Roller Cam Install - Cam Button & Timing Cover Help - Chevelle Tech
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  #1  
Old Nov 30th, 07, 6:52 PM
leejoy leejoy is offline
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Default Roller Cam Install - Cam Button & Timing Cover Help

ok, so it looks like I'm going "roller" on my BBC 468 this winter. Long Story.............

I know that with the roller cams you have to control camshaft endplay so it doesnt "walk" back and forth. Unlike flat tappet cams with tapered lobes, roller cams have flat lobes and therefore need some "positioning" device to keep the cam walk within tight limits for multiple reasons.

I've seen cam buttons, and timing covers made so as to allow for adjustable cam buttons. I need more information please. Do I have to buy a "special" timing chain cover? Do I buy the cover and button together? I dont get it. What about a "thrust plate"? heard of that too. what does that do? Where does it get installed?

I need somebody who has recently done this to respond with a step by step installation instructions for me please.

thanks

Lee
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  #2  
Old Nov 30th, 07, 8:49 PM
zdld17 zdld17 is offline
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Default Re: Roller Cam Install - Cam Button & Timing Cover Help

Check this out. http://www.cloyes.com/HighPerformanc...4/Default.aspx

I used the Cloyes rigid two piece (port hole) type cover along with a hex-a-just gear that uses the encapsulated roller gear behind the timing gear. This roller bearing is recessed in the gear and when properly loaded with against the cam roller button, it will not come out. I have used it on two motors now with many hiway cruising miles.
Cover http://www.cloyes.com/HighPerformanc...S/Default.aspx

Gear set
http://www.cloyes.com/HighPerformanc...S/Default.aspx
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  #3  
Old Dec 1st, 07, 1:38 AM
Tom Mobley Tom Mobley is offline
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Default Re: Roller Cam Install - Cam Button & Timing Cover Help

What Don said. You want to run a solid timing cover with externally adjustable thrust button. The Hex-adjust deal is entirely optional on a street car.

Or you could easily order a cam with the nose cut for a thrust plate that bolts to the front of the block. The BB block is usually drilled and tapped for this. Quality cam grinders are familiar with this and can supply the parts.

You should seriously consider running the expensive timing gear setup with the built-in roller thrust bearing if you're using HV/HP oil pump. Otherwise you don't need it either. The HV/HP pump is unneeded if your engine is built with normal oil clearances.
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  #4  
Old Dec 1st, 07, 6:02 PM
BillK BillK is offline
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Default Re: Roller Cam Install - Cam Button & Timing Cover Help

Lee,
If you are switching to a roller cam, what I have been doing lately is getting the cam ground on the late model "step nose" cores, then using a cam retainer plate and late model timing set. Just about every Big Block made has the two holes in the front for the retaining plate and now almost all the cam manufacturers have the new style cores. This does away with all the hassle of a cam button and trying to get the end play exactly right. Just bolt it together and dont worry about it. That way you can use any cover you want

Sorry Tom, didn't even finish reading your post, didnt mean to repeat it.
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  #5  
Old Dec 1st, 07, 7:54 PM
leejoy leejoy is offline
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Default Re: Roller Cam Install - Cam Button & Timing Cover Help

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Originally Posted by BillK View Post
Lee,
If you are switching to a roller cam, what I have been doing lately is getting the cam ground on the late model "step nose" cores, then using a cam retainer plate and late model timing set. Just about every Big Block made has the two holes in the front for the retaining plate and now almost all the cam manufacturers have the new style cores. This does away with all the hassle of a cam button and trying to get the end play exactly right. Just bolt it together and dont worry about it. That way you can use any cover you want

Sorry Tom, didn't even finish reading your post, didnt mean to repeat it.
I dont get it. Need pictures please. Post them here or email them to me at lwallace@pcsoc.com.

