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Old 02-24-2011, 10:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Real world SBF roller rocker arm comparisons

We've all seen the cheaper roller rocker arms for SBF (PRW, ProComp, Proform, KMJ, Scorpion, Speedway Racing, etc), but even though they may be cheap in cost, does that always mean they don't perform? Does anyone have any real world experience with any of these or other rockers? We all know that Comp Cam, Lunati, Trick Flow, and Crane have good rockers, but there is a huge cost that also goes with them.

Also, aluminum or stainless steel rockers? What's your input???
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Real world SBF roller rocker arm comparisons

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Originally Posted by k718cougar View Post
We've all seen the cheaper roller rocker arms for SBF (PRW, ProComp, Proform, KMJ, Scorpion, Speedway Racing, etc), but even though they may be cheap in cost, does that always mean they don't perform? Does anyone have any real world experience with any of these or other rockers? We all know that Comp Cam, Lunati, Trick Flow, and Crane have good rockers, but there is a huge cost that also goes with them.

Also, aluminum or stainless steel rockers? What's your input???
Scorpion , would say lower cost for most part # . CHEAP is JUNK the way I look at it . lot of the cam company's have a lower grade rocker , so just saying I got a certain brand can still have a fittment problem
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Real world SBF roller rocker arm comparisons

Remember if you loose the needle bearings in a cheap rocker they often end up seizing your oil pump..We all know what happens next..
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Real world SBF roller rocker arm comparisons

I ran a set of Scorpions for about 5 years. They held up well. I spun that engine over 7k every time I got behind the wheel. My experience with them was nothing but good. Great rocker at a great price. American made with a lifetime warranty.
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Real world SBF roller rocker arm comparisons

Miller brothers-best value on the market. I buy them here from Paulkane IIRC (been a year or so).

Going off of memory but I think they're U.S.A made as well.

I ran them on the Maverick for about 2 seasons before I went to shafts. I like the shafts a lot better and haven't had to do any adjusting. On the miller rockers, the cam was .755" lift and 288 duration at .050...seat pressure is 345 lbs and 800 and change open. Those rockers took a beating and-well-they were still going when removed. Also used some girdles.

Have run all different kinds. Stainless. Aluminum. Crane. Comp. Gold Race rockers and now Probe shaft rockers. Best value was the Miller rockers. Tough and less than $200 shipped.

The worst: Crane Energizer. Have had many of them with roller tip axles backed out, a couple fell completely out (they're just pushed in apparently by hand), one rocker BROKE at the trunion thankfully before a burnout (noticed a pop out of the intake and killed it immediately). Nothing else damaged as I don't believe it ran long enough. Tried another set figuring I got a "bad" set. Same thing-axles coming out of the roller tips. Same set-one of the trunion bearings came apart and needles scattered all through the engine. Never again.

Dad has run some Scorpions-and they are doing ok. They look very similar to harland-sharp and proform in the way they are designed. I have a BUNCH of rockers out in some junk buckets. I should probably get them rounded up and stripped of the bearings and sell them for scrap aluminum.

Also ran a set of Lunati rockers-the old school aluminum ones-and they were great for what "I" gave for them. I worked a deal with a friend of mine who had a deal with them similar to a sponsorship. They quit making them in that style or I'd have bought another set for my Mustang.

I also balance them...and the Lunati rockers were dead nuts. The Millers were REAL close (and the set I have now is within .5g on the roller tip and the pushrod cup end). Balancing rocker ams...people say I'm wasting time...but it's the way I am with engine building especially higher RPM stuff.
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Real world SBF roller rocker arm comparisons

I've been abusing my Scorpions for the past 5 or 6 years without problem. Before that I had the Cobra/Energizer 1.7:1 rockers. They worked ok for me, but like Mavman says, I've heard of others having problems with them when not used in a strictly street application. Ford put them on production engines with a warranty so...
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:07 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Real world SBF roller rocker arm comparisons

Just STAY AWAY from the Chinese Pro-Comp, etc. Any Chinese roller rocker you can buy for $150/set is bound to be junk.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:42 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Real world SBF roller rocker arm comparisons

Lots of good feedback. However, I don't completely understand "Miller Brothers" or "Paulkane IIRC". Is that short for somethinmg or is it just that simple. Sorry, I guess I need to be spoon fed on this one.
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Real world SBF roller rocker arm comparisons

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Lots of good feedback. However, I don't completely understand "Miller Brothers" or "Paulkane IIRC". Is that short for somethinmg or is it just that simple. Sorry, I guess I need to be spoon fed on this one.
Miller -- USA made rocker .. Paul Kane -- Miller dealer , also a member of the forum
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Real world SBF roller rocker arm comparisons

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Originally Posted by k718cougar View Post
We've all seen the cheaper roller rocker arms for SBF (PRW, ProComp, Proform, KMJ, Scorpion, Speedway Racing, etc), but even though they may be cheap in cost, does that always mean they don't perform? Does anyone have any real world experience with any of these or other rockers? We all know that Comp Cam, Lunati, Trick Flow, and Crane have good rockers, but there is a huge cost that also goes with them.

