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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this has been asked before, and I've seen solid flat-bottom lifters, but has anyone looked into solid roller ones? I'm wondering this since I like the later model rollers. Is it possible we can come together, and work out something with a manufacturer to create a set? Maybe test them with the new roller rockers and see what kind of power increase can be had by replacing the hydraulic stock ones.
 

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Never really seen much in the way roller lifters other than stock stuff. Don't quote me on this but I believe that the UK 1.8 CVH used rollers. The problem is that the 1.8 is different from the 1.6/1.9, how much I don't know. All the pictures I've seen to date show the 1.8 in rear wheel drive cars. If we could find a manufacturer to make the lifters the next problem is custom roller cams. To take full advantage of solid lifters you would want a cam to go with it.

I got a price last year for a chilled iron cam blank and for the price you could get a cnc'd steel billet cam for a little more. The problem is the only place still making blanks in great numbers is the UK. I'd love to see someone take up this roller lifter and roller cause because I would diffidently be willing to put some funds down for a set.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think the 1.8 uses the same setup as the roller cam 1.9, although I'm not 100% on it. I know it wasn't a popular head since it was a leanburn, so not much was made. The HO cam in itself is a good base to start from, and regrinding it to make a smaller base circle is a proven trick, but I just wonder who we could get to make a set of solid roller lifters. It's not much harder than making flat bottom ones, and would really give an edge with high lift lobes and high pressure springs, not to mention longevity.

What were those blank vs. cnc cam prices? I'd go CNC since it's a harder material and should last even longer.
 

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I can't remember the price of the blank but it was coming from the UK so part of the cost was shipping. Plus they would prefer selling more than one blank. I try to find the email. The CNC one wasn't that bad it was in the 400USD range. I talked with both CNC cam grinders and normal everyday machine shops that have a CNC lathe. The problem is with roller cam lobes. Normal flat tappets rotate on the cam, this extends cam and lifter life. Roller cams are done differently, I don't know how. It can be measured but the shop would need a new unused cam. Both roller cams I have sitting around are used and the one machine shop I took it to said they couldn't get good number off the lobes.

The biggest problem with grinding a custom cam is the numbers you need. It's easy to get duration, lift and the standard cam numbers it's all on the cam card. What cam guys don't give out is the opening and closing ramp numbers. These numbers control how the valve is opened and closed, it's all about the acceleration of the valve. Each engine has an ideal valve acceleration and deceleration number. Too big of a number and the valve train wears to quickly, too low and your losing performance. This is the secret stuff that the UK cam manufactures don't post on their sites. I was told by Crane that they have ramp numbers for the CVH but their not going to share them with me. And no Crane isn't producing CVH cams anymore but they still have grinds on file, I asked. In an ideal world I guess someone could buy a UK cam then have it measured. From those numbers a roller cam could be created. The one place I did talk to that has the CNC cam grinder does have software that will give him some suggested numbers but there not ideal. Only testing a cam in the real world is the way to go.

For your information I'm looking into solid roller lifters for you. I'm just waiting for someone to get back to me. I'll post something once I have something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
wow, nice post, Old...and I thank you for looking into this, as I'm not quite sure where to start :p. For what it's worth, a roller has much faster valve acceleration vs. flat-bottom due to lowered friction. The closing ramp tends to be higher as well, but it's not universally true.

I also understand the whole ideal behind turning the lifter in the bore..and it makes sense. My next question then comes to this; why hasn't an oillite ball bearing been used as a centerless roller design for the lifter, or would the small contact patch on the cam be the issue? Just a thought :p
 

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I never thought about the ball bearing thing. That would do anyway with those lifter alignment things.

I talked earlier today with one guy and he asked for some sample lifters. I don't have any solid lifters but I'm sending him a roller and flat bottom lifter. I also got a bunch of pictures of both the factory Ford solid lifters and the Newmen solid lifters to give him an idea of how they work. It's a start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Indeed it is. The solid part isn't the big issue...it's that darn roller on the bottom.

Yeah, a ball bearing would rid the need of a retainer, but I just wonder how cam lobe wear would be after a while due to the lack of large contact patch...maybe the ball would wear, or the lifter lob first. Still..it's a thought. Maybe mention it to the lifter guy and ask if that is even possible from an engineering standpoint. But, I'm definitely up for some prototype solid rollers. Combine that with roller rockers and a good cam, and you've got yourself a pretty good setup.
 

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Cow maybe you have a better understanding of this than I do. This morning I got an email back from an UK Newman Cam re-seller and in the email he told me that solid lifters can't be used with cam designed for hydraulic lifters. He telling me that hydraulic cams will need more lift and faster ramps in order to get the valve moving. If I use the Newman lifters on a non-solid lifter cam I'm going to end up damaging something because the profile is way to aggressive. Do you know this to be true or is he just pulling me leg so I buy a whole Newman Cam kit. If this is indeed the case are we not wasting our time making solid roller lifters because they wouldn't work correctly with the standard Ford roller cam.

