Tom's 'roller rockers'

Discussion in ''Da Nailhead' started by DualQuad55, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. DualQuad55

    DualQuad55 Well-Known Member

    :TU: :TU: :TU:
    I don't mean to sound like I am bragging, as that is not at all my intentions. I just wanted to let everyone know (again) how beuatifully crafted Tom Telesco's 'roller rockers' are. I got mine yesterday (along with much, yet not enough, other info).
    Sure at first the cost seems a little high until you see the quality of them and get some of the results of their performance increases.
    Unfortunately I never had my motor dyno'ed, and I am making several other changes so that 1/4 mile ets would not be very accurate to compare.
    These things are sweet and if you have a chance to get some, please do. I don't think you will regret it in the long run.
    I don't want to try to quote Tom's info but the bottom line is that moderately bigger cams don't work nearly as well with stock style rocker (even after market adjustables) as Factory cams will with Tom's rockers.
    This may sound like a bunch of bull, or a shameless plug but I am telling you that these things are nice and VERY well thought out and made.
    I really wanted to keep my purchase a secret (like any of you really care that I got some) but after getting them, I decided to let everyone know what I think of them.
    The weather has been unusually very warm here (mid to high 40s) so I will try to get my heads finished (at work now) and installed with the rockers this week if it doesn't snow. If it snows I probably will still get it all done but its hard to drive on whitewall slicks in the snow, I have tried and it was one of a very few things that really scared me!!!
    THANKS TOM!!!!!!!! :grin: :grin: :grin:
  2. GS Spoken Here

    GS Spoken Here Well-Known Member

    Joe do these fit on stock shafts or do they come with the shafts? I have been watching the progress and did not know they were being shipped yet. I am in the early stage of building a 425 and have not got to the cam or heads yet. Thanks Bill.
  3. DualQuad55

    DualQuad55 Well-Known Member

    Yes and yes,
    Tom has made sure these 'rockers' would NOT need any other modifications to be used on a stock application. This means you can use stock shafts (NAPA still has a listing) or you may be able to purchase a set from Tom.
    I chose to go with Toms as he had a set available.
    His are slightly thicker at the tube walls and he has done some slight modifications to allow better oiling. This is simple but effective-he 'cuts' a small groove back from the oiling holes on the shaft to get more oil between the rocker and the shaft.
    He also spends the time to 'fit' each rocker to the shaft for proper fit/clearance. I think he would do this if you sent your own shafts to him, but you should talk to him to be sure. It is something I could and many of you could do yourselves but this way, it is done and Tom knows it is right. I FULLY trust Tom and his workmanship, but he doesn't know what my or your, or anyone elses workmanship is like and I would think he feels better knowing his rockers are fitted correctly.
    As he explained to me, he purposely had the rockers made ever so slightly smaller internally so he could assure a good/proper fit to make certain there is no 'wobble' on the shaft.
    I don't think he has many sets left at all, I think I got set 47-48 or 49. Obviously he knows exactly, and to be honest, Which set I got really doesn't matter except there are not many left at all.
    He can have more sets made later but will again need a certain amount ordered to be able to get a 'reasonable' rate. Tom doesn't make squat on these as that is not his intention, he makes his living at a very reputable repair shop. He does this for the love of it alone.
    With that said, the 'next' batch (if he does them in the future) will definately be much more expensive. The machine shop didn't make money on this project, (they would like to as their families need to eat also) and aluminium has gone sky-high since this project started.
    Like I said, Tom doesn't make enough money on his stuff to make it worth it as a business venture, he is one of the last guys on earth that does stuff for the love of it and lets others in on it.
    Please contact Tom for accurate info, as I am just another satisfied customer. For your own sake, don't wait. Let it be your Christmas or Channuka (I really hope I spelt that right) present to yourself, you WON'T be sorry.
    .p.s.- his gear reduction mini starters are also top notch, I will be buying on for my 'next' motor from Tom.
    p.p.s. he is a wealth of knowledge not just about Nailheads-but also old hot rod and race car (drag and circle track) stuff.
    If you start asking questions, I hope you can take fast notes!!!!!
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2006
  4. 87GN@Tahoe

    87GN@Tahoe Well-Known Member

    I'll second that about Tom's character..

