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Old 05-26-2008, 06:09 PM
406 ss monte's Avatar
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roller cams & cast iron cores

will a cast core survive like a billet core for a roller cam? i can see the billet cores being repairable, but that would seem to be the only advantage with both being able to use a stock distributor gear (if the billet has the iron gear). will the cast core wear faster than the billet?

i have a chance to get a brand new comp cams small base circle hydraulic roller cam for $175. it is on the cast core. i can get a used lazer std base circle hydraulic roller on a billet core with the iron distributor gear for $160. the specs on both are just about identical. either one would be great for my engine. which should i get? which will last longer?

lazer hydraulic roller (billet core with cast gear)
Adv dur: 293/299
Dur @ .050: 240/246
Valve lift: .559/.552
Lobe sep: 108 degrees
intake c/l 104

comp cams hydraulic roller (cast small base circle core)
Adv: 293/299
dur @.050: 242/248
Lift: 540/562
Lobesep: 110
intake c/l 106


Last edited by 406 ss monte; 05-26-2008 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 05-26-2008, 06:18 PM
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I would get the billet,its stronger than the cast,which is actually an austempered ductile iron,with a hard coating on the top layer.The billet will live longer with heavier valve springs,which,as a general rule,are used with roller cams.Most billet cams made nowadays use an Everwear distributor gear that is pressed on and is compatible with cast gears,or in the case of GM stuff,their melonized distributor gear.
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Old 05-26-2008, 06:42 PM
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I went through that same dilemna just recently. ended up just getting the billet core. It was about $100 extra (cam cost about $300) I learned that was only the beginning. The extra $100 or so for the billet core is no so bad, it's the $500 for the roller lifters and the $100 for the distributor gear, and the $ for the thrust bearing and timing cover and so on.

If you can afford it go with the billet core, but yes you will need a bronze or a wearever distributor gear ($50 and $100 respectively)

I've also had guys telling me they are running aggressive roller cams with cast cores that have 10's of thousands of miles on them and no lobe wear issues. So go figure. It all depends on your setup, breaking in, oil pressure, etc. If you're running strong valve springs (high spring rate) and cheap roller lifters, the billet core would be to your advantage and last longer. If you're running mild valve springs, have good oil pressure, and proper break in the cast cores are just fine.

Last edited by leejoy; 05-27-2008 at 06:08 AM.
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Old 05-26-2008, 06:52 PM
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I wonder if a cast core would survive roller duty in a very low rpm torque application with light valve springs, running factory roller lifters. Hmm.
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Old 05-26-2008, 07:18 PM
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my springs have 135lbs of seat pressure. good for a solid flat tappet or a hydraulic roller. the cam gear isn't an issue as the billet core have a cast gear so i can use a factory gear.

my springs are whatever the new afr 195 eliminator heads come with. the advertise them to be good up to a .600 lift hydraulic roller or flat tappet.

i do like the comp cams numbers a bit better. plus i wouldn't have to grind any rod bolts, plus i wouldn't need to rebalance everything. i'm just concerned about wear issues with the austempered cast core. i don't know anyone that has used them.

off topic, but why can't we use a gm melonized gear with a comp cams billet cam?
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