The history of the club cam-shaft by Gary Adnitt
There is no getting away from the fact that when Terry Collier proposed a club cam-shaft for 2cv racing, the shock waves through the club were amazing, so why do it? One reason and one reason alone, to even up the racing and make it fair for everyone, new racer and veteran racer alike.
The story started in 2000 when after a few seasons racing a car we bought from someone else as a going racer, Terry and I decided to rebuild the car, from the ground up and incorporate the things we had learnt from fellow racers into our car, this included going ‘in house’ with our engines.
Whilst Stuart Palmer, Shaun Calvert and I built the car; Terry stripped and built the engines with Alan Cropp, a family friend, but during the stripping something unusual was noticed, all of the twelve cam-shafts we had stripped we compared and found to be different, and I mean no two were the same.
So, as a racer you fit the best one you have in your best engine and off you go, but is that fair? The person with the most cam-shafts (and a way of checking them) has the best opportunity of finding a fast one and potentially the best chance of winning, didn’t seem fair to us. So we set out on a little project
Terry looked into what a cam-shaft actually does in detail and how we could, along with help from Kent Cams, create a performance cam-shaft for the club with four key objectives:
- It should generate an optimum level of performance.
- It should be able to be made from existing ‘doner’ camshafts, to keep the costs affordable.
- It should be easily replicated so multiple numbers could be created the same.
- It should be safe to use in our current race engines without further modifications.
All of these objectives were achieved, costed and cam-shaft tested back to back with our best engine on testing days then presented to the 2004 AGM.
The cam-shaft was approved and has been run since as the ‘Club Cam’.
Since the Club Cam has been introduced I have yet to meet someone who can deny that the racing has become a lot closer. Anyone who was a Mallory for the last round of the 2006 season was in for an absolute treat of close racing, aided in no small part by the level playing field the Club Cam was introduced to help create.
Fitting the Club Cam is straight forward for the experienced engine builder, but can also be fitted by a novice racer/engine with the right tools, a Haynes manual and of course plenty of time. Whoever is fitting the cam needs to also consider the following:
It is strongly recommended that anyone fitting a Club Cam should also fit new Valve Springs and Cam Followers.
This is because historically, engine builders using pre-used Valve Springs and Cam Followers have reported failures in these parts when used in conjunction with the Club Cam. Engine builders using new Valve Springs and new Cam Followers have had no issues with parts failures.
It is permitted in our current racing regulations to fit a vernier to your Club Cam. This should only be attempted by an experienced engineer for obvious safety reasons. But why go to the trouble?
When you fit a cam to a crank there is usually a varying degree of slack, this can be dialled out with a vernier, some engine builders also prefer the opportunity to play with advancing or retarding a cam to dial in the best performance of an engine.
Many of the mechanics advertising their services on this website can put you in touch with a company that will vernier a cam for you, once you have one you’ll then need to modify your engine block to allow access to the adjustment part of your vernier so that you can adjust it to your preferred setting whilst in place.
This does not have to be done, you can as many others do, simply fit your Club Cam and go racing the choice is yours.
It’s all too scary, help!
Do not panic. The mechanics advertising their services of this website can do all or part of the Club Cam fitting for you, or simply give you some advise, what ever you want, we’re all here to help.
Club Camshaft Scheme
There are two options for obtaining the 2CV Racing Club Cam:
1) Individually: Send your camshaft to Kent Performance Cams Limited, who will grind them and return them to you.
Note: You MUST send details of your racing club membership number with your camshaft as this will be logged and recorded against the camshaft number. Failure to do this will mean that your camshaft will not be ground.
2) Batches of 10: Kent Performance Cams Limited will grind batches of ten camshafts at a lower cost per item when sent in bulk. Again, you will need to provide your membership details for logging. Failure to do this will mean that your camshaft will not be ground.
Please note that you MUST be a FULL/RACING MEMBER of the 2CV Racing Club to obtain the Club Camshaft.
Actions by Competitors:
The number of the camshaft MUST be indelibly marked on the crankcase of the engine in which it is used.
