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question on the cheap pro comp roller rocker setup

December 5 2017 at 1:10 PM
Bob Ellis  (Login 64bobellis64)

This is just for my own general knowledge. I have read on here over the last couple years about how the procomp roller rocker setup is cheap Chinese junk. I am (curious) asking what is junk about them, is it the rocker shafts the rockers them selves. Are they ok for just regular street driving, any good for an occasional run down the track. I know T&D is the best but $1000 vs $250 I am asking for any real world use and problems with them, anyone have any real opinions on them other than being Chinese and cheap?

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(Login cliffrod)

imho about china stuff in general

December 5 2017, 2:30 PM 

Is the consistent inconsistency of whatever item it is. Quality control is not as much of a priority as simply filling the order by whatever means necessary.

I have no specific experience with pro comp, but know what you see is not necessarily what you get. In my profession, I see some pretty impressive stone sculpture memorial product advertised. What shows up is usually much different. It might be gorgeous or it might be a pickle-headed monkey.

Or you can Order a container full of 50cc liquorcycle mopeds of the "same" exact model and they run until they die. Then they are dead. Period. There is no ordering spare parts for one or even saving a few new "same" ones from the container to use for parts because the ongoing changes during manufacture mean parts will not interchange. So it's a crap shoot.

The only constant- It'll likely be a much cheaper initial purchase than any reputable product. What it costs after that, no one can predict....
1967 Galaxie 500 Red original Q code 428
1967 Galaxie 500 White with Black stripes 428PI clone- car is dead & long gone, sold near Oak Ridge TN 2000, would love to find it.....
Please visit http://carolinasculpturestudio.com/ for pictures, information and video links to my work.

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(Login kbmax)

Re: imho about china stuff in general

December 5 2017, 3:23 PM 

The shafts are junk for sure. The stainless steel rockers are ok for a mild build as long as they are on good shafts. I can't say about yhe aluminum rockers.

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(Login Falcon67)

Agree part/not with part

December 6 2017, 7:22 AM 

Inconsistent QC I agree - have one ProForm electric pump that has run 3 year on a car, no problems. New one out of the box - maybe sitting too long - leaked like a sprinkler. Disassembly showed no clue why.

On the other hand we have a no-name 110CC quad that we use at the track, no problem getting parts for it - they are all pretty much the same - carbs, ignition parts, plugs, etc. Most motors are some sort of Honda knockoff and they do pretty good at it. Compare the Predator Inverter 3200w generator and the kart motors, which the kart people love. The motors are cheap enough that if one breaks you "could" use a Honda part to fix it, or throw it over the fence and get another. Have seen the new Inverter thing run - very quiet and $699 compared to $2000 for the Honda equiv. Buy a warranty and so what if it does fail, they give you another and you still didn't spend $2000.

More to the OPs point, I typically avoid any Speedmaster items on our race cars. I've had decent luck with some ProForm items but would not consider internal engine parts. My go-to brand for rocker is Harlad Sharp. Had only one act like it was having issues, sent it back and got a replacement no charge, thank you very much.

This message has been edited by Falcon67 on Dec 6, 2017 7:25 AM

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(Login johannarich.)

i had a set

December 5 2017, 3:44 PM 

when they first came out the quality control was all over the board. i heard as recent as last year guys were breaking the rockers themselves in half at the adjuster AND the shaft. as for mine, i saw that the machine process itself was complete crap and as stated already, spotty at best. mine about half the rocker arm adjustment screw holes weren't even centered on the rocker (seems that many failed for that very reason). mine also fit really sloppy on the shafts themselves. there was much more, but i fail to remember it all (i try to block out the bad lol). i put mine right back on epay and as i disclosed what i found on them in the ad, i took a bath on them.

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(Login RoyceP)

It's the guys who import the stuff that we should be mad at

December 5 2017, 4:56 PM 

The Chinese are capable of making good stuff, and at a reasonable price. In this case, like so many others, the importer is willing to accept crap from its supplier and there are plenty of cheapskates who are gullible enough to take a chance on it.

Buy Harland Sharp roller rockers. You will never regret buying a good quality product at a fair price.
[linked image]
1910 Model T Ford touring Red / Black
1914 Model T Ford touring Maroon / Black
1917 Model T Ford Torpedo runabout green
1915 Model T Ford touring Black of course!
1968 Mercury Cougar 428CJ Ram Air Red / Black/ Black
1968 Cougar XR7-G 390-2V X code Red / Black
1968 Cougar GTE 427 Augusta Green / Saddle

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(Login jetstuff)

Rockers (junk) ....

