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Thread: Unknown cam?
          
   
   

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  1. #1
    SSsuperdave is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Unknown cam?

     



    How do I go about finding the cam specs on a cam I got at a swap meet. It has no markings on it.

  2. #2
    techinspector1's Avatar
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    It's junk. Use it for a doorstop. I could explain how to determine what it is, but it would cost you more in tooling to do it than it would to buy a new cam.
    PLANET EARTH, INSANE ASYLUM FOR THE UNIVERSE.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by techinspector1
    It's junk. Use it for a doorstop. I could explain how to determine what it is, but it would cost you more in tooling to do it than it would to buy a new cam.
    I second that statement, Although they can make fine lamps also.


    Live everyday like it were your last, someday it will be.

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    kitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by techinspector1
    It's junk. Use it for a doorstop. I could explain how to determine what it is, but it would cost you more in tooling to do it than it would to buy a new cam.
    I third that.

    Quote Originally Posted by mooneye777
    ...Although they can make fine lamps also.
    I also second that.

    Kitz
    Jon Kitzmiller, MSME, PhD EE, 32 Ford Hiboy Roadster, Cornhusker frame, Heidts IFS/IRS, 3.50 Posi, Lone Star body, Lone Star/Kitz internal frame, ZZ502/550, TH400

  5. #5
    SSsuperdave is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Well I guess we all come from different worlds. I am poor and have to use cheap,used parts to be able to hot rod, unlike you guys, obviously. I hoped I could find useful tips on this site, but it seems it's no different than any ricer forum out there! But for anyone that is actually interested in helping someone out, would I be able to use a lifter checking tool, placed in the lifter's place, and with a dial indicator, and degree wheel, find lobe lift,duration,etc.? Help from anyone that knows more than just " throw it away and spend some money that you don't have" would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Dave.

  6. #6
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    I am totally offended, Ive never seen or talked about rice on this forum. I am not sure what you payed for your cam, but summit sells brand new ones for 52 dollars. You are plain taking a chance running a cam you know nothing about, you could find the valve lift by what you are wanting to try. But the duration will be a mystery. And if the cam you bought is used, is it still any good, gauged, scored, worn anywhere. Chances are you will install it and within a couple weeks or sooner it will destroy itself. Unless you bought the cam and exact lifters it was ran on, and every lifter was marked exactly to what lobe they were ran on, if not you will be buying another one anyway. Now think that if the cam is a stock cam just like or worse then the one you are replacing, thats more wasted money. I am sorry for your financial sittuation, but running used or mystery internal parts is a very risky business practice. And if my car had to sit for another month to get a new part that is the exact one I want, I am waiting, I know because ive been there before and will be there again, no rich daddy warbucks here,
    Last edited by mooneye777; 10-22-2008 at 02:38 PM.


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  7. #7
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    If you can, place the cam in the engine. Take a solid lifter and install a dial indicator so it is touching the top of the lifter and zero the scale. Wit a degree wheel and pointer turn the cam slowly until you reach .050 lift. Record the number on the degree wheel. Continue turning until the dial indicator reaches the highest reading and record this number. Now tiurn the cam until the dial indicator comes down to .050 lift and record the reading on the degree wheel.

    The degree wheel total between the two numbers will give you the duration at .050. Multiply the maximum lift number (off the dial indicator) by your rocker arm ratio to get maximum lift.

    Do this for both the intake and the exhaust lobes.

    To get lobe seperation angle will be a little more difficult, but basically, measure degrees of rotation between intake max valve lift and exhaust max valve lift.

    Good luck.
    Buying parts I don't need, with money I don't have, to impress people I don't like

  8. #8
    SSsuperdave is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geezer2
    If you can, place the cam in the engine. Take a solid lifter and install a dial indicator so it is touching the top of the lifter and zero the scale. Wit a degree wheel and pointer turn the cam slowly until you reach .050 lift. Record the number on the degree wheel. Continue turning until the dial indicator reaches the highest reading and record this number. Now tiurn the cam until the dial indicator comes down to .050 lift and record the reading on the degree wheel.

    The degree wheel total between the two numbers will give you the duration at .050. Multiply the maximum lift number (off the dial indicator) by your rocker arm ratio to get maximum lift.

