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Old 12-10-2007, 09:40 AM   #1
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Converting 302 to roller

Trying to get ideas on what the cheapest way to convert a non roller block to a roller. Dont really want to buy $500 lifters or a special cam. was wondering if you can have the lifter bores machinged so the lifters will sit higher or if im stuck with buying the retro fit lifters.
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:44 AM   #2
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buy a link bar lifter this way you can carry them from block to block instead of spending money on a 75 dollar core block.
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Old 12-10-2007, 01:05 PM   #3
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it depends on what YEAR CASTING the block actually is....

oftentimes it is better to actually buy the linked lifters ( crane 36532 or 36530 ) NOW and NOT have to do any other changes.....

there is a problem with your statement... when you say..." buy expensive lifters AND a special cam...
THAT IS NOT THE CASE....!!!

because IF your block is capable of using "REGULAR" stock roller lifters, then you can use a REGULAR CAM...
if the block is one of those that has the "late type" lifter bores then you can just drill and tap the existing bosses to bolt on the stock tin spyder AND USE the stock late ford type hydraulic roller lifters...
if you have an "early-block" then one of the ways is to use a hydraulic roller lifter is to buy a SPECIAL SMALLBASE CIRCLE cam and use the stock late hydraulic roller lifters... the best way to run a hydraulic roller cam in an "early" block is to use a regular late model cam and buy the crane 36532 lifters...

as said, you have a mis understanding on the proper cam and the lifter that is to be used in each type of block..

there is never a case that you have to buy the special small base circle cam AND the linked lifters....

small base circle cams are NOT reccomended by ME...
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Old 12-10-2007, 01:05 PM   #4
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it depends on what YEAR CASTING the block actually is....

oftentimes it is better to actually buy the linked lifters ( crane 36532 or 36530 ) NOW and NOT have to do any other changes.....

there is a problem with your statement... when you say..." buy expensive lifters AND a special cam...
THAT IS NOT THE CASE....!!!

because IF your block is capable of using "REGULAR" stock roller lifters, then you can use a REGULAR CAM...
if the block is one of those that has the "late type" lifter bores then you can just drill and tap the existing bosses to bolt on the stock tin spyder AND USE the stock late ford type hydraulic roller lifters...
if you have an "early-block" then one of the ways is to use a hydraulic roller lifter is to buy a SPECIAL SMALLBASE CIRCLE cam and use the stock late hydraulic roller lifters... the best way to run a hydraulic roller cam in an "early" block is to use a regular late model cam and buy the crane 36532 lifters...

as said, you have a mis understanding on the proper cam and the lifter that is to be used in each type of block..

there is never a case that you have to buy the special small base circle cam AND the linked lifters....

small base circle cams are NOT reccomended by ME...
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a degree wheel, EIGHT INCH dial caliper & adjustable pushrods should be just as normal as a 1/2" wrench in your toolbox
there aint no shortcuts to doing it RIGHT....
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Old 12-10-2007, 01:28 PM   #5
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Kato,

He didn't write "buy expensive lifters AND a special cam"...... he wrote "buy expensive lifters OR a special cam"....... ....I know, I know.....Monday.

And yeah, need to check what casting is that block.
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:29 PM   #6
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the absolute cheapest way would be to just get a roller block to start with, but thats not what was asked.
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:27 PM   #7
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the block dosent have the raised lifter bores so i bought the linked lifters is anything else needed to convert the block?
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:45 PM   #8
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what year is your block?,IIRC,'79 up castings will work like Kato said for drilling,and tapping the bosses.My 306 I just finished,is an '80 model block,and that's how I converted mine! The lifter bores,and cam jounals are the same as the "factory" roller blocks.
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Old 12-10-2007, 10:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ehardy1971 View Post
what year is your block?,IIRC,'79 up castings will work like Kato said for drilling,and tapping the bosses.My 306 I just finished,is an '80 model block,and that's how I converted mine! The lifter bores,and cam jounals are the same as the "factory" roller blocks.
Tall lifter boss blocks started with the E5 casting # ('85+).
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Old 12-10-2007, 10:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel5.0 View Post
Tall lifter boss blocks started with the E5 casting # ('85+).
I beg to differ on this one Joel,but I have an '86 roller block in my shop,and had it next to my '80 block when I took ALL the measurements!
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Old 12-10-2007, 11:38 PM   #11
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actually, the difference is that the MID YEAR 86 0r so blocks HAVE THE RAISED BOSS OF MATERIAL...But as known, not all/ every one of those blocks that were produced had the bosses DRILLED AND TAPPED....most trucks / vans had this block fitted, but they utilized a flat tappet hydraulic lifter cam...
...and then there were some of those blocks that WERE drilled and tapped, but they had a flat tappett lifter cam in them...
SO, the material IS THERE, but the locations are not drilled and tapped.
most all of those blocks did in fact have the TOPS of the lifter bores milled flat from front to the back...no matter which type of cam or lifters it used.

