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Hydrolic or Solid Cam?

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Old 05-28-2006, 01:27 AM
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Default Hydrolic or Solid Cam?

I thought everyone these days was running a hydrolic cam, so was surprised when a cam guru suggested that a tight lash cam could mean more hp than a all emcompassing hydrolic one. He stated that there have been improvement in the solid cams and as long as you tighten the lashes a couple of times a season it will be fine. My engine builder is a little skeptical.

Wanted to see what others have done?
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Old 05-28-2006, 11:31 PM
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Default Re: Hydrolic or Solid Cam?

Somebody has to have an opinion on which one would be best? Why did you go with what option you currently have? Bob Madara is recommending the solid cam with the lash correction. My builder and others have expressed concerns with things that could go wrong with such a set up. Any opinions?
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Old 05-28-2006, 11:46 PM
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Default Re: Hydrolic or Solid Cam?

I run solid rollers in my motors. I run long duration 314 and 323 and690 lift . I dont have to set the valves but two times a season. We pulled the motors ddown last year and freshened them up, the valve spring were still useable after five years. We replaced them anyway. The roller lifters seem to last longer and dont seem to be taxed from fatigue , we replaced them too and there in a super comp dragster now along with the valve springs. I do run jo-mar stud girdles. This is just what works for me. Brian
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Old 05-29-2006, 12:11 AM
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Default Re: Hydrolic or Solid Cam?

Thanks for the reply. I don't know if people are afraid of the tight lash cams for good reason, or like yourself have had a good experience with them.

Anyone else had experience either positive or negative? I know Bob M. is well know cam guru, so wanted to see what others have found?
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Old 05-29-2006, 08:36 AM
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Default Re: Hydrolic or Solid Cam?

I cannot see how a flat tappet cam can be superior to a roller. My race engine builder friend will not use them any longer. The ramps on a cam have to be profiled to keep the lifter face in contact with the lobe or they will beat each other up. With a flat tappet cam the valves are opening until fully open and them start to close, with very little time spent fully open. A roller cam dosen't just reduce friction but opens the valves quicker, holds them fully open longer and then closes them quicker making for a more efficient 'pump', which is what an engine is anyway.
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Old 05-29-2006, 08:45 AM
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Default Re: Hydrolic or Solid Cam?

We are talking about ROLLER cams here---right?

Everyone has their own opinion on which way to go on these. Solid/mechanical cams usually have an edge in power over hydraulics. I also had the option with Bob to go to a tight lash, but I decided on the hydraulic cam & roller lifters.

Personally, I don't mind sacrificing HP for ease of maintenance, etc.---but then that's just me. I guess if you don't mind spending the money on having someone you trust adjusting the valve lash a couple of times during the summer and it seems worth it to you for every bit of HP you can get (or maybe you prefer to do it yourself), then I would say go for the tight lash solids.

For me, I want as much of a "turn key" set-up as I can go so, I think I will stick with the hydraulic roller cams/lifters. For the most part it is a "set it and forget it" set-up. Hope this helps in your decision.

Last edited by KAAMA; 05-29-2006 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 05-29-2006, 09:56 AM
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Default Re: Hydrolic or Solid Cam?

It Is All Up To How Much You Like Getting Your Hands Dirty, Or Paying For Someone Else To Due It, Solid Is The Only Way To Go In My Mind, It Ios Not That Big Of A Deal To Pop The Covers And Lash The Valves...i Due Mine 3-4 Times A Year And I Can Due It In About An Hour By Myself


More Power With Solid But Just Depends On How Far You Want To Go With..........
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Old 05-29-2006, 12:03 PM
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Default Re: Hydrolic or Solid Cam?

Thanks for the replies. Is it true that the tight lash cams can detonate a motor if not set properly? I am looking for hp but not at the expense of a major event. I don't feel comfortable doing this myself, so would have to have someone adjust for me.
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Old 05-30-2006, 08:36 AM
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Default Re: Hydrolic or Solid Cam?

Boy did I miss that one. I should have read the post after another cup of coffee.
I would have to say that the solid lifters will produce a little more power, however if you are going to let someone else wrench it for you I would go hydraulic. Set it and forget it is what my machinist said.
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Old 05-30-2006, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: Hydrolic or Solid Cam?

Solid rollers certainly make more hp and can safely run at much higher rpms, but in our boats only running up to 6000 rpms or so in my opinion its not necessary on a blown engine..
We run 800hp in the Gun and over 1000 per side in our Cat with hydraulic rollers.
For me adjusting valve lash wouldn't be the the issue , its the way higher spring pressure required to run a solid roller, it takes its toll on valve train parts way way faster for the 40 or 50 hp or one or two mph that we will really see..
There is a reason why Merc recommends replacing their solid lifters in less than 100 hrs on their big solid mills.
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