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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 10, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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Hardened pushrod question

Hey guys, newb questions here, but anyways...got some 186 heads and they have screw in studs and guideplates, but didn't come with pushrods. the machine shop guys is going through them to check for cracks etc, but says I need hardened pushrods to go with the guideplates. So, the question is, how much is a set usually? He is quoting me 100 bucks, and I just feel like that is way more than they should be going off of random searches on summit etc.

the other question, is that, those heads on a 327, how will I know what size to buy/length if I tell him to nix the pushrods? And what brand etc? I am really new to the pushrod setup, so any help would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 10, 06:03 PM
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Re: Hardened pushrod question

Guide plates do require hardened pushrods, good brand name, but cheaper from one of the mail order houses. Standard SBC will work unless you have a smaller base circle camshaft, then you should have a pushrod checker to measure for the correct length.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 10, 06:03 PM
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Re: Hardened pushrod question

Match the Guide Plates with the Push Rods. Generally you can get away with 5/16th Dia Push Rods and matched Guide Plate with HFT Cams but recommend 3/8th" Dia Push Rods and Guide Plate with SFT Cams. Hardened WHAT, TIPS against the Peddle Valve or Rocker Socket or the SURFACE of the Rod where it passes through the Guide Plate? This is not necessary if the Guide Plate and Rocker Fulcrum are tight. ISKY is about the only Mfgr that offers the Hardened Surface to Lessen Galling the Rods against the Guide Plate Forks (that I know of) and their rods are expensive and quality can NOT be matched. I would use any 3/8" push rod whether the Cam is HFT or SFT up to 7000rpm and more but if you are EXTREME pushing over 8G's then by all means put the money out for ISKY's. Crane use to make a very nice 3/8" Chrome-Molly SBC Push Rod but who's making them now is questionable.

Push Rod Strength, just like the strength of everything else within the engine is determined by the CAM Specs and Spring Pressures to Pump Air and hold that Engine together throughout the intended RPM of the engine your building. Accuracy of the build will more often out weight the need for strength of most components.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 10, 06:37 PM
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Re: Hardened pushrod question

brown, and everyone else ...

First thing to know is that every single small block Chevy pushrod made, even the $1 a pc stock ones, are hardened and will work with guide plates with no problem.

That being said .... depending on your camshaft and valve springs, it might not be a bad idea to go with a little better one piece pushrod. You should be able to get a decent set for around $50. Like I said, this depends on your springs and cam, you might need better.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 10, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Hardened pushrod question

well, thanks for the responses you guys.

I will give him a call, and get his price down unless he can actually tell me why he wants to gouge me for pushrods.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 10, 09:26 AM
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Re: Hardened pushrod question

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Originally Posted by BillK View Post
brown, and everyone else ...

First thing to know is that every single small block Chevy pushrod made, even the $1 a pc stock ones, are hardened and will work with guide plates with no problem.

That being said .... depending on your camshaft and valve springs, it might not be a bad idea to go with a little better one piece pushrod. You should be able to get a decent set for around $50. Like I said, this depends on your springs and cam, you might need better.
hey Bill, is that something more recent? I remember years ago when I had a speed shop there were chrome moly pushrods for small blocks that were not hardened for guide plates. Had several guys "saw" them pretty much in half when they added guideplates and used those pushrods. May be that they don't even make those anymore, I've been out of the retail speed parts business for 25 years........................

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 10, 10:43 AM
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Re: Hardened pushrod question

Jody,
I have never seen a small block pushrod that would not work with guideplates. If you think about it, every small block from 1955 till the early 90's had the pushrods rubbing on the cutout in the head to keep it located. That is no different than a guide plate. The GM part number for small block pushrods was always the same, guide plate or no.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 10, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hardened pushrod question

well, then, what is the draw? what makes it necessary/better to run the more expensive ones? I mean, would strength be an issue so they don't deflect or w/e?
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 10, 02:00 PM
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Re: Hardened pushrod question

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Jody,
I have never seen a small block pushrod that would not work with guideplates. If you think about it, every small block from 1955 till the early 90's had the pushrods rubbing on the cutout in the head to keep it located. That is no different than a guide plate. The GM part number for small block pushrods was always the same, guide plate or no.
I'm positive I've seen them that were destroyed by the plates, but we're talking about late 70's and early 80's. I remember there was even a note in the catalog saying not to use with guide plates.......... cannot remember the brand though. Probably Sig Erson.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 10, 02:01 PM
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Re: Hardened pushrod question

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well, then, what is the draw? what makes it necessary/better to run the more expensive ones? I mean, would strength be an issue so they don't deflect or w/e?
yes, difference would be in diameter, and thickness of the material used for the most part. Big spring pressures can require a thicker stronger pushrod.


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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 10, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hardened pushrod question

alright, makes sense... thanks!
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 10, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hardened pushrod question

well, got the heads back -186 sbc's w/ the stainless 1.92/1.50 valves, mild porting from the original owner, fresh valve job w/ guides etc etc.... they gave me speed pro pushrods from federal mogul it looks like... can't find too much info on them, but they are mine now, so w/e right! Can't wait to get these on and see what happens!
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 10, 04:07 PM
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Re: Hardened pushrod question

as a final note, I am cleaning out my shop, looking for Ebay items........... Lookie what I found!

I knew I was not crazy.........
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 10, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hardened pushrod question

and there ya go!
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 10, 11:33 AM
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Re: Hardened pushrod question

yeah, the guideplates are case hardened and usually have sort of a sharp edge on the bottoms from the stamping. I destroyed a few sets of pushrods back then. The Chevy OEM hardened pushrods had a blue ink stripe around the upper end.

don't bother trying to file that sharp edge, it'll kill your file. have to use stones. I've cleaned up about a million of those things.
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