Hughes Engines Tech Center: Aluminum Rockers Can Kick The Stockers


Not all aluminum rocker arms are created equal. While most will put the stamped steel stockers to shame, differences in design, base material, machining, oiling scheme, and finishing all play a part in the performance of an aftermarket arm. Hughes Engines has taken all of this into account with their big-block rockers with a laundry list of benefits that puts their pivoting pieces right near the top:

We designed these rockers for Chrysler engines specifically. They are not something that was “close and changed slightly to fit.” They were not just “good enough for Dodges,” as others are. We have developed our rockers after years of putting up with other rockers and their various shortcomings. They are made in the USA, exclusively for Hughes Engines. There are several important features that distinguish our premium rockers from the garden-variety rocker you find from everyone else.

  • These rockers have the standard pushrod off/set and will work in all applications requiring standard off/set such as, O.E.M. iron, Edelbrock RPM & E-Street, 440Source, and Trick Flow.
  • If you will be running spring pressures of close to 600# or more, we strongly suggest having your components cryogenically treated.
  • These rockers are CNC machined. This means that once the correct dimensions are determined and programmed in, all parts are identical.
  • Our rockers have a revised oil system that gives a positive oil flow to the pushrod cup at all angles.
  • Our rollers and axle shafts are larger (i.e. stronger) and reduce rolling friction.
  • They do not use needle rollers on the shaft. Mopars have a full pressure oil supply to the rocker and shaft interface area, and do not need the rollers. On the other hand, stud mounted rockers are not positively lubricated with pressurized oil and must have rollers to live. Magnum rockers are not pressure lubricated and will require rollers on the shaft. Yes, just like the Chevy’s!
  • Our big block rockers will clear 1.625″ diameter valve springs without cutting or grinding. (When the geometry is correct)
  • We do not anodize the rockers for a reason. If anodizing material is left in the bore, the wear surface is compromised when in contact with the hardened rocker shaft. Honing out anodized material is a machining operation that would add cost and leaves a finish no better than a straight bored finish.
  • We tumble finish our rockers which is not as flashy as the “pretty ones” like the “tuner guys” on TV. The appearance is more compatible with those you would see on Pro-stock and NASCAR engines. That’s good enough for us.
  • The roller position and rocker design are unique features. The rollers travel in the center of the valve stem tip and the path is narrower than other “will fit” rockers. Most other rocker arms do not properly position the roller on the valve tip.
  • Our rocker kits come with our popular, chamfered shafts, spacers and shims. Properly assembled and shimmed, each pair of rocker will have less than 0.015″ total side clearance. This provides exceptional oil control and a valve train that is much quieter than all other systems.
  • For those customers requiring severe duty rockers, we can supply these rockers cryogenically treated. This process will increase the strength and durability of the rockers 2 to 3 times. For additional information about cryogenic treatment refer to our tech article.
  • Kits come shipped with complete, detailed installation instructions.
  • Compatible with hydraulic, mechanical, or roller camshafts.
  • Machined to clear larger diameter valve springs.
  • These rockers require custom length ball and cup type pushrods: We can make these for you from quality Smith Brothers material. Call for more information!

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Kent Will

Kent Will

News Editor Kent grew up in the shop with his old man and his '70 Charger R/T. His first car was a 1969 Super Bee project when Kent was fourteen. That restoration experience lead to pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a career in manufacturing. Since then, the garage has expanded to include a '67 Satellite, a '72 Scamp, and a 2010 Mopar '10 Challenger.

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