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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted in the classified section, but I'll post here too.

What I want to do is run roller lifters in the engine I am going to build for my 56. I have come to the conclusion that it may be cheaper to hunt down a 350 block that had factory roller lifters than convert my current block. (after pouring over my Summit Catalog)

I have a one piece rear, 4 bolt main with the shorter lifter bores that I would be willing to trade. I want almost the same thing, 1 piece rear, 4 bolt main but with the taller lifter bores. Or I can just buy it outright.

I'm in Orlando, let me know if anyone has anything.
 

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1957 Bel Air sport sedan
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Well, apparently all 350's AFTER 1987 had roller lifters. If someone has a post-1987 350, then it should work. The only engine block I have right now is a 1971 Ford 302 block.... I know... a Ford. :rolleyes:
Eldon
 

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What's the height difference in the lifter bores between the blocks?

I was under the impression you could retrofit roller lifters into a pre '87 block?

In fact I am so under the impression I actually have a roller lifter setup I was planning on putting in a pre '87 block I have. I won't be able to check for a couple weeks, but now i'm curious and i'll dust the block off and dig out the cam/lifters/spider and see how it all fits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey Motown,

Yes, you can retrofit an older block to roller lifters, but from what I have been reading, it is VERY expensive, to the point where it appears cheaper to pick up an OE roller lifter block.
 

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That's the article that convinced me I could retrofit the roller cam into a pre '87 block. The way I see the article they plug aftermarket kits because they get a pat on the back and a couple greenbacks to do so.

They say "You need aftermarket lifters to stop the lifters from rotating" but chevy already did this with the plates and spider assembly which is held in place by 3 bolts in the center of the lifter valley. I read an article where all somone did was drill and tap a couple holes and it worked fine.

The second "hurdle" is the cam thrust plate. But that's simple enough, either retrofit the original chevy part, or use a cam button. Either way it's cheaper than a set of $400 lifters.

I got the cam, lifters, spider, thrust plate, and pushrods from the junkyard for under $30. I figure for that price it's worth at least trying.

Sure if I had the choice for a roller equiped block for less than the block I already have I would just go OEM, but I have a spare 4-bolt pre '87 block lying around that needs some love :D
 

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That's the article that convinced me I could retrofit the roller cam into a pre '87 block. The way I see the article they plug aftermarket kits because they get a pat on the back and a couple greenbacks to do so.

They say "You need aftermarket lifters to stop the lifters from rotating" but chevy already did this with the plates and spider assembly which is held in place by 3 bolts in the center of the lifter valley. I read an article where all somone did was drill and tap a couple holes and it worked fine.

The second "hurdle" is the cam thrust plate. But that's simple enough, either retrofit the original chevy part, or use a cam button. Either way it's cheaper than a set of $400 lifters.

I got the cam, lifters, spider, thrust plate, and pushrods from the junkyard for under $30. I figure for that price it's worth at least trying.

Sure if I had the choice for a roller equiped block for less than the block I already have I would just go OEM, but I have a spare 4-bolt pre '87 block lying around that needs some love :D
What years are the best for getting the thrust plate? I thought you could buy a Torkington bearing for that and what do you mean by a cam button?

Where do you drill the holes for the spider assembly? Looks like a piece of properly bent aluminum yada would work well.

What's the cheapest way to use a roller cam in a pre 87 and stay distributorless? I know MSD makes one but it's pricey for me.

BTW, you have a great attitude. How about coming and giving me a hand with a couple of projects.
 

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Why the push for the roller lifters? The flat tappet lifters have been used for years. They work fine and will last if the maintainance is done regularly. If I were worried about having roller lifters I would buy a Target motor from GM for an '88 or newer vehicle. Just my 2 cents.
Dave
 

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Why the push for the roller lifters? The flat tappet lifters have been used for years. They work fine and will last if the maintainance is done regularly. If I were worried about having roller lifters I would buy a Target motor from GM for an '88 or newer vehicle. Just my 2 cents.
Dave

You can just get things from a roller you can't do with a non roller. It doesn't matter for a non competitive engine with low HP. Unless you happen to have a hot roller lying around to go with some hot heads. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The sheer expense of it all scared me away. Just going to run the stock small block in the Bel Air now, probably don't want to get going too fast with stock non power all drum brakes and no power steering.......
 

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I always figured the big advantage to the roller rockers would be the less resistance or friction on the cam? Street or strip it would be better on the internal parts. Just my .02 worth.
Terry
 
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