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Cam Gear Broken Teeth, aluminum gear 289

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Jeffry Cassel View Post
    The crank gear is soft' did some one take a hammer to it in the past?? (Confession: I once wrecked one with a brass hammer) Or, like the gurus said the Al gear is not meshing quite right. There are metal parts and fillings in the motor. Check the bearings for damage and clean up well. Agree #4 seems most likely. Don't see how cam bearings could do this. FOD in the timing gear housing certainly could. One defective tooth will lead to many.
    That is what I surmised also. Someone may have hammered it on.

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    • #32
      Ok all. I reviewed all the comments. A Few responses and conclusions.

      Regarding my alum cam gear. I can guarantee that it was not hammered on. I put it on myself and used a threaded pusher.

      I stopped by my machine shop and talked to the guys there. Both guys that looked at my gear are in their 50's and have been doing engines their whole lives or a very long time. Both agreed that the gear was too tight and that it likely expanded when it warmed up, causing further interference. One firmly believed the teeth were cut at an off angle and had they been straight, there likely would not have been a problem even with no backlash The other thought that the teeth may have been off angle, but was not committed to that premise, and felt that if the teeth were off angle, and there was greater backlash, the teeth may still have broken.

      The machinist that worked on my engine said that on geared engines, he will not line hone at all except in extreme cases. And if so, he maintains the hone so it just touches the block side of the bearing saddles so the distance between the cam and crank centerlines does not change.

      As I noted earlier, my fiber gear and crank gear with 25K miles are in good shape with even wear across the teeth.

      I cut my oil filter apart and found little alum specs in it. Just 2 small pieces of gear teeth that were the culprits jamming my oil pump and got ground up enough to make it through to the filter. There is no doubt some alum specs from the gear was ground off, but not enough to be obvious in the oil filter. So the main source of failure was breaking teeth, not wear.

      All I have for desk mementos are a consistent set of broken teeth.

      So what I am going to do is install a new fiber gear and new crank gear. As an aside, the machinist inspected the crank gear also and commented that it looked high quality and well made. I asked how he knows and he said, "30 plus years of handling gears and engines every day and you get really good at a spotting quality"

      I also have a conclusion/recommendation. I would suggest to studedom that if you are going to rebuild an engine, and you want an alum gear. Make sure you accurately check backlash and make sure you have plenty. One should also blue the teeth to make sure of proper mesh across the full face.

      But if you are not sure not sure about your engine history, don't have enough back lash, then be safe and use a fiber gear.

      Finally, I am thinking of installing a small 1/4" hole in the side of the timing cover so I can insert my fiber scope and inspect the gears on occasion. I'd plug the hole with a small rubber plug. Anyway, thinking about it.

      I have a Nidage phone based fiber optic endoscope. They are like $30 or so and make great gifts for your car friends. You can get it from Amazon and works great. I use it to stick in all kinds of places looking for rust, worn gears, etc.

      A lot better and a lot cheaper than those $50,000 ones I used back in my Gas Turbine days.

      I don't have anything else to add to this thread. If I end up the only one with this problem, then my failure is a one off. However, if others have problems in the future, hopefully this thread will help them get to the bottom of it quickly.

      Many thanks to all. Al K


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      • #33
        Maybe you could just spring for a new fuel pump gasket each time you want to look at the gear. I think that may give you enough room to get most any camera in there. That way you can have access without any modifications.

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        • #34
          That was my original thinking. Check it once after 500 miles, then forget about for the rest of my life. Thanks.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Al Kurz View Post
            That was my original thinking. Check it once after 500 miles, then forget about for the rest of my life. Thanks.
            Upon installation, if you blue it in and check the pattern of mesh is correct, same as we do with a ring and pinion, how is it ever going to change?

            jack vines
            PackardV8

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            • #36
              Anyone installing a new aluminum cam gear better check the contact pattern since it is 100% sure that the problem was a mismatch in helical angle. As Jack said if you check it and it is good it will not change.
              David L

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              • #37
                Originally posted by 64Avanti View Post
                Anyone installing a new aluminum cam gear better check the contact pattern since it is 100% sure that the problem was a mismatch in helical angle. As Jack said if you check it and it is good it will not change.
                Other than NOS, you could not give me a repro aluminum timing gear. I have never had a problem with the fiber ones. Supposedly, the aluminum ones were somehow better, per haps stronger. Unless running ultra high PSI valve springs, it is not needed. The OEM high pressure V8 springs are simply Stude 6-cylinder springs, so I have always heard. For 99.9 percent of us, an aluminum gear is useless anyway. JMHO

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by JoeHall View Post

                  Other than NOS, you could not give me a repro aluminum timing gear. I have never had a problem with the fiber ones. Supposedly, the aluminum ones were somehow better, per haps stronger. Unless running ultra high PSI valve springs, it is not needed. The OEM high pressure V8 springs are simply Stude 6-cylinder springs, so I have always heard. For 99.9 percent of us, an aluminum gear is useless anyway. JMHO
                  I agree with Joe on most things Studebaker and Packard V8; he's been inside them all and put more miles on them than anyone I know. Because Joe builds his engines himself, he doesn't beat on them and expects them to survive a very long time. Not everyone is so cautious/courteous to his engines. However, on this, one must ask the queston as to why the aluminum cam gear exists? Studebaker Engineering were the original CASOs, never spending a penny without being forced to. That they chose to use an aluminum cam gear on heavy duty trucks and R-series engines suggests some engines run as hard as they would go required that to survive.

                  jack vines

                  PackardV8

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                  • #39
                    Right Jack, having Lost more than One Celeron Fiber Cam gear, I CAN say that it does happen!

                    One '59 Lark VIII 259 did not have over 80,000 Miles, but the over 47 Years use, soaking in Hot Oil probably was the cause.
                    Our Original Family owned 1960 "245" Commander Six had 50,000 Miles when the Gear failed.
                    StudeRich
                    Second Generation Stude Driver,
                    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                    • #40
                      There were also aluminum cam gears for the 6 cylinder engine.
                      David L

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                      • #41
                        If you're building a full race R3 with roller cam and over 400lbs spring pressure, I certainly wouldn't use a celeron gear.
                        Bez Auto Alchemy
                        573-318-8948
                        http://bezautoalchemy.com


                        "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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                        • #42
                          Just thought I'd comment on this thread, as itself. Well done. Plenty of questions, answers, suggestions.... and most important = results shared with the forum. There's nothing worse than a long thread with no conclusion. I mention this as to this tech section....

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by bezhawk View Post
                            If you're building a full race R3 with roller cam and over 400lbs spring pressure, I certainly wouldn't use a celeron gear.
                            Thanks Bez,
                            Will keep that in mind, but the hottest 289 I ever built was in a 63 Cruiser that I mistakenly installed flat top pistons in. It was very zippy, but ran a bit on the warm side, especially after I added AC.
                            With a 'regular' build, I still contend the fiber gear is more than sufficient. An NOS aluminum one would be OK, but just too many problems with the repros. Each repro batch claims to have gotten the bugs ironed out, but problems persist, such as the OP's here. Easy enough to avoid by just installing a fiber gear. JMHO

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                            • #44
                              Just wonder about the fiber gears. Are they new or old stock?
                              David L

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                              • #45
                                Once the gear is replaced, what will have to be done to make sure no aluminum bits get into the oil stream and the bearings?
                                RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

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