Running a mechanical roller cam in a BBC on the street? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 08, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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Talking Running a mechanical roller cam in a BBC on the street?

Hello Team Camaro!!

It has been a bad year for me. That's why I haven't posted in a long time. It feels great to be back and I hope everyone is well. So now that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel again, I am back to getting my old school 68 Chevelle back on the street, while the 67 RS/SS camaro still remains in the body shop.

I am up to building my 440 cubic inch BBC. I have to make a commitment this week to a camshaft decision. I would appreciate some expert opinions. I want to run a mechanical Roller cam that I have and remove the solid cam that is in the present combo. I have an all steel stock bodied uncut car that is going to be a 10.5 tire Pro Street type of car. I am going to run a Turbo 400 with 373 gears and a pro shot fogger with a 150 to 250 HP shot. The engine has Lingenfelter ported steel 990 casting open chamber heads, forged pistons 10.5 to 1 compression steel rods, steel crank, Lingenfelter ported Holley Strip Dominator intake and a Barry Grant stage III 750 DP. I hear conflicting stories on running a mechanical roller cam on the street. I have a Crower Billet cam.

The specs are: @.050 Int. Duration 250 Exh.260, 110 lobe separation adv duration is 294 Int. and 304 Exh. Lift is .666 Int. @.022 lash Hot Exh. .615.024 Hot, spring PSI should be 190 @1.900. I want to do this right the first time and use only the best parts available.
Who makes the best roller lifters? Will I have to bush my lifter bores and modify the oiling holes? If so, what is the best lifter size to run? Some mechanics tell me that in order to run the mechanical roller on the street I will have to lash the valves any time I drive the car for extended periods of time (like to a car show and back 30 miles etc.) I was thinking of running the T&D shaft rocker system to help with that. I was also told I will have to pull the intake and inspect the lifters every 2 to 3 thousand miles? Is anyone running a mechanical roller? If so, please tell me what is the best installation process and what kind of maintenance you have to do? All advice will be appreciated.

Thanks, Sal
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 08, 04:57 PM
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Re: Running a mechanical roller cam in a BBC on the street?

This is definately a topic where people have huge differences of opinion.

I will tell you of my experience and my opinion based on that experience. I ran the same solid roller in my smallblock for 6 years. This car was my daily driver for about 4 years and during that time I put about 15,000 miles on it. Now I'm not talking about a small roller cam, it was a Crower with 264/274 duration @ .050" with .630" lift and a 106 LSA. I ran standard Crower roller lifters without any modifications to them or my oiling system. I also ran Crane Gold Race stud mounted rockers with girdles.

Many people complain about lifter failure. I ran the same lifters for 5 years. I did have 1 lifter that was starting to fail but because I log and track my valve adjustments I caught it before it failed. Initially I checked the lash quite often because I was afraid of something breaking. I gradually got to where I would check it every 3-4 months. Sometimes nothing needed to be adjusted other times 1 or 2 would need adjustment.

I have also heard people complain about valve guide wear. If your geometry is correct you should not have any. I freshened up my motor after 5 years and the guides showed no wear with a .630" lift cam.

Since you have already run a solid lifter cam the step up to a solid roller should not be difficult. Make sure you double, triple and quadruple check the pushrod length and valvetrain geometry. Check the lash often at first and gradually increase the time between. Each time you check the lash record which valve(s) need adjustment. After the first year check the spring pressure every time you check the valve lash. Don't let the motor idle for long periods of time. If I sat at a signal longer than 30 seconds I always put it in neutral and blipped the throttle to sling the oil around. If you run a bronze distributor gear replace it once a year. Finally, run good quality pushrods. I'm still running the same .080" wall Comp 1 piece pushrods.

Hope this helps.

'69 Camaro - 429 SBC Dart Iron Eagle 9.325" block, Crower crank, Crower 6" billet rods, Ross pistons (10:1), Total Seal rings, AFR 245 heads, T&D steel body shaft rockers, Cloyes Timing set, custom ground 4-7 swap solid roller 274/286 @ .050" with .704" lift, Dart single plane, Holley Dominator EFI on E85, Injector Dynamics ID2000 Injectors, Stef's #1705R oil pan, F2 Procharger, Lemons 2" primary 4" collector, ATI 9" blower converter
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 08, 09:36 PM
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Re: Running a mechanical roller cam in a BBC on the street?

