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How many of you degree your cam...

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by mr_clean, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. mr_clean

    mr_clean 1/2 ton status

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    Just a quick check to see how many of you degree your cam when installing?

    I don't have a degree set and was wondering if it's really necessary or more for those extreme performance engines...

    Thanks,

    Scott
     
  2. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    its free power. why wouldnt you do it?
     
  3. mr_clean

    mr_clean 1/2 ton status

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    Only reason I wouldn't is because the wheel and dial indicator kit costs $100 (so not free for me) and I don't know if the advantages outweigh the cost.
     
  4. BigBurban350

    BigBurban350 1/2 ton status

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    Learned recently in engine maching class, my teacher degrees all his cams for his drag racer, and on more than one occasion that have been off from the factory. One was 10 degrees retarded, he switched a tooth and it was 10 degrees advance, settled with getting a new cam.
     
  5. skelly1

    skelly1 1/2 ton status

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    So what you are deciding is which of the holes on the cam gear you are matching the cam to then? What if it's not right in any of the holes? Is it time for a different cam then? What if it's off 2 degrees and it's in the middle of one of the cam gear positions?
     
  6. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    You can get offset bushings that let you change the cam timing in 1 or 2 degree increments. :cool1:
     
  7. Ryan B.

    Ryan B. 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I do.
    My isky cam in my BBC took a 6 degree offset bushing advancing the cam to line up with the specs on my cam card.

    A degree wheel was about $30 and i borrowed a dial indicator with a magnetic base from work.
    You spend all that money for your valvetrain, might as well get the most out of it. :thumb:
     
  8. Thunder

    Thunder 3/4 ton status

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    You should always degree any new cam you install. IMHO It is a necesary part of engine rebuilding.
    You wouldn't assemble an engine without torqueing it down to specs.
    Why would you put in a cam without degreeing it?
    If you install a cam without degreeing it, and it is ground wrong.( Believe me. It happens.) you will have to eat $$$$ the cam and all the damage it does. No cam maker will warentee a cam that has ben run. They expect you to degree the cam during installation. If the cam is ground wrong you will find out when you degree it. You can send it back and they will send you a new cam. if the cam is a few dregrees out you can get a key to correct it. So it will run like it is supost to and you get your moneys worth out of it.
    Read the cam card degree the cam. It will save you headaches and $$$ in the long run.
    Here is a good article on how to degree a cam:http://www.fordmuscle.com/fundamentals/camdegreeing/index.shtml
    Its a ford site but the principals are the same. fordmuscle.com is a great site
     
  9. mr_clean

    mr_clean 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the link to the site Thunder. Looks like I'll be looking for a degreeing setup :)
     
  10. mr_clean

    mr_clean 1/2 ton status

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    In that article they don't mention (or I didn't see it mentioned) using a solid lifter for taking the measurements. You do need to use a solid lifter for that correct?
     
  11. 79Jimmy

    79Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    A degree wheel can be made very easily :D Find the circumfence of your balancer. For example a 8" balancer is 25.13272" (2 x pi(3.14159 x r(radius)) Radius is just half the diameter or 4" for a 8" balancer. Divide the circumfrence by 360 to give you a value per degree (.0698131). Lay out a 25.13272" ;) strip of masking tape and start making a timing tape. You only have to mark the important numbers off your cam card such as intake centerline, open and closing events usually at .050 lift (you will need a indicator regardless) and a vernier caliper makes the layout a lot easier as it measures on a decimal scale. For example to mark where 17 degrees is on the tape multiply .0698131 x 17 = 1.18682" It takes some time but it works and is very accurate but most importantly CHEAP :)

    James
     
  12. Ryan B.

    Ryan B. 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I didn't read the article yet but,
    it doesn't matter what kind of lifter you have hyd. or solid, when degreeing in a cam.
    Put the tip of the Dial Indicator on the outside edge of the lifter, not down in the hole where the pushrod rides (and has to pump up for a hydraulic lifter).

    Also, when you find true TDC with a dial indicator its a good idea to check the timing mark on your balancer relative to the pointer. IF it's just a tiny bit, a degree off, NOW is the time to scribe a new line into your harmonic balancer for what is true TDC in relationship to your timing pointer.
    :cool1:
     
  13. mr_clean

    mr_clean 1/2 ton status

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    Perfect!!! Thank you!!!
     
  14. Thunder

    Thunder 3/4 ton status

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    Always use the kind and size of lifter the cam is designed for! If it is a hydraluic cam use a hydraluic lifter to degree it.
    There are a lot of sites that tell you how to degree a cam it is pretty easy.
    Do a search on " Degreeing a cam" Lots of info out there.
    You dont have to do it. Many people get by without degreeing their cam.
    But I put a lot of money in my engines and I like things to be right. If I spend money on a cam I want my moneys worth out of it.
     
  15. 4by4bygod

    4by4bygod 1/2 ton status

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    The instructions for my comp cams degree kit specifically called for using a solid lifter for the degreeing process, regardless of what kind of lifters the cam was eventually going to run with. The fellow on the tech line told me that the solid lifter insured accuracy, whereas a hydraulic "could" compress a bit and throw everything off. Even if it didn't compress, using a solid lifter won't hurt anything. It's not like the engine is actually running or anything.

    Just lining up the dots will work, but for getting everything out of the cam, degreeing is the way to go. Just take your time, and it's not a bad thing to invest in roller tip rockers, and a degreed balancer & pointer from a place like fluidampr. Homemade timing tape sucks.

    It takes some effort, but it's worth it. I degreed the cam in my small block (331) 69 camaro, just to get everything I could out of it. when I'm rolling on the freeway, I'm turning almost 4 grand at 65 MPh.. at that speed, If I need to pass someone, I just bury the pedal, and the revs come up like right now, and I am on my way.. shocked my friend who tried to race me on the highway in his 383 camaro. Anyway, degreeing is worth it, you'll get more power in a given rpm band than the guy who doesn't take the time to do it.

    Tom

    Tom
     

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