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Old 10-25-2006, 09:02 AM
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Guide plates, do I "need" them?

Hi Hot Rodders,

I am building a SBC 355. It is pretty much a stock application, nothing too crazy. I using Dart Iron Eagle S/S 165 heads. The heads require screw-in rocker arm studs. I purchased my ARP studs and screwed them. The hex head on the stud does not sit flush with the head. The stud bottoms out before it gets to head. It looks like this would be the space that a push rod guide plate would take up. The heads themselves do not require a guide plate.
The question to the group is, could I shim this gap with a washer rather than a guide plate? Would there be any benefit of going with a guide plate on almost stock application? For what is worth, Dart does recommend hardened pushrods for this particular head.

Thanks in advance,

Eric B

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Old 10-25-2006, 09:34 AM
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For the $25 is costs to get a set of plates why bother with the kluge fixes?
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Old 10-25-2006, 09:37 AM
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Second vote for just doing the job correct and adding the guide plates..

No you really don't need them but until you mess around with a jerry rig you should just buy the guide plates...IMO

Keith
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Old 10-25-2006, 09:45 AM
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If the heads don't require guide plates and you add guide plates you will have to modify the push rod hole in the head. Are the push rod holes in the head a big round hole or just a slot and push rod fits snug in there. If it is a big round hole you will have to run guide plates. If it is just a slot and you add guide plates you will have to make that slot a big round hole. You can't have 2 things trying to align the push rod it will bind and break.
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Old 10-25-2006, 10:37 AM
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Update on Dart S/S 165

I have just talked to Dart, I'm at work. The S/S 165s are not machined for guide plates. I should have mentioned that I bought the bare castings and now am piecing them together. In the paperwork that came with the heads, there are recommended part numbers for everything except rocker studs. The Dart guy was not too helpful when asked for a recommended part number on the studs. He was willing to sell me an assembled head, but that didn't seem appropriate in my situation.

I then talked to ARP and they do not make a shorter stud shank length. They have a custom shop that could make some for me, but should it really be this hard?

They suggested that I measure the gap, and then call the custom fab shop to see if the washer solution is even an option. Then verify if it would be an accepted solution.

This is my first engine rebuild. I am looking at this situation as acquiring some experience. Hoping to tap into the experience of the group.

Thanks in advance,

Eric B
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Old 10-25-2006, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPMs
If the heads don't require guide plates and you add guide plates you will have to modify the push rod hole in the head. Are the push rod holes in the head a big round hole or just a slot and push rod fits snug in there. If it is a big round hole you will have to run guide plates. If it is just a slot and you add guide plates you will have to make that slot a big round hole. You can't have 2 things trying to align the push rod it will bind and break.

Very good advice here. Take a look at your heads before trying to add the plates.

Personally, if I didn't need the plates, I would not see any problem in (gasp!) grinding off one or two threads so you can get a good seat on the stud to the head. I suppose some (Don't say it!!!) flat washers would do the trick too if the gap is not too big.

Ok, I"m ready to get massively flamed for those statements! Correct me if I'm off base, i'm a big boy and can take it! LOL

Mark
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Old 10-25-2006, 11:36 AM
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Plus, if you don't have hardened pushrods (often the case with no guideplates) and you add guideplates, you'll get (literally) about 100 miles before your oil looks like metallic paint.

Ask me how I know.
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Old 10-25-2006, 11:37 AM
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guide plates

Sorry i didn't read the first post close enough my bad....

If the pushrod holes are round you will need guide plates,or guided rockers.. If they are a slot and the push rod just fits thought them then you don't need the guide plates.

I would have no problem trimming the studs so they fit against the heads... the washers "no way"( sorry Mark nothing personal L.O.L.)

You need to look for a few things, make sure that the face of the hex flat sits against the head. The studs have a radius under the flat and if the top of the hole is not chamfered deep enough it will hit the radius and not seat on the flat of the hex.

Also look put a rocker arm on with a push rod and make sure there is part of the body ( non threaded shank part) of the stud in contact with the rocker,, so that the rocker isn't guided just by the threads of the stud...


keith
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Old 10-25-2006, 12:18 PM
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I beleive those dart's don't originally need plates but the rocker pad may have been machined to accept them.
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Old 10-25-2006, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k-star
the washers "no way"( sorry Mark nothing personal L.O.L.)


keith
Hey, no problem!!! I"m a redneck and learned how to get cars running with no money! Guess you don't want to know how many washers I have on my HEI dist. to get the slop out!! LOL
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Old 10-26-2006, 04:58 AM
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engine

It's ok Mark...

I have 2 sets of rules... 1 for my customers and one for my self.

I have have done some real RED-NECK things to my personal engines that i would never ever do to a customers engine....

Plus it's a big help have a machine shop 10 feet away from where your building the engine, And i understand that most guys do not have that option..

Keith
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Old 10-26-2006, 07:17 AM
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Conclusion.

I was able to get the studs to seat properly by grinding down and putting a little taper on the end. Thanks for the idea Jmark and the encouragement K-star. I still get to use my ARP studs!!

For the benefit of the archives -I was able to determine that ARP's stud has a .700-inch shank and Comp Cams has a .680-inch shank. Just putting this out there for some future hotrodder who might not be comfortable with the grind-to-fit approach.

Thanks for all the help guys. Now just waiting for my checking valve springs to show up, along with my push rod checker to determine what length push rod I need. I had the decks milled.

Eric B

Last edited by ericbr; 10-26-2006 at 07:26 AM.
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Old 10-26-2006, 10:42 AM
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So by your decision NOT to install the plates, we can assume that the heads DID have the pushrod slots and NOT just big open holes? Inquiring minds NEED to know!
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Old 10-26-2006, 11:10 AM
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Push rod slots or holes?

You are correct Jmark.

The heads do have the slots. These heads, Iron Eagle S/S 165 are basicly heavy duty stock replacements. The next step up, Iron Eagle 180, require the guide plates.

Thanks again for your attention on my issue.
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