New Tool from Bad Cam

George Jets

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Made up a new tool from a used up 318 camshaft.

For final fit of newly installed cam bearings on the small blocks.

30° angle cuts on the cam journals. Clockwise Cut, Counter Clockwise to back it out.

Polished all the Journals and deburred the edges so it won't gouge the new soft cam bearings. Same with the cam lobes, polished down all the sharp edges.

20210707_173529.jpg


Step 1 mark it out.
20210707_174603.jpg


Die Grind 30° journal angle cuts.
Screenshot_20210707-195309_Messages.jpg


All set to go now, 3 blocks for cam bearings coming up now. Should be a pleasure to use.

20210707_192651.jpg


☆☆☆☆☆
 

toolmanmike

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Made up a new tool from a used up 318 camshaft.

For final fit of newly installed cam bearings on the small blocks.

30° angle cuts on the cam journals. Clockwise Cut, Counter Clockwise to back it out.

Polished all the Journals and deburred the edges so it won't gouge the new soft cam bearings. Same with the cam lobes, polished down all the sharp edges.

View attachment 1715762020

Step 1 mark it out.
View attachment 1715762021

Die Grind 30° journal angle cuts.
View attachment 1715762022

All set to go now, 3 blocks for cam bearings coming up now. Should be a pleasure to use.

View attachment 1715762023

☆☆☆☆☆
Yep, My machine shop still uses my original cam for all his small block Mopars he installs cam bearings in.
 

CFD244

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Cool. Do most machine shops perform this when they install new brngs? I would be worried that any removed material would end up in the oiling holes.
 

toolmanmike

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Cool. Do most machine shops perform this when they install new brngs? I would be worried that any removed material would end up in the oiling holes.
They should test fit a cam. If they assemble the short block they would do it when they assemble. You can scrape the bearings with a scraper or hone them. Easier with a cam that has been modded like George did above. It just knocks the high spots off. Blow the chips out with a blow gun and rock on.
 

George Jets

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So does this effectively ream the new bearings?

Yes
You have to be real careful, use assembly lube on the journals and new bearings as you are doing the cut/fit, take it slow. Stop and clean as you go, relube and go again.

Do not recommend doing this on dry bearings and journals.

Want the cam to be able to float in there without being tight.

Will let you know how this new tool works out after I get the next cam bearing set in.

Last set cam bearings I put in I used the new cam, rotating it slowly by hand. Cleaning the tight black bearing material out as I went, relube and go again.

Took a lot of revolutions by hand cleaning and lubing as I was making progress. Did not push it in too tight, just let it slowly work in on its own until it freed up and was able to float on the new bearings.

This new tool will make it all go a lot better on the next installs.

☆☆☆☆☆
 

toolmanmike

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Yes
You have to be real careful, use assembly lube on the journals and new bearings as you are doing the cut/fit, take it slow. Stop and clean as you go, relube and go again.

Do not recommend doing this on dry bearings and journals.

Want the cam to be able to float in there without being tight.

Will let you know how this new tool works out after I get the next cam bearing set in.

Last set cam bearings I put in I used the new cam, rotating it slowly by hand. Cleaning the tight black bearing material out as I went, relube and go again.

Took a lot of revolutions by hand cleaning and lubing as I was making progress. Did not push it in too tight, just let it slowly work in on its own until it freed up and was able to float on the new bearings.

This new tool will make it all go a lot better on the next installs.

☆☆☆☆☆
You are spot on George!
 

Mean416

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Yes
You have to be real careful, use assembly lube on the journals and new bearings as you are doing the cut/fit, take it slow. Stop and clean as you go, relube and go again.

Do not recommend doing this on dry bearings and journals.

Want the cam to be able to float in there without being tight.

Will let you know how this new tool works out after I get the next cam bearing set in.

Last set cam bearings I put in I used the new cam, rotating it slowly by hand. Cleaning the tight black bearing material out as I went, relube and go again.

Took a lot of revolutions by hand cleaning and lubing as I was making progress. Did not push it in too tight, just let it slowly work in on its own until it freed up and was able to float on the new bearings.

This new tool will make it all go a lot better on the next installs.

☆☆☆☆☆
Hey I know this is an old post but I was wondering how this worked out? I'm about to cut grooves in an old cam myself for the same reason.
 

RustyRatRod

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People just don't know how well that old trick works. It's among the best old school tricks I can think of. I wasn't aware anyone sold the tool @Oldmanmopar posted, but I bet that works well, too.
 

rumblefish360

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Very slick there George!
Made up a new tool from a used up 318 camshaft.

For final fit of newly installed cam bearings on the small blocks.

30° angle cuts on the cam journals. Clockwise Cut, Counter Clockwise to back it out.

Polished all the Journals and deburred the edges so it won't gouge the new soft cam bearings. Same with the cam lobes, polished down all the sharp edges.

View attachment 1715762020

Step 1 mark it out.
View attachment 1715762021

Die Grind 30° journal angle cuts.
View attachment 1715762022

All set to go now, 3 blocks for cam bearings coming up now. Should be a pleasure to use.

View attachment 1715762023

☆☆☆☆☆
 

Mean416

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Well, I got an old cam today I picked up for the purpose. I like a good old school trick.
 

