Vintage Mustang Forums banner

351W Cam End Play?

7697 Views 8 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Guest

Does anyone know what the cam end play specs are for a '71 351 W? I've got around .050", which seems excessive, but I don't see any wear problems...

Rob Farmelo
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
I like to keep the thrust clearance on the race car to around .005-.010" with the standard thrust plate and .003-.005 with the needle roller thrust plate...

You could likely run it out to around .015" with no adverse effects but if you have too much thrust clearance, it can damage your timing set and cause an erratic distributor....

If should be no problem to shave some material off the timing spacer or bottom of the cam sprocket, depending on type....some aluminum oxide cloth on a surface plate or cold rolled steel plate should do the trick if you don't have a lathe...

Haven't we been here before with TC?.......... hehehe.

Love hard, drive fast, wear your seat belt.

PS, that's my 'bird...... My Mustang is too ugly to take pictures of yet........*G*.
Yup, what is old is new again...

I didn't feel like searching through the old forum...*G*

Couldn't find anything in the forum archive after 20 minutes of looking, so I just punted and posted the request... Thanks!
Yeah, I know...I've posted volumes on that subject but they're buried the abyss of an almost unsearchable database...

Our webmaster is working on making the old forum as searchable as the new one is....when that day comes, we'll all be amazed at the wealth of knowledge contained therein...

If you have any other questions about the W, it's a familiar powerplant to me as I run one in my race car...

Good luck!

It sounds like I need a needle bearing thrust plate to get me from the current 0.050" to around 0.005". Do they come in various thicknesses?

Is there some less expensive way to take up the slack?

Also, I'm not sure what you are getting at regarding shaving the cam gear and am don't know what you mean by "timing

I have a single plate with two screws and an oil passage on the engine side holding the cam in place. Is somehting missing?

Thanks for any additional help!

Some engines used a horseshoe shaped spacer between the cam sprocket and the cam face to space the sprocket to provide the correct amount of thrust clearance....others used a stepped cam sprocket which abutted the cam face to provide the thrust clearance..

Either can have material removed to tighten up the thrust I said in my previous post, you can either remove the material in a lathe or by rubbing the part against some aluminum oxide cloth affixed to a surface plate or flat piece of steel. If you don't have a micrometer to measure what you're removing, do it a little at a time and track you progress with a dial indicator or feeler guage....You'll be removing over 1/32" of material so it may take a while by the sanding method...

I built my own needle thrust units and would recommend them only for racing or other severe duty application...they are expensive to buy, approaching 100.00, and must be installed precisely to work. The advantage is a bit less friction and the ability to run a restrictor in the feed passage which re-directs oil to more important functions...

Any other questions...? Post...

See less See more

A light bulb lit up for me last night. I realized that the cam gear
needs to be installed to check end-play. I was just checking it with the end plate installed. With the cam gear installed, my play is around .010, which seem much more reasonable. I don't have the horse shoe spacer you where talking about, but it appears that it's not needed.

Thanks for your help!

Rob Farmelo
Roseville Ca

'66 Coupe - 351W & Toploader Transplant in progress
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.