is a roller cam worth the extra cost vs a flat tappet design

Discussion in 'Cams, Heads and Valve Trains' started by grumpyvette, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. Strictly Attitude

    Strictly Attitude solid fixture here in the forum

    The issues seem to hit BBC harder then SBC as far as lifters holding up on the street I just started a little questionnaire on another forum to get some better answers. This was my exact post you guys can feel free to do the same in any other posts to add to the information database. I found allot different info on the subject and allot got confusing due to lack of complete info. I also found a good video I am gonna pm to grumpy if he likes it I am sure it will make it's home in thread it belongs in.

    Yes I have read numerous threads on here and all over the net on this subject so lets put down the facts here this thread will help others so lets just keep this on roller solid camshafts not hydraulic rollers, flat tappet hydraulics or solid flat tappet lifters please. I am gonna make a list of questions please answer to best of your knowledge. On all the discussions there are so many variables and inconsistent results because the answer to these questions are not stated. This should help show some patterns.
    1. What engine are you running a roller solid in? Big Block, Small Block, Generation such as LT1 or LS and it's cubic inch diameter
    2. What is the general purpose of your car? Is it a street car, daily driver, street track, street race, show car, etc
    3. How many miles do you drive a year?
    4. How many miles on your current set of lifters?
    5. What maintenance and/or modifications do you do to keep them alive? like a rev kit, grooved lifter bores, pre oiler, shaft rockers, rocker stud gurdle, replace or rebuild twice a year that kind of info
    6. Have you had a failure and at how many runs and/or miles?
    7. What are your valve spring specs?
    8. How much lift?
    9. Any other info you want to share?
  2. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey Staff Member

    that should prove rather interesting IF you get VALID data from dozens of VALID sources,
    the only issue is that your sure to get at least a few totally bogus $%^& responses, that need to be screened out
  3. Strictly Attitude

    Strictly Attitude solid fixture here in the forum

    I have a few so far along with other posts I have read in my searching on the subject. I do believe I am getting close to making an educated decision.
  4. Strictly Attitude

    Strictly Attitude solid fixture here in the forum

    I am modifying my heads grumpy for larger springs to fit a mild solid roller I have sourced new springs, retainers and locks. I will also need new seats and cup correct? I am ready for the pile of links.

    Thanks in advance!
  5. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey Staff Member

    yeah, I can supply a few tips ,and bits of info for anyone willing to jump down the rabbit hole, when your looking to machine cylinder heads for different valve springs, keep in mind your machinist needs to be careful as enlarging or deepening the valve seat depth and diameter, if done too much weakens the heads and installing stronger valve spring load rates adds considerable stress, so its possible to run into problems rather easily , if machine work is too extensive, ID suggest calling the cylinder head manufacturer for info on that! along with having a discussion with your machine shop.
    reading through all the links and sub-links,
    will save you from making some costly mistakes

    manufacturers can supply info , similar too but not limited too info ,like this
    that DIFFERS with each head don,t blindly start machining heads for larger springs with higher load rates , ask and get the CORRECT answers first!
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
  6. Strictly Attitude

    Strictly Attitude solid fixture here in the forum

    Thank you do you prefer the cup or the inner style grumpy?
  7. Strictly Attitude

    Strictly Attitude solid fixture here in the forum

    My spring specs are as follows AFR has some on there site and PAC has whole bunch I can machine as wide as 1.75 according to arp the current is 1.460

    Spring Style: Dual Spring with Damper

    Outside Diameter: 1.550"

    Inside Diameter: .750"

    Seat Pressure: 215 Lbs @ 2.00"

    Open Pressure: 550 Lbs @1.255"

    Coil Bind: 1.195

    Max lift: .750"
  8. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey Staff Member

    ID prefer to use the hardened steel, cup style, valve spring seats, rather than the inner spring diam. style spring seats, if I have the room with the proper machine work of course.
    but those are mostly used with single springs , the inner spring diam. seats
    are frequently used with dual valve springs and a damper,
    so you will be using the matched components depending on existing clearances,
    the links posted earlier in the thread contain many sub linked sources,
    for components, shims valve springs etc. and useful related info.


    [​IMG]'Valve Springs By Usage'-0.aspx
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017
  9. Strictly Attitude

    Strictly Attitude solid fixture here in the forum

    I have cancelled the order those spring will not work with my valves and you cannot machine afr 195 valve pockets any deeper the coil bind would be at very little lift. 1.750 is what I have found info on and the bind on those springs is 1.195 1.750-1.195-.060=.495 adding lash is still no good think I might have out grown my heads.
  10. Loves302Chevy

    Loves302Chevy "One test is worth a thousand expert opinions."

    Cups require larger diameter spring pockets.
    Use longer valves to increase your installed height.
    Or "+" locks and/or "+" retainers.
    Try not to machine the spring pockets in the heads if you can avoid it.
    And don't forget about your retainer to seal clearance.

    What seat and open pressures does your camshaft require?
    The closer you can get to an ideal spring choice makes the entire setup process much easier.
    Some places (like Alex's Parts Sales) will sell you 1 piece of the parts you are considering so that you can try it before you buy a whole set.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
  11. Strictly Attitude

    Strictly Attitude solid fixture here in the forum

    Selling heads buying a set better fit to my needs come with factory roller spring setup I loved my heads on a 355 but not reeallly ideal for what I want to do with the 383
  12. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey Staff Member

    again, a day or so spent in research, reading and comparing previous engine builds and dyno results, could save you a great deal of wasted time and effort, and obviously you'll want to do rather extensive research before spending $1300-$2800 on a decent set of SBC cylinders heads for that 383.
    personally ID select nothing smaller than a 200cc-220cc head if you have serious performance goals in mind, and remember the drive train and gearing tire size and cam timing along with the exhaust headers must match the intended. rpm/ power band.
    its generally a very good idea to keep all the cam, lifter,valve train and cylinder head components in matched sets, keep components in labeled matched sets, if you intend to reuse used parts in a rebuild. as each wears in, or laps in to its matched components a bit differently thus random assembly increases the chances of future parts

    btw, if the parts will be sitting on a shelf in the work shop while you wait, a good soak with wd 40, and wrapping a few criss crossed layers of saran wrap plastic over the loose parts is a good idea as it prevents moisture damage and tends to keep the parts in the correct location slots, and if your working on more than one engine type out some detailed info as to the build ID and place it under the saran wrap.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
    Strictly Attitude likes this.
  13. Strictly Attitude

    Strictly Attitude solid fixture here in the forum

    I will more then likely end up on the even note the other set of heads will cost me shipping only if things pan out the way they are supposed to.
  14. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey Staff Member

    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
  15. Strictly Attitude

    Strictly Attitude solid fixture here in the forum

    I agree worst case scenario I break even on what it would cost to add the right springs to my heads. Sometimes it just works out like that but there are more guys out there that have heads too big then too small I am willing to bet. I could have traded local for some vic jr. 210s but the numbers are less then the heads I already own. But either way it comes down to a comparison like you would give to some one building a stock block over a shp you add it all up and the cost is close or the same most of the time and if weight is not a concern for that style racing then you would be stupid not to do it that way. I did pull the heads off today and was happy to see all the pistons in one piece in the old block giving me more reason to believe my suspicions of death of the 355.

Share This Page