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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-07-2012 12:28 AM
Grant4060
Mid lift rockers

Bogie, you may be right and it is quite an effort to check all this, but I'm more interested in two other factors mentioned by Jim Miller. Firstly in my mind is reducing friction and drag to turn over the engine. Miller claims there can be a substantial reduction of torque required to rotate the engine assembly with spark plugs removed if the geometry is optimized. Secondly, the transfer of camshaft profile to the valves with the least loss due to deflection. I agree that the racing engine will be torn down frequently, long before guide wear would occur. In my particular combination, I had to be about .200" long to get the geometry as I understand it should be from reading Miller's method, that is quite a major difference I feel. On the dyno the engine definitely made more power, but in fairness there were other adjustments so we'll have to test at the track to really know if we've been successful. In a perfect world, someone would do all this with no other changes and dyno before and after, but with time and money constraints we incorporated this change along with a few other things on this build. Great subjects, lots of quality debate! I would have known nothing about this if not for reading this and another thread here to get me thinking about it, thanks everyone!!
03-05-2012 10:57 AM
oldbogie
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezobens
Grant4060,
Thank you for the reply!

I spent 1/2 the day yesterday measuring and re-measuring and I believe I'm as close as I'm gonna get (and probably way closer than it's ever been!).
I ended up taking a small stainless 'L' shaped ruler and was able to lay it square on the valve stem tip and supported the end going towards the intake by installing a set-screw in the valve cover bolt hole and adjusting it to be perfectly level with the valve stem tip.
From there I was able to mark the center of the trunnion on the rocker and then adjusted the length of my adjustable pushrod to get the appropriate 'mid-lift' dimension.
Even though it took a while and I double and triple checked everything, I'm glad I did the exercise as my pushrod length turned out to be WAY longer than I would have otherwise expected.
With the 1.6 7/16" Scorpion roller rockers I'm running, my pushrods measured out to be about 8.080" long. At first I had thought I missed something because I've never seen pushrods that long but the witness marks on the tips indicate about a .030 wide mark and almost perfectly centered on the tip at that length.

I didn't go as far as measuring the pushrod movement like you did as that would have taken me another whole day to figure out ;-) but I'm glad I did what I did.

Thanks again for the tip!
Elm
OMG you guys are really stretching this. Perfect, even with Miller rockers you're never gonna get. Your stuck somewhere with minimizing lift loss and not adding a lot of guide wear.

Minimizing lift loss is a racers problem and often the trade is more wear on the stem and guides but since these engines see frequent inspections, corrections, and overhauls the wear issues with offset loads on the stem and the containment of big time spring pressure is managed by frequent service. So oil consumption down the guides will be headed off well before it occurs.

Oil down the guides is a several pronged problem.
1) Lubricating oil fosters detonation. This is also true of diesels.
2) It is baked on to the backside of the valve (coking)
a) obstructing flow
b) reducing heat transfer from the valve head and stem base,
overheating the same.
c) adds weight to the valve that the valve spring has to manage.

So while many "experts" including Smokey write that offset loading on the stem doesn't cost power of itself, it does cost power in the longer term by resulting in wear that allows oil to enter the growing clearance between the guide and stem. For a street engine, even a hot one, getting some miles up into the 10s of thousands if not 100s of thousands is of greater importance than loosing a few tenths of a percent of lift so in this case you pay more attention to keeping the contact point closer to the center of the valve stem. But for a street engine with milder rate valve springs even this worry is somewhat less. Given the desire to achieve high mileage, the valve system on street engines is not going to see service until the situation of oil consumption down the guides becomes intolerable.

Of course you don't want to run off the stem, if your testing has the contact point getting within .020 inch of the edge, I recommend lash caps to put a larger diameter contact surface under the roller tip. This of course will lead to a new set of tests to determine the proper length push rod.

The nice thing about Miller Mid Lifts is you could have both minimum loss of lift and load offset on the stem.

Bogie
03-05-2012 08:08 AM
ezobens Grant4060,
Thank you for the reply!

I spent 1/2 the day yesterday measuring and re-measuring and I believe I'm as close as I'm gonna get (and probably way closer than it's ever been!).
I ended up taking a small stainless 'L' shaped ruler and was able to lay it square on the valve stem tip and supported the end going towards the intake by installing a set-screw in the valve cover bolt hole and adjusting it to be perfectly level with the valve stem tip.
From there I was able to mark the center of the trunnion on the rocker and then adjusted the length of my adjustable pushrod to get the appropriate 'mid-lift' dimension.
Even though it took a while and I double and triple checked everything, I'm glad I did the exercise as my pushrod length turned out to be WAY longer than I would have otherwise expected.
With the 1.6 7/16" Scorpion roller rockers I'm running, my pushrods measured out to be about 8.080" long. At first I had thought I missed something because I've never seen pushrods that long but the witness marks on the tips indicate about a .030 wide mark and almost perfectly centered on the tip at that length.

