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  • "Reground" Camshafts...

    I've looked the situation over, insofar as Studebaker Camshafts go. It's a critical engine part, that doesn't show, like nice exterior chrome or paint work does, but proper engine function(notice I didn't say "performance") and longevity, depends on having a camshaft that is within specs and stays that way. When the various camshaft grinders out there--small machine shops-- rework an old camshaft, they generally check the lobes to see if there is enough material to reprofile a camshaft--whether it be stock or for increased power output. If not, they add material by welding, which is a variable--both in labor cost and quality. What they then do is reprofile the lobes, and whether or not the required result to generate higher lift and duration, the procedure is to grind material off the "base circle", which is the no-lift(backside) of the lobe. Studebaker Cams have VERY small lobes to begin with, so they don't have much material to grind off. The upside is that Studebakers have an adjustable valve train, so that helps. Still, if you have a cam reprofiled, and those solid lifters resurfaced, you've taken a considerable amount of material out of the valve train that must be compensated for by rocker arm adjustment or even longer pushrods to give close enough valve lash. A valve grind makes valve train geometry more of a problem, though it takes up valve lash. So, you've got less-than ideal valve train geometry, which causes more wear in an engine you've spent $$$ to rebuild. But, back to my central concern: how good are those various shops that regrind cams? The ones I've seen have a guy clamp an old cam in a WWII era lathe that is set up to offset-grind parts, using a follower that acts as a sort of template. The operator must stop, and make an adjustment to move onto the next lobe. This, is a pretty time-consuming procedure for a $100 cam! Everything about "regrinding" cams is iffy! We just hope the guy isn't either hung-over or going through a divorce or catching hell from his boss for being too slow--the human factor. We're not talking about a pallet full of new cam blanks, that are then ground on an NC machine, set up to machine a 1000 pieces in procession, with a quickie spec check , where those that "fail" can be scrapped. See? Oh, lord!--if there's one thing the Studebaker Hobby needs for perpetuating the Studey V8 for posterity--it's a camshaft, made on new cores, and machined on contemporary machinery! Amen. Right? What else can I say? I will be measuring each and every lobe, as best I can(harbor freight dial indicator), to see if my "reground" cam--by a reputable shop---is within specs, & will hopefully work, before I throw the dice and install it. Then, I'll hope the wear area of the lobe has the correct hardness and finish so it will wear in, and last. Any thoughts, you can add on this? Like, good luck charms or prayers that bring about a miracle?
    Last edited by Reggie; 08-09-2014, 11:02 PM.

  • #2
    Here's your chance.
    Step up and make the investment in development, testing, marketing, and distribution.
    I agree that a re grind is a compromise, but I won't dismiss and condemn the products that are out there right now, without firsthand knowledge .
    just an opinion, mind you....
    Last edited by DEEPNHOCK; 08-10-2014, 06:13 AM.
    HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

    Jeff


    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



    Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

    Comment


    • #3
      I wonder how hard it would be for someone to build a billet cam shaft on a cnc machine for a roller cam?

      Comment


      • #4
        If you go to a machine shop with dirt floors, and stone age equipment, don't complain if you get less than satisfactory results.
        Bez Auto Alchemy
        573-318-8948
        http://bezautoalchemy.com


        "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by swvalcon View Post
          I wonder how hard it would be for someone to build a billet cam shaft on a cnc machine for a roller cam?
          You can buy them now... But not a street grind.
          And then there's the rest of the valvetrain to consider.
          'Solid' roller lifters and roller cams do not get along on the street.
          (You need roller to cam lobe contact at all times).
          If you stuff in a Chrysler Hemi hydraulic roller lifter ($$$$),
          add the custom shortened pushrods you need ($$$),
          and then regrind a street profile on a new roller cam ($$$)..
          Yep.. Could be done.....
          Anything can be done with enough money....
          (And a CNC lathe is not the same thing as a cam grinding machine..... But anything is possible).
          Last edited by DEEPNHOCK; 08-10-2014, 07:13 AM.
          HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

          Jeff


          Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



          Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

          Comment


          • #6
            Grinding the journals and the lobes on a billet cam shouldn't be too difficult - it's that distributor drive gear at the back of the camshaft that really complicates things.
            Gary Ash
            Dartmouth, Mass.

