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Should I degree my cam with head on or off?
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HyperValiant
Turbo Slant 6


Joined: 17 Nov 2003
Posts: 717
Location: Marion.Va

Post subject: Should I degree my cam with head on or off? (Tue Mar 16, 2004 9:03 pm) Reply with quote

I just installed my cam and was wondering if I should degree the cam with the head on or off(the head is currently off and waiting to go to the machine shop). Thanks in advance.
HyperValiant



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1960 Hyper-Pac Valiant(rolling testbed)
1963 Dodge Dart 170 3 spd column shift(daily driver)
1963 Valiant V2OO(Wifes daily driver)
1972 Valiant 4dr(Daughter Kellys daily driver)
1960 Valiant V200,52000 mile survivor(Wifes)
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Brett K
4 BBL ''Hyper-Pak''


Joined: 24 May 2003
Posts: 47
Location: Seattle, WA

Post subject: (Tue Mar 16, 2004 9:46 pm) Reply with quote

Functionally it makes no difference if the head is on or not. If you're going to do it with the head off, you'll need to drop a lifter in to measure off of.... Measuring at the rocker is a bit easier access wise.



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Brett

1963 Valiant Vert(225 /6)
1964 Dart GT Vert(225 /6)
1965 Dart GT (273)
1966 Barracuda (273)
1966 Dart (225 /6)
1970 Charger R/T (440)
1972 Satellite 4 door (318)
1974 Valiant 4 door (318)
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Rob Simmons
SL6 Racer & Moderator


Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Posts: 5025
Location: Wiesbaden, Germany

Post subject: (Wed Mar 17, 2004 7:36 am) Reply with quote

I've read all the magazine articles, etc on degreeing a camshaft, but what are most folks out there in the real world doing? Are you degreeing your camshaft or just installing it "straight up"?
I'm getting the head back this evening and the cam is waiting to go in as well.


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DusterIdiot
Board Sponsor


Joined: 29 Oct 2002
Posts: 8678
Location: Salem, OR

Post subject: Degree.... (Wed Mar 17, 2004 8:34 am) Reply with quote

When I set up my mill, my buddy and I degreed my cam with the head on but without the rockers in place. We then set the cam to the specs on the card, and found the roller chain setup to be off a couple of degrees if we'd set it by the 'connect the dots' method. We found that the comp cam by the card wanted to be 4 degrees advanced. Runs fine to me, you can always set it straight up and pull the front end off the mill and change your cam bushing later if you want more or less....

-D.Idiot


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Doc
Guru


Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 5195
Location: Working in Silicon Valley, USA

Post subject: (Wed Mar 17, 2004 12:30 pm) Reply with quote

I always degree-in a cam, even if it is just to check the overlap event at TDCE. (Overlap should be evenly "split" over TDCE, or a touch advanced, never retarded)
DD


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Rick Covalt
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Joined: 23 Oct 2002
Posts: 3796
Location: Waynesboro, Pa.

Post subject: degree it in (Wed Mar 17, 2004 1:58 pm) Reply with quote

I took everyones advice when we put the engine in my sons dart. With a new MP cam and new roller timing set, by just lining up the marks, it was way off!!! I Can't remember how much but I think it was over 10 degrees retarded. I'll always check them in the future. Just my opinion.

Rick


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bud L.
EFI Slant 6


Joined: 03 Nov 2002
Posts: 344
Location: Seattle, WA

Post subject: ? (Wed Mar 17, 2004 5:40 pm) Reply with quote

1/2 the benefit ( and a requirement) in degreeing the cam, is in finding top dead center, and checking the mark on the dampener. Unless you're a masochist, I'd do it with the head off. It can be much more accurate and easier to find TDC with the head off. That way you can put the indicator directly over the piston and piston pin.
And, yes, I almost always degree the cam.
I've done them in a car, but, again it just makes it much more difficult.



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HyperValiant
Turbo Slant 6


Joined: 17 Nov 2003
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Location: Marion.Va

Post subject: (Wed Mar 17, 2004 7:17 pm) Reply with quote

Thanks everyone.I plan on actually degreeing the cam(I figure that with the 170 I need to be as accurate as possible as I cant afford to lose any power anywhere) the short block is assembled.
This kinda leads me to another question,my cam is the 264s comp cams cam and is suppose to be installed a 106* but this is for a 225 ,should I use the same specs for the 170?
Thanks again.
HyperValiant



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1960 Hyper-Pac Valiant(rolling testbed)
1963 Dodge Dart 170 3 spd column shift(daily driver)
1963 Valiant V2OO(Wifes daily driver)
1972 Valiant 4dr(Daughter Kellys daily driver)
1960 Valiant V200,52000 mile survivor(Wifes)
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sixty4dartgt
EFI Slant 6


Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 410
Location: Sacramento, CA

Post subject: (Wed Mar 17, 2004 11:05 pm) Reply with quote

Does a new cam come with degreeing instructions ? I was going to install mine with the head on, but now I think I'll pull it just to be sure of TDC. Also I can freshen up the head. Anyone know where to get the .025 (?) head gaskets to give a little boost to compression ? Do I need extra care in sealing those ?
Thanks Laughing



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Doctor Dodge
Guru


Joined: 12 Oct 2002
Posts: 3300
Location: Sunnyvale, Calif.

