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when did they start retarding camshafts?

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herosandwich
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when did they start retarding camshafts?

Post #1 by herosandwich » Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:44 pm

I'm sitting on the six that's going in my econoline, it's a 1970 300 with around 80k on the clock, out of a f100, wondering when ford began retarding their cams? if it's foggy is there any surefire way to check my specific camshaft?

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Dr Jay
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Re: when did they start retarding camshafts?

Post #2 by Dr Jay » Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:53 pm

Hero,
I thought all those stock Ford cams are the same grind, all retarded. A recent post by Baron seemed to agree.
Baron Von Ottomatic wrote:The stock cam is ground 6° retarded and the Comp cam is ground 4° advanced - a total of 10° advance over the stock cam.
Blessings,
Dr Jay

1978 F100 Shortie, Lowered front and rear, 300 .030 over, 300 carb head, Clifford, Holley 390
268 Comp Cam, Cloyes, Fuel Inj. exhaust manifolds, MSD 6A, TOD, 9"

fmartin_gila
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Re: when did they start retarding camshafts?

Post #3 by fmartin_gila » Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:14 am

I may be corrected, but I think the stock grind did remain the same during the years they were trying different methods for emission control. The cam gear of the timing set had the key placed in different positions to advance or retard the timing for different years. I think they started playing with this about 1975 or thereabouts so the 1970 engine should have been before they started their experimenting.

Fred
62 uni

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Dr Jay
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Re: when did they start retarding camshafts?

Post #4 by Dr Jay » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:12 am

Gila,
Thanks for clearing that up.
Blessings,
Dr Jay

1978 F100 Shortie, Lowered front and rear, 300 .030 over, 300 carb head, Clifford, Holley 390
268 Comp Cam, Cloyes, Fuel Inj. exhaust manifolds, MSD 6A, TOD, 9"

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woodbutcher
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Re: when did they start retarding camshafts?

Post #5 by woodbutcher » Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:48 pm

:hmmm: Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh,actually,it`s the CRANK gear that has the different key ways for advancing or retarding the cam.
Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
Leo
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Otto von Bismarck

Seattle Smitty

Re: when did they start retarding camshafts?

Post #6 by Seattle Smitty » Sat Mar 01, 2014 2:04 pm

Really? On my '76 pickup with a 460, the cam sprocket was retarded 8 degrees. I filed a new keyway in it it to get "straight-up" timing. But I can see the offset key being used on the crank gear or sprocket, since it would require only half the offset. I got a cam reground, (by a local outfit that usually does good work) that was six degrees out, and luckily it had a sprocket with a drive-pin, so I was able to hand-make an offset bushing (which came out right on the money, heh heh heh!).

I am personally retarded at least 90 degrees, and that's on good days . . . .

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Re: when did they start retarding camshafts?

Post #7 by StrangeRanger » Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:51 pm

Emissions control began in most states in 69-70 and got real ugly by 72-73. The 300 got a little bit of slack because its long stroke is going to be inherently cleaner but I'd still expect a retarded camshaft from 71 or 72 onwards.
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Baron Von Ottomatic
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Re: when did they start retarding camshafts?

Post #8 by Baron Von Ottomatic » Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:43 pm

herosandwich wrote:I'm sitting on the six that's going in my econoline, it's a 1970 300 with around 80k on the clock, out of a f100, wondering when ford began retarding their cams? if it's foggy is there any surefire way to check my specific camshaft?


Slapping a degree wheel on a cam is pretty surefire.

Seattle Smitty

Re: when did they start retarding camshafts?

Post #9 by Seattle Smitty » Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:01 pm

But do you know for sure where actual TDC is? When I have the head off an engine, I use a dial indicator to get #1 piston at exact TDC, then check to see if the TDC mark on the outer ring of the harmonic damper actually does line up with the mark on the cover. Usually they're sort of close, but I had one on a 318 that was 4 degrees out, IIRC. I replaced that damper, but even for ones that are only a little bit out, I want to get that information written in big print into the inside cover of my shop manuals and owners manual. Unless you have actually checked the accuracy of the timing marks, you can't be sure of either cam timing or ignition timing.

You don't have to take the head off, sandwich; try making yourself a piston bump-stop from the metal shell of an old sparkplug and a piece of rod or dowel affixed inside the sparkplug shell via brazing or epoxy. Put your degree wheel on the damper, thread the homemade tool into the sparkplug hole. Rotate the crank to bring the piston up until it bumps against the tool, then read the degree wheel. Do the same thing rotating the other direction. Halfway between the reading is TDC. Bear in mind that there is some lash you have to be sure you take up completely (in either rotation) whenever you do this stuff (including when you do it with a degree wheel).

Somebody here surely knows of a better explanation of how to make the tool and do this procedure, maybe with photos. Since I've nearly always had nothing but old cars with engines I built myself, I always had the head off and used a dial indicator.

