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Old 11-30-2020, 05:56 PM   #1
Young Blood
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Default Ford Model A Camshaft Inspection and Evaluation

Hey guys, I've been making videos documenting my process working through my 1931 Ford Model A engine. In this one, I break down the camshaft.

Let me know what you think!


https://youtu.be/dScpz6dvEQA
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Old 12-01-2020, 06:08 AM   #2
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Default Re: Ford Model A Camshaft Inspection and Evaluation

btt
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Old 12-01-2020, 07:10 AM   #3
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Default Re: Ford Model A Camshaft Inspection and Evaluation

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Hey guys, I've been making videos documenting my process working through my 1931 Ford Model A engine. In this one, I break down the camshaft.

Let me know what you think!


https://youtu.be/dScpz6dvEQA
I watched it last night but honestly chose not to respond. Since you felt compelled to bring it back up, I will try to be as kind as possible. My first turn-off was when I read your opening title about tearing sh** up. While I realize that word is common in a younger generation, in many of your viewers minds, it is considered an offensive term. In other words, if you typically would not use that word in front of your preacher during church, then it is likely considered offensive by some.

Next, you showed a camshaft and then used someone else’s text to describe your own camshaft. You mentioned pitting but did not discuss the hardening process nor did you show how to use a micrometer to verify lobe wear. At that point you should have given the specifications so your viewers could compare their own.

I might also add that I briefly watched your video on how to remove a oil pump. Your information on removing the valve cover and then the lower distributer shaft before removing the oil pump had me shaking my head. I did not want to leave a thumbs-down or a critical comment on your videos, so I just closed the videos and the channel.

If you want my opinion, turn your channel into a ‘follow along’ channel instead of a ‘how to’ channel. Experience should be the prerequisite for any ‘how to’ segment. If the content provider has not had several past personal experiences to pull from prior to instructing others, the likelihood that they will be spreading false information in almost inevitable. We all know that is out of control on the Model-A social media pages. Again, while I applaud you for your efforts in being a content provider, my suggestions are to forget about your channel being a how-to place and more of a follow-along channel. Otherwise, find you several knowledgeable advisors who have the credentials to be knowledgeable advisors.
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Old 12-01-2020, 07:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: Ford Model A Camshaft Inspection and Evaluation

Thanks, Brent. My thoughts exactly. ken
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Old 12-01-2020, 08:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: Ford Model A Camshaft Inspection and Evaluation

I concur with the other two. I was not impressed.
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: Ford Model A Camshaft Inspection and Evaluation

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Listen to the experts. 4 out of 5 doctors smoke camels. Thats why I do.

At a glance that cam is fine, run it.(very nice points). To make a cheap valve tool grind a open end of a half inch wrench to make a wedge shape. weld that wrench to another wrench. then hand that gig off of a manifold stud. Watch out I lost some finger tip skin when it slipped. You can always buy one if your not a cheapskate.


Before trying to get better stuff for your engine. Get it running tip top first. Its a journey. I have been experiencing ups and downs with performance. all stock other than a b cam because its a late crate(1941) and hats how they were sent.


at 4:23 in the video i notice a metal baffle? in the skirt of the piston. any one see those before? is it to help cyl oiling? https://youtu.be/dScpz6dvEQA?t=263

Last edited by mike657894; 12-01-2020 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:35 AM   #7
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Default Re: Ford Model A Camshaft Inspection and Evaluation

First off, all of this should be taken as *constructive* critiques. I think everyone here agrees that YouTube has huge potential as a teaching tool and a way to promote the hobby, particularly these days with many clubs staying home during the pandemic. I know I personally will watch just about anything on YouTube that has a Model A in it. So I appreciate that you're putting yourself out there, making the videos, trying to contribute. That's good and we should encourage it.

There are lots of ways these videos could be improved. Brent touched on some above, but what caught my attention was that it just felt like you were taking a lot of shortcuts and it was evident on screen. For example:
  • Entire camshaft video is shot in vertical orientation - c'mon, rookie!
  • In the oil pump and crankshaft videos, you don't name the parts you're taking out. This is a key service videos provide, helping folks learn the names and functions of each component.
  • The whole thing with using another author's description of pitting is important because it needs to be in your own words. Anyone can look up that description - if you're going to put it in the video, you should do the work of understanding the content and contextualizing it for your audience.

You posted this engine in the swap meet as being parted out, so am I to understand that you're taking it apart but have no intention of putting it back together? If so you should disclose that in the videos.

