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Old 12-14-2006, 08:31 PM   #1
Bored&Stroked
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Default Flathead Isky Cams: Story and Pictures of the 505-A Radius Cam

Hi Gang: Just wanted to share a fun Ed Isky story with you.

The story is about a cool dude (Ed) a flathead obsessed kid (me) and a couple cool cams -- one is the legendary Isky 404-A, radius lifter cam, the other is one that was a special "Ed" project . . . a big-brother to the 404-A, which is the 505-A. Here is the scoop . . .

How the Isky 505-A Cam to Be:

I used to hang around Isky's shop in the early 80's -- was always working on new flathead cams, and Ed, his sons and T. Willy used to put up with my stupid questions, my cam charts, ideas, etc.. Ed and I used to talk flatheads all the time. I even managed to get him to build me a couple custom roller cams -- as long as I made the billets, he'd grind them (and he did).

Anyway, one day he tells me that he actually made a "505-A" radius lifter cam -- that had a .505 lift. I asked him how the hell he did that (given the base cirlce of a flathead and the bearing size) . . .

So Ed says, "I made a 8620 steel billet that had larger bearing sizes -- so I could take the bearings completely out of the block and run it directly against the cast iron. Heck, people have done that for years with Model A's, no big deal not having bearings. It has a huge lift and a huge duration. "

So I ask Ed . . . did you ever run it? Who did you make it for?

Ed says "I made it for a racer named Jazzy Nelson . . . he ran it at the dirt tracks and it really ran.".

So I asked Ed . . . did you only make 1? He said "I only finished one, but I made two others that were done to the first grind, but not completed. They'd already been heat treated and needed the last finish grind." (about the last .030 or so).

So I say . . . what did you do with these other two?

Ed says "I lost em! They're somewhere in this dang manufacturing plant - haven't seen them for 20 years . . ."

So . . . everytime I'm walking through his plant - I start looking for flathead cams - stuck someplace where you wouldn't see them easily. If you've ever been to Isky's . . . there are piles of stuff everyplace even in his car.

So . . . one day a year or so later . . . Ed and I are walking through the plant and I spy the ends of two flathead cams, sticking out of some dark hole, crap stacked on top of them for years. I go and grab one and said . . . hey Ed, I think I found the 505s! He grunts and says, not a chance. So I lift one up, dust it off and see that it was billet and Ed says "I can't believe it . . you've found my 505's!".

Just as he said, they needed the last finish grind - so you couldn't run them. So I ask Ed . . . "Hey Ed, can you finish grind these?". He said "Nope . . . don't have a small enough cam grinder to handle that profile and flank pattern." I was a bit bummed, but he says hey "Here, I'll give you one, since you found them . . . I'll keep the other".

So . . . I had this unfinished 505-A all these years and recently I was talking to another flathead cam grinder friend, and he got all excited when I told him about this cam. He said "I'll finish it for you . . . if I can have it for a few days to checkout/record the pattern" . . . the deal was done . . . and 35 years later, this cam is finally finished.

===============

I mapped the cam profiles on both the 505 and the 404 for comparison - here are the general specs:

Isky 505-A:

Lift: .515
Duration @ .050 = 250
Lifter = radius

Isky 404-A:

Lift: .420
Duration @ .050 = 218
Lifter = radius


Here are pictures of the cams - as well as the "jig" I made years ago to map profiles and compare one cam to another (via graphs I make).

Hope you enjoy them:

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Old 12-14-2006, 08:48 PM   #2
Flat Ernie
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Default Re: Flathead Isky Cams: Story and Pictures of the 505-A Radius Cam

Holy cow! That's some cool shit there.

