Roller hydraulic cam

Roller hydraulic cam DEFAULT

Flat vs. Roller Tappet: Which Is Better?

Camshaft selection has always confounded a lot of us. What does it all mean, and which cam is the right cam for your Mustang? The most basic question with cam selection is flat tappet (old school) versus the more expensive roller tappet (high tech). Is the roller tappet worth the added expense?

Both flat- and roller-tappet camshafts have been around for as long as there have been internal combustion engines. The humble flat-tappet camshaft was a mainstay in manufacturing because it was cheaper to produce and tended to last the life of the engine—or at least until the warranty expired. As fuel economy and horsepower demand increased in the 1980s, roller-tappet camshafts became more commonplace in mass-production engines.

Ford was first with a roller-tappet hydraulic cam in the Mustang in 1985, which made the Mustang's 5.0L engine more powerful, not to mention more fuel efficient. The car was a blast to drive and became the best of both worlds—efficiency and power—two elements previously unheard of in the same car. The news even got better with the advent of electronic engine control and fuel injection.

Those '80s Mustang GTs and LXs are now classics and have found their way back into the hearts of Mustang enthusiasts who grew up with them. They also represent the beginning of more exciting Mustangs from Ford. The roller-tappet 5.0L High Output engine got us to thinking about the benefits of a roller-tappet camshaft in our flat-tappet classics. Little by little, camshaft companies started producing retro roller camshaft kits for the older 260/289/302ci small-block; 351ci Cleveland; 390ci and 428ci FE big-block; and the brute, broad-shouldered 385 Series 429/460.

Despite the great efforts of aftermarket cam grinders, there remains the question of which type of camshaft to choose—flat tappet or roller? Why eat the expense of a roller camshaft when you can save a bunch of money with a flattie? The biggest reason is that the roller camshaft allows for a more aggressive profile with more civilized street manners, and it reduces internal friction because it takes more energy to turn a flat-tappet cam than it does a roller.

It is clear from the shape of a hydraulic-roller cam lobe, when compared to a flat-tappet lobe, what the advantages are in a roller cam. The flat-tappet cam lobe is more pointed at peak lift, while the roller cam nose tends to be rounded; this means the roller is holding the valve open at higher lift for a longer period of time, which results in a greater fuel/air charge. The lobe shape also opens the valve much faster. On the exhaust side, it means greater scavenging as hot gasses begin their trek out.

The greatest challenge facing enthusiasts with hydraulic-roller cams is lifter weight. Because there is more mass to a roller tappet, the added weight makes it tricky to control these guys at high rpm without the use of stiffer valvesprings, which tend to collapse hydraulic lifters at high rpm. This is where you must shop carefully for roller cams and all the related components.

If you compare a hydraulic-roller camshaft to a flat-tappet hydraulic cam with similar duration at 0.050-inch numbers, the hydraulic-roller cam will always have a longer seat time. The roller lobe configuration allows for faster ramp acceleration, yet it also suffers from slow acceleration off the seat compared to a flat-tappet cam, which is the trade-off. As a result, the advertised duration numbers tend to be longer.

A hydraulic-roller cam with the same duration at 0.050-inch lift as a flat-tappet hydraulic will not idle the same. More advertised duration increases the amount of valve overlap (both valves off their seats at the same time), which will cause a "rumpity-rump-rump!" idle. This is not always a major issue, but worth noting if you are considering swapping in a hydraulic-roller cam. If a smooth idle is important to you, the roller cam should be ordered with a greater lobe-separation angle (110 to 114 degrees) to reduce the overlap and smooth the idle.

At first glance it appears the real advantage to a hydraulic-roller cam is greater lift. In truth, the real advantage of a hydraulic- or mechanical-roller cam is that we can hold the valve open longer, which gives us greater airflow and improved exhaust scavenging. While a hydraulic-roller cam will improve power even with stock heads, the greatest potential lies in combining a roller cam with an engine equipped with a set of good aftermarket or factory performance cylinder heads with 1.6:1-ratio rocker arms.

