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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
roller cam? can you use roller lifters on a flat tappet cam for street use. I know that a lot of you guys are going to say no way but i want to hear from any guys that have tried or done it. I know about lobe profiles and such(i am a 51year old mechanic) I want to hear from all the cash poor bubbas like me not knockers:D:D
 

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Yes, you can.
No, the car won't run.

Take a look at even a very mild roller and compare it with your flat tap cam. Big differences in the cam profiles, especially the acceleration ramps. The only benefit from using a roller in a street engine is a small gain from less friction.
The main reason manufacturers are using rollers these days is their quest for that last 1/100 mpg.
 

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The reason roller cams are more expensive is they're steel instead of cast iron. This is also why roller cams will eat original distributor gears. It'd probably ruin the cam & lifters within a few thousand miles. But it would run just fine in the meanwhile.

If you're cash poor buy used. Unlike a flat tappet cam, you can reuse them in different engines with different lifters. As long as it's not damaged when purchased you're good to go.

The real benefit of roller goes beyond reduced friction. By snapping the valve open and closed faster you can reduce the overlap period. Overlap harms vacuum, mileage, and emissions. Net result, a roller cam is effectively a bigger cam without the low rpm sacrifices.
 

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The reason roller cams are more expensive is they're steel instead of cast iron. This is also why roller cams will eat original distributor gears. It'd probably ruin the cam & lifters within a few thousand miles. But it would run just fine in the meanwhile.

If you're cash poor buy used. Unlike a flat tappet cam, you can reuse them in different engines with different lifters. As long as it's not damaged when purchased you're good to go.

The real benefit of roller goes beyond reduced friction. By snapping the valve open and closed faster you can reduce the overlap period. Overlap harms vacuum, mileage, and emissions. Net result, a roller cam is effectively a bigger cam without the low rpm sacrifices.
Roller cams are available from most cam suppliers ground on both cast and billet cores. I run billet rollers with a cast iron distributor gear, which is pressed on and pinned. Billet cams with cast distributor gears run $30-$40 more than cast cams.
 

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Roller cams are available from most cam suppliers ground on both cast and billet cores. .

Yes but cast and billet rollers are both steel. Cast flat tappet cams are iron. They are not interchangeable materials in this application. The iron is too malleable and would yield under a roller's pressure. Cast and billet refers to methods of manufacturing, not the material itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all responces,but i did what i should have done first and just google it. Found a lot of info on the subject with the profile pics answering what i wanted to know about profiles etc,big difference so from what i see it would run but not very well(to docile). So looks like i just run this old cam till it dies or i get ls1 funds in a year or so. thanks guys:thumbsup::D
 
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