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What steel distributor gear seems to have the highest quality to run with a billet steel hydraulic roller cam in a 351 Windsor. I have also heard that running a high volume oil pump on a Ford Windsor V-8 can lead to premature distributor gear failure. Any helpful advice from people? Many thanks.
 

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I put a MSD steel gear on my MSD dizzy with my roller steel cam. Lots of lube on the gear upon install and good oil. Using a high quality shaft to connect to the oil pump is required with a HV pump.
 

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The composite is a kind of plastic/resin gear? Do you run a high volume oil pump with that ? I keep running into articles on the web stating to NOT run a high volume oil pump unless absolutely necessary. Are you running a steel billet cam? Thanks
 

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Melonized is the default gear as it'll work on cast iron, SADI or 5150 billet. A lot of aftermarket roller hydraulics are SADI which you can use a plain old simple cast iron gear.

I ran a $29 MSD Melonized gear on my factory Mustang 5.0, 5150 billet for 2 years. I could barely see any indication it had been in use. The important thing is proper location and break in
 

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The composite is a kind of plastic/resin gear? Do you run a high volume oil pump with that ? I keep running into articles on the web stating to NOT run a high volume oil pump unless absolutely necessary. Are you running a steel billet cam? Thanks
I originally had a HV pump and switched to a standard, but still ate a gear after the change. I did a lot of research and the majority of the findings say not to run an HV pump in a normal or even lightly modified engine. I had a 1980's Comp Cam 280H, and another possibility was the gear on the cam was bad, so I bought a brand new Comp 280h cam, and it ate a gear, so it was not the cam. I installed a 3rd std oil pump and the composite gear and have not had an issue since. So was it 2 bad oil pumps or 5 bad gears?

Melonized is the default gear as it'll work on cast iron, SADI or 5150 billet. A lot of aftermarket roller hydraulics are SADI which you can use a plain old simple cast iron gear.

I ran a $29 MSD Melonized gear on my factory Mustang 5.0, 5150 billet for 2 years. I could barely see any indication it had been in use. The important thing is proper location and break in
One of the gears in my photo was a Melonized. It did not last 5 minutes in my engine. :-(

I was originally told it was my Gear Drive that was the problem, so I pulled it and put a double row chain set on it, and it ate a gear.
 

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I originally had a HV pump and switched to a standard, but still ate a gear after the change. I did a lot of research and the majority of the findings say not to run an HV pump in a normal or even lightly modified engine. I had a 1980's Comp Cam 280H, and another possibility was the gear on the cam was bad, so I bought a brand new Comp 280h cam, and it ate a gear, so it was not the cam. I installed a 3rd std oil pump and the composite gear and have not had an issue since. So was it 2 bad oil pumps or 5 bad gears?



One of the gears in my photo was a Melonized. It did not last 5 minutes in my engine. :-(

I was originally told it was my Gear Drive that was the problem, so I pulled it and put a double row chain set on it, and it ate a gear.

Don't have a answer for you. In my research I had spoke with Howard's Cams, MSD and a Ford Motorsports tech all the same questions on the use of a Melonized gear on SADI and factory 5150 factory billet. All said the same. I was extremely careful in setting the dept of the gear plus I used assembly lube on the gear when I installed. Who knows? When I pulled the distributor I barely could see mesh marks and what I could see, it was dead center.
 

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What steel distributor gear seems to have the highest quality to run with a billet steel hydraulic roller cam in a 351 Windsor. I have also heard that running a high volume oil pump on a Ford Windsor V-8 can lead to premature distributor gear failure. Any helpful advice from people? Many thanks.
I'd check with the manufacturer of your cam and see what gear they recommend. Comp recommended the composite for me.
 

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It looks like good advice has been offered regarding the distributor gear selection. As far as the "high volume oil pump" question, what makes you think you NEED a high volume oil pump? In the vast majority of cases, like many other "performance parts", the biggest benefit you get is the pair (if you're luck) of self-adhesive decals you get in the box to stick on your toolbox. Aftermarket vendors and manufacturers love to take advantage of human nature when it comes to selling parts... kind of like when you do a load of wash for the first time... "hmmmmn... if a LITTLE soap does an okay job, a LOT of soap will get my clothes really clean!" syndrome. The SBF has a very good oiling system. Unless you're running loose bearing clearances with (hopefully) a deep sump I can't see any advantage to a HV pump. Remembering the properties of fluid dynamics the pressure is going to be determined by the viscosity of the lubricant and the restrictions in the system. If a standard-volume pump will deliver the required 35-55 psi at 2,000 rpm that Ford specifies, a HV pump is not going to actually deliver any MORE oil but WILL, instead, raise the pressure in the system requiring more work (power) to do so. Now, if you were going to switch from 10W-30 to, say, 0W-20 then a HV oil pump might not be a bad idea.... but the rub is that with only 5 quarts capacity and relying on gravity to drain back to the crankcase you could, theoretically, pump the crankcase "dry" enough under some circumstances to starve the bearings.

Being not only a Scotsman but a cheap Yankee at that, one of my biggest pet peeves is spending good money on something that doesn't provide a decent return on investment.
 

