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Timing Gear Opinions ?

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  • Timing Gear Opinions ?

    I am planning to replace the timing gear cover seal on my 259. While I'm in there, I will be checking the fibre timing gear, which has about 130K miles on it. Obviously, if it shows damage or excessive wear, I would replace it. But, a few questions...

    If it looks OK, should I replace it anyway?
    Is a 45 year old NOS fibre gear a good choice, or are there age issues?
    Is an aluminum gear a better choice?
    Am I correct in recalling that there are some repro aluminum gears that are not up to spec?

    Jim Bradley
    Lewistown PA
    '64 Daytona HT "Rerun"
    Jim Bradley
    Lake Monticello, VA
    '78 Avanti II
    sigpic

  • #2
    FWIW, I've been fortunate in never having had a composite cam gear fail in nearly fifty years of driving Studes. As long as OEM spring pressures are used, and the valves/lifters haven't rusted stuck, it is difficult to put any real stress on a cam gear. The failures with which I am familar came about because of modified engines with stiffer springs revved tighter or by trying to free a stuck engine with the starter or a breaker (aptly named) bar.

    I wouldn't think twice about re-using the cam gear if the rest of the engine didn't show any signs of neglect or modification which might have stressed the gear.

    thnx, jack vines

    PackardV8
    PackardV8

    Comment


    • #3
      Jim even though these fiber gears hold up well they have been known to fail. I would think that eventually they will soften from all the oil soaking and heat, and it may survive a long time yet but I don't like doing anything twice with 130,000 miles on engine if it has not had it, is overdue for valve grind, Rods, Mains and Rings as well as a new Cam Gear.

      Yes the Aluminum gear is stronger and better, but if this is not a "built engine", R Series, or hard driven Edelbrock 4 Brl. equipped 289 you don't need it.

      Any problems that may have existed in the past, have been solved and we now have excellent quality new sourced Aluminum Gears. I believe the "we" includes: Fairborn, Thibault, Jon Meyer, Chuck Collins and myself, others could be different quality, I do not know.

      StudeRich
      Studebakers Northwest
      Ferndale, WA
      StudeRich
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

      Comment


      • #4
        Jim,
        While respecting opinions posted here...
        To me, there is no question as to what to do.
        Put the aluminum gear in.
        This is a unique collector car and engine you have.
        Don't take chances with a used part of questionable condition.
        (Someone show me a way to inspect a fibre gear more than visually and I'll sit down and wait for my answer)
        Lavish your Stude engine with the very best you can afford to put into it.
        Cutting corners on an engine that could/would/should outlive you is short sighted.
        Just an opinion.
        Jeff[8D]
        PS: I have sheared off fibre gears by doing nothing, and badly breaking all the Stude no-no rules, so I speak from a position of stupid authority
        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


        • #5
          Has anybody successfully taken off a fiber gear without destroying it?

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the input, so far. This is interesting.
            quote:Lavish your Stude engine with the very best you can afford to put into it.
            Is the aluminum actually "better"? Does age affect an NOS fibre gear?


            Jim Bradley
            Lewistown PA
            '64 Daytona HT "Rerun"
            Jim Bradley
            Lake Monticello, VA
            '78 Avanti II
            sigpic

            Comment


            • #7
              Rerun -
              Overall safety...yea, I'd go with an aluminum copy...I have.

              61 Hawk -
              Yes...a few! They are on the shelf. For what...don't know yet!

              Mike

              Comment


              • #8
                On my 52 Champion I had a fiber timing gear fail when I drove to a store to shop. I drove into the parking lot with everything running normal and parked. When I came out of the store the car refused to start. A family friend towed me home and when I checked the engine I found several teeth gone off the timing gear. I could never identify a reason other than age of the component. If I had the option of using an aluminum gear I would do it.

                1952 Champion Starlight, 1962 Daytona, 1947 M5. Searcy,Arkansas
                "In the heart of Arkansas."
                Searcy, Arkansas
                1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
                1952 2R pickup

                Comment


                • #9
                  quote:On my 52 Champion I had a fiber timing gear fail when I drove to a store to shop. I drove into the parking lot with everything running normal and parked. When I came out of the store the car refused to start. A family friend towed me home and when I checked the engine I found several teeth gone off the timing gear. I could never identify a reason other than age of the component. If I had the option of using an aluminum gear I would do it.
                  Same thing happened with the Orange truck at about 50K miles. It wasn't mine then, however.