When I pull my motor (in next couple weeks) I'll remove the timing chain and gears and take a look at what's there. Seems like there are to many options going on here. some guys say "just pound the timing cover" with a hammer until the end play is just right, other guys use cam buttons, and now I'm hearing about grind the cam nose and using a retainer plate. Once I pull my gears and chain I will post some pics of it and go from there.
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Old Dec 1st, 07, 8:12 PM
BillK BillK is offline
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Default Re: Roller Cam Install - Cam Button & Timing Cover Help

Lee,
Dont have any pics handy, but all of the late model BigBlocks that come with factory roller cams use a camshaft retaining plate that bolts to the front of the block between the cam and the timing chain sprocket. It keeps the cam from moving forward or back. Same with newer small blocks. It is identical to what Ford has used for years if you know what they look like. The Rat blocks have always had the 2 holes for the plate because they were used in early trucks and marine engines with gear driven cams. So all you need to do is get a late model roller cam and timing chain set, and the plate and 2 screws to hold it to the block.
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  #7  
Old Dec 1st, 07, 9:24 PM
GRN69CHV GRN69CHV is offline
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Default Re: Roller Cam Install - Cam Button & Timing Cover Help

What BIll Is referring to is commonly known as a GENVI style. You use the stock timing set from a ZZ502 (or any aftermarket set for a GENVI for that matter). I installed a GENVI style cam (1996 or later design) into my 1987 block, it works great.
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  #8  
Old Dec 1st, 07, 10:53 PM
leejoy leejoy is offline
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Default Re: Roller Cam Install - Cam Button & Timing Cover Help

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Originally Posted by BillK View Post
Lee,
Dont have any pics handy, but all of the late model BigBlocks that come with factory roller cams use a camshaft retaining plate that bolts to the front of the block between the cam and the timing chain sprocket. It keeps the cam from moving forward or back. Same with newer small blocks. It is identical to what Ford has used for years if you know what they look like. The Rat blocks have always had the 2 holes for the plate because they were used in early trucks and marine engines with gear driven cams. So all you need to do is get a late model roller cam and timing chain set, and the plate and 2 screws to hold it to the block.
wow - cool. So I can get a Gen VI roller cam setup (cam, lifters, springs, etc) and install in my Gen IV block? And there will be 2 threaded holes in the block behind the cam gear for the retainer plate?

Ok, I got it, but..............How do you adjust Cam Endplay with that setup?
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  #9  
Old Dec 1st, 07, 11:12 PM
Wolfplace Wolfplace is offline
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Default Re: Roller Cam Install - Cam Button & Timing Cover Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by leejoy View Post
wow - cool. So I can get a Gen VI roller cam setup (cam, lifters, springs, etc) and install in my Gen IV block? And there will be 2 threaded holes in the block behind the cam gear for the retainer plate?

Ok, I got it, but..............How do you adjust Cam Endplay with that setup?
You don't
It is taken care of by the cam & plate.
You cannot use the Gen VI lifters, you still need retro fit lifters.
You will need to use a Gen VI specific timing set too.
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  #10  
Old Dec 2nd, 07, 8:56 AM
leejoy leejoy is offline
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Default Re: Roller Cam Install - Cam Button & Timing Cover Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillK View Post
Lee,
Dont have any pics handy, but all of the late model BigBlocks that come with factory roller cams use a camshaft retaining plate that bolts to the front of the block between the cam and the timing chain sprocket. It keeps the cam from moving forward or back. Same with newer small blocks. It is identical to what Ford has used for years if you know what they look like. The Rat blocks have always had the 2 holes for the plate because they were used in early trucks and marine engines with gear driven cams. So all you need to do is get a late model roller cam and timing chain set, and the plate and 2 screws to hold it to the block.
this whole thing seems fishy to me. has me concerned a bit, using a Gen VI cam setup in my Gen IV block............I just went to Isky website and searched their catalog - seems like there are very few cam setup for the Gen VI blocks - not as popular - not as many to choose from. Also saw some footnote about having to convert to adjustable rocker arms? I'll learn more about it but I don't know if that's the route I want to go.
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  #11  
Old Dec 2nd, 07, 11:49 AM
GOSFAST GOSFAST is offline
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Default Re: Roller Cam Install - Cam Button & Timing Cover Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by leejoy View Post
this whole thing seems fishy to me. has me concerned a bit, using a Gen VI cam setup in my Gen IV block............I just went to Isky website and searched their catalog - seems like there are very few cam setup for the Gen VI blocks - not as popular - not as many to choose from. Also saw some footnote about having to convert to adjustable rocker arms? I'll learn more about it but I don't know if that's the route I want to go.
Hi Lee, take a few more "tips" here, for some 40+ years of doing this "stuff" I have personally never used any "adjustable" timing components on a "budgeted" street build, never. It is not necessary!!

