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Rhodes lifters ??

9517 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  tiger
Does anybody here race with Rhodes liters. They seem like they would be good idea for running vacuum classes. Their web site claims a gain of up to 5" vac. with more radical hydraulic cams. Just wondering what the pros and cons are.
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The fast bleed lifters tend to be very noisy and they tend to perform poorly at high rpm. They tend to bleed off a lot on the opening side at high engine speeds. Now with that said maybe it would be possible to fool around and adjust them so that their travel is very limited in the downward direction. Adjust them down so that they are almost completely collapsed and then come up a small amount that you'll allow them to bleed off, .010, .020 etc.
Thanks Dave, Here's the instructions for the V-Max lifters, it sounds just like you said to fool around with.




With intake manifold removed and camshaft installed, begin by inserting all lifters into engine block. It is best to keep the intake manifold off so that the lifters can be viewed while adjusting, but it is not necessary. The lifters can be properly adjusted with the intake manifold on as well.


Make sure the lifter being adjusted is on the low side (base circle) of the cam when adjusting, just like you would when adjusting any solid lifter cam. In this position, the valve would be in the fully closed position. For street use place a .020” feeler gauge, (use .030" for racing), or for aluminum blocks use a .010" feeler gauge (or .020" for racing) between the valve stem and rocker arm as if adjusting solid lifters, and tighten the lock nut until the lifter plunger bottoms out in the lifter shell and the valve begins to open. Now back off on the lock nut until the valve just closes and the pressure of the valve spring just begins to release on the feeler gauge. When you can just slide the feeler gauge back and forth with slight drag from the spring, the adjustment is correct. Repeat this process until all lifters are adjusted. After the adjustment, the plunger position should be nearly all the way down to the bottom of the lifter shell, and not up against the retaining ring, with no clearance in the valve train whatsoever. Please remember to adjust the lifter when the valve is in the closed position, or the adjustment will be wrong. For absolute accuracy, the adjustment can be repeated when the engine is at normal operating temperatures, but the adjustment should be made with a .020" feeler gauge (.030" for race) for both cast iron and aluminum heads when the engine is hot. Also, never adjust the lifters at zero lash or looser so that the plunger is up against the retaining clip as standard anti-pump up lifters are adjusted. This will cause valve train damage.


You should never adjust the lifters with more than .030 to .035 thousandths of an inch, but you can use less such as .010”-.025”. When checking valve to piston clearances, tighten the lifters to .005” and conduct the test, then readjust them to the proper setting after the test is completed.

By tightening the exhaust valve more, you will get a lopier idle, which is preferred by some who like the sound. For higher compression engines, both the valves may be tightened to help reduce pinging. Also, tightening the adjustment will reduce the ticking sound at idle. This may be helpful with sensitive knock sensors that interpret the ticking as pinging. While this will not hinder the rpm potential of the Rhoads Lifter, the reduction in lift and duration at low speeds will be minimized with a tighter adjustment, yielding smaller increases is low-end torque, engine vacuum and producing a rougher idle.

As mentioned above, Rhoads Lifters sound similar to solid lifters at idle and low speeds. Usually this solid lifter sound is not heard until the engine warms up to near operating temperatures.

This product made under at least one of the following patents: 3921609, 4524731, 4913106.
Other patents pendi
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They are TOTALLY dependant upon the supply and oil pressure curve of the engine.
Unreliable at best and massive power robbing at worst.

They have their small place; (restricting the oil supply to the lifters and running them at the bottom of their travel, they won't ever pump-up), when a hydraulic lifter is mandatory because of the rules.
Vacuum class racing.....you can spend alot of $$$$ quick to get the most out of an engine. I have ran the V-Max lifters on a 400 with a juice cam I used to mudrace with and wouldn't run anything else on that particular cam, those lifters with a few other things were the differance between me pulling vacuum at tech or not. I turned my 400 6500 with no problems and the valve train was actually quieter than some solid valve trains I have had in other engines, properly adjusted......just follow the instructions. If you want to go with a larger hydrualic cam the V-max are the only lifters to use. There are other options to pulling the proper vacuum but you get into a money game.......but then again how many dollars are your competitors willing to spend????
I just did some work on a vacuum class engine using a Ford 400. We just used a solid with what we thought would be about the right cam timing and then lashed it around till it made the rule. Those are tough, this thing had to idle at 800rpm and make 15 inches, not easy...
Thanks for all the advice guys. Just getting back into mud bogging after about 15 years, things sure have changed a lot rule wise. I'll be building up a budget 460 for now. I'm waiting to see what the economy's going to do after the first of the year before I jump in with both feet.
One of the reasons why we were doing the 400 was because around here the mud racing association changed the rules so that you can only run a type of engine that could have come in your truck. This means that on a Ford or Chevy from about 80 and earlier, no big block engines. This guy is running a '79 Bronco.

The customer is running in a class that's very limited modifications wise so he's running a cast iron intake, heads etc. Only mods are headers and a 4 barrel carburetor. It's a tough but interesting class.
Well hopefully that rule doesn't catch on over here, sounds like a lot of Chevy boys are on the association board. What's their motto " If you can't beat them then change the rules". I never understood why Ford never offered the option of a 460 in a '70's 4X4 but you could get it in a 2WD F150.
Chevrolet is in the same boat and there were no big block engines in a Blazer 4x4 either.
My friend ran them and he would pull 14" vaccum at 900 rpm's when it first started up, then once it warmed up it would pull 18" of vaccum at 900 rpm's. The truck ran good, but I think that was due to the heads that were on it. I run a solid lifter cam that has bigger lift and duration with the same LS than the one he was running and he used rhodes v-max lifters and we pull the same vaccum with the same other parts.
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