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Old 06-26-2014, 06:08 PM   #1
MPS-Dom
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Default Stop Buying GSC and Kelford Cams

Many people are aware that a couple of the "popular" cam manufacturers are producing cams that fail prematurely.

In these scenarios, the camshaft lobes actually round off. If the problem goes unnoticed, the cam will wear through the bucket and hit the retainer which can result in the valve dropping into the cylinder. If you're lucky it only bends the valve and sticks it in the guide. If you're unlucky, it breaks the valve in half and destroys the block and head.

Why is this happening?

The reasons that the manufacturers have tossed at us:
* Improper spring pressure, "use our springs"
* Inadequate oiling
* Lubricity Problems
* Faulty installation
* Improper Break in

Plain and simple: All lies.

I have spoken with many other builders who have had the same problems and we have all done everything possible.

Every valve spring combination, every type of assembly lube, every type of break in oil, new buckets, used buckets, all new engines, used engines, different cam break ins etc etc etc

To provide some validity to my points I'm going to address each one here.


Claim: * Too much spring pressure
Rebuttal: All the builders have used all the recommended springs. Personally, we have checked spring tension to verify spring pressure is within' tolerance. We've done them from 58# to 83# at the seat and 160-220# open with the same results.

Claim: * Inadequate Oiling (pointing towards flow or pressure)
Rebuttal: In all the engines that had failure, the cams and buckets were replaced with no change to the oiling system and there was no subsequent failure. If it was an oiling issue, why did it not happen a second time? If it was an oiling issue, why aren't there a lot of factory cams that have this problem? Why would the adjacent bucket or cam journal have ZERO signs of wear or problem if there was inadequate oiling to that cam?

Claim: * Lubricity problem (pointing towards oil type or quality)
Rebuttal: Almost all of us "builders" have used different oils and break in fluids/additives. These choices have been across the board and there have been no failures with stock cams.

Claim: * Faulty Installation.
Rebuttal: At this point, they're just pointing fingers and sometimes even get to insulting the builders. Personally, I can guaranty that this is not the issue. From establishing proper spring installation heights, verifying spring pressure, using new buckets, setting lash with the heads already torqued onto the assembled shortblock etc, EVERY STEP that is possible to be taken, has been taken by both MPS and TiC. While I cannot speak for the other builders, I know we are not the only builders that do things correctly. Yet somehow the cam manufacturers actually have the balls to point the finger at all the builders who have had this issue. Guys, I guess we're all doing it wrong.

Claim: * Improper Break in
Rebuttal: Nope. Again, just finger pointing. We have done 0-30 minute break ins with different oils and different RPMs all in an effort to find a common factor with no avail. That's just between MPS and TiC. Other builders have their own troubleshooting and techniques with the same failures.


So what is it really?

Here is our belief: They're made wrong.

In what way? Well we're working on that currently but here are the current theories that we are investigating.

1. Cam lobes are too centered on the bucket. We did a quick check with a set of OEM and aftermarket cams. We have found that the aftermarket lobes are not only wider, but they are far more centered over the bucket. Believe it or not, this is wrong. The buckets and valves are supposed to rotate in their bore as they go up and down. If you center the lobe, you remove the force that causes them to spin in the head. This results in quick removal of the oil on the bucket and cam lobe and results in them eating each other up. If the bucket spins, the part of the bucket that was exposed to oil is passed under the cam, the "dry" part of the bucket gets turned out and away and is re-oiled.
Right now, we believe this to be the most likely cause.

2. Metallurgy. This encompasses a whole realm of possibilities: hardness at the lobe tips, ductility of the shaft resulting in bending, porosity just below the surface etc. We believe this to be the 2nd most likely cause.

3. Lobe profile. If the profile is not shaped properly you can evacuate the oil early in the lift cycle resulting in poor oiling at the peak when spring pressure is high. This could also include the squareness of the lobe.


GSC and Kelford have had the most failures of any cam manufacturer out there. Kelford openly admits they get their blanks from China. China is known to have lower quality products available from certain plants. GSC Claims they get theirs from the UK. We think this is total BS. For effect:

GSC WE THINK YOU'RE FULL OF ****. After our talk on the phone for 45 minutes today, we are even more confident than we were before.

