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Old 06-06-2009, 01:37 AM   #1
Splinter
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Default Welding a cam, more ghetto fabness inside.

As if I didnt make enough of a splash last time with my ghetto rigging valve springs, here's another one.

Right intake cam wheel cam loose and chewed up the keyway enough that Im not confident timing is going to be accurate.

I have 2 options that I can see. Use some metal epoxy (JB weld) to fill in the gap, reinstall the pulley, torque it down good and tight

Or, weld the keyway, grind it back down to the proper shape, business as usual.

Replacing the cam isn't an option. Neither is having it done professionally.

I realize that the JB weld will almost certainly fail eventually, but it wouldn't be a catastrophic failure, Id simply lose proper timing again and it would run like crap. Not a huge deal, Id notice and stop driving it.

The weld should be relatively permanent, but I'm worried about the heat generated and whether or not it would damage the cam. I only need to put a relatively small bead on it to fix it, but that still takes a lot of heat to get it to sink in, so to speak.

The final option, which is sort of a hybrid of the two, is JB weld it for now, then come winter get it done properly, or get new cams made.

Any thoughts/experience?
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Old 06-06-2009, 01:41 AM   #2
alcoolaid
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If the the JB weld fails and the cam gear spins there will be a catastrophic failure. ie. Valves hitting the piston.
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Old 06-06-2009, 01:43 AM   #3
Splinter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alcoolaid View Post
If the the JB weld fails and the cam gear spins there will be a catastrophic failure. ie. Valves hitting the piston.
The cam gear wont spin, it'll just hit the end of the damaged keyway, where its been sitting for the last 2 days, at about 10-15 degrees retarded.
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Old 06-06-2009, 02:20 AM   #4
All_talk
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Weld it up and have the keyway recut, as long as the heat is not allowed to transfer past the seal area it should be fine (there are a few tricks that work for this).

I have fixed a chewed up crank nose from a front pulley getting loose, it was so bad it cracked the crank back away from the keyway. I ground it out, welded it up (with the crank still in the longblock) and dremeled/filed out a nice tight keyway. I put it back together with a good pulley, lots of locktite and tightened the poop out of it. I've put 50,000 miles on that motor since, boosting 12psi to redline everyday... no trouble.

Pull the cam and take it to any decent shop and they should be able to fix it up good as new. If you cant find a shop, send me a pic of it, I have a welder, lathe and mill and might be willing to make a stab at fixing it.

Gary

P.S. what every happened to that '92 SS I sold you?
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Old 06-06-2009, 03:04 AM   #5
Splinter
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I have a welder, and Ive done quite a bit of basic welding (crossmember for my SVX, some bodywork, exhaust work, etc). I need to have this fixed by the end of the the weekend, one way or the other. Care to divulge some of those tips?


As for your old Legacy... well, everything that Ive got into my current impreza I learned from her... including that I dont have the skill for bodywork.

It was a very sad day for me but she's gone.



But a handful of components from her live on in my new project car
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Old 06-06-2009, 03:26 AM   #6
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Best two cooling options would be wrapping the cam is a soaking wet towel or submerging all but the nose in water. Weld in small bursts and give it time to cool between. When you reshape the keyway keep it tight on the pin, you should have to tap the gear lightly with a hammer to get it seat. Good Luck.

I'm glad to hear some of that car lives on, I often regret selling it.

Gary
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Old 06-06-2009, 03:51 AM   #7
Splinter
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Originally Posted by All_talk View Post
I'm glad to hear some of that car lives on, I often regret selling it.

Gary
Thanks for your help.

I regret not keeping it stock as a daily driver. Sigh. Live and learn.

Someday I'll get another legacy for my RS-RA stuff to go on
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Old 06-06-2009, 07:50 AM   #8
LiquidForce
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I had a cam with the same issue. The pin had shifted to one side and opened the hole up more. I had it welded up and ground it back to flush.

I recently had to pull the motor apart because of a bad piston and noticed that the pin is loose again. If the weld I had on it didn't hold I don't see how jb-weld will hold. I'm thinking about drilling a new hole 180 dgrees from the original and mount the cam gear 180 degrees off. This is on the 2 / 4 exhaust cam so there is no pick up on the gear to worry about.
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Old 06-06-2009, 10:53 AM   #9
48mpg
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just a thought here but, I know some OE cams are made using powder sintering, basically powdered metal pushed and formed into shape, I dont think they weld too well.

not sure how subaru cams are made however.
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Old 06-06-2009, 11:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 48mpg View Post
just a thought here but, I know some OE cams are made using powder sintering, basically powdered metal pushed and formed into shape, I dont think they weld too well.

not sure how subaru cams are made however.
Good Point, most powdered metals are not weldable, at least not by normal processes. But I'm pretty sure Subaru cams (the ones I've seen), are cast/forged.

Gary
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Old 06-06-2009, 02:30 PM   #11
Splinter
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Old 06-06-2009, 06:45 PM   #12
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Not bad for a ghetto fix, if I say so myself.

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Old 06-06-2009, 08:23 PM   #13
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Its back together... idles nice and smooth, no wobble in the pulley. I think we have a winner
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Old 06-06-2009, 08:49 PM   #14
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This is an EXTREMELY common issue. In the past month alone I have seen 5 camshafts with this issue. It is especially common on DOHC heads.

There is another option that you didn't cover. You use a punch to drive the little key further "downwards" then fill the gap under the bolt so it doesnt rise back up. I used a piece of wheel weight lead.
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Old 06-06-2009, 10:56 PM   #15
Splinter
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Ciper, I like that idea. I'll have to keep that in mind for future issues!

I bet I could even lathe up some longer keys to help this from happening in the first place...
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Old 07-07-2009, 04:12 PM   #16
ciper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinter View Post
I bet I could even lathe up some longer keys to help this from happening in the first place...
Good idea! I kinda wish I filled the entire area with JB weld when I had it apart just for good measure.
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