Rhoads Lifters or No??

Discussion in 'Street/strip 400/430/455' started by ranger, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. ranger

    ranger Well-Known Member

    Hi folks,

    Will be firing up new new build, soon. Bought Rhoads lifters a few years ago and now I am wondering if I should use them? Idle wouldn't be too radical w/o them. As I understand it, Rhoads never made their own lifters. I believe they bought O.E.M. lifters and then cut their patented groove in them?

    I have used them before, and they do what they say they will do: tick, smooth out the idle, and give a little more low-end torque.

    Here is my build:

    455 bored .038"
    Wiesco flat-top pistons .020" in the hole
    Prolly around 11.5 compression, but not sure. Not sure of the cc volume of the Bulldogs, and Gessler never wrote it down on his invoice.
    T/A Stage 1 intake prepped by Gessler
    800 Q-Jet prepped by John Osborn, back when he used to do them
    Bulldog 2nd generation heads, prepped by Gessler. Good intake flow. Exhaust flow no better than could be achieved on fully-ported iron heads.
    T/A 288-94 cam, degreed in and set 8* advanced
    355 rear
    Switch-Pitch which may, or may not, function properly after recent rebuild.
    Usual oiling mods, etc.

    Besides noise, what would be disadvantages of going w/ my already-purchased Rhoads?

    Many/most lifters have always been re-boxed, under different names. If you recommend not to go w/ Rhoads, what lifters should I use?

    Thanks!

    Best,

    Ranger
    Aiken, SC
     
  2. Stevem

    Stevem Well-Known Member

    Yes I would run them , but I question that you will need or want concidering your motors compression that 8 degree Cam advance with the Rhodes lifters as your cylinder pressure may be too high below 3800 rpm once your oil is warmed up and those lifters are doing there thing!

    If you truly need that 8 degree advance then in plain English in my way of looking at things you need a different Cam to get the best performance.
    In fact you did not mention if you are running headers , nor did you post the heads flow number for the Intake or Exh.
    With good flowing Exh side in a head and a stock Intake Manifold you may not want to even need to run a dual pattern Cam .
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
    ranger likes this.
  3. BQUICK

    BQUICK Well-Known Member

    I don't like them for two reasons:
    1) aforementioned noise is annoying in itself but makes it hard to diagnose valve train noise or cam bearing going away causing valve train noise. I guy I knew had them and kept on saying noise was the lifters when it fact it was front cam bearing choking oil off to driver side lifters.
    2) they bleed off oil pressure and we need all we can get!
     
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  4. ranger

    ranger Well-Known Member

    Thanks! When I degreed the cam, according to the card, it needed 8* advance to hit the numbers. Guess that's not all that unusual? Yes, running old set of K-B headers, made by Doug Thorley? Three-inch exhaust.

    Don't care too much for throwing around flow numbers, as they can vary so wildly from flow-bench to flow-bench. But when Gessler originally ported my iron heads, he was able to get around 185/exhaust at .500. Haven't seen too many numbers higher than that. In fact, he removed so much metal that he "broke through" the bolt holes and had to install sleeves into some/most of the bolt holes for the heads. So, yes, I think I need a dual-pattern cam.

    Intake flow was 310@500. More could have been gotten, but this was his first (and I believe, only) set of Bulldogs that he ported.

    I am not running a stock intake. I was going to use my Gessler-ported Edel Performer (and I probably should have) but some guys told me that w/ the good intake flow that the Edel might hold me back, so I got a SP-1 intake from T/A and Gessler cleaned it up a bit.

    Thanks for your input!

    Best,

    Ranger
    Aiken, SC
     
  5. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

    Main use for Rhoads lifters is to tame the idle of a wild cam and make it act smaller at low RPM. The 288-94 is a pretty mild cam, so my question is why you would want to use them at all.
     
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  6. ranger

    ranger Well-Known Member

     
  7. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

    I switched from Morel roller lifters to Johnson roller lifters. JW uses the Johnson roller lifters exclusively I believe. If they make a superior roller lifter, their flat lifters should be good as well.
     
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  8. ranger

    ranger Well-Known Member

    Larry,

    Thanks, as always. Where is the best place to buy Johnson flat lifters? I don't have the dough to switch to a roller cam, but I do believe I'll swap the Rhoads out. As you say, no real reason to use them with the 288-94 cam.

    Thanks, again!

    Best,

    Ranger
    Aiken, SC
     
  9. Schurkey

    Schurkey Silver Level contributor

    3) the ticking noise they make is the valve slamming shut because the leaky lifter has negated the gentle closing ramp of the camshaft. Hard on valve face, valve seat, and who knows what kind of harmonics that sets up in the valve stem/valve spring system.
     
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  10. ranger

    ranger Well-Known Member

    Schurkey,

    Thanks! Yeah, along with what the Wizard said, I'm not gonna use these lifters. As well, BQuick is correct in that the extra noise makes it harder to diagnose other valve-train problems.