The obvious question - whatcha gonna put it in?
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Old 12-14-2006, 08:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: Flathead Isky Cams: Story and Pictures of the 505-A Radius Cam

wow...thats pretty badass. bigger lift then I'm putting in my 429! ya what'cha gonna put it in? make sure to give us some sound clips when its done, open headers of course
-Dean
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Old 12-14-2006, 09:01 PM   #4
34fivewindow
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Default Re: Flathead Isky Cams: Story and Pictures of the 505-A Radius Cam

Ed must have brought this special flathead grind over to the small block chevy, because i have an Isky 505-T roller for the small chevy in my garage. This was a killer grind for the 301 chevy, in the 60's, and a pretty good junior fuel cam...Ed
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Old 12-14-2006, 09:02 PM   #5
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Default Re: Flathead Isky Cams: Story and Pictures of the 505-A Radius Cam

Man,

I love it!!!!!

Danny
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Old 12-14-2006, 09:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Flathead Isky Cams: Story and Pictures of the 505-A Radius Cam

Mate...thats a killer story and an even bigger outcome. Are you gonna rn that nasty cam in a 300+ci flatty??

Rat
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Old 12-14-2006, 09:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: Flathead Isky Cams: Story and Pictures of the 505-A Radius Cam

That's the best story I've read on here in a long long time. You gotta keep us posted.....I would love to hear a wav file of an engine running this cam....
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Old 12-14-2006, 09:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Flathead Isky Cams: Story and Pictures of the 505-A Radius Cam

Hanging out with one of the Greats. Can't imagine what that shop looked like. Can't wait to see what it goes in and what it sounds like. Too cool.....slim
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Old 12-14-2006, 09:17 PM   #9
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Default Re: Flathead Isky Cams: Story and Pictures of the 505-A Radius Cam

That is one killer looking cam, not to mention the story! I couldn't imagine it being streetable, but I'd sure like to see it run!
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Old 12-14-2006, 09:45 PM   #10
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Default Re: Flathead Isky Cams: Story and Pictures of the 505-A Radius Cam

I am almost overrun with questions for ya! I have stared at the pics for the past few minuites....very cool.

What kind of data did you record when you had it set up in the cam jig....I would love to see some more specs...say duration at different lifts, overlap spec....I could ask a million questions right about now...never dreamed you could get that aggressive with a flattie cam....

Very cool...very cool indeed.


now about all that data you have .

Thanks for sharing--
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Old 12-14-2006, 09:52 PM   #11
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Default Re: Flathead Isky Cams: Story and Pictures of the 505-A Radius Cam

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:12 PM   #12
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Default Re: Flathead Isky Cams: Story and Pictures of the 505-A Radius Cam

......amazed.....
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Old 12-15-2006, 03:49 AM   #13
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Default Re: Flathead Isky Cams: Story and Pictures of the 505-A Radius Cam

I remember Isky coming to my dad's shop when I was a kid, he always was driving a Cadillac that was stuffed full of junk, I don't remember ever going to his shop but if they woulda been in his Caddy you would have had just as much trouble finding them.
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Old 12-15-2006, 05:52 AM   #14
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Default Re: Flathead Isky Cams: Story and Pictures of the 505-A Radius Cam

Outstanding!!
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Old 12-15-2006, 06:06 AM   #15
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Default Re: Flathead Isky Cams: Story and Pictures of the 505-A Radius Cam

Two questions
What are the profiles and specs on the "Custom Roller Cams"
and will the "other" cam grinder make and sell copies of the 505?..if not , why did he want the specs...oops thats three questions.
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Old 12-15-2006, 06:25 AM   #16
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Default Re: Flathead Isky Cams: Story and Pictures of the 505-A Radius Cam

thanks for the post. these are what make the HAMB great.
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Old 12-15-2006, 12:23 PM   #17
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Default Re: Flathead Isky Cams: Story and Pictures of the 505-A Radius Cam

Quote:
Originally Posted by 97
Two questions
What are the profiles and specs on the "Custom Roller Cams"
and will the "other" cam grinder make and sell copies of the 505?..if not , why did he want the specs...oops thats three questions.
a) The roller cams that I built were .420 and .440 lift and I believe about 270 duration at .050. I have the specs at home -- will checkout the profile maps, etc.. There is lots to know about roller cams -- especially the profiles and advance issues with flatheads versus overheads. I've done quite a bit of graphcs and research along this line - I believe that there are good ways to make flathead rollers . . . and bad ways. Crower is the only guy that I know that will make lifters -- probably in the $500 - 700 range for a set.

b) Other cam grinder: I'll check with him - to see if he is up for it.

