The reduction of friction in the valve train of four-stroke combustion engines is a promising opportunity to decrease fuel consumption and to improve pollutant emissions. The possibilities are reviewed by comparing light weight and newly developed components. The friction in the valve train causes a loss from the BMEP by about 0.2 to 0.4 bar. To measure friction forces in this range requires constant and well maintained environmental conditions. The viscosity as well as the pressure and temperature of the lubricating oil have a big influence on the friction. Due to the valve spring forces a strong fluctuation of the cam torque appears. This makes it very demanding to set up the measurement equipment in a correct way. Measurement equipment which is able to gauge with sufficient accuracy may be overloaded by the effects caused by the spring forces. Based on this special care is necessary during the first ramp up of the cylinder head. It has to be modified to avoid overloading the measurement equipment. One possibility to achieve lower friction between the valve stem and the valve guide is the reduction of the lateral forces which are caused by the asymmetry of the valve spring. Using recently new developed components these detrimental forces within a valve train can be reduced which leads to lower friction losses. In addition the wear between the valve train components can be reduced. In detail this can be accomplished by using two-piece spring retainer which allows a tilted position of the spring end during the valve lift and by this only allow axial forces to act onto the valve. The friction in a valve train using a direct acting mechanical tappet is mainly caused by the sliding contact of the cam on the tappet face. To lower the friction in this area the spring forces have to be reduced. This requires valve train components with lower masses and weaker springs. Therefore valves, spring retainers and tappets made from light weight alloys where developed. The mass of these light weight components could be reduced by more than 50%. Detailed measurements are performed and the results will be presented. As a conclusion it can be seen, what light weight components in the valve train of four stroke engines can contribute to a torque reduction in innovative valve trains.

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