Ireland Engineering HD Rocker Arms, yes or no?



Its that time again, broken rocker arm and head refresh. Has anyone actually used these IE HD rocker arms?

I have one report from a fellow racer where he said he had “pad” issues and also another comment on this forum saying that metric mechanic also claimed they caused premature cam shaft wear.

I am tempted to stick with OEM as I do not want to be a beta test for the IE arms.

The stock one (Febi) that just broke was new when I last redid the head, but this was many years ago and many race miles ago.

I have also heard similar complaints about the Billet rocker arms sold by VAC at $100 a pop.




The billet rockers aren’t legal.

OEM rockers that have been polished aren’t a bad idea.

IE HD rockers may only be bad for high power engines that have stronger springs and/or higher lift cams. Time will tell. Anyone heard reports of oem cams getting worn?

The “worn pad” report might be Eric Nissan. That was a long time ago. I talked to Ireland about when I was writing the rockers rule change and they said it was a bad batch. Maybe so, maybe not.

No perfect answer.


IE HD rockers may only be bad for high power engines that have stronger springs and/or higher lift cams

This is my e30 (its not a SE30)

This is the type of motor that would really benefit by stronger arms.

Are you saying this because a higher lift cam and more HP will cause higher pressure contact between pad and cam lobe?

The best answer may be to avoid these and go with OEM which lasted a number of years on my car



In 10+ years I’ve never broken a stock rocker arm. I do, however, remove all the flashing and polish the tops to remove stress risers. I did switch to IE heavy duty ones and had no cam wear or breakage problems. I would definitely recommend them it you have a habit of exceeding 7k.


I don’t read anything in the rules that allows the OEM rockers to be polished or have the flashing removed. Am I missing it?


Folks have been polishing their rockers for a long time. Afaik, neither blindness nor other complaints have resulted.


Seems that blueprinting is allowed. You know damn well that BMW, when the rockers were designed, were smooth with no flashing.


IE HD rockers may only be bad for high power engines that have stronger springs and/or higher lift cams. Time will >tell. Anyone heard reports of oem cams getting worn?

Ranger, I don’t understand this part of you post. This sounds like the type of motor where you would want the HD rockers.Is this a typo?



Folks have been polishing their rockers for a long time. Afaik, neither blindness nor other complaints have resulted.[/quote]

Just because no one has complained doesn’t mean the rules say that you can. I am not saying there is anything wrong with doing this, just pointing out that the rules don’t allow it when I read them. I paid the big bucks for all new OEM BMW rockers in my motor build, and I haven’t had any rocker failures on any of my OEM BMW rockers. Here are the rules I would expect someone to quote in a protest:

[quote] No engine component may be modified in any manner not specifically permitted
or authorized by the Factory Service Manual, the Bentley E30 Manual, or Factory
Technical Bulletins. Overhaul procedures which in any way may increase performance beyond factory
specifications that are not specifically authorized by these regulations are
prohibited, (e.g. porting/polishing, etc). Only OEM cast rocker arms, exact cast copies, or heavy duty cast rocker arms
(Ireland Engineering part # M20rarmHD) are allowed.[/quote]

If there is belief that there is no performance advantage and only a reliability advantage in polishing the OEM cast rockers, then I would ask that rule and be modified.


I received these. I probably will need to return these as the machine work on these looks very sloppy and suspect.
The casting on almost all of these is unevenly blobbed up so close to the pad its almost touching the pad surface that rubs on the cam.
The pads also look like they are not fused to the arms very well. Its also hard to believe from the looks of these that they are actually shot peened as advertised.

Has anyone else seen this or even used these after looking at them?



I’d give them a call and then send the questionable ones back. Note that an IE HD rocker lost it’s pad at CMP a couple months ago. I think it was AR. There’s plenty of us using their rockers w/o incident, but that doesn’t mean that bad ones get thru QA. IE needs to be aware so they can tighten the screws on their supplier.



I am replying to my own post from Aug 2014. Despite how crappy these Ireland Engineering HD rockers looked, i stupidly went ahead and used them. I had the head assembled by a reputable machine/engine building shop.
On my first (or possibly my second) outing with these rockers installed the pads came loose on at least 3 of these arms. When I say loose I mean you could wiggle them with your fingers and see them move. Needless to say this destroyed a brand new Schrick cam (my car is not a SE30) and caused me to have to pull the head, buy a new cam and OEM rockers and more machine shop time. I contacted Jeff Ireland multiple times and he never responded (pretty standard for him). One of IE’s sales agents eventually refunded the cost of the Rocker arms, but this only covered a fraction of the time and expense that went in to recovering from this incident. I have a video of the post mortem of these IE rockers, that I can share. At any rate I would not walk, but I would run away from these IE rocker arms. From my experience (and your mileage may vary) allot of IE’s stuff is crap and he is arrogant and non-helpful when you have issues.

Don Stevenson
1988 E30 325IS (SCCA/EP)


ive had good luck with the MM shot peened and inspected rockers on cams that lift ~12 mm, with much stiffer valve springs and turning upto 7000 rpm. your mileage might vary…

touch wood


Don, I knew they had some early problems, but I thought they got those problems resolved a long time ago. I’m sorry this happened to you. I’m not sure how I missed your post. Had I spotted it, I’d have been happy to contact IE on your behalf. I’ve done this with IE 2x now so it wouldn’t be breaking new ground. I’ve been using a set for, I dunno, 5yrs now or so.