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Quick Change Cam Bearing - Day Of Reckoning

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by arch, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. arch

    arch VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Way back in the mid 1980s I had a quick change Cam Bearing installed. The engine was being rebuilt and it seemed like a good idea.

    30+ year later I am doing another bottom end rebuild.

    I have been reading about the quick change bearing and their effect on camshafts.

    This camshaft was replaced when the engine was rebuilt. The cam I have been using for the last 30+ years shows no sign of wear on the scrolled journals.

    I plan on sending this cam and the lifters out to be cleaned up then re-used.

    Since the cam has lasted this long I feel confotable leaving thins as they are.

    Is it worthwhile to convert back to a Bush?
     
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  2. motorson

    motorson VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    I'm just a little surprised but I would leave it how it is. Needle bearings, by definition, push slightly into the race material as they are loaded and rotating. Your cam has to be harder than average to have held up to that kind of wear all these years.
    A quick change bushing would be just as easy to make as the needle bearing unit. I haven't heard of any one supplying those though. To me, that would be the ticket, and I plan to build one for myself as some point.
     
  3. comnoz

    comnoz VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008

    That is surprising that you got that much time out of it.. I have used a few stock scrolled cams with the needle quick change cam kit.

    Just in racebikes. They would last a season but that was about it before the cam was flaking away where it contacted the needle.

    The Sir Eddies bike had needle bearings on the cam. The scrolled cam journals were
    wasted after the dyno time plus several passes down the salt. It's at Webcam getting welded up and I will be installing bushes for the next build. Jim
     
  4. arch

    arch VIP MEMBER

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    Jul 22, 2004
    I can’t remember for sure but I think it was an Axtell cam the bike shop installed.

    It seems a machinist could replace the roller Bearing with a Bush.
     
  5. comnoz

    comnoz VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    It's possible that the Axtel cam journals are harder than the stock cam. I don't know.

    If you can test a journal I would feel safe if it was RHC 60 or better.

    If you have considerable mileage on it and it has not shown damage by now, your probably safe to just run it.

    A bushing to replace the roller is easily done. Jim
     
  6. lcrken

    lcrken VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    The Axtell cams were hard chromed on lobes and journals. I don't know if that would have an effect on journal wear with needle rollers.

    FWIW, Axtell made some quick change bearing conversions, but used the bronze bushes instead of rollers. I don't think he sold them, just made them for engines he built. I saw them on one of Ron Wood's engines back in the '80s.

    Ken
     
  7. comnoz

    comnoz VIP MEMBER

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    Dec 10, 2008
    That's interesting.
    Do you know if Axtell cams were built on an OEM core?
     
  8. lcrken

    lcrken VIP MEMBER

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    Mar 15, 2009
    As far as I know, they were. For sure all the ones I got were.

    Ken
     
  9. comnoz

    comnoz VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Well hard chrome would not generally be the recommended surface for a needle bearing but it sounds like it does provide some protection.

    Arch, what kind of mileage do you have on your cam running on the needle bearing?
     
  10. NKN

    NKN

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2016
    And which oil did you use during all those years?
     
  11. concours

    concours VIP MEMBER

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    Dec 29, 2011
    OP makes no mention of miles....
    50,000?
    5,000?
     
  12. arch

    arch VIP MEMBER

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    Jul 22, 2004
    As far as mileage I would guess somewhere around 40-50k. Maybe more . I lived in the south and rode year round. (Speedo went south a few years after the rebuild)

    I always used quality motor oil, usually 20w40 or 20w50.

    I would like to ditch the roller bearing and replace it with a Bush.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  13. NKN

    NKN

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2016
    Could you be a little more specific for the oil?
     
  14. arch

    arch VIP MEMBER

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    Jul 22, 2004
    I generally used Castrol 20w50.
     
  15. NKN

    NKN

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2016
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