Originally Posted by SLR_65
I agree with you whole heartedly - the cost of lifters as compared to the potential loss of the cam, etc. is pretty small.
But . . . in one of the Dave Vizard books I have around here he mentions that lifters in good condition can be re-used if properly prepped. I believe he basically surfaced them by rubbing them on some sand paper in a figure 8 pattern. I'll look for the book tomorrow and post back.
Again though, I wouldn't . . . it does make me curious as to how many of the guys (if any!) who race and go through lots of rebuilds a year do this though . . .
While you need to know exactly what you're doing, flat tappet lifters can
be reused under certain circumstances. I've done it many times with no issues. However, many stock lifters are not up to the task of a high performance cam for any number of reasons. In the case of roller lifters, it's a little more forgiving but you still need to make sure they're in good shape and up to the job. Generally, factory Chevy roller lifters are very good pieces. I used my original ones up to about 116K miles with no problems. For about the last 25K miles, they were used with a .525" lift cam and springs with about a 330# open pressure at that lift. In the last series of upgrades, I replaced them with an identical but low mileage factory set, just because I had them sitting around. This is not a real extreme engine but does see 6500 RPM.