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Tech Question

Steven L. McIver, Poplar Bluff, MO

Rick, I want to compliment you on your fine magazine. I especially enjoy the tech articles and Tech-Topics column.

I would like your opinion on Rhoads lifters. I have a 1969 Road Runner with a 440 engine that has a “large” (about .498″ lift) hydraulic cam. I know nothing else about the cam, as it was in the engine when I got it. I advanced the cam 4N, which helped some, but I’d still like to have a smoother idle and more low-end torque, without losing the top-end “rush” of power. Will the Rhoads do the job for me?

Steve:

Do they work? Most certainly. In fact, we had a set in our ’78 Monaco 440 cop car for almost 10 years. Are they a cure-all? Not even close.

Here’s the way I’d recommend deciding if they’re right for you: If the car is livable now, go with the Rhoads, they’ll make you smile. (Be sure you have a good stereo, they’re as noisy as misadjusted solids.) If the car is a real pain now, swap the cam to something more suitable. The Rhoads won’t make enough of a difference to warrant their installation.

Incidentally, the effect the Rhoads’ will have is somewhat dependent on the oil temperature and viscosity. Hot, lightweight oil, such as 10W-30, will increase their effectiveness (and noise!) Cool SAE 40 will substantially diminish their effectiveness (and quiet ’em down.)

I’ve also used Crane’s version of this setup. My verdict on them is that they’re slightly less effective than the Rhoads, but a whole bunch quieter.

Rick

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