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Old 11-30-2007, 04:54 PM
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Roller Cam Install - Cam Button & Timing Cover Help

ok, so it looks like I'm going "roller" Cam on my BBC 468 this winter.

I know that with the roller cams you have to control camshaft endplay so it doesnt "walk" back and forth. Unlike flat tappet cams with tapered lobes, roller cams have flat lobes and therefore need some "positioning" device to keep the cam walk within tight limits for multiple reasons.

I've seen cam buttons, and timing covers made so as to allow for adjustable cam buttons. I need more information please. Do I have to buy a "special" timing chain cover? Do I buy the cover and button together? I dont get it. What about a "thrust plate"? heard of that too. what does that do? Where does it get installed?

I need somebody who has recently done this to respond with a step by step installation instructions for me please.

thanks

Lee

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Old 12-01-2007, 06:26 AM
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Roller Cam Install-Cam Button & Timing Cover Help

Lee,this is fairly easy to do.If your BBC has a stock type steel timing cover,its all you need,they can be "dented" for proper clearance.Then you will need a thrust washer,or shim,it goes between the upper timing gear & the block.This will prevent the gear from wearing into the block.Some timing sets come with a thrust washer,or they can be bought seperately.The cam button goes between the timing gear & the timing cover.To check for clearance,assemble the valve train,put the timing gears & cover on,with the cam button & thrust washer in place.Carefully take a long screwdriver,dont scratch anything,& move the cam back & forth,measure the distance,I think I used a dial gauge & magnetic bridge,you want between .004-.008 clearance.The timing cover can be dented with a big socket to acheive this clearance.This is what I did almost 7 years ago in my buddy's shop,and its worked OK ever since.
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Old 12-01-2007, 07:45 AM
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I did not want to be the first to post what Guy posted for fear of a severe flaming!!! LOL But I will also agree. We did the exact same thing on my sons roller 400 two years ago. We used a large socket in the back side of the timing cover and the flat side of a smaller one on the outside. We gently dented the stock steel cover until we achieved the .010 cam walk as was suggested by our shop. Like I said, that was 2 years ago and it's doing fine. It only took me 3 tries to get on the money.

Mark
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Old 12-01-2007, 08:07 AM
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Roller Cam Install-Cam Button & Timing Cover Help

I did not want to be the first to post what Guy posted for fear of a severe flaming!!! LOL But I will also agree. We did the exact same thing on my sons roller 400 two years ago. We used a large socket in the back side of the timing cover and the flat side of a smaller one on the outside. We gently dented the stock steel cover until we achieved the .010 cam walk as was suggested by our shop. Like I said, that was 2 years ago and it's doing fine. It only took me 3 tries to get on the money.

Mark

What Mark said LOL
I saw this last night,but decided to wait until today to post my answer.There is no need for expensive timing covers,this is very easy to do.
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Old 12-01-2007, 11:59 AM
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One thing I don't understand so far. I guess I need "thrust plate" or "thrust bearing" between the cam gear and the block to prevent the cam gear from rubbing against the block - right? to prevent the cam from "walking" backward against the block.

If that is true, what prevents a flat tappet cam setup from doing that? Flat tappet cams don't use any thrust plate, and they are setup (with the lobe taper) to keep the cam at the back of the block, so having said that, why doesnt the cam gear rub the block on those setups?

Lee
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Old 12-01-2007, 01:50 PM
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Roller Cam Install-Cam Button & Timing Cover Help