    I've been corresponding with him over the phone for the past couple weeks and I can say that he is VERY helpful and knowledgable.

  5. yacster

    yacster Lv the gun tk the Canolis

    Picking my 64 Riv up from his shop on Saturday. He went over her with a fine tooth comb and did some much needed work as well as puttin a set of the rockers on. I can't wait to feel the car stretch it's legs with the new rockers. I'll let ya'all know what they are like for I only changed the rockers at this time. :3gears:
  6. staged67gspwr

    staged67gspwr "The Black Widow"

    Just out of curiosity,do the Nailhead roller rockers ride on roller bearing between the shaft and rocker body just like TA`s 455 roller rocker or is it the aluminum rocker body riding on the shaft without roller bearings?

  7. yacster

    yacster Lv the gun tk the Canolis

    Picked up the Riv from Toms shop today. The weather was wet up here in the north this morning so we really couldn't get on the gas at all. After going over work that needed to be done by me I took the car back to Long Island. The weather cleared up and the roads were drying up. I took the Riv' down to Ocean Parkway, an almost desolate road in the winter. Here we go-

    HOLY SH1T! From a dead stop - I pressed the Brakes a little and brought the RPM's to 2500-2800, released the brakes and mashed the gas- Left a 50- 100' Posi burnout and began to launch off the carrier deck!!!! Chirped second and was into the speed alarm shortly into third I was actually getting scared she got up there that fast. I slow way down and pull over. Just then my phone rings and, who is it? - Tom Telesco, wanting to know how the car is running. (perfect freakin' timing) I said hang on Tom let me let this car pass and you can hear it. With that I go through the same ritual as before and within 13 or so seconds the buzzer is screaming and I am over 100 mph. Tom is giggling like a little a mad scientist who discovered the bomb on the other end of the line - My heart is doing double duty. :3gears:
    Yeah folk, these things work!!!!
    Tom and I estimate my car has 112-212K on the motor. We cleaned a lot of sludge out of it, and Tom says the cam is really worn (she needs a rebuild bad) Here is what has been done to her so far - Edelbrock 750 Vac secondaries, T/A shorty header into 2.25" pipes all the way back to Vortek mufflers on each side, Vacuum advace weights and medium springs - Accel points eliminator, MSD coil and wires. Tom Telesco roller tip rockers.

    In conclusion the rockers give the car a more throaty sound right off the bat. The car idles like you put a lopey cam in it, and performance - well I think you know how I feel about that. My personal opinion is the only bolt on accessory that can give you this kind of thrill would be a 100 shot of nitrous. Only Toms rockers actually HELP your car perform better not beat the crap out of it like juice.

    Mr. Telesco thank you for your reasearch and your undying devotion to making an extremely well worth the money, bolt on performance addition, for the Buick Nailhead. :beer :TU:
    If you have a Nailhead you are cheating the motor by not slapping these on!

    Attached Files:

  8. 66gsconv

    66gsconv nailhead apprentice

    That is awsome yacster, Tom told me he was confedent you would like them. I have to get busy and get mine on.
    Bob :beer
  9. DualQuad55

    DualQuad55 Well-Known Member

    The rockers Tom has don't ride on needle bearings between the rocker and shaft. He had several reasons for keeping it this way.
    Some include the fact that this will allow you to run a stock sized shaft-otherwise you would need a shaft of smaller diameter and the stanchions to match (or the rocker bodies would be too big and interfere with the pushrods etc...), the off set design of the rockers between the pushrod and valve would create a severe uneven pressure on the needle bearings combined with very limited movement could create extremely premature flattening/wear of the needles much like when a Ujoint goes bad.
    I think if you asked Tom the benefits would be drowned by the cost and added troubles getting them to fit and work with other components. The biggest gain is not from the roller design (this just helps eliminate wear) but the additional rocker/valve ratio which act much like a bigger cam.
    I think we could all ask 'what if' but bottom line is that if these rockers produce the power gain, who cares if they have needle bearings inside.
  10. staged67gspwr

    staged67gspwr "The Black Widow"

