Q&A / Tech

Mailbag: How and When to Measure Pushrod Length

 

Got questions?

We’ve got the answers—the Summit Racing tech department tackles your automotive-related conundrums. This week, we’re talking pushrod length and how to measure it!

J.L. • Florence, AZ
Q: I’m about to upgrade my 1969 El Camino’s valvetrain. However, I don’t want to go through the hassle of measuring the length for the pushrods. So, if I got a mild cam with a set of 1.5 ratio roller rockers, could I get away with just ordering a set of stock length pushrods? I plan on running the stock heads.

 
A: As long as you’re running the factory cylinder heads, a set of stock length pushrods will fit without the need for measuring. However, if you eventually upgrade to aftermarket heads, you’ll need to use a pushrod length checker to prevent unnecessary valve guide wear. The tool is handy, easy to use, and more affordable than replacing a broken valve head.

To use the tool, mark the tip of your valve and then set up the rocker arm with the pushrod length checker. Next, rotate the engine twice and adjust the tool to locate the roller or contact point of the rocker arm in the center of the valve tip. Once that’s complete, measure the checker with a caliper. Armed with this measurement, you’ll be able to find the right pushrod for your application.

 

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