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Old 11-03-2006, 08:18 PM
84Z 84Z is offline
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Does a roller cam absolutely need a bronze gear?

I have a sbc with a 00404 crower roller cam in it. It's hydraulic, and I just got a new msd distributor. I've always read that you should use a bronze gear witha roller cam, but they need periodic replacement. Can i use the gear that came with the distrib or is that a horrible idea?

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Old 11-03-2006, 08:24 PM
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Most roller cams require bronze gear on the dist. My cam is made by comp cams I paid 50.00 extra so I could use a standard gear. I think unless noted otherwise by the maker, bronze gear is a must, and I think needs to be replaced around every 5k miles but im not sure on that.
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Old 11-03-2006, 09:43 PM
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If you use a cast roller cam you need to use an original style gear. Personally, I didn't realize intil a few days ago that they even made a cast roller cam. But on a Cobra forum that I belong there have been a string of cam failures that were traced to the use of something other than the factory style iron gear. It was a Comp Cam, they offer 2 styles, one steel blank and one that uses a cast blank.
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Old 11-04-2006, 05:47 AM
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Does a roller cam absolutely need a bronze gear?

You should call the cam manfacturer SAP and see what they recommend.This is very important,if you use a bronze gear in the wrong application it will wear the bronze away very quickly!Had it happen a couple of summers ago,the engine wont run with no material left on the dist gear! Comp Cams makes a polymer plastic gear,but its a little on the expensive side.Or you can go to your nearest GM dealer and get their melonized steel gear part # 10456413,this is compatible with steel roller cams.There is also an easy modification you can do while you have the distributor out,file a small (.030) groove in the bottom band on the distributor shaft,making sure it is in the area where the distributor points torwards the cam gear,this will help keep the dist/cam gear teeth oiled.One thing more,if you do find you need the GM gear but you are using an aftermarket distributor,the hole may need to be enlarged,the GM shaft is .491,and many aftermarket distributors have a .500 shaft,if this is the case,a quick trip to your favorite machine shop may be in order.Dont try to drill this out with a drill press,it must be accurate!
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Old 11-04-2006, 05:56 AM
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I would highly recomend a bronze gear on a steel billet core and on the fuel pump push rod you should go to one that has a bronze or brass tip as well.
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Old 11-04-2006, 07:02 AM
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Here's a link to the Comp Cams site showing their roller blanks, the ones that use a stock gear are noted. They are apparently ground on a cast blank.
http://compcams.com/Technical/CamCores.asp#streetroller
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Old 11-05-2006, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodz428
If you use a cast roller cam you need to use an original style gear. Personally, I didn't realize intil a few days ago that they even made a cast roller cam. But on a Cobra forum that I belong there have been a string of cam failures that were traced to the use of something other than the factory style iron gear. It was a Comp Cam, they offer 2 styles, one steel blank and one that uses a cast blank.
Yo, thanks a ton man. Looked up the part and it is a cast roller, so I can use the standard gear. I didnt realize they made these either. Thanks again
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Old 11-06-2006, 07:47 AM
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Yep if the gear on the cam is black then you use a standard dist gear. If the cam is billet and the cam gear is silver, same color as the cam then use a bronze gear.

But.... most billet cams not all out racing are two piece and they press a standard gear onto the billet cam core. So you can see a black gear on a billet cam.
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Old 11-06-2006, 08:35 AM
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My Camcraft billet roller cam came with a cast distributor gear attached so I can run a stock metal gear.
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:53 PM
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I have pulled 2 distributors from 2 gm cars. A 90 firebird, and 89 camaro.
Bot were LB9 engines (roller 305). And both distributors had steel gears.
(GM went to all billet cams on all F bodies {and probably others} after 1987)

Also, I just ordered this dist. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...ht_4929wt_1167

As you can see, it is for all 87' and later roller cam motors. I got the dist the other day, and its gear is steel (magnetic). ***?

Heres the reply from that Ebay seller.
"We'll take the item back but there are several large and false assumptions. First, the gear is not bronze, and what you are seeing is just the light for the photo. Secondly, we've sold these units for close to 3 years now and have never had someone claim a failure or warranty on these units. They are built for MSD's streetfire series. They are extremely good units. If you want to return it we'll give you the information to do so, but I did want to point out that your assumptions are incorrect based on our experience. There is a lot of marketing gimmicks involved gear material because its highly profitable to sell. The cost of a bronze gear is about $5, and they sell for about $30."




So, according to this guy, the bronze gear is a marketing gimmick. Ok. Maybe it has become that. But, if GM seen fit to use bronze gears, and has stopped, what exactly did they go to, (im guessing that melonized steel gear part # 10456413??)?

So. Really im at a loss. Im just gonna run what they sent me. And give it a 500mi checkup.
And feed it Amsoil.
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:05 PM
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You shoud've started a new Thread, this ones very old^^^.
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:16 PM
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But if I start a new thread, someone *****es because "this has already been covered".... and refers me to this thread.
Besides, it worked. You found the thread.
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:18 PM
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All that distributor gear hooey helped me choose a cast iron cam instead of the billet one I was looking at.

i'm not interested in changing brass dist gears every year; some reported premature brass gear failures.

some reported problems w/ polymer gear failures.

unclear how to verify which gears are indeed melonized.

too easy to have cast cam/gear and cast dist gear and call it good.

i did check dist gear mesh during install.
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:22 PM
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Some of us are running factory GM billet cams. So we gotta know.

Im waiting to hear back from the manuf to see what material and hardness the MSD streetfire gear is.
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:32 PM
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I`ve never seen anyone start a new thread and be told to refer to a older one, not on this board now or ever.
You can cut a notch in the front of the distributor section that`s right above the gear. I usually cut a notch about .030 deep and no wider than a rat tail file. This provides direct lubrication to the gear from the lifter valley. This is how I do all my roller cam engines and I haven`t had to use any type of special gear.
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