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Roller Rocker Arm Group Buy

10181 Views 77 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  oklaopel
I have just gotten off the phone with the folks that made the original red/blue roller rocker arms a few years back. In another thread I mentioned that I would try to put together a group buy. This can now become a reality!

Of course, the price will depend on the size of the "buy". I think that even for a small "buy" the price will be under $500. Even less if enough folks go in on this. This will include everything you need to install the rocker arms.

I know that folks have gotten "burned" by another "outfit" that took the money and ran. I'm sorry, but there's nothing I can do about that. What I can do is assure you that I've been in the Opel performance business for a long time... I'm not going away.

I would like to put this all together fairly quickly... say two weeks. I would need about $250 for deposit at that time... ballance when the stuff ships.

So, I need to know how many people would want "in". You can email me directly, [email protected] or I will answer questions here.

Please, let's try and keep this thread from diverging from group buy discussions. The other two threads on roller rocker arms are good threads for information and discussion.
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I'll try to answer the questions in order.

I'm still working out all of the details on schedule. As it stands for now, it will take about 4 weeks to produce and assemble all the bits and pieces.

Low on cash? Well, the initial deposit will be $250 so that should cover the first part. If the 4 week production time is not long enough, contact me directly by email ([email protected]) and we'll work out something.

What is included? This will be a complete kit and will include everything you need to install the roller rocker arms. There will be no engine modifications necessary for installation... this will be a true bolt on. In addition to the roller rocker arms themselves, the kit will include "poly locks", valve cover gasket(s), a valve cover spacer (requried for clearance), longer valve cover bolts.

There will also be something to accomodate the roller that is on the lifter side of the rocker arm. This is a cost issue that I have not deceided upon. So, this will be in the form of either a "cap" to go over stock lifters, or a replacement set of lifters. In either case, it will not be required to change the cam... although you may want to.
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Hummmm. That's a very good question. If you were already on the "harry edge" or maybe a little past then you should change the springs in any case. However if you started out with a 0.100" clearance (good rule of thumb for performance engines) there is no problem. Even if you fudged down to 0.080" you're probably OK. (I fudge down to this on sometimes). If you are less than this... roller rocker arms or not... you are on your own.

There is a slight ratio change... the stock are "advertised" at 1.5:1, but they are actually a little less... around 1.46:1. The Roller Rockers are around 1.47:1. So if you started out with say a 0.480 lift (about .329 cam lobe) with 1.46 rockers. With the roller rockers, your new lift will be about 0.483.

So you see, a few thousands difference shouldn't hurt you.
Thanks Bob. I defer to his number. Mine was from memory. So, that means if you started out with .480 lift, you will now have .516 lift. So depending on where you started, you might need to change springs. Not only springs, but the valve retainer should also be checked to verify that it is not going to interfere with the valve guide/seal.

An easy way to find your new lift is to multiply your old lift by 1.068
The roller rocker arms can be used on any CIH head, 1.6L - 2.4L. with any valves that have either stock (9mm) or 11/32" (chevy)valve stems. So yes, big valve heads are fine.
And I would be crazy if I didn't make sure that they would work on a TGSI head:D
Great News!!! I just got off the phone working on some of the details for the Roller Rocker Arms. This IS going to happen... and the price WILL stay at $500 or less:D

One of the details that is not clear yet is schedule. The trunion for the rollers is the "long pole in the tent". The equipment needed to make these is in high demmand and after they are made they have to be heat treated. So the real problem in nailing down the schedule is determining when the "buy" goes foreward. I gave a date of 1 Sept and I'll have an answer tomorrow based on that date.

I'm also not sure on the "lifter cap" vs. new lifters. I'ts really a matter of keeping the cost down. Doing just the "lifter cap" is the least expensive. But, I'm leaning toward doing both... which drives the cost up a little.:mad: The reason for doing both is that folks who are also going with a new cam would want new lifters in any case... so including lifters drives the cost down for those folks:) ... but still allows those who are just installing the rocker arms to use their existing lifters.