I didn't go as far as measuring the pushrod movement like you did as that would have taken me another whole day to figure out ;-) but I'm glad I did what I did.

Thanks again for the tip!
Elm
03-05-2012 01:51 AM
Grant4060
Mid lift rockers

It is hard to precisely check for correct geometry. I also had beehive small retainers, so I got some right angle aluminum stock and drilled a hole just big enough to go over the valve stem and sit on the top of the retainer. The other end of this right angle sat along the side of the rocker arm passing the rocker center shaft. You have to use some math here to allow for the stem tip height, the thickness of the aluminum stock etc. But the concept is to mark the exact center of the rocker trunnion and compare it's location to the center of the rocker tip axle. The tool I built allowed me to get the 90 degrees off of the retainer and project it to the center of the rocker. Using this method with the valve closed, my understanding was that you want the rocker trunnion center one half of your valve lift below the center point of the rocker tip axle. Of course, it's going to depend on correctly calculating the measurements. I did this as a second check, after first using an adjustable 1/8" wall pushrod and checking every .025" as I lengthened the pushrod for both pushrod "in and out" motion with a dial indicator as well as contact pattern using bluing at the valve stem tip. As you proceed, you'll understand as you observe the pushrod move in and out less, and hopefully the contact swipe on the stem get narrower as you approach then pass the best point. Going past optimum, you should observe the deflection increasing and the swipe widening. As I posted earlier, I could not get both ends with the first rockers I tried, but with the actual Miller rockers the deflection and the tip pattern were both good. There may now be other rockers out there that will check well at both ends, if someone has done these checks with others please post your findings. I am no expert, all I know is from reading the postings and from Jim Millers web site, then spending lots of time on the engine stand going through the tests. I did need to get a different "foot" for my dial indicator to ride on the pushrod and track the deflection. When I figured I had it pretty good, you could see the pushrod move away from the stud as you opened the valve, then after half lift it would begin moving back towards the stud as you fully opened the valve. Wow, long post with one finger...lol hope this helps....
03-02-2012 02:19 PM
ezobens
Mid-Lift Measuring Help

I apologize for hi-jacking this thread but I'm in the middle of assembling my 409 SBC and found Jim's mid-lift technique fascinating and I totally get it.
Since I am assembling the valve train myself and my time costs me nothing, I really want to utilize the mid-lift method for obtaining proper pushrod length.
The issue I am running into is that I am having a hard time figuring out how to measure everything properly/accurately in order to determine correct pushrod length.

My set-up is using 195cc Profiler heads with 1.6, 7/16" stud Scorpion roller rockers and a solid flat tappet Lunati cam. The heads have 'beehive' springs so the retainers are small diameter and not flat/parallel to the valve tip so I cannot use that as a point of reference.
I'm thinking I may be able to figure this out as a geometry problem but unfortunately, I don't know the exact distances between the rocker stud to valve stem or the angle of the stud in relation to the valve stem.
I also don't know the exact distance between the trunnion and the roller tip or trunnion to pushrod cup (center to center) so what are my other options?

About the only dimensions I do know are the trunnion and roller tip diameters and the rest I can 'guesstimate' but that's not close enough for my taste.

If anyone (Jim or other) can provide some insight on the best way to get this measured accurately, I would MOST appreciate it!
Thank you for your time.
Elm
02-03-2012 08:13 AM
AutoGear I'll PM you to keep this thread for rocker arm discourse
02-02-2012 02:11 PM
raceman14 AG,
You are exactly right but I don't know of too many companies that will properly inspect items of less than $500. Cranks, rods, pistons and rockers are running amuck in the performance market. The market being better than the stock chevy stuff and I am not real sure of that as I have had stock steel cranks and rods last quite a while in performance applications below 600HP.

What type of mainshaft you referring to??? Transmissions? You have probably spec'd materials, heat treat and machining tolerances and checking them when you get them here. I know it probably works for your applications but I am really partial to the VAR Shafts Jerry Hemmingson produces at Jerico in North Carolina. I know they ain't cheap but I have owned 50+ of his trannies and have never had a failure.