You ask which lifter is the best on the market, and popular opinion of late is the Isky Red Zone. They look about like a S/R lifter to me. Come in a prettier box than my Comps did though. I ran my Comps on the street and they looked fine at teardown. My version of on the street is maybe 100 miles. No fear of the engine ever idling for long. The Isky's cost out the assky, and they make better than the redzones too but I didn't see the need to buy the EZ Roll(?) lifters...they have bushings instead of needle bearings.

I wouldn't be afraid to run anything Crower makes.

Run shaft rockers and you'll throw rocks at stud type rockers.

Pushrod theory has changed, they are now saying .120 wall stiff *** bastards is best, especially on a BB with the goofy angles. They say the thinner wall pushrods look like a piece of spaghetti at speed. And that the extra mass is not a deal. I always thought lighter is better, but I gotta have new pushrods(find out tomorrow) I think(courtesy of my redzones being taller than my Comps or my Dart block is different CL's than my GM 400 Idunno), and if so I reckon I'll get some macho ones.

The Cloyes front cover is pretty stinkin nice for setting SR endplay. Mike Lewis says on the Quick Adjust(?) and their 2 piece cover there is an interference problem on the little cover bolts to the adjusting bolts. I have the Hex Adjust and their 2 piece cover on a SB, had no interference.

Tim Smith
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 08, 01:52 AM
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Re: Running a mechanical roller cam in a BBC on the street?

Good advise guy's.

I run the old Cast Core CB288AR-10 that's 288 advertised and a .623 lift with Crower Hippo's in a 10.25:1 Static compression 454 + .030" Engine. Spring pressure is low 148 on the seat and 432 open (I believe I could go to 200/500 safely). The engine rarely goes above 6 grand and spends most it's time at 2200 rpm on the HWY running 3.08's. Other components are: Pro Mag Rockers, Jomar Girdle and a Donovan Gear Drive.

Valve adjustment over the last year has been extremely stable and in spite of bad reports on Cast Core Rollers I'm starting to trust it. I've also ran 3.31 gears. It's not a drag racer but it is an excellent Cannonball ride.

A few things I would like to add:

#1 - Make sure you have the cam firmly locked in with approx .004" end play. (Gotta love the Donovan Cam Gear drive for this.)

#2 - I recommend you use API SG Oil with the Higher ZDDP content in a Flat Tapped Engine which has been retro's to roller due to cam walk forces exerted on the Roller Pins.

#3 - Drill a 1mm hole in the Front PSGR Oil Gallery Plug to lube your chain or gears and specifically your Anti-Cam Walk Device.

#4 - Do NOT use a Torrington Needle Bearing wear plate - Stack Lube Impregnated Wear Plates instead.

#5 - Make sure your cam bearings are installed correctly - that is the Oiling Holes line up.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 08, 06:33 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Running a mechanical roller cam in a BBC on the street?

This is why ya gotta love Team Camaro, not only can you get the benefit of others experience,you get a sence of humor with it! Thanks for the heads up. This is all great advise. I will keep a log on lashing and make sure the valve train is dead on. Thanks Steve. I was planning on going with the Isky red zones and considering the Crower's. I did not know if one had an edge over the other, that's why I am asking for experienced comments. I am going to look into the EZ roll lifters you mention Tim as I really want to eliminate any possible failure right from the get go. Any time I take the least little short cut it bites me in the assky. For push rods should I just call Mantoon and go for it? Which company did you choose Tim? About valve springs, is Vasco Jet the best choice? I am planning on running Ferrara 11/32 stem valves. I guess I will have to mach the vavle train to see if I will need a longer valve. I am also thinking of running the 1.8 ratio rockers if I buy the T&D shaft system. As far as the front cover I have Milidon gear drive and I hope that it will be considered a good choice. I was actually going to use the needle bearings and did not know about drilling the 1mm hole in the front psgr oil galley. Good save Ron. Where can I get the lube impregnated wear plates? Also someone made mention to me about a composite distributor gear instead of a bronze one. They stated it was expensive but would last. Anyone know about that and where the best place is to get it? Do you think the cam I have will work with my combo. I have owned it since 1980 and it has been waiting for me to do something with it all this time. It seems to me like it would have a lot of mid range power. I am hoping to run a 4,000 to 7,500 RPM power range in order to take advantage of the ports in the 990 heads as I am a little shy on cubes. I was thinking the small cubes may even help the car hook better anyway. I really want to get the car running this season as I have put everyone and every thing before me in my life and now the piper is due. I better get on this while I have the chance before something else happens and I get moved to the back burner again. Thanks for all the help.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 08, 06:46 AM
 
