Q: I’ve installed a set of steel roller-tip rocker arms on my Ford 302 engine. The cylinder heads are also equipped with aftermarket rocker arm studs and pushrod guideplates. Unfortunately, the rocker arm nuts keep coming loose. What can I do?

A: Most aftermarket steel roller-tip rocker arms use OE-style self-locking nuts. If your rocker arm studs have roller threads, those self-locking nuts will not lock properly. We suggest you install a set of OE rocker studs with non-rolled threads, or try a set of poly locks. Most poly locks however, will not clear stock-height valve covers. In some cases, you may be able to use a thicker valve cover gasket, or you can mill the locks to gain clearance (if you have enough thread engagement to work with). Otherwise, you’ll have to run tall covers.

This is another in a series of weekly Q&A Mailbag sessions with Summit Racing‘s tech department, in which there are hundreds more. Click here to see them all

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Author: Dave Matthews

Dave Matthews was a mechanic for the U.S. Army, a Ford dealership, and served for many years as a fleet mechanic for construction companies. Now a technical content producer at Summit Racing, Dave has spent decades working on everything from military vehicles to high performance race machines.