reuseing old lifters.. roller [Archive] - Chevy Nova Forum

: reuseing old lifters.. roller

25th-September-2006, 04:08 AM
ive always thought and I keep reading that you can reuse roller lifters on new roller cams. But the manufacturers say to use new lifters on the new cams.
Are they just trying to sell more product?
Am i risking a failure with using my old hydraulic rollers?

25th-September-2006, 07:23 AM
as far as I know as long as there is nothing wrong with your roller lifters they can be reused on new or used roller lifter cams...or at least that is what I have read both here and and in the mags.

Real McCoy
25th-September-2006, 08:24 AM
I have run new cams with old roller lifters with no ill effects many times. I also replace or have my lifters rebuilt about every other freshen up so I don't have to worry about a failure too much. With a radical profile and extreme spring pressures a roller lifter can fail and alot of guys never pay them much attention. I'd bet that's why manufacturers recommend new rollers for new cams, not because of cam wear. Another thing to be cautious about is not all roller lifters are equal. Check for a large diameter, wide roller bearing and a big pin. Not all manufactures will rebuild their lifters so check if you plan to do it. That's what I think about lifters. RM

25th-September-2006, 01:51 PM
Roller lifters don't share the inherant problems a flat tappet lifter has. The biggest reason the flat tappet lifter should be replaced when a new cam is installed is, they bed into their respective lobes, and form rotational patterns and wear. Using them over again on a new cam for the most part, won't allow the lifter to operate in the block correctly, namly rotation and wearing into the new cam.

Roller lifters don;t have scuffing pressures on the lobes, so they don't have to rotate in the lifter bores, and don't need replacing with a new camshaft if they are in good condition.

25th-September-2006, 02:49 PM
Ive always been told that to tell if a roller lifter should be replaced is if the little roller moves up and down when you push on it. Dont mistake up and down for side to side cause side to side is normal, I had a friend mistake side to side for up and down and he thought he needed to fork out another 300 bucks for new lifers but he was a Ford driver ;)

Real McCoy
25th-September-2006, 04:25 PM
I found roller lifters can feel fine until you apply pressure to them. I roll them on a clean flat surface while pushing down so you can feel any roughness in the bearing. A failure can be very costly so I don't get cheap with them. RM

stock z/28
25th-September-2006, 04:35 PM

I agree with Mr. McCoy. Hes right (in my opinion) about load.

I cant post a pic or I would, of a devise I build that uses a small air cyl and a dial indicator that applies pressure as you rotate the roller and you can look for run-out.

Solid style rollers can be a real source of problems with flat siding and and pitting the needles.


25th-September-2006, 11:05 PM
Yeah roller lifters usually wear-out before the cam does - especially mechanical ones on the street. If I was going to all the trouble, I'd put brand new lifters in (even if the cam was used) unless I knew for sure what kind of use and abuse the lifters had and had also inspected them thoroughly. If one comes apart you'll have hardened steel needle bearings all through your engine. A new set runs about $250.

26th-September-2006, 10:18 PM
I run a solid roller in my '65, and run the lifters all year, and then throw them away when I freshen up the motor. Lifter failures are an expensive bummer.

26th-September-2006, 10:41 PM
I had 2 solid roller lifter failures on the Power Tour. They were very old Isky pieces that didn't have the oiling holes drilled like the newer versions. When I returned from the tour, I sent them back to Isky for rebuilding and had the holes added. I also lost a Comp solid roller lifter, but that was after about 30,000 HARD miles, and a lot of valvet float due to used up springs. I think a lack of spring control causes most of the problems with flattening of the needle bearings in the lifters. I tend to run less spring pressure than some people because I think too much pressure takes power(some will disagree) but then I run into valve float when buzzing the motor into the stratosphere!!
So far I have a ton of miles on the Lunati pieces without issue.
Almost all roller lifters can be rebuilt by the manufacturer at a lot lower cost than new ones--so any of you that throw yours away at the end of the season, just mail them to me!!!!! Cheap!Cheap! that's me.

27th-September-2006, 09:17 PM
Almost all roller lifters can be rebuilt by the manufacturer at a lot lower cost than new ones--so any of you that throw yours away at the end of the season, just mail them to me!!!!! Cheap!Cheap! that's me.

Mike, when I go through the motor in the spring, I'll bring the old lifters to the track. No sense in paying for postage.