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Folks Of Interest REED Cams Decatur Avondale Georgia

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by dynaflash, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. Kinky6
    Joined: May 11, 2003
    Posts: 1,765

    Kinky6
    Member

    Hey, I'm sorry to hear about Jimmy Wilson. I met him in Syracuse at the street rod nats in'94 or '95, he was out in the swap meet. I used to see him at swap meets and Inliners events for several years after. Last time I saw him was down in Moultrie about 6 or 7 years ago.

    Jimmy always seemed to be in a good mood, with an invite to sit and shoot the bull in his swap booth. Sad to hear he's gone.

    Later, Kinky6 :(
     
  2. Got one in the 440 in the 46 Plymouth, the thing is a beast!
     
  3. dmc3113
    Joined: Jul 28, 2007
    Posts: 235

    dmc3113
    Member

    Did you work for Reed when he was racing the dragster? I have been told John also built a few dragster chassis. Is that correct? He had a Dragmaster that was identicle to Pete Robinson's car.
     
  4. dynaflash
    Joined: Apr 1, 2008
    Posts: 506

    dynaflash
    Member
    from South

    When I was there he did not race at all. He did tell some stories about the FED but it was long gone. He was into the WWII bi-planes at that time. The same ones that eventually ended his life.


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  5. dynaflash
    Joined: Apr 1, 2008
    Posts: 506

    dynaflash
    Member
    from South

    I forgot to answer your question. I am not sure if he ever built any dragster chassis. Would not surprise me but it did not happen when I was there.

    He said that it was bad business to compete with his customers and at that time he was working hard to build the business


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  6. foolthrottle
    Joined: Oct 14, 2005
    Posts: 1,108

    foolthrottle
    Member

    They ground one for my 331 hemi years ago. I remember them telling me they had 392 hemi roller cam blanks.
     
  7. flatmotor40
    Joined: Apr 14, 2010
    Posts: 556

    flatmotor40
    Member
    from georgia

    I sold a guy a FED that worked at Reed on New St that had a Pete Robinson frt end and all on it back in the 80's.The FED was yellow/brown panel type paint job on body
     
  8. ingram
    Joined: Sep 23, 2013
    Posts: 18

    ingram
    Member
    from Georgia

    Before Reed Cams, there was Reed Engineering. This was the chassis business where John built the dragster frames.
     
  9. dynaflash
    Joined: Apr 1, 2008
    Posts: 506

    dynaflash
    Member
    from South

    I must have come in at the tail end of the dragster era. I worked at the small building on New street and the name was REED engineering at that time. But we quickly moved to the much larger building on New street
    The old building was actually 2 buildings side by side. Machine shop on left and cam grinding on right. I do remember there being a dragster seat in the break room that we all took turns sitting in. Would love to have that now!
    Thanks Mark


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  10. dynaflash
    Joined: Apr 1, 2008
    Posts: 506

    dynaflash
    Member
    from South

    Yes it seemed that everyone that worked for REED had some kind of car interest and it was almost mandatory that you change the cam in your personal car. John would give good deals to employees and more than once I saw employees take advantage of him


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  11. chazintx2008
    Joined: Jan 11, 2009
    Posts: 28

    chazintx2008
    Member

    I was looking for performance parts for my car and found out about these cams and what they could do. Im ordering one soon
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013
  12. captmullette
    Joined: Oct 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,929

    captmullette
    Member

    update didn't get the 11.50 but did make an 11.90 at 108, need to change the gear got a 3.73 in it now, don't know whether to go to a 4.11 or 4.56.......any ideas, I also run some 1/8 mile ......
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013
  13. Jazbeau42
    Joined: Jun 9, 2014
    Posts: 1

    Jazbeau42

    Reed was racing his dragster 'Chaos' before and after he started Reed Engineering on New Street. His dragster and Pete Robinsons dragster were similar but not identical. John was genius with carburetors.
     
  14. janreed
    Joined: Mar 9, 2015
    Posts: 1

    janreed

    Does anyone remember when John put jacks on his AA Gas dragster? He went up to the starting line,
    jacked up his dragster, and dropped it on "go"! Would love to share stories - John's three kids and brother are now on this link also. Mike Ingram, are you out there? Anyone know where Billy Webb and family are? I think John built his last dragster for Billy.