    I guess Johnson lifters are the way to go, but where to get them for the best price?

    Best,

    Ranger
    Aiken, SC

     
  11. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

    ranger likes this.
  12. ranger

    ranger Well-Known Member

  13. No Lift

    No Lift Platinum Level Contributor

    Let's get one thing straight. Do you mean you had to place a billet +/- lower cam gear at the +8* position to get the cam to match the cam card? Or do you mean you advanced the cam +8* from what the cam card spec'd? There is a difference. If it is the former then that is not unusual and no big deal. Doesn't matter where they are set as long as the cam card is matched or close. If you advanced the cam 8* from what the cam card says then I'd have to ask why? Typically you set the cam in at +4* from STRAIGHT up specs to make up for chain slop which develops after the miles pile up and they all stretch a bit as the street miles pile up.

    Now as far as the cam goes I agree with Larry that cam is a bit too mild to really need the Rhoades lifters. I ran them back in the day with bigger cams and had no problems logging thousands of miles on the street and many, many 1/4 mile runs.

    As far as the compression I'd do some actual measuring of the total block CC with the piston at TDC and the head CC's. Then calculate what your actual compression will be. Then post the actual specs of the cam as it is installed in the engine along with the actual cam card so we can see where you are at. Larry can work his magic with a DCR calculator. If you really are at or near 11.5:1 you may find you need to retard the cam a bit to run pump gas. Maybe just setting it in straight up would do the trick. If you actually have 11.5:1 compression the engine will have plenty of low end torque with that cam wherever it is set in at.
     
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  14. No Lift

    No Lift Platinum Level Contributor

  15. ranger

    ranger Well-Known Member

    No lift,

    Thanks for your input.

    Yes, I had to place the lower gear at 8*+ to get it to match what it said on the cam card. Thanks for confirming that this is not unusual; I thought I had heard that.

    Yeah, my cam is too mild to need them. Ran Rhoads once before w/the SP-2 cam that used to be a popular cam. Never cared for the noise. If you wanna go "Fast with Class" that includes not too much noise!

    Engine is all assembled; only the intake is off, so I am not too keen on taking it apart to perform more measurements. It is what it is and I will have to deal w/ it. Wiesco pistons have a 7cc dish, as I recall. Block was supposed to be "squared," but I guess they didn't do a good job. On one side, pistons are .015" in the hole, on the other side they are .025" in the hole. I bought fixed pushrods from Smith Bros in two different lengths to compensate and compress the lifter plunger the same on both sides.

    Brian Earrick (a big disappointment) had told me that using the Bulldogs, w/ zero deck and Wiesco flat-tops would yield 12-1 comp. Gary Paine measured his 2nd gen Bull-dogs and said the chambers are 67cc. My chambers have been coated, so it may be a bit less.

    As meticulous as Gessler was, he told me only that he cc'd one chamber on each head, and milled one head to equalize both, but he neglected to tell me the the volume, so I'm gonna have to go w/ what Gary told me.

    As I said, chambers have been coated, piston tops and skirts have been coated, and even the exhaust ports in the head have been coated w/ a heat barrier (Calico Coatings). Hell, I even had the springs, spring seats, and retainers coated! So, perhaps this will keep things a little cooler and allow me to get by on 93 octane. I guess we'll see. If not, I'm not opposed to adding a gallon or so of race gas, per tank.

    Even if I used ethanol-free 93, couldn't I add a gallon of E-85 to raise octane? I think I can?

    Not sure if I have my original cam card from T/A; maybe. But I can tell you that w/ the 8*+ it matched the specs on the card.

    Thanks to EVERYONE for your input. I have now ordered a set of Johnson lifters from T/A.

    Best,

    Ranger
    Aiken, SC





     
  16. ranger

    ranger Well-Known Member

    Oh, I neglected to add the S-P converter size, but I can't remember it. I bought it in 1990 from K-B and it is possible they sold only one size. Anybody have an old catalog?

    Jim Burek "refreshed" the converter a few years back, while he was still in biz. Hope he didn't ruin it. He tried to talk me into altering the pitch of the blades, for a higher stall, but I told him to leave those alone. So, hopefully, he (or, more likely, his trans guy) just opened it up, changed the thrust washers, etc., and sealed it back up.

    Stall was not too radical--maybe 2800 r.p.m. or so. But I had the trans recently rebuilt and the guy hadn't seen a S-P tranny before. I pointed out to him the differences, but will have to see if it even works.

    Best,

    Ranger
    Aiken, SC




     
  17. Bigpig455

    Bigpig455 Fastest of the slow....

    There were two KB SP converters, the Performance converter with 2000/3000 stall, and the RV converter with 1600/2600 stall. .
     
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  18. ranger

    ranger Well-Known Member

    Rhett, thanks so much for checking. Mine would be the Performance converter.

    Thanks, again!

    Best,

    Ranger
    Aiken, SC
     

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