Cam Timing Marks - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 78 Old 04-28-2010, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Cam Timing Marks

i've had to time a few cams throughout the years. in nearly every instance, there's JUST enough vagueness in the visual reference marks to make me at least SLIGHTLY unsure that i've dialed them in right. i've had to re-do a few, but not so much in the last several years.

does anyone have clear pix of the cam timing marks, how they look in relation to the top of the cylinder head? just to give me more peace of mind. based on the shop manual photos, i am fairly sure i've got them correct.

doing it (what i think is) right, the marks are slightly angled, like a pair of eyebrows on an angry SouthPark character. when i rotated the cams one tooth, the marks were more close to parallel with the top of the cylinder head, but were also well above it. ie, neither position was truly "lined up" so i went with what most closely resembled various pix in the manual.

thanks. The Tinman should get his engine back in his belly this weekend or next. hopefully "first fire" will be soon thereafter. getting stoked. MOST snow is melted and it got up to 61 degrees the other day.

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post #2 of 78 Old 04-28-2010, 02:31 PM
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I bet touring919 can help you out there. He has his engine out and taken apart. Shoot him a PM.

Spoiler:

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post #3 of 78 Old 04-28-2010, 02:38 PM
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One question. Is the cam chain tensioner backed off?

"Towards the end of the vid, it looks like she may have had a bafflectomy." - MarylandMike
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post #4 of 78 Old 04-28-2010, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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tensioner is lightly contacting chain. JUST enough to take up slack. adding more tension than i have on it now doesn't change the position of the marks. thanks ~

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post #5 of 78 Old 04-28-2010, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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i found one good pic in 919 Valve clearance check - Wrist Twisters but i'll take any others that anyone has ! thanks again guys.

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post #6 of 78 Old 04-28-2010, 03:39 PM
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You want accurate???
Dial indicator and a degree wheel...

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post #7 of 78 Old 04-28-2010, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bucky View Post
tensioner is lightly contacting chain. JUST enough to take up slack. adding more tension than i have on it now doesn't change the position of the marks. thanks ~
Just asking. The manual calls for no tension. I noticed when I did my valve check tension on the cam chain changed the postion of the marks.

"Towards the end of the vid, it looks like she may have had a bafflectomy." - MarylandMike
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post #8 of 78 Old 04-28-2010, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterMike View Post
You want accurate???
Dial indicator and a degree wheel...
YES
And ideally, not just get it absolutely spot on, but possibly even tinker with the timing, intake closing in particular, by some fine correction or adjustability.
Would the APE P/N ACS900H adjustable sprockets for the 92-99 CBR900RR work in a 919 ?
I'd think so, but I am not at all sure.

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post #9 of 78 Old 04-28-2010, 05:32 PM
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Crude Check vs Accurate Adjustment of Cam Timing

This need to be kept in perspective.
With factory parts, all you are trying to do is make sure you have both cams "on the right teeth", in other words make sure the cam is centred on the "correct tooth". As long as the leading run of chain is reasonably snug, that can be determined, and you don't need cam chain tension to do it.

However, if you were doing as serious engine build and tune, doing dyno runs, playing with adjustable cam sprockets, and say, for example wanted to alter your intake closing by 2 degrees, then the only way you can accurately determine that is if the chain is properly tensioned, and possibly even preload the crank with something like 10 ft lb of torque in the direction of rotation. (10 # is an extremely engine dependent value that can vary greatly)


Quote:
Originally Posted by HondaJim View Post
Just asking. The manual calls for no tension. I noticed when I did my valve check tension on the cam chain changed the postion of the marks.

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post #10 of 78 Old 04-28-2010, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcromo44 View Post
This need to be kept in perspective.
With factory parts, all you are trying to do is make sure you have both cams "on the right teeth", in other words make sure the cam is centred on the "correct tooth". As long as the leading run of chain is reasonably snug, that can be determined, and you don't need cam chain tension to do it.

However, if you were doing as serious engine build and tune, doing dyno runs, playing with adjustable cam sprockets, and say, for example wanted to alter your intake closing by 2 degrees, then the only way you can accurately determine that is if the chain is properly tensioned, and possibly even preload the crank with something like 10 ft lb of torque in the direction of rotation. (10 # is an extremely engine dependent value that can vary greatly)
ya its always vary apparent when a cam is out of alignment as the teeth are pretty big steps.

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post #11 of 78 Old 04-28-2010, 06:20 PM
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Try it sometime. You'll be suprised. Tension can put you out a whole lot. I've seen it firsthand, on my own bike, with my own eyes. The manual says to release the tensioner and I think it's for a reason. Do what you want. YMMV.