I have often told him that his race transmissions are the only product I have ever used straight out of the box with no alterations or mods to get it ready for 4-5 hours of 9500rpm, 850HP thrashing in ARCA, BGN, & CTS.
02-02-2012 01:45 PM
AutoGear Sidebar:

There is junk made EVERYWHERE. The Chinese produce our mainshafts that are in 600hp road race and endurance racing applications. However, we control the prints, we inspect the product 100% when it hits the floor, and if its not right we send it ALL back. After the first or second time, they learned we want what we pay for. If the person at Acme Rocker Corp insisted on a quality Chinese product and held their feet to the fire over it...he would get the same. Ethnicity has nothing to do with it. Example: what if the person programming the CNC machine at (insert american valvetrain company) was chinese or indian etc etc.

Its really really hard to come across as contrary to magazine spin...You're immediately branded as an idiot, or having an axe to grind because you fly in the face of advertising dollars and media personas
02-02-2012 01:23 PM
raceman14 I would like to say I have purchase probably 50 sets of Mr. Millers rockers thru the years, some direct from him and some from mail order discount folks and they have been the best of the best.

In a stud type rocker I see valvetrain reliability and wear in the same range as Jesel and T&D Bar style rockers. This is using his rockers, Jomar Girdle nuts and Stud Girdles with 3/8 " ARP Rocker Studs, without girdles I use 7/16 studs.

In a time where companies sell the "sizzle" and not the steak, Mr. Millers stuff is the SHIZZ!!! His company got killed by folks selling the stuff at a discount an not supporting the product, and also by some early prototypes having some manufacturing problems.

I hate to say it but this is why we are stuck with "chinese junk" is our only option other than high dollar shaft systems. Here is a guy that put his life saving on the line only to be bashed down by the big guys who don't know "proper rocker geometry" from a hole in the ground.

Keep up the great work Jim, I will eventually get on some of your shaft stuff...

P.S.
I know for a fact that one of the Winningest CUP Teams ever in Plate Racing used his stuff for a long time until the driver was unfortunatly killed. Dale was a person who applauded American Built and American Innovators and a lot of stuff change when he left us.
02-02-2012 12:54 PM
AutoGear Wow

How did I miss all this? I appreciate Mr Millers time and efforts to hold some hands through this discussion. I'd also like to say as a sort of 'boutique' manufacturing firm, we're left dispelling well-intentioned, yet wrong wives tales about products from 50yrs ago, young boys dreams and 2 lane blacktop.

I wonder if the large market cam companies KNOW their information is off-base to a degree, however it is 'common practice' and an easier methodology for the largest percentage of the buying public to replicate at home.

I've been a fan of the MID-LIFT for years. I applaud Mr Miller for his efforts, and sympathize about having to fight off rumors and erroneous material published in magazines.

Mr Miller; please hang around, share in the discussions and wave off those who won't or can't understand (or at least share in the discourse).
02-02-2012 12:01 PM
cobalt327 And the possibility also exists that by using the 'wrong' geometry the rate of lift might be changed in ways that could show a change in output- plus or minus- that could be pointing to a cam profile that's not optimum.
02-02-2012 11:53 AM
CNC-Dude
Quote:
Originally Posted by lash540
I will tell you a situation we had just a little while ago, we kept lengthening a pushrod on a big block chev until we got maximum lift, about .013 thou over the pushrod with the "right" geometry. I had been reading a lot of talk on this forum and we were going on the dyno with it so I decided to take a set of long pushrods in with us. They were pretty long but nothing was binding up. To make a long story short the longer pushrods made a few more horsepower, not a lot but it was there. We then put 1.8 rockers on the exhaust with the same pushrods and gained 10 horsepower. If it matters the engine was a 760 horse 454. Now do I tell the customer we have to put the shorter pushrods in and make less power to make the geometry "right". I know this engine won't have problems because I have seen it done for many years. All theories need to be tested ,not just drawn on paper or swipe patterns but on the dyno or race track and they need to be tested back to back. All Jim Millers website has is theories, sarcasm and negativity to other companies. This gets too complex for the majority of people whether you like it or not, and these are a big portion of the customer base. I have viewed both sides of the story and believe this whole thing has been blown out of proportion for a stud mounted rocker and that's probably why it hasn't really caught on and why he doesn't make them anymore. Grant 4060, did you test his rockers against the comp rockers on the dyno? and if not how can you know for sure that they worked for you? All I am saying is too much classroom and not enough real testing.
According to Miller's concept, if you put the "wrong" pushrods in your engine, you are effectively losing as much as 10 duration of your cam specs. So, buy putting the "wrong" pushrods in your engine, if you saw a gain in HP over using the "right" pushrods with the same camshaft, it probably should tell you the camshaft is too big to start with, because you effectively put a smaller cam in it by using the "wrong" pushrods. Because with the "right" pushrods you are getting the full use of the cams duration and makes less HP. Just like loosening or tightening the valve lash increases or decreases the cams duration causing the same effect, just not 10 worth of change, but enough to make a noticeable power difference. Saying all that to say this, the "wrong" pushrods make the cam smaller than what you intended when you selected it for your engine.
02-02-2012 10:10 AM
cobalt327 Whether to use the rockers or not is obviously up to the individual and a lot depends on the goals.

