how to convert flat tappet to roller? - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-23-2009 Thread Starter
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how to convert flat tappet to roller?

i was just wondering i have a 87 5.0 non ho motor with a flat tappet cam i was wondering how i would go about converting to a roller motor?thanks
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-23-2009
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Correct me if I'm wrong here guys, but I believe it would be more cost effective to just use a roller block. They can be found for next to nothing.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-23-2009
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ERRMMM not exactly...You can go two ways about it...buy retro(superexpensive)fit cam and lifters. Or you can buy an adapter and buy regular cam and lifters for cheap. I think we know which way you want to go.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-23-2009
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The only differance between roller and non roller blocks is the height of the lifter bores. Non roller are a little shorter, because flat tappets are a little shorter.

There are two ways to make the conversion. You can use a reduced base circle cam, stock lifters, stock dog bones, and stock spider. You'll need to drill and tap two small shallow holes in the valley to retain the spider. This is probably the cheapest and easiets method. You'll be using stock Ford rollers, which are probably the best on the market. And you don't have to remove the heads.

The second is to use a standard cam and link bar lifters. You won't need dog bones, a spider, and you don't need to drill the holes. The lifters are aftermarket, and probably not as good; and they cost around $500 a set. Link bar lifters are a lot taller than stock. You'll have to remove the heads to get them in and out. So, if one doesn't seem to be working properly and needs to be inspected, you have to pull the head.

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-23-2009 Thread Starter
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so yea im just gonna go buy a high output motor best bet
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-24-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .boB View Post
1The only differance between roller and non roller blocks is the height of the lifter bores. Non roller are a little shorter, because flat tappets are a little shorter.

There are two ways to make the conversion. You can use a 2reduced base circle cam, stock lifters, stock dog bones, and stock spider. You'll need to drill and tap two small shallow holes in the valley to retain the spider. This is probably the cheapest and easiets method. You'll be using stock 3Ford rollers, which are probably the best on the market. And you don't have to remove the heads.

The second is to use a standard cam and link bar lifters. You won't need dog bones, a spider, and you don't need to drill the holes. 4The lifters are aftermarket, and probably not as good; and they cost around $500 a set. Link bar lifters are a lot taller than stock. You'll have to remove the heads to get them in and out. So, if one doesn't seem to be working properly and needs to be inspected, you have to pull the head.
OK... there's some seriously bad info in here that needs to be corrected....

1.
That height difference can cause major issues in the oiling system, especially if the guy bolting things together doesn't know what to look for.
What happens if the lifter comes too high in it's bore????

2.
The reduced base circle cams are pure garbage. They should be avoided like the plague.
Reduced base cams are NOT like a hot chick with STD's... they're like a really ugly chick that you know has STD's and H1N1.
If you go near that, then you deserve what you get...

3.
I won't say the Stock Ford roller lifters are pure garbage... but...
If you have an aftermarket cam, then you may want to think about getting away from the Ford lifters.


4.
As for the link bar lifters being junk.
Straight BS.
Do you have any data to back that 'probably' up?
You get what you pay for on this subject.
Just because it comes in a box marked FRPP, doesn't mean it's superior for performance cars...
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-24-2009
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Link bars, depending on the maker, are probably the best out there.

Dudeboy cover the rest accurately.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-24-2009
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1. You're right. The height differance does cause major problems with the oiling system. That's why they have to be lower in the bore to work properly.

2. Reduced base circle cams are only as good as the grind. Don't like what's offered off the shelf? Have one made. It's not nearly as expensive as you might think. Call Comp Cams, and have them make any grind you like out of the catalog in a reduced base circle. I've been racing a cam like that for 4 years without any problems.

3. Stock Ford lifters will easily last 150K miles. When's the last time you heard of a lifter failure? At the worst, you hear of obne collapsing. OTOH, there have been a number of reports of aftermarket lifter failures with catastrophic results. Keith Craft, The Engine Factory, Fortes, Gordon Levy, Smeding and other pro builders all use Ford lifters. There must be something to them. KC modifies Ford lifters to get more rpm's out of them. If they were junk, don't you think they'de know that? Also, I'v been racing them for 4 years without a single failure. CMC and AI also use them, and I don't think I'v heard of a failure from that group, either.

4. I don't recall using the word "junk". Yeah, they're probably not as good. Like I said, there have been quite a few reports of failures in the last year. Even on some very low mileage engines.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-24-2009
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Ive had two failure with the FRPP parts lifters. Lots of guys modify the lifters. Thats because the internals are less than adequate. They shim them for less travel, but also use stiffer springs. One of the failures I had was the actual roller body. I didnt mention it, because the actual roller body, is fairly reliable. But the Link Bar type lifters are a better lifter. You see more failure, because they are used in higher HP applications, and set up wrong in the valve train. Not the lifters fault more times than not.

The reduced base circle cam is a weaker cam. Strength wise, thats the problem with them. They cause valvetrain instability, due to the fact that they flex more. This has been proven with standard base circle cams on a SADI core also.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by .boB View Post
1. You're right. The height differance does cause major problems with the oiling system. That's why they have to be lower in the bore to work properly.