If it won't time with stock parts you have something worn. Cam chain, crank or cam sprockets. When you check it by the book the cam marks line up evenly with the head.

"Towards the end of the vid, it looks like she may have had a bafflectomy." - MarylandMike
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post #12 of 78 Old 04-29-2010, 12:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcromo44 View Post
YES
And ideally, not just get it absolutely spot on, but possibly even tinker with the timing, intake closing in particular, by some fine correction or adjustability.
Would the APE P/N ACS900H adjustable sprockets for the 92-99 CBR900RR work in a 919 ?
I'd think so, but I am not at all sure.

You dont need to buy adjustable sprockets....you could just modify your own standard set by enlarging the bolt holes....

Bucky....when i set my timing the in and ex marks where level with the top of the head........i had to put the chain on the cams and then bolt the cams down to see if the timing was right as i could never move the chain round without lifting the cam out first and spinning it round one tooth..if you know what i mean.

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o222/woodyeee/IMAG0306.jpg
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post #13 of 78 Old 04-29-2010, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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thanks guys. well, i've got a .010 thicker head gasket, so i reckon mine could look different than "stock". that's worth a couple degrees of cam rotation potentially. i'm okay giving or taking those couple of degrees. here's three pix. first is from this forum's maint. postings on detailed valve adjustment. note where the left point of the "half moon" on the top surface of the cylinder head intersects with the exhaust cam hub, and how you can just see the flank of the lower cam bolt head from that camera's perspective. i tried to duplicate that positioning in the next photo, which is of my engine last night. now compare the "ex" and "in" script and their lines on the two pix. you can see that mine are slighly higher, but isn't it clear that there's not an entire tooth worth of difference between those two pix? when i move my cams one tooth, they look "more different" than they do in these two pix. as i said earlier, if i adjust mine one tooth different the cam timing lines look like SouthPark eyebrows: NOT parallel with top of head. in the manual, the actual photographs seem to show the lines parallel to the head but above it, and the DRAWN diagrams seem to show the lines angled slightly and touching the top of the head.

i doubt i have anything worn. this engine went 123 mph in the quarter: no juice, just a header and pcIII.

i think i MIGHT have a cheap chinese dial indicator somewhere...let's see how 1990 J.C. Whitney dollars hold up....

the third pic is a young moose on the side of the Glenn Hwy this morning on my way to work.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg cam timing.jpg (85.5 KB, 57 views)
File Type: jpg cams 2.jpg (138.2 KB, 58 views)
File Type: jpg moose3d.jpg (97.5 KB, 38 views)

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post #14 of 78 Old 04-29-2010, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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ahhhh CRAP Mr. Mike ! now i've got a Moroso degree wheel and Dale Walker's DVD on degreeing cams coming UPS Red from Schnitz. i guess i'll throw another $140 at this question !! but i'll also feel a little better the first time i hit the starter. and the first time i hit the horn, which is my nitrous activation !

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post #15 of 78 Old 04-29-2010, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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good point Hondajim: i AM going to spend some more time playing with it, looking at the relationship between tension and timing before i pull the cams back out. thank you for the reminder.

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post #16 of 78 Old 04-29-2010, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bucky View Post
good point Hondajim: i AM going to spend some more time playing with it, looking at the relationship between tension and timing before i pull the cams back out. thank you for the reminder.
the only way the timing marks are going to be further up on both sides is if there is less chain between the sprockets. It looks like your cams are spot on cus a tooth either way would make em WAY off.

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post #17 of 78 Old 04-29-2010, 02:05 PM
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Too bad that first pic has the guide installed. One quick way to judge is if you have the same number of links inbetween the marks. It kinda looks like you are one tooth high one both ends, especially if you have any tension on the chain.

And your thicker head gasket will have some bearing on the placement.

"Towards the end of the vid, it looks like she may have had a bafflectomy." - MarylandMike
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post #18 of 78 Old 04-29-2010, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HondaJim View Post
Too bad that first pic has the guide installed. One quick way to judge is if you have the same number of links inbetween the marks. It kinda looks like you are one tooth high one both ends, especially if you have any tension on the chain.

And your thicker head gasket will have some bearing on the placement.
its possible..... one link less in between em would net half a tooth high on each side, but if the bike is runnin just find i dont see how it could be off... its probably just the camera angle. Also take into account possibly a stretched vs not as stretched chain.

Bigger head gasket would move em both in one direction.

