: CHRFAB cams installed - 98 STS - the results are in



97EldoCoupe
12-04-09, 08:06 PM
I figure many of you might be curious about the results of the cam swap.

Pros:
-Sounds like a souped up V8 muscle car (nice choppy rumble)
-Faster than stock
-No codes thrown if the idle is kept up above 750 RPMs, at all

Cons:
-Stalls due to non-adjustable idle. It likes 800-1000 rpms and NO less.
-If the idle drops too low, P300 and P1599 set. I'm not surprised, considering it wants to stall below 750 RPMs.

The R & D is not finished here yet. All I can tell you is what I've found so far. This is not something I would want to sell anyone at this point. I have no hard facts or numbers but 0-60 comes in the 5.x second range now. Traction is hard to get, my new General Exclaim 235/55/17s are near bald (front anyways). I'll swap front to rear and see if it'll hold the road any better. The car wants to peel most of the way through first and lay a few feet of rubber on the 2nd shift.

It seems to have more power throughout the powerband, but moreso on the top end. I would like to get another set ground with a bit different specs. I want a bit less valve overlap.

At first it seemed to have less power than stock. I had 87 octane in the tank. I burned that off and filled up with 94 octane. Very BIG difference. Noticed the difference in the first 5 miles. That, and the A/F ratios probably have ajusted a bit. Timing is PCM adjusted automatically (using the knock sensor, to a point) but we definitely need to come up with a way to alter the stock timing. I have an idea on how to do this mechanically- since electronically is out. I'm going to shoot AJ an email- right now I need some of his expertise.

But I really think that with a combination of the right camshaft grinds, the right ignition timing, more open exhaust, and maybe a bit of port and bowl clean-up, the power can be substancially increased while retaining near-stock idle quality and not setting DTCs.

Personally I wouldn't mind a hint of a choppy idle but not this much. It is still a Cadillac. It should run like one. This is something to start with, anyways.

97EldoCoupe
12-04-09, 08:19 PM
If I can find the correct grind for our cars, something that will give us the best balance of everything (if stock isn't already it), I would like to have some CNC camshaft blanks machined from billet steel, then ground by a reputable cam grinding company, then hardened. I know a really good CNC machining company and I think they'll be able to get everything 100% to specs. The problem with regrinding the stock cams is the base circle diameter is significantly decreased from stock. The lifters adjust to compensate, but it seems like quite a bit.

IXSLR8
12-05-09, 02:50 AM
What duration cams are you running?

I'm running CHRFAB 272 duration cams in my 1996 with AJ's LS1 Manual Tune.

eyekandyboats.inc
12-05-09, 10:45 AM
i saw there that AJ had good results with a 280 i beleive some where i read that.

good to know Jake! lets make these cars faster!

Destroyer
12-05-09, 10:40 PM
At first it seemed to have less power than stock. I had 87 octane in the tank. I burned that off and filled up with 94 octane. Very BIG difference. Now this is going to sound a bit stupid but what if you ran 94 octane with the stock cams? Would it not have been faster stock with 94 octane instead of 87?:confused:

codewize
12-05-09, 11:42 PM
Now the almighty question. Do any of you have before data from a dyno or the track. How many passes have you made down the 1/4 mile? How many pulls have you made on a dyno to collect a baseline for the stock engine.

If you answer none then stop talking about it because it just doesn't matter.

Feels like this and feels like that doesn't do it for me anymore. I want cold hard facts.

Submariner409
12-06-09, 10:10 AM
:yeah:


No timeslips, no power gains. (............. and a dashboard G-computer is no substitute for a NHRA sanctioned track timeslip, either.)

97EldoCoupe
12-06-09, 04:32 PM
The cold hard truth. I can't say anything FOR SURE. The local track is closed for the winter season. I think the car has adjusted to the cams somewhat.

I'll be parking the car soon until spring. Once the track re-opens I'll run it down the 1/4 again and post the times. 14.95 was stock, who knows it might only do 15.2 now.

