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Username Post: Flat cam lobes and zinc in oil        (Topic#132055)
Trucked_up 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4946

Loc: 315 er
Reg: 03-23-02
05-21-06 02:25 AM - Post#938928    

I just got done replacing the performance cam in my modified 302 GMC inline 6 engine.The previous performance cam wiped out in 600 miles despite following breakin rules to the letter and then some.
Many calls to major cam grinders all came up with the same reason,oil manufacturers have greatly reduced the zinc and phrosporus in motor oils as a response to those additives ruining catalytic convertors.The zinc or ZDDP is added to protect against metal to metal contact,especially on flat tappet cams,especially on performance cams with stiffer valve springs.It seems that 15-40 Diesel oils and for sure Valvoline VR conventional racing oils still have high levels of the important additives.A few years back,they starting getting many warranty claims that never occured before.Took them awhile to figure out the problem.Obiviously,this isn't a problem with roller lifters or new engines designed to run on the low zinc oil.
The cam grinders also said,a solid lifter flat tappet cam wipe out process starts and break and gets worse from there.
I had to completely teardown the engine,clean out all the metal debris,replace the bearings,fortunately,no other damage.With the new cam,I used GM oil supplement,15-40 Castol Diesel oil for initial start up.I'm using 20/50 Valvoline racing oil now after breakin.
I just checked the valve adjustment after about 500 miles.Valve cover off,engine running,all the pushrods are spinning like a madman with one foot nailed down, should be good to go .

 
sgian 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4551
sgian
Loc: MO
Reg: 12-25-03
Re: Flat cam lobes and zinc in oil
05-21-06 05:19 AM - Post#938929    
    In response to Trucked_up

For some reason the cam grinders neglected to tell you that some new flat tappet grinds get flattened lobes easier due to the more aggressive, steeper lobe patterns. They didn't lie to you, because the lower zinc levels are a problem, but they did use some misdirection by not admitting their patterns are part of the problem too.
90 C1500, 05 Tahoe 4WD


 
grumpyvette 
Senior Chevytalk Moderator -- Performance Subject Matter Expert --
Posts: 16161
grumpyvette
Age: 66
Loc: FLORIDA USA
Reg: 03-16-01
Re: Flat cam lobes and zinc in oil
05-21-06 05:54 AM - Post#938930    
    In response to sgian

you might want to read thru this

http://www.cranecams.com/?show=article&id=2

FROM MORTEC
If you are building a big block Chevy with a flat tappet cam, (solid or hydraulic lifters) be careful during the initial engine break in. It is very easy to lose a cam lobe and lifter during initial break in. This is especially true with a higher than stock lift cam and higher pressure valve springs. The increased pushrod angles found on the BBC and poor preparation can make cam lobe failure after initial fireup a distinct possibility. You can help prevent this cam lobe failure by making sure the engine is prelubed prior to intial fireup. Use a good high pressure lube on the cam lobes and lifter bottoms during assembly. If possible use a lighter pressure stock valve spring (or if using a valve spring with multiple springs, take out some of the inner springs) to intially run the engine. Then switch to the heavier pressure springs after break in. When the engine is first fired up, keep the engine rpms at 2,500 or above, don't let the engine idle for 20 minutes or longer. This keeps lots of oil splashing up on the cam lobes. Make sure the engine can be run for this time period by having enough fuel available, ignition timing set correctly, coolant available for the motor, valve lash set correctly, etc. The idea is not to crank the motor over excessively before it starts up for the first time. If your BBC flat tappet cam survives this initial break in period, it will be good to go for many miles. After the initial engine breakin, drain the oil and change the oil filter. Roller cams generally do not suffer these types of cam lobe failures during initial engine fireup.
if youve adjusted the valves correctly the lifter spins at all rpm levels,but that does NOT mean it wears EVENLY at all rpm levels due to several factors if you look closely AT FLAT TAPPET CAMS youll see that the center of the cam lobe is NOT centered under the lifter and that the lifter surface is slightly angled , BOTH these factors force the lifter to spin in its bore as the lobe passes under the lifter slightly off center.

SOME of the reasons the higher rpm durring the break in phase is important is that

(1) the faster RPMs the better chances the lobe passes under the lifter floated on an oil film and the less time the oil film has to squeeze out between them

(2) the higher the RPM the greater the oil voluum and pressure the engine pumps and the more oil flow is available at the lobes

(3)the higher the rpm level the more oil is thrown from the rods onto the cam lobes

(4)the higher the rpm the greater the lifters weight and inertia tends to compensate for the springs pressure and lower the net pressure as the lifter passes over the cam lobes nose

(5) at higher rpm speed the better chance a small wedge of oil is trapped between the lifter base and lobe from the oil thrown from the lobes surface by centrifical force

(6) two differant metal surfaces scraping past each other at low speeds may tend to wear and GALL as the oil is sqeezed out but two differant hardness steel surfaces that impact each other at higher speeds covered with oil tend to work harden as they mate and will tend to be seperated by that oil

(7)as the lifter spins in its bore the contact point between the lobe and lifter base constantly changes and rotates with the lobe contact point not resisting its passage and the higher the rpms the faster the lifter rotates and the less time the lobe spends at any one point

VALVOLINE BRAND RACING OIL HAS THE HIGH ZINK/PHOSPHATE LEVELS that help prevent cam wear

BTW ADD E.O.S. to the oil and MOLY break-in lube to the cam
before starting the engine and prefill the filter and pre-prime the oil system before starting the engine.
I normally pour it in just before starting the engines cam break in,procedure. because I want to make sure that nothing in the oil/E.O.S. mix can settle out from sitting over a long period of time. now if your running a flat tappet cam you should have also used a moly cam lube on the lobes and be useing a mineral base oil for the break-in procedure, and youll need to do an oil and filter change after about the first 3-4 hours running time to remove that moly cam lube from the engine after its served its purpose of protecting the cams lobes and lifters at start up, aND AS THE LOBES/LIFTERS LAPPED IN. MOSTLY to prevent that moly grease and E.O.S from potentially partially clogging the filter after that mix cools down,but also because both those lubes might leave deposites in the combustion chamber ,over time that might aggravate detonation.
even G.M. suggests that E.O.S. is not a great long term oil suppliment, and that its main function is to add extra oil film strength durring new engine break in.

