We’ve got the answers—the Summit Racing tech department tackles your automotive-related conundrums. This week, we help properly convert a Ford 428 FE engine from a hydraulic to solid lifter camshaft.
T.B. Boise, ID
Q: I have a 428-cubic-inch FE Ford engine that I want to put in a 1971 Mustang. The block is set up for a hydraulic lifter camshaft, and I want to use a solid lifter camshaft. If I plug the lifter oil galleries to use a solid cam, how will the lifters and the valvetrain get oil for lubrication?
A: Plugging the lifter galleries in a non-high performance FE block to use a solid lifter cam is actually a good idea, but you don’t want to block the oil passages to the rocker arm shafts. Oil is needed to lubricate and cool the rocker arms and springs.
To accomplish this, drill and tap the oil passage in each head and install restrictors with a .090-inch hole. This will allow adequate oiling while keeping the majority of the oil where it is needed. We would highly recommend SA Design’s book How to Build Max Performance in Ford FE Engines. It has very good information on the how, what, where, and why of modifying the FE’s oiling system.