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Angry engine builder!

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rmcomprandy
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69F100
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Post  Nothwoods February 12th 2021, 7:38 pm

First off this is about a 302 not a 460, I hope that's okay but I need to vent. This is a 1970 engine from a Torino that I rebuilt last year and stuffed in an old foxbody. It ran great but as happens I decided it needed "just a bit more power". I had put the stock cam back in when it was apart, drove it a few hundred miles last year, and decided on a cam swap over the winter. Went with a well known manufacturer, (see if you can guess which one), talked to them about cam choice and break in procedure, followed their instructions to the letter, and proceeded to grind the new cam to basically a dowel shape after 20 minutes during the break in. I'm a Ford trained tech going on thirty years in the field. Is it me? What went wrong? Thanks for reading

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Post  dfree383 February 12th 2021, 8:52 pm

Wrong oil? Lifters not rotating? Binding parts, rockers? springs? To heavy springs? Wore out lifter bores? Soft cam? Chinese parts?
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Post  Nothwoods February 12th 2021, 9:09 pm

Ha I'm leaning towards Chinese parts! I used the rocker and pushrod kit recommended for the cam. I bought the springs they recommended but didn't get as far as installing them. They recommended using the stock ones for break in which I did. Used the manufacturers break in additive, and summit 10w30 with zddp additive. Cam manufacturer suggests the oil is at fault

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Post  dfree383 February 12th 2021, 9:12 pm

People forget how old and actually wore out some of the cores are and very few check lifter bores JS
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Post  Nothwoods February 12th 2021, 9:42 pm

The lifters seem to fit pretty well. The most damaged one from the attempted break in did some damage to the bore while removing it with vice grips. I cleaned up the bore with some emery paper and did the same with the old lifter. Put the old cam back in today, primed it, and cranked it. All the lifters are spinning nicely. My concern is all the metal from the new cam that went through the oil. Just a set of decent roller lifters costs more than a used explorer engine with a roller block and Gt40P heads, so for now I'm putting it back together and I'll hope for the best. If the bearings go to hell I'll chalk it up to a learning experience. I've been told by two respected engine builders that you can no longer trust a flat tappet cam because of problems with hardness of the material. This is the first time I've had one fail on me but it's been a very long time since I built something with a performance flat tappet

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Post  Gregaust February 13th 2021, 3:40 am

Without knowing all the details of your cam . The issue with using stock springs for running in , the cam could coil bind the stock springs .
That's why is best to run in with just the outers of the springs you will use

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Post  manofmerc February 13th 2021, 5:31 am

Did you use a break in oil with an additive ?Or an oil with zddp and an additive ?Just so you will have everything on your side I use a break in oil and the additive the cam manufacture recommends .Like Greg said do you have an inner valve spring ? If so you need to remove it before running your engine .What did you put on the cam and lifters ?Was it a moly type grease that came with the camshaft .Was this a summit cam and lifter set ? I am not to fond of summit cam kits although I did run one successfully years ago .And most likely your bearings are fried and the crank needs polishing.Your engine is full of metal although you might get lucky that metal had to go somewhere .At least pull the pan a tiny piece of metal could keep the lifters from spinning and you will wipe out another cam. Just saying .Doug

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Post  dfree383 February 13th 2021, 8:18 am

Nothwoods wrote:The lifters seem to fit pretty well.  The most damaged one from the attempted break in did some damage to the bore while removing it with vice grips.  I cleaned up the bore with some emery paper and did the same with the old lifter.  Put the old cam back in today, primed it, and cranked it.  All the lifters are spinning nicely.  My concern is all the metal from the new cam that went through the oil.  Just a set of decent roller lifters costs more than a used explorer engine with a roller block and Gt40P heads, so for now I'm putting it back together and I'll hope for the best.  If the bearings go to hell I'll chalk it up to a learning experience.  I've been told by two respected engine builders that you can no longer trust a flat tappet cam because of problems with hardness of the material.  This is the first time I've had one fail on me but it's been a very long time since I built something with a performance flat tappet

So while the engine is running you are observing the lifters rotating?

I think your misunderstanding my statement.