    Thank you :TU:
  11. telriv

    telriv Well-Known Member

    All this is possible because of better volumetric efficency. One added side effect that's a plus is better MPG if you can keep your foot out of it. Thank's for the kudos Joe & now a real 1st. time user, Tony, other than myself or my friend's '66 Skylark GS. As an individual I can state all the facts, figures & dyno tests till I'm blue in the face. As a racer & auto owner I always doubt the claims until I've had the opportunity to do my own testing. Tony's Riv. does have alot of miles on it, at least 112K, probably more. My '64 Riv. with no options other than Posi weighs 4413pds. with me in it & nothing in the glovebox, console, floor mats, completely empty trunk. Tony's car has power windows, seat & a trunk full, including a spare, Posi with 3.07 gears, etc. To get that kind of a seat of your pants performance feeling increase you have to be talking maybe 50HP, give or take. This is like adding a performance cam with none of the drawbacks or addtional work of the while I'm at it's. Now, everyone who has bought a set, INSTALL THEM!!!!! & get the same benefits. Have fun & MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!!!!

    Tom Telesco
  12. staged67gspwr

    staged67gspwr "The Black Widow"

    What ratio are these?and whats the price?

  13. ahhh65riv

    ahhh65riv Well-Known Member


    These roller tip rockers seem like a nice addition to the limited list of performace adders for the Nailhead that are out there. Are you going to be the only distributor of these, or are these going to be available through TA Performance. It is my undertanding Mike at TA has been at the grass roots of this project all along. Are you manufacturing these yourself?

  14. telriv

    telriv Well-Known Member

    Eric & all, I started on this project in 11/99 while doing some normal maintenence on my friend's Skylark GS that he races. I won't get into the long, dragged out details. There is much on the internet about all of this when you do a search for my name (Tom Telesco or under NailHead) Another friend of mine said, "Why don't we just make Rocker Arms, how hard can it be"??? I had absolutely no idea of what or how to do it. At this time little did "WE" know. My friend "Bob" was the actual designer & builder of prototypes I had. This was designed on an AutoCad 2000 originally & built by my friend in his basement on his milling machine & lathe. My friend (Bob) was sick, but one of the things he wanted to finish before his passing was the design of these "Rocker Arms". Well on 3/15/01 he was wanted for his skills upstairs thinking he had completed this project. I know he's been looking over my shoulder & giving me guidance along the way. I had some made using the prints he had & the 1st. thing we noticed were some missing dimensions. We tried to figure them out & went ahead. Well, that didn't work. Now what started out as a "Hobby" started to become a business. I was told to contact someone else who seemed to be interested. I wasn't thinking I would be (my feeling) taken advantage of. So after a time that was stopped. I had originally talked to Mike at Bowling Green in 2000 about this. I don't know what happened exactly, originally, but I would assume there was some lack of communication between Mike & my friend with the GS. So fast forward a couple years after being taken advantage of by the 1st. guy. I talk to Mike again. After more than 2 1/2 years Mike & I were both getting very frustrated with his supplier, designer. At this time I took the ball back into my own hands again & rolled with it. I interviewed eight shops to look over what I had to give me estimates. Since the originals they have been redone probably 8-10 times. Every time a little change was made it effected so many other things. There were many times I almost gave up. Being thick headed & tenacious I endevored on. I needed to complete this for my "Friend" who made us start on all this. Also from all the preliminary testing, with the resulting positive results that were so promising, I couldn't give up. That would mean, to me, that I let alot of people down. Each time it kept costing more $$$$$$$. I picked one I had worked with in the past, but more importantly, TRUSTED!!!!!! Unlike the 1st. shop I delt with. All this time I was collecting deposits for what I believed 1/2 ($475.00) of what I thought the final cost was going to be, or $950.00, since 9/02. I needed to get at least a minimum of 50 sets made to get the best pricing I could. There are many reasons I went the way I did. One thing for sure in the last 6+ years I've learned ALOT about designing & manufacturing. I also learned ALOT about what's needed & what's a waste, especially with our "Beloved NailHeads". This has been a learning experience for me by many very reputable engine builders, tuners & dyno operators. Both chassis & engine. I won't go into the reasonings why as it's much more than I could type with one finger in 12 hours, trust me, as many of you all have done who have trusted me with their hard earned deposit dollars, some for more than 4 years. It has finally come to fruition. I am selling these for almost $250.00 less than I was quoted over 4 years ago. They are approximately 85 grams in weight. Stock aluminums are around 65 grams. Stock irons are around 110 grams. Adjustable "Exports" are heavier. I know I'm going out on a limb here & maybe stepping on my own toes, but I feel that TA will also come out with a high quality product that is derived from the original design my friend did only along a different line, more for racing. It's yet to be seen, but I'll go out on another limb & say that the "Rockers" that I'm selling will last & more than likely outperform the others, but that is yet to be seen. I will say that I know "My Rockers" work. Many other knowledgable, unrelated people, know they work. I have years of dyno testing, both chassis & engine dyno, as well as much R&D with my Riv. & other "NailHeads". Many people watched as we unbolted stock rockers & bolted on "My Rockers" & under the same conditions, within 2 hours the GS was over 2 tenths & almost 4MPH quicker, but now this was with no traction. My Rockers have been on my Riv. for over 100 passes down the 1/4 mile, 97 in '04 alone & a total of over 10K miles on just my car. This is not counting the number of times down the 1/4 or mileage in others cars or the number of engine dyno pulls on different engines. Almost all of the 1st. 50 sets are sold. Another 50 will be started when enough deposits are received for a 2nd. run at a larger cost because of the rising costs in metals & labor. There is a set on evilbay now going for more than i was originally selling them for. Tony can & has attested that they work on his worn out engine. They work on my 180K+ engine. They work in my all stock, 50K '61 LeSabre. I know they have worked on anything I have installed them on. Now it's time I got feed back from all who have bought a set. I want to know the results!!!!! & SHARE. I hope everyone had an Extremely MERRY CHRISTMAS & here's to an Extremely HEALTHY, HAPPY, PROSPEROUS & FASTER NAILHEAD NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!

