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I have noticed the Comp Cams retro roller kits. What is required to run one of these cams in a '65-'66 289? Are there any block modifications? I know I would have to have screw-in studs, etc.
Thanks,
Mike
 

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In the oil drainback valley, either 2 or 4 of the holes have to be tapped and threaded to hold down the spider. Then, your distributor has be compatible with the steel roller cam, the original distributor made for a cast iron cam won't work. I think the Comp Cams retro roller kit pretty comes with everything you need, and instructions. That is one upgrade that is definitely on my list for the NEXT time I rebuild a 289!

Good luck with your project.
 

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There are a couple different conversion kits, but most of them come with just about everything you need. Some use a spider brace that is threaded into the oil drain back holes in the block, others use bars that strap adjacent lifters together. Make sure you swap the distributer gear for a brass one, the iron gear on your dist. now, will chew up the roller cam. You also need to make sure you check the pushrod lengths to keep proper vavle train geometry. I'll do a little research today for you and see if I can find a nice kit for you.
 

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I don't know how aggressive a cam you're looking for but here's a couple for you. I recommend the "K" kits as they come with everything except the dist. gear.
the CompCams K31-412-8 or K31-422-8 and the 35200 dist. gear. This kit won't require machining of the block.
 

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Some roller cams have a cast iron gear pressed on so that a standard cast iron dist gear can be used, so be aware of this.

If the cam gear is the same hardened steel as the roller cam itself, you can use a bronze gear, but I recommend a hardened steel dist gear instead. The soft bronze has a tendency to produce metal shavings that end up in the oil. This is unacceptable to me. The hardened steel gear doesn't produce these shavings and need periodic replacement as the bronze gear.

The roller lifters with the attached bars, is the way to go in my opinion. You won't have to do anything to the block as you would to attach the spider. The idea of drilling and tapping on an assembled engine scares me. All it takes is a small piece of the cuttings from the tap to cause problems.
 
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