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meschnebly 07-14-2003 07:18 PM

Roller Cam Conversion
A friend of mine suggested that I look into a roller cam for my 350 SBC build. My block is a 1977 and I have Edelbrock RPM heads and manifold for it, Scat crank, TRW 10:1 pistons. I have been searching all over for some info on just what would need to be modified to use a roller with no luck. Thanks to anyone that can point me in the right direction. Just curious.... have any of you ever converted to a roller? Did you gain much compared to the trouble? Is it a worth while move? Thanks


302 Z28 07-14-2003 07:37 PM

Why don't you just give Crane or any other camsaft manufacturer a call. I am quite sure they would be more than willing to tell you exactly what you need.


GearHead69 07-14-2003 08:56 PM

With only 10:1 compression a roller cam isn't really a good choice.. Roller cams tipically have big lift #'s and are for racing. I would go with Hydraulic or Flat tappet cams. With your set up I would get a cam with 525 lift or less and it will perform great.

mustang66maniac 07-15-2003 02:04 AM

you can buy small roller cams just as easy as small flat tappet cams. they are more expensive. If you switch from flat tappet to roller in desktop dyno, it gives you 40hp.

302 Z28 07-15-2003 05:06 AM

A roller cam can be used in any engine, regardless of compression. Many car manufactures now use roller cams to improve longevity and performance.


meschnebly 07-15-2003 05:52 AM

Thanks for the info guys. Now you have my interest up. Does anyone know how much work is involved (or what excatly is needed) in modifying the block? For some reason all the searching I've done on this site and the internet only brings up a few Ford conversions. Is this not too common of a thing to do?


engineczar 07-15-2003 06:29 AM

There's really nothing that needs to be done to the block to go to a roller. You will need a cam thrust button to insure that the cam stays to the back and doesn't shift forward. You'll of course need linked roller lifters ($$$), shorter pushrods, and a bronze distributor gear. Plus make sure you check the valve to piston clearance. Roller cams have more aggressive ramp speeds than flat tappet cams so the chance of interference is greater. Otherwise no big deal.

hvyeqpmech 07-15-2003 07:26 PM

I converted my 355 sbc to hyd. roller. Used comp cams parts.
you have to get the retrofit hyd. roller lifters. (at the time I
did mine the were hard to find.) Have to have proper springs,proper pushrods-length depends on alum,cast head. Also deck height
comes into the picture. The comp cam I used has a cast dist. gear
so a bronze gear is not required. If using a mech.fuel pump you need a special pushrod for that also. You have to have a thrust buttom and check endplay.(on the engine stand is the best place to do this)I also installed a stud girdle. Could have done without this as my cam is not wild. Just wanted the insurance. If going for high rpm I would consider the rev. kit from AFR. maybe others out there by now for
hyd.rollers. Have had running for over a year now ,no problems ,driven everyday and glad I did it-expensive though. I used a gear drive with a bronze thrust also but a chain with a thrust of some type would also work. pm me if I can be of some more help

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