performance Valve Springs on Your Mustang

As we’ve explored, a seemingly small component like a performance valve spring can have a substantial impact on the power and performance of your Ford Mustang GT’s V8 engine. Whether you’re looking to maximize performance or simply maintain your car’s overall efficiency, the right valve springs can make all the difference.

In selecting your valve springs, remember to consider key factors such as the spring rate and open pressure. Familiarize yourself with different valve spring types and brands available in the market, like the Shelby Ford, Chevrolet Corvette, and the Mustang Shelby. And while brands like CCA and Borla offer an array of options, remember to compare and contrast their products meticulously to ensure you choose the right fit for your engine.

With proper understanding and application, performance valve springs can provide a significant boost in your Mustang’s horsepower, turning an average drive into an exhilarating experience. Whether you’re on the road or the track, equipping your Mustang with quality performance valve springs is a solid investment in enhancing your vehicle’s performance and your driving pleasure.

Remember, while you can undertake the task of fitting these springs yourself, don’t hesitate to seek professional help if necessary. After all, precise installation is critical to experiencing the true potential of these performance-enhancing components.

In the end, a Ford Mustang GT fitted with the right performance valve springs stands out not just in quick view but in long, adrenaline-pumping drives. The roar of the V8 engine, complemented by the desired valve springs, makes every drive a memorable one, truly fitting the legacy of the Mustang.