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HEMI Tech: Camshafts.. new? Regrind? solid or Hydraulic?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by scootermcrad, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 13,071

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Some of you have probably noticed that these "HEMI Tech" threads have been popping up. I've been trying to merge the info on here for our reference making searching easier. I'm going to try and start threads related to each topic related to Hemis... problems, parts, tech, etc. So sorry if this is sounding repetative to what's already been talked about. Could use your help to merge all this info on here. Links (HAMB or outside on the WWW), your own tech, etc. would all be very appreciated.

    On to Camshafts...
    1) Regrind to spec...
    - cost effective or not?
    - What's the advantages or disadvantages?
    - What's the grind limitations?

    2) New cams...
    - who's still making them and who makes a quality product?
    - vintage aftermarket cams to look for?

    3) Interchangeability... (all makes)
    - What can be changed between what engines?
    - When should a cam change be made? (I.E. 331 cam for a later "snub nose" cam)

    4) Solid, Hydraulic or Roller lifters...
    - What's better for what application and why?
    - Who's a reputable supplier for lifters?

    Throw in any info or tech you have. All will be helpful and will make the HAMB an even more powerful information Library!
     
  2. Misirlou
    Joined: Apr 1, 2006
    Posts: 41

    Misirlou
    Member

    No offense, but this sounds like you don't even know about Hot Heads/Bob Walker ? It's the first place to call for early hemi parts/advice.

    Just call there about all this.

    http://www.hothemiheads.com/

    Good luck.
     
  3. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 13,071

    scootermcrad
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    None taken. This isn't for me. I'm building a Hemi Tech section for all HAMBers. It's our library. And yes, I know about HHH. They RULE! :D Bob Walker is the MAN! Knows a ton!

    Just looking for help to merge the info presented here at the HAMB and else where. Non-stop Hemi info shopping, if you will. Everyone's input would be helpful! There's lots of info on the HAMB and hopefully some of you can help me bring it all together for us.
     
  4. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,111

    scottybaccus
    Member

    I know almost nothing about hemi tech.

    That said, I do have an opinion on camshafts in general that comes from both sage advice of others and hard learned lessons of experience. I would think that these hold true for all engines and more so for hemis due to the sheer $$ factor.

    Regrinds serve a purpose. If you need specific characteristics not available elsewhere, it works. BUT, cams are manufactured using carefully designed metalurgy that is then heat treated to achieve the best balance of durability and wear resistance without sacrificing the related parts. Regrinds are not likely to ever meet the same standards.

    Solid or Hydraulic? Modern camshafts have really blurred the line between the two, especially with the advent of madern metalurgy beeing seen in current imports and the sophisticated mechanical valvetrains they use. The old school was that Hyd. cams were quieter and maintainence free where solid cams required frequent adjustment due to wear. Hyd. cams could never handle the spring pressures needed for serious cam profiles. Neither is necessarily true these days. Throw in roller rockers and lifters and the whole game changes. I tend to prefer hyd. roller valve trains on the street, but will never doubt the value of a carefully adjusted solid flat tappet cam on the track. Both are at home these days in the other world.

    $.02 ching
     
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  5. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 13,071

    scootermcrad
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    Excellent points! You also reminded me that I didn't put anything in the above about roller rockers! :eek: DOH! Edit coming...
     
  6. Misirlou
    Joined: Apr 1, 2006
    Posts: 41

    Misirlou
    Member

    Yes, and you have to consider special hardface lifters even with regrinds that have been rehardened. You'll have to send any cam in to have it profiled to see what you can "get out of it". Also, you can't usually move the centerline on a regrind generally, even if it's possible, 1 degree is about the max. You can't change a 108 to a 110, or a 110 to a 112 or 114.
     
  7. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 13,071

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Maybe something else that should be added to the list of topics (for those who have experience with them or know about the process), what is done to actually surface a cam FOR hydraulic lifters? I see where a cam intended for solid/mechanical lifters can be faced or resurfaced for use with Hydraulic lifters.
     