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post #19 of 78 Old 04-29-2010, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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bike hasn't run in 2 years. this is a new case, new pistons, new head gasket, new cams (non stock)

nd2spd, that's what i was thinking. i don't see a full tooth of diff between my pic and the one from the maint. section of this forum. i see a LITTLE, but not a tooth. again, if you look at the 4 or 5 places that the marks are depicted in the shop manual, in half of them (the photographs) the marks look higher than the cylinder head top surface and parallel to it, in the graphic DRAWINGS of the marks, they look slightly angled and closer to the top surface of the head. the photos look like they're taken from a perspective ABOVE the cylinder head top surface, the diagram/drawings are shown from a perspective looking STRAIGHT at the cams. i could mimic each by varying each cam one tooth. i can make mine look like half the diagrams in the manual, or move them both one tooth and make them look like the OTHER half of diagrams in the manual. GRUF !~ but i suppose the degree wheel should get me where i'm going. IF the magnetic base of my dial indicator has anything decent to grab onto !

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post #20 of 78 Old 04-29-2010, 07:29 PM
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Bucky, where have you been? we missed you!

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post #21 of 78 Old 04-29-2010, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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blowed up...SIR !
but i'm putting together a new motor and should be back in action soon.

and let's face it Phobman, not EVERYbody missed me, and rightly so...

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post #22 of 78 Old 04-30-2010, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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okay, i backed the tensioner ALL the way out and rechecked.
here's how the marks look when the camera is looking LEVEL with the top of the cylinder head. as you can see, you'd NOT call these marks "even" or "level" with the top of the head by any means. but am i wrong? there's NO WAY that moving the cams one tooth would NOT go too far, right?

i've included another pic of both cams from the same, slightly overhead perspective as yesterday's pix as well.

the degree wheel SHOULD be on its way to me today, so maybe this is just an exercise, or maybe i'm looking for validation.

would you agree? those marks are close but not level with the top of the head, yet moving the cams one tooth would make the marks even farther from correct?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg exhaust cam.jpg (88.8 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg intake cam.jpg (140.3 KB, 37 views)
File Type: jpg timing no tension.jpg (109.6 KB, 35 views)

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post #23 of 78 Old 04-30-2010, 12:06 PM
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ya those are spot on... like you said adding or subtracting a tooth between the cams or shifting the cams one tooth either way would yeild something thats NO WHERE CLOSE.

I will say that in my CRF250 that the marks on the cam sprocket were similar in that they weren't flush with the top of the head by parallel and above by about 1/8th of an inch.

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post #24 of 78 Old 04-30-2010, 12:52 PM
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I agree, they are spot on...thats how i set mine up!

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o222/woodyeee/IMAG0306.jpg
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post #25 of 78 Old 04-30-2010, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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well a Moroso degree-wheel the size of a satellite dish and the Dale Walker "how to" DVD just showed up at work, so i guess i'll see EXACTLY how The Tinman's cams are timed. but i HATE when manuals say marks "line up" when they don't, and judgment is required. i mean, Honda has some of the best engineers and quality machining on the planet. can't they have something just a tad more "go/no-go" ??

did that moose look okay too?

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post #26 of 78 Old 04-30-2010, 01:31 PM
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Wouldnt it be easy if they had say 3 holes that lined up and then you put a 6mm bolt in each and then you just fitted the chain and hey presto it was all aligned and setup!!

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post #27 of 78 Old 04-30-2010, 02:10 PM
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What does a thicker head gasket do to the alignment? Seems like it would make the marks be below even just a tad. Or does it just take up some slack?

"Towards the end of the vid, it looks like she may have had a bafflectomy." - MarylandMike
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post #28 of 78 Old 04-30-2010, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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seems to me that in the context of clockwise rotation, my gasket SHOULD advance timing by a few degrees. and as the distance between the cams CAN'T change, the intake cam will always be the same number of degrees behind the exhaust cam as before, which would mean that both cams SHOULD be advanced the same amount. so the exhaust cam mark should be a little bit low and the intake mark should be a little bit high. IF they're even off by enough degrees (due to the thicker gasket) to see by eye. degree wheel SHOULD tell me how much. watching the DVD at work right now. gotta love a State job ! good thing they're not "retarded" or i'd have to explain to sarah palin that it's satire.

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post #29 of 78 Old 04-30-2010, 05:36 PM
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Let me know what you think of the degree wheel thing. I know you have a hard time expressing your opinion. Hah.

"Towards the end of the vid, it looks like she may have had a bafflectomy." - MarylandMike
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post #30 of 78 Old 05-01-2010, 11:21 AM
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I'll be anxiouslly awaiting the results of the cam wheel. Yes, you cams should be advanced a bit. I'm curiouse to see how much.

And i agree. That 2nd set of pics you posted looks spot on.

