Maintaining roller cam end play on a big block - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 16, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Maintaining roller cam end play on a big block

I am looking for feedback on how to maintain proper roller cam end play when swapping out the timing cover on my big block Chevy. I have a chrome timing chain cover that is giving me a persistent leak where the cover meets the oil pan. I want to swap it out for a plain steel one that hopefully won't leak.The cam shaft end play was set with the chrome timing cover when the motor was built. It's easy to check and set end play while the motor is being built and the cam shaft is accessible. I don't want to loose the adjustment, but how do I check and duplicate it with the new cover installed on an assembled motor? There has to be tolerance differences between the two covers that could effect the adjustment.We are talking about 4-5 thousandths, about the thickness of a sheet of paper. Too much clearance and the cam will walk forward and retard the timing;too little clearance and the cam gear will kill the distributor drive gear.The cam button is a roller type. I can't be the only one who has ever run into this.I welcome all advice and experience. Thanks in advance.

1969 SS Garnet Red X55 350 Factory 4 speed
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 16, 07:55 PM
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Re: Maintaining roller cam end play on a big block

Matt, the only way to go is a 2-piece cover.

This one is from Comp Cams and there is a hole that is used for measuring assembled cam end play. (It has an allen plug of course)




Edit: The outer cover does not use a gasket, it is a precision machined fit. It does not leak. The inner piece uses a stock BBC gasket and seal.

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Last edited by ZZ_430; Aug 31st, 16 at 08:06 PM.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 16, 03:47 AM
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Re: Maintaining roller cam end play on a big block

I know a buddy who did a "home brew fix" by drilling a hole in a stock cover, welding a nut to his cover, and installing a bolt and jam nut.

Down and dirty, but worked.

Otherwise, you'll need to check, measure, and shim as needed.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 16, 07:32 AM
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Re: Maintaining roller cam end play on a big block

I use the same type of rigid cover as above from Cloyes, using the same type of end button. I also use the hex-adjust gear.

Quick Button? | Cloyes Gear & Products, Inc.

Don
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 16, 07:59 AM
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Re: Maintaining roller cam end play on a big block

You could use a machinist straight edge (a good tool to have in your tool chest) and a dial indicator or a caliper to measure the difference in depth from the face of the timing cover to the center of the cam gear depression you can add or subtract shims as needed.

I also use a three piece cast aluminum cover as they are stronger than a stamped steel one (that will probably require a washer welded inside to stiffen it up to resist deflecting with a roller cam and a high volume oil pump), and I often change cams on a dyno to optimize an engine build. If you consider dyno time per hour and the cost of the three piece cover they look a lot more attractive.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 16, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Maintaining roller cam end play on a big block

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Originally Posted by Larger Dave View Post
You could use a machinist straight edge (a good tool to have in your tool chest) and a dial indicator or a caliper to measure the difference in depth from the face of the timing cover to the center of the cam gear depression you can add or subtract shims as needed.

I also use a three piece cast aluminum cover as they are stronger than a stamped steel one (that will probably require a washer welded inside to stiffen it up to resist deflecting with a roller cam and a high volume oil pump), and I often change cams on a dyno to optimize an engine build. If you consider dyno time per hour and the cost of the three piece cover they look a lot more attractive.

Big Dave
Thanks Big Dave. Your first response was kind of what I was considering as being a possibility. The three piece covers are nice, but I am interested in the stock look (sleeper). Thank you everyone for your suggestions. Please keep them coming. Matt.

1969 SS Garnet Red X55 350 Factory 4 speed
12 Bolt 3.55 Posi
461 BBC TKO600
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Sep 6th, 16, 03:09 PM
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Re: Maintaining roller cam end play on a big block

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Originally Posted by Matt 69 View Post
Thanks Big Dave. Your first response was kind of what I was considering as being a possibility. The three piece covers are nice, but I am interested in the stock look (sleeper). Thank you everyone for your suggestions. Please keep them coming. Matt.
Hang on. The stock factory stuff didn't address close tolerance control. On the production line it wasn't an issue. If you want the sleeper-look then I fear you're trying to accomplish machining with a @urd. Just what are you looking to do with nothing?

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Sep 6th, 16, 04:23 PM
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Re: Maintaining roller cam end play on a big block

Long ago before all the bling cover boom, all we used under a stock cover was the aluminum cam button, that was the only thick then. We all didn't have roller cams or Crower needle roller cams etc. Simple aluminum cam button, It was the best for poor folks.

Is that what you are looking for?

Don
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Sep 6th, 16, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Maintaining roller cam end play on a big block

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Ficarra View Post
Hang on. The stock factory stuff didn't address close tolerance control. On the production line it wasn't an issue. If you want the sleeper-look then I fear you're trying to accomplish machining with a @urd. Just what are you looking to do with nothing?
Sorry Fred, you lost me. All I was trying to do was maintain the end play adjustment from one cover to another. What Big Dave said made sense and was what I was trying to do. My "stock" look was a achieved by using a brand new steel Milodon replacement cover. The two and three piece covers are nice and do make the process easy but, as I said earlier, I am not looking for anything fancy. Thank you for your feed back. I do appreciate your response.

1969 SS Garnet Red X55 350 Factory 4 speed
12 Bolt 3.55 Posi
461 BBC TKO600
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