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Can you dial a camshaft with hydraulic lifters

How to Degree a Cam

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Discussion and questions related to the course How to Degree a Cam

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Hi. I have watched the webinar of how to degree a camshaft. And noticed the question at the end about can you dial in a cam using hydraulic lifters.

Now can someone confirm this for me ? Because I also believed this to be true due to the lifters bleeding etc. Anyway I have been called every name under the sun this evening for saying you cannot accurately degree a camshaft with hydraulic lifters. So can this please be confirmed. No matter of the application. Ie bucket type etc. Thanks.

We do cover this in the course, but no, you'll struggle to degree a cam correctly with hydraulic lifters as they tend to bleed down during the degreeing process. My usual technique is to make a check lifter that is solid for the purposes of degreeing the cam.

Surly if you use a lifter the issue is then you have to remove the camshaft to refit the hydraulic lifter ? So then kind of back at square one ?

I understand what your saying. A lot of reputable tuners are telling me it’s nonsense. But what your saying makes complete sense to me!!

Yes, it's a bit more work to refit the hydraulic lifter after you have the cam dialled in but it kind of is what it is if you want to do the job properly. A lot of tuners/engine builders sadly don't bother doing the job properly and really don't care.

I use a degree tool similar to this one. Lifter tool Of course the only engines I have ever built are 385 series Fords and L6 Fords.

I will typically clay the piston and install a "checker" valve springs. That way I can check / measure everything at the same time. (measure pushrod lengths, verify camshaft specifications, valve-spring height and valve to piston clearance.) My luck, something is always off! Install height, coil bind, valve to piston, cam not ground correctly and I almost always want a different pushrod length.

I suggest using the largest diameter degree wheel you can find and a razor blade works great as a pointer. (I use a Jomar 14" degree wheel)

Jomar Performance

Some folk don't know how to properly degree a camshaft or they believe the camshaft is always ground correctly when the biggest issue isn't the camshaft! It's the timing chain / belt sprocket machine work! I never pay attention to the markings on a timing set, I throw it on, check it and adjust from there. Some times it's cheaper to have the camshaft re-ground than having a new sprocket made.

There are a lot of little things that add up to make big differences when building an engine. A good "High Performance" engine builder will never expect an engine to be assembled just once or twice. Some times you think you are on the final build, get the bottom buttoned up, check how many inch lbs it takes to spin the motor over and it's higher than it should be! So, now you get to tear it all back apart looking to see what you did wrong!

In regards with hydraulic lifters used in 4g63 engines, so it is recommended to replace them with solid lifters?

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