Sours: https://www.motortrend.com/how-to/flat-vs-roller-tappet-better/

Common Usage: Moderate street performance to serious race

Key Benefits: Increased engine rpm and profile aggressiveness vs. economical cost of hydraulic flat tappet

Limitations: Long-term wear, limited rpm range, periodic valve adjustment required

The original race engine lifter, solid (also referred to as mechanical) flat tappet camshafts feature a more aggressive street performance or racing profile and are capable of higher engine rpm than hydraulic flat tappet camshafts. As with the hydraulic flat tappet camshaft, the flat appearing lifter bottom follows the contours of the camshaft to operate the valve train components at the appropriate time, rotating within the lifter bore in a similar fashion to the hydraulic flat tappet lifter. The solid lifter does not have the internal cavity and piston found with the hydraulic lifter and does not expand or contract with engine temperature. Because of this feature, the solid lifter requires an initial cold valve lash setting and then adjustment after the engine has reached operating temperature (hot lash setting) to deliver the engine’s top performance potential. Solid flat tappet lifters also feature a signature performance “ticking” sound, particularly when cold, that many performance fans find attractive as well.

The lash setting is adjusted by using a set of feeler gauges to set the proper distance between the rocker arm tip and top of the valve stem when the lifter is on the base circle of the camshaft. Solid lifter camshafts require a certain level of valve lash maintenance at regular intervals. Flat tappet lifters can only be used once per camshaft and must be replaced due to wear patterns created by the direct contact of the camshaft with the lifter base. Special Note: Flat tappet camshafts require a special break-in process to allow the lifters and camshaft to properly mate. These steps include (but are not limited to) using a suitable engine oil with high Zinc (ZDDP) content and reducing valve spring pressure during break-in. For a complete step-by-step break-in procedure, please consult the Flat Tappet Tech

Shop Now for Mechanical / Solid Flat Tappet Camshafts
Sours: https://www.compcams.com/cam-types
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Let’s cut right to the chase: We like lifters. They’re something we can all easily understand. They perform a very simple job, which is to work between the pushrods and camshaft to help open the valves. However, these little buggers can have a serious impact on performance.

As you go through your engine build you will have many voices screaming in your ear. Whether it’s to go solid flat tappet—based on nostalgia—or to go hydraulic—based on street ability—or maybe even to blow your money on a fancy roller set. But what’s best for you and why?

Flat Tappet vs Roller

I’m not going to pull any smoke and mirrors nor pretend like this isn’t a topic that’s visited regularly. Out of the gate, I will say that roller cams and lifters are pretty much the best all-around choice. (So long as budget and event rules aren’t of concern.)

With that in mind, are they the choice for every engine builder? No. Why not? Well, because budgets can be tight, rules can be restrictive, and, of course, there are purists and traditionalists.

In the case that you plan to drag race, the class you are competing in may not allow you to run a roller camshaft. Something like Pure Stock classes will not allow a roller cam or really any cam that’s not within range of the factory-specs cam for the engine you are running. This is enforced to keep things fair in competition—so to compete, you’ll need to abide.

That being said, roller lifters will offer major power advantages, along with a smoother operating engine. One reason is that roller lifters have less friction on the camshaft, which makes it easier for the cam to spin. Additionally, lobe profiles can be much more aggressive. The cam can open and shut the valves much faster, which means they can keep the valve at full lift longer as well. This is because of the rollers on the bottom of the lifter—the smooth rolling surface makes it possible for the more aggressive lobe grinds to be used, as they won’t scrape or bind like the surface of a flat tappet lifter will.

But don’t take our word for it…

From SuperChevy:The big advantage roller cams have over their flat-tappet cousins isn’t the reduced friction most people immediately think of, it’s increased tappet velocity (i.e., faster ramp rates). This increased velocity—as much as 30 percent—equates to more power. … The more aggressive ramp rate of roller cams typically requires higher spring loads to control the valvetrain motion.

