1980 Ford Fairmont 302 Hydraulic Conversion

Joshb99

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Hi I am new to this forum and have some questions regarding the 1980 fairmont 302 block. This is my very first project and I am very excited, I have learned so much about engines through this.

When I got the engine it already had hydraulic lifters and a hydraulic cam but it is a solid roller block. I purchased both the retainers and the guide for the lifters but have run into a problem with the guide bolt holes. Since it is a 1980 block the 1985+ kit will not work. It seems that the only problem is the bolt holes that secure the guide. I have looked everywhere for information on this and I have come up with three conclusions: buy all new linked lifters, revert back to the solid cam and lifters, or drill a hole in the guide to match the holes in the block. I have never read about anyone drilling the holes but I cannot find the right guide for my application.

My question is can I just drill the holes or do I need to change lifters.

Without Guide:
20170807_173611.jpg
With Guide:
20170807_173620.jpg


The blue is where I would have to drill the holes to match the block and the red is where the holes on the guide are located. I am sorry about the bad picture quality. Thank you all in advance!! I have used this forum many times along my build and am glad to be a part of it now!
 
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jrichker

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Hi I am new to this forum and have some questions regarding the 1980 fairmont 302 block. This is my very first project and I am very excited, I have learned so much about engines through this.

When I got the engine it already had hydraulic lifters and a hydraulic cam but it is a solid roller block. I purchased both the retainers and the guide for the lifters but have run into a problem with the guide bolt holes. Since it is a 1980 block the 1985+ kit will not work. It seems that the only problem is the bolt holes that secure the guide. I have looked everywhere for information on this and I have come up with three conclusions: buy all new linked lifters, revert back to the solid cam and lifters, or drill a hole in the guide to match the holes in the block. I have never read about anyone drilling the holes but I cannot find the right guide for my application.

My question is can I just drill the holes or do I need to change lifters.

Without Guide:
20170807_173611.jpg
With Guide:
20170807_173620.jpg


The blue is where I would have to drill the holes to match the block and the red is where the holes on the guide are located. I am sorry about the bad picture quality. Thank you all in advance!! I have used this forum many times along my build and am glad to be a part of it now!
Get a better camera so we can accurately estimate what is needed. You photos are so blurry that it obscures what you are trying to show.
 

Joshb99

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Aug 7, 2017
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Sorry my phones camera lens got smashed, that is the best I can currently do.
valley number.jpg

This picture is off the internet of the same block. The pre-drilled holes in the guide are right above the number.
50437.jpg
 

jrichker

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The guide has the ridge pressed in to make the guide rigid; don't drill holes in it.

Take the block and the guide to the engine machine shop and have them drill wholes in the block that match the guides.

If they mess it up, they own it.
 

Joshb99

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Do you think that this would be more cost effective than getting link bar lifters and the engine needs the guide to run properly correct?
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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There was a discussion on this years ago on another foum
http://forums.corral.net/forums/5-0-5-8-engine-tech/976819-converting-302-roller.html
The problems seem to be the bosses in the lifter valley and the height of the lifter bores, if the block does not have the bosses to drill and tap for the spider it seems there would be a problem with getting proper oiling to the lifters, linked roller lifters would be a safe bet I think in this case. Do more research before plunking down any money on the 5.0 roller setup.
 

Joshb99

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So non-roller blocks that do not have the holes for the spider will not be oiled correctly with the spider in or drilling the holes will affect the lubrication of the engine? While I was away I began to think and maybe I can create a bracket to hold the spider in.
20170808_145132.jpg
20170808_145135.jpg

This is the first design, I will drill the hole where the sharpie is. I have checked clearance and it is fine. I will also make another design very similar where the bracket screws onto the top and not the bottom.
 

RangerJoe

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If your block is a non roller, which it is, you cannot use the spider hold down and stock style lifters. Your only option is to use a set of link bar style roller lifters. As stated above, the oiling provisions inside the lifter bores are not in the right place for the stock style lifters.

Joe
 

Joshb99

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Thank you I definitely will not put that in my engine. Can you recommend any link bar lifters for my application (seat height)?
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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Ranger joe is correct, however, according to the article linked you can do it but it requires a small base circle cam, a lot of trouble to go through for roller lifters, if your dead set on using roller lifters:
86 or newer 5.0 block, plug and play, easy peasy
Link bar rollers, more money, head has to be off to install/remove (I think),
Drill/tap holes for spyder, shim spyder for correct height, small base circle cam, I think you will be limited in valve lift too.
Flat tappet cam, plug and play, if you have a good block and are ready to build go with the flat tappet cam, nothing wrong with them, just a specific break in procedure. Do your homework, study your options, count your pennies and venture forth into horse power nirvana,
Oh, and there's a test on friday.
 

jrichker

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If your block is a non roller, which it is, you cannot use the spider hold down and stock style lifters. Your only option is to use a set of link bar style roller lifters. As stated above, the oiling provisions inside the lifter bores are not in the right place for the stock style lifters.

Joe
He's right - the roller blocks have a deeper hole for the lifters to sit in because the roller lifters are taller than a flat tappet lifter.
 

EDC

Founding Member
NEVER use a reduced base circle camshaft.

A set of Morel link bar lifters, the correct camshaft and push rods is the proper method to update a non-roller block.

This system avoids the potential failure of a twenty year old spider and dog bone from a junkyard engine as well as the valvetrain instability of a pencil thick cam core.

I do these conversion kits all the time for my customers.
 
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Davedacarpainter

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Ed here is the guy to listen to about this. It's what he does for a living and is well known for it.
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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The information I gave was from an old thread from another forum, it was a few years old and obvious just one way of doing it, according to Ed is not the way to do it, he is the authority on the subject and I would blindly follow him into camshaft bliss.
:hail::nice::rock:
 
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