Ummm...Destroyer.....put your thinking cap on for a second here. You just asked a question in reverse that we all know the answer to. Stock, they pull harder with premium (91+ octane) fuel. I throw 87 in once in a while. The difference in the way it ran my be solely due to the PCM adjusting itself.

My conclusions either way, whether it's faster or not, is that without being able to tune the PCM, these cams are useless. End of story. Just thought some people would like to know my findings. Nobody wants a car with an auto trans that needs two feet at a stop sign.

ga_etc
12-07-09, 01:02 AM
I request video or audio. I would love to know how a N* sounds with cams.

97EldoCoupe
12-07-09, 08:00 AM
Request granted. Later today if I have some time I'll take a video and post it.

RidgevilleSTS
12-08-09, 09:01 AM
How hard was it to install the cams? How much labor time?

Submariner409
12-08-09, 10:19 AM
Changing cams in your engine is tedious, precision, and no fun. You'll also need to change all 32 cam followers (lifters) at a minimum (aftermarket) cost of $13 each - AC Delco original followers are $39 each !!!

Read a lot of Northstar Performance concerning Northstar cams and their timing as well as threads on top overhauls before you consider trying............

Alldatadiy lists cam replacement at 4 hours per cam, so 16 hours for a GM shop tech with the required special cam alignment and chain tensioner retainer tools.

97EldoCoupe
12-08-09, 10:42 AM
I re-surfaced my lifters. Much cheaper but you'll need access to a lathe. It took a bit of time and it was a bit of a pain. But Alan over at CHRFAB suggested I retard the intake cams by a tooth. I thought about this, but wasn't sure if I should bother. I think I will.

Submariner409
12-08-09, 11:33 AM
Jake - With the number of cam sprocket teeth (40 ?) one tooth represents 9 degrees of rotation. Retarding a cam by that amount will move the power band way up toward the engine redline, while advancing it one tooth will move the power band down into a lower rpm range. I believe that with a moderate overlap cam grind/timing retarding will worsen the idle. What's your idle vacuum now ?? The higher the better.

Most conventional aftermarket timing chain/sprocket sets allow you to set the cam at +4 degrees, straight up, or -4 degrees. Your 9 degree figure is an awful lot........

ponyboyt
12-08-09, 12:22 PM
I think the car has adjusted to the cams somewhat.


Is it idling now?

Can you read idle fuel trim/AFR? (i assume you have a scanner). What about temps?

97EldoCoupe
12-08-09, 01:01 PM
Sub- I hadn't gotten into the math yet. Correct me if I'm wrong but the cams turn 1/2 revolution per every crank revolution. Isn't the +4/-4 keyway on most SBC/SBO aftermarket timing gears set to change the timing at the crank? So technically 9 degrees divided by 2 would be 4.5 degrees, so one tooth on the cam sprocket would be 4.5 degrees advanced or retarded. If I'm wrong about this, please forgive me :(

My scan tool doesn't show much of anything. I don't even use one on Caddys, only on the Auroras.

I'll enter some values into Desktop Dyno (as inaccurate as it may be) and see what I come up with. On the bright side, 4 cams run separately opens up the option of individually setting the intake and exhaust valves at the sprocket-tooth degree intervals.

As for temp, my car runs right at 12:00 even in 3rd gear steady at 70MPH. I really have to get that fourth gear back in operation. My gas mileage is gone...

97EldoCoupe
12-08-09, 01:01 PM
I'm saving for a Tech 2..... :D

ponyboyt
12-08-09, 01:40 PM
i have a vin 9 trans thats been sitting in the corner of the shop for 3 months now :stirpot:

Submariner409
12-08-09, 03:42 PM
Mind-boggling...........because the cams run at half speed, one tooth on a cam sprocket would, in fact be 4.5 degrees, while one tooth on the crank sprocket would be 9 degrees - the intermediate is where the curve ball comes in :rolleyes: (and, yes, you can fool with each intake/exhaust pair of cams to change either type of valve timing and/or overlap.)

ga_etc
12-08-09, 06:31 PM
Still hopping for that video Jake... The STS has got to sound mean with cams.

