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Old 01-18-2010, 03:52 PM   #1
nextproject
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Default cam install, bad idea to NO order ipd's shim kit?

i've decided that 8 shims at $3 apiece is alot better than spending 40 bucks plus return shipping and waiting for a refund from ipd. My question is this, can i accurately figure the required shim thickness without the kit? After swapping from the stock t cam to the ipd turbo cam, should i go ahead and pull all of the stock shims and measure the gap and subtract the ideal gap and order those shims that come closest? or should i leave the shims in during the cam swap and just check the clearances after? i want to get this done before february!
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Old 01-18-2010, 03:59 PM   #2
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Remove the cam. Then measure the thickness of each shim in each location. Make sure that you put each shim back in the same location. Now install the cam. Measure the lash clearances and calculate the required shim thickness from what you measure the lash clearance and the thickness of the shim that is in that location. Now you will only have to buy the shims you need. It is best to use new shims with a new cam but you don't have to. Just be sure to use lots of cam break in lubricant on the lobes and oil up the bearings when you install the cam. Start up the engine and keep the revs up around 2k rpms for about 20 minutes and enjoy new found power.
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Old 01-18-2010, 04:00 PM   #3
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BTW, I've installed new cams and not needed any shim size changes. Other times I've needed all 8 shims replaced.
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Old 01-18-2010, 05:19 PM   #4
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I would say put the cam in then measure only the ones that are out of spec, but I guess at that point it's not going to eat up a bunch of time to measure all of them.

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Start up the engine and keep the revs up around 2k rpms for about 20 minutes and enjoy new found power.
Whaaa? Curious as to why you would want to do this.
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Old 01-18-2010, 06:00 PM   #5
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Because you are installing a brand new cam that you want to wear in properly. You want lots of fresh engine oil to be pumped up to the head for the cam and you want it well lubricated while it wears in. This is what I was told to do by people here that have built many of these engines. I have followed their advice for many years and have never had a cam install problem, thankfully.
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Old 01-18-2010, 06:35 PM   #6
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I was told the "cam break-in" wasn't needed for our SOHC engines (plenty of lube at idle vs. engines with the cam down in the block which has to wait for the oil to seep down), but you're the go-to-guy around here. Either way, both of my cam installs (B - used, K - like new) went fine without that 2k for 20 minutes. As far as shimming, loan the kit if you can afford it, otherwise skip it for now until you can pull a handful of shims from a junkyard (for free).
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:00 PM   #7
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Most all the shims I've ever gotten from cars at the junkyard where all right around 4.00. Usually with an aftermarket cam you'll need ones of a different size. I know with my RSI cam I needed shims that where all about 4.5 and 4.55 I think is the biggest one in the IPD kit. I rented the kit for the RSI cam install, but I've swapped out T cams and put in A cams and not needed any shim replacements. This is because they are volvo factory cams.
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:12 PM   #8
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I was told the "cam break-in" wasn't needed for our SOHC engines (plenty of lube at idle vs. engines with the cam down in the block which has to wait for the oil to seep down), but you're the go-to-guy around here. Either way, both of my cam installs (B - used, K - like new) went fine without that 2k for 20 minutes. As far as shimming, loan the kit if you can afford it, otherwise skip it for now until you can pull a handful of shims from a junkyard (for free).
I'm going to assume your B and K cams weren't ACTUALLY new...

gotta break in a new cam
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Old 01-18-2010, 08:04 PM   #9
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BTW, I've installed new cams and not needed any shim size changes. Other times I've needed all 8 shims replaced.
What do you think the deciding factor is for this? If I had my valves adjusted a year ago (T cam), does that mean if I put in an IPD cam it will be in spec? I just think it's nuts how sometimes no adjustment is needed.
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Old 01-18-2010, 10:37 PM   #10
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IINM, it has to do with the original diameter of lobe section of the blank used to make the cam, or how far they cut the minimum diameter of lobe, the part that doesn't make any contact.

I can testify from personal experience that junk yard shims would be a major waste of time, as said above, factory shims don't vary much. Odds are the IPD cam will need 8 new shims, all of the IPD turbo cams I've installed needed thicker shims.

