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232" V8 cam and lifter tech info

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  • Engine: 232" V8 cam and lifter tech info

    I've gotten several requests to move this to the Technical Talk forum.

    What we're trying to do is sort out the heritage, history and part numbers of the various '51-'54 232" V8 cams and lifters. If you have specific knowledge, part numbers, photos or comments, here's the place for it.

    So far, we have five P/Ns for 232" cams, both OEM and replacement:

    532310 - before engine # V203692 - probably a steel cam - anyone confirm?
    532308 - after engine # V203692 - identified by TomC, with photo, as a steel cam
    532150 - from Merle's '51 Starlight - anyone have a parts manual ID on this P/N?
    527796 - tentatively identified as a cast iron cam
    534131 - later factory replacement - same as all 259-289" - anyone confirm?

    Can anyone confirm there might be a difference between the numbers stamped or cast into a cam and the P/N in a book?

    Now, P/Ns for 232" lifters:

    531696 - standard - 1" dia, probably OEM with steel cam. Can anyone confirm?
    531721 - .0005" oversize
    531722 - .001" oversize
    536508 - with 534131 camshaft - 1" lifters with the reduced bottom diameter for the later cam
    ??????? - for OEM use with late '51-'54 532308 OEM cam?

    The red tag on a NOS replacement camshaft also lists that for engines after 1954 to use the standard 259/289 lifters. Back to some late 232"s using the .904" lifters. Can anyone confirm these?

    OT, but it came up in this discussion; some late '54 big trucks were reportedly equipped with the 224". Anyone confirm this?

    jack vines

  • #2
    534131's seem to be the most common cam out there. Most of my stash has that number on it. All check out a .150" cam lift. The Isky RB 7000 I have is hard faced overlay on a 131 core. Not even a steel cam. Funny thing on the steel cams I have on the end is stamped an S in the middle of a Chevy Bow tie.


    • #3
      Yes some big trucks used a 224, and there was a HD option, roto caps. I wonder if there was a different cam or lifter for this set up?


      • #4
        Yes some big trucks used a 224,
        Just a point of clarification, used a 224" in late 1954?
        and there was a HD option, roto caps. I wonder if there was a different cam or lifter for this set up?
        No, I've torn down several truck engines with rotocaps, HD exhaust valves and aluminum cam gear. The cam and lifters was same as car engines.

        jack vines


        • #5
          As far as I know 1955 was the last year for the 224, I would think that it could have been in a truck up to that date.


          • #6
            As far as I know 1955 was the last year for the 224,
            AFAIK, 1955 was the FIRST year for the 224". We'll let the experts check this timeline:

            232" - '51-54
            224" - '55-'56 (the use span differs for cars and trucks and within trucks the E12 used the 224" and larger trucks used 259")
            259" - late-'55-64
            289" - '56-64
            304.5" - '64


            • #7
              One more 232" cam question. The first 232"s used a steel camshaft. On all other later Brand X engines which use steel roller cams, a special distributor drive gear is required. The steel drive gear will rapidly destroy the distributor driven gear used with earlier iron cams.

              Has anyone ever noticed the early 232" distributor using a different gear than the later engines with iron cams? Anyone ever seen a different P/N for an early distributor driven gear?

              Here is a look at why the steel cams were mostly replaced early on. On another thread, I asked to buy a 527796 cam. A member mistakenly sent me a 532308 steel cam. Note the wear on the lobes.

              jack vines


              • #8
                It is snowing today so I am working on my list of items I will do when I get time. One of these was to look to see what used camshafts I have. I was surprised to see that I have both a 532308 and a 532150. Thanks to these threads I was able to know they are 232 cams. Does anyone know of any reason to keep these cams? I am not sure I would use them in an engine build. They both look good and I had assumed they were 534131 cams. Thanks

                1947 Champion (owned since 1967)
                1961 Hawk 4-speed
                1967 Avanti
                1961 Lark 2 door
                1988 Avanti Convertible

                Member of SDC since 1973


                • #9
                  Thanks for starting this thread.
                  I will try to contribute what I can find.
                  This sharing of info is what makes this forum great.
                  Robert Kapteyn


                  • #10
                    Hey guys. I am acutally looking for a newer camshaft for my current 232. where are you finding the numbers you are refering to on the camshaft. Is there any other camshaft that will work with these 232s


                    • #11
                      They are cast into the cam. Stand it on the dist. end and up half way between the 2 lowest cam journals should be the numbers.