1052367
ENGOILSUP
EOS - Engine Assembly Prelube<BR>Specifically formulated as an engine assembly lubricant. E.O.S. provides outstanding protection against run-in wear and piston scuffing as well as run-in camshaft lobe and lifter scuffing resulting from insufficient lubrication
don,t forget a few magnets in the oil pan goes a long way towards trapping unwanted metalic dust formed from the cam and rings lapping in durring break-in that might otherwise get imbedded in your bearings or cause other problems
heres the magnets I use in every engine

http://www.wondermagnets.com/cgi-bin/edatcat/WMSstore.pl?user_action=detail&catalogno=0035

http://www.cranecams.com/?show=reasonsForFailure

http://www.babcox.com/editorial/ar/eb50232.htm

http://www.highperformancepontiac.com/tech/0208hpp_running/

 
Trucked_up 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4946

Loc: 315 er
Reg: 03-23-02
Re: Flat cam lobes and zinc in oil
05-21-06 07:16 AM - Post#938931    
    In response to sgian

These old GMC's have large lifter diameter,like .990 and the cam is not that radical,215 degrees at .050 lift and .450 total valve lift.The large lifter is more tolerant on cams that the usual much smaller V-8 types.
Not only is the lobe off set from the lifter and the lifter face slightly crowned,the cam lobe tops are also slightly angled to help keep the lifter spinning .

 
enigma57 
Senior Member
Posts: 9744
enigma57
Age: 66
Loc: Texas
Reg: 10-28-00
Re: Flat cam lobes and zinc in oil
05-21-06 09:32 AM - Post#938932    
    In response to grumpyvette

Howdy, Grumpy!

I plan on doing all the things mentioned thus far. In addition, I am researching Mikronite treatment of the cam and lifter wearing surfaces. Crane Cams has this process available and it is my understanding that Mikronite Technologies will treat cams from other cam grinders as well. From what I have read, this process looks promising for cams, lifters, ring and pinion gears, transmission gears, etc. Possibly crankshaft journals as well. I am not convinced that it would do that much for valve springs that have already been shot peened, though.

Do you have any experience with this process or know of anyone who has? What do you think of it?

Thanks,

Harry

------

Mikronite Treatment......

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa4078/is_200507/ai_n14823010/pg_3

'Mikronite Technologies: Reducing Friction, Extending Wear' (excerpted from National Dragster Magazine, July 22, 2005)......
By Evan J. Smith

One area that racers have been exploring deeply is friction...... Friction is found in bearings, piston rings, transmission and rear-end gears, and a host of other car parts. The use of lightweight synthetic oils and ceramic components can help combat this type of friction.

Reducing friction is a surefire way to find speed, and on that note, I'd like to introduce a process designed to greatly reduce friction in almost anything mechanical: Mikronite.

First and foremost, Mikronite is not a coating; it's a process done to parts that uses a mostly organic dry media that carries an abrasive that is applied under extremely high load to add strength to, improve lubricity in, and reduce the temperature of a component.

"The Mikronite process is based on a simple concept of applying lapping-like scratching under extremely high compression," said Mike Demurjian of Mikronite. "Objects are placed in a fluidized medium containing an abrasive in a specially designed reverse centrifugal accelerating agitator. As the objects revolve, they are subjected to massive G forces - up to 40 Gs - so that very fine particles as small as dust operate multiple times their mass and weight. To solve the problem of static revolving forces because centrifugal forces spin things away from the center - the reverse centrifugal forces cause a wave-like motion, creating a sinusoidal agitation."

To the layperson, a race-car part, be it a gear, pushrod, valve spring, or similar item, that has been subjected to the Mikronite process looks polished and refined. I watched a ring-and-pinion and a set of valve springs receive the treatment, and the results were rather impressive. The ring-and-pinion was much smoother and even appeared to be deburred. And the process is not very expensive; the retail price to do a ring-and-pinion is $200, a cam is $125, and an axle is $50.

"The process works by compressing the exterior surface of an object to reduce slip planes," explained Demurjian. "To understand slip planes, visualize a brick wall, which usually cracks along a line that looks like a staircase. This fracture line is a slip plane. By compressing or meshing those relatively straight lines, the Mikronite process puts them in a tongue-and-groove or interwoven relationship. This produces molecular-level changes to the surface of an object without changing its size, shape, or metallurgy. As a result, surface characteristics of an object are optimized, making them harder, smoother, more polished, more uniform, and more corrosion resistant with higher lubricity and less friction."

Among the materials that can be treated are titanium, tool steel, bearing steel (such as bearing races), high-speed steel (cutting tools like drill bits, reamers, and taps), aluminum, tungsten carbide, and brass or bronze. Ceramics and glass can also be treated.

To the racer, the Mikronite process means extended life for parts, less friction, cooler overall operating temperatures, and more power at the wheels. Because the process, which can be applied to virtually any part of the car (crankshaft, camshaft, spool, guide plates, timing-chain gears, valves, and more), is not a coating, the size or shape of the part is not altered, so tolerances are not affected.