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Post  Nothwoods February 13th 2021, 11:51 am

I cranked the engine with the intake and valve covers off and all of the lifters are rotating, (again this is after I put the old cam back in). It's not a summit cam, i did use the lube supplied, i used summit 10-30 oil with zddp, plus I used the additive sold by the cam manufacture. The springs recommended for the cam are single springs, but nonetheless they recommended leaving the stock ones for break in. Max valve lift with the 1.6 rockers is .509 and .512. There didn't appear to be any binding, there's no evidence of the retainers contacting the guides, the valves are stock with I believe a 1.78" intake, and I've used similar cams with larger valves without issue in the past so I can't imagine piston clearance was an issue.

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Post  pmrphil February 14th 2021, 11:08 am

Over .500 lift with stock springs? I don't believe they will support that much lift, but, of course, I may be wrong. You wouldn't see any bind while cranking, but after the lifters pump up, most likely so, but you can't see that with valve covers on and engine running. Most cam catalogs that I've seen show that different springs are required over .480 lift.

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Post  Nothwoods February 14th 2021, 11:44 am

I know what you're saying, i turned the engine over to get the valve open as far as possible, and it appeared to have plenty of space left in the spring to account for the lifter compression. The rep I spoke with said they'd be fine with that cam and I should break it in before changing the springs. Several people now have told me that you can't trust a flat tappet cam anymore.

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Post  69F100 February 14th 2021, 5:34 pm

I have been running a .512 lift cam in my 69 for 15 years and never had a problem with coil bind on mine and it has stock heads and springs. I have never lost a cam from breaking one in knock on wood. I will be breaking a new cam in when I switch heads on mine in the next month or so maybe I will get lucky and not have any problems. I think it is more of poor cam stocks they use to make a cam now days than the break in failure.
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Post  Nothwoods February 14th 2021, 6:24 pm

What brand are you going with 69F100? Are you using a hydraulic flat tappet? I used to have the infamous "B" cam in another 302. With 1.7 rockers that was at .512 as well. I had stock pistons and 1.94" valves and that engine took much punishment for many years without complaint. I'd have put a B cam in this one if it was a roller. I think my next move is to find a used explorer 302.

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Post  69F100 February 15th 2021, 12:25 am

I will more than likely use a comp cam if I don't decide and get a custom cam built for it. I will be running a flat tappet I have a 73 model block.
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Post  wickettoby1 February 15th 2021, 5:52 pm

Just an FYI, it’s not a coincidence that some engine builders are currently refusing to use a flat tappet cam in any application.

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Post  rmcomprandy February 16th 2021, 1:09 pm

Nothwoods wrote:What brand are you going with 69F100?  Are you using a hydraulic flat tappet?  I used to have the infamous "B" cam in another 302.  With 1.7 rockers that was at .512 as well.  I had stock pistons and 1.94" valves and that engine took much punishment for many years without complaint.  I'd have put a B cam in this one if it was a roller.  I think my next move is to find a used explorer 302.

There are many brands of "tie-bar" hydraulic roller lifters which will easily allow the use of normal, (not small base circle), hydraulic roller camshafts in an earlier block.

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Post  69F100 February 16th 2021, 9:48 pm

rmcomprandy wrote:
Nothwoods wrote:What brand are you going with 69F100?  Are you using a hydraulic flat tappet?  I used to have the infamous "B" cam in another 302.  With 1.7 rockers that was at .512 as well.  I had stock pistons and 1.94" valves and that engine took much punishment for many years without complaint.  I'd have put a B cam in this one if it was a roller.  I think my next move is to find a used explorer 302.

There are many brands of "tie-bar" hydraulic roller lifters which will easily allow the use of normal, (not small base circle), hydraulic roller camshafts in an earlier block.

Randy I will be getting with you more than likely in a few months after I get finished helping my sister remodel her house. I am leaning more on a custom cam for mine so if I do you will be the one I get with for it.
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Post  the tree man February 17th 2021, 11:43 am

I have used a couple cams and a friend has one from Cam Research. He has a machine to break in the cam/lifters prior to install. He not only does his stuff but offers the service to any brand if you send it to him. It was a paltry 60 bucks when I purchased mine and worked like a champ.

http://www.camresearchcorp.com/camking/

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Post  2 wicked February 17th 2021, 11:46 am

