Comp Cams Ultra-Gold Roller Rockers Install - CHP Step By Step Gold Rush
Installing Comp Cams' Newest Ultra-Gold Roller Rockers
From the February, 2009 issue of Chevy High Performance
By Sean Haggai
Photography by Sean Haggai
Depending on your budget, finding an affordable upgrade for your mill can be challenging and even a bit disappointing.
That's not to say we all don't want to tear a motor down and start from scratch with all of the latest goodies. However, a perfectly viable alternative can be had, with a relatively simple yet effective upgrade with a minimal cash outlay: Throw an aluminum-body rocker arm with a roller tip into the pot, and it's just what the doctor ordered.
The beauty of this swap is that it doesn't require trick tools, and if nothing else, it's far from being labor-intensive. In our case, we went with Comp's latest Ultra-Gold roller rockers, tossing out the factory 1.5:1 ratio for a slightly more aggressive 1.6:1 setup. The larger ratio will open the valves a bit longer for added airflow, and it'll cut down on frictional power loss, making it all good in the realm of horsepower.
The entire swap took us less than two hours. If this is a procedure you've never handled before, don't fret. Aside from lashing the valves, if you can pull valve covers, you can swap a set of roller rockers. Just follow along as we show you the steps. Keep in mind that net gains will vary based on your current combination. Nevertheless, if you're still utilizing the factory pieces and have the room for a quick upgrade, this will be a healthy addition and one stellar bang for the buck.
What We Did
Swapped out the old steel rockers for a more-aggressive 1.6:1 aluminum set.
It's the perfect do-it-yourself upgrade for any engine.
To begin our swap, we cleared...
To begin our swap, we cleared all lines away from the valve covers. Using a 5/16-inch socket, we loosened the nuts from the studs and removed the valve covers.
With the rockers exposed,...
With the rockers exposed, we took note of which ones were not under compression by observing which valves were closed. We opted to remove those rockers first, since they weren't under any load from the camshaft. Using a 5/8-inch deep socket, we then loosened the nut and began to remove all of the rockers. Use caution and proceed slowly when removing the rockers that are still under compression. From there, we tossed the old units in a box to save them for a rainy day.
With all of the rockers removed,...
With all of the rockers removed, we looked over the condition of the valve springs making sure none were broken, and pulled each push rod out to examine the ends to ensure adequate oiling was being provided to the rockers.
Unlike the factory unit, Comp's...
Unlike the factory unit, Comp's Ultra-Gold is completely CNC machined, lightweight, and able to handle extremely aggressive spring pressure and lift.
If you don't have access to...
If you don't have access to assembly lube, a dab of 30W motor oil will do the trick. We applied oil to the cup of the rocker and onto the roller tip to prevent a dry startup. We then began installing each rocker onto the 3/8-inch studs. Be sure to double-check and make sure that the flat surface of the trunion in each rocker is facing up.
After dropping in the pushrods,...
After dropping in the pushrods, we made sure that they were seated properly into the cup of each rocker. Again, we added a little oil on the rocker stud. With the set screw backed off, we installed each locknut onto the studs...
...For the time being, we...
...For the time being, we simply hand-tightened them.
To lash our valves, we started...
To lash our valves, we started with the intake side. Since this is a hydraulic camshaft, all we had to do was tighten the polylock until all the slack was taken out of the rocker arm and pushrod. As we tightened the polylock we also slightly turned the pushrod with our fingertips. Once you feel a slight resistance, you're at zero lash. All that was left to do was to turn the polylock a half-turn more clockwise by holding the lock with a wrench while at the same time tightening the set screw with an Allen wrench. This was repeated for all of the intake valves.
On the exhaust side, the routine...
On the exhaust side, the routine follows the same as the intake. We turned the engine over until the intake pushrods moved all the way up. We rotated the engine past maximum lift, about two-thirds of the way back down to get the lifters on the base circle of the cam. We then rotated the exhaust pushrod as we tightened the polylock. After getting zero lash, we turned the polylock a half-turn clockwise and then tightened the set screw. The same goes for the remaining exhaust side rockers.
Before putting the valve covers...
Before putting the valve covers back on, we poured a liberal coat of oil over the rockers, not only to lubricate the roller tips but to prevent dry startups. Simply doing this ensures that there's adequate lubrication before the engine oil makes it to the top of the push rod. With the valve covers buttoned back up, we fired the engine, brought it up to operating temperature, and listened for any unwanted noise. For added measure, we removed the covers one more time just to hand-check all the rockers and to make sure everything went smoothly.