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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For a few years now I've noticed that there are sets of retro-fit Small Block Chevy roller lifters on Ebay for $118-$140 a set. That seems really cheap and I noticed the sellers have sold quite a few sets. No doubt these are "made in China". The strange thing is I see they have very good feedback about them. Another thing that is strange is I've never seen anyone mention these or have tried these. I know you should use good quality parts and I know the consequences of using cheap parts so don't lecture me about it. I'm just wondering how they can be selling so many sets and the topic has never been brought up?

114506012264
 

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More for Less Racer
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Part of the lack of negative feedback is the limited timeframe in which you are allowed to post it. Often parts lke this are purchased, sit for a time awaiting the engine rebuild, get installed and then sit for a while longer before engine is placed in the car, and then any problems likely don't suface immediately.
By the time they do fail you no longer have any recourse to leave negative feedback or demand a refund....it is already too late for the feedback window

Substandard materials in parts like needle bearings or roller wheels and roller axles will often last 1000 miles before becoming a problem....so it isn't immediately obvious they are a low quality part....since visual inspection of something like a roller lifter doesn't tell you much at all, and nothing about the metalurgy.
 

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I am always amazed at the ability to make a part like a roller lifter and fail to get the basics covered. The supplier of these parts must be making lifters for lots of users, perhaps these are the ones that failed inspection.
 

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Given the generally poor reviews on roller lifters I’m left with the impression that most if not all are from a common import source. So I’m less than convinced that the difference in price is one guy buys them from China or Mexico and prices them as such on Ebay while another guy buys them from the same source but repackages them for what had been a classic American maker that is now just a name in a big conglomerate investment firm that charges made in America prices for made elsewhere parts.
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over the years I have purchased numerous items on Ebay, not all car related.
I can tell you that about half the items I bought , I did NOT get a notice to leave a review
for said item. you always get to leave a review for the seller after the purchase but not
the item every time.
 

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I looked at the pictures in the ad, and one of them appears to show a real snap ring as opposed to the wire clip that I have seen in other lifters. Most of what I remember seeing have been wire clips, I think? I don't have any other link bar lifters to compare them to, but I can get a couple of the old OEM roller lifters from the garage to look at. From reading other forums for other things, it seems that as an importer you can work with the Chinese manufacturers to increase quality for an obvious increase in cost. At that price, I have my doubts that these lifters fit that scenario. But, who knows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I agree with all your responses but find it strange no one has mentioned these or even tried these. Look at all the cheap Made in China aluminum heads floating around. They have been discussed numerous times here and on YouTube. Another question, what camshaft do you think they are being used with? They give you absolutely no recommendations on what type of camshaft other then a hydraulic roller and it says it should be installed by a professional. Also I don't see any knock off import hydraulic retro fit camshafts being sold. The cheapest hydraulic retro fit camshaft I can find is sold by Engine Pro and they run around $220. So what camshaft is everyone using with these lifters.
 

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The difference between a head failure and a lifter failure : heads generally don't cause a catastrophic engine failure - a lifter can.

I would recommend against using a cheap lifter in an engine that you have any love for, but that's me.
 

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I did some extensive research this year (laid off work) and after talking to 3 engine shops here in the burbs of Chiraq I would highly recommend AGAINST purchasing anything roller lifter related from China or Mexico. The bottom line result were if you don’t want ROLLER lifter failure go with Johnson. Highly touted by the shops that put these motors together...even the other name brands have had some failures. They are very pricey ($695) for SBC and the cost alone is driving me back to a hydraulic flat tappet when you factor in cam buttons, push rods, valve springs, etc.

Anyone want to buy a competition cams thumpr roller cam?😄😁😆
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have a set of those lifters. They certainly LOOK good. I am planning on putting them over a Howard cam, in a low RPM, Ford 460/532, tow motor. We shall see.
This is what I've been wondering. They have sold a lot of them so I figure someone has found a use for them. Lower lift (under .500) and low spring pressure in a low rpm motor they might be alright. Once in a while I get a "non essential" (new term for 2020) engine build. I have one coming up for a UTV style vehicle that I have to build a 350 for. I just might try a set of these with an Elgin or Engine Pro $200 roller cam. Both have some grinds with .470/.490 lift. It would be a good situation to see how these cheap lifters work.
 

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The problem with many of these is like 55 Tony said is the crappy wire clip retaining the needle bearings. A snap ring retainer would be a must in my mind because failure of the clip would mean spreading those needle bearings through out your engine. The snap ring requires more precision machining and therefore costs more.
 

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Not sure if this is the case anymore, but after S&S Cycle brought Crane back to life, they started (or resumed) making their own roller lifters, or at least assembled them. And I suspect theirs, Comps, Lunati's, Isky's, etc. will be high quality, regardless of where the parts are from.

Mike Jones at Jones Cam Designs also sells roller lifters, and I know he wouldn't sell junk.

Also, I have had nothing but reliable performance from GM Gen II roller lifters, but they are not retro-fit. They are probably made in Mexico, but in a GM plant. Maybe it's just me, but I think Mexico parts are significantly better than lowest Chinese bidder stuff.
 
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