  8. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,111

    scottybaccus
    Member

    For the money we invest in our motors, especially you hemi guys, most of us are much better of to buy from a big manufacturer and listen carefully to their recommendations. I even get nervous using a seasoned cam when I buy a used motor. I would almost prefer to replace it from the start with a known quantity and focus my attention elsewhere.
     
  9. Soviet
    Joined: Sep 4, 2005
    Posts: 716

    Soviet
    Member

    Roller rockers weren't really mentioned because there is almost no aftermarket for the hemi that makes roller rockers. Basically all out race motors only if memory serves me right.
     
  10. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 13,071

    scootermcrad
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    I think one of the problems with replacing the cam with a new cam is that there aren't too many people making early Hemi cams. It also depends on what motor you have. Some companies only offer for the 392. Hot Hemi Heads, PAW offer for 301, 331, 354 and 392's but then companies like Isky only make cams for a 392. There's a few other companies. Those were just the few I could think of off the top of my head. Please add more if you can think of them. Can't remember if any of those companies make them for Dodge or Desoto. HHH probably does.
     
  11. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 13,071

    scootermcrad
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    I believe that is the case, yes. I've only seen them in different lift ratios for race and later Hemi applications (426 Hemi).

    Just found this link to someone's roller lifters:
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=64662&highlight=Hemi+lifters
     
  12. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 13,071

    scootermcrad
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  13. ol fueler
    Joined: Oct 6, 2005
    Posts: 935

    ol fueler
    Member

    The man to see for a regrind of a Hemi cam is Chris Nielson --Nielson Cams in Farmington Ut. (801) 451-7745.
    He is great with Hemis. He also can resurface your lifters to use with your new cam, one of the few people doing this anymore. Need special pushrods ? He does that too.
     
  14. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 13,071

    scootermcrad
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    Good info Dave! Thanks for adding that!
     
  15. Relic Stew
    Joined: Apr 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,043

    Relic Stew
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    I have an NOS Chrysler 300hp 331 cam and lifters. Anyone know the specs on this cam? I was thinking of using it in my 354.

    I also have a block that has the lifter bores grooved to guide the roller lifters with the half round button guides. I think it may have been a Crower roller cam. Anyone have a source for these lifters? Or ideas to repair the bores? I thought I saw that someone was still maiking the button guided roller lifters for SBC, but can't find it now.
     
  16. krooser
    Joined: Jul 25, 2004
    Posts: 4,587

    krooser
    Member

    Most all cam grinders will grind an early Hemi cam....new billets are available. I got my last one from Clay Smith but even Isky and Competiton Cams will do a 354 or 392.

    Bob Walker will have your old cam reground...he sez there ain't nothing wrong with a regrind!

    And all cam grinders will parkerize them after grinding the same as a new one. No hardface lifters are required...I'm not even sure if those are even available since they are only used on steel billets...

    And as far as Scotty's comment on the cost of dong a Hemi.....you can spend as much as you like but my 354 came in at about $5000.00 including the blower rebuild and new drive.....500 HP for about the price of a Chevy crate motor....
     
  17. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,111

    scottybaccus
    Member

    Krooser,

    I'll try to remeber to curse you as I write the check for my sbc.... Thanks for busting my bubble!
     
  18. Good Work here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    And good luck with that '53 Hemi of yours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  19. studeboy
    Joined: Feb 12, 2003
    Posts: 540

    studeboy
    Member

  20. Blair
    Joined: Jul 28, 2005
    Posts: 361

    Blair
    Member
    from xx

    Do you mean a lifter like this?

    View attachment 200066

    This one came out of a desoto.
     
  21. Where in Wisconsin are you? I am in SE wisconsin near Milwaukee and can measure your cam for you. I myself would like to know the specs as well. PM me if interested.
     
