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Kirkham Motorsports

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08-20-2017, 09:51 AM
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Default Cam Recommendations?

I have a Ford 427 Side-Oiler in my Kirkham that was originally built for me by Bill at Southern Automotive and until very recently it had done around 30,000 totally reliable miles.
Unfortunately, for some as yet to be identified reason, it has wiped out the lobe of the inlet cam on #7 and I've lost about 1/4" of valve lift.
I obviously need to replace the cam and I'm seeking recommendations.
The existing cam is an Elgin Pro Stock E962P solid flat-tappet with 0.524" of valve lift, 245 degrees duration @ 0.05" and 114 degrees separation.
The cylinder heads are aluminium Edelbrock Performer RPM that have been CNC ported and polished and the valves have been increased to 2.19" inlet and 1.725" exhaust with stainless steel valves fitted. The inlet manifold is an aluminium Edelbrock Performer RPM that has also been CNC ported and polished to match the heads.
The Pistons are forged Arias with a 10.2:1 compression ratio.
It is running a Single Holley 750 DP, and MSD Pro-Billet distributor and an MSD 6AL ignition.
Should I stick with a flat tappet cam, or should I go to a roller and what cam should I replace the Elgin with? I'd like 500bhp, which I would have a thought is pretty close to what it was.
When the inlet manifold and heads are fitted, the rocker cover mounting face on the top of the inlet manifold stands slightly proud of the cylinder head face, which makes getting an oil-tight seal on the rocker covers a challenge. What is the best way to match the faces?
One more question, when the metal wore off the cam lobe, do you think it wore off in harmless microscopic grains, or larger fragments that could damage mains and big ends bearings? Therefore, do I need to completely strip down the engine, or can I get away with leaving the engine in the car and just replacing the cam and associated parts?

Thank you,
Paul

Last edited by FatBoy; 08-20-2017 at 10:07 AM..
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Old 08-20-2017, 10:01 AM
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pull it and tear it down, there will be carnage
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Old 08-20-2017, 10:50 AM
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If I had 427 Ford Side Oiler Block, I would have a tough time chancing it. I think I would strip it down and clean every last inch, and that includes anything that oil flowed through (remote filter, and oil cooler, and lines).

If you want to chance it. Drop the pan, you may want to inspect it with a magnet and see what you find. Likewise you might want to properly cut (not saw) the oil filter and see what is in it. You can wash the top of the engine down into the pan with Kerosene or buy a gallon of liquid WD-40, which is mostly Kerosene. Then flush out all oil ports with Kerosene. When it is perfectly clean of all grit, then flush it all down again with oil. By the time you do all this, you will likely wish you pulled it.
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Old 08-20-2017, 10:58 AM
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Your block may not be drilled for hydraulic lifters. Your only choice may be a solid cam.

When was the last time the valves were adjusted?

A loose valve may be what caused this.

Did you use an additive or oil with ZDP? The lack of ZDP in modern oil has been rumored to wipe cam lobes on flat tappet lifters. There is something to this, but perhaps not all claims are totally true.
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Old 08-20-2017, 11:51 AM
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as the cam was being destroyed, particulates of cam material were dropping off bouncing off the crank throws and being thrown onto the piston skirts, scoring the cylinder walls. The smaller particulates have found their way into the oil pump scoring that, also being delivered into the rod and main bearings.
disassemble the engine send the block to be cleaned, replace bearings rings, oil pump, you may need to hone the cylinders, and depending upon how much has to be honed you may or may not need new pistons.

i've been to this show before, it's never a good time. You must run performance oils, not the stuff you get at the auto parts store.
joe gibbs or Penn grade 1 only, in the UK i don't know if these are readily available, but thats my recomendation.

here's a link to my joyous rebuild.......
How a wiped roller lifter is a good thing..maybe
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Old 08-20-2017, 12:00 PM
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If you like the way the engine performed with that cam, just buy another one.

If you change to a roller, you'll have to change valve springs, distributor gear, lifters, pushrods, etc. It's not a quick and easy swap.

As for the valve cover flange, you will need to have your machinist mill the valve cover flange of the intake down to match the heads. Just take a measurement and correct it.
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Old 08-20-2017, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blykins View Post
If you like the way the engine performed with that cam, just buy another one.