Helped out a freind last winter, cam went South in his BBC. Pulled engine tore it down. Cleaned block,all new bearings, mic'd lifter bored. They were ok. Installed new cam- Elgin hyd flat tappet. Used break in oil, zinc additive, lube cam with assembly lube. Broke cam in verying rpm from 1500-2500 for 20 min. Changed oil, added zinc additive. Ran great for 2 mud bog races. The third race by the 3rd pass it didn't sound right. Pulled valve covers, 3 loose rockers. I believe it's almost impossible to get good flat tappet cam and lifters anymore. I have built many engines, probably 20-30 most with flat tappet. This was the second one with cam problems. 1 sbf and this BBC. These two were in the last 4 yrs. I think most lifter and cam manufacturers are focusing on roller type cam and lifters and letting flat tappet fall to the way side. Thanks cory

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Post  the tree man February 17th 2021, 12:10 pm

Roller is the way to go but spendy and flat tappet has reliably done the trick for eons even in HP applications. That bloody break-in is the real sore spot,especially SFT,and the amount of collateral damage that comes along with it if things go south is no joke. I don't know why the big cam guys never came up with a gizmo like this Cam King decades ago to break in their cams. They would have made a fortune. It can't be to sell more replacement cams because everybody I know that ever wiped a cam breaking it in blamed it on the manufacturer and never bought from them again.

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Post  dfree383 February 17th 2021, 2:53 pm

the tree man wrote:Roller is the way to go but spendy and flat tappet has reliably done the trick for eons even in HP applications. That bloody break-in is the real sore spot,especially SFT,and the amount of collateral damage that comes along with it if things go south is no joke. I don't know why the big cam guys never came up with a gizmo like this Cam King decades ago to break in their cams. They would have made a fortune. It can't be to sell more replacement cams because everybody I know that ever wiped a cam breaking it in blamed it on the manufacturer and never bought from them again.

Scott at MPG has a set to break in Cams he’s had it for years

Me thinks the bigger issue is wore out blocks, got to remember a lot of the stuff is 35 plus years old
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Post  Nothwoods February 17th 2021, 8:38 pm

I appreciate the input on this from everyone. I'm a going on thirty years in the biz, and this is the first cam I've had fail. It's been quite a while since I've used a flat tappet in something. I'm just glad it was on one of my own wrecks and not something for a customer. I'm waiting on a refund for the failed parts. Hopefully it goes through, then I'm planning to go with a roller 302 from an explorer, which are plentiful and cheap, and I'll use an Anderson Ford roller cam. I had one in a supercharged stroker engine before and I was very happy with it. I'm not trying to build a monster this time, I just want an old fox that puts 240 or so to the tire, doesn't seem like such a tall order. Once this is sorted out I have a 460 to start working on for my plow truck, and I really have no idea what to do for a cam. Cross that bridge when I come to it I guess!

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Post  rmcomprandy February 17th 2021, 11:03 pm

dfree383 wrote:
the tree man wrote:Roller is the way to go but spendy and flat tappet has reliably done the trick for eons even in HP applications. That bloody break-in is the real sore spot,especially SFT,and the amount of collateral damage that comes along with it if things go south is no joke. I don't know why the big cam guys never came up with a gizmo like this Cam King decades ago to break in their cams. They would have made a fortune. It can't be to sell more replacement cams because everybody I know that ever wiped a cam breaking it in blamed it on the manufacturer and never bought from them again.

Scott at MPG has a set to break in Cams he’s had it for years

Me thinks the bigger issue is wore out blocks, got to remember a lot of the stuff is 35 plus years old

YES ... to much lifter bore clearance is the problem.
We see that a lot with older FE engine blocks so, I am sure there are many others.

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Post  manofmerc February 18th 2021, 6:13 am

So what is to much clearance ?Most of my 460s have .002 .I always sort through my lifters and put the bigger lifters in the larger holes .Most of the time the lifters are the same size as well as the lifter bores .Doug

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Post  rmcomprandy February 18th 2021, 10:58 am

manofmerc wrote:So what is to much clearance ?Most of my 460s have .002 .I always sort through my lifters and put the bigger lifters in the larger holes .Most of the time the lifters are the same size as well as the lifter bores .Doug

With a flat tappet, about .0022" is probably the maximum it will tolerate unless the cam lobe has more taper than normal.
If the lifter cocks at an angle where it sits flat on the lobe, it won't rotate or very little and excessive wear happens.

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