December 5 2017, 5:19 PM 

" i saw that the machine process itself was complete crap and as stated already, spotty at best. mine about half the rocker arm adjustment screw holes weren't even centered on the rocker (seems that many failed for that very reason). mine also fit really sloppy on the shafts themselves."

Same experience I had with an early set. Additionally some of the adjuster holes weren't tapped all the way thru. I had to retap and spot face the rockers. Set them up on both heads, went to break in the engine and started hearing tapping after about 5 minutes. Initially thought we were losing a cam lobe. Upon investigation, found out the adjuster balls were soft and were self destructing, taking out a set of custom pushrods.....

Lesson learned, the valvetrain is NOT the place to scrimp on parts quality. ( knew this already, but since this was a mild street 390 , I thought the ChiNee rockers would be adequate.

Can't go wrong with Harland sharps or the T&D street setup .....
(or Ersons if you can find a set)

JMHO, John

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(Login vtdon)

^ X2

December 7 2017, 7:44 AM 

I particularly enjoy embarrassing importers/distributors at SEMA and PRI in front of as many customers as possible. Amazing how clueless these merchants are to the hideous quality they're marketing. It's all about margin.

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Bill Ballinger
(Login 65billgal)

Get some Harland Sharp or Scorpions if they make them for the FE

December 5 2017, 5:24 PM 

MY HS rocker and Doug's Precision Oil Pumps shafts and end stands are bullet proof an any thing but maybe an all out 900 hp solid roller.

It is no place to cheap out, roller trunions and bearings with needles can lunch an engine.

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(Login cjetmech)

Welcome back Bill

December 6 2017, 6:56 AM 

How was the weekend?

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Bill Ballinger
(Login 65billgal)

LOL, Same old, same old. nm

December 6 2017, 7:42 AM 

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Chris McAlpine
(Login chris401)

I Didn't Like Them

December 5 2017, 6:21 PM 

A local man bought a pair of the stainless. Four of the rollers were off center and left some valve tip exposed. A couple of measurements showed that machining the rockers and stands was needed just to get them on top of the stem. He said he was going to reinstall his factory non-adjustables

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Brent Lykins
(Login blykins)

They will burn up, spit bearings out, and break shafts....

December 6 2017, 3:05 AM 

I watched a set of small block Procomp rockers (not my engine) spit out bearings on the dyno. Have also heard of many rocker bodies splitting around the bottom of the body, as well as shafts breaking.

Not sure why anyone would want them, budget or not.

A set of factory rockers is all anyone needs for a solid/hydraulic flat tappet, or even a hydraulic roller.

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Adam Matteson
(Login feadam)


December 6 2017, 5:10 AM 

Does procomp make rockers for FE engines, are they packaged under a different name? Looked to see what they look like and couldn't find them.

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Brent Lykins
(Login blykins)

Speedmaster is their new brand....n/m

December 6 2017, 5:40 AM 

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(Login BrianJaspercoia)

Re: Speedmaster is their new brand....n/m

December 6 2017, 2:01 PM 

Kinda sounds like they've ruined their Pro Comp brand so they changed names. On another note, I sure hope they don't make rockers for Crane...

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(Select Login Tommy-T)

I bought some...

December 6 2017, 10:09 AM 

...a while back.

I just had to see what a complete FE rocker system with end stands and shaft studs that cost $169 looks like.

Kind'a funny, but the shafts are larger diameter than regular FE shafts, and the rockers have a cast iron bushing rather than bronze. The tips roll a little rough.

Can't see the shafts themselves being an issue since they come with end stands...so long as you make sure the oil holes are drilled and you clean the trash out of the shafts.

Would I use 'em? Can't really say.


I can say I've used Dove, Harland Sharp, and POP rockers without issue. I also used stock adjustables on my HiRiser for years without problems.

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(Login johannarich.)


December 6 2017, 3:39 PM 

when i got mine in the mail, i have to admit i was truly skeptical about the price, and curious. after inspecting them, like i said before i put 'em right back on ebay and dumped them. as for what i ended up using, my 427 has the original adjustables with crane pushrods and shell lifters with factory iron stands, and my 428CJ i used a set of older crane adjustables (that i bought from a forum member) and the rest is all comp. glad i did, haven't had an issue with either engine.