According to Mikronite's Mark Grigoletto, Liberty Performance Gear and champion racers Joe Amato, Larry Morgan, and Steve Johnson have used the process. In addition, Black & Decker/Dewalt offers Mikronite-treated cutting blades.

Source......

Mikronite Technologies
511 Washington Ave.
Carlstat, NJ 07072

Phone...... (877) 746-4576 (201) 672-0940

http://mikronite.com

http://mikronite.com/documents/dragsterMag.pdf

Mikronite process available at Crane Cams......

http://www.mikronite.com/documents/crane.pdf

 
greg_moreira 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 3264

Reg: 10-06-03
Re: Flat cam lobes and zinc in oil
05-21-06 09:56 AM - Post#938933    
    In response to enigma57

I havent tried the process yet....but I too have heard of it. Only thing...double check the literature on it. From what I understood, crane will not mikronite stuff from other cam companies. I cannot remember where I last read about it.....but it says something like this. You can send in whatever you want and Crane WILL mikronite it, But, Crane WILL NOT mikronite products from competing companies. In other words....it sounds like they wont mess with any valvetrain stuff unless is crane cams valvetrain stuff.

 
motorman 
Dedicated Enthusiast
Posts: 5174

Loc: south western pa.
Reg: 01-25-00
Re: Flat cam lobes and zinc in oil
05-21-06 11:57 AM - Post#938934    
    In response to greg_moreira

i alway polished the bottoms of the lifter on #600 wet and dry paper using oil for a lube. the smoother the better. and use genuine moly disulfide for the cam lube. BBC chevy i ground a .003 deep flat on one side from the central oil groove to about 1/8" from the bottom of the lifter to get excess oil to the lifter/cam interface.
retired race engine builder,former NASCAR tech inspector. new corvettes owned 1959,1962,1963,1964,1965, 1966,1997,1999,2002,2005, 2008 plus 30+ other chevy cars and trucks along the way. 2008 corvette sold and waiting on a C-7.


 
BranRat 
Senior Member
Posts: 375

Loc: Sumner WA USA
Reg: 10-18-02
Re: Flat cam lobes and zinc in oil
05-21-06 02:55 PM - Post#938935    
    In response to motorman

I use Moly-Graphite grease for cam break-in lube. A buddy of mine who worked at Delta Camshaft swears by it...
'76 K5 Blazer 4x4, 383, Comp XE274, ported GM heads, Edel RPM & 1407, Dave Ray Dist,TH350, NP203, 4" Lift, 33" tires


 
Trucked_up 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4946

Loc: 315 er
Reg: 03-23-02
Re: Flat cam lobes and zinc in oil
05-22-06 01:47 AM - Post#938936    
    In response to BranRat

The breakin lube isn't really the issue,the cam damage happens between breakin and the first few hundred miles.
Using the correct motor oil eliminates the problem,as I found out afterwards.

 
85Camaro 
Senior Member
Posts: 1145

Loc: East TN
Reg: 07-14-01
Re: Flat cam lobes and zinc in oil
05-22-06 03:43 AM - Post#938937    
    In response to Trucked_up

Valvoline VR racing oil does not have the zinc package you are looking for. The off the shelf VR oil also has the zinc removed to remain street useable. If you want "REAL" Valvoline racing oil it is the VV designation "not for street use" oil which is not usually on the shelf anywhere. NAPA can special order it but that is the only place I've found it. I spoke to the Valvoline rep about this at the Bristol NHRA race and he said they don't put the real racing oil on the shelf at the discount parts stores because they dont want people buying it to use in their street cars that shouldn't have the additive package it contains.
http://www.valvoline.com/pages/products/product_detail.asp?product=94
This is the oil you want with the added zinc and "not for street use".

 
enigma57 
Senior Member
Posts: 9744
enigma57
Age: 66
Loc: Texas
Reg: 10-28-00
Re: Flat cam lobes and zinc in oil
05-22-06 03:59 AM - Post#938938    
    In response to Trucked_up

Tony, it sounds like the extra measures you are using are paying off. Good luck with your new cam. Yes, I agree...... Good assembly lube, correct initial run-in and break-in procedures, plus continued use of oil with the zinc and other additives your engine requires are the answer. (I'll resist the urge to add a list here a mile long of things other than flat tappet cam lobe failure that are a direct result of ill-advised EPA mandates...... Including the EPA-mandated heat-resistant tile adhesive that failed and ultimately caused the last space shuttle disaster, the 'myth' of so-called human-induced 'global warming', the less effective asthma inhalant medications my wife has to deal with this year, the less effective chemicals now used in 'treated' wood, the poor quality EPA-mandated paint applied at the factory on my '88 Buick when new and the ethanol and re-formulated gasolines that do not run as well in my cars nor get as many miles to the gallon as did the fuels previously available.)

It takes several hundred miles running time to thoroughly break-in an engine (or new cam and lifters). I usually do this in 2 stages using a light, straight 20-weight oil and then change oil and filter, re-torque heads, check other fasteners, and check valve lash after several hours of initial run-in time. If all appears well at that point, I fill the engine with the weight of oil I intend to run in normal usage, make a road trip of 400-500 miles to complete break-in...... And then recheck torque, valve lash, timing and change oil and filter one more time. At this point, I also drain and refill the radiator. I never use anything but distilled water, coolant and an anti-corrosive/pump lubricant additive in the radiator. Yeah, I know...... Most folks don't think all that attention is necessary now of days. But that's how my folks taught me to do it when I was a teenager and its always worked well for me, so I still follow this run-in and break-in ritual with each engine I build for my personal use.

