Rocker Arm Kit: Keeping Your Engine Balanced
You engine's rocker arm keeps your engine's valves opening, at exactly the right moment, like clockwork. It makes sure that your engine is up to its optimized speed and rhythm, or if it fails, your engine conks out. Since rocker arms are fairly standard in their design, here are some things that can help you when buying a new set of rocker arms.
In most things in and on the car, lighter is usually better. Of the two, aluminum is the lighter and, often, the more affordable choice. It you want to save a little, you go for an aluminum rocker arm. That is not to say that aluminum arms are weak-they are still effective in their own right and are generally smaller. It's just that they are not that durable.
That is not to say that they're simply break down more quickly; you just have to keep a close eye on them. You may ask, why not make all rocker arms out of stronger steel? It's because aluminum rockers are durable enough for city-commuter driving.
Since it was used in a lot of industrial applications, steel is the metal of choice for those who are looking for strength and durability. It might not be as flexible as aluminum, but it certainly lasts longer when put up to the continuous motion that it has to undergo. The only real drawback of steel is that rocker arms cost much more than their lighter aluminum equivalents.
The Perfect Fit
When you have decided which of the materials you prefer, you still might want to check out whether the replacement you are looking for is a perfect match for your ride. Pictures in a catalog and in a store can be deceptive-rocker arms may be sized differently, but they look the same. It helps to keep the original rocker arm with you as you shop.
Engine Basics: Installing a Rocker Arm Kit
Rocker arms are designed to control the engine's exhaust and intake valves. It can increase both the engine's exhaust-scavenging potential and its intake-air command. Rocker arms basically are mechanically-advantaged levers that translate camshaft data into valve actuation. But if can hear rapid ticking noise from your engine, there might be an issue with your rocker arms and they need to be replaced.
We listed the reminders, steps, and tools that you need to help you install a new rocker arm kit on your engine.
Tools that You'll Need:
- Socket set
- Wrench set
- Torque wrench
- Masking tape
- Brand new rocker arm kit
- Brand new valve cover gasket
- Disconnect your vehicle's negative battery cable to avoid accidents from electrical shock.
- Label each of your engine's spark plug wires with a masking tape and a marker, to note their proper location on the engine after disconnecting them.
- Always wear safety goggles and gloves when working on your vehicle's engine bay to prevent serious injuries. Make sure that the engine is cool before installing the new rocker arm kit.
Step 1:Open your vehicle's hood to access the engine compartment. Make sure that the negative battery cable is disconnected. Check if your engine is cool enough before proceeding.
Step 2: Locate the engine's air cleaner assembly, and open its lid to remove the air filter. Use a socket and ratchet to detach the entire air cleaner assembly from the engine.
Step 3: Hold each spark plug wire by its boot, and carefully each wire from the spark plug to avoid damaging them. Remove the organizing clips from the wires and set them aside.
Step 4: Locate the throttle body, and unhook all its cables. Use a wrench to remove the cable bracket from the intake plenum, and set it aside.
Step 5: Use a socket and ratchet to remove the valve cover's bolts, and lift the valve cover away from the cylinder head. Remove each of the rocker arm's bolts with a ratchet and socket.
Step 6: Detach the rocker arms and balls from the cylinder head. Remove the old valve cover gasket, and use a scraper to remove any remaining material.
Step 7: Use a torque wrench to fasten the new rocker arm kit. Make sure to torque the nuts with a force of 22-ft lbs. Install the new valve cover gasket on the cylinder head, and make sure to place the valve cover over the new gasket. Tighten and secure all the bolts with a socket and ratchet.
Step 8: Use a wrench to install and tighten the throttle cable bracket to the intake plenum. Attach the throttle cables to the throttle body. Hold each spark plug wire by the boot, and install them to the proper spark plug. Gently push each boot until you feel it snap into place, and use organizing clips to connect the wires.
Step 9: Secure the air cleaner to the engine by tightening the nuts with a wrench. Reinstall the air filter into its casing, and close the lid. Connect the battery's negative cable, and close your vehicle's hood.
Step 10: Start your vehicle to check if the installation was successful.
Installing a new rocker arm kit will take about 1 hour 20 minutes for an expert DIYer and around 2 hours for a beginner. It's a challenging project but it will save you a lot of money on labor fees! Stay safe!