Lee,I dont have an answer to your question,but I know from my personal experience that this wearing will happen.When I took my roller cammed LS-6 BBC apart for an overhaul almost 7 years ago,the back part,(boss),of the upper timing gear was worn down quite a bit,probably by as much as 1/4 of an inch.When I put it back together,I used a Crane timing set that came with a thrust washer,and a cam button.A couple of years later,when I pulled the motor to replace the cam,there was no wear in this area & the thrust washer looked like the day I put it in.So I guess it was doing its job.When this motor was fitted with a roller cam,no one knew much about them,at least on the South Shore of Nova Scotia,there was no cam button,no thrust washer.There was so much camshaft movement that the lifters were almost half way off of the lobe they were supposed to be on.I know you are thinking seriously about a roller cam,I wont use anything else,I soon will be going with a custom grind from (UDHarold)CustomCamCompany,along with a set of Isky EZ Roll Red Zone Lifters.If you do,keep your idle time to a minimum,do not use oil restrictors,or crank scrapers,or windage trays.Lubrication to the lifter/cam lobe comes from the oil galleries,oil returning from the top end,and crank windage,any power gains from the use of the above items will be offset by longevity of the lifters/cam.Quality parts are a must,do not buy used stuff,Howards parts are probably as good as anything out there.Proper spring selection is very important,Comp Cams lists wrong springs for some applications,stud Girdles & rev kits are not necessary so long as everything is done right,they are just band aids,as far as I am concerned.
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Old 12-01-2007, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Hiltz
Lee,I dont have an answer to your question,but I know from my personal experience that this wearing will happen.When I took my roller cammed LS-6 BBC apart for an overhaul almost 7 years ago,the back part,(boss),of the upper timing gear was worn down quite a bit,probably by as much as 1/4 of an inch.When I put it back together,I used a Crane timing set that came with a thrust washer,and a cam button.A couple of years later,when I pulled the motor to replace the cam,there was no wear in this area & the thrust washer looked like the day I put it in.So I guess it was doing its job.When this motor was fitted with a roller cam,no one knew much about them,at least on the South Shore of Nova Scotia,there was no cam button,no thrust washer.There was so much camshaft movement that the lifters were almost half way off of the lobe they were supposed to be on.I know you are thinking seriously about a roller cam,I wont use anything else,I soon will be going with a custom grind from (UDHarold)CustomCamCompany,along with a set of Isky EZ Roll Red Zone Lifters.If you do,keep your idle time to a minimum,do not use oil restrictors,or crank scrapers,or windage trays.Lubrication to the lifter/cam lobe comes from the oil galleries,oil returning from the top end,and crank windage,any power gains from the use of the above items will be offset by longevity of the lifters/cam.Quality parts are a must,do not buy used stuff,Howards parts are probably as good as anything out there.Proper spring selection is very important,Comp Cams lists wrong springs for some applications,stud Girdles & rev kits are not necessary so long as everything is done right,they are just band aids,as far as I am concerned.
thanks Guy

good information.

anybody else out there have opinions and/or ideas?

New Question:

Is machining of the block necessary to accomodate the thrust plate/bearing assembly. I read in catalogs and magazines that it is necessary or it won't fit. Does that mean I need to bring the block to a machine shop and have them machine it or what? Can I do it myself? What has to be done exactly. How much material needs to be removed?
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Old 12-01-2007, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leejoy
One thing I don't understand so far. I guess I need "thrust plate" or "thrust bearing" between the cam gear and the block to prevent the cam gear from rubbing against the block - right? to prevent the cam from "walking" backward against the block.

If that is true, what prevents a flat tappet cam setup from doing that? Flat tappet cams don't use any thrust plate, and they are setup (with the lobe taper) to keep the cam at the back of the block, so having said that, why doesnt the cam gear rub the block on those setups?

Lee
Lee, the taper is very minor. One of two things keeps the cam tentioned and in position, however sloppy it is. Either the end of the cam is gently touching the rear cam plug or the cam sprocket is gently rubbing the front of the block. Either way, there is vertually no wear on either of these areas. A nice snug timing chain will also help keep the cams lateral movement to a minimum.
The reason that cam "walk" is so bad on a retro roller setup is because the lifter are not dead center over each respective cam lobe. The lifter bores are offset so the lifter (flat tappet kind) actually gets spun in the bore as it's going up and down. Putting a retro roller in there and letting the cam walk back and forth will do what Guy says. It lets the roller get dangerously close to the edge of the lobe. Ideally, the roller should be in the center of the lobe.

Mark
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Old 12-01-2007, 03:55 PM
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For street/strip use a roller type bearing is not required. If the roller type thrust bearing comes apart all those rollers are going to go everywhere. A roller type cam gear thrust bearing is quite thick. Much thicker than a thrust washer/shim between the gear and block. That extra thickness must be accounted for in either the block or the back of the cam gear. A thrust washer/shim behind the cam gear is all that is called for. On some blocks/top timing gears you have to clearance the cam oil gallery bosses and gallery end plugs so that the cam gear cannot contact them.
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Old 12-01-2007, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmark
Lee, the taper is very minor. One of two things keeps the cam tentioned and in position, however sloppy it is. Either the end of the cam is gently touching the rear cam plug or the cam sprocket is gently rubbing the front of the block. Either way, there is vertually no wear on either of these areas. A nice snug timing chain will also help keep the cams lateral movement to a minimum.
The reason that cam "walk" is so bad on a retro roller setup is because the lifter are not dead center over each respective cam lobe. The lifter bores are offset so the lifter (flat tappet kind) actually gets spun in the bore as it's going up and down. Putting a retro roller in there and letting the cam walk back and forth will do what Guy says. It lets the roller get dangerously close to the edge of the lobe. Ideally, the roller should be in the center of the lobe.

Mark
yes I noticed when I looked at my current FT cam setup, that the lobes and lifters are NOT lined up. they are offset by a lot, like 1/8" to 1/4" !!! in some cases. so when I install the roller cam & lifter combo, do they need to be lined up or can they be offset a bit?
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Old 12-01-2007, 04:28 PM
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They can be offset some, providing the roller is still totally on part of the FLAT part of the lobe. If the roller is partially off the edge, that ain't good! LOL
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