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Old 10-31-2016, 11:44 PM
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Gear driven

Never messed with gear driven timing set ups, I knew of some guys cars that did this back in 92 and 93. They didn't regret it but they built some big hp motors tho.

So I'm kicking this gear drive set up and wonder if it's worth it even tho I may not be building some serious 500+ hp?

If it doesn't matter on hp, what about firing, does this need to be upgraded with gear driven?

STILL plan to pull this 454 out tomorrow or Wednesday and get the numbers on the heads and block, at this point I've only saw 7.4 on the side by a freeze plug and a large K by the oil filter.

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Old 11-01-2016, 12:29 AM
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If you can tolerate the noise and spark scatter with a floating idler setup, go for it. It will sound racey for about 10 minutes. After that, you will get tired of the noise and regret installing it. If you want better spark control, use a more expensive 1-gear setup like that offered by Milodon....or.....do like the rest of us and use a chain drive for good spark control and quiet operation.
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Old 11-01-2016, 12:35 AM
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If it's a dual floating idler "dogbone" type, like he original Pete Jackson then forget it, It can be more trouble than it is worth. Most educated builders call these "poser" geardrives, usually installed by the uneducated just for the sound they make. Do a search here and you won't find much good to say about them.

You're better off using a high quality double roller chain, it will transmit fewer crank harmonics back into the cam and valvetrain.

The only good gear drives are the fixed idler type, like the Milodon, or Shaver /Wesmar where there is just a single idler gear fixed to a backing frame/truss or built into a special timing cover. This is the type of geardrive Top Fuel cars and Sprint Cars use and not the cheapo's.

If you really want top of the line in the cam to crank drive, then that is a Timing Belt Drive.
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Old 11-01-2016, 07:16 AM
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If you really want to polish a turd; use a Pete Jackson "Loud" gear drive...cripes those look like they use beaver teeth and an axe to shape the teeth. But HEY they're loud.

The vibrations will drive any knock sensor nuts too...so thats kind of a neat built in timing retard function
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Old 11-01-2016, 10:19 AM
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Glad that I got so many replies, had no idea about them and again never messed with them. Always heard them never owned them. Never thought about dealing with the noise, kinda like aggressive mud tires on the highway huh?

Well I'll definitely drop that one, thanks again.
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Old 11-02-2016, 06:40 AM
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If you like howling rear gears then you like timing gears, they sound just like that.
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Old 11-02-2016, 07:16 AM
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slightly OT but can anyone explain why the industrial ford 300" inline 6's use gears instead of a chain? (and last a looonng time)
maybe because they don't vary the rpm much?
not to suggest gear drive for a street car (no need to reinvent the wheel you know)
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Old 11-02-2016, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhansen View Post
slightly OT but can anyone explain why the industrial ford 300" inline 6's use gears instead of a chain? (and last a looonng time)
maybe because they don't vary the rpm much?
not to suggest gear drive for a street car (no need to reinvent the wheel you know)

One gear against another works pretty well. I run S&S gear drive in my 2000 Softail because of the unique early problems with the chain drive in these and then no other solution being available. They do make noise (though nothing like a Pete Jackson in a Chevy) but that's better than the chain tensioner failure problem which too the extreme will pretty much wipe out the engine.


There are direct gear drives for the SBC that work very well like the Milodon 12250 see link


Milodon 12250: Gear Drive Small Block Chevy | JEGS





But these aren't cheap and they require a reverse rotation cam. The Pete Jackson drives allow the use of stock rotation cams and certainly are not bank breaking expensive. But they make a lot of noise and the floating idler gears cause a fair amount of timing oscillations; these gears if you look closely are different sizes, the drive and back drive loads alternately try to pull one gear in and push the other away. This isn't too bad when these things are new as the tolerances don't let this get out of hand, but as the system ages and wears the oscillations between these gears gets nasty. A racer just replaces these drives on a regular basis, most street guys don't want to do that so the better choice is a double row roller being inexpensive, long lasting, and accurate.


Plus if your using factory EFI these gear drives will set off the detonation sensor and that will either pull timing off the advance till the apparent ping stops or will kill the ignition till the noise stops.


Bogie

Last edited by BogiesAnnex1; 11-02-2016 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 11-02-2016, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhansen View Post
slightly OT but can anyone explain why the industrial ford 300" inline 6's use gears instead of a chain? (and last a looonng time)
maybe because they don't vary the rpm much?
not to suggest gear drive for a street car (no need to reinvent the wheel you know)
Industrial engines can use gear drives because the noise does not matter.
Cat engines use gear drives and last very well.
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Old 11-03-2016, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BogiesAnnex1 View Post
....There are direct gear drives for the SBC that work very well like the Milodon 12250 see link


Milodon 12250: Gear Drive Small Block Chevy | JEGS





But these aren't cheap and they require a reverse rotation cam. ....



Bogie
Sorry Bogie, but that's incorrect...the Milodon drive is a single fixed idler design and uses a standard rotation cam. You're right it's not cheap though.
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Old 11-03-2016, 05:37 PM
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I'm one of the odd ducks I guess, I've ran PJ's in SBC and BBC for years. My new 385 has a gear drive, the noise never bothered me. I do use the cloyes double roller too.
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Old 11-03-2016, 06:00 PM
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Haha 642yy , I wasn't going to comment as I was feeling like the Lone Ranger. I have an Edelbrock non noise gear drive. It doesn't make any special noise and timing is rock solid even after 22k miles. I heard some cheap ones and yes they would drive me crazy. My blower sings when you step on it but cruising it's quiet too. Exhaust and road noise overpower all else.

Yeah I usually use roller timing chains but this one came along asking to be used so I obliged.

I have always used a single idler gear drive on race motors since the early 60's. Never had a failure even when a rod broke the cam in a couple places.
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Old 11-03-2016, 06:15 PM
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I have used them...... and taken them off.... for all the above reasons... The only worth while alternative to a chain and sprocket set is an even more expensive belt drive which I have found needs more maintenance then the the gear drive and the chain and sprocket.... Even on some stuff I have had making 1800 plus HP they all used a good quality chain and sprocket....the only time I have used successfully a gear drive set up was on my Promod car which used a Kasse boss motor... other than that I think there is better alternatives.....I timing gear and chain cannot be beat in 90% of applications... Gear drives are best when used on a cam driven fuel pump... thats not to say you will not have good luck with a quality gear drive set.....

Last edited by HiHelix; 11-03-2016 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 11-04-2016, 03:33 PM
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If I wanted something that sounds like an over driven 671 with bad bearings, I would install a 671 with bad bearings. Not, a gear drive timing get-up.
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