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Author Topic: Advance your cam for power & economy  (Read 2180 times)

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Offline 71pintoracer

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Advance your cam for power & economy
« on: April 11, 2008, 12:38:09 AM »
I have read some posts about increasing power and getting better fuel mileage. Did you know that 99% of the cams in the OHC's were retarded? The factory didn't really care, they just got them "close enough." And if the head has been off and shaved to true it up, it is retarded even more. You won't believe how much pep you can gain by advancing the cam or even getting it "straight up." Way back when in my early racing days, I cut the head .060" to increase the C/R, and then couldn't figure out why the timing dot wouldn't line up. I finally realized that by bringing the head and block closer together, it made the timing belt too long so to speak. I had never heard of an adjustable cam pulley so I modified the stock pulley and by trial and error I got the cam advanced two degrees. It is simple to do, if you can change a timing belt you can do it. By using the stock pulley you can put your front cover back on. Maybe this has been posted before (I'm a newbe!) but if anyone is interested let me know.
If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?


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Offline Original74

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Re: Advance your cam for power & economy
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2008, 08:26:47 AM »
I was just told by a fellow member that advancing the cam by 2 degrees would add low end grunt and add to fuel economy, same as you claim.

I do have a dumb question, maybe better stated as seeking understanding. .here goes:

If I am looking at the cam pulley from the front of the car, knowing the cam rotates in a CW direction as viewed from the front, advancing (opening the valves earlier) would mean rotating the cam 2 degrees (or some amount) in a more CCW direction from TDC. Is this a correct assumption?

I am assuming that when you say advance the cam, you mean it opens earlier to allow intake air in earlier. I guess I could find a closeup picture of an adjustable cam pulley and get my question answered, just trying to understand it.

Thanks,
Dave
1974 Sedan, 'Geraldine', 45,000 miles, orange and white, show car.
1976 Runabout, project.
1979 Sedan, 'Jade', 429 miles, show car, really needs to be in a museum. I am building him one!
1979 Runabout, light blue, 39,000 miles, daily driver.

Pintony

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Re: Advance your cam for power & economy
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2008, 10:07:09 AM »
Spring forward! Fall Back!

Offline 77turbopinto

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Re: Advance your cam for power & economy
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2008, 10:42:59 AM »
IIRC: Advancing the valve timing will give better low-end power, but at the sacrifice top-end power. I would think that how and where you drive will dictate how much or if you see any improvments by moving the timing.

There is no such thing as "FREE POWER".


Bill
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Offline FCANON

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Re: Advance your cam for power & economy
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2008, 11:30:38 AM »
 Who said anything about Free Horse power?
You still have to work to advance your cam or buy a multi indexing cam gear...

 As for Driveability you don't loose any usable top end , this is  a good mod for a daily driver or a car with a automatic Tranny... I have done this to all my  2.3L cars and it works well.

 This mod information was given to me by my dad and uncle in the mid 80's. Most of the younger kids might not know the early smog motors in the 70's was held back buy cam timing..we use to get mid 70's Mavericks and MustangII's and put in  timing chains and gears for a 69 302 for a little more pep... Enough to feel in the seat of your pants...but in the 2.3L it just improves drivability... M2C

Either Way

Best Of Luck
FrankBoss

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Offline 77turbopinto

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Re: Advance your cam for power & economy
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2008, 12:08:32 PM »
Who said anything about Free Horse power?....

I was mearly pointing out that these statements, along with the thread title don't bring up any potential drawbacks:

....You won't believe how much pep you can gain by advancing the cam....

I was just told by a fellow member that advancing the cam by 2 degrees would add low end grunt and add to fuel economy...

Some readers might think that there are NO disadvantages to this, but as minimal as they may be, there are.

Let me clarify: Unless you are replacing worn or bad parts, no power (gain) is "free", and by this I don't mean time and/or money. What I mean is that "tuning" what you have will give you benifets in one area, but might rob them from another (MOVING from one RPM range to another). .

Bill
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Offline FCANON

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Re: Advance your cam for power & economy
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2008, 12:17:18 PM »

....Let me clarify: Unless you are replacing worn or bad parts, no power (gain) is "free", and by this I don't mean time and/or money. What I mean is that "tuning" what you have will give you benifets in one area, but might rob them from another (MOVING from one RPM range to another). .

Bill


you can say that again...oh looks like you just did..:)

FrankBoss

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Offline 71pintoracer

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Re: Advance your cam for power & economy
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2008, 01:34:51 PM »
I am in no way saying you get free horsepower. This does not change the HP rating at all, it simply moves the power band. If I were driving a stock AT car, i would for sure give up some (minimal) top end to gain the low end power. As I stated earlier, most of them I have checked were retarded, so just putting them where they belong improves "power." If you are driving a stock Pinto I don't think top end is what you are after. If you have modified the engine by cutting the head and changing the cam, you dang well better have an adjustable pully.
If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?

Offline CHEAPRACER

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Re: Advance your cam for power & economy
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2008, 10:56:46 PM »
And please, boys and girls, Advancing or retarding the cam is done with an adjustable pulley NOT a toothe off here or a toothe off there. Thats waaay too much. 
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Pintony

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Re: Advance your cam for power & economy
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2008, 11:13:30 PM »
And please, boys and girls, Advancing or retarding the cam is done with an adjustable pulley NOT a toothe off here or a toothe off there. Thats waaay too much. 

 If you can find an offset key for the keyway you can advance or retard depending on which way you install the key.
 I just make my own!!! :)
 From Pintony

Offline overachiever

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Re: Advance your cam for power & economy
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2008, 12:53:43 AM »
Advancing cam timing increases the low end torque, retarding it increases top end power. Notice I said torque and power. Torque is what does the work, horsepower is a relative term that is a comparison of torque and rpm (hp = torque x rpm / 5252).  With any engine, torque and horsepower are the same at 5252 rpm (I don't remember where they got 5252 as a constant in the equation, but that's what they came up with and it is the industry standard). If you're drag racing advacing the cam will give you better take off for a better elapse time, but a little less mph at the finish. If your dirt or road racing, retarding the cam will allow for better cylinder charging while the intake is still open for more top end horsepower, where they race at the top of the rpm range. Everything is a trade-off in engine design and available power (or torque). Car designers comprimise accelleration and economy for showroom vehicles, from Pintos to Hemi-Chargers, they both give what they built it for, some economy and big take off for the hemi, but sufficient accelleration and good economy (for the years built) for our little pony's.
As for milling the head, every .020" reduced to increase compression ratio retards the cam timing by 1/2 degree. Ford Motorsports makes an indexed cam sprocket to dial in cams to whatever timing you want, they show up on Ebay regurlary, relatively cheap also. There are 9 keyways to adjust timing (+8,6,4,2,0,-2,4,6,8 degrees) Just remember that when you play with cam timing, you will have to play with ignition timing to get the best efficiency and power.
For those who have the Desktop Dyno 2000 or later software, play around with the cam timing option and see where the power band ends up for each different set-up.

Hope this helps and good luck!

Respectively,
Wes
Over-Achiever Racing


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