The worst thing that could happen if you do not order a shim kit is that you need thinner shims than you have on hand, and thus you won't be able to measure the clearances, because the clearance would be 0 or below 0. There you would probably have to put the old cam back in for now and then find a shim kit, or buy a few smaller ones and try them out until you can find at least one that you can use to set each valve with, an exasperating process. The odds of this happening would be rare, all the after market cams I've installed used either the same/similar size shims as the factory cam, or needed thicker shim; where measuring the clearances using your current shims would not be an issue. But if going from and aftermarket cam to a factory cam, you might want to have a shim kit, or have the original shims from that engine somewhere on hand.

Just to make mention of a related item, I strongly recommend against installing new valve stem silencers until after you've completed all valve clearance adjustments, but then I would replace them after each adjustment.

I'm curious what are the problems one might find if a new cam was not broken in via the aforesaid method?
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:02 PM   #11
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If you don't break in a new cam, it might wear out the cam quicker. That's why they recommend a break in run. I always do that with a new cam. I did it with my RSI cam and I rev that baby up to 7.5k all the time and I haven't broke any shims and it still works like it's susposed to.
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:33 PM   #12
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So i have a stock A cam in my 1986 volvo n/a. I believe this is what came factory. I bought a B cam and want to install it. I heard that this is a factory cam in some cars. Will i have to re-shim for this cam in my motor? Thanks
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:47 PM   #13
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The M cam came stock in your car if your 1986 is a US model. The A cam and B cam are both factory cams. As mentioned you need to check the clearances. So it may need the shims changed or may not. But you must check the valve lash clearances so you'll know whether the shims need changing or not.
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:15 PM   #14
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I'm going to assume your B and K cams weren't ACTUALLY new...

gotta break in a new cam
Which is why I said "used, and like new".
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:58 PM   #15
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I have absolutely nothing to back this up, but it seems like breaking in engine parts would take a lot longer than 20 minutes, and it seems to me that there should be plenty of oil pressure even at idle to keep the cam from wearing. Or is the idea to get the cam used to a specific wear patter around 2-2.5k RPM (roughly cruising rpm)?

Again, I lack any sort of experience regarding breaking in cams, but it just doesn't quite sit right. Then again most under-understood ideas don't sit quite right until you can fully understand them. Time for me to do some more reading...
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:52 AM   #16
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its a mildly used ipd turbo cam, stock shims were around 4.0mm, with the exception of one 3.95 and 4.05mm, i came up with figures and ordered 5 4.10s, one 4.15 and i will be reusing 2. fcp wants 2.25 apiece, dealer wanted TEN BUCKS APIECE!

for future reference, that little spring on the timing belt tensioner that nobody replaces? its only 8 bucks and change at the dealer.

i plan on lubing it very well, the wear surfaces of the cam look at least as good as the ones on the stock t cam. thanks for the replies, once again i went about my business without even checking back on here first, gotta be the easiest cam swap i've ever done, even easier than my 8v corrado g60 engine.
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:25 PM   #17
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Can anyone testify to the longevity of iPd shims? I think I have some loose clearances with the iPd cam and I’d like to order individual shims to correct it. They need to be as good as OE shims.
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Old 06-12-2018, 12:02 AM   #18
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Yes, they are fine. I've been using IPD shims with my cam install in the turbo for 90k miles.
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Old 06-12-2018, 12:39 PM   #19
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Yes, they are fine. I've been using IPD shims with my cam install in the turbo for 90k miles.
Thank you, i will place an order.
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Old 06-12-2018, 02:00 PM   #20
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Are new shims needed if I go from an M to a B cam? And is cam break in necessary, or is that only for completely new cams?
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Old 06-12-2018, 02:32 PM   #21
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Are new shims needed if I go from an M to a B cam? And is cam break in necessary, or is that only for completely new cams?
They don't have to be new.
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Old 06-12-2018, 02:44 PM   #22
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I think I had to switch all shims going from M to B
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Old 06-12-2018, 02:54 PM   #23
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I think I had to switch all shims going from M to B
A friend of mine swapped out his M for an A and he didn't need new shims. He also had like 50k more miles than me.
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Old 06-12-2018, 03:05 PM   #24
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bump for Three Fat Tigers throwback
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Old 06-12-2018, 03:09 PM   #25
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I went from M to T to B and never touched shims. They were all within spec.

When I went from M to iPd turbo I think the only ones out of spec were a bit loose. Have been that way for awhile but i don’t drive the car thaaaat much. They make some noise so it’s about time I swap them out.
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