Sgian, I agree. Even though Tony didn't install one of the more radical flat tappet cam lobe profiles so many cam grinders are using now of days in his 302 GMC inline 6, nor the attendant higher spring pressures most of them require...... These new, aggressive profiles require a good assembly lube, correct initial run-in and break-in procedures, plus continued use of oil with the zinc and other additives...... Even more so than do the earlier lobe designs that are much easier on valve train components.

Greg, I will continue researching this Mikronite surface (micropolishing) treatment. Please give me a holler if you find out anything more on it. Yes, I can understand Crane's reluctance to apply this treatment to other manufacturer's cams. If I have my cam Mikronite treated, I plan on contacting Mikronite Technologies directly. Besides, I would imagine they'd be more likely to do the best treatment, as they came up with the process and have the most experience in applying it.

Motorman, thanks for the polishing tip. I will do that prior to installing my lifters. I still hand-lap my valves with Cloverleaf lapping compound after I get the heads and valves back from the machine shop prior to assembling them and in years past, I have used a fine grade of lapping compound on the face of lifters in a similar fashion to what you describe as well.

BranRat, that's a good tip on the Moly-Graphite grease. I'll make a note of that. On street engines having no more than 110 lb. seat pressure that will be stored for extended periods between assembly and installation, I have used the white Lubriplate pre-assembly lube on all wearing surfaces (including the cam lobe/lifter interface) with success in the past. You can also mix your own cam assembly lube using Dow Moly 77 dry moly disulphide and STP mixed into a thick paste. Use this only on the cam lobes and not on the cam journals and do not store the engine for a long period of time prior to initial start-up if you go this route, though.

85Camaro, you are correct. It is very important to make the distinction between the grade of 'Valvoline Racing Oil' currently available over the counter and the 'good stuff' you now have to special order so that you get the zinc and other additives your engine requires. I had forgotten about that, as I purchased and stored away 15 cases that had the necessary additives back before they made the switch and I haven't used it all up yet.

Has anyone here tried the Mikronite Technologies micropolishing surface treatment on a camshaft yet? If so, how did it work for you?

Best regards,

Harry

 
Trucked_up 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4946

Loc: 315 er
Reg: 03-23-02
Re: Flat cam lobes and zinc in oil
05-22-06 07:23 AM - Post#938939    
    In response to 85Camaro

85 Camaro,I'm using this oil VR1 The cam grinders I spoke to recomended this commonly available oil as it contains enough ZDDP for cam amd lifter protection in my situation ,a moderate cam with 230lbs of open valve spring pressure.The other recomendation from cam guys and a few local engine shops was the 15-40 Diesel oil,which ,as far as I can figure,has some zinc,but less than the VR1 oil.
Harry,this is enough craziness to make me consider roller lifters

 
enigma57 
Senior Member
Posts: 9744
enigma57
Age: 66
Loc: Texas
Reg: 10-28-00
Re: Flat cam lobes and zinc in oil
05-22-06 12:11 PM - Post#938940    
    In response to Trucked_up

Quote:

Harry,this is enough craziness to make me consider roller lifters




I hear you, Tony! I have this 'witches brew' of parts I've been collecting in my spare time over the past 25 years to build a big-inch small block V8 to replace the original 235 6-banger in my '57 sedan...... 'Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue'...... And have only just recently begun putting it all together. Most of it is 'old school' stuff circa late '50's, early '60's that I'm comfortable with, but had to modify extensively to support an engine of much larger displacement...... Plus a few innovations of my own and a few other little 'hidden surprises' as well...... And that includes my UltraDyne solid lifter flat tappet cam I had Harold Brookshire grind for me some years back. Its a short track grind on a reduced base circle Pro-55 core with similar duration @ 0.050-inch lift to the old Duntov '30-30' cam...... But with higher lift at the valves to suit the flow characteristics of my heads and I had Harold spread the LSA to 110 degrees for street use (halfway between the usual tighter circle track cam LSA and the much wider LSA of the early '60's Duntov cam).

So as you may have guessed by now...... I am not very happy with all this EPA-mandated nonsense that is resulting in a phase-out of ZDDP from engine lubricants......

http://www.answers.com/topic/zinc-dialkyl-dithio-phosphate

http://www.practicingoilanalysis.com/art...oup=Lubrication

http://corporate.lubrizol.com/PressRoom/MediaCoverage/pdflibrary/LNG_ZDDP.pdf

Anyway, I may be forced to retrofit a roller cam into my engine whether I want to or not...... Due to internal clearancing issues (my solid lifter flat tappet cam has a 1.10-inch base circle and I may have to go smaller yet (which translates to a steel billet core for strength and a billet core is only compatible with roller tappets). You see, my original intent was to use a 3.750-inch stroke crank, but I wound up making a 'deal' on a 4340 4.000-inch stroke crank and the rest is history...... So the extra 0.250-inch stroke reduces my cam to rod clearance by another 0.125-inch over what I'd originally planned for (half the stroke increase). But I won't know for sure if it will clear the rods until I have the short block together and can verify cam clearance once and for all.

That's why I am interested in not only the lubricant angle, but the Mikronite process as well. If it turns out that I have enough internal clearance to run my UltraDyne flat tappet cam, I may just ship it off to Mikronite Technologies for micropolishing and take a part-time job to scrape together the bucks for a set of Joe Schubeck's insanely expensive ultra-lite ceramic (and cam lobe friendly) solid lifters. I figure that micropolishing my cam and running a set of Joe's ceramic lifters...... Plus the proper lubricants and break-in procedure...... Should let my flat tappet cam live a long and rumpety life and allow the old man here to blow the doors off my share of unsuspecting 'high-tech' modern pony cars hereabouts.