    P.S. His wife during the years of Reed Cams was Jan, not Linda, and proud of it!
     
  15. ingram
    Joined: Sep 23, 2013
    Posts: 18

    ingram
    Member
    from Georgia

    Hi Jan,
    I remember John talking about raising the rear tires up on the dragster at the starting line, but I don't know when that was.
     
  16. captmullette
    Joined: Oct 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,929

    captmullette
    Member

    hi jan, I have one of johns cams that I ran in a dirt car for 3 years and now its in my drag car......ive lost the cam card and id really like to know what it is. the numbers on it are G 3049........X L H 294 304 6 A 2 if you have any info or know someone that does, hope you are doing well , I have a friend that worked for john for a while, john lee, also I worked at the end of new street for southern bell, thanks and take care bobby turner
     
  17. ingram
    Joined: Sep 23, 2013
    Posts: 18

    ingram
    Member
    from Georgia

    It is a hydraulic flat tappet camshaft.

    G3049 is the serial number

    intake profile
    294 at .006
    240 at .050
    .335 lobe lift
    102 ATDC maximum lift

    exhaust profile
    304 at .006
    250 at .050
    .335 lobe lift
    110 BTDC maximum lift

    106 lobe separation
     
  18. captmullette
    Joined: Oct 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,929

    captmullette
    Member

    yessir. it is.... thanks
     
  19. cheviac
    Joined: Apr 23, 2008
    Posts: 28

    cheviac
    Member
    from new jersey

    I have a Reed solid flat tappet in my 57 chevy. It has been in there for 18 years. It has .540 intake and 560 on the exhaust. Damn good cam.
     
