Cam gear shims

Classic short-frame models

Cam gear shims

Postby Mark.A » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:26 pm

I am installing cams on my early 58xl that has bushing and not needle bearing in the engine case and know cam gear plates.When taken apart had two.009 shims on each cam on the engine side. Now putting back together and checking the cam gear end play.The SM says.001 to .006 I have like.020 .Just looking for some input on as I was reading some conflicting theories on having a bunch of shims in the gear case
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Re: Cam gear shims

Postby mikeslemmon » Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:07 pm

my '57 has been running without cam shims for about 54 years, no problem. the only advantage I can see is #2 as the thrust (if there is any) would effect the ignition timing. some say use them some don't. it probably isn't something to worry about either way.
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Re: Cam gear shims

Postby EKHKHK56 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:45 pm

It's good to take up extra play but don't use any thin shims, they get eaten up often. Use only the thick ones .007" or .009" in combination if needed to take up play. Can run .007"+ play no problem. On Ks shim only inboard side. Erik
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Re: Cam gear shims

Postby Mark.A » Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:29 pm

Hey Erik thanks for your input on this.Was able to pick up a variety of different shims at the local bike shop. Also replaced some of the old shims as they had creases in them and looked like could fail
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Re: Cam gear shims

Postby Noot » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:05 am

I run about +.010 (that way some oil can get in there) not too tight. Your case pressure air is pushing on the ends of the cams on the down stroke - trying to push them back towards the gear cover...sometimes making a clicking. If the #1 and #3 need shims(put the shims on the outside(to move the cams in) and keep the #2 cam more outward if possible. Because sometime I see where the #2 gear has rubbed #1 or #3. Shimming cams is like blueprinting - if you want to do it right, you do every aspect of the build for proper fitment. Any other way you're just kinda fooling yourself into "it always worked" Shade tree is ok for your own equipment - but, you start workin' on other folk's equipment...just sayin' :)
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Re: Cam gear shims

Postby Nitro57xl » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:51 am

I agree with noot on the +.010 clearance. I have taken a lot of engines apart over the years and they were too tight and it causes bushing wear and eats up the shims, whereas the engines with more endplay were fine. Harley specs were too tight. One thing I do on the needle bearing motors is if I have the same number of shims on cams 1&2 or 3&4 is put the shims behind the dogbone if I can. That controls the endplay without putting rotating thrust on the shims, and seems to work well and its the only way to adjust the endplay on the #2cam unless you use the special #2cam shims eastern sells.
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