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Old 09-21-2012, 09:54 PM   #1
WhiteT5
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Default VX Cam - Worth the Cost?

I've read nearly every thread on TB regarding cams over the last week and have finally decided that I'd like to have a VX cam for our occasionally driven '92 240 w/ M47. I can't take the lack of power over 3k RPM anymore.

I like to do things right.... not half-assed. I'm used to this costing me more, but this time, I'm not so sure it's worth it. Even with IPD's End of Summer sale, the cost of everything is going to come to nearly $400!

VX Cam Kit w/ adjustable gear, gaskets, and cam seals - $287.99
Valve Compressor Tool - $34.16
Go-No-Go Feeler - $10
Shim Kit - $40
Shipping is $20, for a grand total of $392.15.

What am I doing wrong? I'd like more power, but that's a lot of dough for some more power in something I drive maybe once a week. Then again, one of the main reasons I don't drive it more often is that it has no power. The only "engine mod" currently in place is my own version of the IPD Performance exhaust. The car has to pass strict Texas emissions and retaining good highway fuel economy is important, hence my choosing the VX Cam.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:23 PM   #2
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No.
Get a K cam.
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:09 AM   #3
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Add a turbo if you want _-_-fast
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:59 AM   #4
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The valve spring compressor tool can be rented from Autozone for free
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:22 AM   #5
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The tool he needs is not a regular valve spring compressor.
It's a little hook sort of thing to depress the buckets so shims can be swapped.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:44 AM   #6
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I have the valve tool. You pay shipping you can barrow it for your cam install. If you do not like your VX we can trade for my B cam?
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:55 AM   #7
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If you want to go cheaper (as you should) I can get you VX3 cam or A cam or V cam...for less than IPD....
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:57 AM   #8
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get K kam! i strongly recomend the K cam! i drove my 240 with the old B230F with K cam, 4-2-1 exhaust manifold and with a performance airfilter and it felt much better when doing WOT pulls almost to revlimit.
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:42 AM   #9
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Those VX have gotten expensive!
I enjoy the VX in my 91 245 M47, but have added some injectors which have added some extra to the top end. If you car is LH 3.1 adding the 16v injectors plus the VX can make a nice dd.
If your interested in maintaining low pm torque with modest mid and top end, smooth idle and great drivability the VX is the cam.

If you're only interested in top end continuous rev's above 3500 to make power, rough idle, low intake vacuum, get the K cam as it will deliver more top end, but give up that driveability under 3000 rpm.

Is it worth it? I would say yes if that's what you want, but it was better when it was $150 a couple years ago. Those kits seem to mark-up prices a lot. Priced individually the items add up to less. I found thios true for exhaust kits from IPD.

Do the swap and buy/ get only the shims you (may) need. Often you don't need any at all. You can do it all without the spring compressor tool, but if a shim is needed then you need the tool.
If you want to experiment, buy a used VX and an adjustable gear. I like +5 deg.
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:22 AM   #10
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Professor245 tried lots of cam, and liked the D cam the best. Are you completely set on using a new camshaft? Maybe consider a good used cam for $ saving.
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:32 PM   #11
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I love my D cam, but they are hard to find.
The VX/VX3 aren't worth it in my opinion. I would go with an A or K (rougher idle).
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:35 PM   #12
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Oem Volvo cams are rarely worn at all..........regardless of the mileage.
Forget about the vx/vx3 cam , its just a ****ty emissions cam anyway.
It is simply a mix of V intake profile and X ( super boring emission frilendly new style A cam ) exhaust profile. The VX3 is advanced to 3 degrees compared to the older VX straight up......Makes it even more boring !
If you are using an oem profile cam , and havent messed with the cam belt length( decked block or shimmed head) theres no need for the cam gear. Only people that advance any cam are people in the US anyway. Use a B-D-V-K-H cam , install it straight up , and enjoy the cam , and the good feeling that you spent a lot less money.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:16 PM   #13
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I have a V cam laying around I think.
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:39 PM   #14
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V is a good cam A too
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vvpete View Post
Those VX have gotten expensive!
I enjoy the VX in my 91 245 M47, but have added some injectors which have added some extra to the top end. If you car is LH 3.1 adding the 16v injectors plus the VX can make a nice dd.
So no start-up open-loop grumpiness/funkiness with the 16V injectors vs. 8V?

Just wondering, as I have spare 16V injectors.... but LH 2.4 on the 240.

Thanks!
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:03 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viking20 View Post
Oem Volvo cams are rarely worn at all..........regardless of the mileage.
Forget about the vx/vx3 cam , its just a ****ty emissions cam anyway.
It is simply a mix of V intake profile and X ( super boring emission frilendly new style A cam ) exhaust profile. The VX3 is advanced to 3 degrees compared to the older VX straight up......Makes it even more boring !
If you are using an oem profile cam , and havent messed with the cam belt length( decked block or shimmed head) theres no need for the cam gear. Only people that advance any cam are people in the US anyway. Use a B-D-V-K-H cam , install it straight up , and enjoy the cam , and the good feeling that you spent a lot less money.
The car has to pass emissions. Texas emissions testing, from what I've been told, is just as strict as California, so I don't want to make it difficult for the car to pass.

