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Technical Cadillac guys, converting a 365/390 to hydraulic roller cam

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Roothawg, Oct 30, 2020.

  1. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 22,508

    Roothawg
    Member

    That’s what I was thinking. The thrust plate might not work, but I bet a cam button would suffice.

    Could I actually get lucky and the 2 bosses for the intake valley line up with the holes in the spider?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
  2. lumpy 63
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
    Posts: 1,483

    lumpy 63
    Member

    Chris , several years ago my kid was building a 240Z with an sbc , he showed me an article he found online about adapting later style roller lifters into an early block...I laughed a little at first but decided WTF why not? It took a bit of grinding on the outsides of the block over the lifter bores to clear the link bars . And if I remember correctly we drilled and tapped the valley to retain the spider. The car hauled ass and had no cam issues:D You know the kid I'm talking about , He now runs an off topic twin turbo Chevy .
     
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  3. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 22,508

    Roothawg
    Member

    I contacted them. Here is their response.

    Since there are no aftermarket roller cam cores made for that engine, we would have to custom make a batch of cam cores. We have a minimum order of 10 pieces. I would need a stock cam, to get you an accurate quote, but at 10 pieces, you'd be looking at $1,200-1,600 per cam.

    Mike Jones
    Jones Cam Designs
    JRC Technologies Group
    Denver, NC (704)489-2449
    www.jonescams.com
     
  4. lumpy 63
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
    Posts: 1,483

    lumpy 63
    Member

  5. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 22,508

    Roothawg
    Member

    We can beat that price.
     
  6. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 4,427

    Truckedup
    Member

    Ouch!.....what do other cam grinders used for cores? Mild regrinds on existing cores or weld up the lobes?
     
  7. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 22,508

    Roothawg
    Member

    There are only a few cores left. There is only one or two core suppliers. They all buy from the same vendor. When those are gone, that's it. Bullet ground my flat tappet for me. Isky, Howards has some and Schneider has a few left.

    I have talked with a few folks that said they will grind them as singles, but they have a long lead time and are all about a grand.

    That SBC is looking better all the time, huh?
     
  8. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 5,282

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    How are the thrust plates attached? Is it possible to remove the plate off of one of the lifters, install them in the engine, then reattach it when installed?
     
  9. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 22,508

    Roothawg
    Member

    They have an area that is machined into the casting that is threaded on the factory roller blocks. The Caddy has no provisions for attaching. I'll see if I can find a pic.
     
  10. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 22,508

    Roothawg
    Member

    CADDY BLOCK

    [​IMG]

    FACTORY ROLLER BLOCK

    [​IMG]
     
  11. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,710

    73RR
    Member

    The 'usual' biggest cost on a billet cam is hobbing the gear. I have spent some time pondering the idea of grafting the ass end of a oem cam to a roller blank to avoid the extra cost and it seems reasonable in theory. The only issue is obtaining the blank sans gear. Something to think about if you want a roller.
     
  12. CNC-Dude
    Joined: Nov 23, 2007
    Posts: 985

    CNC-Dude
    Member

    Not necessarily an issue, one of the cam companies some years ago made roller lifters that the button that connects the link bars could be removed from the lifter body with an Allen wrench. Find a similar set and remove the buttons and install from the bottom of the block and reinstall the buttons once in place.
     
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  13. CNC-Dude
    Joined: Nov 23, 2007
    Posts: 985

    CNC-Dude
    Member

    I'm making some billet cam blanks for a Chevy II four cylinder and then for the 3.7L Mercruiser 4 cylinder for the long thread on here. Bullet just told a friend of mine they can cut the distributor gears on the blanks, so that's not an issue like it used to be. I could make one for the Caddy if he can't find anyone, and he likely won't because of the one off aspect of it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
  14. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 22,508

    Roothawg
    Member

    The Caddy is kinda a one of a kind blank.
    Pics for reference.
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. cold c
    Joined: Sep 22, 2007
    Posts: 12

    cold c
    Member
    from california

    Great info.
     
  16. thesupersized
    Joined: Aug 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,359

    thesupersized
    Member

    Anyone figure this out yet?
     
  17. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 22,508

    Roothawg
    Member

    Not yet. I know that Tony Ross is converting some. It’s probably proprietary though. I think a late model LS roller lifter would work. The cam is the issue. Tapping the valley to accept the spider should be easy enough.
     
  18. tuff57
    Joined: Mar 5, 2008
    Posts: 38

    tuff57
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from wantagh

    I have a Ross racing roller cam for my 54 331 with Howard roller lifters. Tony has been excellent to learn from and help me out throughout my build. I have a local old timer doing the machine and assembly work here on Long Island.
     
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  19. thesupersized
    Joined: Aug 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,359

    thesupersized
    Member

    I bought a 55 tbird that has a Cadillac 390 thats been worked long ago. Doing some investigating, the engine has a roller cam with keyed lifters, not sure who made this setup, anyway the engine ate one of the lifters (and probably the cam) and now I have my engine that has been machined (unless a slotted sleeve was installed and I didn't notice)for these keyed lifters and no replacements to be found.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Mitchell Rish
    Joined: Jun 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,429

    Mitchell Rish
    Member
    from Houston MS

    Didn't Crower use that style at one time. I have seen some SBC short roller lifters that had a single roller bead/key much like that. Uncle Marion used to have several sets .We used a lot of his Used trade in stuff in the early 80s . I remember them because the block had to be broached/ grooved with a tool that fit in the lifter bore.
     
  21. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 22,508

    Roothawg
    Member

    Regardless, it’s cool to see this stuff.
     
  22. CNC-Dude
    Joined: Nov 23, 2007
    Posts: 985

    CNC-Dude
    Member

    Yes, Crower made them like that for the Flathead Ford and probably others back in the day. Jesel and others make them today. Expensive I'm sure whomever you get them from.
     
  23. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 5,282

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    That sucks man, I'm really sorry to hear about your engine issues.

    I wouldn't foreclose the possibility that those lifters are SBC. If you wind up having to tear the engine down, those lifter bores could be sleeved for a standard Cadillac lifter, but at that price you might be better off finding a different engine.
     
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  24. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 22,508

    Roothawg
    Member

    The SBC and Caddy lifters are identical. I have studied them intensely.

    I have checked with the Cad500 guys, they don’t do a lot of early stuff. Mainly Big CID Caddy go fast stuff.
     
  25. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 5,282

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    I think you have the FE Ford 390 confused with the Cadillac 390 that is the topic of this thread.
     

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