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(Login vtdon)

Whore's Market

December 7 2017, 5:02 AM 

The performance aftermarket is infamously unsophisticated. Very few end users have any concept of geometry, materials, design and manufacturing. Compound the issue with distributors that insist on a 50% margin, the price point precludes a quality product. And to top it off, if a firm seriously engineers a better mouse trap, the competition will knock it off within weeks. I used to design and manufacture high end, Ravigneaux gear sets for Super Gas and Super Comp. The market is now flooded with an inferior, Indian made knock off. Screw em. I will never participate in the automotive aftermarket again. Now have a sideline designing replacement gears for vintage Formula 1, Indy and Can-Am cars. Owners are sophisticated enough to understand what they're buying. For what it's worth, I've run Dove shafts and rockers in my side oiler for 15 years. Have Edlebrock heads, a 294S cam and shell lifters. Run 15W-50 Mobil 1. Flawless operation. Haven't even had to make a valve adjustment in 15 years. However engine was meticulously assembled with custom push rods to insure ideal rocker arm geometry.

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(Login kleandan)

Don points to the real underlying issues.

December 7 2017, 6:05 AM 

First is the race to the bottom, as I like to say. Price drives most of the market, NOT quality. What happens is pretty much all offerings seem to lower them self in order to "compete".
This effort to compete is driven by what the majority of the customer base purchases.
Pretty soon the "best" offering is often worse than the worst offering from a decade or two prior.

Look at a modern two slice toaster to see what I mean. I am still using the toaster my grandfather purchased in the late 1940's. It has never been repaired and it still works and looks good...silk wound insulation power cord and all.
A new version will usually last about 5 years and we have been lulled into thinking this is normal, so we head right out to purchase another new toaster. A toaster made so cheap and crappy that it probably would not even be let into the market when my 1940's toaster was new.

Next is the the often overlooked issues surrounding the poorly made parts. The valve train is very dependent on proper physical alignment. I read all sorts of talk about poor threads on the adjusters, off center holes on the adjusters, over sized shaft holes, and all sorts of other inconsistent measurements.
I NEVER hear anyone talk about the proper rocker ratio, or lack there of, due to poor machining.
This does not mean it is not present for I am sure it is very inconsistent based on the probability as evidenced by all the other issues.
What it means is not many are measuring this aspect of the rockers...they just trust it is correct.

Well, imagine all the rockers ARE machined correctly...good threads, good shaft hole, good alignment, everything good EXCEPT for the proper placement of the adjuster within the rocker itself.
Now you have ratios that range from 1.6:1 to 1.8:1 all on the same engine...Not very good if you ask me.

When all the parameters are considered, durability, proper measurements, consistent operation, reliable build and known clearances, EVERYTHING, as well as the real costs, both physical and financial, when the part fails, it makes VERY little sense to purchase questionable parts that are so vital to the proper operation, tune-ability, and durability of an engine.

You do not need to spend $1000+ on a race set of T&D's...unless you need that much rocker system, to get a high quality set up. However, buying questionable, cheap, inconsistent valve train components seems like a bad gamble in order to save a few hundred dollars on an engine build.

Imagine building your engine on a budget...like most of us do. You saved for a long time. You searched for good parts and purchased when you could. You traded with a friend for this and that over the years and FINALLY, finally you are ready to actually do that build.
Park the car somewhere safe and protected so you can pull that engine and leave the car there while the work is getting performed.
You take the engine to the shop and go over what you want and what needs to be done.
Three months later, as well as a few grand later, that baby is finished.
You set up a super nice, clean, open, well lit area to measure and assemble that pile of part into a rip roarin' street crusher...or maybe it's a simple stock rebuild. The real prize is when you get to drive the car again.

Hours spent, friends helping here and there, and soon you are actually done. HOLY SHIT! I get to start this thing.
You did your homework. You set the valves, you dropped the distributor, fuel good, coolant good, battery good, all that is left is to start the thing. Three cranks and it is running.

A few hours later and all went well. Cam broken in, valves adjusted, oil changed everything looks great.

Out for a drive and the urge hits to give it a bit of pedal. Easy at first. I mean it is a new engine...but everything seems perfect. There are now 800 miles on the engine and you can wait no longer.
Out to a back road and BAM! you mash the gas and the thing pops to life like an angry badger. 1st gear rubber, 2nd gear rubber, 3rd gear and you let out before the speed get too high.

That went well...lets do it again. Mash the gas and 1st gear rubber...but this time it goes different. This time there are all sorts of bad noises, oil smoke everywhere, and the engine is hurt.
Shut it off, pull over, open the hood and you see the carnage. The driver side valve cover is ripped open and parts are visible

But HEY, you saved $300 on those Chinese rockers...so you got that going for you...which is nice

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