Happy Motoring,

Harry

 
Barry R 
Senior Member
Posts: 71

Loc: Detroit
Reg: 05-24-04
Re: Flat cam lobes and zinc in oil
05-22-06 03:13 PM - Post#938941    
    In response to enigma57

This is a question that I don't have the answer to - - and I am a camshaft marketer with 20 years experience. Do you really WANT to reduce friction at the cam/lifter interface? Reason I ask is that you want that lifter to spin - not to slide. More friction might actually be better....no answers - just looking for other ideas as we start researching this...

Barry R.
Survival Motorsports www.survivalmotorsports.com


 
enigma57 
Senior Member
Posts: 9744
enigma57
Age: 66
Loc: Texas
Reg: 10-28-00
Re: Flat cam lobes and zinc in oil
05-22-06 06:55 PM - Post#938942    
    In response to Barry R

I don't know either, Barry. I'm just an old pipefitter with some welding and metals testing experience whilst in the service many moons ago and I've built a few engines for my street rods and daily drivers over the years. That's why I am hoping you guys with more experience in this field will be able to steer me in the right direction.

The way I am thinking about it just now is that reducing friction at the cam lobe/ lifter interface would be a good thing that would lengthen cam and lifter life by reducing wear and heat, especially during break-in as those parts seat one to the other. I understand about how the flat (concave, actually) tappet lifter surface and the fore/aft taper in the cam lobes work together to promote needed rotation of the lifter and prevent 'cam walk' in the block. I could be wrong, but I don't think that having smoother interface surfaces would eliminate the lifter rotation, as the lifter is supposed to be 'floating' on a thin cushion of oil separating the two surfaces and I suppose that it must have something to do with the surface tension of the oil adhering to each surface that must transfer the tendency to rotate from the cam lobe taper to the lifter face, rather than actual metal-to-metal contact. What I am not sure of is whether smoothing the surfaces would require a different (increased) taper to maintain lifter rotation. Logically, it would seem so. I know that Schubeck's ceramic lifters are supposed to have an ultra-smooth hard-polished interface surface. So if his ceramic lifters require more taper, then it would seem that micropolishing of the cam lobes and the lifter face would have the same effect...... Even if not using ceramic lifters along with a micropolished cam lobe surface. So we could probably figure the answer out by getting in touch with Schubeck and/or the major cam manufacturers to see if there are any special considerations as to taper that they do differently when the end user tells them that they are going to use Schubeck's ceramic lifters on their cam.

I suppose what I'm getting at is that I see the micropolishing of the cam lobes as a way of doing part of the smoothing and meshing of the surface grains of the metal surfaces that would normally be done during break-in with less-smooth interface surfaces and that would help to prevent excess heat build-up from friction and subsequent lobe and/or lifter failure in a situation where zinc and other additives are either missing from...... Or significantly reduced in suspension...... In the oil. I relate this meshing of the surface grains to my work many years ago as an NDT Inspector in the Navy. Whilst it wouldn't matter so much if we were radiographing a finished metal part because we would 'see' all discontinuities interior to the metal part when 'reading' the radiograph...... Operations to the surface of a metal part such as polishing, fine grinding, heavy sanding, shot-peening, etc. could alter the surface grains and mask or conceal defects that would normally show up during inspections that primarily reveal defects at or near the surface. So visual, microscopic, dye-penetrant or magnetic-particle inspections had to be done prior to such surface grain-altering operations in order to be valid.

Anyway, I am just looking for ways to make my flat tappet cam live under the ever-worsening conditions we are all faced with now of days due to the deletion and/or reduction of these essential lubricant additives from the motor oils available to us. And that's why I am asking about the Mikronite micropolishing process. If you hear anything more about it or any other metal treatments or surface preparations that will help, please let us know what you think of them. It is you guys who have the day to day engine building experience that we who are hobbyists and only build engines occasionally must rely on for guidance in these matters.

Best regards,

Harry

 
motorman 
Dedicated Enthusiast
Posts: 5174

Loc: south western pa.
Reg: 01-25-00
Re: Flat cam lobes and zinc in oil
05-23-06 12:28 AM - Post#938943    
    In response to enigma57

more oil to the lifter/cam interface is a good start. new engines the comp cams lifter bore grooving tool or just cam and lifter replacement the solid lifters with the holes in the bottom or the flat on the side of the lifter for both hyd or solid lifters. NASCAR engines "flood" this area with oil. i have ran many differerent new cams with the same set of lifters on dyno tests with no problems by using the .003 deep flat ground on the side of the lifter.
retired race engine builder,former NASCAR tech inspector. new corvettes owned 1959,1962,1963,1964,1965, 1966,1997,1999,2002,2005, 2008 plus 30+ other chevy cars and trucks along the way. 2008 corvette sold and waiting on a C-7.


 
Trucked_up 
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Re: Flat cam lobes and zinc in oil
05-23-06 12:40 AM - Post#938944    
    In response to Barry R

I think the bottom line here is this;motor oils are changing to the needs of new vehicles.Those of us with older performance engines may need to change our components to keep up,ie,roller cams or a surface treatment like Harry is considering.
85Camaro,Valvoline did recently change the formula on the VR1 street racing oil.The oil containers I have still state on the bottle the VR1 20/50 has levels of ZDDP that will protect a flat tappet cam.Maybe the oil I'm using is older stock.
In my case,I can have a custom set of rollers and a billet cam made one off for fairly big money.In the long run this may be more sensabile than nibbling around the edges checking every oil can for levels of ZDDP.
In the meantime,I got a few bucks invested in cams,so I'll juggle the motor oil and my engine should be ok for the few thousand miles a year I drive this old truck.
This second cam I have was ground by Lazer cams in Tenn.The owner is aware of the motor oil situation and ground this cam with that in mind.He said from his experience my set up will survive,I'll see what happens.

 
enigma57 
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Re: Flat cam lobes and zinc in oil
05-24-06 11:08 AM - Post#938945    
    In response to motorman

Thanks for the tip, motorman! The solid lifters I got from Harold several years back when he ground my short track cam have the EDM oiling hole. I have saved your grooving tip as reference and will do that as well.

