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Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment

Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment

Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment

(OP)
Im building an engine and require custom valve buckets. (Cam running directly on top of the bucket)

Couple of questions:

What material and harness is normally used for a bucket?

They are going to run in a billet machined cam box. What is a good Aluminium for cams and followers to run directly in without bearings or sleeves?

RE: Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment


I don't have specialist knowledge - but making cams, buckets. followers etc. of nitrided 4140 is as good as any a method. A lot of the odd materials and manufacturing methods used by the car makers is to save money. Although not expensive for "one-offs" etc. - it is expensive if you are making millions of cams etc.

RE: Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment

Cosworth use 2 series for bucket carriers...others use 7 series...I have used 2, 6, and 7 for same with no trouble...race/road, many miles on all - no issues. (running direct on raw aluminium)

I have made cams and lash caps before from nitrided EN40B many times also...again, no issues.

As for buckets, you would be mad to make - theres literally 1 million types to pick from.

B.

RE: Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment

(OP)
Thanks for the replies.

Can I use the same material and hardness on both cam and bucket? Should really have 1 harder than the other I would assume but does that need to happen with Nitriding?

Quote (BrianGar)

As for buckets, you would be mad to make - theres literally 1 million types to pick from.

Ideally yes but I am having trouble finding some. I need 44mm diameter.

The application is converting an old rocker style to bucket. So I am limited by the original envelope which leads me to a non standard bucket.

If I could find a 44mm OD bucket I could make it work with custom lash caps.

Image below shows the bucket with a large standoff (thats where the original rocker use to be)

RE: Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment

When using different materials you can influence which component will wear first. Usually the most expensive component is made from more slow wearing material. Thus I would prefer more hardness of the cams then the buckets. Using different material has a additional advantage - it will prevent adhesive wear because the materials do not so easily "stick" to each other. I wonder however whether the use of Al buckets is a good idea. Due tot the "hammering" of the cams on the buckets that might lead to problems with the buckets and the need for early replacement. Two different kinds of steel might be your best bet, in combination with engine oil with sufficient anti-wear additive and sufficient HTHS viscosity.

RE: Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment

If you are planning to use shim-adjustment you could put the shim on the cam side of the bucket (eg 2 valve Fiat). That would also allow you to make the bucket from softer, lighter material.

je suis charlie

RE: Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment

Is it really wise to copy anything done by Fiat?

RE: Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment

Lots of the old school air-cooled Japanese motorcycle engines did it that way, too. The shim was on top of the bucket and was the contact surface to the camshaft. Nowhere near the diameter you are looking for, though.

RE: Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment

Twin cam hemi-head and SOHC Fiats were produced in the millions over many years. Reliability of the valve gear was excellent. What if I said Toyota or Kawasaki?

40mm flat shims from 3mm - 5mm are readily available from places like this Link

je suis charlie

RE: Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment

(OP)

Quote (romke)

I wonder however whether the use of Al buckets is a good idea. Due tot the "hammering" of the cams on the buckets..

By Al do you mean aluminium? I plan to use aluminium for the boxes that the cam and bucket run in. Plan for steel for both cam and bucket. The question is what steel.

It looks like nitrided EN40B is common for high quality cams. Also 8620, 5160, 5150.

Quote (gruntguru)

40mm flat shims from 3mm - 5mm are readily available from places like this Link

Thanks for that. Shim on bucket is definitely an option if I can understand what the detail or tolerance is for retaining them.
Any idea what buckets the 40mm shims go in?

Im possibly larger than I need to be on the 44mm bucket OD.
The springs its going over is 38mm. I could probably get away with 41-42mm OD

Got any leads on large buckets?

RE: Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment

I think the Fiat engine that you are looking for parts from, is the FIRE 1.2 8-valve. It's possible that other versions of the 8-valve FIRE engine (1.0, 1.1) also used the same parts.

The FIRE 8-valve engine was solid in huge quantities for a couple of decades - just not in North America.

See here. https://www.99rpm.com/fiat/engine-valves-1-2-fire-...

