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Technical Rockwell tester

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by birdman1, Jun 20, 2021.

  1. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 1,275

    birdman1
    Member

    Dumb question, with all this camshaft failure, why not perform a Rockwell hardness test on the cam and lifters? Do the manufacturer test them?
     
    '28phonebooth likes this.
  2. butch27
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 2,848

    butch27
    Member

    Probably random checks..
     
  3. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 7,298

    19Fordy
    Member

    mgtstumpy and Deuces like this.
  4. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 2,439

    Mike VV
    Member
    from SoCal

    A responsible/reputable heat treater WILL check a sample on "every" batch that they heat treat. It most probably written into his contract by any reputable cam manufacturer.
    The cam and the lifter (different in many cases) manufacturer may or may not do a sample check. They depend on the heat treater doing his job. Though cam manufacturer may perform a "source inspection" at regular intervals.

    But the hardness is only part of the situation. The final coating (some parkerize, some use proprietary coatings) is also part of the cam living past the break-in process.

    Mike
     
    dirty old man and Desoto291Hemi like this.

  5. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 7,298

    19Fordy
    Member

    Mike, Thanks for that info. Very helpful and informative. I can see where buying from
    a reputable company is critical. I miss the days when just about everything was "Made In the USA".
    Hopefully, Americans will realize we need to make parts here again.
     
    19Eddy30 and Deuces like this.
  6. Yeah,,,,most aftermarket use a Parkerized coating.
    I think some OEMs do as well .
    I remember that every Mopar camshaft I bought had no coating .
    Purple shaft or not,,,,they had,straight ground lobes with no coating .
    Funny,,,,I never did lose any lobes then either !

    Tommy
     
    Deuces likes this.
  7. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 1,275

    birdman1
    Member

    Maybe we should be buying genuine Ford cams and lifters
     
    Desoto291Hemi and Deuces like this.
  8. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,665

    lippy
    Member
    from Ks

    Birdman, If I could find a Ford cam that would fit in my chevy, I would. :D J/Kidding.
     
    Deuces likes this.
  9. So many "manufacturers" outsource their stuff to the lowest bidder, rely on the vendor to match specs, then just package and ship. "TO HELL WITH THE CUSTOMER, we're saving money (more $$$ for the CEO)!! And besides, it says right in here, in our specs that material is to be this, heat treat is to be this... why should we check it? They say they provide what the purchase order says, they're good to do business with (we can stretch out paying them for months), so LET THE BUYER BEWARE!!! Besides, we've never heard of that problem, and if we have, it was the customer's fault."
    Thank goodness for the latest business models (NOT)!!
     
  10. Phone booth,
    I think you are pretty darn close .
    After all,,,,if you burn up a new cam and lifters,,,,,how can you prove it was the components and not you .
    You can’t,,,,,you just have to lose the money and start over .
    I’m pretty sure they know this too,,,otherwise they would be more concerned about the problem .

    Unless,,,,maybe it is us ?
    No,,,,,no way,,,,,at least I hope not,,,,LoL .

    Tommy
     
    Deuces and '28phonebooth like this.

  11. Hey Tommy, I'm not saying it couldn't be me that would screw up..... BUT.... there's a lot of guys on here with YEARS of experience that have commented on cams and lifters going south which sure leads me to believe the problem is more deep rooted than we are led to believe. Same goes for 'recommended' cam break-in procedures: how many times do you think they followed current procedures 'back in the day'? Not many! I wonder what Ed Isky would say about it.
    I would like to see a side-by-side hardness comparison of an off the shelf cam from any supplier next to a welded and reground cam as mentioned above, as well as condition after 'break in' to see how they fare. My guess is, the welders/regrinders probably produce a better product, because they live each day on a face-to-face basis with customers, and actually care about what they ship out the door.
    JMHO.
     
  12. I agree !

    Tommy
     
    Deuces likes this.
  13. gsjohnny
    Joined: Nov 27, 2007
    Posts: 167

    gsjohnny
    Member

    buicks are known for cam, lifter issues. what is done now is they edm a hole in the lifter face to provide oil for both cam and lifter. i go one step further and have the cam polish. with quality oil, no real need to break in my cam. just go racing.
     
  14. I had done my 1st cam changes while in high school. We had a great instructor and he walked us through them. He would roll his eyes at some of the cam choices... but they were all runners. Bad lobes on new installs was unheard of back around 1972.
     
    Deuces likes this.
  15. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,602

    Ebbsspeed
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Your "straight ground" comment reminded me of the following article. Could this be the reason there are so many failures nowadays? If the cam and lifters aren't compatible there is guaranteed chaos.

    https://www.enginebuildermag.com/2009/04/flat-or-tapered-cams-and-flat-or-crowned-lifters/
     
  16. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 8,643

    anthony myrick
    Member

  17. Fordors
    Joined: Sep 22, 2016
    Posts: 3,848

    Fordors
    Member

  18. AndersF
    Joined: Feb 16, 2013
    Posts: 791

    AndersF
    Member

    I have machining cams and crancshafts for 20 years now for a Swedish carmanufakturer.
    The problem is that the Rockwelltester leave marks on the tested surface.
    And to see how deep the hardening is you need to cut the axle to see how deep it is.
    And the hardeningprocedure is alot more complicated then it first look.
    You cant have a bad day working with hardening couse it take a while before failure.
    And after failure there aint anything to mesure left.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2021
    loudbang and TrailerTrashToo like this.

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