That's a 0.003-inch deep flat on one side of the lifter extending from the central oil groove down to about 0.125-inch from the bottom of the lifter, right?

Does it matter whether the groove is half-round?

Or should it be flat-bottomed like a keyway?

I'm thinking that the larger cross section of a keyway type groove would flow more oil?

Thanks,

Harry

 
motorman 
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Re: Flat cam lobes and zinc in oil
05-24-06 12:18 PM - Post#938946    
    In response to enigma57

Quote:

Thanks for the tip, motorman! The solid lifters I got from Harold several years back when he ground my short track cam have the EDM oiling hole. I have saved your grooving tip as reference and will do that as well.

That's a 0.003-inch deep flat on one side of the lifter extending from the central oil groove down to about 0.125-inch from the bottom of the lifter, right?

Does it matter whether the groove is half-round?

Or should it be flat-bottomed like a keyway?

I'm thinking that the larger cross section of a keyway type groove would flow more oil?

Thanks,

Harry


i just put 8 at a time on a surface grinder table and made several passes to get the .003 deep flat from the central oil groove down to about 1/8" from the bottom
retired race engine builder,former NASCAR tech inspector. new corvettes owned 1959,1962,1963,1964,1965, 1966,1997,1999,2002,2005, 2008 plus 30+ other chevy cars and trucks along the way. 2008 corvette sold and waiting on a C-7.


 
enigma57 
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Re: Flat cam lobes and zinc in oil
05-24-06 12:42 PM - Post#938947    
    In response to motorman

Thanks again, motorman...... I see how to do it now and that's what I'll do as well.

Best regards,

Harry

 
enigma57 
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Re: Flat cam lobes and zinc in oil
05-24-06 01:11 PM - Post#938948    
    In response to Trucked_up

Tony, that's a good, common sense approach to changing times. Go with the flow and keep on truckin'. I must admit that I'm somewhat envious.

Now me...... I guess I'm just a stubborn old fart and I'm not willing to give up the 'old school' things I was brought up on. Like Chevy engines with solid lifter flat tappet cams, multiple carburettors, and stick shift trannys. At least not without a good bare-knuckles knock-down drag-out and a lot of off-colour language on my part. I just get all riled up and dig my heels in when folks at the EPA do dumb things that negatively impact street rodding and then have the stones to tell me I gotta do things 'their way'.

When I was serving my 2nd tour of duty in the '70's, the Navy was slowly phasing out the older diesel subs and either scrapping them or modifying them and selling them to other countries. I worked on a lot of them. We even retrofitted a deck gun and beaucoup 20mm and 40mm gun mounts onto a diesel boat for the Shah's Navy (Iran before the Islamist coup in '79).

Sure, the newer nuke fast attack boats were faster and deadlier, but with their single screw and deeper draft, they were not very maneuverable close in to shore nor when docking. So a couple of tugs would tie onto them out in the channel and slowly push them into the lagoon and up to their berths at the pier or alongside the tender when they came in from patrol.

But the old diesel boats had twin screws, drew less water under their keels and were highly maneuverable. Their skippers could back one engine whilst the other screw was turning in the opposite direction and bring them in smartly to the pier under their own power. So when they came in, they needed no tugs to assist them.

And whilst the nuke boats were being pushed in one at a time by the tugs, the diesel boats boogied right up to the pier, the line handlers heaved over their lines, tied up and their crews hit the beach.

A lot of those guys were staying in until their boats were decommissioned and then retiring with their boats. They were fiercely loyal to their boats and many of them wore leather jackets with 'Diesel Boats Forever' on them when they went ashore. They'd crank up their Harleys and be home with Momma before the guys aboard the nukes ever made it up to the pier.

The 'DBF' thing was a 'sub-culture' (pun intended) kinda like the guys in the '50's who wouldn't part with their flathead engines when the new OHV V8 engines first came out. I guess the older I get, the more set in my ways and resistant to change I become. Kinda like those 'Diesel Boats Forever' guys and those 'Flatheads Forever' guys.

So if my old UltraDyne solid lifter cam clears the conn rods when I get my engine together, I'll run it and squirrel away as many cases of the 'good stuff' (oil with ZDDP) as I can. But if it won't clear, I'll just have to suck it up and reluctantly retro-fit a big-buck roller cam into my small block stroker engine for the smaller base circles available with the billet steel cam cores. Like the man said, "That's the way it goes...... First your money...... Then your clothes!"

BTW...... I talked to the guys at Lazer Cams a while back and they strike me as knowing their stuff, Tony. Let me know how your new cam works out. If I have to change mine out as well, Lazer is one of the cam grinders on my 'short list'.

Happy Motoring,

Harry

 
itsonlykelly 
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08-01-08 03:52 PM - Post#1490119    
    In response to enigma57

EOS is available from GM again. The new # is 88862586. Chemcrest refused to continue to make it the way it was, so GM had to find a new supplier. Hence new part #.

-Kelly
1969 Olympic Gold Caprice 2-door hardtop. 396/TH400/AC/Discs/Tilt

Moderator @ www.utahmusclecars.com


 
enigma57 
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08-04-08 02:45 PM - Post#1492226    
    In response to itsonlykelly

Thanks for the GM EOS update, Kelly! I'll make a note of that.

BTW...... I never did get around to trying out a set of Schubeck's composite ceramic solid lifters as we discussed earlier in this thread. I was saving up to buy a set when Schubeck's internet operation pretty much went bust.

