In the October-November issue, we raised a flag of caution in regards to some field reports of titanium springs wearing away at the ends of the coils in certain applications.
We have since learned additional information about the accelerated wear that was witnessed. It does seem there is a tendency of the ti springs to wear more at the end coils, but we can tell you that there are virtually zero reports of the titanium primary springs causing problems in the OEM applications, such as the Arctic Cat King Cat and M-7 LE models. These springs have and continue to outperform the steel ones. In mountain sled set-ups the consensus is that the ti springs outlast the steel ones across the board. Also, the Polaris and Arctic Cat racing teams report no â€œsignificantâ€ problems with the titanium springs in their race sleds. All of the titanium springs that are being used in engineered packages appear to be performing quite well. In all of these OEM applications, it seems to be a non-issue.
Weâ€™re also told there are no â€œnew design springsâ€. An official with Renton Coil Spring (a manufacturer of titanium springs) indicated the wear weâ€™ve seen on certain titanium springs most likely comes from mismatching springs to applications. For example, springs made for use in a particular brand being used in other brands of clutches (like using a Cat spring in a Polaris clutch). Or, custom packages where the springs are not a completely engineered solution, like heavy mod motors that slam the primary (and the spring) all the way shut.
One should be aware the titanium spring is not an indestructible component. As good as the titanium springs are, they are subject to the design limitations of the clutches they are installed into. While they usually last much longer than steel springs, they can wear and are subjected to extreme conditions. Although a particular spring might initially â€œappear to fitâ€, one should only be using components specifically designed for a certain application.
Therefore, we must upgrade our previous suggestion of â€œfor now, stay with chrome-silicon springsâ€ to now read â€œtitanium springs generally outlast steel, but they do not last foreverâ€.