Anyone building competition engines- especially those that are limited by lift or any other cam-related specification- would be foolish to not look very closely at this IMO.

If it not for the cost I would be using them in a NY minute even in an engine that would be mainly street driven. But for those building street engines on a tight budget, the cost-to-benefit is harder to justify.
02-02-2012 09:14 AM
lash540
Quote:
Originally Posted by millerrockers
Yeah, that must be it. Arrogance. I've always wondered my problem was. I appreciate you pointing this out for me. I will try real hard to fix this, maybe forget that a wrong length set of pushrods costs the same as the right length. Maybe forget that I'll never know about a cam I spent 30 minutes on the phone listening to some cam company guru explain how great it was, when I just lost 4 degrees at the valve because I was too lazy to measure (or know how to measure) for the right length pushrods.

We aren't talking about "the real world." We're talking about precision geometry. Precision measurements, for which is the reason God created micrometers for. No one is forcing you to do anything. You just keep throwing whatever you like together any ol' way you want, get your magic marker out and die your valve stem tip, until it "eyeballs" the way you like, and remember how sharp you are because you'll never see the 14 degrees of your camshaft you left somewhere in the overarcing pushrods. Nobody cares. I certainly don't.

By the way, retoric is spelled "rhetoric." At least get that right, you've missed everything else. (But nobody cares.)
First of all,one person apparantly cares, second of all if that's the only spelling mistake I made I am doing pretty good and third you keep failing to address my main point. Don't confuse me with someone who doesn't know how to measure or use a micrometer, and by the way god didn't make it, but that is another story. I am talking about the people who can't and aren't going to, you know, the MAIN Customer base? Your attitude about those people is written in every post you make wether you see it or not. Your exagerations keep geting worse, it's gone from 10 to 14 degrees lost in camshaft. And yes "ARROGANCE" It spews out of everything you say. You can sit here and talk about "precision geometry" all day to the five guys here who are listening but it doesn't change what I am saying. I unfortunately do agree with your methods but I am challenging how important they are to most people.
02-02-2012 02:11 AM
millerrockers
Quote:
Originally Posted by lash540
Wow, I didn't think I would be able to draw you into this, but I guess your arogance got the better of you. clearly my "logic" was to simple for you to understand. I was simply voicing my opinion, which I am told I am aloud to have, about how the "majority" of people do things and don't have catastrophic failures or even the slightest problems. I never said your theories don't work,I just questioned the importace to the average joe. Believe it or not most people have bracket cars and street cars, not nascar or prostock cars. They will most likely never notice the horsepower loss or wear prevention. .165 thou of pushrod movement? isn't that a bit extreme? You seem to think everything is black and white and in the real world it's not that simple. "Just tell the customer the truth?" your such a hero. You've got what's wrong with engine builders all figured out, give me a break. I feel sorry for people that have to listen to your "retoric" day in and out.
Yeah, that must be it. Arrogance. I've always wondered my problem was. I appreciate you pointing this out for me. I will try real hard to fix this, maybe forget that a wrong length set of pushrods costs the same as the right length. Maybe forget that I'll never know about a cam I spent 30 minutes on the phone listening to some cam company guru explain how great it was, when I just lost 4 degrees at the valve because I was too lazy to measure (or know how to measure) for the right length pushrods.

We aren't talking about "the real world." We're talking about precision geometry. Precision measurements, for which is the reason God created micrometers for. No one is forcing you to do anything. You just keep throwing whatever you like together any ol' way you want, get your magic marker out and die your valve stem tip, until it "eyeballs" the way you like, and remember how sharp you are because you'll never see the 14 degrees of your camshaft you left somewhere in the overarcing pushrods. Nobody cares. I certainly don't.

By the way, retoric is spelled "rhetoric." At least get that right, you've missed everything else. (But nobody cares.)
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