Another major benefit to the roller cam is increased durability. The roller design is far less likely to fail compared to a flat tappet since they are not as reliant on oil splash to keep things functioning properly. Also, with flat tappet cams, dialing in the right spring pressure is far more critical compared to the more forgiving roller design. This reliability is why the OEMs shifted from flat tappet to roller cams in production vehicles. It’s also what makes a roller valvetrain the best choice for a hot rodded street engine.”

But it’s gonna cost ya…

The major drawback here is always thought to be price and installation. Where you can buy a flat tappet cam kit for something like $120, a roller cam kit will run you around $700. These are two low-ball prices, too—if you intend to buy from high-quality brands like COMP, you’re moving more towards $180 flat tappet and $1,000 roller. So, you pay for brand power.

As far as installation goes, you may have heard that roller cams can be a pain to install. “It is true that a roller cam and lifters cost more than a flat tappet cam and lifter set. But it isn’t necessarily true that you have to change much in your engine to run a roller cam,” explains HOT ROD. “Depending upon the specific grind you select, you may not have to add more than one or two parts to your engine.”

With that in mind, if you are capable of installing a flat tappet cam in an engine, you shouldn’t have much trouble installing a roller cam yourself. Valve springs are often changed (as per usual) and, if the engine is swapping from flat tappet, a camshaft retainer is often required. This is because the difference between the nature of cam grinds isn’t limited to just how aggressively these camshafts open valves.

On flat tappet camshafts, the lobes are sometimes pitched at a slight angle toward the rear of the block. This is done to help the lifter rotate during operation. It not only aids with lifter wear but also works to pull the cam into the engine as it rotates. Without this grind nature, the cam can tend to slide back and forth. Roller cams do not feature this design characteristic and will need a retainer to keep the cam in place.

Solid vs Hydraulic

There are a lot of debates on hydraulic vs solid lifters, but there are some key factors that come into play when running either lifter type in the performance world. Solid lifters are simple solid pieces of metal that ride on the cams surface and work to open the valves of the engine a little more. Hydraulic lifters are designed to do the same exact job, but they pump oil to the top of the valvetrain through the pushrods.

With hydraulic lifters, maintenance is low and you won’t have to spend much time worrying about preload outside of the initial installation. (Preload is the distance in which the pushrod sits down within the lifter. It is important in allowing the lifters to move.)

With solid lifters, valve lash will need to be set and adjusted from time to time. (Valve lash is the clearance between the rocker arm and the tip of the valvestem.) This is a crucial setting, as it will determine the performance and lifespan of the valvetrain and will keep valve duration and lift on key with the cam’s specs.

When to Use Hydraulic or Solid

Hydraulic lifters are traditionally thought to have a common weak point: the pumping design. This type of lifter collapses a little as the cam pushes up, and the resistance of the rocker arms keeps the pushrod in place. This creates a little bit of a buffer, which leaves them opening the valves just a little slower than the solid lifters will. On a street driven vehicle, the added protection of the valvetrain makes this sacrifice worthwhile. However, on high-revving track cars, this loss in response can be detrimental to real performance.

Though, it’s important to note that lifter technology isn’t what it used to be. “Hydraulic roller lifters are tall and heavy compared to flat tappet lifters, and also prone to pump-up,” says SuperChevy. “But, with the advances in hydraulic lifter design—namely short-travel lifters, tighter hydraulic piston clearances, and lightweight valvetrain components—many hydraulic lifter-equipped engines can easily handle 7,000 rpm or more.”

While SuperChevy is referring to roller lifters here, the same holds true at times for flat tappet cams. Though, if you do opt to run a hydraulic lifter on a high-revving engine, you should make sure that the camshaft can operate at the RPM you intend to reach out and touch.

With that in mind, if you intend to wind out into the wider RPMs, I’ll be the first to promote playing it safe and just going solid. Why? Well, it’s simply less parts to break. Solid lifters won’t pump up or collapse because they simply can’t. I’m not saying it’s the only way to go, but when the valvetrain is moving as fast as it will at 8,000 RPM, the margin for error becomes extremely small and the less factors that are involved, the safer one can feel.

