Timothy O’Toole, Bakersfield, CA
Rick, I recently bought a 1988 318 2Bbl motor (from a Fifth Avenue) with very low mileage. I was planning on mildly hotting it up before swapping it in place of my tired ’72 318 in my pickup truck. I was going to swap on a 4Bbl intake and a cam. When I opened the motor, I found roller lifters! Will the standard cam I (already) bought work in this engine?
Yes, but you’ll have to swap out almost the entire valvetrain. In addition to the cam and lifters, you’ll need to change the pushrods and springs (they’re not up to any kind of performance use.) Discard the large die-cast retainer (see drawing). Though a 2-BBl pass. car motor shouldn’t have ’em, check to be sure that the exhaust valves are not equipped with positive rotators, if they are, these have to “go” as well. Be sure to check the spring’s installed height carefully, some valves used with rotators are shorter than the norm.
You will find that the pushrod holes in the heads are significantly larger than the older setup, they’ll clear the standard hydraulic setup easily.