Can you check to see if camshaft bearings are still good in the engine? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 05-03-2003, 08:08 PM
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Post Can you check to see if camshaft bearings are still good in the engine?

I was checking the camshaft lobe lift in my stock 302 ford, that goes in an f150 truck, tonight and the lobes are worn real bad. I got to the intake valve on the #2 cylinder and the lift only measured .146 inches as opposed to the .2375 inches my book says. I stopped right there because I know it needs replaced. I've never changed a camshaft before and I am wondering if the bearings should be checked after the cam is pulled. Is there a way to do this? Does it need to be done? Can I put a larger cam in it? Not a huge one but mayby a little bigger. I have a new edelbrock performer intake and edelbrock 600 cfm carb to go on top. Don't know if that info helps. I'm just going to change the cam the way my Haynes manual says. Is there anything else I need to know before I start?

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Old 05-06-2003, 04:15 AM
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a visual inspection will usually suffice, just check them over, if you see any brass color in the bearings there wore out, if not there okay, check the edges closely and around the oil passage holes for burrs or damage. sure you can go with a bigger cam, as long as you don`t go overboard, a small torque cam will suit you nicely.
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Old 05-06-2003, 07:29 AM
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You didn't say what mileage your truck has on it. This is a critical factor, I believe. Unless that particular engine year series has a tendency to wear out camshafts (thus factory error) I would guess you have a very high mileage engine. If the cambearings pass the visual inspection, I'd go ahead and install a new cam AND LIFTERS.
BUT, I sure wouldn't relace it with any in the performance line, a new hot cam in a worn-out engine is throwing good money after bad!
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Old 05-06-2003, 08:51 AM
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My first cam change was in my 2nd car, a 1968 Chevy II Nova with a 307/3speed on the floor. The car had 60k miles and it seems that the early 307ís had a batch of bad cams that wore out prematurely. I thought at first I just floated a lifter because the car just seemed to start running badly all at once, rather than gradually.

My broí and I stuck in a new Chevy part numbered hot hydraulic cam and kit, had a simple valve grind to recondition the heads, new timing chain and sprocket, found a used Chevy part number aluminum high rise intake and installed a new 600cfm Holley. A curve kit in the distributor and a set of headers completed the job. This car ran consistent mid 14 second etís at 98-99 mph. That was with a 3.08 rear end. It used a bit of oil, about a qt. between changes, but ran strong and never gave me a minuteís trouble. I drove it about 20k before trading. If you match the components and donít go overboard you should be fine. Good luck.
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Old 05-06-2003, 09:19 AM
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Thanks for the comments hotrodders. The engine does have a lot of miles, but not sure how many. The odometer says 180,000 but don't know if thats accurate. I've looked through my catalogs and can't find a stock cam with same specs. Any idea where I should look to get the same type of cam? A cam that would be good for hauling heavy loads would be ideal.

Thanks again.
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Old 05-06-2003, 02:34 PM
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With a Performer intake and a 600cfm carb something like the Comp Cams XE250H <a href="http://www.compcams.com/catalog/146_147.html" target="_blank">found here</a> would be a good choice. Good torque dual-pattern cam with a powerband where you need it (600-4800rpm) in a work truck. If the rest of the engine is solid I would go for it. A good 302 can turn some miles. If you're doing the job yourself it shouldn't cost that much to buy yourself some extra miles out of that engine. I have swapped cams in some pretty beat up engines. Heck when I first got my license I couldn't afford anything with less than 100,000 miles and the first thing I did with every car I bought was a cam,intake, and carb swap, a little engine degreaser and a can of engine paint, and presto - instant cool car. Good luck!


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Old 05-06-2003, 02:38 PM
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That cam choice was assuming that you have a standard hydraulic cam. Don't know if your 302 is roller or not, or how old it is.




[ May 06, 2003: Message edited by: dmorris1200 ]</p>
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Old 05-06-2003, 06:46 PM
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Thanks Dmorris. Will I have any problems with valve to piston clearance? The cam in it now is hydraulic.
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Old 05-07-2003, 02:27 AM
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[quote]Will I have any problems with valve to piston clearance? <hr></blockquote>

No, not a mild cam in that range. Since there is a difference in cam choices you must make sure you have the right type. Pre-82 engines are grouped together, 82-up hydraulic roller, and 82-up hydraulic flat-tappet. Most likely if you check with Comp Cams they will help select the right one for you. You can always double check here too after you select one. All I would suggest is a dual-pattern with a short duration that starts its powerband early as possible. In fact you should study all the cam choices listed in their catalog at www.compcams.com to familiarize yourself with their characteristics. Most will specify, stock OE replacement, computer friendly, carb only, etc. Good Luck, Don.


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