The ceramic lifters became scarce as hen's teeth at that point and commanded big bucks....... At times, even more than Schubeck sold them for new. And there were even 'counterfeits' of unknown origin being offered on e-Bay at the time. Pretty crazy, huh?

Anyway, after doing some research on the subject, I found that if the valve lash became too loose, the ceramic material would shatter. So I didn't pursue it. Especially considering the cost involved.

I visited Schubeck's website today. All I found were the anti-pump up hydraulic flat tappet lifters for sale...... No composite ceramic types.

The non-ceramic Schubeck anti-pump up lifters of several years ago (designed to be run at zero lash) were Eaton (GM) lifters that had been reworked by a 3rd party machine shop, reboxed and marketed under the Schubeck brand name for big bucks.

Not sure as to the pedigree of the current Schubeck anti-pump up lifters, but they are quite pricey as compared to anti-pump up hydraulics offered by Isky and others.

Best regards,

Harry

 
motorman 
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08-04-08 08:03 PM - Post#1492433    
    In response to enigma57

a lot of aftermarket flat tappet cams are no longer "parkerized" like the old cams were to help with break in . some cam companies has it as a extra cost option
retired race engine builder,former NASCAR tech inspector. new corvettes owned 1959,1962,1963,1964,1965, 1966,1997,1999,2002,2005, 2008 plus 30+ other chevy cars and trucks along the way. 2008 corvette sold and waiting on a C-7.


 
jimmmy57 
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08-05-08 01:45 AM - Post#1492535    
    In response to motorman

The last time I spoke with my cam grinder about oil he recomended Castrol Magnatech,
Has anyone used this oil or know the details regaurding zinc?

He also suggested grinding a flat down the side as mentioned in previous posts.

I've done 2 engines with this mod done to the lifters with no probs
Jimmy

"I've told you a million times, , Don't exagerate"
http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?uid=1087 1...


 
grumpyvette 
Senior Chevytalk Moderator -- Performance Subject Matter Expert --
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08-05-08 06:04 AM - Post#1492603    
    In response to jimmmy57

Ok Ive stayed out of the thread for awhile

OPTIONS

it should be rather obvious that theres options, cam failures are usually the result of incorrect CLEARANCES or too much SPRING PRESSURE or LACK of ADEQUATE LUBRICATION,USE DECENT MOLY CAM LUBE, and decent quality oil, adding MAGNETS to trap metalic CRUD HELPS

READ
http://www.cranecams.com/?show=faq&id=1

(1) get a decent ROLLER CAM, add a high voluum oil pump, baffled 8 qt oil pan, with a windage screen and check your clearances and avoid the problem,USE DECENT MOLY CAM LUBE,and decent quality oil,adding MAGNETS to trap metalic CRUD HELPS


(2) use a SOLID lifter flat tappet cam with lifters with the lube feed holes,add a high voluum oil pump, baffled 8 qt oil pan, with a windage screen and check your clearances and avoid the problem,USE DECENT MOLY CAM LUBE, and decent quality oil,adding MAGNETS to trap metalic CRUD HELPS


http://www.competitionproducts.com/prodinfo.asp?nu...

(3) mod the lifter bores for more oil flow,add a high voluum oil pump, baffled 8 qt oil pan, with a windage screen and check your clearances and avoid the problem,USE DECENT MOLY CAM LUBE,and decent quality oil,adding MAGNETS to trap metalic CRUD HELPS


http://www.compperformancegroupstore s.com/store/me...


(4)USE DECENT MOLY CAM LUBE

http://www.cranecams.com/index.php?show=browsePart...
add a high voluum oil pump, baffled 8 qt oil pan, with a windage screen and check your clearances and avoid the problem,and decent quality oil,adding MAGNETS to trap metalic CRUD HELPS


(5) thinking things thru and verifying clearances and spring pressures, and having a well thought thru lube system will significantly lower your chances of having problems,USE DECENT MOLY CAM LUBE,and decent quality oil,adding MAGNETS to trap metalic CRUD HELPS
.......I have not seen a cam fail in years UNLESS the guy installing it failed to follow those tips


anyone see a PATTERN?

you might want to read thru this AGAIN

http://www.cranecams.com/?show=article&id= 2]ht...

FROM MORTEC
If you are building a SMALL or BIG block Chevy with a flat tappet cam, (solid or hydraulic lifters) be careful during the initial engine break in. It is very easy to lose a cam lobe and lifter during initial break in. This is especially true with a higher than stock lift cam and higher pressure valve springs. The increased pushrod angles found on the BBC and poor preparation can make cam lobe failure after initial fireup a distinct possibility. You can help prevent this cam lobe failure by making sure the engine is prelubed prior to intial fireup. Use a good high pressure lube on the cam lobes and lifter bottoms during assembly. If possible use a lighter pressure stock valve spring (or if using a valve spring with multiple springs, take out some of the inner springs) to intially run the engine. Then switch to the heavier pressure springs after break in. When the engine is first fired up, keep the engine rpms at 2,500 or above, don't let the engine idle for 20 minutes or longer. This keeps lots of oil splashing up on the cam lobes. Make sure the engine can be run for this time period by having enough fuel available, ignition timing set correctly, coolant available for the motor, valve lash set correctly, etc. The idea is not to crank the motor over excessively before it starts up for the first time. If your BBC flat tappet cam survives this initial break in period, it will be good to go for many miles. After the initial engine breakin, drain the oil and change the oil filter. Roller cams generally do not suffer these types of cam lobe failures during initial engine fireup.
if youve adjusted the valves correctly the lifter spins at all rpm levels,but that does NOT mean it wears EVENLY at all rpm levels due to several factors if you [color="orange"] look closely AT FLAT TAPPET CAMS youll see that the center of the cam lobe is NOT centered under the lifter and that the lifter surface is slightly angled , BOTH these factors force the lifter to spin in its bore as the lobe passes under the lifter slightly off center.