  22. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 13,071

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks man! I need all the help I can get building that 331!! :eek: It got me motivated to try and build an info database for myself and other HAMBers. I should rephrase that... I just started the topic... we're ALL helping build this info! It's appreciated too!!
     
  23. HemiRambler
    Joined: Aug 26, 2005
    Posts: 4,032

    HemiRambler
    Member

    I've run reground cams!!! Back when - BEFORE you could buy anything but a full blown top fuel cam regrinds were the ONLY option. Isky did a FANTASTIC job for me!!! Never gave me a moments trouble.

    I don't believe that's entirely true. I think the "Hardface lifters" you are referring to are the old CHILLED IRON lifters that were used on ISKY's Hardface cam - which was not a billet cam but rather a conventional cam that had the lobes cut (slotted) for hardened inserts. Isky reccomended only using Chilled Iron lifters with these cams.

    Even cheaper than that if you are a really good swap meet scrounger!!!
     
  24. krooser
    Joined: Jul 25, 2004
    Posts: 4,587

    krooser
    Member

    Even cheaper than that if you are a really good swap meet scrounger!!!
    [/QUOTE]
    Well, I TRIED to do it cheaper but my block needed four sleeves...two cylinders were busted by water and a LARGE explosion (!) and two more were rusted .200 over.

    And I invested in head and main studs 'cuz of the blower...plus the forged pistons weren't real cheap.

    Then, due to time constraints, I wimped out and had the engine assembled for me instead of doing it myself.

    But I saved $$$ by finding a 6-71 core hanging on an old GMC...$20.00!

    I shot for $3500.00...but missed.
     
  25. krooser
    Joined: Jul 25, 2004
    Posts: 4,587

    krooser
    Member

    Scotty...I wasn't trying to be a smartass or anything with that reply.....just to let you know.

    And I wasn't on my usual anti-SBC rant. I was just sending the message that ANY engine can be built on a budget....if you get a few deals, do enuff scrounging and do your homework.

    Look at how many guys have $500.00 SBC's that were put together with castoff parts....
     
  26. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 13,071

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    What about cam swaping? What fits what? I was thinking in 331's, a swap for a 354 cam would give you more options like water pumps, double roller timing chains, etc. So when is swaping a good idea?
     
  27. Relic Stew
    Joined: Apr 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,043

    Relic Stew
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    That looks like it would work. I suppose it would be possible to take any roller lifter of the correct dia and key it to match.
    The ones I was thinking of are the Crower Groove-Lock. They have 2 small "BB's" in the side to guide them. They still make them for some applications. They save the weight and height of the guide bar that most roller lifters need.
    Here is a drawing of them for a different application;
    http://www.opeltuners.com/rollerlifters/lifter_cro66274.jpg
    When I get around to building that block I will try to contact Crower first, to see if I can still get a set of them made for a hemi.
     
  28. Blair
    Joined: Jul 28, 2005
    Posts: 361

    Blair
    Member
    from xx

    It's a little hard to tell from my picture but these have a round wire out of the side of the lifter to prevent rotation. I do also have a set of herbert roller lifters (also out of a desoto) which are a little different. They have a milled "flat" on the top of them which slides on a rail to prevent rotation.

    I hadn't ever seen the "bb" lifter that you showed, good to know. If you wanted to change the lifter bore you could sleeve it, although machine work adds up. Sometimes it is just easier to find a new block.
     
  29. Crower made a tool(s) that fit in the lifter bores for drilling the slots for the pins on the roller lifters.It was a very simple procedure.
    I had a pair(you need both to do the drilling) & I think I gave them away.
    damnit!
    If a guy had a small lathe & mill,it would be easy to make your own copys of these cool little tools.Dont most rollers these days use a link-bar arrangement anyway?
     
  30. Blair
    Joined: Jul 28, 2005
    Posts: 361

    Blair
    Member
    from xx

    also good to know....I thought it would have to be machined with a broach.

    I don't have any "new" roller cams, only old ones. Everyone wants hydraulics these days, I still like the sound of a solid cam.
     

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