When to Use Flat Tappet

While it’s pretty much accepted that roller cams will always be better, sometimes running flat tappet is still a good choice. Let’s not forget that for decades, flat tappet camshafts were the only option on the market and guys running them were easily able to crush the quarter mile, oval track, road courses, or any other type of race track on the planet.

So, are roller cams and lifters superior? Yes. But are they the only option for real performance? Absolutely not. They are a fantastic option, but so are flat tappet cams. Flat tappet cams are very straight-forward and, though a roller cam installation isn’t far off in terms of difficulty of installation, flat tappets are just a touch easier to install.

Let’s also not forget that they are much more abundant and you do have a better chance of finding the one you’re looking for locally. Maintenance of either is about the same, in terms of the process. But, if you do have issues with a roller cam and need to replace lifters, you’ll be spending a little more money. Basically, if flat tappet is what you can afford or if that’s just what you prefer, then rock it and go have a blast.

We’re sure you have an opinion on this–weigh in down below.

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Sours: https://www.theengineblock.com/battle-of-the-lifters-flat-tappet-roller-solid-hydraulic/
Solid Roller Cams.. What you need to know for running them on the street!

Fact Vs. Fiction On Hydraulic-Roller Cams

A Look At What Makes Roller Cams So Powerful And Popular

The new darling of the camshaft world is the hydraulic-roller cam. GM made it fashionable back in the late ’80s when Chevy put hydraulic-roller cams in production Corvettes and ’87 Camaro engines. At first, the performance community viewed this innovation as a low-performance option, but cam companies soon released performance versions of these cams that are now making serious horsepower. We decided to take a look at what makes roller cams so powerful and popular.

Before getting into the specifics, let’s take a look at some basic cam tech to find out why a roller works so well. A hydraulic-roller cam offers much more aggressive lift-curve capabilities compared to a flat-tappet cam. In order for a flat-tappet cam to generate as much lift as a roller, it requires more duration. Flat-tappet lifters will actually dig into the lobe flank if the lobe is designed too aggressively. Roller tappets do not suffer that problem, so the designer can put much more lift into a roller-cam lobe. The accompanying “Profiling” graph makes this easier to understand.

Curves Ahead

If you compare a hydraulic-roller cam to a flat-tappet hydraulic cam with similar duration at 0.050-inch numbers, the hydraulic-roller cam will always have a longer seat-duration figure. While the roller configuration allows faster ramp acceleration, it also suffers from slow acceleration off the seat compared to a flat-tappet cam. Therefore, the advertised-duration numbers are slightly longer.

This means that a hydraulic-roller cam with the same duration at 0.050-inch lift as a flat-tappet hydraulic will not idle exactly the same. If you’ve read this month’s story on overlap (“The Overlap Chronicles,” pg 90) then you know that more advertised duration increases the amount of overlap, which will cause a somewhat lumpier idle. This is not a big problem, but worth noting if you are considering swapping in a hydraulic-roller cam. If a smoother idle is important, the roller cam could easily be ground with a wider lobe-separation angle (110 to 114 degrees for example) to reduce the overlap.

Powerful Profiles

At first it might appear that the real key to a hydraulic-roller cam is the additional lift. This is true, as we point out in the “Profiling” sidebar. Adding this additional duration above 0.200-inch tappet lift is really aimed at increasing airflow. The true advantage of a hydraulic or mechanical roller is that the profile can hold the valve open longer during the time that the cylinder head offers the most potential flow.

While the right hydraulic-roller cam will improve power even on an engine with stock heads, the real potential lies in combining a roller cam with an engine equipped with a set of good-flowing cylinder heads. While this includes monsters with huge ports, you should not overlook even mild heads like the iron Vortecs. These heads offer outstanding mid-lift flow numbers in the 0.200- to 0.400-inch valve-lift range. Slide in a roller cam with longer 0.200-inch duration and avoid long advertised duration and a late intake closing and you have a recipe for incredible power in an engine that is still very streetable.