Also, aluminum or stainless steel rockers? What's your input???
I have used a few. Two sets of steel roller tip rockers. Two sets of stainless rockers 3/8 and 7/16. I also had a set of Crane aluminum rockers used on the Cobra Mustangs. If I was going to run an engine 100,000 miles I would actually feel better starting with Cranes with 50,000 miles over new China. When they had to be tested for Ford they must be good. The other side is I never had one of the cheap ones fail. I have been running flat cam spring pressures and less than 6,500 rpm so they really should not fail.
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Old 02-26-2011, 05:22 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Real world SBF roller rocker arm comparisons

http://www.fordmuscleforums.com/engi...s-159-set.html
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Old 02-26-2011, 09:05 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Real world SBF roller rocker arm comparisons

Just read that post. Second talking point: Made exclusively for the Ford 289,302,351......, the set I bought came with instructions for the 1.5 Chevy lifter. Funny how that works.
I do like them though, so far. Been a couple or three years.
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:09 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Real world SBF roller rocker arm comparisons

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Originally Posted by k718cougar View Post
We've all seen the cheaper roller rocker arms for SBF (PRW, ProComp, Proform, KMJ, Scorpion, Speedway Racing, etc), but even though they may be cheap in cost, does that always mean they don't perform? Does anyone have any real world experience with any of these or other rockers? We all know that Comp Cam, Lunati, Trick Flow, and Crane have good rockers, but there is a huge cost that also goes with them.

Also, aluminum or stainless steel rockers? What's your input???
First and foremost, one cannot determine the quality of a rocker arm strictly by price alone. Price is usually related to cost of manufacturing, and it is certainly possible for an american made product to cost more to manufacture, be priced more at the retail level as a result, but still be a pile of crap by engineering and design. This is in fact true about a few of the american-made rocker arms out there, but out of professional courtesy I am not going to publicly call them by name and refer to them as the schitt they are.

You also need to look closely at materials used, sub-assemblies used, method of manufacture, overall engineering and design, etc. This thread could end up being pages and pagers long if we were to discuss all these things, and unfortunately it would end up being mostly filled with what many of us have been led to believe rather than actually studying first hand. I admit I have my biases as well, but my influences come from a hell of a lot of experience with various brands of rocker arms, from being a rocker arm manufacturer for a few companies (including one the biggest and oldest in the world), and also being the understudy of one of the most respected valve train geometry experts in the world....and I simply cannot invest the effort of debating others on their "hear-say" when I have so much to attend to these days (off the internet).

Most people don't understand how to properly establish and set up valve train geometry. The more one understands both engineered geometry and installed geometry, the more apparent a poorly designed rocker arm becomes while trying to optimally set them up on an engine build. Most people simply try to "put the roller tip in the middle of the valve" which has nothing at all to do with geometry nor will it become apparent how your valve timing events may be critically altered with poor geometry, how the rocker arm is subjected to loads far greater than is necessary with poor geometry, etc. (Getting into valve train geometry theory here and now is much too involved, sorry; I'm just making a general statement.)

If you simply want to chose a rocker arm for your small block Ford that will get the job done efficiently, then I suggest one of the following: Trick Flow, Crane, Crower, Scorpion, Lunati, or Miller. Depending on which brand you choose, your valve train geometry will slightly differ since there hasn't really been a standard to which all these manufacturers unanimously adhere. Instead, some of them design their rocker arm the way they think is "right" and since many companies have a different idea, the resulting geometry varies all over the place from one rocker brand to another. (This is true with many companies but not all; some companies have gotten wise to the Mid-Lift patent and re-engineered their rockers once that patent expired, while others copy another's design, etc.) Naturally, I believe that the Miller SBF rockers stand high above all the others when it comes to the SBF 302-351W rocker arms.

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Old 02-26-2011, 10:15 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Real world SBF roller rocker arm comparisons

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Miller brothers-best value on the market. I buy them here from Paulkane IIRC (been a year or so)http://www.fordmuscleforums.com/engine/487584-302-351w-miller-7075-t7-aircraft-aluminum-sbf-roller-rockers-159-set.html
Thanks for the plug, mavman. We just received our latest and largest shipment of the SBF rockers but have yet to get them into inventory; please give us a few weeks.

Paul
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:25 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Real world SBF roller rocker arm comparisons

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Just read that post. Second talking point: Made exclusively for the Ford 289,302,351......, the set I bought came with instructions for the 1.5 Chevy lifter. Funny how that works.
I do like them though, so far. Been a couple or three years.
Properly set up and installed, yes, they should outlast most of the rocker brands out there, thanks to the design and materials that went into them.

On your point about your instruction sheet being for the 1.5 ratio SBC: that's not correct, and you did in fact receive the proper instruction sheet. There is only one instruction sheet for the Miller PA Series, and it is not brand specific. This is because all the PA Series Miller rockers get the exact same instruction sheet since they all have the same inherent (and proper) design geometry and therefore they are all set up by the engine builder using the exact same technique. I think the "SBC" to which you are referring is the example used in the supplied instruction sheet, where the lobe lift is multiplied by 1.5 (<---1.5 SBC rocker arm ratio is used as an example in the instruction sheet). All you need to do is simply mutliply your lobe lift by your rocker arm ratio, which I believe to be 1.6.

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