If you want to continue making Model A content, my recommendation is to look at other Model A creators doing work right now, like Paul Shinn, Jack Bahm, Ryan Burkhardt, the guy who does the "richpin" channel and his glorious accent. Watch their videos and make notes about what works, what doesn't. How do they use the camera? How do they make sure the audience understands what's happening? What are they trying to communicate and does it succeed? That'll help you learn these techniques for your own channel.
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:56 AM   #8
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Default Re: Ford Model A Camshaft Inspection and Evaluation

Brent, thanks for your feedback. I was under the impression this forum was so we could all learn from each other and improve? I mean, that's literally the reason I joined this community. Impressing the group is not the goal so much as learning from your many, many years of personal experience so it can be passed on and appreciated by further generations.

Regarding the fuel pump vid, what would you have added between the valve cover and lower distributor shaft sections?


Mike, very interesting tip regarding the valve tool grind. I'll look into this further and let you know how it turns out! Thanks for your input.
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Old 12-01-2020, 10:05 AM   #9
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Default Re: Ford Model A Camshaft Inspection and Evaluation

Your title line includes the words "Inspection and Evaluation".

1) How much measured wear is on each bearing journal?
2) How much bend/ runout when the first and last bearing are on V blocks?
3) How much wear is in the dizzy drive helix and is it even?
4) With a degree wheel and indicator do all intake & exhaust profiles match each other and are they index-timed correctly?

The above would require actually removing the cam and evaluating. You only did an in-place visual.

Lots of talk and reference to others but nowhere did the viewer actually see you do anything that would remotely qualify as a true evaluation. They only saw a 'I guess it looks OK'.

It is work like that that makes half (maybe more?) of the A's on the road run like cement mixers full of rocks.

I do agree with you using "Sh*t" in the series title. Descriptive of the content.
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Old 12-01-2020, 10:25 AM   #10
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Default Re: Ford Model A Camshaft Inspection and Evaluation

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I was under the impression this forum was so we could all learn from each other and improve? I mean, that's literally the reason I joined this community.
There is a sort of informal rule here that the audience is packed with literally full-time professional machinists, and so if you are not a pro-level machinist and you ask them to critique anything on the topic of machining, you are likely to get verbally mauled. Don't get me wrong, it's a constructive mauling, but you might not come back for seconds.
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Old 12-01-2020, 10:31 AM   #11
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Default Re: Ford Model A Camshaft Inspection and Evaluation

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There is a sort of informal rule here that the audience is packed with literally full-time professional machinists, and so if you are not a pro-level machinist and you ask them to critique anything on the topic of machining, you are likely to get verbally mauled. Don't get me wrong, it's a constructive mauling, but you might not come back for seconds.
Yeah, I'm starting to see that lol.

And I know, i'm still getting my camera set up down. I need to get the adapter for my tripod to hold a phone- last video I did balanced on a pair of pliers and a pocket knife. I'll get there!

As for naming the parts, this definitely something I want to further develop. I was thinking of using a single image with callouts on them? This is the mockup I started the other night for a future video- what do you think? (attached)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Generator Photo 1.jpg (20.4 KB, 102 views)
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Old 12-01-2020, 10:45 AM   #12
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Default Re: Ford Model A Camshaft Inspection and Evaluation

Hard to see b/c the attachment is so small, but it's a start. What we've got here is that your engine has obviously sat for years and would need a complete restoration, but it's not clear either that you intend to do that restoration or that you even could. So if the goal of this video series is just "I'm taking this engine down piece by piece and I'm just going to talk you through what I find"... that's a legit topic, but take it seriously. Don't just toss off "here's this part, I dunno what it's called." Think through what you're doing to hold the audience's interest. Why are they watching?
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Old 12-01-2020, 10:53 AM   #13
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Default Re: Ford Model A Camshaft Inspection and Evaluation

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Hard to see b/c the attachment is so small, but it's a start. What we've got here is that your engine has obviously sat for years and would need a complete restoration, but it's not clear either that you intend to do that restoration or that you even could. So if the goal of this video series is just "I'm taking this engine down piece by piece and I'm just going to talk you through what I find"... that's a legit topic, but take it seriously. Don't just toss off "here's this part, I dunno what it's called." Think through what you're doing to hold the audience's interest. Why are they watching?

Valid point and I appreciate it. I'll definitely make a point to get labels and names for everything ahead of time. I've also started loosening some pieces beforehand too, just because how loud the drill gets.

I think that's what my goal is, basically I'm tearing it apart and let's see what we find. I find in a lot of videos, especially regarding older engines, there's not much info to things to expect ahead of time (dowels, pins, clips, etc.) as well as there'll be videos that are geared more towards professional machinists or require expensive tools. I'd like to lean closer to the "backyard mechanic" I guess you'd call it.

