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Old 05-24-2010, 09:04 AM
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degreeing cam, worth it??

I'm waiting on my new cam to show up, hopefully in a day or 2. I got one of the Lunati Voodoo cams. The heads are still on and I've never degreed a cam before. Is it worth it? Or am I just chasing a couple HP?? It looks like I need to make some sort of a piston stop out of a spark plug which in itself looks like a pretty long task.. What do you guys think?? Dot to dot??

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Old 05-24-2010, 10:10 AM
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Might not make much difference for a mild street engine. If making a piston stop seems to be hard for you degreeing a cam probably will be too.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 19nova69
I'm waiting on my new cam to show up, hopefully in a day or 2. I got one of the Lunati Voodoo cams. The heads are still on and I've never degreed a cam before. Is it worth it? Or am I just chasing a couple HP?? It looks like I need to make some sort of a piston stop out of a spark plug which in itself looks like a pretty long task.. What do you guys think?? Dot to dot??
Probably half the people writing to this forum about problems after installing a cam would have avoided them had they degreed the cam first. This isn't so much about chasing a couple horsepower as it is insuring the components are properly lined up to where you can even get the engine started. The hotter the cam the less it will tolerate small errors of set up. In addition, so many parts these days are foreign sourced and many have machining and indexing errors. Add to that the problem with with getting a modern flat tappet cam to properly break-in does not provide for mess around time to get the engine up and running. Today's f/t cams must have an uninterrupted 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour at 2500 RPM from the initial git-go. People who have to mess around getting the engine going and keeping it going at this point quickly find they have lobe and tappet wear problems.

So degreeing the cam is as much as anything these days is a necessary step to insure the engine is ready to go when the starter first turns it. the Voodo in particular has initial wear problems as it is in the family of cams with very high rates of lift. These run extreme forces between the lobe and tappet as they try to overcome valve train inertia and spring pressure.

Bogie
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:45 AM
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I;'ve only built a few engines by myself, never degreed a cam, but I probalbly could do it with a book ..... I bought a cam from Comp cams a while back , they cut the advance into the grind, so I didn;t have to set it, just slipped it in ...ran OK to me, but that was on a street vehicle.
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:02 AM
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Engine building 101..All details are important on a grocery getter with a stock cam one can get by with just installing the cam but in any kind of modified motor we need to be a bit more anal about putting things together..

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Old 05-24-2010, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbogie
Probably half the people writing to this forum about problems after installing a cam would have avoided them had they degreed the cam first. This isn't so much about chasing a couple horsepower as it is insuring the components are properly lined up to where you can even get the engine started. The hotter the cam the less it will tolerate small errors of set up. In addition, so many parts these days are foreign sourced and many have machining and indexing errors. Add to that the problem with with getting a modern flat tappet cam to properly break-in does not provide for mess around time to get the engine up and running. Today's f/t cams must have an uninterrupted 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour at 2500 RPM from the initial git-go. People who have to mess around getting the engine going and keeping it going at this point quickly find they have lobe and tappet wear problems.

So degreeing the cam is as much as anything these days is a necessary step to insure the engine is ready to go when the starter first turns it. the Voodo in particular has initial wear problems as it is in the family of cams with very high rates of lift. These run extreme forces between the lobe and tappet as they try to overcome valve train inertia and spring pressure.

Bogie
I agree 100%. Bogie is obviously talking from experience. I've built many engines and have degreed the cam on every single one. Never had an issue until the last couple of years. With things being "Outsourced" now a days, quality and accuracy have gone out the window. I had two engines in a row that had mismarked timing chains...these were both Comp Cams. I'm not dogging Comp Cams but I just wanted to let you know that even if you think you have top quality parts, you will want to check them anyways.

In my experience on one of these engines I built (383 Chev) the cam had a lobe separation of 110 degrees and an intake centerline of 106 Degrees meaning the cam had 4 degrees of advance built in. When I degreed the cam I came up with an intake centerline of 100.5 degrees. That's 10 degrees advanced. Long story short...after redegreeing several times I installed another new timing chain set, redegreed the cam and it came out perfectly. Just think, most guys advance the cam 4 degrees right off the bat so if they did that in this situation the cam would have been installed 14 degrees advanced. Probably would have been chasing problems for a log time.

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Old 05-25-2010, 11:19 AM
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degree the cam if you can

Maybe if all parts came from GM you could slap it together dot to dot and it would be within their tolerance, maybe.

I just assembled a SBC with a Comp solid roller cam with Cloyes 3-position roller chain and found that I had to use the 4 deg retard pos. to get anywhere close to the desired 106deg IC, I left it at 107.5 as I didn't want to get into offset crank keys....I just want to be done and driving.

Glenn
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by weedy64
Maybe if all parts came from GM you could slap it together dot to dot and it would be within their tolerance, maybe.

I just assembled a SBC with a Comp solid roller cam with Cloyes 3-position roller chain and found that I had to use the 4 deg retard pos. to get anywhere close to the desired 106deg IC, I left it at 107.5 as I didn't want to get into offset crank keys....I just want to be done and driving.

Glenn
Ya'll having any luck with the hex adjust timing sets?
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Old 05-25-2010, 12:07 PM
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On my first bbc build with a "few minor mods"; I decided to cough up the cash for a degree wheel and do everything right. My Comp 280 magnum cam installed easily and everything checked out. I could be thinking that it wasn't necessary, but when I go to fire up this motor at least I'll know that cam timing is not going to be a problem.
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Old 05-25-2010, 01:05 PM
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OK, you convinced me, I know once you change one thing, everything else is affected, plus, the quality of 'parts' now days is somewhat questionable. On the engine I did was a 6 cyl , ordered a RV cam from a company , installed it found out it was a 'race' cam, ordered a cam from a different company , then just installed that cam the way it came,,,,,it did run better, but I always had the feeeling it could run better...... maybe if I degreed the cam..........at least it would have eliminated that as a problem......I think the reason I didn't degree the cam , was, I've never done it before, and didn't want to take the time to find out how .
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:25 PM
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On the second cam swap I ever did the cam was 9 degrees further advanced than the cam card specs. {14deg advanced from "straight up"}.
That one was my fault as I reused the old (mint) crank gear but used a new cam gear and chain.

On the first cam swap I ever did, the cam was a hyd cam. I ordered a solid cam. That was GM. Wrong cam in the right box.

From these experiences I always degree and verify the cam timing when doing a install.

The last one I did was right on.

In some applications where you are familiar with the combo's specifics its nice to be able to move the cam a bit to optimize the performance.
You have to degree it first.

Balancer timing tabs TDC point are always out at least a bit.
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Old 05-27-2010, 07:46 AM
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I've degreed 100's of camshafts. I have found that none of them are correct. One think I've noticed is once you degree #1 now go to #8 and see what is up. I bet it will be it's off also. Not put 16 OMG springs and the rest of the valve train on top of it and see what happens.. Not to talk about driving an oil pump and dist on the back of the cam and see what happens.
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