            '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
            ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
            '48 M5
            '65 Wagonaire Commander
            '63 Wagonaire Standard
            web site at http://www.studegarage.com

            Comment


            • #7
              It's very simple to get new Studebaker camshafts made to any spec you'd like. I did it. I know a dozen other folks that have gotten it done. The first one I personally know did it 20 years ago. Most even got roller lifter setups, as the price is the same. Price? Well, perhaps one of the guys who pulled all the resources together will tell you how much he'd take to do it again. It won't be the same price he did it for the first time. Let's just say that $100 regrind is going to look like a no-brainer, unless you need something outside the realm of specs achievable on a Stude core.
              Jim
              Often in error, never in doubt
              http://rabidsnailracing.blogspot.com/

              ____1966 Avanti II RQA 0088_______________1963 Avanti R2 63R3152____________http://rabidsnailracing.blogspot.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                My only worries about old cam grinders are that knowledgeable operators are getting gold, and the vintage equipment may be wearing out.

                I am a lot more worried about modern cam grinders' grinding of cams for flat tappets, and correctness becoming a lost art. No matter how capable the modern equipment may be, operators must understand the need for the cam heel to be tapered a few minutes (60 minutes in a degree) in order to mate with the slightly convex lifter bottom, and cause it to spin.

                Similarly, I am worried that modern lifter manufacturers are not insuring the ends are accurately convex-ed, to mate with the cam heels.

                Recent experiences with a Packard 352 have caused me both of the above concerns about modern grinds and lifters. Yes, I am aware of the "offshore lifter" problems a couple of decades ago, but that is not what I am talking about here.
                Last edited by JoeHall; 08-10-2014, 10:01 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Reggie View Post
                  I've looked the situation over, insofar as Studebaker Camshafts go. It's a critical engine part, that doesn't show, like nice exterior chrome or paint work does, but proper engine function(notice I didn't say "performance") and longevity, depends on having a camshaft that is within specs and stays that way. When the various camshaft grinders out there--small machine shops-- rework an old camshaft, they generally check the lobes to see if there is enough material to reprofile a camshaft--whether it be stock or for increased power output. If not, they add material by welding, which is a variable--both in labor cost and quality. What they then do is reprofile the lobes, and whether or not the required result to generate higher lift and duration, the procedure is to grind material off the "base circle", which is the no-lift(backside) of the lobe. Studebaker Cams have VERY small lobes to begin with, so they don't have much material to grind off. The upside is that Studebakers have an adjustable valve train, so that helps. Still, if you have a cam reprofiled, and those solid lifters resurfaced, you've taken a considerable amount of material out of the valve train that must be compensated for by rocker arm adjustment or even longer pushrods to give close enough valve lash. A valve grind makes valve train geometry more of a problem, though it takes up valve lash. So, you've got less-than ideal valve train geometry, which causes more wear in an engine you've spent $$$ to rebuild. But, back to my central concern: how good are those various shops that regrind cams? The ones I've seen have a guy clamp an old cam in a WWII era lathe that is set up to offset-grind parts, using a follower that acts as a sort of template. The operator must stop, and make an adjustment to move onto the next lobe. This, is a pretty time-consuming procedure for a $100 cam! Everything about "regrinding" cams is iffy! We just hope the guy isn't either hung-over or going through a divorce or catching hell from his boss for being too slow--the human factor. We're not talking about a pallet full of new cam blanks, that are then ground on an NC machine, set up to machine a 1000 pieces in procession, with a quickie spec check , where those that "fail" can be scrapped. See? Oh, lord!--if there's one thing the Studebaker Hobby needs for perpetuating the Studey V8 for posterity--it's a camshaft, made on new cores, and machined on contemporary machinery! Amen. Right? What else can I say? I will be measuring each and every lobe, as best I can(harbor freight dial indicator), to see if my "reground" cam--by a reputable shop---is within specs, & will hopefully work, before I throw the dice and install it. Then, I'll hope the wear area of the lobe has the correct hardness and finish so it will wear in, and last. Any thoughts, you can add on this? Like, good luck charms or prayers that bring about a miracle?
                  Yes, we've all been frustrated that new Studebaker cam cores are NLA. Some of us have come to deal with the realities.

                  No, there aren't any new cast Studebaker cam cores, nor are there likely ever to be any. Get over it.

                  Yes, reground cams are only as good as the core chosen and the skill and care of the machine operator.

                  Yes, with today's CNC equipment, it's barely cost-effective to turn and grind a billet roller cam for a Studebaker and dowel/press on the distributor drive gear and last cam journal from an old original cam. Then, as mentioned, another ton of money for Isky EZ-roll lifters and custom pushrods. Figure a minimum of $2,000-2,500.

                  The same procedure could produce a steel billet flat tappet cam to be used with diamond coated or tool steel lifters. Cost would be about the same as a roller setup.

                  Speed and accuracy costs money. How fast can CASOs afford to go?

                  Just to clarify some points:

                  When the various camshaft grinders out there--small machine shops-- rework an old camshaft, they generally check the lobes to see if there is enough material to reprofile a camshaft--whether it be stock or for increased power output. If not, they add material by welding, which is a variable--both in labor cost and quality.
                  First, welding is only done on cams when there is absolutely no suitable regrind core available. It's expensive, time consuming and the result is a cam which is not as long-lasting as the original. Since there are still plenty of Studebaker cores, welding should never be necessary.