RE: Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment

Or the earlier Lampredi designed 2 valve hemi. Link

je suis charlie

RE: Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment

Quote (not-a-number)

Thanks for that. Shim on bucket is definitely an option if I can understand what the detail or tolerance is for retaining them.

That part is relatively easy- shrink your bucket height as shown by whatever you want your mean shim thickness to be, put the shim above the bucket in the existing bore in your 'cam box', and let the cam hold the shim in place. As long as the shim is captured fully by the bore of the cam box, when the valves/springs/cams are installed the shim has nowhere to go.

This link shows the procedure for removing shims on a BMW S14 cylinder head (from the 1st generation BMW M3) but as you can see, nothing holds the shims in place except the bore in which they live, and valve spring pressure. No other parts are required.

https://www.bmw2002faq.com/articles.html/technical...

RE: Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment

I have never see a shim with the same OD as the bucket. They are always counter-bored into the bucket - including the BMW pictures in the link.

je suis charlie

RE: Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment

Yes, the bucket takes all the sliding side loading in the bore, the shim is much too short for that. I've heard of shims being spit out in extreme over rev valve float conditions which is why most of the modern designs put the shim under the bucket. But that makes adjustment much more difficult as you have to remove the cam.

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RE: Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment


Why are you actually doing this? The modern trend is to use a finger follower or pivoted follower of some sort - like F1.

RE: Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment

(OP)
So the original assembly has a finger follower. Thats a good solution but the cambox is a complicated casting. They are also about 800mm long so the oil feed tube (also the pivot for the rockers) is extremely long and not easy for me to machine.



Im restricted to having the cam and valve position fixed. So I have to work around that.
Initially I thought an easy solution would be to just machine some bores in a billet and put big OEM buckets in there.



Maybe I could do a roller rocker and roller lobe follower so I dont need to worry about material hardness.

I didnt realise F1 engines (or engines in general) did 1:1 followers like this. They also seem to be an individual assembly that bolts in which would be good for machining.

Ill investigate more

RE: Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment

Doesn't look like you have room for rollers without raising the cam a bit.

je suis charlie

RE: Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment

Though it's common to select a softer grade for the lower cost component, I wouldn't go all the way down to aluminum driven by nitrided steel. If I were making custom parts to mate with an off-the-shelf cam, I would actually strive to make the custom part harder because it's going to be more costly to replace.

Per Newman Cams (and as noted by BrianGar above), the best steel for cam shafts is EN40B aka 722M24 aka 31CrMo12(1.8515). This steel has a hardness spec of 276-339 HB which is 29-36 HRC. I can't find any suppliers of small quantities, so you might want to consider a more readily available alternate.

You can buy one of the hardest steels made, Maraging 350, from onlinemetals.com. It machines like 4340 in the annealed state but attains hardness of 58 HRC (!) once heat treated and aged. It also has superior toughness, and doesn't significantly change dimensions during heat treatment and aging. It's costly, but you don't need much, and you could always switch to the cheaper 31CrMo12(1.8515) if you ever want to built in quantity.

H-13 Tool Steel has hardness of up to 53 HRC and is available from onlinemetals.com for about half the cost of Maraging 350, but it's much more difficult to machine than Maraging 350. Its bulk cost advantage will be offset by its machining cost to some extent.

As for Formula One valve train design, you might find Honda's paper "Development of a Valvetrain for Formula One Engine" useful.

RE: Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment

(OP)

Quote (RodRico)

Though it's common to select a softer grade for the lower cost component, I wouldn't go all the way down to aluminum driven by nitrided steel. If I were making custom parts to mate with an off-the-shelf cam, I would actually strive to make the custom part harder because it's going to be more costly to replace.

Thanks for the information RodRico. I definitely dont plan to use nitrided Aluminium for any of the cam parts.
The cams will also be custom so can be made of my choosing. I would pick the cam to be the hardest material because of this.

The thing I am restricted to is the position of the cam and valve.

I am having a bit of trouble fitting a finger follower without doing more complicated machining on the cam box.

