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Old 10-22-2012, 01:02 AM
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1989 SBC with Roller Cam

Got a rebuilt 1989 SBC with a roller cam, I assume it's a stock GM cam. About 6 months ago I installed a new HEI with a bronze distributor gear. Today while driving it just died, at first I thought it was the HEI but it turned out the bronze gear had about 6 teeth stripped.

Why would the gear fail like that?

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Old 10-22-2012, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayd_2 View Post
Got a rebuilt 1989 SBC with a roller cam, I assume it's a stock GM cam. About 6 months ago I installed a new HEI with a bronze distributor gear. Today while driving it just died, at first I thought it was the HEI but it turned out the bronze gear had about 6 teeth stripped.

Why would the gear fail like that?

They dont last forever like the stock one did. You may want to use the factory dist. equipped for the roller cam.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayd_2 View Post
Got a rebuilt 1989 SBC with a roller cam, I assume it's a stock GM cam. About 6 months ago I installed a new HEI with a bronze distributor gear. Today while driving it just died, at first I thought it was the HEI but it turned out the bronze gear had about 6 teeth stripped.

Why would the gear fail like that?
A bronze gear is made to wear out so it does not wear out the cam gear. Bronze is for race only, not street use. You should be using a melonized or hardened steel gear for street use.

Also if you have a high volume or high pressure oil pump, that places extra strain on the distributor gear. As a general rule you should be using a standard volume and pressure pump for street use.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:37 AM
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Make bronze distributor gear wear a thing of the past with these Howards Cams composite distributor gears! NASCAR-proven technology yields precise timing and extended durability. They are precision-manufactured from carbon ultra fiber material and offer 300 percent more durability than bronze distributor gears when used with steel camshafts. Howards Cams composite distributor gears can be used with cast or billet cams.
Howards Cams 94402 - Howards Cams Composite Distributor Gears - Overview - SummitRacing.com


COMP Cams composite distributor gears are manufactured from Carbon Ultra-Poly composite to ensure superior strength and less wear. They are the latest in high-tech distributor gears designed around solving the wear issues associated with bronze gears in racing applications. The polymer gears are ideal for street roller applications--they feature virtually no wear, and they eliminate the problem of spark scatter that's associated with worn bronze gears. The gears have undergone stringent testing in various applications with positive results. Why put up with the hassle of changing bronze gear after bronze gear, when you can switch to composite for extended gear life?
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/CCA-12200/
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:36 AM
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What about the fuel pump rod, anyone know the GM part number for a rod used in their factory roller cam engines?
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayd_2 View Post
What about the fuel pump rod, anyone know the GM part number for a rod used in their factory roller cam engines?
Its the same just get one from ARP. But make sure your cam has the lobe to drive it they dont all have it. and that your pump area is fully machined by the factory. There is also a posibility they are not drilled/milled for a fuel pump. be sure to check that the bore is good and smooth and fully machined out like any other fuel pump cavity you have seen. Basicly its time for the cavity search...

Do you still have the electric one. many will use it with a low pressure return style regulator.
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayd_2 View Post
Got a rebuilt 1989 SBC with a roller cam, I assume it's a stock GM cam. About 6 months ago I installed a new HEI with a bronze distributor gear. Today while driving it just died, at first I thought it was the HEI but it turned out the bronze gear had about 6 teeth stripped.

Why would the gear fail like that?
Aftermarket and OEM hydraulic roller camshafts are austempered ductile iron. That type metallurgical treatment was patented in 1980 by CWC Textron, Inc., the manufacturer of most aftermarket and OE cam cores. The cam cores can be ground and machined after the austenpering process.

Comp Cams camshafts with a part number ending in -8 are austempered ductile iron camshafts. The entire ductile iron camshaft core is austempered to 2100 degrees F and quenched.

Comp Cams:
"All OEM and the largest aftermarket (MSD) distributor manufacturers recommend using a melonized (case hardened) steel distributor gear with austempered ductile iron camshafts."
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayd_2 View Post
What about the fuel pump rod, anyone know the GM part number for a rod used in their factory roller cam engines?
The roller cammed engines are fuel injected and don't use a mechanical fuel pump. However, when a roller cam is used in an engnine with a mechanical pump it requires a special push rod Crane and Howards make them with steel or bronze tips for compatibility with billet or cast core roller cams. Except for the LT4 Hot roller I don't think that GM roller cores have the fuel pump lobe on them.

Bogie
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:45 PM
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you need a g.m. melonized distrubutor gear
they are like 40 bucks from g.m.
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:28 AM
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A few typical distributor gears for SBC and BBC. Selectively Austempered Ductile Iron (SADI) roller tappet camshafts or steel billet flat tappet and roller tappet camshafts:

GM 10456413
.491" shaft
GM coil in cap HEI
Melonized ductile iron gear
SADI hydraulic roller camshafts

GM 19052845
.428" shaft
GM small cap HEI distributor
Melonized ductile iron
SADI hydraulic roller camshafts

MSD 8471
.500" shaft
Aftermarket high perf. distributor
Nickel/bronze alloy
Steel billet solid flat tappet and solid roller camshafts

Crower 76002
.428" shaft
GM small cap HEI distributor
Aluminum bronze alloy
Steel billet solid flat tappet and solid roller camshafts

Comp Cams 412
.491" shaft
GM coil in cap HEI distributor
Aluminum/bronze alloy
Steel billet solid flat tappet and solid roller camshafts

MSD 8561
.500" shaft
Aftermarket high perf. distributors
Melonized ductile iron
SADI hydraulic roller camshafts

Last edited by MouseFink; 10-27-2012 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 10-27-2012, 12:04 PM
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Im not using a roller cam, I did however cut a .010 groove in the side of the distributer boss above the gear to spray a small amount of oil on the gear. Not sure who taught me that but it seems to work ok.
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:18 PM
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A flat tappet camshaft is a proferal iron alloy casting and is flame or induction hardened to a depth of .010" after the camshaft is ground and then the camshaft is parkerized to improve lubricant absorption during break-in. . That method of hardening is used for high volume production camshafts. A regular production iron distributor gear is used with those camshafts and should have improved oiling.

The flame and induction hardening process makes the cam lobes and the integral distributor drive gear "file hard".
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