Consider that the Vortec head does not offer killer flow numbers above 0.500-inch lift. What it offers instead is outstanding flow between 0.200- and 0.500-inch valve lift. This is where the hydraulic-roller cam shines. Combine the two and you have a powerful combination. Of course, there are other heads that also offer this same kind of great mid-range flow potential, but you can buy a complete pair of Vortec heads for under $450. Use the money you save with the heads to purchase a hydraulic-roller cam package and you’re on your way to big-time power.

Ups and Downs

There are some great reasons for stepping up to a hydraulic-roller cam package, but all is not perfect in the roller-cam world. One glance at the pricing sidebar will reveal that this better technology comes at a hefty price. This price includes adding in more expensive roller rocker arms, stronger pushrods, and better valvesprings. If you plan to bolt a hydraulic-roller cam into a pre-’87, non-roller-cam block, the retrofit lifter kits can get expensive. This will also require a thrust bearing on the front of the cam to prevent cam walk.

This isn’t required with a flat-tappet cam since the lobes are cut at a slight angle to offset the cam thrust movement that’s inherent in a roller cam. This is just one more piece to the hydraulic-roller cam investment portfolio that’s important to know.

One way to control this additional expense on your next engine buildup is to start with an ’87-or-later hydraulic-roller cam block. For example, you can pick up one of these inexpensive short-blocks as the starting point. This allows you to use the factory hydraulic lifters and retaining system, which can be less expensive than the aftermarket retrofit kits. The “Hot Deal” sidebar prices out using the GM Performance Parts HOT cam and lifter kit. You can also add to the great deal using a GMPP factory hydraulic-roller cam gear and chain setup that costs under $40.

Bottom Line

As usual, if you want to make more power, it’s gonna cost more money. The good news is that a properly selected hydraulic-roller cam offers the potential to make more horsepower and more torque without sacrificing much in the way of street manners. Assemble the right combination of parts and you might just find yourself suffering from massive traction problems. That’s a good problem to have.

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Sours: https://www.motortrend.com/how-to/95258-hydraulic-roller-cams/

Cam roller hydraulic

Hi-Rev Series

Isky Hi-Rev Series cams are manufactured from the finest,high quality Proferal Cast Iron Billets. Combined with mechanical (solid) lifters, they are extremely popular for high-performance dual purpose and competition engines.
 

These popular Isky cams will provide excellent horsepower and revving ability while using relatively low valve spring pressure, thus assuring long cam and lifter life.
 

Various grinds are available for most all American-produced automobile engines. From the mild 3/4-race to the Super Competition, this series also offers a wide price range for the enthusiast who prefers the solid lifter cam and kit at a modest cost. We offer the sky Hi-Rev series as the top performing finest quality Proferal Cast Iron Camshafts available today.
 

After grinding the Isky Hi-Rev series camshaft profiles on high quality Proferal cast iron billets, they are flame hardened, super-finished and Parko Lubrite coated. Isky's superior craftsmanship, plus the use of only the highest quality material, is your assurance of long cam life and years of trouble-free service.

 
 

Hydraulic Series

Isky Hi-Rev Series cams are manufactured from the finest,high quality Proferal Cast Iron Billets. Combined with mechanical (solid) lifters, they are extremely popular for high-performance dual purpose and competition engines.
 

These popular Isky cams will provide excellent horsepower and revving ability while using relatively low valve spring pressure, thus assuring long cam and lifter life.
 

Various grinds are available for most all American-produced automobile engines. From the mild 3/4-race to the Super Competition, this series also offers a wide price range for the enthusiast who prefers the solid lifter cam and kit at a modest cost. We offer the sky Hi-Rev series as the top performing finest quality Proferal Cast Iron Camshafts available today.
 

After grinding the Isky Hi-Rev series camshaft profiles on high quality Proferal cast iron billets, they are flame hardened, super-finished and Parko Lubrite coated. Isky's superior craftsmanship, plus the use of only the highest quality material, is your assurance of long cam life and years of trouble-free service.
 

