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5.0 Roller Lifters in a 289?

1464 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  bosscars
I have been slowly rounding up parts for the 64.5 project and one retrofit I want to do is a roller lifter conversion. Sure they sell after market lifters with the link bars but what about using the spider, anti rotation bars and rollers from a 5.0? You must drill 2 holes in the lifter valley and tap then for 1/4x20 but what about the cam? Does anyone know about the use of the reduced base circle cams? Are they needed for this conversion? Thanks in advance, John

It would be a shame to have passed the test but to have missed the lesson.
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I heard the reduced base circle cam was nessasary, not enough material around the tops of the lifter bores
with the 289 to support the lifters. I have no first hand experience with this though.

1966 Mustang Coupe, 302 custom roller cam, holley 650dp,
Another option is to buy a 5.0L late model block like the ones that Summit sells...I believe they are designed with roller cams in mind...

Other than dealing with the one-piece rear seal and lack of equalizer stud boss hole (IIRC), they're essentially the same as the vintage blocks...

Price is right too...

I think Crane Cams still offers a retrofit roller conversion kit for the earlier 289 & 302 blocks. If I remember correctly the kit comes with the cam,lifters,lock bars,retainer plate(spider plate),pushrods and the two risers for the retainer plate. I hope this helps you out. Scott

Every day is a holiday if you love your job.

Current projects: 65 Fastback, 68 Coupe Oval Track Racer, 64 Galaxie 500 XL, 54 F-100 Pickup
Thanks for the input guys, maybe I should just buy a 351W block and get it over with! John

It would be a shame to have passed the test but to have missed the lesson.
I seem to remember something about the 289/302 lifter bores being too short for stock 5.0L roller lifters. I think the oil hole/groove would be exposed causing erratic loss of oil pressure.

Maybe the reduced base circle cam compensates for this?

I'd go with a crate 351W personally...

1967 Acapulco Blue coupe
302 4V, C4, 9" 3.25:1
Torq-Thrust "D" 225-60-14
1968 PDB, Corbeau
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you kinda hit the nail on the head. my 65 X-tremestang has a crate short block 1995 351 Lightning motor, already configured for a roller cam (even though it came with a mild hydraulic in the crate). I am using the stock 5.0 roller lifters, motorsport spider and lifter retainers and opted for the TFS roller cam as I am using TFS Twisted Wedge heads (home ported and polished). With this setup, Mark Jeffrey at Coast High Performance is projecting 450-500 flywheel horsepower, all motor. If you don't go with the 351, i agree with Pat (camachinist) and get a late model roller block rather than try to "retrofit" an earlier block.

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