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Retro Fit Roller Cam

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Old 12-04-2010, 03:42 PM   #1
mpa5008
 
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Default Retro Fit Roller Cam

Hey guys, I was hoping you could help with figure out what options are available for my '68 289.

I'm in the process of rebuilding the original engine, I was planning on replacing the stock heads with edelbrock performer aluminum heads. I've been trying to figure out what roller cams are available for this engine that would work well with these heads. I have talked with summit techs and they recommended a setup from comp cams. I was wondering if anyone had any experience switching from hydraulic flat tappet to a hydraulic roller cam and could point me in the right direction. I was hoping to go with an Isky cam however they don't offer anything for the 289. Apart from Isky and Comp Cams, what companies would you recommend that have a roller setup available for a 289 or do you think Comp Cams is the best option?

Thanks
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:30 PM   #2
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Comp Cams all the way...free bump.
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:37 PM   #3
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You will need a reduced base circle cam in order to put a roller cam into a non roller 289 block. I don't know for sure but Comp cams may be your only option for one.

But, they used to have plenty of options, and I like their cams.

My son is running a retro fit kit in his 69 block, I can't find a downside, the install was simple enough, we had to CAREFULLY drill and tap 2 shallow 1/4" holes in the valley to attach the "spider", (super easy if the cam bearings are not in, a little more "delicate" when they are in though).

Some say that the tops of the lifter bores need to be cleaned up with a die grinder for the bones to lay down right, but we didn't need to do this.
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Old 12-04-2010, 07:56 PM   #4
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i'm pretty sure you don't have to use a reduced base circle cam to use a roller in a non-roller 289. it just requires link bar lifters that cost a little more.

maybe i'm wrong about the 289. i'm using a non-reduced base circle roller in my 69 351W and not using a retro fit kit.
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Old 12-04-2010, 08:02 PM   #5
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Email Ed Curtis at Flowtech Induction and let him know what you need. He'll set you up with a custom ground hyd roller for your car that works in your block, and will answer all your questions. It's $325 for the cam, which is only marginally more or the same as an ots grind from Comp, but you'll get better performance.
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Old 12-05-2010, 12:01 AM   #6
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you can do it two ways, reduced base circle cam and stock lifters, dogbones and spyder OR regular stock hyd roller cam and the expensive link bar lifters, the link bar lifters are also much more of a high performance style lifter (comp cams). You can also get many more off the shelf cams using the link bar lifters vs the reduced base circle cams. It is definetly worth the swap though either way you do it.
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Old 12-05-2010, 09:51 AM   #7
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I should have mentioned that when I was pricing stuff out, a roller swap could be done with bars and links w/ no reduced base circle cam for about twice the cost of a retrofit kit.

It has been a couple of years ago since I priced one of these though, might not be so bad now.

I was under the impression that I was getting linked lifters when I bought the first retrofit kit, but in spite of my initial disappointment, the first one worked out so well that I made the decision to go with the "retro fit" again, (mainly for financial considerations) on the second 408.
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Old 12-05-2010, 11:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeDemon View Post
i'm pretty sure you don't have to use a reduced base circle cam to use a roller in a non-roller 289. it just requires link bar lifters that cost a little more.

maybe i'm wrong about the 289. i'm using a non-reduced base circle roller in my 69 351W and not using a retro fit kit.
Can you elaborate on your setup, BD?
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Old 12-05-2010, 03:58 PM   #9
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http://www.summitracing.com/search/D...s/?Ns=Rank|Asc

With these, there is no spider and bones needed.
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Old 12-05-2010, 04:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 69mach1377 View Post
Can you elaborate on your setup, BD?
ok. nothing special

69 351W non roller block

comp cam billet hydraulic roller
morel link bar lifters

no dogbones, no spiders

620 lift
236/244 duration
150 lbs on the seat

I think the lifters were about $400. Pricey.

is this the info you were interested in or were you looking for something else? thanks.

Click the image to open in full size.

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Old 12-06-2010, 10:07 AM   #11
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Yes BD, and JMD. I guess I slept while these came out. Used to be you needed the Crane(?) conversion kit.
$318 for the Howard Cams lifter set seems to be most affordable. Anybody use those ones?
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:58 AM   #12
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I am running a solid roller cam in my 408 but its the same idea..Converted it to a roller using comp cams linked lifters...Perhaps not an issue in a mild build but the reduced base circle cams can flex in a high performance app with strong spring pressures...I also like the fact that I have much more camshaft options this way...
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:27 AM   #13
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thanks for all the input, looks like i'm leaning towards the Comp Cams Magnum 260 HR.
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:03 PM   #14
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The only differance between a roller and no-roller block is the height of the lifter bores. The roller lifters are esswentially the same thing as a non-roller, but with a wheel on the bottom. WHich makes them longer. To get proper oiling, Ford made the lifter bores taller.

To make the conversion, you have two options:

1. Use stock ford lifters, spider and dog bones. That's where the reduced base circle cam comes in. The smaller base allows the lifters to sit lower in the bores, and get oiled properly.
As said above, you need to drill and tap two small holes in the lifter valley. That's easy. The other issue is getting the dog bones to sit flat on the top of the bores. Most blocks will need to be clearanced a little bit for the dog bones. Again, an easy operation that can be done with a hand grinder.
But, some blocks have as cast or irregular areas at the top of the lifter bores. These will have to be carefully machined flat.

2. The second option is to use any roller cam, and link bar lifters.

Option is usually cheaper, if you don't need machining of the lifter bore tops. But option 2 is easier.

Don't forget to measure for proper push rod length.
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Old 12-17-2010, 12:06 PM   #15
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So for option 2, does the rod length basically decrease based on the difference in height of the std vs. roller lifters?
Option 1 seems better for a new or rebuild with the engine on a stand whereas option 2 may be better for an in-car swap.
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Old 12-17-2010, 01:07 PM   #16
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Pushrod length always has to be checked on a per application basis.
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Old 12-17-2010, 02:59 PM   #17
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Yeah, but you gotta be in the ballpark to begin with.
I thought it was a simple question.
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Old 12-18-2010, 09:52 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 69mach1377 View Post
So for option 2, does the rod length basically decrease based on the difference in height of the std vs. roller lifters?
Option 1 seems better for a new or rebuild with the engine on a stand whereas option 2 may be better for an in-car swap.
With link bar lifters the push rod length is usually decreased. The lifters are considerably taller than stock.

With a reduced base circle cam and stock lifters (option 1), the push rod length is pretty close to stock.
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Old 12-18-2010, 10:07 AM   #19
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That's what I was thinking, the pushrod length decreases as much as the lifter height increases, as a starting point.
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:28 PM   #20
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I went with a Trick Flow Stage One roller cam with Howard's link bar lifters. Couldn't be happier!
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:28 PM
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1968, 289, 2v, 351c, 46, cam, cams, comp, fit, ford, howard, hydraulic, mustang, options, retro, retrofit, roller

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