You can't grind the cam on a stock core - you'd need an 8620 billet core and about the only guy that has these for sale (unless you know how to make them on a lathe) is Joe Panic at Rotophase. At least he used to . . .

Also, you then need to have a set of keyed radius lifters -- which Isky hasn't made in many years. When I had the 505 finished, he made me a set of radius lifters - out of Henry's originals (which is how I believe others made them). I believe the lifters cost me about $500 . . . and I was damn glad to have them.


If you want to chat and have a particular application you're pondering, let me know and we can always chat on the phone.

Dale
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Old 12-15-2006, 12:30 PM   #18
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Default Re: Flathead Isky Cams: Story and Pictures of the 505-A Radius Cam

Damn!!!!!....-MIKE
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Old 12-15-2006, 12:47 PM   #19
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Default Re: Flathead Isky Cams: Story and Pictures of the 505-A Radius Cam

Wow. I just realized what the most powerful feature in HAMB software is:

TIME TRAVEL!

Here I am, reading a story from 25 years ago...about a man who was running a flathead hotrod 70 years ago...and looking forward to the future test of an amazing artifact.
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Old 12-15-2006, 11:35 PM   #20
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Default Re: Flathead Isky Cams: Story and Pictures of the 505-A Radius Cam

Hi fellow HAMBers . . . thanks for all the notes!

I just found a better picture I have of the 505-A (before I covered the damn thing in lube) -- this really shows off the radical profile.


Acceleration Ramps:
One of the things that is interesting is that when you design cams and determine the "rise" of the ramps, you have to be concerned with the acceleration of the ramps and how many thousands the profile moves the tappet - per degree of cam rotation. Back when Isky made his radical flathead cams, about the max you could rise the profile (per degree of cam rotation) was .010 - this occurs midway on the ramp. The 404-A has a max value that is exactly .010. T. Willy (good friend who worked the counter at Isky's) told me that anything over about .010 to .011 was a big problem - as the dynamics became fubared, float started, etc.. The valve springs just weren't good enough in the 50's and early 60's to take acceleration ramps faster than this.

So . . . the fun thing about the 505-A is that is has a max acceleration value of .013 - which means that it was almost impossible to keep the valves from floating back in the day - without terrible spring pressure and probably bending the cam as a result. (One of the reasons that dual springs on high-lift flathead cast cams is a bad idea). Remember, there are only 3 bearings - ever wonder why it is hard to set the valve clearance on a big race flathead cam - it's because the damn cam in bending!

Given today's valve springs and very light valve materials - like Titanium valves, we can probably keep the lifter tracking on the cam . . . and make the dang thing work. This is what intrigues me . . . I just want to see how it runs.

This cam will never idle below 1200 RPM, but it should have a sound that is unique for flatheads. I have to create a "special" engine to run this -- one that will do it justice. I'm thinking about building a big stroker motor, with Baron heads and pop-up pistons, 4-71 and other fun. I need to finish a couple other engines first - and find a dyno, but I just have to hear this cam run!

I'll update you guys on some other fun cam stories . . . and I may create a software program that compares profiles/graphs - you guys would like to view the data. Fun stuff . . . I'll keep you posted.

Here is a picture that really shows the profile - imagine trying to keep a lifter tracking on that . . . at 6500 RPM! Yikes!

Enjoy . . . I'll post more in the coming weeks about cams and other such fun.

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