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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I just figured that someone on here could quickly answer this for me. I was recommended the Crane 529541 camshaft for our 351c 4v project. What all is needed to do a roller conversion with that camshaft?

That said, just for research and comparison sake, what would be needed if doing a Comp cam conversion?

I have roller rockers that don't require guide plates. I'm just trying to make sure that if I go down this road that I've got all my bases covered.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You'll need link-bar roller lifters and new pushrods at a minimum.
From what I'm reading, comp sells lifters with a guide plate. Looks way cheaper. I'm just wanting to be sure it'd be good. From my quick search Crane linked lifters are about $800. I guess the Howard Cams ones are half that. Ironically I cannot find Comp Cam lifters by themselves on Summit, but in a package deal with a Comp cam, they are barely more than the Howard lifters by themselves. And the guide plate setup is only $50.
 

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- Since you have roller rockers, can I assume your Cleveland heads are modified with screw-in, adjustable rocker studs?

- The guide plates will require you to drill and tap holes in the lifter valley; not something you want to do with an assembled engine (if I'm understanding your use of "guide plates" correctly)

- Link bar lifters are more expensive, but the best choice for a roller cam retrofit

- The 351 Cleveland 4V is a VERY persnickety engine. Get the cam right and it's a fire-breathing street monster. Get the cam wrong and it's a disappointing dog. The guys on the 351 Cleveland forum have run pretty much every cam profile possible and a lot of them are most happy with a factory Boss 351 profile. Bullet Racing Cams can machine a hydraulic roller version for you which would be an outstanding choice for a street Cleveland. (Be aware many off-the-shelf cams have a profile designed for a Chevrolet 350 which does NOT work for a Cleveland.)

- I would strongly suggest you buy your cam and your lifters from the same vendor

- Consider your cam swap will also require new push rods and likely new valve springs as well

- Google "George Pence" and read his numerous articles on the 351 Cleveland. You will find it very enlightening

That's my take.
 

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You need a steel distributor gear as well.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Klutch- Yes on the rockers/studs.
George is actually the guy who recommended the above Crane cam to us.
We've got new springs, we will be upgrading the retainers and push rods.
Thanks for the reminder Nailbender. We will need the dizzy gear too.

Anyone have any thoughts on using the Howard lifters with the Crane cam? Our local machinist felt like it should be fine. We can get nice hydraulic link bar lifters for 400 vs 800 with the Crane ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
You need a steel distributor gear as well.
This got me thinking. We've got a Pertronix distributor. The cheaper Ignitor I. What type of gear comes on that?
EDIT- it sounds like it IS a hardened gear that is compatible with a hydraulic roller camshaft.
 

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The Crane cam George selected is on a 112* LSA which is OK for a fuel injected engine but will give lack luster performance with a carburetor. Cams for a carburetor equipped 3511V iron head favor a 106-108*lsa. Since the cam has a fair amount of lift , it should use a 3/8ths diameter pushrod. A 5/16ths .080 wall WILL flex and create the harmonics in the valve train that the Canted heads is infamous for. George writes informative articles but doesn't build engines.
 

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You need a camshaft (obviously) and roller lifters of some type.... either link bar or "dog bone" and, if needed, the "dog bone" retainer(s). You'll also need shorter (than stock) pushrods. A steel distributor drive gear MAY not be needed depending on the camshaft billet material used.... not everybody uses a steel billet. It sounds like you have pedestal roller rockers since you state they don't need guideplates. That makes sense since the Cleveland heads (except BOSS and, maybe CJ?) use the "sled" type rocker fulcrum. Just make sure you got 1.72 rockers and somebody didn't unload their 1.6's from a 5.0 on you (lol).
 

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Joe, do you already HAVE this cam, or are you still shopping ? and what kind of driving are you planning to do. I am going to agree with George. I have retired, but I worked at the engine shop, and I was frequently the guy who chose the cam. We built Clevelands, Ws, FEs, Chevies, Chrysler, AMC, everthing. The 106~108 LSA only works well for the drag race guys. If you have 7K plus rpm in mind, go ahead and go narrow. But if you are street driving, consider the cam George recommended, or even have that same cam ground on a 114 or 116 LSA. Reducing the overlap gives a better idle and driveability in street driving rpm ranges. When customers chose their own cam, we had them sign the build sheet, so when they're unhappy with the performance we can show them that WE didn't choose the cam, they made a choice against our advice. Like the 351C 4V, an AMC 304 is also sensitive to a too tight LSA. We had a customer who picked his own cam for an older Jeep CJ, he picked a cam with a 110 LSA. Idle was erratic, and low speed power was so bad it was hard to get the Jeep on and off from the trailer. I recommended and ordered a cam for him with the same duration that he already had ( 220s ) and advanced just the exhaust lobes so he had a 114 LSA. The new cam gave us an idle of 750, and no trouble driving on & off the trailer. The customer was very happy with what we chose. Sadly, most of the cams offered as shelf grinds are dreamt up with small valve Chevy 350s in mind, and this just doesn't work well for a 351C. There is also the problem of folks ( young guys ) wanting a raspy idle drag race cam, even though they're just driving to school and back. Lots of folks who don't build engines for a living have seemed to convince themselves that a choppy idle is a performance 'feature' or a needed sound. It isn't. It is interesting that lots of factory performance Ford cams from the 60s had a 114~116 LSA. Maybe the Ford engineers knew what they were doing in this case ? I would consider narrow lobe centers and lots of overlap a cheap trick by cam grinders to give small bump in power at the top of the curve, and at the expense of power everywhere else. Wider is better for most of us. Some of the cams we put in turbo 4s and 6s ( Subaru & VW ) had an LSA of 122.

