degreeing a cam - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 01, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 1999
Posts: 50

Im putting a cam into my 327. Whats the big deal about degreeing the cam. Cant I just line up the dots. I did purchase a degree wheel. Does it go into the crank? Will i lose hp if i dont do this? Thanks for any help.

Plain Jane 69(and rusty )
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 01, 03:15 AM
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On a dead kill race motor it matters on everthing else someone a long time ago told me if you don't like the way it runs advance or retard it otherwise leave it alone and I have found that is the best policy

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 01, 06:40 AM
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I think I would like to hear some opinions too. I have talked with various cam manufacturers and they all say just bolt it in with the lines lining up. They also say that the torque and HP curves can be changed by advancing or retarding the cam. It seems to me that if you need to do that, you might have bought the wrong cam. However, I have read on this forum that you should always check your cam install with a degree wheel. Desktop Dyno almost always shows a loss of power if a cam is advanced or retarded. This is a lot of conflicting information. So what does everyone else think? I have one engine that has the cam advanced 3 degrees. Setting ignition timing is difficult because it does not run best at the old canned number of 36 degrees total advance.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 01, 06:49 AM
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Hey go to Comp Cams web site degree instructions are there. If the motor is out of the car take the time to degree the cam. This will tell you where this combination of parts are, for instance you will find out if zero on your balancer is really zero in relation to your timing mark on the front cover. A few degrees one way or the other could be the difference between a crisp strong runner and a dog. I learned this lesson the hard way long ago by just putting parts right off the shelf and the performance wasnt there till I learned about double checking this stuff. And it will tell a story about where these parts are in relation to how they line up with chevys marks. good luck keep at it. it will pay off

Black 69 camaro
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 01, 10:37 AM
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I think I would do what the people that made the cam say they should know. There is a good reason to find TDC on a motor timing marks can be off a ways and dampners have been known to slip on the center hub.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 01, 04:45 PM
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I just insatlled my new comp cam straight up however I did degree it just to see how far off it actually was(its not uncommon for them to install a few degrees off of what straight up is supposed to be) mine was only off about 1 1/2 degrees advanced from what spec sheet called for and by the time the chain stretches a bit it will end up close anyway but if you have the motor out and a dial indicator and wheel set up try to get some body to show you how, its a good thing to know how to do but for a street motor you dont really need to. ....MIKE
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 01, 01:37 PM
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I've heard that, in general, the cheaper the cam the more likely it is to be off.

Cheap cam = sloppy tolerances = you better degree it.

Good quality = tighter tolerances = it could still be off, but less likely.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 01, 01:49 PM
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You get what you pay for. a cheap regrind or something like that if you degree to number 1 then try the same thing on 6 it will be different. Like I said you get what you pay for

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 01, 03:35 PM
Join Date: Oct 2000
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The problem with the theory on degreeing a cam so that you can run it "straight up" or "advanced" or "retarded" a specified amount of degrees is that it is only accurate up until you start the engine for the first time! You have immediate timing chain stretch. And after just a few runs on the quarter or a couple hundred miles on the street your cam is "off" by quite a few degrees from both where you set it and where the cam manufacturer specified. So what's the best solution? Don't really know. Usually though, if I have an engine that I am serious about running "straight up", I will advance the cam 2-4 degrees when assembling it. That way it's closer to 0 after it has run a bit. However, it's only a band-aid approach, as I've seen good quality timing chains stretched 6-8 degrees after only a few hours racing. You can also use only "used" timing chains that have allready stretched and degree it and put the appropriate advance or retard to set it at 0 when assembling your engine.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 01, 04:11 PM
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Usually if you are running a better known brand name like comp cams, crane or isky and running on the street you don't have to worry too much about degreeing the cam (unless that guy named MURPHY'S LAW tends to haunt you).
It's a good idea to degree the cam if you are not running the same company's (as the cam company)timing sets. If you get the chance to go through the procedure do it, it is worth the education.
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