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what is an overhead valve Q&A Review

What are the disadvantages of an overhead valve engine?

Q “What are the disadvantages of an overhead valve engine?” It makes for a taller, heavier engine and requires a much more complex head casting and valve train which also needs an oil feed and drain system. Other than that, an OHV has lots of advantages in efficiency and power output. nb. to be clear, OHC engines are also OHV in the strictest sense. If the question is about OHC vs pushrod OHV that’s a little different.

What is an overhead valve engine?

It's an internal combustion, 4-stroke engine where the valves are located in the cylinder head(s), directly above and opposite the piston crowns, thus the the term “overhead valve". Contrast this with other engines that have the valves located in the engine block and adjacent to the cylinder(s), commonly referred to as “flathead". Engines whose valve trains employ a single camshaft in the block operating the valves through pushrods and rocker arms, as well as engines that use overhead cams are correctly called “overhead valve" engines.

What is considered the most reliable automotive engine of all time?

I nominate the glorious Volvo B18 and later B20. An inline 4, overhead valve, cam-in-block pushrod engine that will run as long as you keep oil in it. No timing belt or chain to worry about, and non-interference valves. It has entirely too many bearings for its size and horsepower, meaning those shafts will never go anywhere but ’round and ’round and ’round. These bulletproof engines were found in the Volvo Amazon's, 140 series, and the 1800, not to mention thousands of boats. There is a famous P1800 with 3.2 million miles on it, owned by the late Irv Gordon, world record holder for most miles driven by a car's original owner. There is a B18 in my 1966 P130 and I love working on it (or not working on it). I've been driving this 50+ year old car as my daily for years without fear. Depicted below, a clean B20.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of an overhead valve engine?

An overhead camshaft acts directly on the valves no pushrods or rocker shafts. I don’t know of any disadvantages except if you have a timing belt.

Why does Corvette still use pushrods?

They hit a crossroad and decided to see how far the pushrod engine could take them. There ,is, a Corvette powered by an OHC engine, and it wasn’t even manufactured by GM! This is the LT5, designed by Lotus (at the time a recent acquisition of GM) and built by MerCruiser (Mercury Marine) in Stillwater, OK. Part of the consideration for developing a sports car is a target horsepower number. In the most general sense, to hit that number takes a bigger “pushrod” or overhead valve (OHV) engine verses an overhead cam (OHC) engine. While both generic hypothetical engines make the same horsepower (HP) they will not make the same amount of torque (I’ll use TQ, though technically it’s pound feet of torque or lb-ft tq). This is because DOHC engines can achieve higher RPM, so OHV engines need more displacement for the same HP numbers and thus each engine will have distinct characteristics. This difference isn’t as pronounced today with VVT, direct injection and sophisticated computer controls that allow manufacturers to manipulate the power curve. The perception is also based on the optimal volumetric efficiency at a given RPM. This allows a big OHV engine to still get decent gas mileage. The DOHC LT5 powered the C4 ZR-1 making 405 HP/385 TQ in 1995 and was the first aluminum small block engine in a Corvette. ,Per this source ,as Chevrolet prepared to develop the C5 (1997–2004) there was furious debate over DOHC vs OHV. They conducted a blind test drive pitting the LT5 against an LT4 (the upgraded LT1 rated at 330 HP/340 TQ but believed to be 350 HP/380 TQ) and found that everyone preferred the low end grunt offered by the OHV to the peaky OHC that execs said had to be “wound up”. This is part perception and certainly part bias based on 90’s technology. The fact that the LT5 was ,not, developed in house and Corvettes had always had pushrod engines certainly didn’t help the DOHC mill despite a 475 HP version in development. The LT5 was a fabulous engine and directly influenced Cadillac’s Northstar engine series, but just under 7,000 ZR-1s were produced and despite setting a long list of impressive world records Chevrolet decided to stick with pushrods. The ZR-1’s LT5 wasn’t matched until the LS6 in the C5 Z06. I’ve owned both and refuse to pick one over the other. Pushrod engines are capable of amazing feats and have put a car in a tuxedo print T-shirt in rare company. Compare these two cars: 2020 Corvette Z51 6.2L OHV V8 RWD 8 speed transmission 495 HP/470 TQ/3647 lbs Nurburgring 7:29:90 2020 Audi R8 Performance 5.2L DOHC V10 AWD 7 speed transmission 612 HP/428 TQ/3638 lbs Nurburgring 7:32:00 Weights about the same, the Corvette does have an extra gear but the Audi has a BIG horsepower advantage and the added traction of AWD, yet it is just over two seconds ,slower, around the gold standard of the Nurburgring. The R8 is faster at other venues where it’s top speed is allowed to shine, but you have to respect the vette. An even closer comparison is pitting the Camaro with its OHV Corvette derived power plant to the DOHC Mustang. They have similar horsepower numbers, similar gas mileage, and similar performance despite the 1.2L difference in their displacement. They differ in character and feel. A drag race will see a Camaro jump ahead and a Mustang nearly catch it on the other end of a 1/4 mile. Which one is better is really just a matter of opinion. 2018 Camaro SS vs 2018 Mustang GT 6.2L OHV V8. . . . . .5.0L DOHC V8 455 HP/455 TQ. . . .460 HP/420 TQ 0–60 4.1 sec. . . . . .0–60 4.4 sec 1/4 mile 12.5 sec. . .1/4 mile 12.6 sec 16/25 MPG. . . . . . .15/25 MPG There’s nothing ,wrong, with an OHV engine. They have a lower center of gravity, are physically smaller, and easily lend themselves to modification. The aluminum block LT5 was actually noticeably heavier than an iron block LT4. It’s also too wide and too tall to fit into a C5 Corvette that was lovingly molded around the LS1. It reduces the development cost for Corvette engines as the pushrod architecture is shared with their trucks. Chevrolet engineers estimate just the reduced material cost saves them about $400 per engine compared to a DOHC engine. All of Dodge’s HEMI engines are OHV. Ford paid the price of converting most (or all?) of their engine offerings to OHC in the 90’s. Their big trucks performed moderately well with an OHC 6.8L V10 and a bit better with an OHC 6.2L V8. Know what they just release? An OHV 7.3L V8 called Godzilla. Sometimes it’s the right tool for the job. I’ll add a caveat - moving forward I would almost be surprised if Team Corvette decides to use OHV for their top tier offerings. Cadillac desperately wants to protect its Blackwing engine, but with at least the stated goal of making its line all electric it isn’t likely GM will forget what they spent on developing a brand new DOHC twin turbo V8 when considering the performance models of the C8. As they get closer and closer to debut it seems that hunch is all but confirmed, with the Z06 projected to be powered by something akin to the C8.R 5.5L DOHC engine derived from the Blackwing and a twin turbo version rumored for the ZR1/Zora. Edit - I love cars, especially Corvettes and actively seek more information. If you think something I’ve presented is wrong I’m glad to talk to you in the comments, ,however, you are expected to BNBR. I’ll gladly make updates with corrected information if you can provide a reputable source. Case in point - I fat-fingered Godzilla’s displacement. Oops, good catch Roy. Unnecessary clarification - overhead cam is a form of overhead valve. They’re in a separate category from ,flathead, engines. Colloquially OHV is specifically referencing pushrod and not overhead cam - see ,here,, ,here,, and ,here, and every Corvette book I own. Did you know that turbochargers were originally called turbosuperchargers? Same deal. Technically turbochargers are superchargers but nobody uses the words like that. As with all things automotive your mileage may vary.