Again, I appreciate your constructive criticism. Thanks!
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Old 12-01-2020, 11:08 AM   #14
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One of the hardest things about this type of video is that you usually have a dataset of 1. I see a lot of videos where it's clear that the guy owns one Model A or one engine and probably that's the only A or 4-banger that he's really closely examined. So a bias creeps in because the creator doesn't have a clear sense of what's normal/abnormal, what's missing, etc. If you can do the background work to, e.g., reference the Andrews book to ensure your fasteners are really to spec, review the parts vendor sites (not MAC's, a good one), that'll help you give more context to your audience. For example, mike657894 flagged a mysterious baffle in one of your pistons. You should check that out.
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Old 12-01-2020, 11:10 AM   #15
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Default Re: Ford Model A Camshaft Inspection and Evaluation

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Brent, thanks for your feedback. I was under the impression this forum was so we could all learn from each other and improve? I mean, that's literally the reason I joined this community. Impressing the group is not the goal so much as learning from your many, many years of personal experience so it can be passed on and appreciated by further generations.

Regarding the fuel pump vid, what would you have added between the valve cover and lower distributor shaft sections?
A Model-A does engine not have a fuel pump. The video I watched from you was how to remove the oil pump. The oil pump can be removed without removing the valve cover and/or removing the lower distributor drive shaft.

This forum IS for learning and sharing experiences. The hang-up that some have is reading (-or viewing) non-factual information. For example, using your video as an example, if a newbie wanted to remove his engine's oil pump and he were to use your video as his guide, it is believable that he would feel he needed to remove the valve chamber cover, the oil drain-back tube, the carburetor, along with the oil pan just to remove the oil pump. Nothing could be further from being factual in learning from that video. I trust you see my point.


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There is a sort of informal rule here that the audience is packed with literally full-time professional machinists, and so if you are not a pro-level machinist and you ask them to critique anything on the topic of machining, you are likely to get verbally mauled. Don't get me wrong, it's a constructive mauling, but you might not come back for seconds.
IMO this opinion of yours is total nonsense. I have been here for many years and that has never been the intent from my perspective. It has, however, amazed me how some folks will become offended after they have knowingly posted falsified or incorrect information here yet feel like they are being verbally mauled if their 'audience' does not agree with their comment. It is my opinion that others should not need to critique or research every comment made as to whether it is factual or not. Posters should have the respect to not guess at an answer while wording their post as if it is to be perceived as factual. The issue with this is, -hobbyists come here to learn the facts so they can make intelligent decisions regarding their own circumstances. Having to decipher whether the posted advice being given is truly factual should not be a perquisite here.

FWIW, I have viewed your videos too. Add yourself to the above list of content providers.

I do want to ask the question, ...at what point is a content provider experienced enough to be a teacher? Is doing the same task on multiple vehicles enough to be able to speak of the various scenarios that someone might encounter? Should someone actually have completely restored their own vehicle with their own tools be necessary? I personally think so if it will be construed as a 'how-to' video where the intention is to give instruction to others. For example, Les Andrews did not write a book as a teacher when he was a newbie. Les brought many years of experience that he obtained restoring multiple Model-A vehicles before he was considered a qualified and knowledgeable content provider.
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Last edited by BRENT in 10-uh-C; 12-01-2020 at 11:37 AM. Reason: ...adding further content
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Old 12-01-2020, 11:33 AM   #16
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IMO this opinion of yours is total nonsense. It has however, amazed me how folks will become offended after they have posted falsified or incorrect information here yet feel like they are being verbally mauled if their 'audience' does not agree with their comment. It is my opinion that others should not need to critique or research every comment made as to whether it is factual or not. Posters should have the respect to not guess at an answer while wording their post as if it is to be perceived as factual. The issue with this is, -hobbyists come here to learn the facts so they can make intelligent decisions regarding their own circumstances. Having to decipher whether the posted advice being given is truly factual should not be a perquisite here.

FWIW, I have viewed your videos too. Add yourself to the above list of content providers.
I've only ever posted one video, so I don't know that I'd count myself as a content creator. I try to have a healthy humility about what I know and don't know. I do think your tone when you see what you consider to be "falsified information" is moralistic and patronizing. I respect your presence on this board and I'm not here to lecture you, but I don't know why you're amazed that people don't like it when you go out of your way to say how annoyed you are at them.

Last edited by alexiskai; 12-01-2020 at 11:37 AM. Reason: Edited to account for Brent's edit.
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Old 12-01-2020, 11:45 AM   #17
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I do want to ask the question, ...at what point is a content provider experienced enough to be a teacher? Is doing the same task on multiple vehicles enough to be able to speak of the various scenarios that someone might encounter? Should someone actually have completely restored their own vehicle with their own tools be necessary? I personally think so if it will be construed as a 'how-to' video where the intention is to give instruction to others.
It depends entirely on the context. I like it when creators are upfront about their limitations or the limited applicability of the technique they're demonstrating. In my seat belt video, I tried to be real clear about its one-off nature, how my car was missing certain braces in certain spots.