                  Iskenderian did produce some race-only cams with a hard face overlay welded on to build up the lobes for more lift and duration. They require chilled iron lifters, again NLA, and have a very short operating life. Never use them in a street engine. I did a post-mortem on an expensive street build where the owner was excited to find a NOS Isky hard face overlay cam. He cluelessly installed it with stock lifters. It ate up the lifters, filled the engine with shavings and required a complete rebuild.

                  Second, maybe OP has seen one but usually cams aren't reground on old lathes, but on specialized and dedicated grinding machines. Some machines are better than others. The basic small shop cam grinder for the past seventy-five years has been the Storm-Vulcan. It produces a cam suitable for a standard rebuild, but isn't considered sufficiently accurate for a serious performance build.
                  I will be measuring each and every lobe, as best I can(harbor freight dial indicator), to see if my "reground" cam--by a reputable shop---is within specs,
                  Years of measuring them has pretty much confirmed they won't be. If the operator was on a piece-work basis, if the latch on his S-V is worn, the lobe lift can vary .010" and the timing the same. Then, the question becomes what to do? Send it back? How accurate can you really expect a $100 regrind to be?

                  I had a customer return a cam and I refunded his money. He said, "No, I just want a perfect cam." I said, "There ain't no perfect $100 cam and since you have the expectation there is, take it someplace else."

                  The better, larger shops use Berco grinders. They can produce a perfect cam, but many of those shops won't have a Studebaker master for them.

                  Take an obsolete cam like a Studebaker into a shop which has new and accurate equipment. They're usually so busy producing that day's truckload of SBC cams, they aren't interested in shutting down, making a master and producing one cam which can't be sold for enough to cover the lost production on the standard large runs.

                  Then, shops which were formerly reliable can have changes and problems. Here in the northwest, Delta Cams was the go-to for Studebaker builders. In recent years, there's been turnover, cost pressures and Delta is much more difficult to get what one orders and the quality is somewhat variable.

                  Last I spoke with Phil Harris of Fairborn Studebaker, over the years, he's been through three different small shops there in the mid-west trying to maintain quality in a $114 regrind.

                  Building a performance Studebaker has never been easy or inexpensive. Looking too closely at a reground cam gets difficult and expensive in a hurry.

                  jack vines
                  PackardV8

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Jack, since the OP said he is interested in function, and not performance, close should be good enough. Not sure what measurement you were referring to with timing though.

                    Long as the valves lift to within .010 of spec, timing of valve open/duration/close is within a few degrees, and the lifters rotate as they should, who needs a "perfect cam", whatever that is.

                    One thing about Stude v8 valvetrains, I consider a blessing, is that they have solid lifters.
                    Last edited by JoeHall; 08-10-2014, 11:25 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes, but; If you look at all the low-demand seemingly trivial stuff that you can buy, that is manufactured--- not by do-it-yourselfers in a home garage, but by manufacturing companies with proper equipment, why can't a cam core be cast by a) company, and processed by b) company into a reasonable variety of grinds and marketed by C) company for engine restorers?--& I don't mean billets for .700 lift rollers for Studebaker Funny cars. I've got a number of v8 cams for different engines, that have "CWC" cast into it; they are a major manufacturer of cam blanks. Anyone check with them? Telling me----forget about it--it can't happen or: Why don't YOU do it? is the same old negativity we keep hearing. Saying that the resources just aren't there--well, okay--everyone stay home from 2-3 car meets, and send the money you would have spent on gas, motel rooms & greasy restaurant meals or even installing a fresh brand "C", into a fund that say, SDC would establish, and you'll have money for new camshafts! Collectively, the resources are there. I know an old guy who has played with a(brand witheld)car over the years, and he will not pay to have an engine properly rebuilt for his old car---periodically, he will find some car that's rusty or a 4-door, buy it for cheap, and clean the engine up and install it in his "show car". But, if he sees something shiny--a NOS hood ornament or Continental kit or wire wheels--blingy, high-visibility stuff---money is no problem! I believe it is really a matter of values--and as long as the old car runs on all 8,doesn't smoke or knock too bad; All that really matters apparently is having "the look", and of course---the ultimate goal---having less money invested in the car, than it would bring at auction..Sorry if I'm sounding harsh & I do appreciate your input. But I don't think we are out of options, I really don't.
                      Last edited by Reggie; 08-10-2014, 01:30 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        abandoned project modifying 318 340 mopar boat camshaft for bigger coreClick image for larger version