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So it sounds like the composite gear you ran was on a SADI (specially austempered ductile iron) 280H cam from Comp. I am running a billet steel cam, and so am not sure the composite distributor gear will be hard enough to withstand the billet steel cam gear in my application. It sounds like a steel gear is the only way to go with a standard volume pump then. Thanks to everybody for their help!
 

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COMP Cams Composite Distributor Gears 35100

From Summit/Comp:
COMP Cams composite distributor gears are manufactured from Carbon Ultra-Poly composite to ensure superior strength and less wear. They're the latest in high-tech distributor gears designed around solving the wear issues associated with bronze gears in racing applications. The polymer gears are ideal for street roller applications--they feature virtually no wear, and they eliminate the problem of spark scatter associated with worn bronze gears. These gears have undergone stringent testing in various applications with positive results. Why put up with the hassle of changing bronze gear after bronze gear, when you can switch to composite for extended gear life?

But again, I'd suggest you check with your cam manufacturer to see which type of gear they recommend.
 

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So it sounds like the composite gear you ran was on a SADI (specially austempered ductile iron) 280H cam from Comp. I am running a billet steel cam, and so am not sure the composite distributor gear will be hard enough to withstand the billet steel cam gear in my application. It sounds like a steel gear is the only way to go with a standard volume pump then. Thanks to everybody for their help!
You should be fine with a Melonized gear. As I said I spoke with Ford Motorsports tech and specially asked if I could run a Melonized gear on a factory 5150 billet Mustang cam. He said yes. GM used Melonized gears on their billet roller cams.

Like I said, after 2 years use my Melonized gear looked brand new and never used.
 

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Gear failures can sometimes be due to installation errors, which can cause binding and misalignment.

It is important to check the following:

Ideally the distributor, oil pump and oil pump drive should be set up in the engine block to check for correct installed endplay. In addition, a small whole (0.030) can be drilled in the gallery plug to lubricate the distributor gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Just to be sure, is a melonized gear a cast iron gear, or a steel gear? Because I don't think a cast iron gear, melonized or other could stand up to a billet steel gear.
 

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It might be in your best interest to research the melonization process. Simply stated, it’s a treatment process and has been in use for some time. When I installed my “billet” roller, 10 years ago, I didn’t know the term “melonized”. Therefore, it was a steel gear for me. Regarding, HV oil pump. It’s a waste of your money, when a high quality regular oil pump will do. You can make a good quality OP better by detailing it. What’s in the details? Insuring the the rotors are in spec, chamfering the oil inlet and exit ports, and packing the vanes with a Vaseline or some folks have used a heavy grease. The idea, is to create a Self “priming” situation.
 

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Just to be sure, is a melonized gear a cast iron gear, or a steel gear? Because I don't think a cast iron gear, melonized or other could stand up to a billet steel gear.

It's a cast ductile iron that has a coating/ heat treating process. Similar to aftermarket SADIhydraulic roller cams. Typically they are cast ductile iron where only the lobes are hardened. SADI stands for Selective Austempered Ductile Iron.
 

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351, the best dizzy gear is the one that your camshaft manufacturer recommends. Many SADI cams can use a normal cast gear, some can't. It depends upon where the cam is hardened and where it is not. Now, if you have a billet cam, who made it ? I would guess you need a steel gear or a Melonized, and I would purchase that from the cam maker. Get them to tell you what they recommend. And then, stop listening to senior married women about oil pumps. No, running a high volume oil pump does not, will not and cannot cause you problems with the gear. Thats an old wives tale from people who do not understand how their engine functions. If I knew how, I would post the Melling recommendations here on the site. Melling makes oilpumps, regular and high volume, and they make cams. If their HV pump would or could hurt their pumps, they would know. They say there is no problem. The shop I retired from has put HV pumps in almost everything for 35 yrs. We have never, EVER had a problem with them eating a gear. Gears can fail because the installer chose the wrong gear, or intalled it wrong, or tried to put a new cam dizzy gear on an old cam or put a gear from company A on Company B's cam. Get your camshaft and gear fromt the same manufacturer, and check the gear mesh before you fire the engine. And, most importantly, learn where is the drilled plug in the oil gallery that is supposed to spray oil on the cam gear. Many times this plug gets unintentionally replaced with plug without a hole. Then your cam & dizzy gear get nothing but splash. I believe this, in combination with not having the dizzy at the right height, is what causes most peoples gear problems. Oil starvation can be a HUGE problem. Why some guys think they have to have their brgs and ring gaps as tight as they dare is nuts. You are much better off with a big pump, thinner oil than you might think, and clearances on the loose side. Its just what works. Its worked for 35 yrs. Full disclosure, I used to sell the pumps, always asked the customer what they wanted, and if they asked for my recommend, they got the big pump. I run the HV pumps in my stuff if they ever come apart. No chewed dizzy gears. Someone is telling you stories and they do not know what they are talking about. Next you'll hear 'a high volume pump can suck a pan dry !',....or some other nonsense. LSG
 

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I was extremely careful in setting the dept of the gear plus I used assembly lube on the gear when I installed. QUOTE]
Are you talking about drilling the gear or distributor shaft for the pin position? I always assumed the holes were already there- if not how do you get the position correct?
 

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I have a billet roller cam in my 351w. I am running a MSD Pro Billet distributor. MSD installed a steel gear on the dist. I took the dist. out to remove my intake manifold after 3 years and no abnormal wear on the steel gear.
 
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