Welcome to the Corvette Forums at the Corvette Action Center!

Solid or Hydraulic Bumpstick

B

Bullitt

Guest
I'm going over my catalogs right now and eventually I'll consult some manufacturers on what specs are right for my motor. In the meantime however, I'd like to get opinions on solid vs. hydraulic camshafts. I'd like to hear more of personal experiences or those of a friend. I'll probably be switching out most of the vavletrain anyways, for beefier internals.

The main thing is that I've never owned a car that had a solid cam. I've seen them run and they do sound particularly sweet! I've just never considered one before. I'd appreciate any valuable and constructive input.

--Bullitt
 
B

Bullitt

Guest
Thanks for the article Ken. I might take a run to see those guys next week. They're not real close, but what the hell, it's only burnt dinosaurs.

My fondest memory of a solid cammed runner was a '70ish Camaro my friend Richard went up against. I warned him not to run the guy, because when I hear a solid, I know the guy means buisness. Anyways, my friend got blown my nearly three car lengths off the line. Talk about a horsewhippin'! :L

--Bullitt
 

Ken

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
Jan 30, 2001
Messages
8,236
Location
Hermosa Beach, CA
Corvette
1987 Z51 Silver Coupe
You know a sound I like is a gear drive. It sounds so much like a blower, but it'd be a ***** on the street it's so noisy. :L

_ken :w
 
B

Bullitt

Guest
I like the "solid" sound, because it's so close to a race car. That's why I love the old Trans Am racers. The solid just gives a car an edge that sounds mean and nasty. Can you imagine being my neighbor and waking up on a Sunday morning to the serenade of a solid through open side-pipes at 5000rpm?! :eek

--Bullitt
 

JHL

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2000
Messages
403
Location
Everywhere
Corvette
81 4 speed
If they were anything like my neighbours they would be pretty P****D OFF.

:L

J.
 

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
You will have even more fun converting to a hydraulic roller. You get that vicious steep ramp on the cam lobes, low noise valvetrain, less friction, and no need to go back and pull the covers off to re-adjust every so many miles. A good radical roller cam will snap and pop off at idle as good as any solid cam out there.

Otherwise, my money would be on a good flat tappet hydraul, just because the hassle and grief over the "perfect" setting of the solid, and the noise would drive me crazy! I love tinkering, but I hate re-doing stuff.
 
S

Scott81

Guest
JHL said:
If they were anything like my neighbours they would be pretty P****D OFF.

:L

J.

I take it you know this from past experiences John? :D :L
 
B

Bullitt

Guest
I'm sticking with a flat tappet lifter and the cost/benefit ratio for a roller just doesn't play me right. I don't feel like spending nearly a grand, when I could get comparable performance for less. The noise is something I like, but the lash settings are a 50/50 split, since I've never had to live with it. The jury is still out on that one. I'll ask Lou to join in on this subject.

--Bullitt
 

Rowdy1

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 26, 2001
Messages
1,180
Location
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
Corvette
1962 CORVETTE-SOLD 2004 Z16 Z06 CE
Here I am

Thanks for asking my opinion, and that's all it is, MY opinion. There's pro & con to everything, and most of it's a matter of someone's opinion. When I built my engine, I had the luck of having a friend that's built more than his share of small & big block Chevy's. I told him what I wanted and he told me what to get and why. I firmly believe the only way to build an engine is from the bottom up. I read post after post of people looking to get more HP quickly. You can get a few here and there, but starting with the right parts will give you what you want, all at once.
I'll skip all of what I did to get what I wanted and elude to your asking of my $.02. I went with a solid lifter cam made by Chet Herbert, for under $100. He used to make experimental cams for "Big Daddy Don Garlits", and I think, not sure, he made the first roller cam. I have the sound of a roller with an extremely "lumpy" idle at 1000 RPM'S. My exhaust actually crackles with each cylinder firing and I am always asked what cam I have in it at the local cruise nights. It's just the sound I wanted. As far as the solid lifter sound, it's like a typewriter, gently letting everyone know, yeah, I mean business. Although it's capable of 8000+ I run a 7000 chip in my 6AL box and I'm still making HP when I shift at that, but I have used the 8 on a couple occaisions. As for the adjustment, I've done them twice in two years and they were not off very much when I did them the second time. Again, the cam is the "heart" of the rest of the engine, but everything has to be compatable for the optimum HP. I've listed all my parts in previous posts but if you or anyone else wants them I'd be happy to give them to you.
Don't know about you, but solid is all I'd ever use, MY $.02;)
 

Ken

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
Jan 30, 2001
Messages
8,236
Location
Hermosa Beach, CA
Corvette
1987 Z51 Silver Coupe
I didn't know that Lou, mine's a Chet Herbert cam too. :upthumbs

_ken :w
 

Rowdy1

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 26, 2001
Messages
1,180
Location
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
Corvette
1962 CORVETTE-SOLD 2004 Z16 Z06 CE
Pay Attention (Smiling)

I told you that when you were listing your parts for the "beast":z
 
S

SwaveDave

Guest
I was faced with this same dilemna a couple months ago when i had my engine totally rebuilt. I went with an aggresive hydr. roller cam (Lunati: 290/300 adv. dur., .575/.595 lift., 112 LSA) . I am VERY pleased with the additional performance over the old hydr. tappet. It is quiet, idles pretty good, still has that 'rumpity rump' and i like not having to adjust lash every 10 K. miles. If it were a Dragstrip machine, id go with Solid, but for the street, hydr. roller is the way to go.

RR
 
6

69redvette

Guest
I have a 355Ci / 430HP engine. Bottom end is 4 bolt Splay , but otherwise basically stock. The heads are Trick-Flow Twisted Wedge Heads and Victor Jr Intake, 750cfm Holley DP with 4 point metering. The cam I had was a Crane hydlaulic. 510/512 lift but don't remember duration. It doesn't matter as 2 lobes left the building and took 2 lifters with it, or visa versa. I replaced with Comp Cams solid lifter cam #12-223-4. 490/495 lift with 236/236 duration. 110 degr. lobe separation made it an easy cam to degree. If you install your own cam, you should know or learn how to do this...it's pretty important. I find it's a really good street cam and I'm really happy with the performance. It is kinda noisy but it's more responsive and it deffinetly gets attention. It is holding adjustment pretty good so far. Only a couple of lifters were slightly out in 1 year of running it. ( Only about 500 miles or so ) After 1 year, I wouldn't have done it any different. Good luck with your decision.
 

Corvette Forums

Not a member of the Corvette Action Center?  Join now!  It's free!

Help support the Corvette Action Center!

Supporting Vendors

Dealers:

MacMulkin Chevrolet - The Second Largest Corvette Dealer in the Country!

Parts/Accessories:

Vetteskins

Advertise with the Corvette Action Center!

Double Your Chances!

Partners

Top Bottom