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Old 03-24-2011, 09:50 PM
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Is it nesary to degree my cam?

I'm rebuilding a 283. I got a RV cam as suggested on this forum. I've rebuilt a couple of IHC V8s to stock specs and never heard of degreeing a cam. I got a kit off ebay that showed a Comp cam but what they sent me is a Melling, and other than break in hints there is very little info. Thanks

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Old 03-24-2011, 09:58 PM
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my vote is to degree cam and verify lift...can then sleep easy.
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:17 PM
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With a mild cam, you can get away without degreeing. For max power/efficiency/emissions/generally running like you want it, you should degree it.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:02 PM
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No, you do not need to degree your cam.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Woodman
I'm rebuilding a 283. I got a RV cam as suggested on this forum. I've rebuilt a couple of IHC V8s to stock specs and never heard of degreeing a cam. I got a kit off ebay that showed a Comp cam but what they sent me is a Melling, and other than break in hints there is very little info. Thanks
There should be a "cam card" included w/the camshaft that lists the specifications of that particular cam.

In order to verify that the cam is actually what it is supposed to be (you cannot tell by looking at it, or not even always by the stamped numbers), you degree it to see that the cam matches the cam card.

My thoughts are that on a cam like this there's not much to be gained by degreeing every lobe, but at the very least you should do an intake and exhaust lobe to verify the specs and to be sure the timing set, etc. are accurate, and to see that you don't have a tolerance "stack up" that will cause the cam to be out of phase.

If you find it is out a degree or two, this is the time to compensate for it by using a multi-keyway timing set or offset cam gear dowel bushings or an offset crank gear woodruff key to phase the cam correctly. This is also a good time to verify the timing tab and damper mark for TDC.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:44 PM
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Not to change the subject or anything but I have a related question. Is degreeing a cam basically a process of verifying the specs when installing it?
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:55 PM
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That's an accurate assessment, IMO. It verifies the cam AND the related components like the timing set are accurately machined.

More- degreeing cam, worth it??
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Old 03-25-2011, 05:42 PM
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Thanks for all the responses. Maybe I was reluctant to degree the cam cause I was foggy about it. After some thought and having read the responses I agree that it makes sense to do it and be sure. Cripes what's my hurry anyway, I'm semi retired and have ample spare time.
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Old 03-25-2011, 05:56 PM
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No, you can install a cam. dot to dot.

If you are ready for cam installation, and verified TDC. The cam gear mounts on a peg , oriented 90 degrees CCW, cam dot down. After setting the gear positions turn the crank a few times and see if they still line up. To be only a tooth off is very noticeable.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:00 PM
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True Story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Woodman
Maybe I was reluctant to degree the cam cause I was foggy about it. After some thought and having read the responses I agree that it makes sense to do it and be sure.
I had bought a cam for a Pontiac 455 I was building from an outfit called Columbus Auto Parts or Columbus Racing Products- something like that. I still have their catalog from like '88.

Anyway, I got the camshaft along w/a pile of other parts and proceeded to assemble the short block. I wasn't going to degree the cam, thought "why bother". Then a friend of mine who happened to come by said I ought to take a look, he thought it looked like more lift than the card said (called for around 0.480"), so to shut him up, I real quick put my mag base dial indicator on it, and sure enough there was more lift- but only a little.

Lucky guess on his part, but this puzzled me enough that I went ahead and degreed the intake and exhaust lobes of #1 and sure as hell, the cam was WAY different than what was in the catalog: It was ground on a 108 LSA, not a 112, it had 10 more duration and the lift was about 0.015" more.

After some deliberation (and since I hadn't built the heads yet) I decided to use the cam anyway (installed advanced), and to go ahead and port the heads instead of installing them as-is. I wasn't disappointed w/all the extra work, the engine ran very good for an all iron 455 w/a Performer intake- but if I hadn't known the difference was there I'd have been in for a tuning nightmare trying to make sense of the lower idle vacuum, the lope and such!

So if you can justify the time, like it seems you can, I agree that there's no good reason NOT to degree the cam.
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