Originally Posted by Silver Surfer
WOW! I had no idea these existed! But by the time you plunk down your cash for these lifters, you might as well have done a retro-roller conversion. I guess the argument could be make the retro rollers are heavier and thus bad, but still...if these guys lowered the price on these lifters, I am sure they would be pretty flooded with demand.
The retro-roller is a fix but not an easy one especially when compared to the composite tappet fix.
Those guys can't lower the price. The down side is the very high cost to manufacturer ceramic composites. I was just about to send Howard a buck fifty for their hi-perf roller tappets when my buddy turned me on to SM composite tappets. SM set me back $600 over the next best solution. Business is business. No one can charge $600 over going rate and stay in business if they could sell for less and still make a profit. I'll fenture a guess and say those composite tappets cost SM about 375 to manufacture. The cost of manufacturing does not cover overhead, lawyers taxes and all the other vultures nipping away at yah before you can keep a few bucks for yourself. SM may go broke trying to get $750. They positively will go under selling at a price greater than they pay.
I am not going to claim I know much about how composites are made. I do know it is far more involved than a gluing a piece of ceramic on a steel shank. They use processes that creates a matrix that binds the two materials together. A honey comb is a good example of a matrix. The structure is enormously strong given its light weight. The resultant composite inherits the strengths of its base materials. The weakness of steel is its inability to disperse heat. Iron is a good heat conductor. We cook on iron then put the hot pan on a ceramic plate so not to burn the table. The weakness of ceramic is its brittle nature. What if we can get a material that disperses heat as well as ceramic that has the strength of steel. Now we really have something.
The pressure between the lobe surface and the tappet/lifter creates far more heat than steel can handle. In fact, the pressure is so great it can stall the roller.
I'll give you this. All of the applications successfully using CMC's are high end things like jet aircraft, military armor, and other megabuck stuff.
On the other hand my 500 hp 350 cid build is a megabuck thing in my scheme of things. Ask my wife. She'll gladly tell how much I've thrown at it. She reminds me on a daily basis.
I, am, so happy. My problem is solved forever. Did I mention the break in time and efforts. Their ain't one. Just need to remember to put the oil in after the pan and plug are in place before I go zoom, zooooom, zoooooom. I can't figure how to do the squeeling tire sound so zoom, zoom is my best effort.
I am so happy. Maybe I'll send SM a tip. Hehe