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Old 09-03-2006, 09:15 PM
72NOVA454
 
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Why Not Go With Roller Cam?

what is the downside (other than cost) to going with a roller cam setup? From what I can tell, most muscle car enthusiasts and even some avid drag racers don't use a roller cam setup. Why???

I'm thinking of getting one (hydraulic roller) and wondering what is the downside other than it cost like $500 more than a "non-roller" setup. On a big block car I would expect an easy 25-50 HP gain right?

does any other stuff on the motor have to get changed also? Can I keep my existing intake, carb, etc.

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Old 09-03-2006, 09:26 PM
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More and more hotrodders are migrating to roller cams. The attractive thing about the flat tappet cams is that they are more in line with the price ranges of most hotrod builders. I know that my next engine will have a roller cam.

I don't have any experience with roller cams but I do know that you'll need a cam button at the front of the cam to help hold it in place, flat tappet cams dont need this because the lobes are ground to help hold the cam in the block. Also, if your roller cam has a steel distributor drive gear you need to make sure your distributor has a bronze gear on it to avoid wiping out the gear on the distributor. You also need to make sure you either have the link bar type lifters of have a lifter valley "spider" to keep the lifters aligned properly.

I am sure somebody else on here will be able to help enlighten you further. Good luck.
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Old 09-03-2006, 09:39 PM
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Why Not Go With Roller Cam?

I run a Comp Cams XR solid roller cam in my Big Block Chevy,and other than having to check valve lash once in a while I am quite happy.A few things you might want to consider are that you must have the matching valve train components ,springs,retainers,pushrods,valve guides,clearance between the retainer and the valve guide,thrust washer between the upper timing gear and a cam button between the cam and timing cover,correct distributor gear,no windage tray or crank scraper,and if you use an oil restrictor,. drill it out like I did.If you have the extra money,go to www.schubeckracing.com and get a set of their Roller X lifters,they have no needle bearings in them,I just ordered a set tonight!Remember that no matter what you use ,roller lifters get their oiling from windage or "crank splash" as well as from the oil gallery.Also roller cams are not liable to wear out as quickly as flat tappet cams are known to!
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Old 09-03-2006, 09:47 PM
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only thing i can think of in retro fitting into older blocks is cam walk and the distributor gear. in original blocks i wouldnt have anything else
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Old 09-03-2006, 10:11 PM
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You can get roller cams now that you don't need bronze gear for the dist. I run a Comp solid roller in my SBC. If you ever wipe out a flat tappet and fill your engine full of metal you will never use another flat tappet. I left every thing in my engine the same except for the roller set up. The power gains were very noticeable. I enjoy adjusting my valves from time to time even though i havent had to do it in quite a while. You can run more lift on a street engine with a roller. The valves open faster stay open longer and shut faster than flat tappet.There alot of info on this in the knowlede base.
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Old 09-04-2006, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Hiltz
I run a Comp Cams XR solid roller cam in my Big Block Chevy,and other than having to check valve lash once in a while I am quite happy.A few things you might want to consider are that you must have the matching valve train components ,springs,retainers,pushrods,valve guides,clearance between the retainer and the valve guide,thrust washer between the upper timing gear and a cam button between the cam and timing cover,correct distributor gear,no windage tray or crank scraper,and if you use an oil restrictor,. drill it out like I did.If you have the extra money,go to www.schubeckracing.com and get a set of their Roller X lifters,they have no needle bearings in them,I just ordered a set tonight!Remember that no matter what you use ,roller lifters get their oiling from windage or "crank splash" as well as from the oil gallery.Also roller cams are not liable to wear out as quickly as flat tappet cams are known to!
what kind of horsepower and torque gain can I expect on a Big Chevy?
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Old 09-04-2006, 11:51 AM
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The hp gains depend on a lot of factors. One is the type of heads that you have now. Rollers can usually be ground with more lift given the same duration. This in effect steepens the ramp of the lobe, which is usually a good thing. If you have a set of heads that start to drop off at .500 lift, and a hyd flat tappet cam has .500 lift, a roller with .550 will not pick up as much as if you had a set of heads that continued to gain in flow to .600 lift. You should gain a few hp because of the reduction of friction alone. Also, if you plan on winding this motor above ~6000 RPM, you may run into valve float. This usually happens to hyd roller cams above ~6300 RPM. You can buy kits that stop the float, but they are expensive. Another think to consider is that with more lift, the valve will come a little closer to the piston. There should not be any problems as long as you are not going too radical, but you will want to check piston to valve clearance if there is any doubt. Below is a list of dyno graphs with hyd roller cams and hyd flat tappet cams on the same motor so that you can compare the differences. I think the best way to compare is to look at the duration at .050 numbers, and compare between hyd flat tappet and hyd roller with the same value. As you seen in the charts below, these small blocks on average relized a ~30 hp gain with the roller over the flat tappet wtih the same duration at .050. What are the specs of your motor? If we knew, we may be able to give you a better idea of the hp difference.

http://www.compcams.com/Technical/DynoSheets/

Adam
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Old 09-04-2006, 01:14 PM
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I've run both hydraulic and solid roller cams in mostly Mustangs since 1975. If I can afford it and I need the horsepower as in a race engine, there is no better horsepower per dollar part than a roller cam. You get horsepower from reduced frictional loads and a more agressive cam profile. There is no downside in running a roller cam. There are installation differences.
With that said, my T bucket BBC has a flat tappet hydraulic cam. I don't need the extra HP cause the engine already outpowers the chassis. I saved the money instead.
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