In former years, the first step in building a high performance engine was to eliminate hydraulic tappets and install mechanical tappets and camshafts. sky has completely reversed this concept . . . today's wiser breed of racer recognizes the advantages of the Isky Hydraulic racing cam and tappet combination.
 

After years of both dynamometer and field testing, Isky has developed highly advanced concepts in hydraulic cam and lifter design. They are now actually producing more power and rpm than the mechanical(flat tappets) in road-driven cars. This can be attributed to inherent qualities of providing precise cam timing at all times as it operates at zero lash. Thermal expansion and contraction is automatically taken up by the tappets and therefore no valve lash adjustments are required after the initial adjustment. Also there is no tappet noise or hydraulic lifter pump-up, due to accidental over-revving, with the Isky patented Anti-pump-up Hydraulic racing tappets.
 

For the performance-minded car owner, who wants to use his everyday car for street and drags, with increased horsepower and rpm, this Isky Hydraulic Cam and Coordinated Assembly Kit is ideal. Isky Hydraulic racing cams, and anti-pump-up hydraulic tappets, are available for most popular V-8 and 6-cylinder American engines. Made from the finest, high quality Proferal Cast Iron Billets, these cams are flame hardened, super finished and Parko Lubrite coated for long life.

 
 

Hydraulic Roller Series

Isky Hydraulic Roller Camshafts are manufactured from the finest quality, Special Deep Hardened Steel Billets that are fully compatable with stock factory style cast iron distributor gears. We offer a broad assortment of profiles for Small & Big Block Chevy V-8, Late Model 4.3 Litre Chevy V-6 and Late Model Ford 302-HO.
 

These popular camshaft combinations will yield the best horsepower/torque ratios for those looking for hydraulic roller assemblies. Complete kit assemblies are offered for Early Small & Big Block Chevy V-8’s including retro-fit hydraullic roller lifters. On Late Model Small Block Chevy V-6 & V-8 and Ford 302-HO where the Engines are already equipped with hyd. roller cams and lifters, our kit components are supplied to work in conjunction with the Factory Hyd. Roller Lifters.
 

You can always be assured of receiving the finest quality components in any Hydraulic Roller Cam Kit from Isky.

 
 

Roller Series

STEEL BILLET CAMS . . . For over 35 years ISKY Steel Billet Roller Cams have been machined from solid 8620 steel bar stock. Famous grinds like the 5 Cycle 7000, the 505 Magnums, the 550 Super Le Gerra, the 600 and now the 640 & 747 Roller Magnum have dominated drag strip and oval track racing throughout the country.
 

ROLLER TAPPETS . . . ISKY patented the first self-locking roller tappet way back in 1958 and for 30 years they've set the standard by which others are judged. Precisely machined from HI-STRENGTH ALLOY STEEL, they have nearly twice the tensile strength of anything else on the market. That is why the 15KV roller tappet assembly with Ultra-Rev Kit will out-rev any other roller in the world. ED ISKENDERIAN was the first to invent, introduce and patent a self-guiding roller tappet. No special tool or machining is required for installation.
 

The unique self-locking design which "Bridges" the pairs allows slip-in installation. ISKY was also the first to apply for a patent on an ULTRA-REV KIT which is included FREE with all popular V-8 roller assembly kits.Some of the advantages of roller tappets over their flat tappet cousins are:
 

1. Reduced Frictional Drag practically eliminates cam wear and significantly reduces engine oil temperature.
2. Higher RPM Potential with heavier valve spring loads which overcome inertia forces and maintains valve gear stability.
3. Optimum Valve Motion is attainable with high 0.600+ valve lift cam profiles as the rate of valve lift per degree is not limited to the available tappet diameter as with a flat tappet camshaft.

Sours: https://iskycams.com/the-racing-cam-series.html
Roller Vs. Non-Roller Small Block Chevy (How To Tell The Difference)

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