Originally Posted by Brushwolf
Found these rocker shafts while I was looking up something else.. They look to be pretty decent parts. Not cheap, but what is nowdays?...
Rockauto.com sells Sealed Power rocker shafts (RS621) for under $30/each, NOT $180. They exceed OEM spec's.
Steel hardness is mostly due to heat treat, which is why your high priced shafts have tapped end plugs instead of standard 1/2" push-in cup plugs. Are tapped holes better? I think the cotter pin does a great job because I never saw one fail yet.
I take it that you are using non-adjustable rocker arms. If that's true, buy a 'test pushrod'. It is adjustable so you can determine your exact pushrod length. Summit and Jegs both sell them at a reasonable price. I still can't get over $180 for shafts that cost $60.
You must assemble the heads and rocker shafts to determine correct length pushrods. I do not pump up the lifters before measuring for lifter preload.
The factory deals with parts that are all identical in size so it's easy to determine pushrod length, then buy them by the millions. You have made changes to the valve train 'stack' so you must measure. So many of us have changed cams, rocker arm ratios, pistons, heads, (roller) lifters, etc. So, measuring piston-to-valve clearance and pushrod length must be done.
Your engine is a precision machine that requires correct pushrod lengths. You only get .040" to play with for lifter preload. I hold my builds at .030".
I use FelPro intake gaskets regularly and have not had a problem. I also leave the end gaskets out of FE and SBF engines. Use Permatex Black sparingly. I can't emphasize enough, do not use too much gasket sealer because it will end up in your pan and eventually make it to your lifters and bearings.
I use valve covers to route my crankcase ventilation. It's important that the engine has an IN and an OUT for proper breathing. - Dave