So my options could be:
Cam - Maraging 350 @ 58 HRC
Follower - H-13 @ 53 HRC

or

Cam - EN40B (nitride to 61+ HRC)
Follower - Maraging 350 @ 58)


If anyone is interested, this is my project. I have a long way to go but I am at the stage of needing to spec materials and tolerances.

https://oldschool.co.nz/index.php?/topic/53938-bug...

RE: Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment

Quote (not-a-number)

If anyone is interested, this is my project. I have a long way to go but I am at the stage of needing to spec materials and tolerances.

Wow! That's one heck of a project you have going there! Fascinating. I admire your fortitude and skill.

Quote (not-a-number)

I am having a bit of trouble fitting a finger follower without doing more complicated machining on the cam box.

Did the Bugatti use a finger follower? From this article about the Kawasaki Ninja engine, it sounds like the primary purpose of the finger follower is to reduce mass in high revving engines, and I doubt an old Buggatti fits that definition. At the very bottom of the article they note that finger followers wear faster and they abandoned them for a while as a result. They only use them now because modern materials (DLC, an extremely hard coating) solve the wear problem.

Quote (not-a-number)

So my options could be:

Another option for you.... There are multiple grades of maraging steels and three (250, 300, 350) are available online. The hardness of these grades is 50, 54, and 58 HRC respectively. Using 350 for the cam and 300 for the follower would do the trick, and would keep you from having to mess with hard to work tool steels like H-13.

RE: Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment

(OP)

Quote (RodRico)

Did the Bugatti use a finger follower?

Yes the original (for this particular engine) used a finger follower. Image below



There are a few issue with it that has lead me to try and modernise/simplify it.

#1 The cam box is a thin complex casting.
#2 The pivot point for the fingers is an oil shaft that runs the entire length of the box (700+mm long)
#3 The oil pivot shaft feeds the cam bearings and also the fingers
#4 The fingers have a crossdrilled hole to lube the cam lobe. But its not continuous, the holes line up at a particular point so that you keep good oil pressure.

Hope that makes sense. So my thinking was that I run oil down the center of the cam. I run a billet machined cam box that I can use good material for and simple bucket followers.


Quote (RodRico)

it sounds like the primary purpose of the finger follower is to reduce mass in high revving engines, and I doubt an old Buggatti fits that definition.

Yes thats my understanding. They only rev to 5000ish rpm. They had wear issues (though that could be solved now)

Quote (RodRico)

Using 350 for the cam and 300 for the follower would do the trick

Excellent. Thanks for the information. That looks like the way to go.






RE: Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment

If you run oil down the cam, you have the same problem with regard to drilling a deep hole.

The shaft you need to provide oil to the followers is something you can very easily buy. Hollow shaft stock is readily available and cheap; you'd just need to drill radial holes and grind grooves at each pivot location.

RE: Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment

(OP)

Quote (SwinnyGG)

If you run oil down the cam, you have the same problem with regard to drilling a deep hole.

Yes but the difference is it is common practice for a camshaft to have an internal oil gallery feeding the bearings. Can gun drill this no problem because the accuracy and tolerance isnt critical.

Quote (SwinnyGG)

The shaft you need to provide oil to the followers is something you can very easily buy. Hollow shaft stock is readily available and cheap;

You are right, I could buy hollow shaft pre ground or grind it myself. Thats not the difficult part.
The difficult part is the accurate tight tolerance hole I need to drill down the entire length of the cam box. The hole for this oil tube to be installed in.

RE: Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment

Quote (not-a-number)

The hole for this oil tube to be installed in.

I guess I'm missing the point.. You're already going to have to drill a very precisely located and sized deep hole which will then have to be highly polished, to serve as a bearing surface for your cams.

Drilling this long hole with enough precision to locate a very low-speed (ideally zero speed) shaft is not terribly difficult for a competent machinist. The shaft that mounts your finger followers could be held in place by caps as well.

RE: Cam/Valve bucket material and treatment

I'm thinking the best choice is to preserve the original design and layout but construct replacement parts using modern materials, and perhaps fix any known deficiencies in the design.

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