Author Topic: Converting hyd tappets to solid...  (Read 388 times)

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Offline earlbrown

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Converting hyd tappets to solid...
« on: July 26 2018, 09:25:22 PM »
Any of you old guys got any first hand or second hand knowledge of gutting some hydraulics and machining spacers to make them solid?

   I've sworn off flat tappets years ago but it looks like I'm going to end up building a couple engines with flats.   I'd like to run solid cams but there's noway in the cornbread hell I'm going to run a tappet that doesn't have a hardened foot on it.    Since I have a dust covered stash of hardened hydraulics, I was thinking about firing up the lathe and hacking some stuff up.


Google searches turned up nothing. I'm guessing because there was good solid tappets over the counter in the pre-internet days.


Plus if it works on a high RPM boat engine and a skreet race naaaaaaaws engine,  they would also fit in a Buick v6 too. (for those daredevil types that are cool with risking a turbo, engine, and oil cooler to save a few hundred bucks.)
'87 GN - 4.2L SFI Turbocharged innercooled V6 - Chrome valve covers - supra pump - 14" K&N - 52mm throttlebody - rocker shaft supports -  1/2 intake spacer - TB coolant bypass - 3" ATR exhaust tip - Alum intake pipe - NOS timing cover - chip - relocated charcoal canister - CR42's - stock

Offline Steve Wood

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Re: Converting hyd tappets to solid...
« Reply #1 on: July 26 2018, 10:49:13 PM »
Johnson does not offer solid lifters with hardened feet?

Lotsa articles and videos out there showing how to do it for mock up solid lifters, but, no so many for full time running
Steve Wood

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Offline earlbrown

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Re: Converting hyd tappets to solid...
« Reply #2 on: July 27 2018, 12:49:44 AM »
Not as far as I know.   I'm really amazed I can lay eyes on brand new hardened foot lifters in 2018 at all.


I don't see why it can't be done.  The only hard part I can come up with doing mental experiments is getting the exact height needed. After that,

 basically take out all the guts, machine a spacer with a thru hole and a radius at the height of the oil feel hole, then connect it to the center bore.   Hell, I could probably make them out of aluminum.


  One of the engine builds is a BBC for my jetboat.   I thinking I'll tear apart one of my GM hard lifters and see what I find.  If it's just a cylinder with a pushrod cup, I'll  spec out a solid flat cam and machine some spacers.     If I can run 6000 for 30 minutes at a time with a heavy ass 2.300 SS valve and huge springs/retainers, I just invented hardened solid tappets for a Buick V6.

I can't find any 'nuts and bolt' technical articles on the nuances of solid tappets. But it looks like all they are is an oil passage in a round block.
'87 GN - 4.2L SFI Turbocharged innercooled V6 - Chrome valve covers - supra pump - 14" K&N - 52mm throttlebody - rocker shaft supports -  1/2 intake spacer - TB coolant bypass - 3" ATR exhaust tip - Alum intake pipe - NOS timing cover - chip - relocated charcoal canister - CR42's - stock

Offline Steve Wood

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Re: Converting hyd tappets to solid...
« Reply #3 on: July 27 2018, 08:52:54 AM »
I think the lifter would be too heavy and defeat some of the purpose of the solid.

I would be more inclined to buy a set of Howard lifters with the oil hole  https://howardscams.com/i-24077824-howards-cams-91118-direct-lube-extreme-duty-chevrolet-265-454-mechanical-flat-tappet-lifters.html

They are made in the USA.  I believe they use tool steel.

Or, the Isky lifters with the hole  http://iskycams.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1860  I think they are also made in the USA

Steve Wood

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Offline Steve Wood

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Steve Wood

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Offline earlbrown

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Re: Converting hyd tappets to solid...
« Reply #5 on: July 27 2018, 07:00:37 PM »
When did you turn into a checkbook hotrodder?  :P    I can groove lifter bores with no problem. :)


Good point on the weights.   My bad ass scale is still sitting on the coffee table.   I found one of my OEM original tappets from when my GN was new.   Time to take stuff apart as soon as I get done with the slim blonde cutie that wants me swing by her house so I can 'check out what she did with her basement'.  :tongue



DAMNIT!! I JUST hauled off 50 gallons of used oil I'd been hoarding for my 'waste oil heater' project I've never built.   Now I need to know the actual weight per volume of oil .vs aluminium.
'87 GN - 4.2L SFI Turbocharged innercooled V6 - Chrome valve covers - supra pump - 14" K&N - 52mm throttlebody - rocker shaft supports -  1/2 intake spacer - TB coolant bypass - 3" ATR exhaust tip - Alum intake pipe - NOS timing cover - chip - relocated charcoal canister - CR42's - stock

Offline Steve Wood

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Re: Converting hyd tappets to solid...
« Reply #6 on: July 27 2018, 07:10:34 PM »
I became one as soon as I heard you were loaded enuf to build boat motors instead of anchors! :D

Because of the continued high rpm, I think you want the lightest lifters you can find.  As some of the aftermarket lifters are made by Johnson, I would contact Johnson directly and see what various options they have.  And, yes, you can groove the lifter bores.  I think that is still pretty common and has to be a lot cheaper than Laser drilled lifters.  You will have plenty of oil at high speed so the bigger benefit may be a low speed.
Steve Wood

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A lot of broken parts does not make you a racer; it makes you a slow learner.

Offline earlbrown

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Re: Converting hyd tappets to solid...
« Reply #7 on: July 27 2018, 10:13:38 PM »
It's just a plain ole pig block chebby.   About the only thing hi-tech in it are the forged earlbrown pistons.   And maybe the 'thumbprint rods' I spent about a million hours screwing with.


I still need to weigh the guts on a hyd factory lifter and see what's up. If I make spacers out of aluminium it might make them lighter.


And I'm pretty sure the lifter hole is EDM'd not made with
'87 GN - 4.2L SFI Turbocharged innercooled V6 - Chrome valve covers - supra pump - 14" K&N - 52mm throttlebody - rocker shaft supports -  1/2 intake spacer - TB coolant bypass - 3" ATR exhaust tip - Alum intake pipe - NOS timing cover - chip - relocated charcoal canister - CR42's - stock

Offline wmsonta

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Re: Converting hyd tappets to solid...
« Reply #8 on: October 12 2018, 04:59:43 PM »
I surely count as old and have some experience relevant or not.
Weight on that side of the valve spring counts, but not nearly as much.
The ability to successfully run solids against a hydraulic cam depends more on the cam/springs than the lifters.
In the early '70's, it was not uncommon to just change the lifters. Not necessarily today, because or these modern profiles.
It is somewhat common today, to limit the travel inside hydro roller lifters to increase rpm. These are not solid.

I refuse anything other than a P or K series core with flat tappets and consider EDM always cost effective.
For 30 mins?

BBC valve-train geometry typically sucks when lift is increased above .600".

Lots of old hands still here.



Offline Steve Wood

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Re: Converting hyd tappets to solid...
« Reply #9 on: October 12 2018, 05:30:12 PM »
we're creakier and crankier, but some of us are still here
Steve Wood

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A lot of broken parts does not make you a racer; it makes you a slow learner.


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