1.6:1 Aluminum Roller Rockers

Creative Engineering & Design

Creative Engineering & Design is a relative newcomer to the Triumph performance parts world.  Their current offerings include roller rocker conversions and billet aluminum valve covers for Triumphs.  The valve covers are designed for the Triumph TR250/TR5/TR6 series, while the roller rockers can be fitted to Triumph Spitfire/GT6/TR250/TR5/TR6/2000/2500 and any others that use these series of engines (MG Midget 1500 and TVR 2500, for example). Jim Swarthout, the owner of Creative, sent me a set of his 1.6:1 ratio roller rockers for my 1973 Triumph TR6 autocross/vintage racecar.  The following is my impressions and opinions regarding his product.

Initial Impressions:
The Creative roller rockers come well packed, with each rocker individually wrapped in cardboard. The rockers are very nicely made, with excellent machining of the aluminum rocker body, bronze bushings, steel rollers, and hardened steel roller pins. The kit also contains new rocker pedestal washers, rocker arm adjustment nuts, washers for the rocker arm adjustment nuts, a .010" valve adjustment shim, a laminated reference chart, and a full installation manual. The manual is extremely complete and guides you through the installation from start to finish. It has always been a "pet peeve" of mine that all too many times, I have purchased high-performance parts that came with no instructions, or incomplete ones. I was very happy to see Creative's complete instruction manual. I think that if a company is proud of their products, they would want customers to be successful with their products. Including a set of complete installation instructions helps insure that success. Creative's installation manual shows the pride in their products. Creative offers rockers in ratios of 1.5:1, 1.6:1, and 1.75:1. As we are running a hotter cam (.263" lift @ the cam), we chose the 1.6:1 rockers. These units should give a nice boost in lift (.420" vs .381") over the stock 1.45:1 rockers.

The Creative kit requires that the customer re-use the rocker adjustment screws, rocker shaft, spacers, springs, and pillars from the stock rocker assembly. Therefore, the first step is to remove the valve cover and the original rocker assembly. The installation manual guides the customer step-by-step through this. In our case, we had enough spare parts in our "parts bin" that we would not have to re-use any items. The Triumph rocker shaft is prone to wear and as Creative's manual states, it is preferable to use a new one if there is any wear present. Although our shaft was nearly new (less than 1K miles), we decided to leave it on our stock assembly and use a spare, new, parkerized shaft that we also had in our parts bin. Disassembly was uneventful in our case, with the only "surprises" being a stripped pedestal nut.

The first step is the examination of the rocker pillars to remove any burrs and excess flashing. It was during this phase that we encountered a small surprise. Looking through the assortment of pillars in our parts bin, we found that there are two different styles of end pillars. Both styles are stamped with the same Stanpart part numbers, but different vendor logos. One style has a rounded end support (the type shown in Creative's illustrations) and the other type has an end support that is round on the front but pointed on the back. If one had the second type of end pillar, they would possibly need to file material from the rear of the support to ensure that the rocker arm would have adequate clearance. Its not a big job to do this, but might be necessary. In our case, we had two of the round versions and only needed to remove minor flashing, per the instruction manual. After the pillar prep, the next step was to install the adjustment screws, washers, and nuts onto the roller rockers. Now we were ready to assemble the components onto the rocker shaft. The usual fitment is to use springs to locate the inner rocker arms. At this point, we deviated from the norm, and used a TriumphTune rocker shaft spacer kit (TT1218). These spacers are designed to be used with stock rocker arms, so we were prepared for problems. Happily, we only needed to chamfer the edges of the spacers (with a bench grinder) and lightly sand the spacers to allow them to be used with the roller rockers. As this is a non-standard installation, I will be providing Creative with a progress report after I accumulate some use with this setup. The components went together with no excitement, using plenty of engine assembly lube and the manual.

Again, following the instruction manual, installation of the rocker assembly went without problems. Although Creative thoughtfully includes a .010 shim to use for valve adjustment, our cam required different settings (.012 Intake / .014 Exhaust). Later next year, after we have run a few events, I'll provide an update to this page.

Hugh Barber
November, 2003

  • 1973 Triumph TR6 (2.5L I-6)
  • 10-1 CR
  • Elgin Camshaft ( 280 deg / .263 lift @ cam)
  • Creative Engineering & Design 1.6:1 Roller Rockers
  • TriumphTune Rocker Spacers
  • Intake: 3 x 40DCOE Weber
  • Exhaust: 6-1 header, 2.5" exhaust, Supertrapp
Creative's Roller Rocker Kit is Complete and Well-Packed

Valve Cover Removed: Stock Valvetrain Ready to be Removed

Rockers Ready to be Installed

The Two Different Types of End Pillars

Assembled Roller Rocker Assembly (top), Ready to Replace the Stock Rocker Assembly (bottom)

Roller Rocker Assembly Installed on Motor