                  Matthew Burnette
                  '59 Scotsman
                  '63 Daytona
                  Hazlehurst, GA

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You can in fact see the wear on a used fiber gear. If you look closely, you'll find that the teeth are worn a little thinner at four points around the perimeter.

                    I'd have no problem myself re-using a fiber gear if the wear was negligible. Or using a new one; on a stock or low-performance engine. If I planned on high RPM use, or using stiffer valve springs, I'd step up for the aluminum gear, and a new crank gear to go with it.

                    One nice thing about the Studebaker V8. It's not an interference engine, so if the fiber gear does let go, you can pop in a new gear, clean the trash out of the oil pan, and carry on. And the Studebaker gear drive maintains better timing accuracy right up until the time it fails. It's not uncommon to see a small-block Chevy with ten or twelve degrees of slack in the timing chain.

                    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands
                    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      quote:Originally posted by gordr

                      You can in fact see the wear on a used fiber gear. ...And the Studebaker gear drive maintains better timing accuracy right up until the time it fails. It's not uncommon to see a small-block Chevy with ten or twelve degrees of slack in the timing chain.
                      How about that! Chevy invented variable valve timing (and long before the Japanese).


                      [img=right]http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/Forum%20signature%20pix/R-4.JPG[/img=right][img=right]http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/Forum%20signature%20pix/64L.JPG[/img=right][img=right]http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/Forum%20signature%20pix/64P.jpg[/img=right][img=right]http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/Forum%20signature%20pix/53K.jpg[/img=right]Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia
                      '53 Commander Starliner (since 1966)
                      '64 Daytona Wagonaire (original owner)
                      '64 Daytona Convertible (2006)
                      Museum R-4 engine
                      1962 Gravely Model L (Studebaker-Packard serial plate)
                      1972 Gravely Model 430 (Studebaker name plate, Studebaker Onan engine)
                      Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
                      '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Chain slack in ANY chain driven cam....AMC, Ford, Chevy or Chrysler!

                        Mike

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          quote:Originally posted by Mike Van Veghten

                          Chain slack in ANY chain driven cam....AMC, Ford, Chevy or Chrysler!

                          Mike
                          I would be afraid of using one of the re-pop aluminum timing gears--I had one come apart on my wife's Hawk about 15 years ago--it failed at about 30K miles, broke the cam in half and bent every pushrod and valve. Nice. And I have heard similar anecdotal stories. Perhaps the new ones are as good as the originals (never seen one of THOSE fail)--I'd ask around.


                          Re: Timing Chain Slack


                          And then there's the #1 Undisputed KING of chain slack--the original Lotus Twin Cam!! I've taken more of these apart than any other engine, including the Stude V8 and I have to tell you I am still amazed at how well they work given that that are a COMPLETE kluge.

                          Colin Chapman and the boys at Cosworth were true mad geniuses:

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi, Allan,

                            Back a few years ago, someone did a pattern for the gear and cast up some real junk. Probably your failure was one of the cast gears. I still see one of these turn up at swap meets now and then.

                            We'll wait for positive confirmation from those selling current generation aluminum gears, but I think the vendors mentioned are selling gears machined from billet stock now. They work as well as the OEM R-series/truck gears.

                            FWIW, it has been mentioned in the past these gears can be a bit snug. Also, if a block has been line bored or line honed, the gear mesh can get a bit tight. The solution is to chuck the cam gear and crank gear in a lathe and take a skim cut off the circumference of each. Refit and test until there is daylight between the tooth and root on each gear.

                            thnx, jack vines



                            PackardV8
                            PackardV8

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Jack...it's just a root problem ?

                              A bit of diligent file wotk to round off the square corners will help in that case too.

                              I should be putting my parts together for the trial cam/crank gear fitup...a little apprehensive on what to do if the fit is garbage. I hope that's all it is!
                              Maybe a little chem-milling of the teeth?

                              Mike

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