I would also strongly talk any of my customers out of using any "Mk-VI" nosed cams in a "Mk-IV" environment. My own personal take here.

The "polished" aluminum timing covers for the BB's that we supply here and come with the required SB roller button, the cam lock plate, the cam bolts, and the front seal/gaskets, cost less than $65.00 and is all you need to "get-it-done". They can be purchased anywhere for the same pricing I'm sure!

Again, in my opinion here, you are getting yourself "mired" in an area of "problems" that are most likely going to keep escalating. By the time you've finished this unit you MAY actually become very "disgusted" with it in the end!!

I see this with many of my own people who "need" all these "fancy/easy-to-use" components only to have them come back to bite them later! I believe someone mentioned this fact above.

I do have my own philosophy here, and that is, "keep-it-simple". My "job" here running this "show" is to give my customers the best deal possible that will completely satisfy their demands but at the most reasonable price I possibly can and still make a decent profit. So far it's been relatively easy!

Thanks, Gary in N.Y.

P.S. Lee, read this closely, below here is 2 photos of a unit I'm involved quite heavily with that uses a $40.00 "nylon" timing setup. I have very recent time-slips on the "ride". It's a 3800#+ deal that runs some 9.23's and has NEVER broken one of these setups. The total, billed out on his job ticket for the aluminum cover, cam shim, roller button, gaskets, cam bolts/lock plate, the "stainless" S.H. 1/4-20 cover fasteners, AND the 3-piece timing set, came to less than #120.00! Keep more money in your pockets, where it belongs! You DON'T need half of this fancy "stuff" to have fun, especially in "streeters"! (If you look really close you will see this is an aluminum block with some 2.250" primary pipes, making it a somewhat "high-end" deal.) "Keep it simple", it's generally the best route!

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  #12  
Old Dec 2nd, 07, 12:23 PM
Wolfplace Wolfplace is offline
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Default Re: Roller Cam Install - Cam Button & Timing Cover Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by leejoy View Post
this whole thing seems fishy to me. has me concerned a bit, using a Gen VI cam setup in my Gen IV block............I just went to Isky website and searched their catalog - seems like there are very few cam setup for the Gen VI blocks - not as popular - not as many to choose from. Also saw some footnote about having to convert to adjustable rocker arms? I'll learn more about it but I don't know if that's the route I want to go.
=
There is nothing wrong with using a thrust button & the "old method" almost all engines I do are this way but,,,,
It is very simple if you wish to use the late cam retainer:
Everything is the same as what you were originally going to do, the lifters, rockers, springs, pushrods etc are all exactly the same
The only thing that would change is the cam core, the way the cam is retained & the timing set

You are making this way too complicated trying to read into it the things you have to do to the later non adjustable rockers etc.
This has nothing to do with the early heads or any aftermarket head, they have the standard studs, guideplates & use adjustable rockers so all this stuff stays the same.

As for cams, you are not limited to what you see in a catalog
I rarely use a shelf roller cam. A custom is only a few dollars more from most any cam company
You can specify the core you want it ground on, the intake & exhaust lobes you want, the LSA, even a firing order swap if you so desire.