So, a question for everyone interested. Let me know which of you are going to install a new cam, and which of you would be using your existing cam. (Direct email [email protected] or posted here is fine)
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Before I address the roller rocker arms I want to give a special word of thanks to The Master himself... Bob Legere... AKA Rally Bob. He did all the work for the roller rocker arms a few years back. He conceived, designed, and worked out all the bugs for all of us. These rocker arms, etc. are going to be made by the same folks who made the original stuff. I have been holding my breath all day because untill today, I had not asked permission to use his stuff. When I got home tonight I got an email from Rally Bob that said it is OK. We all owe the Master... Especially me. Thanks Bob

Based on the response so far, it looks like I can split the lifter scheme. Some will get lifter caps and some will get full lifters. BUT... if this drives the cost over $500, I won't do it. So everyone knows... one of the biggest problems is finding sufficient quantities of new hydraulic lifters. (The hydraulic lifters are converted to solid lifters using special stuff.) Also, I won't let this be a "show stopper". I'll know more tomorrow when I'm supposed to get pricing on the lifter vs. "lifter cap".

For anyone thinking about doing both... that would be OK if you do both during the "group buy". It would be very expensive later on to do just 8 of anything. The worst case would be that in the future you would have to buy new lifters and then re-use the lifter caps. (The lifter caps should never wear out.)
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First, an update, then I'll answer the new question.

Special lifters with the kit are out. The cost of the special lifters would be more than new lifters with the "lifter caps". Splitting and doing some of both is obviously out... at least at the target price.

What are some of the obvious benefits
There is a very significant reduction in friction. The forces on the pivot points are tremendous. There is so much pressure on the stock rocker arms that after the initial lift, all of the oil is squeezed out from between the surfaces. Then as the rocker rotates on the pivot, it is pure friction. The same happens at the valve steem, and back at the little ball thing that fits into the lifter.

I once coated all of the rockers with molybdenum disulfide (moly) to try to reduce friction at the valve stem, pivot point, and the little ball thing. After rotating the engine 'round-n-'round by hand to set the valve timing and adjust the lash, all of the moly had worn completely off. By compairason, I also molly coat the skirts of pistons. After a season of racing the moly is still present on the skirt.

So, friction reduction is #1. Another benifit is these roller rocker arms have a significant improvement in geometry over the stock rockers. The stock rocker scrubs over the valve stem as it opens and closed. (The stock rocker varies it's ratio from full closed to full open as everything scrubs along.) The roller rocker arms are almost perfect... first the roller rolls over the valve stem, but as important, with the revised geometry the roller only moves about 1.5mm across the tip of the valve stem. All of this greatly reduces side/bending loads on the vavle.

As far as the roller rocker arms are concerned, yes they will work on a 2.0L. They are still a bolt on to any Opel CIH head (1.9L, 2.0L, 2.2L, or 2.4L)

I'll be gone starting tomorrow morning and won't be back until Sunday night, so there won't be any more updates until Monday.
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Latest update

I've gotten some schedule feed back. It looks like 6-8 weeks for production. I'm not happy with that long, so I'm working on some stuff to shorten the time.

I'm also working on the lifter vs lifter cap problem. (Cost vs fit). The lifter cap problem is that there are at least 4 different size "stock" lifters. (Rally Bob mentioned this in the other Roller Cam thread). So I am concerned that I can't come up with a "one size fits all" cap.

Lastly, I'm waiting on some bids for fabrication on some of the various pieces. (Trying to shorten schedule & lower cost)

I'm pretty sure there are enough folks "signed up" to make the group by "go". (Actually a couple of extras in case a couple "fall out"). So as soon as I get the final details/cost worked out... later this week hopefully... I'll be requesting deposits from those who are "in". If you have not emailed me directly yet, now is the time. [email protected]
72opelguy... If you want solid lifters, then the best thing to do is get a new cam and lifters along with the roller rocker arms.

Besides cost, one of the goals of the "lifter caps" was to make the cap so that it could be used with either solid or hydraulic lifters... sort of "one size fits all". (Really 2 sizes.... one for stock length valves and one for Chevy valves. With Chevy valves, a different total lifter height is necessary to maintain the correct rocker arm geometry. So, at least for now, I have not given up on the lifter cap and the one size (2 sizes) fits all goal.

