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More machine than man
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am running a SBC350 with a Comp Cams XE274 (hydraulic flat tappet) cam and an HEI distributor. I can't for the life of me figure out what dist gear material I need. It seems bronze is for roller cams...so that leaves: steel, iron, alum-bronze, or the ultra spendy composite gears. :smash:
 

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Get in, sit down, hang on
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2,785 Posts
I think I'd just go with a stock replacement gear if it were mine.


NAPA Echlin #DG-501 fits a 1979 350

Attributes
# Distributor Drive Gear Teeth : 13
Distributor Gear & Pin I.D. : 0.490"
Distributor Gear & Pin O.D. : 1.50"
Distributor Gear Height : 1.80"
Distributor Gear Pitch Direction : Right Hand
 

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More machine than man
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851 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I did find some materials from Comp Cams that said I should use an iron gear on a flat tappet cam (which is made of iron). I have read that OEM's use a steel gear for street motors because steel lasts longer. This seems strange to me as I would think that a steel gear would eat up the teeth on the iron cam.
 

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Hot Rod Has Been
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187 Posts
:thumbup:
I do the same thing with the sales flyers that come in the mailbox on a daily basis. Looking at them just plants the "I need that!" (or "I want that!") seed. :D
I wasn't always that way... but I have changed.

#1 I pay cash for everything or use my debit card... no $$$ equals no buying.

#2 When building my blown Hemi my engine builder planted the idea in my head that these engines worked very well, won NASCAR races, with stock water pumps, oil pumps, etc. No one at Bonneville in the 50's went 200 MPH with a Chevy-cooled Hemi... so why would I need that stuff on my hot rod?

#3 My choice for buying hot rod parts are now salvage yards, other hot rodders and parts cars. And the occasional NAPA store and outfits like Egge machine.

Now back to our regular programming.
 

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Hot Rod Has Been
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I did find some materials from Comp Cams that said I should use an iron gear on a flat tappet cam (which is made of iron). I have read that OEM's use a steel gear for street motors because steel lasts longer. This seems strange to me as I would think that a steel gear would eat up the teeth on the iron cam.
I THINK some modern OHC engines use a billet cam... then steel would not be an issue. And the OEM's are looking for 200,000 mile durability I guess...
 

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More for Less Racer
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21,136 Posts
I did find some materials from Comp Cams that said I should use an iron gear on a flat tappet cam (which is made of iron). I have read that OEM's use a steel gear for street motors because steel lasts longer. This seems strange to me as I would think that a steel gear would eat up the teeth on the iron cam.
OEM's now use steel gears because hydro ROLLER cams are steel.

For your Iron flat tappet cam, you want an Iron gear, for 1955-1985 SBC. The gear shown by 66GMC from NAPA is a correct piece.
 

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If it's a cast iron camshaft, the OEM style cast iron or even the later composite will work. If it's a steel core camshaft, steel or bronze. Word of warning with the bronze is that they will wear out in xxx to xxxx or maybe if lucky, xxxxx miles. The steel gears were introduced with the roller lifter camshafts and wear like ---- steel. You need to determine what that camshaft is made out of and Comp Cams have a forum you can ask or even give them a call and you will be have a lot better chance of them being right then a WAG* from us guys. If it's flat tappet, probably 90+% chance it's cast iron.

* WAG = Wild Azs Guess
 
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