As Lunati’s Shane Pochon tells us: “Going to a solid roller in a street application, the biggest thing is the bearings on the wheel and axle. It’s important to keep oil on that, so that is where the pressurized oil is beneficial. The solid roller stuff is designed for high rpm for a short amount of time and drag racing. In a street application, guys will believe the engine is staying at low rpm and is just idling around, so that will be easy on it. In truth, at low rpm the crank is not slinging much oil up to the lifters, so there isn’t any oil up into the wheel and into the bearing. The result, especially with high spring pressure and aggressive lobe design, is you end up killing the bearing on the lifter, causing a failure. If you are doing a street solid roller, what I like recommending is actually getting a street roller lobe design that requires less valvespring pressure, put a good lifter on it, and you shouldn’t have any issues.”

Shane also suggested that regular maintenance could help avoid problems: “As far as maintenance, I recommend watching the lash. Over time, the valvetrain will settle and the lash will not vary much. If you notice the lash on one or more lifters starts loosening up more than normal, that’s when I would recommend pulling them out and inspecting them. If you notice play or roughness when working the bearing, send them in for rebuilding.”

Isky EZ Roll

Isky’s premium entry in the solid roller range is their unique EZ roll arrangement. The simple logic here is that if the needle rollers are prone to failure, why not just eliminate them. That was just the approach taken by Isky, substituting their “solid bearing raceway” for the conventional needle bearings. The design actually uses a full-contact bushing of a proprietary material to support the roller wheel. This arrangement actually increases the surface area supporting the bearing loads, and Isky claims the arrangement offers a 350 percent improvement in load capacity. The EZ Roll was initially designed for extreme drag racing application, with spring loads of well over 1,000 pounds, open.

Rod at Isky explains that although these lifters were designed for ultra-demanding drag racing applications, the durability soon showed significant advantages in other applications. As Rod tells us: “They started out in very high load drag applications, but then the idea caught on for endurance racing, boat, and even street applications. The key factor here was extended durability and eliminating the potential for destructive needle bearing failure. You don’t break the outer shell. It’s not like a needle bearing where they shatter and break, and the failure escalated quickly. If there is wear occurring, the lash will simply open up progressively, and you’ll have more than enough time to catch it. It won’t just break on you, and that is the main thing.” Rod tells us that reports from the field show exceptional durability with customers using these lifters in very aggressive street application.

The EZ Roll lifter bearing arrangement is an extra-cost option on Isky’s proven Red Zone lifter bodies. Oiling is provided by two holes adjacent to the roller axles, however Rod tells us the bushing material is actually a self-lubricating material, and it will absorb and hold oil. For a street solid roller, we definitely consider the Isky EZ Roll worth a close look.

COMP Cams Race Elite

COMP’s approach to an ultrahigh-end solid roller lifer is to go all-out in material and design to produce a superior lifter. Top quality starts with materials, including an 8620 steel alloy body, SAE 9310 roller wheels, and 52100 bearing steel for the needle rollers. The machining and finishing of these components are done to top industrial standards for accuracy and longevity.