Author Topic: Thanks guys  (Read 973 times)

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Offline Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers

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Thanks guys
« on: December 29, 2015, 07:23:25 AM »
As a new sponsor, I am supposed to introduce myself, but you guys all know me.
So instead I would like to take time to thank everyone who has supported me and help test the Rocker Lockers during the development, and given me feedback to help improve the product and installation.
With this feedback I was able to improve the design, and develop tools to ease installation and to help develop new Kits for different year bikes. One size does not fit all.
We have had the late model Sportster kit (07+) on the market for a couple of months now, with great results and feedback.
Thanks to the guys who tested the Rocker Lockers In the SE plate, that information really helped.
Over the last couple of months we have been developing and testing a new kit for early Sportsters 86-06, and a new kit for the EVO big twin, to be released VERY SOON.
It is an entirely different kit since the design of the rocker arm assembly is one piece and the holes for the bolt are much larger. The TC kit will not work on them, they just fall through.
So I went back to the drawing board and came up with a completely different design.
With the feedback from our volunteer test bikes we were able to perfect the fit, and iron out all the bugs.
So Thanks guys.
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Offline FSG

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Re: Thanks guys
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2015, 02:02:22 PM »
Welcome, perhaps you could explain the difference between an 06 and an 07 Sportster that would require a different kit.  TIA

Offline Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers

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Re: Thanks guys
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2015, 07:46:40 PM »
Welcome, perhaps you could explain the difference between an 06 and an 07 Sportster that would require a different kit.  TIA
To explain the difference I kind of need to start with the problem.
The problem started with the EVO rocker arm assembly in 84. Only the engineers can tell us why they left a gap in the bolt hole, my theory is that they planned on using a shoulder bolt and then the bean counters found a cheaper bolt. Maybe the historians can put some light on if those were cost saving years or not. Then the 86 Sportster came along and used the same basic rocker arm housing design with the same rockers and shaft.
The rocker arm assembly is cast, so when you cast a part there is always a cast mark where the cast come together and the mold has to be tapered in order for the cast to come off the plug. This taper leaves a narrow spot in the center of the hole where the two cast come together. Imagine it like an hour glass inside the hole. On the EVO they machined out the hole, same thing on the Sporty.
Obviously they planned on the machining process before they changed the bolt.
On the EVO and the Sportster the rocker arm assembly is one piece.
On the Twin cam for some reason they used the same bolt pattern on the head where the rocker arm assembly bolts in as the EVO head. You can bolt up a EVO or sportster rocker arm assembly onto a twin cam head. This bolt pattern along with the placement of the valves, push rods kept them from using a smaller hole in the rocker plate, and eliminating the gap. They could not move the holes, or at least they would not move the holes. If you move the rocker arm and shaft over nothing else would line up.
On the twin cam they figured that there was no need to machine the holes anymore, and started to leave the narrow part in the hole.
On the Sportster there were at least five different rocker arm designs (lower Rocker boxes) from 86 to 2006, all of them the holes are machined. (Even on the first couple of rubber mounted years.) In 07 they changed the venting in the rocker box, they also must have realized that they did not need to machine the holes out anymore. These boxes have a -07 stamp
So like the twin cam it has a ridge inside the hole about where the shaft goes through.
The Rocker Lockers use that ridge inside the hole to lock them in; this is why I made them tapered.
Even if they slide down slightly they cannot go past the ridge.   
When I came up with the design I wanted to use the stock bolt to pull them in that is why they are 7/8 of an inch. Any longer and you could not do this any shorter and they would not lock the shaft correctly.
Also the plate is separate from the box, the plate is about 1 1/4 inch tall, you do not want the bushing sticking down into the lower box, as the rocker arm is under pressure from the cam and there is too much chance of damaging the bushing as it gets torqued down.
It also makes the removal of the bushing easer since you can run a punch up and hit the bushing, if it was flush then itís hard to find the edge.
I spent a long time coming up with that design and length, and figuring out where to put the taper.
So now I can answer your question:-0
Letís get back to the EVO and the early Sportsters, first because the hole is machined, it takes a larger diameter Rocker Locker. And since it is machined, there is no ridge inside to lock them into place. Yea the taper does its job pretty well but I did not want to take a chance on them moving. And making them tighter has gotten me into problems before, so I made the kits for the EVO and Sportster almost twice as long. The plate is about two inches thick so I made the lockers 1 3/4. You do not have the two separate pieces so there is no chance of the Locker being damaged when it is installed. Plus even if it moves down some it can only go a quarter of an inch, and it will still be long enough to lock the shaft.
And it is short enough so that you can get a punch under it to knock it out.
I guess that about covers it, any questions?
Humm,,,,, or better question, is anyone still reading;-)
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Offline FSG

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Re: Thanks guys
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2015, 09:23:42 PM »
 :up:  Thanks for a very informative reply, I appreciate it, learning something new everyday keeps the gray matter robust.    :SM:

Yes the NEW Rocker Boxes get a mention in the 2007 Model Year Technical Forum.






Of course M1168A found in the section explains some of the Revision Changes to Rocker Boxes 17537-96A/B/C
« Last Edit: December 29, 2015, 09:30:30 PM by FSG »

Offline FSG

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Re: Thanks guys
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2015, 09:48:14 PM »
and a pic being worth a thousand words , below it's easy to see the narrow spot in the center of the hole where the two cast come together


Offline Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers

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Re: Thanks guys
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2015, 10:07:06 AM »
Very interesting, yes the center has a different style seal it is almost like a o-ring instead of a flatter rubber seal Very and it is wedged in so it does not move.
And like I said probably the main reason for the 07 upgrade is for the new breather in the rocker box in the upper right hand corner.



