What head do I have, who's shaft rocker assembly, and how to id cam?

Discussion in 'Big Block Cadillacs' started by Lil'John, Apr 28, 2019.

  1. Lil'John

    Lil'John Member

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    What vehicle(s) do you drive?:
    71, 72 Toyota FJ55s
    I picked up an unknown cady that I'm slowly trying to figure out what is in it. I was told 1969 500. Obviously not right.

    The head casting number is 1486250. I did not find this number in Big Inch Cadillac nor MTS tech manual. I did find in a search the claim it is the 68-70 small chamber smog. It does have the EGR hump down the middle.

    It had someone's rendition of a shaft rocker assembly. Does anyone recognize it?
    donor5_sml.jpg

    Lastly, I wasn't expecting the above so now I'm curious what camshaft is in this sucker. Is there an easy method to spec a camshaft?
     
  2. Cadillac Kid 1

    Cadillac Kid 1 Well-Known Member

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    The heads are 69-70, but in i1969 all there was s=was a 472 inch motor.
    Check the casting number at the rear of the block on top near the oil pressure sender. That number will give you a better idea if in fact you have a '69
    As far as the rockers they appear to be an "earl" version of shaft rockers. Origin unknown at least by me.
    To determine the camshaft you would need to degree the cam which might be a bit of a chore with an installed engine. Suggest you just fire it up and see what kind of idle and poser band you get.
    Greg Surfas
     
  3. Lil'John

    Lil'John Member

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    Engine block was 1495200... which covers everything. As you note, if it was as a 69 as claimed, it would be a 472.

    Unfortunately, it was swapped into a 1964 Chevy pickup so no idea on the 69 claim. The current owner of that pickup didn't want it so it is sitting on an engine hoist right now. So I can't really fire it up.

    Since it was swap engine, it is hard to claim what the crank is especially with a shaft rocker upgrade. Add in the Edlebrock intake, an Edelbrock carb, a 368 oilpan, and Sanderson headers, it is hard to say what the cam might be.
     
  4. robocop

    robocop Active Member

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    You'd have to pull the front of the motor and look at any stamps on the end of the cam, if there are any.
    Inspect it and it its not flat spotted run it! Its hard to hurt the low end torque of a Caddy. Or stick a new one in.
     
  5. Cadillac Kid 1

    Cadillac Kid 1 Well-Known Member

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    5200 block puts it 1970 and later. It's either a 472 or a 500. Quickest test would be to pull a park plug and rotate the cylinder (with the plug out) to TDC. rotate the engine and with either a thin rod, coat hanger straightened or the like, measure how far the piston goes down before it starts back up. 4.0 inches is 472, 4.30 is a 500.
    While you have the plug out if you have some sort of bore scope, check the piston top . High compression (1970) will have a "peanut" shape recess. Low compression 1971-73 will have a rectangular (with rounded corners) shaped recess.
    Greg Surfas
     
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  6. Lil'John

    Lil'John Member

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    What vehicle(s) do you drive?:
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    How would I do this?

    I'm praying the end of the cam shaft is marked. Given how rough the Sanderson headers are, I'm thinking at least 15 years old. Did MTS mark the end of their cams?

    I was going to drop the oil pan to seal it up and check the crank by number. While the pan is down, I wanted to take a look at the dipstick tube and rods to see what is there. Is it possible to identify piston from the bottom?

    I've got a bore scope on order so I'll check from the top also.
     
  7. 5one9

    5one9 Active Member

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    My old CMD cam markings are on the opposite end toward the rear
     
  8. Lil'John

    Lil'John Member

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    I confirmed it is a 472.

    While I was in the bottom, I was able to pull a number off the front of the cam shaft that is just behind the front bearing inside the engine(looking up through the piston on the driver side):
    CWC SCA 68

    I'm guessing this is a cam blank number but nothing to do with actual info.
     
  9. 5one9

    5one9 Active Member

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    Core casting number I believe. Even with all of the numbers on my old CMD cam, I had to degree it to get the specs for myself.
     