The camshaft number MUST be declared and recorded in the cars log book.
CAM PRO PLUS Cam Card Report – 16/1/04
|111.2 Cam Deg.|
|47.3 Crank Deg.|
|111.2 ATDC||111.2. BTDC|
|22.7 BTDC||68.8 BBDC|
|65.9 ABDC||24.7 ATDC|
|268.6 Crank Deg.||273.4 Crank Deg.|
|22.55 Inch Deg.||22.75 Inch Deg.|
|0.0000 Inch||0.0000 Inch|
Peak Cam Lift
|0.28414 Inch||0.28749 Inch|
Peak Valve Lift
|0.32677 Inch||0.33062 Inch|
Lift @ TDC
|0.0458 Inch||0.0478 Inch|
The first races for engines fitted with the new regulation Club cam were run at Oulton Park on Easter Monday. A few malfunctions, but most cars and engines finished both practice sessions and both races intact.
The new MSA / BARC Eligibility Scrutineer, Paul Hewer, was there as well, keeping an eye on things. No doubt he will be clarifying a few ‘grey’ areas of the technical rules as the season progresses.
As we collect hints and tips about fitting the new cam and adjusting things to get the best performance, we’ll post them here. The idea of the Club cam is to make a level playing field for all and to close up the gaps between the cars. Close, low cost, racing is the true spirit of the series.
Obtaining the Club cam: The club’s appointed supplier for the camshaft is:
Kent Performance Cams Ltd
Units 1-7 Military Road
Shorncliffe Industrial Estate
Kent CT20 3SP
Tel: 01303 248666
Fitting the cam:
The advice below is given on the understanding that the club cannot be held responsible for any errors in the advice. Below is a slightly modified excerpt from “Performance tuning in theory and practice” by A. Graham Bell. (Copyright is acknowledged).
“You will note the cam is covered with a black coating: this should not be removed except from the bearing journals. Freshly ground steel does not have any oil retention ability, and as lubrication of the cam is of utmost importance during the first few minutes of engine operation when running in the cam it has been given a special treatment called Lubriting, Parkerising or Parko-lubriting.
Actually the last name describes the treatment best, but in reverse to the way it is applied. The cam journals are taped and the cam plunged into a high temperature bath. Phosphoric acid etches open the pores of the cam so it may retain oil more effectively. This is the lubriting part of the process. Next the cam receives a phosphate coating to aid break-in.
To assist lubrication even further, I always coat the cams and followers with a mixture of high pressure Hypoid 90/140 gear oil and molydisuphide (cam lube would do).
The first 10 to 15 minutes is the critical running in period. Some engine builders turn the engine over manually without spark plugs, to get the lube working. When you do start it engine speed should be maintained at 2000-2500 rpm, to ensure adequate oil flow to the cam and lifters”.
Accuracy of the cam: Early concerns regarding the accuracy of the Club camshaft were dealt with during a visit to Kent Cams by Paul Robertson. Here is his report:
“Having inspected some of a batch of 10 camshafts we found that two did not appear to be giving the correct readings. After talking to Kent Cams we arranged to take the batch back to have them measured by Kent to see if there was a problem with the way they had been ground.
We were met at Kent Cams by Del who checked half of the batch including the two cams which were showing the odd readings, his method of measuring showed no problem with the profile that had been ground so we started looking for other reasons for the odd readings when the cam was installed.
On close inspection we realised that as so much material had been removed from the base circle the cam follower was running on a casting edge in between the second and third lobe.
This casting mark does not appear on all camshafts and then only seems to be a problem when the base circle is too small.
To rectify one cam Kent ground the offensive casting mark off, the other we decided to replace as we all agreed it was too small. Kent have agreed to remove this casting mark from all subsequent regrinds so this problem should not occur on any cams ground after our batch numbers 15 to 24.
This should only leave those cams which were ground first to sort out”.
Vernier on Club cams: The new rules for 2004 allow vernier adjustment to be fitted to the Club cam. To facilitate adjustment ‘in-situ’, Paul Hewer has ruled that an access hole may be drilled in the engine casing.