2. Reduced base circle cams are only as good as the grind. Don't like what's offered off the shelf? Have one made. It's not nearly as expensive as you might think. Call Comp Cams, and have them make any grind you like out of the catalog in a reduced base circle. I've been racing a cam like that for 4 years without any problems.

3. Stock Ford lifters will easily last 150K miles. When's the last time you heard of a lifter failure? At the worst, you hear of obne collapsing. OTOH, there have been a number of reports of aftermarket lifter failures with catastrophic results. Keith Craft, The Engine Factory, Fortes, Gordon Levy, Smeding and other pro builders all use Ford lifters. There must be something to them. KC modifies Ford lifters to get more rpm's out of them. If they were junk, don't you think they'de know that? Also, I'v been racing them for 4 years without a single failure. CMC and AI also use them, and I don't think I'v heard of a failure from that group, either.

4. I don't recall using the word "junk". Yeah, they're probably not as good. Like I said, there have been quite a few reports of failures in the last year. Even on some very low mileage engines.
Items 1 & 2.
Running a Reduced base cam in this day and age is retarded. I have pics at home that I will post up tonight... it will make you reconsider what you have in your car!!!
Having a custom cut reduced base cam has to be one of the biggest wastes of money I have heard of in a long time.
REDUCED BASE = JUNK
And running a reduced base cam, just so you can run a cheapo stock lifter is even worse.

3.
150k miles of what? Driving to the grocery store?
If you are going to say that aftermarket link bar lifters are prone to failure, then you need to support that
Got links?
When you suggested running stock lifters, did you mention anything about modifying them??? Kinda left the reader hanging there, didn't ya?

4.
You may not have used the word 'junk' but you did just say they were prone to failure.
Get your story straight dude...
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As comparison, standard base on the left and reduces base on the right.

Which cam will deflect more under the load of the spring?
Which cam will deflect more due simply to the rotational forces on the cam, and the fact that the lobes aren't 'balanced'?

The reduced base cams are inviting harmonics into your valvetrain.
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bp88mustang,

First things first...... could you check the casting number of that '87 block? Even though it was initially set with a flat tappet cam OEM, it may be a roller ready (tall lifter boss) block. LUK

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LUK=Let Us Know, GL=Good Luck, LMK=Let Me Know, JIC=Just In Case, BTSTDTRT=Been There Seen That Done That Repaired That, YCYDYP=Your Car Your Dough Your Prerogative and the classic... DILLIGAS=Do I Look Like I Give A S***
1986 GT-X303 cam, 289 heads, 1.72, Holley 700cfm DP, RG 4+1 Trans.
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All the flat tapped blocks can be converted with a kit from Comp cams...PEOPLE GET BACK ON TOPIC...88mustang buying a roller block is more expensive, buy the kit from Comp Cams and buy lifters n cam from whoever you feel more comfortable with or if you want to just keep the stock lifters and cam I guess you could buy the roller block and save yourself the time and work. But I'd keep that block, buy te conversion kit (which isn't expensive) and upgrade the cam and lifters. Trick Flows stage I cam is supposed to be good. That's what I'm going to be using with my turbos

1990 convertible, BBK CAI, Aluminum radiator, high-flow water pump, Tri-Ax short shifter, adjustable clutch cable with aluminum quadrant. In the garage working on the turbo kit.

1989 Hatchback, BBK CAI, BBK equal lenght headers, aluminum radiator, high-flow water pump, aluminm driveshaft, short shifter, off road h-pipe and 44 flowmasters. Daily driver...getting 19 mpg YAYA!!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ******* View Post
All the flat tapped blocks can be converted with a kit from Comp cams...PEOPLE GET BACK ON TOPIC...88mustang buying a roller block is more expensive, buy the kit from Comp Cams and buy lifters n cam from whoever you feel more comfortable with or if you want to just keep the stock lifters and cam I guess you could buy the roller block and save yourself the time and work. But I'd keep that block, buy te conversion kit (which isn't expensive) and upgrade the cam and lifters. Trick Flows stage I cam is supposed to be good. That's what I'm going to be using with my turbos
If by kit you mean the link-bar lifters ($380+)... sure. If by kit you mean the spider/dog bones retrofit kit ..... ..... this last alternative will limit cam selection to a reduced base circle HR camshaft in a short lifter boss block.

ACRONYMS:
LUK=Let Us Know, GL=Good Luck, LMK=Let Me Know, JIC=Just In Case, BTSTDTRT=Been There Seen That Done That Repaired That, YCYDYP=Your Car Your Dough Your Prerogative and the classic... DILLIGAS=Do I Look Like I Give A S***
1986 GT-X303 cam, 289 heads, 1.72, Holley 700cfm DP, RG 4+1 Trans.
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When I built my 347 I called Crane. They poo pooed the spider deal and told me to use their linked roller rockers. Sure they were expensive, over $400. But I now am running a '79 block with a hydraulic roller cam with, of course, Crane linked roller rockers and life is good.

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