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Resident Idiot
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I'll just list the Pros and Cons of what _I_ see of the roller cams. I would like to get some different opinions from folks on the subject.

Pros:
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Can run aggressive ramps due to roller lifter being smaller in the bottom compared to a conventional lifter
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">High RPM friendly
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Looks pretty
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Bragging rights
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">
Cons:
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Expensive! ~$1200 for a billet kit
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Must use roller chain that typically stretches
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Can't use GM tensioner
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Must use different pushrods
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Must use heavy valve springs
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Must use odd fire torrington bearing setup on the nose (pita)
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Must use shims under cam button (one more clearance to get wrong)
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Heavier rotating mass in engine due to heavier lifters, longer pushrods
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">More stress on rocker shafts due to high spring rates
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">
I think 90% of the Buick community doesn't care about high RPM and aggressive ramping. Unless I am missing some benefits of running a $1200 cam in a Buick motor, I just don't get it. Sure, I have one only because my past engine builder stated the only way he would warranty the motor is if he installed a roller cam in place of a flat tappet for concerns of wiping a lope. I bought it and frankly don't think I even need it. It seems the further from stock configuration, the more hassle these engines become.

What's the difference in running a 210/210 flat tappet vs. a 210/210 billet roller, besides the extra $1000 I'll have left over?

Looking for some serious answers. Educate me please! powersix

<small>[ August 11, 2003, 10:36 PM: Message edited by: Orlando_87GN ]</small>
 

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Originally posted by Orlando_87GN:
[qb]

Pros:
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Cons:
    • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Expensive! ~$1200 for a billet kit
    • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Must use roller chain that typically stretches
    • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Can't use GM tensioner
    • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Must use different pushrods
    • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Must use heavy valve springs
    • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Must use odd fire torrington bearing setup on the nose (pita)
    • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Must use shims under cam button (one more clearance to get wrong)
    • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Heavier rotating mass in engine due to heavier lifters, longer pushrods
    • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">More stress on rocker shafts due to high spring rates
    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">
    I think 90% of the Buick community doesn't care about high RPM and aggressive ramping.

    Unless I am missing some benefits of running a $1200 cam in a Buick motor, I just don't get it.

    It seems the further from stock configuration, the more hassle these engines become.

    ===============================================
    REPLY:

    Pretty well covers it sufficiently for many folks...appears you've cogitated on the topic adequately to have effectively presented a balanced assessment.

    The very real fear of wasting/wiping out a lobe with a flat tappet has sold many roller set-ups, as you mentioned.

    <small>[ August 11, 2003, 11:00 PM: Message edited by: NCBuickGN ]</small>
 

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Someone Crown My Ass!
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They do cost some money. I only put this one in because I got an awesome deal on it and had to build the nose myself since Ruggles has been long gone. My springs are only 110 lb. seat pressure which isn't much more than a good hydraulic cam. No break-in and better than a 95% chance of good cam life with a roller. I don't know if they make much additional power but feel they add some. They give a fairly quite valvetrain compared to flat tappet cams IMO. Most of the kits I have seen are 1k or less and if you piece it together yourself even cheaper. You will need good shafts or roller rockers with them and that in-turn means taller valve covers. Comp Cams has a new piece that is an all in one that doesn't take the odd-fire nose assembly.
IMO they probably are not worth it for our motors but everyone should try one if you can afford it.

<small>[ August 12, 2003, 08:50 AM: Message edited by: CallMeMud ]</small>
 

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Couple of things.. First, you get "more cam" with a roller, even at the same timing specs,because it opens/closes faster. The roller and the flat tappet may have the same duration at 0.050", for example, but the roller will show a bigger duration at 0.075", 0.10", etc., up to max lift. This means that at 210/210, (or other given duration) a roller will make more power from "area under the curve" than a flat tappet cam. Second, the roller will reduce friction substantially. The late model cars from Ford, GM, etc, have rollers as much because of the friction as because of performance. And you can use a rev kit to take the load off the pushrods and rocker shafts. But that will add even more to the expense. Expense you stated seems a little high, by the way. $800-$900 without the rev kit seems more like what I have seen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the opinions! This is some great info.. thumb_up powersix
 