As for timing sets, you certainly do not need the adjustable ones they just make life easier for the installer to dial in the cam.
Sometimes I use them sometimes not but there is nothing wrong with them at least I have never had an issue with them
The majority of issues with them are self inflicted by installers that do not care to use some common sense.

Personally I would never consider a plastic timing set, I have seen way too many of them in the oil pan & this is with stock cams & spring loads,,,,,
But to each his own
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  #13  
Old Dec 2nd, 07, 1:18 PM
Sandy Sandy is offline
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Default Re: Roller Cam Install - Cam Button & Timing Cover Help

With the Gen VI retainer setup, is there a bearing or shim between the cam sprocket and the block thrust plate?

Or is it just cam sprocket face to block separated by an oil film?
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Old Dec 2nd, 07, 1:24 PM
GOSFAST GOSFAST is offline
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Default Re: Roller Cam Install - Cam Button & Timing Cover Help

Let me give 2 recent scenarios why I would most definitely NOT get involved in the "retainer-plate" deal. Again, this is drawing on all my own experiences.

First, I have a "roller" Pontiac on the stand scheduled for the dyno next week. For those not familiar with the Pontiac's, this is all they've ever used, the identical setup as the Mk-VI deal. Upon initial pre-assembly I had "zero" end play on the cam.

It turned out to be somewhat of a time-consuming issue for 2 reasons, one the cam had to be repositioned in the block fore and aft for proper lobe "centering", and THEN the 2nd reason to correct the needed end-play. It was a "chore" to say the least and cost the customer more a bit more than he expected!

Now that raises the second point, you're going to have much extra time if you need to reposition the cam, front to rear, with the plate setup in the BB in order to "center" the lobe for the roller setup. I realize ALL this can be accomplished, but it sure as hell is much easier with a full-complement of equipment at your disposal. Kinda tough to do it in your garage!! Remember, the Mk-VI was NOT designed with the "small" cam snout in the program!! I do realize it's extra work either way, but I also suspect it's somewhat easier without the plate!

Let me raise one more point while I'm here, in the last 5 years or so we've had 3 pins actually work their way out of the cam snouts. For many here it is not an everyday occurence, but we've seen it too many time so far. What we've come to realize/learn from the very first one, is to use the cam-lock-plate as a dual-purpose piece. It's main design is to keep the bolts from backing out when in service, BUT, it can be used also to keep the cam pin from walking out by "covering" the pin instead of using the 4th hole in the plate as a "clearance" hole.

(Add) I'm not certain there's a plate available for the "small" bolt patterns on the late cams!

Thanks, Gary in N.Y.

P.S. Couple "shots" of cam pin damage we've encountered and how we install the plate!

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Old Dec 2nd, 07, 2:40 PM
GRN69CHV GRN69CHV is offline
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Default Re: Roller Cam Install - Cam Button & Timing Cover Help

This is getting to involved for something that is very simple. GM used a bolt on retainer for years on trucks and reverse rotation marine (aka - GenVI design). It is simple deal. GenVI all went to rollers. THe cam has a stepped nose and uses a hardened machined retainer that will bolt right up to a MrkIV block. For this setup, use a GenVI timing set, that's all that's to it. I use a GenVI cam in my '87 MRKIV block now with a stock timing set from the ZZ502 motors (about 50.00 for the set from GM, includes the retaining plate). I run a high volume oil pump, have ran it hard this past season with no signs of any wear on the retaining plate (not visually inspected yet, but the first indication woud be a change in ignition timing. The reference to changing from non-adjustable rockers applies to the GenVI truck motor and 454HO & 502HO (basically any iron head motor made after 1996).

PS - you don't have to position anything using a GenVI style cam and timing set, that's the beauty of it. For the individual that is not sure what/how to set up cam thrust clearances, it is foolproof.
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