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                        • #13
                          I was online, looking for a medium-sized company, that might help. I ran across a going concern that is a reasonable distance from me, and they seem able to do a first-class job of regrinding or making new camshafts on state-of-the-art equipment. Industrial engines are their main focus. Yes---probably expensive. But, the company says it is continually seeking new business. We'll see.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yes, but; If you look at all the low-demand seemingly trivial stuff that you can buy, that is manufactured--- not by do-it-yourselfers in a home garage, but by manufacturing companies with proper equipment, why can't a cam core be cast by a) company, and processed by b) company into a reasonable variety of grinds and marketed by C) company for engine restorers?--& I don't mean billets for .700 lift rollers for Studebaker Funny cars. I've got a number of v8 cams for different engines, that have "CWC" cast into it; they are a major manufacturer of cam blanks. Anyone check with them? Telling me----forget about it--it can't happen or: Why don't YOU do it? is the same old negativity we keep hearing. Saying that the resources just aren't there--well, okay--everyone stay home from 2-3 car meets, and send the money you would have spent on gas, motel rooms & greasy restaurant meals or even installing a fresh brand "C", into a fund that say, SDC would establish, and you'll have money for new camshafts! Collectively, the resources are there. I know an old guy who has played with a(brand witheld)car over the years, and he will not pay to have an engine properly rebuilt for his old car---periodically, he will find some car that's rusty or a 4-door, buy it for cheap, and clean the engine up and install it in his "show car". But, if he sees something shiny--a NOS hood ornament or Continental kit or wire wheels--blingy, high-visibility stuff---money is no problem! I believe it is really a matter of values--and as long as the old car runs on all 8,doesn't smoke or knock too bad; All that really matters apparently is having "the look", and of course---the ultimate goal---having less money invested in the car, than it would bring at auction..Sorry if I'm sounding harsh & I do appreciate your input. But I don't think we are out of options, I really don't.
                            There's negativity and there's reality. In the more than sixty years the Studebaker V8 has been with us, there have been dozens of companies start up the manufacture of speed parts for them. Not one of them has ever made enough money to continue the effort for very long.

                            FWIW, back in the day, just after Studebaker went TU, Ed Iskenderian had been buying new Studebaker cast cam blanks from the iron foundary which made them for Studebaker. Without Studebaker orders, the foundary told Ed he'd have to order a thousand at a time to keep the mold in production. He had already paid for the machines, the masters, the sales staff to take orders, so his only Studebaker cam related overhead was the purchase and inventory of another thousand cores at a few dollars apiece. Ed counted how many orders for Stude cams he'd been getting and said "Furgeddibouddit." That's how we lost the Studebaker V8 cam patterns.

                            Several of us have investigated cam production over the years. And yes we know about CWC, an OEM supplier forever. Twenty years ago, I asked them about casting cam cores. I got shuffled to the low guy who's job it was to explain basic foundary economics to nut job inquiries. Bottom line, to just get the raw lumps of iron would require a $25,000 investment.

                            In 1905, Donald Campbell, Ira Wyant and George Cannon formed a partnership by verbal agreement and each agreed to put $10 a month into a savings fund to provide working capital for business opportunities. The Campbell, Wyant, and Cannon Foundry Company were founded on April 20, 1908.
                            Then, they have to be shipped to a machine shop to have the bearing journals ground and the distributor drive gear cut. Then, a profile is selected and the lobes ground and parkerized. Finally, they are checked between centers and final straightened. The first thousand cams would have been $500 each.

                            Another FWIW, I partner with a machinist to build the Studebaker and Packard V8s. He has a precision cam grinder. For $500, I can have a computer-generated master made of any profile you like which will physically fit on a Studebaker core. He'll take the time to set all three steady rests for each lobe and guarantee them within .001". Tomorrow, I'll ask how much more time, which will equal how much more money than our $100 standard which can vary by .005"-.010".

                            jack vines
                            PackardV8

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Got a hunch it may be that what we need would have to come from Asia. If you can buy a totally "new" flathead Ford Crank--an application which is 99% nostalgia, 1% actual performance, or less than that......the same applies to the 348-409 Chevy--considered an embarrassing performance failure in their time, and now worshipped by Chivvy nostalgia buffs! All Asian made! Generous Mowdders made something like 400,000 348's; and around 100,000 409's! So, they really weren't that common. My conclusion is, the real issue, as far as making repro Stude V8 engine parts, is the CASO mentality. Anything that don't show, don't go. They'd rather spend the $$$$ eating breakfast at IHOP at a Zone Meet, and dying 10 years premature due to atherosclerosis or colon cancer, than buy a $250 cam to rebuild our 289! False economy, gentlemen. It just is.
                              Last edited by Reggie; 08-17-2014, 01:36 AM.

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