National Firebird and Trans Am Club
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TECHNICAL TIPS

Questions and Answers
this is an excerpt from the articles appearing in the EAGLE

National Firebird and Trans Am Club Message Board
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Please note: Questions and answers are provided for information and advice purposes. No liability either express or implied is assumed by reliance on the information presented either by the writers or the NFTAC.

Some or all of the below is from our message board at https://board.firebirdtaclub.com and this is just a part of what appears there and in the member magazine.

Also be sure to see our message board on our website for immediate help from fellow members.


Rocker Arm Noise

Q: My 1977 Trans Am has a 400, TH350 and 3.23 gears. I have recently rebuilt the motor. It has been bored .020 over, and reassembled with forged pistons, stock crank and rods. The heads are 6X, which have been milled to get a 9:1 compression ratio. I also used an Edelbrock Performer intake, Flowtech headers and a stock carb.

The cam is from Comp Cams (270H) and the converter stalls at 220 rpm. Since the heads have nonadjustable rocker arms, I can't get enough preload on the lifters and I have lots of rocker arm noise.

How do I fix this problem? Do I get longer pushrods? Are Chevy and Pontiac lifters the same? Can I put adjustable rocker studs on? Please help! The car runs well, but lacks performance.

Do you think I have the right cam for the setup I'm running? I would like to run 13.50s in the quarter mile. I plan on getting the heads ported and changing to 3.73 gears.

Cory Wilson

A: The 6X heads have screw-in studs, so they should not be loose or pulling out like press-in studs will when you replace the valve springs with slightly stronger ones. That scenario would cause the rockers to become loose and make noise. It's possible, but highly unlikely.

For starters, make sure your pushrods are 9.125 to 9.150 inches long. If they're the 8.715 length, bingo - problem found. But if it's a rocker adjustment?

Let's take a look at the factory setting, and then what happens when you mill the heads. Performance is affected because you have robbed yourself of cam lift and duration. Poly-locks were invented to take advantage of cam lift and duration. A popular misconception is that the studs must be changed in order to have adjustable rocker arms. Any rocker arm becomes adjustable with the addition of poly-locks. It doesn't matter if you have stock bottleneck 3/8 inch studs or 7/16 inch aftermarket units.

What's a poly-lock? It's a hollow nut that's threaded all the way through. An Allen-head setscrew winds in the top and comes in contact with the top of the rocker stud.

Bruce Fulper

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