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Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting down the homestretch on finishing my 351W (408) stroker and I'm trying to decide between a solid or roller cam. The motor will be running 11 to 1 CR, Trick Flow Track Heat Aluminum heads, Crane Gold roller rockers, and some other goodies that will allow the motor to spin up to 7k. The motor is going into a weekend warrior and will see some track (road racing) time. My last motor was a solid lifter motor so I know what it is like to adjust the valves (I call it the "labor of love"). I'd like to hear some opinions as to what I should put in the motor and what hp difference that I might gain if I went with a roller cam.
 

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Why not use both.

Seems like the mags use mechanical roller cams when they really want to make power. Course with a 408, your biggest problem might be not popping the doors open every time you jump on the gas.

Sounds like fun no matter what you decide.

Phil
 

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I also like the idea of doing both (a mechanical roller cam). If your going to spin it to 7K you'll need some really healthy valvesprings to keep those lifters in touch with the steep ramp on that roller cam. This will increase significantly the load on your rocker arms. I had a friend break a Crane aluminum "Gold" rocker at the track recently.

Have you considered some bulletproof Crower stainless steel roller rockers?
 

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well, first off, lets keep apples with apples and oranges with oranges...

if you are talking about a solid FLAT TAPPET cam, then you already know the pros and cons. On the other hand, a solid ROLLER cam is quite a different animal. The longevity on solid roller lifters is very limited, probably less than 500 street driven miles, so the practicality of a solid roller cam is extremely limited. A hydraulic roller cam, on the other hand, is the hot ticket these days. ANYTHING that reduces friction in a combustion engine will aid in producing additional horsepower. Roller and flat tappet profiles are quite a bit different which allows you to "get away with" a more lift and duration on a hydraulic roller cam. Pick a copy or two of the Muscle Mustangs and Fast Fords that deals primarily with late model roller motors to get a feel for what is working, both on the street and at the track....

http://www.bossman-motorsports.com/lightning.jpg

523 hp 351W (Lightning short block, TFS stage III ported heads, TFS roller cam valvetrain)
randy
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Regarding the "Golden" rockers, that is great news /forums/images/icons/frown.gif

I was told that those rockers were some of the best in the market so that is why I bought those. Murphy's law is alive and well!

Has anyone priced the mechanical roller set-up lately???

Hey Roadracer, Nice description on the Webers. My wive would cut me like a paper shredder at Emron if I THOUGHT about getting something like that. The Speed Demon DP will have to do for now.

Has anyone priced the mechanical roller set-up lately???
 

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Go with the solid lifter flat tappet. That is what I put in the 427. The main problem with a roller is the high spring pressure.When you raise the spring pressure you have to start looking at better valves. I have already snapped the cheaper ones with a roller.What ever you pick make sure your parts match to stay out of problems. Good Luck


69 Mach 1 427 Windsor
 

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My F303 hydraulic roller will spin to 7k. I've got stock Ford roller lifters and TFS Billet rocker arms. Make sure you get the right length pushrods. When my machinist blueprinted my top end the pushrods ended up at 6.600", but that could vary with different rockers, lift, etc..
 

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I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to this, so please explain to me my situation:

I've been running my Solid Roller for about 3k street miles now. It's still fine...

BUILD SHEET:
Engine Type: 351 Windsor
Bore: 4.030"
Stroke: 3.500"
2 bolt Main Block
Connecting Rods: 5140 Forged Steel
Rod Bolts: 3/8" ARP wave locs (sp?)
Rod Bearings: Clevite77 (sp/)
Rod Journal Size: .010" under
Rod Journal Clearance: .0015"
Rod Side Clearance: .014"-.016"
Crankshaft: Factory
Crank Journal Size: .010" under
Crank Journal clearance: .0025"
Crankshaft run-out: .000"
Crank End-Play: .004"
POLISHED
Bore taper: .000"
Deck Surfaced: YES
Main bolts: ARP Studs
HONED
Pistons: forged Je/SRP 149606
Floating
Rings: Powerflex PlasmaMoly
Gap: .021"
Piston Skirt Clearance: .003"
Static Compression: 10.2:1
60cc Chambers
Oil Pump: Melling H-V
Oil Pump Shaft: H-D Steel
Timing Assembly: Cloyes Double
Cam Bearings: Dura Bond
Freeze Plugs: Brass
Cam: Comp Roller #432-8 ROLLER SOLID
Hydraulic Lifters: Comp 838-16
Valve Lash-Intake: .016"
Exhaust: .016"
Intake Lift: .609
Exhaust Lift: .616
Advertised Duration-Int: 279
Advertised Duration-Exh: 285
Duration @ .050-Int: 242
Duration @ .050-Exh: 248
Lobe Seperation Angle: 110
Intake Center Line: 106
Overlap: 25 @ .050" Lift
Cam Installed @ 106
Heads: Edelbrock Victor Jr.
Cumbustion Chamber Size: 60cc
Closed Chambers
Surfaced
Intake Valves:
2.02"
Exhaust Valves:
1.60"
Hard Seats: YES
Valve Guides: Bronze
Springs: Edelbrock
Double
Diameter: 1.455"
Installed Height: 1.800
Piston to Valve Clearance-Int: .160"
Piston to Valve Clearance-Exh:
Retainers: Steel Alloy
Locks: Alloy Steel
Seals: P-C Teflon
Rocker Arms: Harland Shorr
Rocker Arm Ratio: 1.6
Push Rods: Chrome Moly
Rocker Studs: 7/16"
Screw-In
Guide Plates: YES
Head Gaskets: SCE
Thickness: .060"
Head Bolts: ARP
Porting: Intake Ported to 1206
Time @ 34 Total Advance
 