We took the liberty of comparing the GSC and Kelford castings. They are IDENTICAL.

Interesting things to note: I opened a more recent production of Kelford cams and the casting is different. All my older production Kelfords are the same casting as GSC. The same ones we've seen fail over and over in both Kelford and GSC form. This new casting is quite different. I have not tested this new Kelford casting. Is it possible they changed the casting to address this issue, even though they were pointing the finger at everything else previously? I suppose it is. Only time will tell. If Kelford failures stop occurring then we've found a winner.

The problem is... who's going to be ballsy enough to test the new cam? We might, but it has to be on our own car.

At this point, the next step is to turn over an engine with the covers off and observe the amount of rotation on the buckets on a stock cam vs a GSC cam. This is going to be messy....

What do we think the public should do? Stop buying their cams until they openly admit there is a problem and they actually change the product to combat the issues, instead of just going about their daily business as if nothing is wrong. SOMETHING IS WRONG.

STOP FEEDING THE MONSTER.




****ADDITION***

I haven't seen any BC cams with this failure. I've seen them with other issues, like bending and breaking.

Crower cams are... gross... that's the only way I can put it. Brand new cams with lobes not even from cylinder to cylinder, centerlines are often way off, etc. Usually you find very different compression from cylinder to cylinder on Crower cams. I avoid those like the plague.


For all those people sending me emails and PMs.

I have no idea if yours will fail. I can't give you any extra instructions or methods that will help prevent a failure. If I knew the answers to those questions, this thread would be "PREVENT CAM FAILURE BY DOING XXXXX" I'm not starting a ****-storm because I find them entertaining, I am getting this out there so other people with failures can get together and share information.

I'm hoping that together we can either find a fix or put enough pressure on the manufacturers that they acknowledge a problem and find a fix.
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Last edited by MPS-Dom; 06-27-2014 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:23 PM   #2
FuJi K
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I'll brb. I have noticed the rotating bucket with stock cams a while back when I started the head stuff. I thought that was pretty neat.
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:28 PM   #3
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Great info to know.

What is your opinion on BC cams and Tomei cams since we're on the topic?
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:54 PM   #4
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Lmao - they really have the audacity to suggest that some of the best builders out there are messing up the installation, rather than that their product QC is garbagio.

Several builders, one manufacturer. Hmm..... Is one person wrong, or are several other builders lol
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:28 PM   #5
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Stock vs GSC S2 cam lobe front to back.






How the GSC contact


Last edited by FuJi K; 06-26-2014 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MPS-Dom View Post
Kelford openly admits they get their blanks from China. China is known to have lower quality products available from certain plants.
In response to your prejudice against China:


now that we are past that...

I haven't had any problems with Kelfords for 30k miles and IAG still uses them with their Stage V head packages. I'll ask what their views are when I'm up there again. What cams are available as alternatives? Tomei? BC? BC aren't aggressive though
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:33 PM   #7
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So glad I saw this thread. Any feedback from cosworth cams?
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:04 PM   #8
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Nothing to contribute except that I have 12k on my BC272's and they seem fine. Engine was built around the same time all this started to come out.
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:14 PM   #9
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MY MOTOR FROM YOU HAS GSC CAMS IN IT!!!
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:26 PM   #10
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Cosworth castings are also identical, but cam lobes are a different profile.

Same blanks.

If GSC stood behind their products, they would make things right, instead of blaming the head oiling or installation, i.e. Stop trying to defer blame.

Last edited by DisoDisp; 06-26-2014 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:33 PM   #11
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what type of failure rates are you seeing?
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:38 PM   #12
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While we have had our fair share of issues with Kelford and Cosworth Cams....none have been with buckets wearing. What we have seen is both incorrectly drilled oil passages in dual AVC-S sets as well as incorrectly machined timing slots for the cam sensors on all 2.5L applications. Both have cost us thousands in labor as well as customer service issues. Neither Cosworth, nor Kelford has reimbursed us a single cent of this. In fact, we have been corresponding with Cosworth about this issue for over two years with no resolution. We never even received replacement cams nor did we receive a credit for the defective cams.