I am glad it is stimulating your gray matter, it is frying mine;-)
Things that make you go hum, I am still trying to figure out why some bikes have problems and others donít, why do the EVO big twin and Sportsters not have nearly the problems the twin cams, yea they still have some rocker arm rotation problems hitting the bolt, but not as bad. Why do bikes with bigger cams like the newer twin cams have more problems that the old 88ís why do bikes with more miles and bikes that have had work done on them seem to have more problems with the shafts rotating and not others.
I am sure everyone has seen my video, no need to read any further as none of this will make since.

https://youtu.be/0wh10CAZvEg

I have a couple of theories, note these are my theories donít repeat this as fact. First I feel that the problem is linked with the endplay. I have seen several photo from my volunteer test bikes of the witness marks not only rotating, but also moving back and forth in the towers. Why are they doing this?
Of course the main reason is that they are not locked, and the Rocker Lockers solve this but why donít they all make noise.
It seems the new bike with the hotter cams are having more problems than the old stock 88ís? more lift equals preasure on the shaft, more chance for the shaft to turn.
Next if you take the plate on the twin cam it is held in by the four bolts and two breather bolts. With the play in the bolt holes, every time the plate is mounted it can be mounted in a different position. Plus if it has stock push rods when you pull it down to take out the preload in the lifter, the plate is going to move around. You can take the plate and twist it an eighth of an inch on each bolt or a quarter of an inch total.  I checked it as close as I could guestimate it at about two degrees rotation.



I feel when the plate is mounted and not perfectly aligned in the middle of the bolt holes you put the push rods at a slight angel to the rocker arm. Or the rocker arm is not aligned with the cam or more important aligned with the motor. Every time the push rod pushes up on the rocker arm you are pushing at a slight angle and you are creating a harmonic circular motion on the rocker arm. We have all pushed someone on a swing, if you are not standing straight behind them or push at a slight angle it does not take long for them to start rotating and going left to right as well as back and forth. I think this is one reason the problem bikes have the shaft rotating in the first place, the shaft might not want to move but with this harmonic side movement it breaks the shaft free and next thing it is rotating and hitting the bolt. Plus you also get the shaft hitting the bolt so you are going to get that click. On bikes without work the rocker arm plate has not been disturbed so you donít have near the problems.
On the EVO big twin and Sportster the plate and towers are one piece, yes the four bolts help hold the plate on but you also have extra support bolts that hold the plate and towers straight. Everyting is aligned, So you donít get that harmonic motion.
Of course when you use the rocker Lockers on the twin cam it eliminates the plate for getting rotated during installation. I know there were a lot of comments about not liking the idea of bushing do to the fact that they keep you from being able to pull the plate over so the push rods have more room. I feel it is more important to have the proper alignment of the push rods to the rocker arm. Feel that centering the plate does a better job of giving the proper clearance for the push rods. Once again that is my opinion and I need to study this closer.
Why does the shaft rotate in the first place since the shaft is tight in the aluminum towers and you have bronze bushings with less friction?
They rotate because they can. Yes the shaft is tight when the motor is cold, but due to the coefficient of thermal expansion from aluminum to steel and steel the gap on the towers  and steel shaft is going to grow twice as much as the gap between the steel rocker arm, bronze bushing and steel shaft.
Actually I believe the bronze encapsulated inside the steel shaft will grow and make the fit even tighter due to the coefficient expansion of the brass compared to the steel.
But that is just my opinion again open for discussion. (as well and anything stated here.)
If you put an object on the ground between two different weights and tie them together one two pounds the other three,  hit the object with a sledge hammer both weights are going to move, yea the light one will move more but both will move.
It rotates because it can.
There are two more things that I want to talk about; first every rocker arm that I have looked at is not perfectly square on the ends. If you look at wear patterns the bottom is worn more than the top, and if you measure them the bottoms are wider.

Sorry for the not so perfect picture you get the idea.
You can see the top of the rocker arm (bottom in the picture) has groves that have been milled in when machined. I am not sure why they did this, maybe for oiling purposes but on the bottom they have been worn off, shiny because it is wider there.
(This is one reason you always want to check clearances on the bottom not the top, there is a difference of /001 or more depending on wear on the rocker arm.)
I am not sure how this affect the rotational movement , I know that as the towers wear in you get more wear at the bottom. I am wondering if the slight valley caused by wear and the hump on the rocker makes the rocker jump sideways as it rotates out of the valley.
Anyway that is just thinking out loud.
Last thing I want to talk about is this.

https://youtu.be/raYk3gaB1Lc

Sorry about the music I had a tool running in the back ground and could not find a way to mute it on you tube so just replaced with music.
You can see since the bolt is not locking the shaft, if it is against the bolt as it turns it pushes the shaft sideways. This can push the rocker arm sideways as well.
What am I getting at? All this sloppy,,,,,,,,,what is the word I am looking for, quality control, added together, has a snow ball effect. Most people are not having a problem but you start changing things, moving things around, then all these problems works together to make noise.
You can see that I have talked a lot about end play that is on purpose.
The majority of people who have installed bushing inserts say that it cured the majority of the noise, most use the 70% figure. They say they cure the annoying noise.
Where am I going with all this rambling, in the past, setting end play has gotten a not to good review simply because it was not causing the majority of the noise.  I feel we need to take another look at it. There is no reason for these top ends to be making all this noise.
Yea I know they are Harleys;-)
I have been playing around with the endplay issue for a while. I am working on a couple of specialty tools that will machine the rocker arm or tower to except thicker shims so that they do not wear through.
I will talk a little more when I get a little farther along, but this is enough for now, the gray matter is fried;-0
« Last Edit: December 31, 2015, 10:15:13 AM by Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers »
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