Hughes Engines Tech Center: Get the Groovy Shafts


Hidden under every overhead valve engine’s covers, rocker arm assemblies are oft forgotten outside of the occasional lash check or gasket replacement. But let’s just take a second to think about the chain of events going on out of sight under there: the camshaft lobe ramps a lifter that drives a pushrod upward into a rocker rotating on a shaft which then coaxes the valve open against the opposition of a super stiff spring.

The intense velocity, pressure, and heat during such a violent process happening thousands of times per minute require the utmost in oiling or it’s all going to end up at the bottom of the oil pan as glittering goo.

Hughes Engines has the answer for both small block (P/N HUG 1600) and big block (P/N HUG 1620) engines in the form of their specially-ground rocker shafts. Take it from the experts themselves:

Our proprietary oil delivery system improves the efficiency of Chrysler’s interrupted oil supply to the rocker arms. These shafts are hardened to 48-52 Rc and finish ground to increase the life and durability of the shafts and rockers. These shafts feature banana grooved oil holes to spread the oil better in the concentrated pressure areas and calibrated hold down holes to better supply oil to the critical areas. Not for use with needle bearing rockers (Do people still use those?). Buy the good ones before the Chinese copy them wrong and screw up your engine! Naturally these work best and live longest with our rocker arms on them.

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Kent Will

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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