To add insult to injury, we CNC designed machined and provided new Exhaust AVC-S oil manifolds to over a dozen companies and builders in the US that had this issue. We didn't charge a single person or company for these parts. We were assured by both Cosworth and Kelford, that they would make it right. Two years later...no resolution.

If you want a good read....here is the link to our original findings.







Additionally, this reminded me that both Cosworth and Kelford (and likely others) both purchase the billets from the same two suppliers. The way we originally figured this out (later confirmed by both parties) was that BOTH manufacturers purchased the cams with these incorrectly drilled holes from the same supplier. The other supplier did not have this issue, hence why not all cams sold in that time were affected.
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:50 PM   #13
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i just bought gsc cams... sooooo... not good?
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:53 PM   #14
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My BC272s have been great, despite all the hatred around when I chose them.
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvat View Post
i just bought gsc cams... sooooo... not good?
Just a margin of failure that ya need top be aware of. Nor sure how soon thereafter that you are clear of any manufacturer defect risk, but be aware that you could end up with an 800 dollar paper weight should the quality of your camshafts be compromised.
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:07 PM   #16
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I'm one of those builders who Kelford fed a bunch of BS to as well. Funny part is that we've only had problems with their cams and have used many others with no issues. And of course when we discussed the multiple failures with them, they claimed that no one else has been having these issues... the exact same ones as Dom described.

I've spent about $5k in labor so far and am currently replacing an entire engine due to their failures. Its time for Kelford to step up and do what's right.

-- Ed
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Old 06-26-2014, 11:58 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raggedoutsti View Post
MY MOTOR FROM YOU HAS GSC CAMS IN IT!!!
Sad banana is sad
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Old 06-27-2014, 12:29 AM   #18
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how long has this problem with GSC cams been happening? I've had mine since 2007. to me it sounds like its the more recent ones, correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 06-27-2014, 12:36 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EJ25subie05 View Post
how long has this problem with GSC cams been happening? I've had mine since 2007. to me it sounds like its the more recent ones, correct me if I'm wrong.
You would likely have heard it go boom very shortly after installing and running for a hundred miles based on what ive heard
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Old 06-27-2014, 12:36 AM   #20
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Recently I just went through the same thing. Had a hunch about something wrong inside the heads as the driver side sure was making a lot of noise. I'm so glad that my suspicion was right and I didn't keep driving it.

Pulled the motor and I found that the intake cam had chewed through one of the buckets and the cam lobe was rounded off. Everything was correct when it came to lash, break-in,
Etc.

The cams I have though are neither Kelford or GSC's, but Crower 272's.

Here is the carnage:



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Old 06-27-2014, 12:40 AM   #21
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You got lucky!

For clarification, BC or original Crower?
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Old 06-27-2014, 12:54 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericz View Post
You got lucky!

For clarification, BC or original Crower?
Just Crower, Not BC.
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Old 06-27-2014, 12:57 AM   #23
MrJ.Strong
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Are different cams known to do this more often then others? Like 280's vs 272's?
I have GSC 280s
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Old 06-27-2014, 01:07 AM   #24
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I have sold MANY sets of GSC cams, I use GSC cams in my daily driven 400WHP WRX I beat the piss out of that car. Car runs like a champ I have over 20K on the built motor.

I have a set of S3's for my GC build, I have no reservations on building my heads for that motor with those cams.

I have NEVER had an issue with GSC cams, springs, or valves. Not a customer call back, nor a build come back because of GSC cam issues.

I have had issues with dual AVCS Tomei cams and Dual AVCS Kelfords.

Both instances the Tomei and Kelfords would not zero out upon start up and go fully retarded.

It wasn't until I saw the IAG thread that they had figured out the problem.
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Old 06-27-2014, 01:19 AM   #25
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Moral of the story is to not upgrade the cams unless you have the money to replace an entire longblock, which is what you are spending on for a current longblock

I take it
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