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Old 01-23-2012, 08:19 PM
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Cam wear patterns

Well I pulled my cam out of a 350 sbc in my cutlass. I was having issues with needing to keep adjusting my lifters and after inspection by my machinist he said the lifters were starting to wear. I took some pics and hopefully you guys can tell me for sure what the problem was and if the wear patterns on the lobes look good. The cam was broke in using a bottle of the zddp additive and brad penn 30w break in oil and was ran at 20-25min for 2200-2500rpm. Hopefully the pics turned out good enough to see. I can post some pics of the lifters if it would help but they all looked to have a good circular pattern but had no concave to them. Also in the last pic there is a red circle showing an imperfection in the lobe. Every lobe on the cam showed this. Not sure what it is....
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:09 AM
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More or less normal wear patterns.. What is your spring pressure?.

I recently had a customer with similar complaints of constantly having to adjust the valve train.. I discovered that he had used a pair of aftermkt heads on the shortblock. Checking the spring pressure showed 165 lbs. on the seat.. Causing the problems.. Hyd performance lifters require 100 lbs. + or - 10 percent.
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOBCRMAN@aol.com
More or less normal wear patterns.. What is your spring pressure?.

I recently had a customer with similar complaints of constantly having to adjust the valve train.. I discovered that he had used a pair of aftermkt heads on the shortblock. Checking the spring pressure showed 165 lbs. on the seat.. Causing the problems.. Hyd performance lifters require 100 lbs. + or - 10 percent.
I used edelbrocks recommend springs.. EDEL-5703 i ordered 5794 which is the kit. They were installed at 1.700" I probably should have also said that the cam is an edelbrock performer rpm 7102. The heads are stock vortecs with screw in studs... I tapped them and put blue thread locker on them when I installed them.
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:58 AM
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What do the bottom of the lifters look like? Do they still have a crown on them. Failure generally occurs when the lifters cease rotating.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:04 AM
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Have you compared the base circle to the lobe to see how much wear has happened and how uniform the wear is across all the lobes? You can judge the lifter wear by holding the foot against the side of another lifter to see what they are wearing like. Good that they have a round wear pattern showing they're rotating.

For there to be enough lifter/lobe wear to cause the valves to noisy and to be readjusted several times, they'd be trashed by now. If there's not enough lobe or lifter wear to account for the need to keep readjusting, and the studs can't pull, there's only the lock nuts/polylocs backing off to account for it unless the pushrods/rocker arms are wearing away. I'd have suggested marking the adjusting nuts to see if they were backing off before tearing it down just to see, but you can look into that after it's back together should the problem persist.

Good luck.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
Have you compared the base circle to the lobe to see how much wear has happened and how uniform the wear is across all the lobes? You can judge the lifter wear by holding the foot against the side of another lifter to see what they are wearing like. Good that they have a round wear pattern showing they're rotating.

For there to be enough lifter/lobe wear to cause the valves to noisy and to be readjusted several times, they'd be trashed by now. If there's not enough lobe or lifter wear to account for the need to keep readjusting, and the studs can't pull, there's only the lock nuts/polylocs backing off to account for it unless the pushrods/rocker arms are wearing away. I'd have suggested marking the adjusting nuts to see if they were backing off before tearing it down just to see, but you can look into that after it's back together should the problem persist.

Good luck.
I am thinking the same thing about the locks. I will just buy the locking ones.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zildjian4life218
I am thinking the same thing about the locks. I will just buy the locking ones.
Hopefully the stud threads are still OK and polylocs solve the problem.

The lock nuts that have the threads that pinch the stud threads like used by the factory really do a number on the stud threads if they're installed new. If they were used lock nuts, that surely could account for the adjustment not holding, and used ones wouldn't bugger up the studs as bad as new ones.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:05 AM
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Cam wear

Quote:
Originally Posted by zildjian4life218
Well I pulled my cam out of a 350 sbc in my cutlass. I was having issues with needing to keep adjusting my lifters and after inspection by my machinist he said the lifters were starting to wear. I took some pics and hopefully you guys can tell me for sure what the problem was and if the wear patterns on the lobes look good. The cam was broke in using a bottle of the zddp additive and brad penn 30w break in oil and was ran at 20-25min for 2200-2500rpm. Hopefully the pics turned out good enough to see. I can post some pics of the lifters if it would help but they all looked to have a good circular pattern but had no concave to them. Also in the last pic there is a red circle showing an imperfection in the lobe. Every lobe on the cam showed this. Not sure what it is....


If heaver springs are used , this will increase wear on the lifters and cam. Oil pressure is good but volume is better. You make no mention of milage at this picture time. Some wear in is natural, Breakin wear, and lifter adjustment is critical also. Did you hone or break the glaze in the lifter bore? Are the lifters part of the same cam kit?
Sounds like you did your homework,. Maybe just a soft cam.
Regards
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:11 AM
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Oil?

I have heard too many stories about the cams going flat and lifter problems in new builds.