  10. Cadiac

    Cadiac Active Member

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    Those rockers look like some I bought from Al Betker former MTS owner. Forgot I have those. Good stock-mild build upgrade
     
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  11. Lil'John

    Lil'John Member

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    That would be kind of nice. Al was VERY helpful with a rebuild on another 472 I tinkered with 20 years ago:
    lj_caddy.jpg
    Eerily similar project to this one:
    old project: Toyota FJ40 made into an extra cab pickup with Dana 60 axles and 35s
    new project: Toyota FJ50 made into a pickup with Dana 60 axles and 35s

    I still have his old parts and tech catalogs ;)
     
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  12. Caddylackn

    Caddylackn Member

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    I bought a motor very similar to yours. The previous owner didn't build it or know any of the build specs, but it is apparent somebody spent some good money for performance parts on it.

    From what I see from your photo, here are my assumptions;


    1. They planned to run it and make power past 4,400 rpm so they upgraded springs, then upgraded to shaft rockers :)

    2. They upgraded the cam, or they wouldn't have bothered with the springs and shaft rockers :)

    3. They wanted significant more power at higher rpms, so they upgraded the intake and exhaust to support the cam :)

    4. The heads could be ported or have bigger valves installed to support the cam. Not worth pulling the heads to check IMO.

    5. If the cam was out for replacement, they would have upgraded the timing chain and gears :), hopefully the cam was degreed correctly.

    Checking the cam;

    If you ask the owner of the ’64, he might tell you what rear end and gears and converter were in the truck when he bought it. That would give you an idea of what rpm they were running when making power and would give you clues to the cam's operating range.

    You could check the existing cam with a degree wheel. Here is a great easy to understand video on how to degree (or read) a camshaft and read a degree wheel I recommend buying a big degree wheel, it makes it so much easier if you can see all the numbers clearly. I bought the same Moroso 18” wheel as seen in the video for like $65 on Amazon.

    With the lobe separation, intake duration at 0.05”, and max. cam lobe lift measured, post up the figures on here and we can try to figure out what cam it is. If we can match it up to a vendor cam, we can get the cam card to verify it is degreed correctly in your motor. If you don't want the cam that is in it, knowing and posting the cam specs would make it easy for you to sell the cam to somebody.


    Another easy way to guestimate what cam specs it has, is to the check the vacuum and rpm at idle , listen for lope, and post your results on this board so somebody can compare to their known cam specs. Big duration cams have a significant loss of vacuum at idle, a higher idle, and rumpity rump sound.


    That might be a reduced base circle reground cam, so it could have special length push rods in the motor to get the required valve lift. If you change out the cam, be sure to check the pushrod length and valve geometry after the new cam is in. There are a lot of youtube videos on how to do that.

    While the motor is out, I could check the mains and rod bearing clearances, clean the oil pan, pick up screen, and new pan gasket. I would look for upgraded rods and rod bolts. I would consider upgrading the rod bolts if they haven't been already.

    But first I would consider just running the cam that is already in it, unless you know the exact cam you are going to want to put in now. There is a chance you could be happy with the cam that is in it now. If not, figure out what the existing cam is and we can work from there to get to the cam you want.
     
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  13. Darius

    Darius Well-Known Member

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    Caddylackn,

    Well considered and well said. Great video too.

    Thanks for posting that.

    bro. d
     
  14. Lil'John

    Lil'John Member

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    Caddylackn,
    Thank you very much for the info and link. I'll take a look at the link in a few.

    Your assumptions are basically what my thought process was. The one exception is the intake/header... most of what I've read says even a stock engine wakes up with the intake/header. It is funny you mention the 'updated' timing kit; yup, it was updated.

    The concern I have with the cam specs it two fold:
    1) I don't want some loppy race centric cam. I want my power band down low for towing.
    2) I am going to TBI convert it so it would help to know the cam specs for a tune.
    I am going to run it as is without going TBI for a bit if it isn't a correct cam.

    The oilpan is dropped and internally cleaned. I plan to strip and paint it. Thanks for reminding on the pickup screen.

    I was going to get a picture of the rods/rod bolts to see if I can identify any upgrades there.

    It didn't cross my mind to check main and rod bearing clearances... is this as simple as pulling a main/rod cap and plasti-gauging it?
     
