The cam going flat deal is crazy!!!! I have seen guys with 150lb seat, crank and crank and crank engines to get them running, and then run them for 2 minutes, over heat it, flood the cylinder with fuel, run water through the pan, and on and on and never loose the cam..... There is just no easy answer to it.....
I never knew you seen one of my engines run.
But on a serious note.I agree that there have been issue with parts over the years,but not any more so now then 30 years ago.A lot of hot rodders are totally convinced that cam companies are making flat tappet cams and lifters out of recycled Toyota scrap metal,and that there is no hope for flat tappet cams.I came up in the sport learning from a guy who has been racing since the 60's and ran and held records in both pro stock and modified production back in th early 70's.Bigblocks used to eat flat tappet cams back then too.They used to buy GM cams and have them hardened by a local metal shop.Of course back then they were running 8000 rpm 427's with stock GM 3/8 stem valves and steel retainers and 7/16" pushrods and using 200# of seat pressure to keep the thing from dropping a valve when they shifted it with their foot to the floor.He switched to a roller back around 72 or 73,but back then just like today,the roller lifters would fail and destroy the entire engine,but the lure of an extra 40 or 50 hp was too great to pass up.I think that the future of flat tappet cams is geting better in recent years.Aside from this oil problem,we have been making more power with both older and newer grinds then they were just 10 years ago.Failed roller lifters and the high cost to power ratio have been turning of the little guy racers for a few years now.Valve spring technology along with the decrease in cost of lightweight parts as technology trickles down allows for better valve control,and I see potential for reliable bigblock flat tappet cams with .700" lift or more in the future.Since the vast majority of bracket race 509 and 540 inch chevy engines with roller cams are currently running either the .714 or .708" comp or crane roller grinds,the sucess of a flat tappet of equal size would have a big effect on the preferences of most bracket engine builders.One interesting relationship I see on this front is Bill Mitchell and World products.Mitchell has always had respect for the long term durability of flat tappet cams in his race motors,and if if he really wanted to,I could see him offereing his bracket crate motors with a large ford cam bearing size and 1" diameter lifter bores,and running 550"+ bracket engines with.750"+ flat tappet cams and making gobs of power with modest rpm's and outstanding reliabilty.This would be a big hit with the big money travel road show"pro bracket racers" who want to buy 1000 hp engines that last 500 runs between valve lash adjustments and only turn 6500rpm.The potential is there,but lets see if the idea takes off.