The car is street-driven, and not super aggressively, so I'm not after absolute peak power, just more mid-range up to 5k RPM or so.

If I got the VX cam, I'd probably advance it about 2.5 degrees using IPD's gear, so I guess I could basically achieve the same thing running a VX3 straight up. I'm not sure how this would make it more boring... just a bit more drivable at lower engine speeds, right?

What's the story on the V cam? Emissions friendly? What car/engine did it come in originally?
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:11 PM   #17
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almost all of the oe cams are emissions friendly. the vx/vx3 is a ****ty camshaft
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:00 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Ryan_R View Post
So no start-up open-loop grumpiness/funkiness with the 16V injectors vs. 8V?
Just wondering, as I have spare 16V injectors.... but LH 2.4 on the 240.
No issues with 3.1, as smooth and even running as the yellow-tops, same MPG if you cruise. 3.1 adapts to your foot better than 2.4, and quickness is rewarded with the 16v injectors which have much faster response than the yellow tops.
I have to say that with the VX cam, the car would be nearly dead above 5k without the 16v injectors, especially timed at 5 deg advanced. That and the 16 v coil helped a lot, takes to redline instantly with a moderate quick peddle.
Using on 2.4 doesn't produce the same results, as the switch for cruise and WOT are the only feedback points, kinda misses the target.
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteT5 View Post
The car has to pass emissions. Texas emissions testing, from what I've been told, is just as strict as California, so I don't want to make it difficult for the car to pass.

What's the story on the V cam? Emissions friendly? What car/engine did it come in originally?
My 91 passed the TX emission (Dallas) for the past 7 yrs; 0.01 %CO; 25 ppm HC with VX cam and 16v injectors.

V cam intake lobes = VX cam intake lobes = V cam exhaust lobes
VX cam exhaust lobes = X cam exhaust lobes = smaller lift & duration than V cam exhaust lobes
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:32 PM   #20
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I'd go to the junkyard and take a cam out of any 70's 240 as it will have a B cam you can get real cheap. I woudn't worry about buying a valve tool as you can put the cam in and then check the clearances and then if any are off, just take the cam back out and change out the shims and then put back in... Cheapest t-brick way...

Also swapping stock Volvo cams usually means you don't have to reshim...

But putting in an aftermarket IPD cam, you usually do have to re shim as they don't make them perfect to volvo specs like volvo so...
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:00 PM   #21
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Quote:
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I'd go to the junkyard and take a cam out of any 70's 240 as it will have a B cam you can get real cheap. I woudn't worry about buying a valve tool as you can put the cam in and then check the clearances and then if any are off, just take the cam back out and change out the shims and then put back in... Cheapest t-brick way...

Also swapping stock Volvo cams usually means you don't have to reshim...

But putting in an aftermarket IPD cam, you usually do have to re shim as they don't make them perfect to volvo specs like volvo so...
I only wish old Volvos were abundant in junkyards here. I can count on one hand the number of 70s 240s I've ever seen driving around here. I've never seen one in a yard.

What cam would an '82 US-Spec 2.1L N/A 240 have? I've got a lead on one.

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Old 09-23-2012, 08:04 PM   #22
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My N/A 89 240 with LH 2.4 and a V cam passes CA smog with flying colors. I imagine all the OEM cams will pass as long as there are no other issues.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:11 AM   #23
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I'd probably advance it about 2.5 degrees using IPD's gear
Why do people think they need the ipd cam gear to advance the cam? You have a timing cover, right? Use the marks on it and double check with a timing light.
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:16 PM   #24
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Why do people think they need the ipd cam gear to advance the cam? You have a timing cover, right? Use the marks on it and double check with a timing light.
Because of the timing belt tooth is the smallest adjustment possible to time the cam to the crank, and that is about 9 deg/tooth

to the OP, that 82 B21F is most always the feared L cam and is termed B21-MPG, as it has the most lame cam Volvo ever put in a car (white dist cap Chrysler ign). I would say they are much more common than a B cam in '82, or even M cam, IIRC even the '79-81 B21F uses the M cam, 2nd most lame cam.

There used to be several older 240's at the P&P at Loop 12 & I30 in SW Dallas. Also check out the yard at 121 & I-820 in Ft Worth. When hunting bring a small mirror to see the stamping at the back of the cam. Also, there's a Marine dealer in Rowlett that is a Penta dealer, may have some better cams like H cam sitting around.
Hit the F/S forums here, an A, B, D V or VX /VX3 will be better than the M cam in your car.
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:09 PM   #25
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V cam came in Volvo boat engines and is slotted...the A and B cams pretty common, but often unslotted. Think the D and K are pretty rare.
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