We can have this discussion about who should be considered an authority in the field, but it should also be noted that very few of the people that I think you would consider an authority (certainly none in the area of precision machining) are currently out there making Model A videos. The gatekeeper argument is a lot stronger if you can point to elder statesmen who are making the content already.
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Old 12-01-2020, 12:49 PM   #18
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We can have this discussion about who should be considered an authority in the field, but it should also be noted that very few of the people that I think you would consider an authority (certainly none in the area of precision machining) are currently out there making Model A videos. The gatekeeper argument is a lot stronger if you can point to elder statesmen who are making the content already.
Let me start by saying it this way. I have an evergrowing list of nearly 100 different Model-A topics that I wanted to post on a weekly basis as a YouTube content creator. What I have learned after filming a couple is there is too much work (-time and expense) for the reward given in return in producing videos. Therefore it is strictly done as a labor of love to do it correctly. Look at Mark Clayton's video series on the Victoria project he is/was restoring. Mark has great knowledge of the content he is providing however he appears to be struggling with the time it takes to actually produce the content. I feel certain I don't want to follow in his footsteps in that regard.

And, ...the information for most topics, -along with answers to most questions can be found if someone will just search here, -or take the time to read any of the printed material often referenced here (RG&JS, Les' red book, etc.) however it appears that to most new hobbyist, even that is more work than most are willing to participate in. So I don't know what the best answer is, but I do know that what this hobby does need is less misinformation. Facebook's Model-A pages have the misinformational thingie well covered!!

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Old 12-01-2020, 01:10 PM   #19
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Let me start by saying it this way. I have an evergrowing list of nearly 100 different Model-A topics that I wanted to post on a weekly basis as a YouTube content creator. What I have learned after filming a couple is there is too much work (-time and expense) for the reward given in return in producing videos. Therefore it is strictly done as a labor of love to do it correctly. Look at Mark Clayton's video series on the Victoria project he is/was restoring. Mark has great knowledge of the content he is providing however he appears to be struggling with the time it takes to actually produce the content. I feel certain I don't want to follow in his footsteps in that regard.

And, ...the information for most topics, -along with answers to most questions can be found if someone will just search here, -or take the time to read any of the printed material often referenced here (RG&JS, Les' red book, etc.) however it appears that to most new hobbyist, even that is more work than most are willing to participate in. So I don't know what the best answer is, but I do know that what this hobby does need is less misinformation. Facebook's Model-A pages have the misinformational thingie well covered!!
I completely agree with you that video content is a *ton* of work to do well. I deeply respect the effort that clearly goes into Paul Shinn's videos, and I like that he covers core information that's useful to new and seasoned owners alike. I hadn't known about Clayton's series, thank you for that reference.

There's no easy solution, but we do need to recognize that video will have a role to play in the future of the hobby, replacing to some extent the in-person skill transfer that used to happen from father to son or from older club members to younger ones. Obviously that still happens, but we depend on it at our peril. Written material, either in dead-tree binders (Les's book does have a few errors that were never corrected) or poorly-organized forums like this one, can only go so far. For one thing, it's rare in forums to have someone give a complete step-by-step procedure the way Les's books do.

I personally would pay some amount if you wanted to start a pay-subscription video series. Just a thought.
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Old 12-01-2020, 01:55 PM   #20
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Default Re: Ford Model A Camshaft Inspection and Evaluation

I thought this was supposed to be about camshafts, not a critique on the video???
My evaluation of the pictured cam is that the lobes are very regrindable, if there is such a word? The minor pitting of the lobes will easily be removed while re-grinding the cam. A more important thing is the diameter of the center lobe, this is the one most likely to have wear. Questions asked by MikeK are:
1) How much measured wear is on each bearing journal?
2) How much bend/ runout when the first and last bearing are on V blocks?
3) How much wear is in the dizzy drive helix and is it even?
4) With a degree wheel and indicator do all intake & exhaust profiles match each other and are they index-timed correctly?

My answers are:
#1, I recommend a minimum diameter of 1.556".
#2, a cam is very unlikely to be bent unless it has been hit by a broken rod.
#3, very important, but oversize dist drive gears are available
#4, Extremely unlikely to be off.

In re-grinding a cam, the process is 1, straighten the cam. 2, grind the lobes, using #1 lobe as the starting/locating point. 3, re-straighten the cam. Often grinders then put a coating on the cam to lessen any chance of wear on break-in.

When I grind a cam I first machine the nose where the thrust button contacts it, if needed and almost always is. Second is re-machining the cam where the gear mounts, if needed, they are occasionally nicked or shows signs of mis-treatment. Third is to check the fit of the dowell pins, usually OK unless a pin is missing. I occasionally need to machine a pin that is larger in diameter than stock. When I make a new pin, I also make it longer than stock, for more stability. BTW, all pins are not the same diameter where they press into the cam. Note: Not all cam nuts are identical in thread diameter, I try to send the original nut with the cam I have re-ground, when possible.

Model A/B cams are made of very good steel, and do not require heat treating.
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