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post #31 of 78 Old 05-01-2010, 11:42 AM
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Bucky....Why did you want a thicker head gasket, i know it would lower the compression ratio but how much...do you know?

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post #32 of 78 Old 05-01-2010, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
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Bucky....Why did you want a thicker head gasket, i know it would lower the compression ratio but how much...do you know?
ya and im sure bucky isnt runnin a turbo or other forced induction where lower compression is needed.... what is the reasoning behind the thicker gasket?

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post #33 of 78 Old 05-01-2010, 04:45 PM
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Looks like you are one tooth off on one or the other, not both. What does your crank position look like?

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post #34 of 78 Old 05-02-2010, 01:56 PM
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I would assume the thicker head gasket is used for the amount of nitrous he is blowing into the motor. . . which, if my thinking is correct, would also up the compression and require lowered compression pistons or a thicker head gasket.

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post #35 of 78 Old 05-02-2010, 06:57 PM
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You are absolutely correct.
Thicker head gasket advances the cams and advances them equally.
The difference should be slight in every regard, as in measureable change and performance.


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seems to me that in the context of clockwise rotation, my gasket SHOULD advance timing by a few degrees. and as the distance between the cams CAN'T change, the intake cam will always be the same number of degrees behind the exhaust cam as before, which would mean that both cams SHOULD be advanced the same amount. so the exhaust cam mark should be a little bit low and the intake mark should be a little bit high. IF they're even off by enough degrees (due to the thicker gasket) to see by eye. degree wheel SHOULD tell me how much. watching the DVD at work right now. gotta love a State job ! good thing they're not "retarded" or i'd have to explain to sarah palin that it's satire.

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post #36 of 78 Old 05-03-2010, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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mcromo, i agree and i'm not worried about degreeing them in so much as just making sure they're in RIGHT. i believe stock gasket is .020 thick and my cometic has an additional layer making it .030 thick. i've got 12.5:1 wisecos and wanted to drop that a tad. i never did calculations for compression nor cam timing due to the thicker gasket. i don't think i care. i think i made a small change in the correct direction for what i'm trying to do.

so, Erion sold me their "closeout" cams for the 919 last year. one or both had been previously shipped and returned to them, i could tell that by the packaging. there was no data card within. Erion has no info on the cams now, and Crane can't be reached so far. S&S cycle bought Crane, but has NO info on any non Harley product. None of the Crane phone or fax numbers function.

i set up my degree wheel this weekend and took numerous measurements of both intake and exhaust cams, but the numbers don't make sense. the absurdly oversize degree wheel that Schnitz sold me ...i was thinking after looking at my numbers...MAY be for the opposite direction of rotation. another possible explanation for the goofy numbers might be an assymetrical grind on the cam, but i reckon that is less likely than the possibility that the wheel needs to be mounted the other way.

anybody know what an Erion cam for a cbr900rr would have for intake and exhaust lobe centers? (as IF, Bucky!)

i'll try again tonight with the wheel set up for rotation opposite of what i was doing and i'll share my findings, whether or not they make sense to me.

this weekend, my intake lobe centers were at 153 degrees on average and my exhaust were at 176 degrees. sounds like 104-108 is "normal" for most applications.

anyone comment? i've never done any of this, so i suppose i should be trying to kiss up to Dan Kyle or LDH or someone with some extensive experience.

Help?

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post #37 of 78 Old 05-03-2010, 03:03 PM
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I am pretty sure the stock head gasket is .03 and not .02, I measured mine with a micrometer when I had mine apart. I checked it a few times and talked with someone to make sure I was reading it correct. So, maybe yours is 0.04? Or you thought you put in a thicker one and really didn't, or my memory is incorrect.

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post #38 of 78 Old 05-03-2010, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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it's been a year since i ordered gaskets, so i pulled the file. i have a .040. thanks for correcting, bwoso. cometic shipped me a gasket also with an extra millimeter of bore. more importantly to me, if any of you with actual engine knowledge (especially if you've watched a loser/intern struggle with a degree wheel before you showed him how to pull his head from his ass and set it up right) can chime in here i'd love to hear it ! rip me a new one ! call me names ! i'll take it gladly, if it comes with insight.

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post #39 of 78 Old 05-04-2010, 03:59 AM
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Following along but I'm not help with the degree wheel. Never used one.

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post #40 of 78 Old 05-04-2010, 06:59 AM
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It would be too long winded spelling out the step by step procedure. Besides their is a ton of information on the internet. A good source is Web Racing Cams

Cam Lob Centers explained

Dale Walker has a excellent video on the subject. I suggest buy it...

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