If you change to a roller, you'll have to change valve springs, distributor gear, lifters, pushrods, etc. It's not a quick and easy swap.

As for the valve cover flange, you will need to have your machinist mill the valve cover flange of the intake down to match the heads. Just take a measurement and correct it.
While I'm normally not one to quibble with your engine recommendations, if it were my car I'd be inclined to take the extra time, trouble and investment to convert to a roller (hydraulic if block drilled for it). The fact this is side-oiler in a Kirkham makes it even more appropriate, in my opinion.

Concur 100% on the intake machining - anything else is a less than optimal solution.
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Old 08-20-2017, 02:24 PM
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Thank you for all the comments. It looks like a full strip-down is in order, but at least I'll know that it's all been checked and if necessary, repaired or replaced.

With regard to the rocker cover joint face, I was wondering if the correct way to fix it was to machine the inlet manifold to cylinder head joint face to allow the the manifold to drop down slightly. If, for example the manifold top face was 0.050" higher than the cylinder head top face on both sides, would machining 0.025" off both port joint faces bring them back in line? The reason I ask is because I feel that the dam joint gaps are on the large side and require a rather large bead of sealant to fill the gap and closing them up would be helpful.

Paul
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Old 08-20-2017, 02:31 PM
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I agree with Brent. Just put the same cam back in there (a new one, I mean). What oil were you running and how often did you adjust your valves?
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Old 08-20-2017, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FatBoy View Post
Thank you for all the comments. It looks like a full strip-down is in order, but at least I'll know that it's all been checked and if necessary, repaired or replaced.

With regard to the rocker cover joint face, I was wondering if the correct way to fix it was to machine the inlet manifold to cylinder head joint face to allow the the manifold to drop down slightly. If, for example the manifold top face was 0.050" higher than the cylinder head top face on both sides, would machining 0.025" off both port joint faces bring them back in line? The reason I ask is because I feel that the dam joint gaps are on the large side and require a rather large bead of sealant to fill the gap and closing them up would be helpful.

Paul
once its apart you will be able to measure to see what is out of spec......
head surface needing milling or the manifold. either way it will allow the intake to sit lower on to the engine lessening the gap.
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Old 08-20-2017, 03:55 PM
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Don't worry about the china wall gaps unless the ports don't line up. That's the most important thing. Borrow a bore scope, take some measurements, etc., but port alignment is most necessary.

If the ports line up, just have the valve cover flange milled to make the valve covers seal better, and lay a good bead of silicone down. In the aftermarket world, that's how it's done about 99% of the time.

A hydraulic roller will not offer any more performance than a solid flat tappet. The only thing it will offer is a 100% surety in camshaft break-in. Other than that, it's a pretty expensive upgrade at this point.....$400 for a custom camshaft, $425 for lifters, $65 for a distributor gear, $125 for valve springs, $125-200 for pushrods, and some expertise to set everything up. Also mentioned earlier, if it's a solid lifter block only, he won't have a choice.

I can offer a more appropriate solid flat tappet camshaft that would make more hp/tq for the same manners, but it's stupid easy to just jam the same stick back in if he's happy with it. Most guys don't drive 30000 miles if they're not happy with the engine's performance.
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Old 08-20-2017, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blykins View Post
If you like the way the engine performed with that cam, just buy another one....
And if you like the way it sounds with a solid flat-tappet, that's another reason to stick with it.

Cheers,
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Old 08-20-2017, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FatBoy View Post
Thank you for all the comments. It looks like a full strip-down is in order, but at least I'll know that it's all been checked and if necessary, repaired or replaced.

Paul
Paul, Sorry to hear the news about the cam.

If you're stripping it down, then it seems like an opportunity to get it tailored and just right!
Best of luck with it.

I'm no cam expert, the following is just me spending your money.
If I was mostly happy but wanting a little more lope at idle, and a tad more oomph, first thing I'd do is look to tighten up the LSA a little say from 114 to 112. For the record 112 is still pretty mild and shouldn't noticeably disrupt the street manners much.
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Old 08-20-2017, 10:22 PM
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Paul,

Like Brent and others have suggested you may not have the oil galleys drilled for the hydraulic rollers. If you have to run solids because of your particular block you might want to give some thought to a diesel oil with all the good stuff still in it that the EPA has stripped out of our automotive oils. That will improve your new camshaft life and on balance do good things for the rest of the engine.