  15. 5one9

    5one9 Active Member

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    By pulling rockers and measuring lift at pushrod you can ballpark the cam. Remember that the better you measure the better the results. A 0.020” error becomes 0.032-0.035 at the valves. I’d you are under 0.500” gross RV, 0.510”-0.540 middle of the road, 0.540”+ is likely much more duration. Crude but will tell you RV or race.
     
  16. Lil'John

    Lil'John Member

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    Are you saying just pull a rocker, put the cylinder at top, mark the pushrod, then rotate down, mark pushrod again, and use that measurement?

    After watching the video provided, they are basically doing the work on a short block plus using what appears to be a few hundred dollars in tools. A bit more time/money than I'm will to spend on figuring out a camshaft that only costs ~$300 to replace ;)
     
  17. 5one9

    5one9 Active Member

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    With rockers off. Spark plugs out. Pushrods still installed. Put a wrench on the front harmonic balancer bolt and start turning crankshaft either direction. As you turn you will notice the pushrod slowly going up and down. You want a measurement between the highest and lowest points of the pushrod. The difference multiplied by rocker ratio is your lift. You can use a dial indicator or straight edge to measure. Magnetic base Dial indicator is much preferred and should work nicely when centered in the pushrod oil hole.

    Example
    0.300” pushrod movement x 1.60 rocker ratio = 0.480” lift

    0.300” x 1.70 ratio = 0.510” lift
     
  18. 5one9

    5one9 Active Member

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    You can use the marking the pushrod method but it lends itself to inaccuracy. With a scratch awl and common sense it is possible.
     
  19. Caddylackn

    Caddylackn Member

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    I bought a 1" dial indicator and a magnetic stand at Harbor Freight for the job. Although it is only hobbyist grade and not machinist grade accuracy, it should allow you to at least measure the lobe separation and duration at 0.050" with some measure of accuracy. This would get you good ballpark number. A 1" dial indicator and magnetic stand is a good tool to have in your toolbox if you are going to do any motor work. You can also use a dial indicator to find true Top Dead Center, measure crankshaft and cam end play, find stuff out of round, etc. There are degree measurement kits on Jegs and Summit for fairly cheap that includes the degree wheel.

    My heads and intake manifold are off, so it is easy for me to measure lift at the lifter. With intake manifold on, you would have to measure the push rod, or measure at the valve stem tip (and adjust for rocker ratio). If you plan doing this type of work alot, you should get a dial indicator that is designed to fit inside the lifter bore and measure lift directly at the cam surface, this gives the best accuracy and is easiest to set up. I think these type of bore dial indicators start at about $100. The more moving components you measure off of (and farther from the cam lobe) the greater the inaccuracy, due to changes in temperature, flexing, etc. The guy in the video does this for a living, so he has to have machinist grade measuring tools. We can get by with hobbyist grade usually. If you do check the cam by the push rods with the heads on (and rockers removed), pull the sparkplugs so it is easier to turn the motor over and the motor isn't fighting back from compression when making small crank angle adjustments since all the valves will be closed once you pull the rockers.

    Your motor is out, so it is pretty easy to check main and rod clearances now using plastic gauge. The problem is, if you do, and the clearances are marginal or barely out of spec, do you rebuild the whole motor? Going down that rabbit hole, you could end up spending way more than you planned. So, I would just look for obvious damage or easy preventive maintenance. If you do find a spun bearing or damaged journal, you have no choice but to pull and turn the crank, so better just do it now before it leaves you on the side of the road sometime. If the clearances are marginal, or you just find one bearing clearance out of spec, I would just hand polish the one journal, plop in a new bearing and run it as is, it could go another 50k miles.

    Also, if you do buy the $300 camshaft, you still have to degree and check it, see video, so you still need a dial indicator and wheel. Some part stores have loaner tools available with a deposit. I like the idea of owning a big ass degree wheel and hanging it up on my garage wall for my neighbors to see, makes it look like I know something about engines.
     
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  20. Ewob

    Ewob New Member

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    Since the motor is on a stand it might be worth a shot to check the other end of the cam for the ID. Just pull the flex plate and pop off the back cam cover and see what is there.
    I have a similar older build and that was how I found out what I had. Turned out to be an old MTS grind.
     

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