I will tell you Randy is spot on with the pushrods, however. The pushrods in a 351C have to work harder with the angles, you'll be glad to get nicer ones. LSG
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm asking George about this cam, very similar specs. A bit more duration and lift. Same LSA-
Howards Cams
Cam Style:Hydraulic roller tappet
Basic Operating RPM Range:2,000-6,000
Intake Duration at 050 inch Lift:225
Exhaust Duration at 050 inch Lift:229
Duration at 050 inch Lift:225 int./229 exh.
Advertised Intake Duration:278
Advertised Exhaust Duration:282
Advertised Duration:278 int./282 exh.
Intake Valve Lift with Factory Rocker Arm Ratio:0.576 in.
Exhaust Valve Lift with Factory Rocker Arm Ratio:0.600 in.
Valve Lift with Factory Rocker Arm Ratio:0.576 int./0.600 exh.
Lobe Separation (degrees):112


Joe, do you already HAVE this cam, or are you still shopping ? and what kind of driving are you planning to do...
So, no cam yet. Wanted to be sure before I got it. I've noticed that George likes 114 LSA. And the car is meant for the street. Obviously everyone wants big power and fast, but I don't even know if it'll ever see the track. Maybe. I'm a busy guy, but I live in the country and it'd be fun to take on some country drives.

Long term goal is a 6 speed. Fun, good for cruising too.
 

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This got me thinking. We've got a Pertronix distributor. The cheaper Ignitor I. What type of gear comes on that?
EDIT- it sounds like it IS a hardened gear that is compatible with a hydraulic roller camshaft.
Unless you purchased that Pertronix distributor with a gear for a steel roller camshaft, assume it's not correct. You'll need either a steel or "melonized" gear.
 
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LSG,
The canted valve iron head responds very well to a tight lobe separation . Bottom end and mid range torque are both enhanced. The concept is not for drag racing only. Yes the overlap does increase idle roughness "some" in smaller duration cams and "more" in longer duration cams. "Normally" tighter LSAs lower the torque curve ( rpm wise) and wider LSAs raise the torque curve. On "other engines" a 106LSA "limits" the upper RPM potential but the canted valve head likes it .This "in my personal experience" has (and I'm sure you are aware) to do with the stock intake port being very "lazy" in terms of airflow. "A" way to help that is to use exhaust scavenging ( overlap) to create "pull" on the intake port at lower lift as there is very little piston motion to create that "pull". MANY engines do not need this as the ports are smaller and overlap hurts them. Short duration and very high lift also are very beneficial to the 351C4V intake port. In contrast a "somewhat" longer duration ( 8-10*s) and LOWER lift on the exhaust is what the engine likes. It is important to remember that Ford "production" performance cams HAD to be emissions friendly and wide LSAs certainly help that. Their over the counter "performance" cams (like the D1ZX cam) were on 106* LSA. I have modified Clevelands since they first came out 50 years ago. I have also had the good fortune to work with some of the premier racers that used them from Nascar to NHRA. In 1982 I had the world's fastest ( non supercharged) Cleveland powered drag car , powered by an all aluminum 429ci bullet I bought from Dyno Don ( rip) in 1978.
I post based on what I have actually done ( like you do as well) not by what I read in a book , like others.
Respectfully,
Randy
 
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Discussion Starter #17
So, we're looking at the Howard cam now. There are a lot of really smart guys out there giving advice. My machinist doesn't want to do some of the mods that George has suggested. I'm torn. Everyone is an expert!

That said, I do sincerely appreciate all of you who have chimed in. Like all things, it's nice to hear a balance of opinions.
 

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What mods is George suggesting? Oil gallery restrictors , special auxliary feed lines , lifter bushings , Hi volume pump? Port stuffers ? Remember George doesn't BUILD engines himself. You can respond to me in a PM if you like.
Randy
 

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What mods is George suggesting? Oil gallery restrictors , special auxliary feed lines , lifter bushings , Hi volume pump? Port stuffers ? Remember George doesn't BUILD engines himself. You can respond to me in a PM if you like.
Randy

George is anti-port stuffer and preaches lifter bushings.
 

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Joe, what is it that George is suggesting that your guy doesn't want to do ? Fords are different than Chevy. It may be that George is recommending things your guy hasn't even heard of yet. And I'd stick with the Crane, and I'm sticking with my recommendation to have it ground 114~116 LSA. And run a Blue Thunder dual dual plane. You said street driving always and some highway cruising.....

Randy, the scavenging thing. Yeah, I get it. But most of the builds we did were for street driven cars. Cars that already had auto trans, or a dual plane, or highway gears, or, most commonly, not enough exhaust. Frequently ALL of those. If I'm contemplating scavenging, I'm thinking single plane, deep gears, merge collectors, stepped primaries and all that. Even then, you get a powerband with a 5~600 rpm sweet spot. Yes, that spot has an incredible punch, but it is usually too high of an rpm for what most street driving guys do. And we have found that the truck/ marine / blower / turbo / nitrous guys ALL do well with wider grinds. And the carb guys can always do well with a wider grind, but the FI engines don't like the narrower grind that many carb engines have. So, unless it really is a race only deal, we have allways had better driveability with wide. And for me, the broader, flatter, torque curve wins over the narrow spike that scavenging gives.

LSG
 
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