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Old 06-26-2008, 03:31 PM
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Are cam locking plates really necessary?

I was wondering I just finally got my timing cover back on my engine and everything is good so far but I had a problem with my timing cover cam button. I used a cam locking plate on my cam bolts and when I put my 2 piece cloyes cover on I did not have the cam button piece on till I got everything else ready then I noticed it would not fit through the locking plate and I did not have the tools necessary to open it up some so I took my cam bolts back out then took the locking plate off then I put a new set of grade 8 bolts in that are better then the grade 5 bolts. I also used loctite on them as well and I have heard normally the cam bolts rarely get loose with loctite. But after that is all said and done when I went to work yesterday I guy told me about a guy who had a cam bolt get loose and ruined his engine cause he said he forgot to bend down the little tab on his locking plate Kind of has me worried but I have went with out them before and never had any problems. Before I put everything back on accessories wise should I rip the cover back off and get a new one and try to somehow to make it work or should I just leave it be. Thanks guys Eric

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Old 06-26-2008, 04:03 PM
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Old 06-26-2008, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric32
I was wondering I just finally got my timing cover back on my engine and everything is good so far but I had a problem with my timing cover cam button. I used a cam locking plate on my cam bolts and when I put my 2 piece cloyes cover on I did not have the cam button piece on till I got everything else ready then I noticed it would not fit through the locking plate and I did not have the tools necessary to open it up some so I took my cam bolts back out then took the locking plate off then I put a new set of grade 8 bolts in that are better then the grade 5 bolts. I also used loctite on them as well and I have heard normally the cam bolts rarely get loose with loctite. But after that is all said and done when I went to work yesterday I guy told me about a guy who had a cam bolt get loose and ruined his engine cause he said he forgot to bend down the little tab on his locking plate Kind of has me worried but I have went with out them before and never had any problems. Before I put everything back on accessories wise should I rip the cover back off and get a new one and try to somehow to make it work or should I just leave it be. Thanks guys Eric
I'd hate to be the one that tells you with Locktite you're fine and then have it come apart. It's a definite MAYBE!

The reason cam drives have locking plates is not because the of any huge load on the bolts, it's that the gear is trapped between the oscillations of the crank shaft and those of the cam. This tends to cause the gear to twist or at least try to twist back and forth under the bolts. This makes their holding on to any torque value suspect. So the lock plate is there to keep them from falling out should the shaking they see result in loosening.

I'd say the better the cam drive (i.e. roller vs plastic tooth gear), the rastier the cam, stiffer valve springs, the higher the revs, a poorly balanced crank, a damper in poor condition,,, the more likely the bolts are to coming loose.

Bogie
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Old 06-26-2008, 05:33 PM
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The cam plate also helps keep the button in place, I know it is trapped by the timing cover but you never know. I have never run a button without a plate.
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Old 06-26-2008, 05:40 PM
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I have rebuilt quite a few SBC.They don't come with a locking plate and I have never used one. I have never had a cam bolt come loose.
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Old 06-26-2008, 06:47 PM
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Get yourself a few of these. They work very well and you can combine them with loctite if you want.

http://www.nylok.com/products_torqstrip.htm
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Old 06-26-2008, 07:09 PM
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bolts comeing loose

re the cam bolts by using grade 8 plus locktight they will not come loose if properly torqued the old timers used lock wire , cotter pins in con rods, pal nuts they did nothing but make people feel good.use correct grade bolts or nuts for the job and torque to spec they wont come loose unless some other condition arises like low oil level causing bearing failure. i have seen more engine failures with cotterpins falling out from not being bent properly than ever seeing a engine saved by a cotter pin. places like tie rods where their is no vibration cotter pins do there job as you usuely feel some slop in the component and sneake home.
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:18 PM
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I wasn't a big believer in cam locking plates until one of my customers had his cam bolts loosen up (he assembled the engine). Now I always try to remember to include one in any parts list. Usually they are cheap enough that the customer doesn't even notice until he actually looks at his parts. Then it's easy enough to talk him into using it.

tom
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:53 AM
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I do use the locking plate if the cam drgree in and require a off set degree bushing in order to keep the brushing from coming out. But I use red loctite when I'm using the locking plate. Never had one come loose yet with loctite.
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Old 06-27-2008, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Are cam locking plates really necessary?
No, nor are the many other things an individual or builder may opt to do either. This is one of those deals that will come back you haunt you - at the most undesirable time and place. This is also a good example of why you don't cut corners on inexpensive items... IMHO
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:05 AM
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(warning, this is an engine-newbie question)

How 'bout drilling the cam bolt heads and lock-wiring 'em together? Would that work or would the wire be in the way of other parts? Done correctly, it wouldn't come apart like locktite might, and it wouldn't have the the fore-aft clearance problems caused by a lock plate . . .

- Mike
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:02 AM
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If its a warmed over 350 with a "cam" then I wouldnt worry about it.
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Old 06-27-2008, 02:14 PM
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Well my engine is fairly new its only got about 1200 mile on it since last summer. I really did want to use a lockplate but my cam button would not fit through it but the one from crane cams did. I don't know why the cloyes built in cam button would not fit through. I was very pissed that is would not fit. I guess I will have to try to figure out what I can do. I can always scrape off my old gasket maker and re do everything.
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Old 06-27-2008, 05:46 PM
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Well I just ordered a new cam locking plate. I guess I will be able to rest easier if I have once installed. I am going to take it too my dads house and get it grinded out some so I can clear my cam button and wont have to worry. I am going to tear off my water pump tomorrow and timing cover and clean everything up again and do it right. Cheap insurance is good but I normally would not have gone with out one but I did not have the stuff necessary to clearance the hole bigger. Thanks guys for your help as always.
Eric
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Old 06-29-2008, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedydeedy
I have rebuilt quite a few SBC.They don't come with a locking plate and I have never used one. I have never had a cam bolt come loose.
I have. its not pretty.
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