The oil I would suggest is Shell's Rotella 15W40 for diesels, which you can buy at Wally World for relatively cheap dollars. The Rotella Oil has elevated levels of Zinc and Phosphorous that flat tappet cams like for both break in and longevity.

If you want to run a high perf automotive oil you can get a bottle of ZDDP and add it at each oil change. You can get ZDDP on Amazon for about $12 a bottle in two bottle packages.

In the OBTW category a gallon jug of Rotella 15W40 at my local Wally World is $14 and it brings you all the goodness that the ZDDP does without having to remember to get the ZDDP or spend the money for it.

With a flat tappet cam and without the zinc and phosphorous in your oil, you are at a reasonably high level of risk for a repeat failure.


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Old 08-20-2017, 10:54 PM
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Thank you again everyone.

The block isn't drilled for hydraulic lifters, so I'll have to use solid lifters, my option was to change to roller followers, but given the extra cost of changing, I think I'll probably stick with what I have.

I've been using Valvoline ZR1 oil and the rockers have been regularly checked and adjusted if necessary.

I've got a borascope, so I'll check to make sure the inlet ports line up and if they do, I'll just machine the top surface as suggested.

What do the specs of my cam suggest to you?

Paul
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Old 08-21-2017, 03:16 AM
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A solid roller isn't a good idea at all with a block that hasn't been drilled. You would get probably 1/4 of the life on them that you did on your flat tappet lifters.

Your cam needs more split between the duration and the LSA needs to be shortened up by at least 4 degrees.
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Old 08-21-2017, 05:37 AM
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Your cam needs more split between the duration and the LSA needs to be shortened up by at least 4 degrees.
I've never had to spec a cam before, so are you able to elaborate a little please?

"more split between the duration" does that mean more or less duration, or something else?

With regard to the lobe separation, do I need to be looking in the 110-112 region? What does changing the lobe separation do and is it the inlet that is opening later, or the exhaust that is opening sooner or a bit of both if I reduce the LSA?

Whilst I'm more than happy to accept your experience, I do like to understand why I'm doing something.

ATB,
Paul
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Old 08-21-2017, 08:06 AM
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I've never had to spec a cam before, so are you able to elaborate a little please?

"more split between the duration" does that mean more or less duration, or something else?

With regard to the lobe separation, do I need to be looking in the 110-112 region? What does changing the lobe separation do and is it the inlet that is opening later, or the exhaust that is opening sooner or a bit of both if I reduce the LSA?

Whilst I'm more than happy to accept your experience, I do like to understand why I'm doing something.

ATB,
Paul
"more split between the duration" means you'll have more duration on the exhaust side than on the intake, often in the range of 6°. For example, you could go 242° duration @ 0.050" on the intake, and 248° on the exhaust.

LSA:
TECH QUICKIE: Camshaft Lobe Separation Angle And Power Relationship

Camshaft Shootout: Lobe-Separation Angle Tested and Explained - Hot Rod Network
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Old 08-22-2017, 04:30 PM
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My cam might work pretty well for you. You've probably seen my own rebuild thread at: Found this in my oil pan

The cam is a Holman Moody solid flat tappet "B" cam. Good condition with 6k miles on it. Only reason I'm changing it is because the rest of the rotating assembly is changing

Here are the specs:

Exhaust Duration = 242
Intake Duration = 242
Intake Center Line = 105
Exhaust Center Line = 107
Lobe Separation Angle = 106
Cam installed w/ key 2 deg advanced (I think)
Gross lift = .526
Overlap at .050 = 30 deg
Rocker ratio: 1.76
Cam card is here if you want to see it: Club Cobra - Powered by vBulletin
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Old 08-22-2017, 10:48 PM
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Hi Doug,

Thank you for thinking of me.

I assume you have the solid lifters to go with it and that they've been numbered to ensure they're put back on the same cam lobes.

I recognise that you're replacing other items in your engine, but were you happy with the cam and what characteristics did you want to change? We often do some long distance tours in our Cobra, so I can't have a cam that is too extreme.

In the general scheme of things, new cams aren't expensive, but please drop me a PM to tell me how much you want for it.

Thank you,
Paul
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