Rally Bob is correct about the valve cover clearance. As it stands, the rocker arms will come with an "installation kit" which will include the stuff (spacer, gaskets, bolts, etc.) to do the complete installation. As is intended with all my "kits" you should not have to buy (or fabricate) anything else to do the installation. With the "installation kit" there is no problem with interference between the valve cover and the hood.
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I'm still waiting on some bids to get back so it has become obvious that I am not going to be able to wrap this up before the 1rst. So, I'm going to have to "slip" this about 10 days.

Also, it's a big race week-end, so I won't be posting any more info or answering emails until Monday.
GREAT NEWS!!!! With some help from Keith (Propmark) who is a mechanical engineering wizard, I have solved the last of manufacturing concerns I had.

So, the Roller Rocker Group buy is "on":D :D :D

The final price will depend on how many people sign up for the group buy. Here is the pricing structure:

5 to 8 $485 per set
9 to 12 $450 per set
13 to 20 $420 per set
21+ $400 per set
(Note that based on the response I have had, I think we will be doing good to get into the 9 - 12 range.)

Every one who has emailed me to "sign up" should have already received an email with deposit ($250) information and solid lifter info. (New solid lifters are an extra cost option for those who are going to replace their cam along with the rocker arms.) If you did not get the email or if you want to sign up, send me an email:
[email protected]
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I have received 6 confirmed orders so far. So today I "turned on" the manufacturing process.

I'm not sure on the deadline. I will have the "first article" parts back in about 2 weeks. ("First articles" are made using the actual CNC & machining programs that will be used to do the production run. This is done to verify that all dimensions and tolerances are held to.) So, I don't have to specify quantity until after I receive and verify the first articles.

HOWEVER, the deadline also depends on how the deposit is being paid. I am accepting either personal checks via snail mail, or paypal. Except that I am passing on the paypal fee that I get hit with (2.9% + $0.30 charge). So I'm going to give time for the checks to get here and clear the bank. That should be about 2 weeks.

So, those who are sending checks need to contact me right away. Those who use paypal (and take the $7.55 extra "hit" for the paypal fee ) will have a couple of weeks.
RallyBob... I do have eight from your original batch. Tell me how many of them you need and I'll send them to you. As for your Swedish contact, that would be GREAT!!! Email me at my usual.

72opelguy... and anyone else. Anything that can be turned into real money is OK for the deposit... personal checks, money order, cashiers check, or?
Here's the latest on the group buy.

Actually not much to report. I have received deposits (paypal, or checks in hand) for 5 sets. I have another "checks in the mail" for another 3 sets. That's a total of 8 if all of the "checks in the mail" get here.

I'm going to make the deadline for "checks in the mail" the end of this week and paypal payment one week later. If there is any one who really wants "in" that can't make this schedule, let me know by email ([email protected])

That's all for now
First: Today is the last day for "checks in the mail"... well OK... any checks not received by next Thursday will be too late. If you want "in" and have not contacted me by direct email, [email protected] , you need to do it soon. Those sending checks, contact me now if you have not already told me you're sending checks.

garymc asked about Chevy valves... Yes, I'm making different size lifter caps. So there will be no problem using valve stem length Chevy valves. Gary also asked

Anything wrong with using SB valves we should know about ?
Well, yes and no. The "no" part is with roller rocker arms. Thats the reason I'm making two different size lifter caps... a "chevy" size is used to correct the first part of the "yes" part of this answer.

The "yes" has two parts that are caused by the longer valve stems that the Chevy valves have.. First, the longer stems screw up the rocker arm geometry. For a mental image of this, imagine that they were 1" longer... then think of the angle the rocker arm would be at. Chevy valves are not an inch longer, but they are enough longer to adversely affect stock rocker arms. If you have read about the rocker arms you'll know that they are the weak link in engines that are pushed hard.

The second problem with the longer Chevy valve stems is that you must go to different valve springs and do a bunch of machine work to the head to accept new springs. (Rally Bob even had to machine custom exhaust spring perches for his roller-cam set-up) (Note that new springs are must if you go to a high lift cam... so disregard this second problem if you go to large lifts)

Another draw back (but not a problem) is that they are heavier... not much, but any extra valve train mass hurts.