The consensus issues seem to be 1) low oil pressure due to internal leaks and blocked oil passages and 2) new oils don't have enough zinc to lubricate flat lifters. The higher than normal valve spring pressure makes the problem worse.

IMHO, check to be sure all areas are getting enough oil and continue to use high zinc content products e.g. diesel engine oils and/or zinc additives after break-in.

BTW, the zinc vs alternatives issue is a whole discussion itself.

Thanks.

Dick
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:30 AM
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cam wear

Quote:
Originally Posted by zildjian4life218
Well I pulled my cam out of a 350 sbc in my cutlass. I was having issues with needing to keep adjusting my lifters and after inspection by my machinist he said the lifters were starting to wear. I took some pics and hopefully you guys can tell me for sure what the problem was and if the wear patterns on the lobes look good. The cam was broke in using a bottle of the zddp additive and brad penn 30w break in oil and was ran at 20-25min for 2200-2500rpm. Hopefully the pics turned out good enough to see. I can post some pics of the lifters if it would help but they all looked to have a good circular pattern but had no concave to them. Also in the last pic there is a red circle showing an imperfection in the lobe. Every lobe on the cam showed this. Not sure what it is....

Looking again this is not that excessive of wear. the Parko-luberizing is worn off but looks like the cam actually has minimal wear. Even though it lookes like it is ware soon, this wear patter looks faily normal. If the engine is reassembled using these parts, make absolutely sure the lifters go back in the same hole. Is this a Solid lifter cam or a Hydro cam? What was your initial valve lash setting?
Regards
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N43
I have heard too many stories about the cams going flat and lifter problems in new builds.
The consensus issues seem to be 1) low oil pressure due to internal leaks and blocked oil passages and 2) new oils don't have enough zinc to lubricate flat lifters. The higher than normal valve spring pressure makes the problem worse.
IMHO, check to be sure all areas are getting enough oil and continue to use high zinc content products e.g. diesel engine oils and/or zinc additives after break-in.
BTW, the zinc vs alternatives issue is a whole discussion itself.
Thanks.
Dick
Hello Dick, here's a tutorial that I initially wrote and that has been modified by several of the members here on the forum. It's more of a checklist of what to do and what not to do with flat tappet cams and lifters....
http://www.crankshaftcoalition.com/w...ips_and_tricks
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:46 AM
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If I'm seeing what I THINK I see--and it's not an artifact of camera flash or some other photography illusion--that cam is toast.

First photo--farthest right lobe of the four--the wear pattern is nearly as wide as the flank of the lobe. Junk. Wear pattern ON THE FLANK should be fairly narrow and all on one side. Wear pattern may be full-width on the peak of the lobe, but not on the flank.

fourth photo--circled--looks like a camshaft grinding error. The flank has a low spot as if ground improperly.

Many of the other lobes have reasonable wear patterns. Those two do not.
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zildjian4life218
Well I pulled my cam out of a 350 sbc in my cutlass. I was having issues with needing to keep adjusting my lifters and after inspection by my machinist he said the lifters were starting to wear. I took some pics and hopefully you guys can tell me for sure what the problem was and if the wear patterns on the lobes look good. The cam was broke in using a bottle of the zddp additive and brad penn 30w break in oil and was ran at 20-25min for 2200-2500rpm. Hopefully the pics turned out good enough to see. I can post some pics of the lifters if it would help but they all looked to have a good circular pattern but had no concave to them. Also in the last pic there is a red circle showing an imperfection in the lobe. Every lobe on the cam showed this. Not sure what it is....
I guess my point is, with this type of wear on the lobe, then the follower would be toast also. There should be a concaved lifter in the bunch related to this lobe. The cam, yes, is worn no argument, and my pictures may not show all.
Just stating this looks, as someone else stated, looks like lack of lubrication and high spring pressures.
I built many SBCs and any issues I had were from mismatched parts or lack of lube.
. If an old oil pump was used, then your asking for issues..

Good luck with your next build.
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxdudy
If heaver springs are used , this will increase wear on the lifters and cam. Oil pressure is good but volume is better. You make no mention of milage at this picture time. Some wear in is natural, Breakin wear, and lifter adjustment is critical also. Did you hone or break the glaze in the lifter bore? Are the lifters part of the same cam kit?
Sounds like you did your homework,. Maybe just a soft cam.
Regards
Mileage is probably about 1200-1500. I did not hone the lifter bores before installing the lifters and a bunch of them went in very tight so I definitely should have and was a rookie mistake. the lifters also came with my cam kit from edelbrock.


I will try to take some more pictures with some different lighting and see if it helps at all. Thanks for all the replies so far
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:05 PM
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This cam is wear is perfectly normal. There is no reason to replace the cam or lifters as long as you place the lifters in the same bores as removed. This cam is NOT worn out. It is suposed to look just as it does in the photos. Wear on one side of the lobe is correct. Lifters should be convex on the bottom. Put two lifters bottom to bottom to check this. Reinstall using GM EOS or cam assembly lube. Good luck.

Jamie
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