  20. doechsle
    Joined: Feb 10, 2019
    Posts: 1

    doechsle

    Wow just found this on a google search. Thanks for all the kind words fellas. Reed Cams has a lot of history for sure. I cant tell you about the earlier ones because I wasn't there but I can tell you a little about the last few years. I came on board with Reed after I began talking with them about some Harley cams I wanted to try in effort to prove one on my theories I had. At that Time i was working at a Automotive machine shop owned by Butch Shirley. He opened a Harley shop and named it American twin and made a lot of his own tooling to use our automotive machinery on Harley's. When dynoing one I always wondered about the fog of fuel vapors that stood outside the inlet of the carb. at Wide Open throttle that was on almost all harley's. I was curious and also felt if i could get that vapor cloud inside the engine at WOT then it had to make more power. The Harley's have basically no plenum volume in the intake to speak of and i felt the are was coming back out when the intake valve closed and had no where to go. But Also i learned that all the popular Harley cams had very tight lobe seperations in the 104 to 102 range. I felt if i could eliminate some overlap I could help the fuel cloud issue some also. So I contacted Steve Demos and asked for some profiles they had in hyd rollers and then I met Mike Ingram. Many don't know that Mike Ingram is a unsung hero of Reed cams and has designed some of the best lobes profiles Reed ever sold. He was also a Harley guy so he took interest in what I wanted to try. I had the grind up a 232 236 @ .050 cam and spread it to 108 lobe sep. It was a big success on the dyno and on the road. After that Butch started ordering a bunch of these cams and I got the privilage of saying "I told you so" LOL . I was impressed with the guys over at Reed and starting a Friendship with them in the process. At some point in time not long after that I found out that Steve Demos left and Carolyn contacted me about talking to them about filling his seat. They were interested in me because I had been a Engine builder for quite some time specializing in race engines and they wanted someone who could bring that knowledge to the tech line at Reed. They wanted someone who was capable of helping in more matters than just a Camshaft. I took the position and we were off. I came in and stressed that Reed could use a more user friendly catalog that people could use to decide for themselves what cam was best for their needs. I didn't know that they were gonna put it in my lap and say write one. It took some time and a lot of questions to Ingram about specific lobes i was looking for that wasn't listed in the last profiler catalog and after several months the last cam catalog went to print with many great cam combinations listed by application.
    After a while Bob Reed came to me and asked if I would be interested in buying the company, and I felt I wasn't ready for that. When I mentioned it to Butch Shirley he jumped at the opportunity as long as I would stay and run it for him. Reed was a great company but like a lot of companies it needed streamlined. The cam industry was changing and marketing was key. In all honesty the cam lobe can only lift so much per degree and it has been known for along time what that limit was. But the new "big box" companies were marketing CNC technology which was a much needed thing. But Ingram has designed some of the most reliable lobe design's avail to the industry and they were done on a computer and master were being made with CNC machinery but we were still grinding manually. The Cam business is a business that you have to be big to succeed. Reed was getting by but not growing and our inability to spend a lot of money in advertising made us seem outdated. We had modern new technology lobes in the areas where we needed something but with all the tried and true SR , R-ULX, P-R series there wasn't much need for more. The big box companies were filling catalogs with all these new lobes designed for cars with red fenders and blue doors LOL i mean it seemed overkill , but they were pushing marketing. That was a luxury for them.
    With some marketing help from Chris Straub I came up with some new cam combinations for Reed using existing available lobes. The Stroker H.P. series was born. These cams were real torque monsters and were made with the existing GTL series tight lash solid lifter profiles. I just changed the advertised .020 duration as listed on the GTL and used its actual .006 duration the typical hydraulic spec. We have used tight lash solid profiles with hydraulic lifters for a long time but never actually came up with a list of combinations for consumers to see. Chris Straub wrote the descriptions of the stroker hps from a list of lobe combinations I put together. We had a lot of fun with that. They were great running hydraulic cams . If I only had a deeper budget to do the much needed advertising for Reed cams Stroker H.P.s
    Since I couldn't afford fancy ads, I felt the best shot for us was to think outside the box and provide a solution to what Professional engine builders had to deal with... flat tappet lobe failures. I wanted to offer a solution engine builders that was never offered in the Cam industry. Camshafts already broke in with a controlled environment and tested for proper lifter spin. I had several 350 sbc blocks CNC machined for lifter bores 842 and 875. I built a drive system for a way to spin the cam in this block with pressure fed oiling to break in the cam and lifters before they were sent to the end user. It was called "machine matched". I made all the tooling in house to do this with rev kit springs and roller cam buttons for each lifter pushed down with a plate, it was a success. I was able to immediately spot lifters that were not spinning. these lifters were improperly machined. I have found many instances where the lifter crown was not centered and also did not measure a correct radius. I stopped the drive, replaced the default lifter and the replacement began to spin. Proving the lifters were way more at fault for flat tappet cam lobe failures than the cam itself. Once the lifters and cam were broke in, the lifters were packaged numbered by cyl number and either I or X for intake or exhaust. Trust me there were many nay sayers to this machine match program but it really worked! I can only recall 1 failure ever out of all that were sent and that saved everybody from engine builders, consumers and Reed Cams themselves from having to deal with a flat tappet lobe failure again. It was well worth the cost of the machine match service. To this day I haven't seen anyone else who is offering this service and I don't know why.
    The end of Reed cams came when the partnership between Butch and a investor went south. I spoke with Butch and told him I felt it was time that I moved on because as a 3rd partner with only 10% interest I didn't think I could save Reed on my own. To this day Butch and myself are still good friends and I am not aware of him selling the masters to all those great cams. It was a real moment for me to have read this and it really made the memories come back. Thanks for the memories guys
    Dennis
     
  21. Man that's cool stuff! I used to run into Steve Demos at Commerce every once in a while.
     
  22. AllLikkeredUp
    Joined: Oct 12, 2017
    Posts: 7

    AllLikkeredUp

    Trying to find the specs on a Reed cam - SA-29-9 6715. Anyone able to look that up or know where this info resides?

    thx
     
  23. Dave G in Gansevoort
    Joined: Mar 28, 2019
    Posts: 410

    Dave G in Gansevoort
    Member
    from Upstate NY

    Just saw this thread. I had Reed cams back in the 70s. The one that made GREAT power andtons of torque off the corners was a roller they gound, 288-98R. They didn't recommend a rev kit, so it was just the springs they also supplied. Ran a 350 SBC with 492 angle plug heads, Hilborns on alky, heads ported by Mondello, Vertex mag with no advance. Against the carbureted big blocks of the era, you couldn't hear it on the track with all the cars running, but did it run!
     
  24. I had met both John & Jimmy through my late great friend Robert Yates. He spoke very highly of John & for some time used carburetors modified for racing by John. I to have used several Reed cams over the years.
     
  25. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,459

    lippy
    Member
    from Ks

    :) Thanks everyone for all the great input. What a great thread. Lippy
     

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