RustyRatRod

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Well, I got an old cam today I picked up for the purpose. I like a good old school trick.
It works! Do it like the above ^^^^ and you'll see. Make sure to clean out any bearing chips of course.
 

George Jets

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Hey I know this is an old post but I was wondering how this worked out? I'm about to cut grooves in an old cam myself for the same reason.

I cut the grooves in the used cam journals considering I would be turning the camshaft clockwise. I slightly cut the groove a few degrees from perpendicular (90°) to help it cut on the clockwise rotation, and if you needed to back it up it will let go then.

Once the angle cuts were finished I used some 180 grit sand paper to debur the cut at the cam journal surface so it would not be scratching the bearings.

More or less the cut grooves provide a relief area for the thick assembly lube and gray bearing material to fall into as you are rotating it to final fit the bearing to the cam journals.

I used short pieces of high density foam to plug the oil supply holes so bearing debris does not get into them during the fitting, then pull the foam out with a pair of tweezers when done cleaning up.

Threading a 6" bolt into the end of the cam helps give you something to grab onto, and helps to balance the cam evenly as you are pushing it into position.

Also the cam lobes can be sharp and can nick the bearings as you are working. I also take the 180 grit sandpaper and debur all the sharp edges off of the corners of the cam lobes too.

Want everything going together smooth.

Screenshot_20221013-205929_Gallery.jpg
 

Mean416

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I cut the grooves in the used cam journals considering I would be turning the camshaft clockwise. I slightly cut the groove a few degrees from perpendicular (90°) to help it cut on the clockwise rotation, and if you needed to back it up it will let go then.

Once the angle cuts were finished I used some 180 grit sand paper to debur the cut at the cam journal surface so it would not be scratching the bearings.

More or less the cut grooves provide a relief area for the thick assembly lube and gray bearing material to fall into as you are rotating it to final fit the bearing to the cam journals.

I used short pieces of high density foam to plug the oil supply holes so bearing debris does not get into them during the fitting, then pull the foam out with a pair of tweezers when done cleaning up.

Threading a 6" bolt into the end of the cam helps give you something to grab onto, and helps to balance the cam evenly as you are pushing it into position.

Also the cam lobes can be sharp and can nick the bearings as you are working. I also take the 180 grit sandpaper and debur all the sharp edges off of the corners of the cam lobes too.

Want everything going together smooth.

View attachment 1715997731
Did you make the cut only on one side of the journal? What kind of bit did you use with the die grinder?
 

George Jets

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Did you make the cut only on one side of the journal? What kind of bit did you use with the die grinder?
Yes cut was only on one side of the cam. You want the journal surface to float into the new bearing with the thick assembly lube.

As the cam starts to get tight with the high spots of the bearings, the assembly lube will start turning gray. Take your time, if the cam starts rotating too tight back it up wipe off the gray lube, put on some more clean lube and go again.

The better of a job you do getting the new bearings in straight and true the easier the cam fitting goes.

I myself used Vaseline to lube the block and outter cam bearings to help them install straight and true, so they are not going in dry taking more force to get them in. That vaseline has a low temp melting point and will cook right out of there on first start when the engine gets up to temp.

Other folks have installed them dry with good luck. I like a little lube in case I have to back up the bearing as it is starting, to get the oil holes to better line up and be on center.

The more of these you do the better you get at it, kind of get a routine down that works.

_________

I just used an 1/8" x 3" diameter cut off wheel with my die grinder to cut the grooves.
 

Mean416

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Probably splitting hairs but I wonder if it would be a good idea to stagger the cuts from one journal to the next?
 

George Jets

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Probably splitting hairs but I wonder if it would be a good idea to stagger the cuts from one journal to the next?
That is not needed, just makes it easier to line them all up in a line as you are marking them out with a dry marker.

And if you are using the 30° mark on your universal square you can line the butt of that up with the center line on the cam with the marks you just put on to mark the 30° angle grooves.

Handy tool for marking the angle cuts.

s-l400.jpg
 

Ironracer

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That is not needed, just makes it easier to line them all up in a line as you are marking them out with a dry marker.

And if you are using the 30° mark on your universal square you can line the butt of that up with the center line on the cam with the marks you just put on to mark the 30° angle grooves.

Handy tool for marking the angle cuts.

View attachment 1715997734
Y'all use THAT ol' Carpenters Junk? Wow! Lol ( Ya know I'm only Kidding George!)
 

Mean416

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That is not needed, just makes it easier to line them all up in a line as you are marking them out with a dry marker.

And if you are using the 30° mark on your universal square you can line the butt of that up with the center line on the cam with the marks you just put on to mark the 30° angle grooves.

Handy tool for marking the angle cuts.

View attachment 1715997734
Surely you mean marking the cuts, not making them
 

Mean416

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Well, happy to report that I did this myself and it's working well now. However, I think my block had some shift or something because it was very tight. It wasn't a matter of a few turns. I had to tap the cam in with a hammer, make a few turns, tap again, turn, repeat. Remove cam to take out shavings, and clean, and repeat. Then when it would finally at least go in and spin fairly freely I started test fitting the real cam. Still tight. Tried the "few turns method" and it wasn't really going anywhere. So I ended up spinning it with a drill on the cam bolt, sliding the cam back and forth across the full face of the bearings whilst doing this. Anyway, finally the real cam is fitting fine and turns easily enough. This method works!
 
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