<VV> -Rocker Studs

Seth Emerson sethracer at aol.com
Sat Feb 10 14:06:58 EST 2018

Another easy tech tip. The Spark plug socket is the right size for the 6-point hex on the rocker stud - BUT - Spark plug sockets are often tapered a bit just inside from the face, in order for them to "find" the plug at different angles when you are trying to remove a plug. On some cars it is tough, our Corvair are pretty easy. So, if you have a spare Spark plug socket, you can do a slight mod to the tip of the socket to make it grip the rocker stud better. If you have access to a lathe, just chuck it up and trim off about one-eighth of an inch. That will now present a nice sharp grip face to the rocker stud, making it much harder to have it slip off. If you don't have a lathe handy, clamp the socket face-up in a vise, and use a grinder to remove the same material, leaving a nice flat, sharp hex. This mod makes it tougher to slide onto spark plugs, so I don't suggest it for a primary plug socket. But maybe you have an old one around where the rubber insert, originally intended to grab the plug for easy extraction and insertion, has died - or just departed!  Use that one.

Of course, if you are an old-timer who has one of the special spring-loaded dual-size sockets, originally designed for torqueing the Corvair cylinder heads, you can totally ignore this tech tip! 

One further note on Bob Halls suggestion. Whatever thread cleanup you do, do not chase the coarse thread end of the stud, where they screw into the case half. The odd-appearing threads are made to "ingratiate" themselves into the case, and stay there. (Probably not for 50 years, but that was the design). One possible exception to this is if you have installed an insert into the block. The insert, unlike the original tapped hole in the case, may be intended for a regular male thread.

- Seth Emerson

-----Original Message-----
From: hallgrenn--- via VirtualVairs <virtualvairs at corvair.org>
To: virtualvairs <virtualvairs at corvair.org>
Sent: Sat, Feb 10, 2018 9:55 am
Subject: <VV> Virtual Vairs Vol. 157 Issue 12--Rocker Studs

I agree with Matt that you can just torque down the rocker stud if it freely comes loose on an engine that you know and have worked on (I've done it), but as you are still learning what its history is I'd recommend that 
(once it is off) you chase the rocker stud threads with a tap to be sure they are clean before you torque it back down using a six point socket to minimize the chance of rounding the thin flats.  Once you have done this it probably won't turn the next time you have to loosen the rocker bolt to adjust the valves.  If the threads aren't clean and smooth they can bind and twist the other end of the engine stud out of the case.

If you don't already have a tap and die set this is an excuse to get one.  Some day you'll need it for your Corvair.
Bob Hall

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