SOME of the reasons the higher rpm durring the break in phase is important is that

(1) the faster RPMs the better chances the lobe passes under the lifter floated on an oil film and the less time the oil film has to squeeze out between them

(2) the higher the RPM the greater the oil voluum and pressure the engine pumps and the more oil flow is available at the lobes

(3)the higher the rpm level the more oil is thrown from the rods onto the cam lobes

(4)the higher the rpm the greater the lifters weight and inertia tends to compensate for the springs pressure and lower the net pressure as the lifter passes over the cam lobes nose

(5) at higher rpm speed the better chance a small wedge of oil is trapped between the lifter base and lobe from the oil thrown from the lobes surface by centrifical force

(6) two differant metal surfaces scraping past each other at low speeds may tend to wear and GALL as the oil is sqeezed out but two differant hardness steel surfaces that impact each other at higher speeds covered with oil tend to work harden as they mate and will tend to be seperated by that oil

(7)as the lifter spins in its bore the contact point between the lobe and lifter base constantly changes and rotates with the lobe contact point not resisting its passage and the higher the rpms the faster the lifter rotates and the less time the lobe spends at any one point

BTW ADD E.O.S. to the oil and MOLY break-in lube to the cam
before starting the engine and prefill the filter and pre-prime the oil system before starting the engine.
I normally pour it in just before starting the engines cam break in,procedure. because I want to make sure that nothing in the oil/E.O.S. mix can settle out from sitting over a long period of time. now if your running a flat tappet cam you should have also used a moly cam lube on the lobes and be useing a mineral base oil for the break-in procedure, and youll need to do an oil and filter change after about the first 3-4 hours running time to remove that moly cam lube from the engine after its served its purpose of protecting the cams lobes and lifters at start up, aND AS THE LOBES/LIFTERS LAPPED IN. MOSTLY to prevent that moly grease and E.O.S from potentially partially clogging the filter after that mix cools down,but also because both those lubes might leave deposites in the combustion chamber ,over time that might aggravate detonation.
even G.M. suggests that E.O.S. is not a great long term oil suppliment, and that its main function is to add extra oil film strength durring new engine break in.

http://www.gmpartsdirect.com/results.cfm?singlepar...


don,t forget a few magnets in the oil pan goes a long way towards trapping unwanted metalic dust formed from the cam and rings lapping in durring break-in that might otherwise get imbedded in your bearings or cause other problems
heres the magnets I use in every engine
add a few magnets to the oil pan and drain back area in your engine, the trap and hold metalic dust that comes from wear and increase engine life span by preventing that crap embedding in the bearings

[url]http://www.kjmagnetics.com/proddetai...d=D66SH&cat=13[/url]

[url]http://www.kjmagnetics.com/proddetail.asp?prod=D66SH[/url]

[url]http://www.kjmagnetics.com/proddetail.asp?prod=D82SH[/url]

these are even more tollerant of temp swings and retain strength at even higher engine oil temps plus they are smaller and easier to use


" " IF YOU CAN'T SMOKE THE TIRES FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK !"


Edited by grumpyvette on 08-05-08 06:25 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
enigma57 
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enigma57
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08-07-08 12:20 AM - Post#1494012    
    In response to motorman

  • motorman Said:
a lot of aftermarket flat tappet cams are no longer "parkerized" like the old cams were to help with break in . some cam companies has it as a extra cost option



Wow! Thanks for the heads up, motorman. You'd think that with so many cam failures in recent years due to factors such as lack of zddp and increasingly aggressive cam lobe profiles, the cam companies would actually be doing all that they can to make their cams live. Who'd of thunk?

Appreciate the info,

Harry

 
Trucked_up 
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08-07-08 04:20 AM - Post#1494045    
    In response to enigma57

Comp Cams says they now Nitride their flat tappet cams for better wear.
I'm no engine pro builder,but in the past I installed a few cams,did the break in to the letter and had zero problems.
Then came the wiped out cam and I started this thread.Checking around I learned many had similar issues when in the past they had no issues.I mean like warranty claims for cam grinders and engine builders went up drasticaly.
I got a little parinoid after the first cam failure despite the proper cam break lube and all that..I actually painted stripes on the pushrods so I could see them rotating all the same. After about 3000 miles on the second cam I pulled the lifters one at a time,easy to do on an inline 6 with a side cover,they looked like new,no galling,the bottom surface still convex.The cam lobes looked excellent also.The only difference was adding about 1/3 bottle of EOS at oil changes.
The cam in the big 6 isn't that radical,215 degrees duration at .050 lift,.450 total lift at the valve.Spring pressure is 90 lbs closed,220 lbs open,enough for the limited rpm of this engine.GMC's have a large .990 diameter lifter that's easier on the cam from what I read.


 
motorman 
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08-07-08 08:32 AM - Post#1494168    
    In response to Trucked_up

lifter rotation is important so i always hit the lifter bores with a brake cylinder hone on builds and rebuilds
retired race engine builder,former NASCAR tech inspector. new corvettes owned 1959,1962,1963,1964,1965, 1966,1997,1999,2002,2005, 2008 plus 30+ other chevy cars and trucks along the way. 2008 corvette sold and waiting on a C-7.


 
Trucked_up 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4946

Loc: 315 er
Reg: 03-23-02
08-07-08 09:59 AM - Post#1494212    
    In response to motorman

Yeah,take the valve cover off an small block with ticky hydraulics for an adjustment.The push rod isn't spinning,put the valve right back on,bad,lifter,cam or both generally .


 
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