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Re: Running a mechanical roller cam in a BBC on the street?

Please consider a billet-core NOT cast-core solid roller cam like CC's old 288AR b/c it's what CC call's a STREET solid roller so therefore it's timing events aren't as hard on parts as the more "knarly" solid roller cams are.

Parts last longer and right about Isky's new EZ needless solid roller lifters!

As always, jmho.

And if you want SOTA, then call UDHarold here at 662-562-4933 and ask him what he think's you really need.

Please say hello from ol' pdq67 if you do call him..

pdq67



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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 08, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Running a mechanical roller cam in a BBC on the street?

Thanks pdq67. The cam I have is a billet Crower and it is new in the box. I would love to get UDHarolds advice. I am just a little bashful about cold calling him. I really hate to impose on anyone. Life is so hectic. I would not want to inconvenience him, although I know he could probably regrind my cam if he thought it was not right for my combo. How well do you know him? Do you think he would mind spending some time going over my plans? I am sure if anyone can get me off to the right start it would be him!
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 08, 07:36 AM
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Re: Running a mechanical roller cam in a BBC on the street?

Atsa buncha questions Bolt. Sal
Most of the answers would be conjecture on my part because I am not BB and the best I can do for you is give you Mike Lewis' phone number. To me your cam is pretty mild and I think it would do great on the street but Idunno on a BB for sure.

707.984.6103
Lewis Racing Engines, on California time and hours of business is conventional and he works a little on Saturday mornings. He hangs out at Team Chevelle, username Wolfplace. He is a helluva nice guy and very, very knowledgeable.

Right now I have a set of Comp Magnum pushrods, and if I need different length I will just call Mike and shoot the **** awhile and order a set of what he recommends. Give him my card numbers and shortly the brown truck will bring them straight to me I reckon. I ain't skeered of my Comp Magnums, but if stiffer bastards will get rid of some spaghetti-o's AND my current length is wrong.... we gonna have SOTA even though State Of The Art will probly be different mañana. Hell, when I ordered my comps it took 3 weeks to get em from Comp. Mike says he gets em from the folks(and quick) that make em for Comp and others, I forget their name.

Mike put Manley springs on my T1 CNC heads, they are 240-260 seat. He asked if I had a spring preference and I said I prefer springs with no bad habits and only good traits. I had a set of green Brodix springs on them, Mike said they were good for another season but I wanted new. He sent them back to me because I wanted them for another set of T1's I have.

I followed Mike's recommendation and bought the Moroso valve spring tester to check seat pressures in order to get a baseline and monitor. That tool works slick. Sorry the pic is blurry, kinda tough to hold the camera steady and pull on the tester. I got lucky and the hook that comes with the tool works on my Jesels.

I advise quizzing Mike about drilling holes in gallery plugs. If your cam bushing has clearance there is a ton of oil going on up there. And if it doesn't have clearance you won't run long anyway. Use hard cam bushings, soft ones will fatigue on a SR spring pressure. Your seat pressures you are talking about aren't that high anyway on second thought, soft bushings may survive a season. Ask Mike. BTW Mike is an Isky distributorsky.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 08, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Running a mechanical roller cam in a BBC on the street?