Any light you can shed on the subject would be helpful. Maybe the guys doing the insky roller cams might know something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm no cam guru, but I honestly wonder about that guy's statement. I've seen solid and roller cams before for V8 engines, but there was no mention of a difference between hydraulic or solid lifters being used with the cam aside from lash adjustment.

The whole purpose behind hydro lifters is literally to self-adjust valve lash and keep the whole thing snug. If the lifter itself is sealing properly, I've known them to hold their oil pressure for decades, and I'm specifically speaking of CVH lifters. Even my car's original lifters that were still good held their oil just fine, as the two I found were still hard.

I did a test on them once to see what kind of force it would take to compress them when they're pumped up. I did not have a scale, although I can guess it was a lot of weight since I was hangining off a 3 foot crowbar and the weight was on the lifter. Using leverage one can guess that I was easily putting double or triple my weight (190 pounds) on it, without any collapse, and with no oil flowing into it. Personally, I think that would debunk any statement about hydro cams being steeper than solid.

The crow bar ratio would be insane compared to the stock rocker (at most 1.68 in theory). So, assuming the 200 pounds of open-valve pressure multiplied by 1.68 equals 336 pounds of force against the lifter. Lesser engines have the 1.65 ratio, which works out to 330 pounds...not much difference. We have to factor in mass of the valve and rocker, and the inertia those have as well, which can be high at high revs. Also we have a harmonic frequency the spring has in it from opening and clapping shut. Don't forget any funky valvetrain geometry friction. All this adds force the lifter "sees," but I doubt it will be anywhere near what it dealt with when I was hanging off the crowbar. Again, this is for properly sealing lifters that are pumped up. The reason I want solid ones is to be rid of the 6500 rpm safe limit, which is when the lifters can actually be overfilled with oil, and cause valve float.

Now, if the guy misunderstood and thought you meant flat-bottom solid lifters and not roller-bottom solid, then he's correct that roller cams indeed have much steeper ramps for opening and closing the valve. And he's correct that solid lifters can't be used on a roller cam...the lifter lobes will smear like peanut butter very quickly since the ramp up (acceleration) is really high. However, if there is a roller on the bottom, solid or hydraulic makes no difference, aside from having to adjust valve lash.

Personally, I'd like to see that adjustment given to the rocker arm instead of the lifter top, although it really doesn't matter, and it's probably better with the lifter because of force being spread out over greater surface area.

Maybe be specific and say non-hydraulic roller lifter that has manual lash adjustment. Essentially it's the same body of the solid lifter, but a little shorter to accommodate the wheel on the bottom...that's it.

If we had adjustments on the rockers, all we'd need to do is remove the internal valve, spring and plunger of the hydraulic lifter, tap the thing, and screw a giant slug that fits inside. Very simple stuff. As long as it's kept in the right lash, we'd have no problems. The adjustments on the solid lifters are pretty much that anyway. Just tell him to combine the roller and solid lifter into a solid roller design and we'll be happy :p
 

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I was just looking to buy just a set of solid flat bottom lifters. I really only want one to use as a starting point. Instead the guy said I should just buy the whole kit which includes cam, solid lifters and springs for around $600USD not including shipping. Here's something interesting for you Cow. The kit comes with single springs and is good to 7500rpm. That's a lot of rpm for the little CVH. The cam bearings can also be ground to fit the 1.9 head but I didn't get a price for that, maybe there is no extra cost.

At any rate it doesn't look like I'm going to get a solid lifter to use as a prototype solid roller lifter but I got a bunch pictures I'll send with the lifters. So you feel confident that the stock roller cam will work with solid roller lifters?

I think the biggest problem is going to be how to hold the lifters in place and keep them from turning. If the lifter is adjustable then how does one create the slots that keep the lifter from turning. For your information I found out how the Newman solid lifters are adjusted. Here's the basic steps:
1) On the bench roughly set the lifter
2) With cam at the bottom of the cycle, valve closed, install the lifter and torque the rocker down.
3) Measure the gap
4) Remove the rocker and lifter
5) Go over to your work bench and adjust the lifter
6) Re-install and check!!!
7) Do this until you get it right

That's a lot of work. The factory Ford solid lifter could be adjusted without removing the lifter but I don't see how this could be done with the roller lifters. If I find the time I will post some pictures up. I'm going to be talking to the guy today about the solid rollers so I'll see what he has to say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, we'd need smallish jam nuts under the adjustable pad. I think the hydraulic's retainer spot could be kept just fine, although it would be a snug fit.

Still, I think having the adjuster on the rocker arm is a much better choice, although it would require a rework of the rockers themselves, but it would be much less time consuming, and probably more precise. Those directions also failed to mention if the engine is to be warm or cold.

If you've got some machines for changing the bottom of a solid lifter, then it should be relatively simple to convert it to a roller bottom. Don't forget to dissect the roller lifter to see how it works...it's seriously simple.