    Tom Telesco
  15. telriv

    telriv Well-Known Member

    One thing I forgot to mention is I have contracted with a machining facility & are being done for me, & me alone. Many won't believe this, but there is & will never a break even point on this. There are sooooo many $$$$$$$ in this no matter what I charge for a set I will NEVER realize a profit. It was done for a love & a passion more than a money making endevor. Rare these days, huh????
  16. staged67gspwr

    staged67gspwr "The Black Widow"

    Whats the ratio on these rockers Tom?


    JEFF STRUBE Well-Known Member

    Lets see some detailed Photos of these Rockers
  18. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

    Took this Picture at Yardley's Shindig.

    JEFF STRUBE Well-Known Member

    Do they come with Roller Bearing and the Shafts? What is the Total Price

    GOSFAST Well-Known Member

    N.H. Roller Rockers

    I don't how many here are aware, but for many years now Crane has used this setup on all their Mopar B/RB units without the "needle" bearings. There's never been an issue with them running like that and Crane sold "tons" of them through the years. They were on many "dragstrip-only" units.

    I've spoken with Tom a few times recently and I personally I think he did a good thing here for a few reasons. Not so much the HP gain, this is a plus by itself, but the fact you can't find any decent rocker arms anymore, AND you have a way to adjust the valves. This becomes a "critical" issue when you want to use a specific cam/lifter combo. I recently worked with some aftermarket rockers, or some type of replacements, and was concerned about the weight of each piece by itself. We build units for a living over here and can tell you most times it seems it's the small(er) items, like rockers, that present the largest problems. This is true on many "limited" units, like the N.H., the early Olds, the early Caddy's, etc.

    I want to wish ALL here a very healthy and "Happy New Year"!
    Thanks, Gary in N.Y.

    P.S. If there wasn't some people here getting involved directly, eventually you are going to find all these units gradually dissappearing!

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