What is the quirkiest car you ever owned, and how long did you keep driving it?

A 1937 Alvis saloon. The car looked like a Bentley to me. Mine was a cheaper version than this one, but still an awesome vehicle. It also looked very similar, including color. It had the original leather interior with no rips or tears. An American airman brought it home after serving in England and I bought it from him. Mine had an overhead-valve 4-cylinder engine with two carbs and a 4-speed trans with syncros in 2nd, 3rd and 4th. It was right hand drive and took a bit of getting used to on US roads, had enough pick up that I had no problems keeping up with traffic. It had a few really cool things. Jacks built into just inside all four wheels. You would lift a small plate just in front of the driver’s seat, select front, rear or all four and put in a lever. Start pumping and you lifted the front, back or whole car while sitting inside. It also had turn signals, lighted semaphores that flipped out front between the front and back doors as indicators. When you turned on the lights, only the right-hand headlight came on for low beam. When you turned on high beams, the left light also came on and the right one pivoted to give a longer beam. It was not my daily driver and I traded it for materials when I was building my first house on a budget. I was sad to see it go.

What are the most common lies customers tell car salesmen?

My first car was a Ford Escort Mk2, a normally aspirated 1.3 with the Ford OHV Kent Engine. Note, photo is not of my car but same model and colour. Spent a few weeks genning up on Escorts before I bought, one salesman went the whole hog on lying his pants off Salesman : “Really nice car this sir, low milage and full service history" Me : “OK, let's have a look” Salesman : “Been recently serviced, new cam belt, new spark plugs, electronic ignition set, low mileage, one lady owner" Me : “New cambelt ?, this model has an overhead valve pushrod top end, doesn't have a cambelt, as for electronic ignition - doesn't have that either" On close inspection, the paint was different shades of red , the cills were patched with fibreglass and the front window pillars were obviously damaged and a cut and shut roof fitted. Obviously some customer had stitched the salesman up with this deathtrap ! Second hand car dealers were really shady in the eighties, called them Arthur Daley's

What are the advantages of an overhead valve engine?

Possibility of achieving a higher degree of compression, higher charge coefficient (better charge the engine), lower coefficient of residual gases (the cylinder is better cleaned), .....

How do you dismount the valve cover on a 92 trooper all bolts are out but something holding it from inside you think its the overhead cam what do you do next?

Consult the repair manual for the engine for this procedure. Triple check to make sure you indeed removed all the bolts. Sometimes the cover gets stuck on by a defective gasket and a gingerly applied tap with a rubber mallet with loosen it, but DON'T force it off. You don't want a broken bolt in the head. You might want to check YouTube, there is probably a vid about this procedure on this orba similar engine.

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