Post subject: (Thu Mar 18, 2004 1:02 am) Reply with quote

Here is one set of instructions where the cam is degreed with the heads on the engine.
http://www.hotrodder.com/kwkride/degree.html

There is lots of information posted on degreeing cams, both on this message board and on the internet.
DD


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Charrlie_S
SL6 Racer & Moderator


Joined: 19 Oct 2002
Posts: 6616
Location: Silver Springs, Fl.

Post subject: (Thu Mar 18, 2004 6:11 am) Reply with quote

Any given cam will act larger in a small engine. Example, a radical cam for a 273, will act like a milder cam when put into a 360. What I would do with the 170, is install it as recommended. See how it acts, with a stick should be no problem, but if you need more bottom end, advance the cam a couple of degrees.



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Dart270
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Joined: 21 Oct 2002
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Post subject: (Thu Mar 18, 2004 7:33 am) Reply with quote

I believe a certain cam grind will act larger on an engine with smaller individual cylinder size, and of course bore, stroke, head/intake/exh flow will play into this.

Example: All things being equal (bore/stroke, head/intake/exh flow...), a 250deg @0.050" cam profile will act the same (RPM range, idle) on a 300" 6cyl as on a 400" V8, BUT that same cam profile will act like a larger cam on a 300" V8 or on a 225" 6.

What Charlie said is true, I am just making a more general statement.

Lou



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HyperValiant
Turbo Slant 6


Joined: 17 Nov 2003
Posts: 717
Location: Marion.Va

Post subject: (Fri Mar 19, 2004 4:17 pm) Reply with quote

I degreed my cam last night and it was extremeley easy,also found that with the cam installed dot to dot that it was 4.5 degrees retarded(bushings are onthe way).After doing this I epould recomend that anyone building a new engine or installing a cam with the engine out do this.I do see where it would a royal pita to do in the car though.
Thanks for all the info and advice.
HyperValiant



_________________
1960 Hyper-Pac Valiant(rolling testbed)
1963 Dodge Dart 170 3 spd column shift(daily driver)
1963 Valiant V2OO(Wifes daily driver)
1972 Valiant 4dr(Daughter Kellys daily driver)
1960 Valiant V200,52000 mile survivor(Wifes)
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Rob Simmons
SL6 Racer & Moderator


Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Posts: 5025
Location: Wiesbaden, Germany

Post subject: (Wed Apr 07, 2004 12:47 pm) Reply with quote

We tried to degree the Engle cam last night. It was 10 degrees retarded and moving it one tooth was 20 degrees difference for 10 degrees advanced. The Melling timing set looked like the main culprit. With the engine at TDC the dot on the crank sprocket was several degrees off from pointing right at the cam.
I'm really glad I didn't just align the dots and call it good.
I called Jim Cox this morning and had him send me one of their true double roller set ups with 9 keyway adjustment settings. That'll get this sucker set right.

Thanks for the advice to degree the cam. It really makes me wonder how much performance I missed out on by building my 318 without checking all of these critical measurements.

My next (3rd) engine rebuild will hopefully go much smoother after learning all of these lessons on this one.

I'm going to leave the automatic transmission to someone else though. It was no fun pulling the freshly rebuilt tranny to find out I had adjusted things incorrectly and put some clutch discs in the wrong places (They all looked alike to me Shocked )
I'm going to look for the post months ago where I recommended to someone not to be afraid of rebuilding one themself.

Be careful what advice you follow from the internet. It might be some idiot like me giving you worthless advice!

Rob


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Rob Simmons
SL6 Racer & Moderator


Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Posts: 5025
Location: Wiesbaden, Germany

Post subject: Degreed at last! (Wed Apr 21, 2004 9:02 am) Reply with quote

We got the cam degreed last night. Gerald Wright of The Wright Performance was nice enough to make a return trip to degree it for us after our last failed attempt.

We had to move the 9 keyway crank sprocket by 8 degrees to get it set right. We verified everything four times (twice by the cam card and twice by the centerline method)

It's now within 1 1/2 degrees. Much better than 10 degrees off either way!

Would this engine have run without degreeing the cam or checking deck height, etc?... Yeah. Would it have given us all the performance potential available?... Not even close!

Degree your cam! You may be surprised how much you're giving up by not doing it!

Rob


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