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 How To Degree A Camshaft

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PostSubject: How To Degree A Camshaft   Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:48 pm

"Degreeing a cam" describes the process used to verify that a cam is installed properly and aligned to the crankshaft as the engineers intended. Several methods can be used to degree a camshaft, Go-Parts™ explains the "Intake Centerline Method" below. It's quick, easy, and accurate.


Note: Remember that your goal is a hi-performance racing engine, it is in your best interest to follow these instructions. By not following these simple steps, you may reduce horsepower, efficiency, and the performance of your engine.

Note: You can not degree a cam accurately without a degree wheel , a dial indicator , and a fixture to hold the dial indicator.


- We will assume at this point that you have installed your camshaft, that the cam gear timing mark and the crank gear timing mark are aligned, and that both valves are closed. (If the marks are aligned and a valve is open, you need to remove the camshaft and rotate it 180 degrees)

- Install a dial indicator for checking the height of the intake valve lift. (Always use a checking valve or a new valve when degreeing a cam to insure the absence of valve lash)

- Rotate the crankshaft to TDC (top dead center) and install a degree wheel on the crankshaft. Then install the degree wheel pointer aimed at the zero position of the degree wheel and also align the zero position of the dial indicator to the indicator’s needle as a reference point.

- While facing the flywheel side of the engine, rotate the crankshaft clockwise until the dial indicator reads maximum lift and reset the indicator to zero.

- Rotate the crankshaft counterclockwise until the dial indicator reads 0.100”

- Rotate the crankshaft clockwise until the indicator reads 0.050”.

- Record the degree wheel reading.

- Rotate the crankshaft further clockwise until the indicator rises to maximum lift and back to 0.050”.

- Record the degree wheel reading.

- Add the two readings from the degree wheel and divide by 2 to find the intake centerline for your setup.
Example: 156 + 46 = 202, 202/2 = 101

- Compare your intake centerline to the intake centerline listed on your camshaft's spec sheet. (The numbers should be the same although ½ degree either side is an acceptable variance due to crank gear and various other engine tolerances)
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PostSubject: Re: How To Degree A Camshaft   Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:50 pm

If the numbers do not match, there are a few possible reasons:

- you may be reading the degree wheel incorrectly, degree wheels have the low number on the right and the high number on the left. Re-check your degree wheel readings.

- you passed a specific point on the dial indicator and backup up a bit. Doing so may introduce errors. You must start over, do not pass a point and back up.

- the camshaft has been installed incorrectly, re-install the camshaft and try again.

- the crankshaft gear’s manufacturing tolerances are at or beyond high or low limits. Gears are available that have multiple timing locations for making adjustment to correct or modify the way a camshaft aligns with a crankshaft.

- Once you have the correct intake centerline reading, you are finished degreeing your camshaft and will want to set the valve lash .
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