Cost of retro-roller vs OE roller setup on SBC - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:56 AM
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Cost of retro-roller vs OE roller setup on SBC

I'm in the process of sketching-out an SBC build and am giving a lot of thought to cam type... F/T vs retro-roller vs OE roller. Although roller cam set-ups are a lot more $$ than flat tappet, I think the longevity and absense of stress around break-in, as well as a few extra ponies is worth the extra money. I've seen quite a few people bemoan the high cost of retro-roller setups and talking about converting Gen.I blocks to OE roller in order to capitalise on the cheaper OE lifters. However, from my calculations, there doesn't seem to be much in it $-wise, even if you're dealing with a roller-ready block. Once you've purchased the lifter retainer gear (spider tray and dog bones), OE lifters and an OE roller cam, the cost is very similar to a retro-roller lifter set and retro-roller cam.

Am I missing something???

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Old 08-02-2009, 11:37 AM
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You must be. I either get the OE roller blocks with everything and if I don`t I go to the junk yard and score the pieces cheap. I`ve used lifters out of 4.3 chevy engines, dog bones as well. I`ll dig around until I find a V8 spider. I always replace the push rods with heat treated units so they aren`t of any concern. I forget what it cost me now to get the junk yard pieces, but it wasn`t much.
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Old 08-02-2009, 11:53 AM
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Depends on what people consider expensive. I'm running a solid Lunati roller with Isky RedZone linked roller lifters in a Gen I block, no machining needed. The cam ran about $290, lifters currently about $850. Isky now has the Max Endurance lifter, no needles.
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Old 08-02-2009, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleVision
You must be. I either get the OE roller blocks with everything and if I don`t I go to the junk yard and score the pieces cheap. I`ve used lifters out of 4.3 chevy engines, dog bones as well. I`ll dig around until I find a V8 spider. I always replace the push rods with heat treated units so they aren`t of any concern. I forget what it cost me now to get the junk yard pieces, but it wasn`t much.
Ah, well I'm talking the comparison using new parts. I'm in the UK, so (unfortunately), I don't have the luxury of being able to pop down to a junk yard and salvage bits off scrapped motors.

I'm probably going to base the build around a bare block and have the option of a bare roller block, or a bare 4BM non-roller block, hence the interest in the cost comparison between retro-roller and OE.
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Old 08-02-2009, 04:43 PM
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Competition products has a Howards retro fit hydraulic roller cam and lifter kit for right at $500. I havent run it yet im still putting motor together. I think with all the trouble of new oil and having to run exspensive racing oil or additives, roller cams be better in long run even a retro fit unit.
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Old 08-03-2009, 02:01 AM
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GM sells their roller lifters and push rods in sets of 16 for much less than they would cost if bought separately. Their lifter kit costs $220, and includes lifters, lifter guides, guide retainer (spider), and the retainer bolts & washers. They also sell a roller-cam-compatible timing set ($50) that also includes the cam retainer plate and bolts. The push rod set is $30.

Source: http://www.sdparts.com/categories/EngineComponents.aspx

Here's something interesting if you plan to swap cams around: http://www.sdparts.com/product/88958...fterGuide.aspx
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Old 08-03-2009, 07:29 AM
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Howard's retrofit roller lifters $269.95 IIRC from Competition Products. Visual inspection, they are very high quality, haven't got the engine finished up yet so no street testing.
Shane
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Old 08-03-2009, 07:48 AM
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If you're going with all new parts you may as well just go for the retrofit kit, the prices are aboutt the same for all new parts. most of us over stateside use some used parts which ucts down on costs dramarically- if you start with a used roller engine then you just need to upgrade the lifters and you're good to go.
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Old 08-03-2009, 02:23 PM
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If the block you're using orginally came from the factory with a roller cam, then use the OE roller setup. If it's a NON roller block you're better off going with a retro-fit kit.

Some have modified a NON roller block to use the OE setup, but that calls for some block modifications which ups the over-all cost.

Between those two options, the lifters and pushrods are different and when using a retro-fit setup, you have to include a thrust button and a three-piece Torrington bearing to control fore and aft movement of the cam.

So it depends on the block you're going to use.

Jake

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Old 08-03-2009, 04:42 PM
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If you want a soild lifter roller, you are better off retro. If you want a juice roller, OEM is the best way to go, IMO.

There are better ways (to my way of thinking) of protecting the block thrust surface and for the cam button than multi-rolling element (torrington type) bearings. In a street app especially (that will see many thousands times more miles than a track only vehicle), a solid thrust washer and 1-piece nylon button is how I would go.

They wear, so must be adjusted periodically to keep the end play optimized, but that's a cheap price to pay as compared to the hell that's raised by a dozen little roller elements floating around inside the engine can cause.
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Old 08-03-2009, 05:50 PM
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v8hed, is this another motor for the Cobra?
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Old 08-03-2009, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techinspector1
v8hed, is this another motor for the Cobra?
Yep. Current motor has a few stripped head bolt holes which I'm in the process of repairing. However, I'm not entirely confident that the repair will be a success (I suspect when I try to install the heads again that more bolt holes may strip). Besides which, I'd like to build my own engine just for the challenge and enjoyment of it.
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Old 08-03-2009, 06:02 PM
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Do you like the Holley Systemax heads enough to keep them?
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Old 08-03-2009, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techinspector1
Do you like the Holley Systemax heads enough to keep them?
Yea... I'm sure there are probably better heads out there for more $$$, but I like them. Considering I had crappy stock iron heads with 76cc chambers before, anything would be a massive improvement. The combo of the Holley heads with the XE274 cam and ~10.3:1 static CR made a big difference.
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