Sandwich, If you've never smashed on the ceramic of a sparkplug with a hammer in order to have the empty threaded steel shell for making a special tool for whatever purpose, you'll be amazed how tough that ceramic is. Then you can consider the fact that detonation can break the ceramic, and if it can do that, it can sure bang a hole in your piston or whatever else. I did this sobering demonstration for myself when I was nineteen and racing outboards, and wanted to make a timing tool from an old sparkplug.

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Re: when did they start retarding camshafts?

Post #10 by THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:22 pm

Seattle Smitty wrote:.

You don't have to take the head off, sandwich; try making yourself a piston bump-stop from the metal shell of an old sparkplug and a piece of rod or dowel affixed inside the sparkplug shell via brazing or epoxy.



Somebody here surely knows of a better explanation of how to make the tool and do this procedure, maybe with photos. Since I've nearly always had nothing but old cars with engines I built myself, I always had the head off and used a dial indicator.




Instead of brazing the threaded rod I tap the inside of the plug shell. Now the rod can be extended or retracted, making it easier to find the right amount of stick-out to mark the damper.

I usually start out with the rod making contact with the piston at around +/- 45 degrees then back out the rod in stages until it makes contact around +/- 10 degrees - honing in on the true TDC mark, so to speak.

Rotate the engine gently so as not to bend the rod or damage a piston. It helps to remove all plugs.
FORD 300 INLINE SIX - THE BEST KEPT SECRET IN DRAG RACING

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Re: when did they start retarding camshafts?

Post #11 by Pinhead » Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:26 pm

Getting this topic back to the top...

Say they started retarding the cams in the mid '70s, when did they stop? I am putting in an '81 300 in a pickup and it would be really easy to advance the cam a tooth before I put everything on the front of the engine if it would make any difference...

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Re: when did they start retarding camshafts?

Post #12 by THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER » Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:55 pm

Pinhead wrote:Getting this topic back to the top...

Say they started retarding the cams in the mid '70s, when did they stop? I am putting in an '81 300 in a pickup and it would be really easy to advance the cam a tooth before I put everything on the front of the engine if it would make any difference...



NOOOoooo - one tooth is waaaay to much - something like 17 degrees.
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Re: when did they start retarding camshafts?

Post #13 by Pinhead » Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:13 pm

If I recall correctly, one could replace a 460 cam gear with a 427 cam gear for improved performance.

Is there an equivalent swap for the 300-six?

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Re: when did they start retarding camshafts?

Post #14 by pmuller9 » Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:18 pm

Pinhead wrote:If I recall correctly, one could replace a 460 cam gear with a 427 cam gear for improved performance.

Is there an equivalent swap for the 300-six?


The Cloyes 8-1014 timing gear set will let you move your timing 4 degrees each way.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/clo-8 ... /make/ford

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Re: when did they start retarding camshafts?

Post #15 by Pinhead » Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:09 am

pmuller9 wrote:
Pinhead wrote:If I recall correctly, one could replace a 460 cam gear with a 427 cam gear for improved performance.

Is there an equivalent swap for the 300-six?


The Cloyes 8-1014 timing gear set will let you move your timing 4 degrees each way.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/clo-8 ... /make/ford


I was hoping for something about half that price.

How about a gearset from a '70 240-six - would that fit/work in a later 300-six?

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Re: when did they start retarding camshafts?

Post #16 by Seattle Smitty » Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:41 pm

Pinhead!!! Where you been?

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Re: when did they start retarding camshafts?

Post #17 by Pinhead » Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:36 pm

Seattle Smitty wrote:Pinhead!!! Where you been?


Moved back out to central KS and got a REAL job. :beer:

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your POV) I've stuck with '98 and newer F150s so I haven't had the pleasure of working with any straight-6's.

But after replacing two engines (300-six and a 240-six, both of which were underpowered) in my dad's '83 4wd F250, I'm getting the itch to do some "improvements." :wink:

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Re: when did they start retarding camshafts?

Post #18 by bubba22349 » Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:58 pm

Pinhead wrote:
pmuller9 wrote:
Pinhead wrote:If I recall correctly, one could replace a 460 cam gear with a 427 cam gear for improved performance.

Is there an equivalent swap for the 300-six?


The Cloyes 8-1014 timing gear set will let you move your timing 4 degrees each way.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/clo-8 ... /make/ford


I was hoping for something about half that price.

How about a gearset from a '70 240-six - would that fit/work in a later 300-six?

-
The timing sets should interchange for all years, you might look into a real early 240 / 300 set like 1965 :nod: good luck
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: when did they start retarding camshafts?

Post #19 by pmuller9 » Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:54 am

Pinhead wrote:
pmuller9 wrote:
Pinhead wrote:If I recall correctly, one could replace a 460 cam gear with a 427 cam gear for improved performance.

Is there an equivalent swap for the 300-six?


The Cloyes 8-1014 timing gear set will let you move your timing 4 degrees each way.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/clo-8 ... /make/ford


I was hoping for something about half that price.

How about a gearset from a '70 240-six - would that fit/work in a later 300-six?


