Cam end play, how critical is it? : V-Twin Forum: Harley Davidson Forums
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Cam end play, how critical is it?

I'm doing a cam conversion on my 01 ST. So far it looks like the front cam has less than .008 end play and the rear has more than 012. The front cam has the .100 spacer on it. Suggestions?
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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..........
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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How are you measuring cam end play on a twin cam motor?
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Assuming you have no outer bearings.....Run It.
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well this is the first time I have heard of someone checking the cam end play on a motor build. Could someone enlighten me on this. Thanks
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Old 02-21-2011, 04:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The Andrews N cam instructions call for .008-.012 minimum cam end play measured between the cam plate and the thrust washer.

I was able to measure the inner, between the shoulder of the cam and the cam plate, came up .010 so I'm good to go. Used a feeler gauge.

Does everybody just skip this part?

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Old 02-21-2011, 05:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The cam end play is no more than .010.

The reason you measure it is... the "inner needle bearings" don't like end play... it's one of the causes of needle skidding. This can cause premature bearing failure.

The cam spacers come in different thicknesses. Or you can get an oversize one and throw it on a surface grinder and grind it so it ends up less that .005. Your needle bearings will thank you.

It's smart to pay heed the cam bearing end play!
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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On the old style cam plate with the roller bearing holding the cams... there was not an issue with end play.

But... you said you were doing a conversion. I'm assuming you are going to the new hydraulic cam tensioner style. Those cams ride on the aluminum cam plate with no bearings. (the auto industry has been doing this for years).

Anyway this new set up calls for the proper cam end play using spacers. The spacers are the only way to set the end play on this type of cam plate.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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+1 on the thicker spacers, Harley sells them in .005 step-ups. I installed with kit provided spacers, measured, then went to HD for the proper thickness ones. It's been a year since I did it, I think they're suppose to be within .005 of each other also.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This IS a critical step with 07up cam plates. You REALLY have to try to be precise. I use a Starret straight edge when I set these up. Me??? I think .012 is TOO loose, BWDIK.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The service manual and the Andrews instructions call for the .100 spacer on the front\cam and then whatever size on the rear cam that aligns the rear cam sprocket with the crank sprocket. Well, once the sprockets are aligned theres no adjusting the end play, you can't go larger or smaller with the spacers. Seems like after that you would use different size spacers on the front cam so that the cam sprockets on the inner side of the cam plate are aligned.
Does that make sense?
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:56 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Well that's interesting. Back when I was in my 20's I Had a 1956 panhead that all the gears from the gen back ran on brass races. The cool thing to do then was convert everything to needle bearings. Sounds like old school technology is back in.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:06 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Dont worry about it. Put the .10 on the front, and shim the back one to align the gears as shown in the book and go. The play is not set by the washers, but by the cam journals. It will be fine.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:25 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zwiehund View Post
Dont worry about it. Put the .10 on the front, and shim the back one to align the gears as shown in the book and go. The play is not set by the washers, but by the cam journals. It will be fine.

The depth of the shouldered area of the cams - the depth of the bore in the cover = your end play, changing the washer thickness won't affect this. The rear washer thickness must be selected to align the cam sprocket with the crank sprocket, so the chain runs true.
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:03 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hightop View Post

The depth of the shouldered area of the cams - the depth of the bore in the cover = your end play, changing the washer thickness won't affect this. The rear washer thickness must be selected to align the cam sprocket with the crank sprocket, so the chain runs true.

There's your answers.
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