Thanks Tim, sorry about all the questions. I just lay awake at night and all this swirls around in my head. Then my wife kicks me out of bed and the dog takes my place. So I figure I better find the answers before the dog begins to get to comfortable. He weighs 110 Lbs. and doesnt like to leave any room. The Moroso tool does look like a must have. As soon as I get the motor done I will get one. Thanks for Mike Lewis' info. I will try to catch him this week. We are at a bit of a time zone difference, so I can call him after work. I wil try and post any info I get as it may help someone else in the future. By the way thats one hell of an engine you have!
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 7th, 08, 05:32 AM
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Re: Running a mechanical roller cam in a BBC on the street?

Get either the new Isky EZ Rolls or the Crower's with the HIPPO option. There should be no reason to have to make valve adjustments all the time...if there is a need, something is wrong. But remember, running a SR cam on the street IS a maintenenance item, checking lash periodically, pulling the intake and inspecting the lifters, and checking spring pressures are REQUIRED. Probably not a big deal for you, but needs to be done.

I'm just such a waco, that every tick and fart the motor would make (while running a SR cam) that I would turn around and go straight home and tear into everything. I'm just not ready for that yet.

May wanna do a searc over at Team Chevelle for "Soild rollers" and you will get more info than you'll know what to do with.

VINCE
69 CHEVELLE SS
502 EFI/[224/228 HR]/T56/3.90
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 7th, 08, 04:46 PM
 
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Re: Running a mechanical roller cam in a BBC on the street?

"And if you want SOTA, then call UDHarold here at 662-562-4933 and ask him what he think's you really need.

Please say hello from ol' pdq67 if you do call him.."

I know Harold well enough to tell you to call him!

That's why I tell people to call him for a SOTA camshaft.

pdq67

PS., and if you do, please say hello from ol' pdq67 for me.



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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 7th, 08, 05:08 PM
 
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Re: Running a mechanical roller cam in a BBC on the street?

Some very good advise has been given on which lifters to use on the street and UDHAROLD is certainly the right dude to pick a camshaft for ya. Annual complete valvetrain checks are mandatory with a SR. You need to check the lifters annually for sure. Lash twice a year. A little more now with my fresh build but that should improve.
Have run solid rollers for three years without any issues. It has proven to be worth the extra 50 or so horsepower over a HR to me. No nitrous for me.
BUT if your gonna use nitrous, a little extra spray can make up for that power easily if ya choose a HR.....then no maintanence.....and more street friendly.
Decisions, decisions.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 7th, 08, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Running a mechanical roller cam in a BBC on the street?

Well I am still doing some homework. Thanks Vince. I spoke to Isky today and went over a few things with them. Isky say's absolutely no problem running the cam I have on the street with their EZ roll lifters. According to them they need very little oil to survive. The ramp speed of the cam I have is on the low side so it should work quite well. Isky took all the info on my combo and said they would put it threw their system and make sure all my parts were matched. The tech I spoke with said it seems like a real nice street combo. pdq67, I cant tell you how much I appreciate the hook with UDHarold! I am going to contact him as soon as I get the info back from Isky. I cant wait to hear what he thinks! If he doesnt like the grind on the cam I am hoping I can send it to him and he will regrind it. In the worse case I will sell it and maybe he will set me up with a 7-4 swap cam. I am glad I asked the questions as I have received some great advice and contacts. It's nice to hear that you have been running a mechanical roller for three years Chris. It proves to me it can be done. I am hoping this works out because the 990 heads are a tad big for the limited cubes I have. If I can buzz the engine to 7500 I can really take advantage of the large ports. If I had a 468 cube engine I would be better off. If my estimates are accurate I think the engine should make 550 to 600 HP. Then ad the N2O and I should be able to hang with my friends 502 Camaro. I will post what Isky and UDHarold tell me. In the meantime I am going to do the search Vince suggested at Team Chevelle. Thanks to everyone for all the support. I will post some pics as soon as things start coming together. The car looks beautiful now that the body is back on the chassis. It came out awesome!
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 08, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Running a mechanical roller cam in a BBC on the street?

I am still waiting for Isky to call me back. If they dont call me back by Friday I will contact them on Monday. I really want to get the engine assembled so I can get this baby out this summer. Thanks again to evryone.
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