Never happy. Hydraulic flat tappet vs retro roller? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 07-31-2020, 08:47 AM
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Never happy. Hydraulic flat tappet vs retro roller?

Just can't seem to leave well enough alone, or maybe its just my need to tinker with everything, but i'm contemplating switching the hydraulic flat tappet cam I have in my 355 (XE268) to a hydraulic retro roller.

Other than the obvious benefits of not worrying about flattening a cam lob (been there before), are there any noticeable performance gains? What recommendation for a retro roller would yall have? I'm okay giving up a little drive ability for a little more power.

The motor put down somewhere around 308hp and 328 lb/ft of torque to the wheels, but if I can get that up to about 325-350 by swapping cams, it would be worth the investment.

My goal was always to build a pretty stout, profiler or dart headed 383, but I honestly dont think the little NV3500 will take the power from a 500 hp motor for very long! So until I can plan on upgrading the transmission first, or at the same time, the 383 is on the back burner.

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Old 07-31-2020, 09:16 AM
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what cylinder head?
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Old 07-31-2020, 09:17 AM
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That's a lot of money to spend on the $$/hp ratio.
That same money is likely better spent else where.
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Old 07-31-2020, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by lmsport View Post
what cylinder head?
Promaxx Maxx series 190 heads with 1.6 roller rockers.
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Old 07-31-2020, 09:33 AM
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That's a lot of money to spend on the $$/hp ratio.
That same money is likely better spent else where.
Glad you chimed in! Any recommendations on where else to spend it?
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Old 07-31-2020, 09:48 AM
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with a decent head, you will make more torque if you open the valve more. to pick up 20 HP you will need a custom grind, in my opinion.
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Old 07-31-2020, 12:22 PM
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Didn't think this was originally a max effort build.

So let's see the dyno plots. Corrected or uncorrected? Weather conditions temp/baro pressure/dew point/altitude? Oxygen available to burn can vary 10% just by weather - cold/dry/high baro vs hot/humid/low baro. It all affects horsepower.

308 is pretty respectable, especially if you're turning a water pump and fan - but the number in itself doesn't mean much without knowing the rest.

I like to take the uncorrected numbers and apply my own correction for weather conditions using Air Density Online stats for my track. If you run at the strip you can pretty much predict your relative times for that day and if you need different jets. For my 2900# vehicle, each 10-15HP seems to make me go around 0.1sec faster (near 11.00 sec).

Last edited by 2001Blazer4x4; 07-31-2020 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 07-31-2020, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcjjones View Post
Glad you chimed in! Any recommendations on where else to spend it?

Your looking to spend a close to $1000 for a roller and lifter and gaskets and fluids and all that business.
That same $1000 on a custom built carburetor will net you 20-50hp depending how bad yours is now.
That same $1000 into quality port work on the heads will net more than 20hp.


Half that with a professional dyno tune time is more likely to find more than any of the above.
Just some idea's
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Old 07-31-2020, 12:45 PM
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Not worth the money IMO. It would've have been worth it before your bought the XE268 cam, springs and pushrods. To get more than 20-30 with a cam swap means you're going to need to spin it higher, and/or get the heads re-worked by someone in the know about head work.

With that said, if you have some Corona money burning a hole in your pocket, then go for it. If your rotating assembly is up to the task, then rub a little more of that money burning a hole in your pocket together, and put a supercharger kit on it ($2500-2800). Ought to easily make another 200-300hp in a blink of an eye.

$1000 for cam upgrade and 20-30 hp vs $2800 for supercharger kit and 200-300hp. Much better HP to $ ratio with the supercharger.
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Old 07-31-2020, 03:52 PM
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You finding yourself limited by the transmission. I been there enouh with the junk T56. When this happens you can put money into the transmission for "stage" upgrades.

Or you can leave the motor alone and look behind the transmission at the rear axle gearing and shafts.

You have overdrive there is no reason your not running 4.11 or lower garing. The rpm diffrence is minimal.
The mileage (if you care) is minimal.

But, your taking whatever power you have and multiplying it. Now it comes down to how you drive. But generally if you have lower gears your going to have better acceleration in exchange for not being able to go 95 down the highway.




What rear end. A SF 9.5 14 bolt would be my choice. It is a bolt in deal.

You can find them in a yard for around $500. I would find someone parting a truck and pick up one for $300.
$100 for New u bolts, some fluid, new pads.

Now we have $500 for gears and $100 for misc. Now most stock ones come with 3.73 ratios.

I am the type of person who will buy a used "performance" motor. Have somdone dump $3000+ into a motor run it for a year then decide to change directions and pickup the "broke in beast" for $1500.

You need to be smart about it. But I have done it over a dozen times now saving thousands over building it myself.

Axles are no diffrent. Look around for a SF 14 bolt with upgraded shafts, 4.11 ratios, a spool or other locker. Something where they have $1000 into upgraded parts alone. My faviorite are partouts where the truck may have had some front end damage or where a junk overdrive transmission died.

After checking things over you can get a deal on a 14 bolt for parts alone. For 4.11 and higher gears with traction devices I would search local 4x4 forums for a 9.5 14 that will bolt right in.
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Old 08-01-2020, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsongrass1 View Post
Your looking to spend a close to $1000 for a roller and lifter and gaskets and fluids and all that business.
Yeah, I'd put that towards a 383 or 400 crank, pistons, and later a better tranny...
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Old 08-01-2020, 04:27 PM
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Bang for the buck.....$425 or so for a 100-200HP or 100-250 HP nitrous kit.

Nothing else under $2000 is going to get you 100+ HP except a self build Amazon/Ebay turbo kit.

The 383 stroker is just 30 hp/45 lt lbs gain unless you also upgrade other parts in the build at the same time to gain more.
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Old 08-01-2020, 06:55 PM
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Remember when the 355 was a stopgap on the way to a 383?

Now your diverted by the greed for speed making the 355 ever better.

This isnít a criticism, just a logic check seeing as resources appear to be diverted from the 383 to an ever better 355.

Bogie
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:32 AM
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The 3500 trans won't like heavy handed HP. put the money into a TKO 600 with (specifically) the 2.87 1st gear and the .80 OD.

If you want more hp, have the heads ported by a modern shop and then wait for your 383. Call up Jones, Straub or Bullet for your 383 roller cam, put those (now ported) ProMaxx heads on the 383 and your beast will be complete.
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Old 08-03-2020, 12:22 PM
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Thanks for all the input. Originally I didn’t think it would be so hard to put 350 or so down to the ground. So I never put much stock into the necessary questions. I saw all the builds making 400 plus horsepower with a set up like my current one and thought “seems easy!” Boy was I wrong. That’s my goal power for this truck, and if I could get that out of this 355 then I could focus on the esthetic of her! She’s not a bad looking truck now, and I’m more of a go then show kind of guy so I want to hit that power goal first, however that may be.

I’d have to assume I’m making close to 400 at the crank now, but just an assumption. The 383 has/is still the goal. I know everyone LS swaps these things but I’m a big fan of the original SBC. Maybe that 350-375 wheel horsepower would be easier with a 6.0 though.

Transmission is a must for sure. TKO is the choice I’m going with. That gear ratio would make the truck feel much quicker too. I could actually get 10-15 mph more out of second gear. Which would be awesome.

Sounds like a cam is a waste of money at this point and I appreciate the honesty.

My thoughts were just that, how quick the truck feels now, if I could get 350 to the wheels out of this 355 I’d be happy and now have to build the 383 anytime soon. The good ole internet makes it sound possible, but I’m not sure anymore!

Last edited by bcjjones; 08-03-2020 at 12:34 PM.
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