the blocks BEFORE 1984 -1/2 or so, ( a year floats newer) DO NOT have the raised material bosses...

and somewhere about 1979/82 maybe earlier the top of the casting area is actually different also.
on those blocks ( 1965 to 1979/82) the late lifters can be fitted, BUT the lifters will only oil IF you use a "special-small base circle diameter cam".....


..............
the "late" blocks all have all the quap bosses and such,....but they ALSO ARE MUCH WEAKER OF A CASTING...
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there aint no shortcuts to doing it RIGHT....

Last edited by Kato Engineering; 12-10-2007 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 12-10-2007, 11:41 PM   #12
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joel and Ehardy, ...
...the main difference is that even when the lifter FITS, when a large lift lobe is installed, the lifter can sometimes unmask the pressure fed oil SLOT, and the engine will / can loose oil pressure.....
so, you have to LOOK during one of the dry install / assembly checks....
the late stock lifter DOGBONE/ tiebar does not sit totally flat when fitted in a EARLY block....
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Old 12-11-2007, 01:42 PM   #13
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Agree.... it's not a matter of bore ID or camshaft journals, those specs are the same...... it's an issue of boss height or length. Reason why early SBF's are also called "short boss" blocks (pre-'85) and ('85+) "tall boss" blocks. The following comparison lifters type pic might also help.

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Old 12-11-2007, 03:13 PM   #14
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maybe I've got a weird block then!,I'm 99% sure of the casting date,it has "80" cast on the rear,and on the front 5-8 side.It also has a Z cast on the top by the distributor.I also measured the depth of the oil ports,and it has good oil pressure(75-80 psi cold),am I wrong on my block date?
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Old 12-12-2007, 04:05 AM   #15
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EHARDY,

you just got a little lucky with where the overall cam diameter and lifter oil feed and oil BLEED hole is when the thing is running.....
it aint just the oil feed slot or "machined band' around the lifter... but its overall relationship FULLY RAISED UP at max lift AND the location when at BOTTOM / NO lift ( basecircle area)....
sometimes the LEAK is only when the lifter is at BOTTOM...

as said,

it is a FITMENT ISSUE....

sometimes you get lucky...
OFTENTIMES you dont know if there is a problem untill the thing is in a high rev. mode and it looses oil pressure because of the lifter cumming out too HIGH or goes too low into block in comparison to the hole in lifter/ block...


many have been able to rely on the visual presence of the top of lifter bores all machined flat and the machine cut is connecting all of the paired bosses together....
the "early" block that were not designed for a hydraulic roller had only a "spotface' right over the lifter bore...as is ALL other blocks from ford in the "PRE" hydraulic roller era.....

and you all know that a stock spyder and the forks that tie the two lifters together have an effect on HOW they push down on lifter body, because oftentimes at full lift, the fork will not push down on lifter, and the lifterss pair will twist and BREAK.....

.....it is all a little confusing...

a crane type of "linked lifters' 36530 or 36532 will cure most all of the oil leakage problem because the oil "band" is narrower than a "stock" lifter that is used in the corresponding correct block....

JOEL,

nice illustration with the lifters side by side,
....your photo will help many that have never seen a flat hydraulic lifter understand,

but,

dont forget though that the cam base circle diameter on a FLAT LIFTER CAM is not necessarily the same as a hydraulic roller cam profiles base circle....

so,
where the oil feed hole or "band' in the side of lifter is not AT the same place when actually IN the block.
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tires are the great equalizer
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Old 12-12-2007, 07:54 AM   #16
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Thanks for clarifying that Kato,especially about the base diameter on the flat cams & the rollers,I thought they were a little different!
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