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Fuhgeddaboudit
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I have 50K miles now on my Crane billet roller and no complaints. The roller concept of less friction more than makes up for the moving mass. Also the oil runs 10-15 degrees cooler with less friction. It is also said when running more than 20 lbs of boost there is extreme pressure on the exhaust valves to open putting stress on the valvetrain. Rollers make this task much easier and more effective than flat tappets.I used the antiwalk kit mounted in the back of the block and a custom machined torrington bearing to keep the cam in place. So no messy cam buttons needed.I am running K-Motion springs with 130lb seat pressure and after 50K miles no sign of wear on rockers or pushrods. Whole valvetrain looks like it was installed yesterday. As for the extra money I wasted more money doing smokey burnouts :cool:
 

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First off, I will say that I will never build a motor w/o a roller, not after wiping a few cams. They are great, the peace of mind is priceless.

Also, I remember reading that increased valve spring pressure does not place any additional load on the cam/ bearings because as one side is pushing the spring down, the other side is being pushed by the spring on the way down.
 

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turbosam6:
First off, I will say that I will never build a motor w/o a roller, not after wiping a few cams. They are great, the peace of mind is priceless.

Also, I remember reading that increased valve spring pressure does not place any additional load on the cam/ bearings because as one side is pushing the spring down, the other side is being pushed by the spring on the way down.
This is not correct. If you measured torque required to rotate the cam and neglected friction at the cam bearing (assumed perfect frictionless bearings) it would be true. This ain't the case, however. With a V motor the forces are not opposed and both push downward on the cam, resulting in a net thrust downward equal to the sum of the spring rates for each valve at whatever lift that valve is at, times ~.707 (force component downward for a 45 degree angle).

Executive summary: More spring, more cam bearing wear. wink
 

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I want a Z06
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turbosam6:
First off, I will say that I will never build a motor w/o a roller, not after wiping a few cams. They are great, the peace of mind is priceless.
Bing Bing Bing Bing Bing yup yup yup

We have a winner.

No WIPED CAMS! Thats the reason I went with a Roller as well. Even if the performace were the same, which its not I don't have to worry about killing cams like so many people have done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
No WIPED CAMS! Thats the reason I went with a Roller as well. Even if the performace were the same, which its not I don't have to worry about killing cams like so many people have done.
Don't get too excited. I have already seen (2) different roller cams 'wiped'. One was apparantly due to a roller lifter failure and the other was a Crane Inconel sp? cam that wiped about 3 lobes. If I ever mess up a $1000 cam I am selling everything and riding a bicycle. powersix
 

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aka: mOtOrHeAd MiKe
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The reduced friction would synch it for me. The non-wiped lobes would call a close second.

However, the $$$ outlaid is NUTS. silly

And if anything failed... crazy

<small>[ August 13, 2003, 12:15 PM: Message edited by: mOtOrHeAd MiKe ]</small>
 

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Roller is the way to go,just make sure everything is set up correctly,end clearance,degree,preload, valve guide clearance,same with a after market flat tappet.Heavy duty shafts are a must and work fine.Not really a bolt in and go deal with any cam.You really need to pull the heads to cut the guides back so as to not make noise,at that point you might as well pull the motor.Now you might as well rebuild the motor,man does this stuff ever end?
 

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I purchased a Schneider Billet roller setup a couple years ago... it sits in the garage next to a beautiful set of solid roller lifters (non hydraulic), a rear anti walk kit, new timing chain, ect.

I installed a 212/212 Compcam and it wiped in the first 30 minutes of starting the motor. This is after doing the Buick anti wipe rain dance over a mixed stack of 5.0 Mustang magazines, and Chevy CarCraft magazines.

That new TA Performance aluminum block will be on an engine stand in the garage before I will ever install the roller cam.

A CompCam's 206/206 is in the motor now. I added a stack of Rice car magazines to the Anti Camshaft procedure. usa
 

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cheers powersix to the last post!!!! headbang
 
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