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Old 02-22-2009, 12:05 AM
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ZZ3 Cam Timing

Me and a buddy went through a ZZ3 engine that had been run hot! It messed the heads up so we replaced them with Trick Flow twisted wedge heads. Went thru engine, rings, pistons, etc, but kept stock roller cam and installed it with a edelbrock double roller timing chain set: QUESTION: We installed the cam in the straight up position with this chain, is this correct or should it be installed in advanced or retarded position? (The engine cranks and runs fine but with the feel and horsepower or a 4 cylinder) Thanks guys for your responses---

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Old 02-22-2009, 12:46 AM
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Being it`s profile is on the small side you wouldn`t likely notice any difference if it were set either way. Being it lacks power is likely going to be in the tune.
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Old 02-22-2009, 12:53 AM
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Thanks for the reply, even though it is a "smaller" cam grind, we did have problems with piston to valve clearance and had to disassemble engine and cut valve reliefs in the pistons to keep them from hitting. As for as tuning how bad off could we be?
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Old 02-22-2009, 01:12 AM
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Whats the base timing set at? is the vac advance connected to a ported or a manifold source? What shape is the tune up in? (condition of plug wires, etc.) You have checked it for vacuum leaks? What carb size? did you use a dual plane or single plane intake? What intake port size are the heads? are the valves adjusted correctly?
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Old 02-22-2009, 04:41 AM
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The "ZZZ" "ZZ1" and early version "ZZ3" motor had a different cam in it than the later improved ZZ4 version cam.

Early cam 235-235@.050" .480-.480" lift 114LSA
Late ZZ4 version 208-221 @.050 .474"-.510" 112LSA same or more power, lots more low end torque.

The early cam lacked low end grunt. If the cam went back in with the new timing gears in a more retarded installed position, the lack of low end grunt of the early version cam will be even more pronounced. The fact that the origional heads had 58cc chamber and the new TFS heads have 64cc (or larger) actual chamber volume doesn't help.
If you replaced the factory pistons with common rebuilder pistons with a reduced compression height 1.54" compared to 1.56" Then with all these critical variables added together ya its going to be a dog. The actual cr could be as low as 9.00:1 now maybe even lower.

The fact that you had to modify the valve relief notches to get enough valve to piston clearance with the junk Twisted Wedge head tells me that you have the old version 235 .480" camshaft and it may be out of time as well. Time to degree the cam and see what you got.

You should have keeped and rebuilt the origional GM ZZ3/ZZ4/L98 aluminum heads. These heads rock with upgraded 2.00"x 1.56" LT-4 valves and home brewed hand porting and a competition valve job. (113 castings)

Let me guess. You found the Twisted Wedge heads on ebay offered cheap.

Last edited by F-BIRD'88; 02-22-2009 at 04:59 AM.
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Old 02-23-2009, 11:51 AM
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We actually done this engine around 8 years ago! Really been sitting up since then since it had no power. The heads were supposed to be the "*****" back then, turns out they really were! ($1200) Thanks for all the input, I will degree the cam and go from there, the original heads actually had holes melted in them from overheating, reason for replacing them, Thanks guys---
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