The "bottom" line is that with the way I (and Rally Bob before me) am doing the roller rocker arms, there is no problem using Chevy valves that you didn't already have.
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Everyone should have gotten a direct email on the status... or lack of it. I have had to be away for the last 4 weeks... with more to come. No... not jail... no I'm not "ducking" a jealous husband... nor am I "ducking" the "group buy" folks. However, an opportunity I just could not pass on came up and I have had to put TGSI projects on hold for the last 4 weeks.

The roller rockers WILL GET MADE... just not anywhere near my original schedule. For the record... any one who wants a refund will get it at any time before delivery.

As far as the current status goes... I assembled the "first article" (shown in the previous post picture) ... or should say tried to assemble it... today. There is a clearance problem with one of the rollers. (The clearance problem is with the body, not the roller). So, I'm going to have to get another "first article" made. That's going to be about another 4 weeks. So my current guess on schedule is Christmas. Like I said, anyone who wants a refund will get it.

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Yes… I'm way over due for an update. However, I was waiting until I finally had some good news. As usual the news is both good and bad. So, here's the good and bad... and the ugly

On Monday I got the third "first article". Each of the previous two had problems. I won't go into the details here, but the bottom line is that this one is right… finally. The bad news is that I won't be able to get the production batch made until Mid January… holiday closedown and other stuff in front of us. So, that means that I get the bodies back late January and it takes a 5-10 working days to get them anodized. That means that the bodies will be ready for assembly in early Feb.

Now the really good-n-bad news. The original "plan" was to use a cap on the lifters. That way no one would have to change lifters… those with hydraulic lifters could use the cap and stay with the hydraulic lifters. The bad news is that I'm not satisfied with the caps. I have tried a couple of different ways to make them and I wouldn't use either approach in my engine… so I wouldn't expect anyone else to use them either. The bottom line here is that the only way I will be satisfied is to go with new solid lifters ONLY. So the good news is that everyone using solid lifters is going to get new lifters to go with the rockers. There's two kinds of bad news. First, I have no option for those who wanted to go with hydraulic lifters. The second bad part is schedule. I'm just now getting the drawing done for the necessary parts. After the drawing is done, then I have to get the parts made, hardened and then put together the "first article" to be sure everything is right. I would normally say 3-4 weeks for this, but the way everything has gone so far I'm "gun shy".

This is taking way longer then I ever figured… after all, it started out to be a reproduction of the Bob L. design with only minor improvements and a different approach for the lifters. I'm going to say that it is now looking like mid-Feb… it was only supposed to take 6 weeks to start with... and the way it has gone, I'm not confident in mid-Feb. So, I'll send a refund to any one who wants their deposit back. Just send me an email directly to [email protected]
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I sent this email out to the folks who sent me a deposit. I thought it appropriate to also post it here.

I suspect most of you figure that I've fallen off of the edge of the earth… or run off with your deposits for the roller rocker arms. Well, neither is true.

Without going into the agonizing details, problems and setbacks mean that I still am not much closer than I was three months ago. Briefly, the problem has been getting the aluminum body right, sufficient strength of the roller pins, and lifter caps that will work properly.

The last one… proper lifter caps.. is impossible. There are at least 4 variations of solid lifters, and at least 3 variations of hydraulic lifters in "circulation" for the Opel. I have tried a couple of different designs, but have not been able to come up with a way to find a satisfactory "one size fits all" answer… nor a "two sizes fit all" answer. (This is one of the main ways I intended to keep the cost down… lifter caps instead of new lifters.) It appears now that the only solution is to go with new custom lifters.

I have come to a point in time… probably past time… to refund everyone's deposits. It has been far too long for you to have nothing to show for your money. So, I will be refunding you deposits next week. If you want to be paid via Paypal, just give me your PayPal email address and I'll send the refund that way. I'll include the paypal "hit" so you won't be out any bucks. Or if you prefer, I'll send you a check via "snail mail". Just let me know.

By the way, this DOES NOT mean that I'm abandoning the roller rocker arm project. It just means that I don't feel right "sitting" on your deposits any longer. I'll let everyone know when I've got the stuff ready.

Bob Dennard
TGSI Racing
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