    Do this for both the intake and the exhaust lobes.

    To get lobe seperation angle will be a little more difficult, but basically, measure degrees of rotation between intake max valve lift and exhaust max valve lift.

    Good luck.
    Thank you very much! I have the cam in the engine, and have removed all but no. 1 piston to reduce friction. I thought that would be the way to check it but wanted to ask someone with more experience. I can't see junking a cam with hardly any wear, which could be a good performer, simply cause I don't know it's specs. thanks again!

  9. #9
    R Pope is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    While I sympathize with your need for economy, I have to agree with the guys telling you to junk it. By the time you put new lifters, gaskets, and a lot of time and effort into it, the $60-$100 you save will look like peanuts. Especially if it wipes out in a week like every used cam I ever tried to re-use did. Then when you do buy a new one there's all the worry about what those grindings did to the rest of your engine. It just ain't worth it, man.

  10. #10
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    Hey Superdave:

    I'm fairly new here as well and I have to say that this site has the finest technical minds you'll find anywhere. Most of them have years (some over 50 years ) of practical hot rodding and that includes a lot of engine building.

    There used to be a device available called the "Cam Doctor". It was a precision measuring device coupled to a PC that indexed and reported on all aspects of a camshaft, i.e., lift, duration, lobe separation, shape, slope, etc, etc, etc. This machine is no longer made but a used one goes for $2500.

    Please know that many of the guys on this site have used similar devices and are experts in the engine building field. They possess the knowledge and have paid the dues to allow them to say things like "get a new cam from Summit". We're not being jerks - however, we will respond in kind - which typically means your posts will just go unanswered.

    Don't throw away an opportunity to learn from hundreds of years of combined knowledge and enjoy the collective wit and wisdom represented here.

    Regards,
    Glenn

  11. #11
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    Well said Glenn
    Confusious say: He who dies with the most toys, Wins

  12. #12
    Dave Severson is offline CHR Member/Contributor Visit my Photo Gallery
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    And if you're bound and determined to use it, make sure you check all the lobes for wear using a dial indicator. Is it for a mechanical or hydraulic lifter???? Knowing the lift and calculating the duration and ensuring should help you make a half ways well informed guess as to whether it will require solid or hydraulic lifters..... If you install the wrong lifters, almost guaranteed self-destruction of the cam and the new lifters.

    But hey, what would a bunch of millionaires know about it, right???? IMO, buying a used cam with no lifters and not knowing if it's even usable for your application is hardly a good way to save money......

    btw, you sure do know how to make an entrance....
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  13. #13
    Sinister's Avatar
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    I'd try Geezer's method, but then.............you already know my opinion on the subject!
    I ain't dumb, I just ain't been showed a whole lot!

  14. #14
    pat mccarthy's Avatar
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    buy a new cam or cam kit there are good deals out there on them competition products has great deals on cams and threre is some on the broom sheet and pbm has some kits to. i buy from both it not worth the trouble in the long run like many have said . yes a cam doctor would be nice to have
    Irish Diplomacy ..the ability to tell someone to go to Hell ,,So that they will look forward to to the trip

  15. #15
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    Several years ago a machinist I knew (actually worked for NAPA) had one of the Cam Doctors. It was pretty awesome, but a bit fussy as well and it took a good bit of time to get setup and he always measured each cam twice. Well, at his rate ($50 per hour then - would be more today) one did not have to be a rocket scientist to realize that it was almost always cheaper to just get a new one. He had a fondness for the Isky roller cams and could put a sweet deal together for not much more than fussing with a "used" cam.

    I've built a lot of SBC and installed cams/lifters from GM (hydraulic Z28 type. Still $200+/- w/lifters if you can get the parts guys to be creative!) as well as cams and lifter kits from Crane, Lunati and the Iskys too. while I have not used one, I see Summit has a camshaft kit w/lifters for under $100!

    They all make some good units if one remembers to keep the entire build in mind so as not to end up with a sloppy beast that belches raw gas and runs like a three legged pig. When the need for that high RPM jolt is there by all means go big, but for most streeters I still like to have a smooth idle and good performance from idle to about 5500. Just my two cents..

    Regards All,
    Glenn

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