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Old 11-10-2003, 03:02 PM
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Roller or flat? When is a roller needed?

I'm wondering which valve train to chose for my stroker. I know the advantages of a roller cam setup, quicker valve openings, little bit better torque and hp, lower temps... But when do you need these? Unless you're building something with a pretty aggressive cam with a bunch of HP, do you really need one? I guess my point is, if you can make your HP goal without using a roller setup, what benefit is there to spending the extra cash? Also, I'd like to extend this question to roller rockers. Is there a difference in performance with roller tip or full roller rockers? I've heard and read both yes and no, even on this site. So if you can get all your power with a flat cam and and stamped rockers why not just do it on the cheap?


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Old 11-10-2003, 03:26 PM
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Going roller is not always necessary. Like If I were to build a daily driver or mild street enging flat tappet would be the way to go for reason price. But when you get bigger compression, bigger heads... More airflow you need a bigger cam and bigger springs. Once you get too big with flat tappet cams it gets dangerous. For example I know a guy with a 12:1 383 race motor and he has burnt through flat tappet cams like nothing, It doesn't work trying to put big flat tappet cams in high power/rpm engines the cam lobes can't take the stress and wear off completly off leaving all of the metal in your engine even with the best tappet cam made it will still happen. The guy later switched to roller everything and it's like a new engine picked up a lot of power. In your normal engine you would not have to worry about this happening. I have ran roller motors and flat tappet motors, the roller motors can go double the time between oil changes and the oil is still clean, roller motors rap very fast and turn high rpm without scaring you.

Roller tip rockers don't do anyting IMO, they are just trying to sell you. And on a rather stock engine you don't need either just a stock rocker does fine. I think they are only necessary on more powerful beyond stock engines. It's just that much less friction.. "Valve train HP" If you put roller rockers on a pretty much stock engine you would probably see little to no gains, engines with higher spring pressure and bigger cams will benefit from roller rockers.
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Old 11-10-2003, 03:53 PM
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what he said. as far as i've been able to finger out a roller cam is for more of a sleeper/manageable idle than you can get with a regular cam as hot as the roller. so if it's not that radical of a cam dont spend the extra bucks, just getta hydralic

as far as the roller rockers i disagree somewhat. if you are buying new there isnt much diff in price btwn the rollers and stamped steel so i vote for less friction and more lift like 1:6, but if you are buying a new cam you can get it with the lift you want with stock 1:5's. less friction is always a good thing
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Old 11-10-2003, 03:58 PM
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One BIG factor IS reduced friction. Most tests done on roller rockers will show somewhere between 10 to 20 horsepower gains. Adding a roller cam and lifters is another gain. Biggest drawback is cost. Roller rockers aren't too bad, but a roller cam and lifters can run $600 easy.

In my book, if you can afford it, go full roller, its worth the extra horses and durability. Hey!! Chevy's been using rollers for years and their engines will go 200,000 easy, and still have a good usuable cam to boot!

Its like looking at a buildable 350 and a 400. Now days, parts are the same price so building the 400 is usually a plus, 50 extra cubes is free horse power.

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