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What is your source of info on the 500 mile street life of a solid roller lifter? I've never ever read anything like that in any of the magazines. I've read about hydrolic roller lifters being good up to about 8,000 rpm and then having failures leading to valve float. I've read that 10,000 rpm track engines use solid roller lifters. The only negative I've read about the solid, roller lifters is the necessity to adjust the valves periodically. I'm not saying you are wrong, but I, and I suppose most others, am only as good as the input I receive. Hence, my query regarding your information source on this point. I ask cause I am building a 9,000 rpm motor and had planned to go with the solid roller cam. Thanks
 

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Hmmm, from what I know that is sorta' right. In other words yes and no........... *G*.

The logevity of a solid roller cam is dependant on the ramp profile on the cam lobe and the springs it's pushing. The 500 mile thing comes from NASCAR racers that use the solid rollers for one race only - no more then 500 miles. Man, the profiles those guys are running would be a nightmare on a street engine and yes, I would expect failure shortly after 1000 miles with that much ramp rate and those huge valve spring pressures.

On the other hand, with a reasonable lobe profile, like anything that is truely a street cam, a solid roller lifter and cam can/will last for the life of the rest of the engine. It will sure make a lot more torque under the curve.

I would go with the Crower CRO-66215.
 

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Hey, Don't worry about your rocker arms. I'm not saying the ones you have are bad. I just didn't realize you had purchased them already and was asking if you had considered the ones I mentioned. Many, many people are happy running the ones you have.
 

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Don't sweat the longevity issue - The real concern is price - you can do a flat tappet street cam & kit for WAY less than a roller anything, hydraulic or mechanical. The cam and lifters for Lolita's mechanical roller pushed $650 all by themselves. Still interested ? Lots of good reasons to go roller, but price is definitely up there.
 

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I've got a solid roller in the Fastback (342"). It now has about 500 mi on the engine so I'm going out and check the valve lash after reading some of the previous posts! My highest concern was being informed by numerous sources that a solid roller cam MUST run a bronze distributor gear while a hydraulic roller can use a steel gear. I suppose I'll find out how long the bronze gear lasts on the street since I'll check that around 1000 mi.
 

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I may have "overstated" the longevity issues with the solid roller cam lifters. There is no question that solid roller lifters DO have reduced life, depending on driving/racing conditions they are subjected too. As Hal (Whisperer) pointed out, this is primarly associated with the racecar guys that run ungodly grinds and spring pressures. I guess my REAL point I was trying to make is to opt for a hydraulic roller cam setup. With the roller cam easily capable of revs to 7k (and some a bit beyond), I think it is the best option for a primarily STREET driven car. Engine builders who go with the solid roller grinds are usually looking at something fairly wild with steep ramps and high spring pressures, normally not condusive to street motors. In the final analysis, the "true" experts are the tech guys at the respective cam manufacturers (ie Comp Cams, Crane, Isky, etc) to get the BEST option for your given APPLICATION. My Boss 302, for example, has a fairly steep solid lifter cam in it, but then again, that is what they came with originally. Installation of a hydraulic flat tappet cam sure would make life easier with the Boss!! The solid cams, flat tappet or roller, require a higher level of maintenance than their hydraulic brothers. My opinion has always been to be honest with yourself on the true APPLICATION of a given powerplant you are building. Too many times, an engine is "overbuilt" and the builder/driver is disappointed with its day-to-day street driven characteristics.

As far as cost goes - well that goes along with everything else going into the engine. How much power do you want and how much are you willing to spend to achieve those numbers? There is no question that the hydraulic roller setup is the hot ticket in today's world of stroked small blocks with high flowing aluminum heads. Of course, all this costs money, and the costs can quickly climb when we are choosing the "best" pieces for our dream powerplant....

randy
 

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well stated. Thanks for the clarification. I agree with your recommendation of a hydrolic roller cam for most applications. Street and autocross cars are rarely going to get into the high rpm range where valve float would be a problem. While a solid lifter can eliminate valve float, all other things being equal, as you say there is a trade-off for that. Thanks for the clarification.
 
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