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Is it possible to put a late model (like an FMS E303) roller cam into an early (pre-'85) block? I know the late models have roller lifter and retainer spider/dogbones and taller lifter bores. Would the roller lifters from a late model work in the shorter early-model bore? The early model doesn't have bolt attachment points to mount the spider--would a retrofit like Crane's work with the late model roller lifters and cam? OR, would it be better just to buy all the retro roller pieces from Crane? A lot of questions, but if it's "no" on the first, that will take care of the rest! :D
TIA,
Daniel
 

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The facts are like this........:

(1)the early blocks are much stronger, this should be your prime and main concern if you are willing to make legitimate power.
(2) the blocks before the mid 1970's are even better.
(3) these all have short lifter bores in comparison to the after 83-85 to present blocks .
(4) hydraulic cams do not have as agressive lobe shapes in comparison to a solid lifter cam...
(5) hydraulic cams are for lazy people that cannot or do not want to do a little adjustment work once in a while.
(6) small base circle cams are not the answer......
 

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why bother using a late model cam when you have advantages using the early block.
 

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I did not see anywhere that you are looking to make the kind of power that would require a solid lifter cam (E cam). So, I guess I am one of the lazy ones. I setup my engine for moderate power (400hp) and am quite happy not having to adjust the rockers. I used the r302 block which is already setup for rollers.

Now to answer your question...Yes, you can put in a hydraulic setup in an early block. The best setup is the retrofit kit since the lifter bores are shorter in the early block. I do agree with the strength of the early blocks, and would recommend them over the late even with the moderate power that the E cam delivers. I would recommend checking out other cams though. There are several quality cams in the same price range as the E cam with a broader torque range and a little more power.
 
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