New heads and valve springs with old cam? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 06-22-2006, 01:57 PM
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New heads and valve springs with old cam?

I just bought the Upgraded vortec head package for my 350 engine. I was wondering if it would be ok to install the heads and new intake on the engine without replacing the old camshaft. I will also reuse the old lifters. I was just going to use this setup until I have the money to rebuild the entire engine. I am just concerned about the old cam going flat with the newer springs, which are the Z28 valve springs. As of now, the engine only smokes slightly on startup, and runs fine, so my only problem would be the cam going flat.
Thanks in advance.

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Old 06-22-2006, 02:26 PM
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as long as the lifters are reused on the lobe they came from should be no prob. as long as the new springs are up to the cam specs. springs to heavy will hardly ever cause a problem it is almost always the other way around.
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Old 06-22-2006, 04:26 PM
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"Z-28" springs are not strong. Usually 120 closed at 1.750 and 220 open at .500 lift.

The modern oils are lacking in lubrication for a flat tappet cam. You might consider "racing oils" Pennz or Quaker Q, or Rotella T, or even a cam additive at every oil change to better lube the lifter/cam.
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Old 06-22-2006, 05:35 PM
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The term "z-28 valve spring" is very vague. Everybody offers what they call a Z-28 spring.


These days, I recommend the least amount of spring pressure that will get the job done.

Most mild flat tappet hydraulic cams are fine with 100 lbs of seat pressure, and maybe 260-280 lbs over the nose of the cam.

If you are turning alot of RPM with a more radical cam, you could step up to more seat pressure, but still try to maintain 280 lbs of open pressure. When you start going over 310 lbs of nose pressure, you are going to shorten cam life.
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Old 06-22-2006, 08:30 PM
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provided that nothing else is wrong or that it is not a very high milage engine you should be fine.keep the cam and lifters together where they came from.miss that and you'll be getting that new cam and lifters you really wanted.good luck
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Old 06-23-2006, 12:14 PM
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Thanks for the info. I'd say the heads are probably going to be on the engine for about 6 months until I rebuild it and drop in the 3.75" crank. I believe the engine has only about 50,000 miles on it at this point.
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