It might first seem that the SPM kit is a race-only piece, but Sims tells HPP that it’s an excellent choice for street engines too. “It improves timing accuracy and reduces friction, and that can benefit any application. It’s quite reliable too. The set in my own daily-driven Pontiac has more than 50,000 miles on it, and we’ve had no issues with it or the set in my race engine. It works well with flat-tappet or roller cams, but it offers an additional benefit for those that run a roller cam in their Pontiac.”
An aftermarket Pontiac roller cam is constructed of billet steel, and as it thrusts forward under hard acceleration, the harder billet material can cut into the softer stamped-steel stock retainer. Once the camshaft penetrates the retainer surface, it’s only a matter of time before the camshaft cuts its way through the retainer plate, presenting a host of issues. In addition to the aforementioned benefits, the SPM Roller Bearing Camshaft Retainer effectively eliminates that occurrence too.
If your Pontiac V-8 is already equipped with a roller cam and a stock retainer was used during the install, this story doesn’t suggest that your engine is operating on borrowed time. The stock piece is quite capable for a street engine, particularly if it was in good reusable condition to begin with. Those engines most susceptible to stock retainer issues likely operate at full throttle for several seconds on a regular basis, or in instances where the stock retainer was already in rough shape.
While a SPM Roller Bearing Camshaft Retainer assembly isn’t a necessity for every engine build, it seems an excellent choice for any Pontiac that’s regularly raced, and it can be considered a sound investment anytime a roller camshaft is used. So if improving your Pontiac’s reliability and performance without compromising stock fit and function is important to you, then this product is something you need to look into!