The LS engine has been around for over 20 years now, and one thing that makes this engine such a popular choice with enthusiasts is its durability of the engine. It’s not uncommon to see these engines in stock form go well north of 200,000 miles on the odometer with regular maintenance before needing a rebuild. However, this can be a sticky situation if you’re pushing parts at stress levels that they were not designed to handle. It’s even worse if you are asking fatigued, worn out components to perform under these types of extreme conditions.
One part on the LS series engine that is ill-famed for this type of problem is the rocker arm assembly. Overall the rockers are a fantastic design in their stock configuration, meaning on a stock engine these units are flawless. The problem is when they become worn the part has a problem with parts failure. It’s not the rocker arm itself that’s the problem, but the bearings in the rocker.
Comp Cams has a new addition to its lineup to combat the fatigued LS rocker arms-the Max-Lift BSR Shaft Rocker System is a bolt-in bushed shaft rocker system. Unlike the standard turnion kits that replace the factory needle bearings with captured needle bearings, the Max-Lift BSR Shaft Rocker System takes it up a couple of notches.
The BSR system can be beneficial at all performance levels. – Chris Potter
General Motors decided it was a good idea to use needle bearings in the rocker arms. In their defense, the needle bearing works well in the stock environment, which is probably why it went with them in the first place. It’s when you start adding a large camshaft, and stiffer springs on an old set of rockers is a good formula for catastrophic failure. The problem is that when the needle bearings decide to leave the party per se, they fill the engine with a bunch of little metal pieces. As you can imagine, this can be a real problem when you disassemble the engine and try to find all of these small pieces of destruction.
We talked to Chris Potter, Mechanical Group Manager of COMP Cams, who had the following to say: “The BSR system can be beneficial at all performance levels. The increased system stiffness will help get the most of your rocker arm and camshaft while the superior durability of the bushings will ensure a long life of the product.”
Chris continues, “We designed the BSR system to provide the best valvetrain stability and durability within a reasonably priced package. The BSR system increases the stiffness of the valvetrain package by tying all the rockers together, helping to eliminate the flexing of individual rockers. This is especially beneficial on the LS3 and LS7 offset rocker arms. It allows us to maintain the proper contact geometry between the rocker pad and the valve tip, especially at higher spring loads and lifts. The use of a tri-layer bushing also increases the system stiffness while eliminating moving parts by removing needle bearings from the rocker arms.”
The BSR allows us to safely run .675-inches of lift on the LS1 & LS3. – Chris Potter
We were curious if there are limitations on Max-Lift BSR system in regards to cam size. Chris said, “The size of the camshaft is really irrelevant. The current BSR is lift limited due only to contact patch of the GM rocker arm geometry. The BSR allows us to safely run .675-inches of lift on the LS1 and LS3. We’ve run .700-inches of lift on the LS7 with the stock lash cap repeatedly without fear of tearing up the valve tip or rocker pad.” Chris added, “Generally, we don’t recommend over 550-pounds open load on the stock-style rocker arm. As you’ll hopefully see in the future, the shaft will take more than that, but the rocker is currently the limiting component.
Another remarkable feature of the Max-Lift BSR system becomes apparent when you get ready to install the system on your LS. The only thing that you must do is remove your old rockers. After this task is complete the majority of the work is already done. You will remove the rocker stands, and the shaft system will bolt right into place. You can see how simple this task is in the video when we bolt the system on Project Beer Money.
This simple bolt-on solution will not only increase the durability over the factory rocker arms, it will also help get the most of your rocker arm and camshaft combination. For more information on this product and others, be sure and check out compcams.com