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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm in the process of restoring my original 289 in my 66. Thinking seriously about converting to a roller cam. Has anyone done this conversion? If so what kit did you use? I am looking at the kit from summit K31-422-8. Any suggestions?
I'm running with a 4 speed top loader and a 8" 3.00 in the rear.
At 80 years young I am not to interested in anything radical. Just cruise in and a little stop light launch once in a while.

Thanks, yarb
 

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Not sure what that kid includes. On summit it said you still had to buy the spider tray kit. But I used this:


And then you can pick any cam you want, will not have to be a small base circle cam, can just be any Roller cam. Depending on your heads you will also need stiffer valve springs as the rollers are heavier then flat tappet lifters. If you are sticking with stock heads I would not go Roller, i would just stay with flat tappet cam IMHO.
 
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And then you can pick any cam you want, will not have to be a small base circle cam, can just be any Roller cam. Depending on your heads you will also need stiffer valve springs as the rollers are heavier then flat tappet lifters. If you are sticking with stock heads I would not go Roller, i would just stay with flat tappet cam IMHO.
Double check this or I'd like to be corrected. I understand that you need the small base circle cams because of the short lifter bore of the old engines, a regular roller cam would push the lifters too far up and out.

The kit the OP lists makes it appear more reasonable with all the included extra parts otherwise a retro fit cam alone is 2-3X more than a flat hyd cam. $4-500 for link bar lifters need to be compared to what a machine shop would charge to drill and tap for the spider hold down, I suspect it would be less $$ but in the end might not really matter.

P.S. Comp and Summit aren't the only games in town and I'd rather have a split pattern cam:)
 

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This is true you need a small base circle cam if you use stock roller lifters and the spider hold down since the lifter bore is not as long in the 289 over the roller 302. But with the link bar lifters you don't worry about that since its tied together and can use a normal roller cam not small base circle cam. The kit mentioned seems it gives you the 270HR which appears to be a small base circle cam. But it does not seem to indicate if its regular roller lifters or link bar lifters or everything included, I would probably call Comp and find out all the components provided. Standard roller lifters or link bar lifters, spider hold down included, small base circle cam, etc.. ?
 
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Like @my289 said if you use the link bar lifters you can use any cam. I went that route and am using a trick flow stage 1 with no issues. You can find used roller cams in very good shape for cheap. The biggest cost is the lifters. However you avoid the small base circle can which itself comes with issues.
 

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All you need is a link bar lifters.

These are identical to Lunati and TrickFlow:

If you plan to go over 6500 RPM:

TFS Stage 1 cam all the way!
 

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Happily I'll stand corrected about the link bar lifters. :love: Almost happy enough to reconsider using a crazy hyd flat tappet cam and Rhoads lifters.

So the question becomes how much is it worth to not sweat cam break-in or obsess over oil choice again with the side benefit of a bump in efficiency and more aggressive cam ramps. That sound about right?
 

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All you need is a link bar lifters.

These are identical to Lunati and TrickFlow:

If you plan to go over 6500 RPM:

TFS Stage 1 cam all the way!
I can't remember what engine combo you are running. How do you like the TFS cam?
 

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I am not using the TFS cam.

I am using an Anderson B-41 cam, which is similar to the TFS Stage II Cam. I am using stock style Elgin lifters and the dog bones and spider tray in a roller block.
 
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Personally I'd stick to a flat tappet. For a mild cam there's little to nothing to gain by going roller. If fact in some cases the flat tappet has the advantage.

I'd give Howard's Cams a call. You'll get FREE expert advice. Howard's also grinds their Ford cam lobes for Ford tappets. A lot of times cam companies use a universal lobe profile designed for a Chevy since they're very common. GM used a smaller tappet diameter then Ford which limits the lobe profile.
 

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Personally I'd avoid having to use magical mystery oils and still only have a 50/50 chance of the cheap Chinese cam billet not wiping a lobe and ruining your whole engine in the first 30 minutes. You can't pay for that type of insurance and peace of mind. Oh wait, yes you can.
 

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You can't pay for that type of insurance and peace of mind. Oh wait, yes you can.
Yes, you can send it to the CamKing and have them break-in the cam and lifters in a controlled and gradual manner. Cost is $60 :sneaky:
 

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I used a kit for my 351/Stroker engine build. Pick the one that will give you a nice idle. You can call the techline and ask for a choice.
When I'm 80, I too hope I'll still be wrenching. Good Luck.
 
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There’s nothing wrong with either option, and it comes down to what you’re trying to accomplish and how much you want to spend. I did the small base circle cam on the motor I built for my white car that wound up in the ZX351 Focus and it worked great. You have to use the retrofit lifters with the small base circle cam, rather than the stock lifters because the oiling hole is in a different spot.

The link bars give you more options, and they’re easier because they just drop in, vs having to have the valley of the block machined for the spider. On a short deck, they require you to remove the heads to install them.

what is the motivation to wanting to switch to roller? It does take some stress away in regards to wiping a lobe, and you can run a more aggressive profile, but it sounds like that’s not what you’re looking for. You won’t see any real noticeable performance gains just by switching to a roller vs flat tappet, unless you’re taking advantage of a more aggressive profile.
 

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I don't bother about roller cams and have no interest in retrofitting one myself. If the engine I have is built for a roller cam, that's what I use. If an old flat tappet cam, I stick with that. There are ever so many flat tappet cams to choose from and they can be had so much cheaper. A downside is trying a used one, even with new lifters it is a real gamble on whether it will wipe lobes and destroy itself. If a used roller cam has good looking looking lobes and all, odds are excellent it can be reused just fine.

All that said, I've been keeping an eye out for a good used (and cheap) Ford roller "B" cam for like two years now with no luck.

And if your reason for wanting a roller cam is just because you want one....then, by all means! :giggle:
 

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I don't bother about roller cams and have no interest in retrofitting one myself. If the engine I have is built for a roller cam, that's what I use. If an old flat tappet cam, I stick with that. There are ever so many flat tappet cams to choose from and they can be had so much cheaper. A downside is trying a used one, even with new lifters it is a real gamble on whether it will wipe lobes and destroy itself. If a used roller cam has good looking looking lobes and all, odds are excellent it can be reused just fine.

All that said, I've been keeping an eye out for a good used (and cheap) Ford roller "B" cam for like two years now with no luck.

And if your reason for wanting a roller cam is just because you want one....then, by all means! :giggle:
Here you go a B303 in Houston.
763657
763658
 

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That cam has a lot of lift for a stock 289 head at .533". You're going to have issues with the press in studs for certain. I'd keep the lift under .500" if you aren't machining the heads to accomodate.
 
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