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Cam Degree

This is a discussion on Cam Degree within the Internal Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I just purchased a Texas Speed Performance 228/228 .581/.581 112 LSA cam kit. My question is: Do I need to ...

  1. #1
    JMAC Racing WS6ICK's Avatar
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    Aug 2005

    2000 Trans Am WS6 LS6
    2006 GTO LS2

    Cam Degree

    I just purchased a Texas Speed Performance 228/228 .581/.581 112 LSA cam kit. My question is: Do I need to degree the cam or just put it in at dot to dot? This car is not a daily driver but I do take it to the track from time to time.
    2000 Trans Am, WS6, LS6. A4
    Last edited by WS6ICK; 09-23-2006 at 03:55 PM.

  2. #2
    Member SSmoky01's Avatar
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    Sep 2006

    Navy Blue Metallic
    2000 Camaro Z-28 SS

    ALWAYS degree in your cam. Just because it says 112 lsa doesn't mean it will be dead nuts! You would be better off doing it imo.
    2000 SS #1827,NBM,A4,leather,t-tops,lid,eibach springs,hotchkis lca's,slp lid,slp cold air induction,slp loudmouth,baer brakes up front,13.11@107 on street tires,12.90@109 on dr's....time for the cam and intake to be installed

  3. #3
    Senior Member mrr23's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    orlando, fl

    dark bowling green
    2000 corvette

    it's best to make sure the cam was ground correctly by degreeing it in. it'll ensure the valve events are happening when they are supposed to. the last cam i installed and had degreed in was off by 1/2* advanced. pretty darn close if you ask me.

    do you have to degree it in? only if you want to ensure the maximum performance the cam was designed to produce. i have only degreed one cam in my entire life of building my own motors. and it was off by 1/2*.

    but, it's getting to be pot luck anymore when buying cams for LSx motors. i've seen enough posts out there where cams were ground incorrectly. hell i read where one cam was ground correctly for #1 cylinder, but wasn't for the other 7 cylinders. good thing that person decided to check another cylinder just for fun. most only check one cylinder and assume the rest are in line. for the most part, you should only need to check one cylinder as the cam should be ground correctly for the rest once the machine is set up to finish grind the cam.

  4. #4
    Senior Member MadSeason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    1994 POS

    the following is from flowtechinduction

    VALVETRAIN TECH NOTES #1 --- "Dot to Dot" “I installed it dot to dot.”

    This is one of the most popular comments I hear after less than ideal results are seen when a camshaft installation is completed. Just the mentioning of this sends chills down my spine.

    The proper installation of a camshaft and its peripheral valvetrain is one of the most important jobs an installer must do when maximizing the performance of any engine combination. Any short cuts or miscues in this regard, and the overall success of the project, and its ulimate performance, will definitely suffer.

    How can something so simple be so problematic?

    Let’s start with the basic premise that everyone can have a bad day at work. Who’s to say the crankshaft keyway was machined absolutely “dead on” when the machinist set it up? I mean, even a slight error of a degree or two is no big deal considering the thousands and thousands of engines out in the world. They run, don't they? Maybe it wasn’t even a bad day but something that is machined off the mean number but still within manufacturing tolerances. What's a degree or two among friends?

    Now we have the next piece of the tolerance puzzle, the timing set. There are a series of variables that can occur with this component. The relationship of the keyway to the crankshaft sprocket teeth, the location of the cam dowel hole to the cam sprocket teeth and then there’s always the possibility of “both” items being off. Why worry? Well, if each facet is off in the same direction, it is a cummulative error that will change the engine's dynamics. That's why verifying the intake ceterline as it relates to top dead center is very important.

    When you're installing these two pieces to the engine, who’s to say they are so perfect, there’s no reason to check them?

    Nothing is further from the truth. You'll never hear a professional engine builder say this. At least not one that knows the hows and whys of valvetrain importance. This is the type of attention to detail that separates the engine assemblers from the engine builders.

    No camshaft should be just installed “dot to dot” if the installer is a professional!

    Now the novice or the weekend mechanic might be able to justify doing a camshaft installation in this manner just because the tools required are not something a newbie has put the investment in. It's "almost" forgivable when this is spoken. However, when I hear his “dot to dot” comment from a shop that just charged a customer a lot of money to do the install, well, it definitely crosses the line and takes them off the referral list.

    Take your time and verify everything. If you don't have the time, tools or talent to do it yourself, find a professional to do it for you. It's worth the effort!

  5. #5
    Pathelogical Liar BlackLT1Z28's Avatar
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    Aug 2006

    94 Camaro Z28

    Installing the cam 'straight up' is a good starting point, but never skip degreeing the cam. Why go through all that trouble to skip a step? You need to verify that the values on the cam card are accurate.

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