Take the stock crank gear to a machine shop and have them put 2 more keyways so you have 3 keyways exactly 120 degrees apart.
There are 29 teeth on the crank gear making each tooth 12.41 degrees apart.

Setting the timing gear on the crank using the first keyway clockwise from the original moves the gear 120 degrees.
Using the 10th tooth clockwise from the original is 124.1 degrees or 4 degrees advanced.
Just to be clear, the 10th tooth in this example lines up with the original timing dot on the cam gear.

Setting the timing gear on the crank using the second keyway clockwise from the original moves the gear 240 degrees.
If you use the 20th tooth clockwise from the original, it is 248.2 degrees or 8.2 degrees advanced.

You have 4 and 8 degrees advanced .

If you use the 9th and 19th tooth you go 8 and 4 degrees retarded.

If you can get the machine work done for less than the price of buying the Cloyes gear set, then you have it.

I would check the stock cam timing first to see where it is at.
Then figure how far you want to advance the cam.
This way you only have to add one keyway.

60 degrees keyway and tooth #5 clockwise from the original is 2 degrees advanced.
120 degrees keyway and tooth #10 clockwise is 4 degrees advanced.
180 degrees keyway and tooth #15 clockwise is 6 degrees advanced.
and so on

Seattle Smitty

Re: when did they start retarding camshafts?

Post #20 by Seattle Smitty » Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:22 pm

If you're a real do-it-yourselfer (and a real cheapskate) like me, you can hand file a keyway, I do this in the cam sprocket, not the drive sprocket; that way there's a shorter keyway to make, and better yet if your result is a little off, it makes half as much difference. Rough it in with a 1/8" carbide rotary file in a Dremel motor, then finish with a small (and sharp) square file. The bottom corners of the new keyway might have a little too much radius for the square corners of the key to fit down tight, but you can grind a little off those edges of the key.

The couple of times I did this, the result came out very close to what I aimed for; dumb luck, probably. If your results come out a little off, it still might not matter, or you can make up the difference with an offset key, maybe. i think it's more satisfying to do what i can on my own. Besides, machining doesn't always come out spot-on. I had a cam re-ground to slightly different specs by a good local cam-grinder, and while the lobes were all clocked correctly to each other, the drive pin was 6 degrees off. I suppose I could have taken it back, but chose to fix the problem myself and not make my cam guy have to eat what was an honest mistake.

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Re: when did they start retarding camshafts?

Post #21 by herosandwich » Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:00 pm

hmm, the timing sets are interchangeable? well the engine that's coming out is a 240 six from 67, and that should almost positively not be retarded. when I pull the second engine i'll compare the two.

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Re: when did they start retarding camshafts?

Post #22 by pmuller9 » Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:36 pm

herosandwich wrote:hmm, the timing sets are interchangeable? well the engine that's coming out is a 240 six from 67, and that should almost positively not be retarded. when I pull the second engine i'll compare the two.

That would be great information.
Thanks for taking the time to check it out

If there is a difference in cam timing it would be good to know if the timing gear sets are different or the cams are ground with a different offset.

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Re: when did they start retarding camshafts?

Post #23 by herosandwich » Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:36 am

don't thank me yet... that's still a LOOOONG way off, for anyone who's ever browsed the oldeconolines yahoo group, that van's got it's own set of hurdles.

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Re: when did they start retarding camshafts?

Post #24 by BIG 6 farmer » Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:34 pm

Seattle Smitty wrote:If you're a real do-it-yourselfer (and a real cheapskate) like me, you can hand file a keyway, I do this in the cam sprocket, not the drive sprocket; that way there's a shorter keyway to make, and better yet if your result is a little off, it makes half as much difference. Rough it in with a 1/8" carbide rotary file in a Dremel motor, then finish with a small (and sharp) square file. The bottom corners of the new keyway might have a little too much radius for the square corners of the key to fit down tight, but you can grind a little off those edges of the key.

The couple of times I did this, the result came out very close to what I aimed for; dumb luck, probably. If your results come out a little off, it still might not matter, or you can make up the difference with an offset key, maybe. i think it's more satisfying to do what i can on my own. Besides, machining doesn't always come out spot-on. I had a cam re-ground to slightly different specs by a good local cam-grinder, and while the lobes were all clocked correctly to each other, the drive pin was 6 degrees off. I suppose I could have taken it back, but chose to fix the problem myself and not make my cam guy have to eat what was an honest mistake.
:nod: Hey Smitty, knew I liked you... Having worked on a lot of imports, many come with extra keyways/dowel holes on Camshaft sprockets/gears. Most likely for Emissions here and other countries :hmmm: Have noticed, on any Engine when advancing cam timing. Its always about 1/3 to 1/2 a tooth on the Cam gear :nod: I too have hand filed new key ways. Over sized keysways., to add shims on my 76 Gold wing. ( to advance camshafts, to lower power band ) Even made an off set key, for my Buddies 90s Dodge Truck 318 ( really woke it up ) In all these, I never checked them with a Degree wheel. ( lazy, stupid?) But always make sure I don't go past a half a tooth advanced ( Cam gear)...
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