What are those single springs rated for, anyhow? I doubt they're anywhere close to the I wouldn't worry about the rpm itself...the stock crank will be fine at that speed, although it will need to be properly balanced.
 

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I didn't get a chance to call the guy today about the solid roller lifter prototypes. I wanted to make sure that there wasn't a minimum comment requirement before he would produce the prototypes. At the same time I wanted to ask him about maybe just making some adjustable inserts that could be installed in the stock ones. This would reduce the costs a lot.

Here's something I found that you might find interesting. I'm been trying to track down who was making the lifters, both solid and roller. It looks like only two manufactures were making these things. One in the good old USofA and the other was in Germany. There may have been more but that's all I found from searching the Internet. I have a set of anti-pump up lifters from Ford Motorsport and based on the part number these lifters were made in Germany. When I do a manufacture part number lookup from an old catalog I find out that Audi used the exact same lifter in one of their cars. One part with both Audi and Ford part numbers. If I could figure out which Audi used the same lifter I could go down to a local Audi dealer and get a set of anti-pump up lifters that would fit my CVH head. Cool or what. The German manufacture is called 'febi' but you won't find the lifter information on their website, as far as I could tell. I found the cross-reference on a German parts distributor. I had to translate a bunch of old German pdf manuals. Any Audi experts out there? I don't know my Audi's too well so I have no idea which car might use the same lifter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hmmm...I'd guess the 80's Quattro cars had similar lifters. Time to research, I guess. That's quite interesting, although I'm not entirely surprised. Now we just have to find the US maker and see what they'll do. Of course, anti pump lifters help bump the rev limit to 7k...gives a little headroom.
 

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Ok here's some pictures of some flat bottom solid lifters.


^ Factory Ford solid lifters from a 1600i


^ Kent Cams solid lifter


^ Newman solid lifter

As you can see only the Ford one can be adjusted in place using a special tool. I think the biggest problem is still how to create slots that line the roller up. I can't see how that can be done using the factory lifter guides. Creating adjustable inserts (slugs) for the factory lifter would suffer from the same problem I think. The only way to do this I think is move the adjustment to the rocker like you suggested. This means custom rockers again. I guess I could talk to Harland Sharp about making rockers the have the adjuster at the lifter end. At the same time I'll talk to them about the solid lifter slugs. I've already sent a set of samples off to someone else. This whole thing could get very pricey if we go the rocker route. I'm guessing about $300US for the rockers and maybe another $50-100 for a set of solid roller lifters and inserts. That's a lot coin and I'm not sure how many people would jump on board. Anyways it's something to think about. I'll be talking to Harland Sharp soon so I'll ask about this. If you have any ideas Cow feel free to share.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'd be willing to go in on the rockers once I have the money if it means solid roller lifters....really. Besides, I think the rocker adjustment would be way easier, and probably more reliable. Might also make for stronger rockers. I don't know. Heck, we could even go for rail mounts instead of pedestal! Yay for ideas!
 

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Small update, talked with Harland Sharp and I'll be sending some samples off as well. I haven't heard back from the other guys I sent samples too but I'm guessing it's going to take a week or two before the parts arrive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Awesome. I hope H/S comes through again, although it might not be so hot having to create a second set of rockers, although it gives options for those who want ultimate reliability, or a ease of use with good performance. Either way it's a good situation...just expensive.
 

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UnexplodedCow said:
I'm no cam guru, but I honestly wonder about that guy's statement. I've seen solid and roller cams before for V8 engines, but there was no mention of a difference between hydraulic or solid lifters being used with the cam aside from lash adjustment.
There is a difference. I run flat tappets in most of my V8's (BOSS 302's came with them from the factory). They also require a special break-in procedure thta hydraulics don't require.

I have to ask, are you guys running RPM's that high you need solids??? My 1.8 is fine at 7,200 and the factory hydraulics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I know about the break-in procedure for solid flat-bottom lifters. We're talking about solid rollers...where there is a roller on the bottom of the lifter itself, not flat-bottomed. There won't be much of a break in procedure aside from lash adjustment, and there won't be any worry about poor break-in because there's a roller on the bottom of the lifter.

You're running a Mazda engine. There is different geometry and stressed on the lifter itself, not to mention a different lifter design. Stock CVH lifters are rated to handle 6500 rpm without failure. I think that's a little low overall. Anti-pump up versions will go to 7000, but are becoming harder to find, and impossible it seems in roller version. So, instead of getting a company to produce a set of anti pump up hydraulic rollers, I'd like to see solid rollers, but it's going to take a re-work of the rocker arm (lash adjustment needs to be added). It's a little bit convoluted, but I would like to see the outcome of this, as the lifters, and probably rockers, would be able to be used on all roller-lifter models.

That article I mentioned was purely about roller lifters, and whether solids could be used in place of hydraulics. The answer is a definite yes (as I'd said even before reading the article). We could even use the original cam if it's not worn badly (haven't seen a CVH roller cam wear out due to proper use). Good times.
 
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