It is common to find extreme wear on the rockers and their pivot saddles when repairing a broken rocker bolt. In this post I will detail the process for DIY rocker reconditioning.
This is a budget repair that if done correctly will provide many years of service. It is recommended to replace the parts if possible as that is the best repair processes. This is intended for those that do not have the funds to replace parts or are unable to find good used parts. New rocker arms are still available from Dodge Dealerships but the rocker pivots have been discontinued and are no longer available. Pivots must be sourced used.
Example Rocker Wear:
Pitting and metal transfer on a rocker pivot saddle. Also note the worn away oil groove.
Wear on the inside of the rocker arm. Note the ridge created by the oil groove from the saddle. This is perfect example of wear that can cause binding.
Rocker Arm Reconditioning:
Small belt sander (electric or pneumatic)
120 grit sanding belts
Harbor Freight 3/8 in. Belt Air Sander Item#60627 used to clean up the surface of the rocker arm. The included 120 grit belt is recommended for cleaning up the rocker arms. I used 3 belts to recondition 20 rocker arms.
Clamp the rocker arm gently in the bench vise. Note the ridges worn into the rocker. These are the main focus during sanding.
Insert the sander into the rocker arms and follow the radius of the arm back and forth. Always keep the tool moving. I turned the pressure on my regulator down to 50 PSI to slow the sander down.
One side completed. Note the deep scratches in the right side. These are not necessary to remove as they would require too much material removal to eliminate. Just make sure there are no burrs in the transitions. The goal is to only remove the high spots and the ridge created by the oil groove.
Rocker Saddle Reconditioning:
5/16 carriage bolt
120 grit emery cloth
Build the jig in the picture above using the carriage bolt and 3 nuts and place that in the vise. Put a rocker arm one the bolt and tighten the last nut to hold in place. Next take the 120 grit emery cloth and begin sanding the rocker pivot to remove the rough high spots. Continue to sand until the rocker pivot has a fairly uniform surface finish. It will be impossible to remove all the scratches from the pivot without removing too much material from the part. These deep scratches just need to be smoothed of burrs and sharp edges. Next take the hack saw and re-cut the oil groove in the pivot. It will only take a few passes to re-cut the groove. This is essential for correct oiling during operation and preventing further wear. The picture above shows the left side of the pivot sanded and the oil groove re-cut.