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Hi Guy's yeah i know you have probably answered this before but i am a fan of flat tappets especially solids, but you can't beat progress so i am considering a solid roller for my 496 bb with AFR 315's victor manifold etc, but from reading a few of the threads relating to roller maintenance i tend to think is it worth pounding out lifters amongst other valve train components (especially when using big solid rollers .700 lift 260-270 dur @50) when you can run solid f/t successfully year after year as i have, for example my friends 502 which has a crane f/t .659/.679 lift 272/280 [email protected] .050 & made 612hp & 608ft lb in which is basically a crate cast iron headed 502 with some port work, victor, 1000hp holley, etc etc .
So getting back to my original question can solid rollers be maintenance free to an extent or is it to be expected to replace such items as lifters every 15000 miles as evident from all the second hand lifters on ebay. If it means spending big bucks initially then so be it. Sorry guy's for such a long thread but i need some convincing. Thanks Mick (Down under).
 

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I've been running a large solid roller on the street for the last 5 years without any problems. The specs for my cam are in my sig. For about 4 of the last 5 years I drove the car every day. During that time I would check the lash every 3-4 months and only have to adjust 1 or 2 rockers each time. Make sure your valvetrain geometry is absolutely correct and you should not have a problem. I would also replace my bronze distributor gear once a year.

In addition to checking the lash and replacing the distributor gear you will need to keep track of which valves required adjustment so you can spot a lifter as it starts to go bad. You will also need to check your rockers and valve spring tension periodically. I would also suggest going with heavy duty coated cam bearings. Because of the high spring pressures I did have to replace all of my lifters, rocker arms, springs and cam bearings this summer. No failures, they were just shot.

Solid rollers make excellent power but they are more expensive and they do require more maintenance. Would you consider this much maintenance good or bad?
 

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Only you can answer this question. Do you like doing maintenance regularly? Are you very detail oriented? How much power are you trying to make and can you get there with a flat tappet? Personally I learned from a roller lifter failure, that they might not be worth the trade off. Like you said you can run a solid flat for years on end and never worry about a lifter failing, just keep tabs on lash and that's it. With a roller you will want to check the lifters from time to time, if you don't and one fails you whole engine will be toast, you also need to stay on top of spring pressures. Once the springs get weak it allows the lifter to bounce and this puts little flat spots on the roller bearings, they will feel gritty. After that lifter failure results. If you do decide to go solid roller be sure to buy the best lifters out there (Isky Red Zones (rebuildable) or Comp Cams with pin oiling). There are guys that run them on the street with little to no problems and then there are guys like me that had the lifter fail in less than 2500 miles.

How many street miles will the car see? Will it ever got to the track?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thankyou guy's your info was very informative, i suppose it's just a question of regular maintenance & investing in quality components as if you would'nt anyway, where as with flat tappets the spring pressures are not there as much so therefore annual rocker adjustment is all that is req'd especially when all i do is about 2-3 thousand miles a year(weekend use only) plus the occasional trip to the track. Thanks again guy's.
 

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Did I read here recently that someone has experience using rev kits on street solid rollers to ensure the roller doesn't ever bounce off the vale? and that they have been living a long life that way?
 

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I think you are right, Jim!

But the operative here is STREET solid roller like a good old CC 288AR, (and maybe the 308AR??), not one like he is talking about. At least I don't think so?

AND fwiw, I want the extra power BUT I won't touch solid roller lifters on a bet and I also figure hy-rollers are just wannaby's too..

I say this b/c if my commuter-car breaks down, I just might have to daily drive it until I can fix it, so I want to if I have to!!

pdq67

PS., 288AR specs;

288/246, 110/106, .623" gross lift. (Needs .020" lash.)...

308AR spec's;

308/264, 110/106, .652" gross lift. (Needs .020" lash.)...
 

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I for one hope this post continues with the pro's and con's regarding both rollers and flats. There are some noteworthy points here.
 

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Even the big automakers have realized the benefits of roller lifters - hydraulic roller lifters. They are maintenance free and give you a much better lift profile without compromising street manners or milage. But the key point to make a decision on is how much machine work are you able to afford. If you want a dependable maintenance free setup for many street miles, you want the grooved bore style rollers. That will require a block setup for factory style roller lifters or the machine work to make it accept them. The aftermarket style rollers with the metal strap that pairs them together don't fall in that catergory IMHO. I've only seen a few examples of the straps falling off which was a few too many for me to spend my hard earned money on them.
 

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Dave, I agree with most fo what you said. The only thing is hyd. roller are RPM limited. If you want a mild maintenace free street engine, then a hyd. roller is perfect. If you want to make power and spin anything above 6000RPM then a hyd roller is not the best choice (IMO). The lifters are too heavy and will have issues at higher RPMs.

It's like most other things when it comes to Hot Rodding. There is no clear cut "best" for all applications.

If you want cheap maintenance free, then the hyd flat tappet is the choice.

If you want cheap a little maintenance, higher performance, then a solid flat is the way to go.

If you want maintenance free, slightly better low end pe4formance (over a hyd flat), the a hyd roller would be a good choice. The two drawbacks being cost and RPM limit.

If you want all out power, don't mind a lot of maintenance, limited street use (depending on the cam), high RPM use, then a solid roller is the king. Drawbacks being high maintenance, and cost. The verdict is still out as far as reliablity on the street.
 

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Well said Royce. I agree completely.
 

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What about this for the Hyd Roller.

http://popularhotrodding.com/enginemasters/articles/chevrolet/smallblock/0208PHRSherman/#

And the Caption that goes with it.

Quote from Joe Sherman.

"The valvetrain will be armed with Isky goodies, including this hydraulic roller rev kit. "I've run plenty of hydraulic roller cams, and they all seem to finish between 6,000-6,500 rpm. With this rev kit in place you can push them further up the rpm range, and I need this engine to pull right up to your 6,500-rpm limit without hesitation. This Isky kit is top notch."

P.S. He was the winner of the competiton.

Also look here. http://airflowresearch.com/pages/hydra_rev.htm
 

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If you are happy with the power your making with flat tappets - stay with them and the rpm range range for which they are intended.

There is good power in customizing the valve job in your cylinder head to either a roller or flat tappets' off-seat velocity - and keeping it in mind when deciding on overlap duration and timing (ICL).

IMO - the lobe characteristics determine roller/valvetrain life (once normal good maintenance issues are completed) so it is ESSENTIAL your cam choice reflects your need for parts longevity - and that info should best come from experience in your application and not just a cam card.

MAT
 
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