Valve Wizard™ Dramatically Reduces Aero-engine Valve Maintenance Time
January 9, 2008 ByCorrie
Jan. 8, 2008 - Certified aircraft maintenance engineer Jolly Higdon, president of Airborne Flying Service Inc, of Hot Springs, Arkansas, has developed and patented a series of valve spring compressor tools for Lycoming and Continental piston engines.
Jan. 8, 2008 – Certified aircraft maintenance
engineer Jolly Higdon, president of Airborne Flying Service Inc, of Hot
Springs, Arkansas, has developed and patented a series of valve spring
compressor tools for Lycoming and Continental piston engines. The tools
allow mechanics the use of both hands to remove and replace springs,
keepers, stems and guides, rocker arms, spacers, push rods, push rod
housings and cylinder hold-down nuts.
The Valve Wizard™,
mounted to the cylinder on-engine, allows easier access for removal of
the parts and in turn, the removal of the cylinder from the crankcase.
Valve Wizard’s most valuable asset is time saved on removal and
replacement of the cylinders.
The tool was invented by
Higdon after years of frustration using the typical lever bars for
which constant pressure against the spring must be maintained by one
hand, leaving just one hand to access the top-end parts. With Valve
Wizard, the cylinders remain bolted to the crankcase while relieving
the tension on the springs, saving several hours labor per engine.
Wizard attaches firmly to the cylinder head by use of the rocker cover
bolts on each cylinder. Threaded shafts compress the springs and
maintain hands-free compression during the process. Both intake and
exhaust valves can be worked on at the same time, reducing maintenance
time significantly. The tool is designed to allow wide, unobstructed
access to the springs, keepers and stems.
“On a typical
4-cylinder engine the time saved will pay for the tool first time out
of the box,” says Higdon. “I approached the solution focusing on
strength and simplicity, and the result is apparent. Injection-moulded,
high-impact plastic with steel inserts and compressors, the Valve
Wizard attaches quickly and allows full access to the keepers, guides
and stems, on parallel and angle-valve engines.”
Wizard comes as a kit of three at a price of $389, or $149 each if
ordered individually. The three models cover Lycoming O-235, O-290,
IO/O-320, IO/O-360, AEIO-360, O-435, IO-480, IO-540 series and
Continental O-470, IO-470, IO-520, IO-550 and TSIO-520 series engines.
The tools carry a comprehensive lifetime limited warranty.
US Patent Office awarded a patent for the design in December 2006. Full
production began in May. Tools can be ordered direct through www.valvewizard.com, or by 888-825-9493 (888-Val Wizd).
has been in the aviation and air ambulance, charter and cargo business
since 1980. Airborne Flying Service, Inc. caters to an international
clientele through its sizable fleet that comprises twin-engine
propeller to Learjets. A subsidiary company, JollyTime Tools, Inc., has
been formed to produce and market the Valve Wizard line of tools.
Valve Wizard Spring Compressor Tool