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What are the advantages of degreeing a cam? I'm putting it into a 93 gt for a friend of mine. I'm putting on powerheads, and a B-303 cam (i didn't pick the combo so don't bother posting your "way better" combo). What do you guys suggest? If it's worth it i'll buy the wheel (so i can do my combo too), but i thinking i'll just install it straight up. Thanks


Trevor
 

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If you plan on doing a few engines in your time, buy it. I borrowed a friends to do my 5.0 and although it turned out fine, i'm glad i did it, just to make sure everything was O.K. Now that i'm hooked on mustangs, the next engine i do, i'll buy one for sure.
 

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Formerly known as 89 steeda
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degree!degree!degree! i put a tfs stage 1 cam in my motor this year with a 9 way adjustable j-w timing chain and when it was intalled "straight up" it was 4 degrees retarded. that would move my whole powerband up higher than my intake would work with and i would have moved my peak torque up about 800-1000 rpm, not good for a street car with 3.55 gears that tips the scales at 3500lb! the way the cams are ground, the way the timing chains are made all have an effect on where your valve timing will be. now with mine installed 4 degrees advanced it falls right where tfs says it should be ,going by the cam card. if you cant do it i would at least find a shop that you could take your short block to and have them do it. a local engine builder in town here charges 40.00 to do it if you bring motor to him. good luck.
 

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Unless you are fighting for every last high-end horse in the motor, you really don't need to degree the cam. If you plan on racing seriously and want everything perfect, than it makes sense to degree.

Most applications, especially street cars, work best by simply putting the cam in straight up with factory markings, etc. Unless you have all the goodies, you won't lose more than 2-4 horses, and for most cars, it will be dead-on anyway.

Any cam that is built to the proper specs with good quality assurance programs will be dead-on from the factory and degreed perfectly with "line up the dots" installation.
 

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Formerly known as 89 steeda
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you will not get a whole lot of power from degreeing a cam, but you will insure it will make its power where it was designed to make it. no sense in haveing a cam that peaks at 6000 rpm heads and intake that peak at 5500 rpm . its about keeping your combo matched.
 

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If (thats IF) you install the cam right, then no need to degree. Degree-ing is used to "make sure" you got it _where_ you want it. It doesnt do anything for ya, just lets you know, yup, got it right. If straigh up is where you want it, then align everything and install and go.

Having done 7 cams myself, I degree EVERY SINGLE ONE!

Ask someone I know recently who wished he had, before he had to tear down and realize, oops, it was off...
Some aftermarket timing chains come with Circle/Triangle/Square indicators and stock is square=square. NOT SO for aftermarket, lets just say "good thing I checked!".

 

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dont forget you need a magnetic dial indicator to find TDC
 

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Cams can be more then a few degrees off center. Always degree in a cam just to make sure its centered.
 

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Absoultely degree it. The biggest offenders I have seen to cam timing have been the timing chains. (actually the gears ...) The cam might be perfect, and the crank might be a degree off, but when the timing chain is off by 9 degrees it doesn't really matter which part is to blame. I even degreed the cam in my pickup when I did that rebuild. That one of two that I've degreed in that was right on, so I was happy.
 
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