97EldoCoupe
12-08-09, 07:24 PM
My video cam is charging. I had it running earlier only to find out the battery died by the time I got out to the car. I'll be working around the clock tonight- just stopped for supper. 33-34 degrees in the shop. The gas line is in the shop now, the new 250,000btu furnace is hooked up, and it doesn't work.

If I take a break a bit later I'll post the vid.

eyekandyboats.inc
12-08-09, 07:37 PM
thats a cold shop!.

ga_etc
12-08-09, 08:05 PM
Good grief. It's a wonder you can get any work done at all with it like that. I hope you get the heat situated soon. I'm not trying to rush you or anything, just quite curious. I'm sure you have a fair amount of work to be done.

ponyboyt
12-09-09, 11:23 AM
Jake are you running factory TC in that thing?

97EldoCoupe
12-09-09, 12:39 PM
Factory torque converter? Yes. It actually needs a higher stall converter now and the idle bumped up a bit. I just honestly believe that right now it's not worth it. After a run down the 1/4 in the spring I'll know a bit better. It SEEMS that it has more top end power. I'm not emphasising anything here- I cannot be sure. From 50-100 MPH it seems to be picking up quicker (don't ask where I tried this).

50 degrees and climbing. It's about time we had heat, that parts washer fluid in 33 degree weather was brutal.....

ponyboyt
12-09-09, 01:35 PM
i had to drive this Deville home (i bought the Concours i told you about) with a battery on the front seat running booster cables cause the alternator is dead... and havent touched it yet cause its too damn cold.... and i had an offer to get in on a heated shop over a month ago.

Anyhow, i really wonder how much dfference a higher stall would make. Is it stalling in park? Its really nice out today, starting to dry up too. Maybe good for some test runs :bouncy:

97EldoCoupe
12-09-09, 02:14 PM
The weather is getting way worse over here. It stays running in park, shift in to drive and it stalls some of the time. Come down from a high speed to a stop sign, you'd better be using two feet.

I doubt the car would pass any emissions test thrown at it, but I can handle swapping back to different cams every two years.

No codes thrown at all if I keep the RPMs up a bit.

eyekandyboats.inc
12-09-09, 02:48 PM
you guys are suckers for cold weather, i enjoy it and dont mind working in it as long as i have gloves. :)

Submariner409
12-09-09, 05:18 PM
Jake, Look into a shop furnace that burns used lube oil.........

97EldoCoupe
12-09-09, 08:36 PM
Yes Sub I have to do that. I have about 100 gallons of waste oil saved already for that purpose.....

Taylor I can handle the cold for a little while, but not for too long. I really need to move to Florida...

32vmonte
12-11-09, 12:45 AM
So maybe my N* has cams? Or it has a horrible tune. IDK but listen to it idle in the beginning of the video. It does this when I first start it and stalls alot when its in gear. It has to get warm before I drive it.

Oh yea this motor is using jakes studs.

Is this what your car sounds like?

http://videos.streetfire.net/video/N-monte_721474.htm

Submariner409
12-11-09, 09:08 AM
Sounds like something is wrong with the cold fast idle settings and maybe the EGR is opening too soon, leaning out the mixture.

The air filter on the front cam cover - the supply for PCV fresh air - that hose should be installed and should come off the throttlebody fitting in order to NOT draw cold, moist air into the engine. (Shut down, cool down, and moist air goes directly into the cam cover where it condenses water droplets all over everything.) Which begs the question: Is the PCV valve installed and is it run to the fitting on the intake manifold behind the p/s pump tank ?? If you have no PCV valve your fuel/air mixture is screwed up from the get-go. The proper PCV flow is factored into all fuel delivery trims.

Do something about the main hot air intake. I know you're just getting this thing together, but that's something to look at, too.

ponyboyt
12-11-09, 09:38 AM
thats pretty cool to see, i was looking at a 95 monte with low k's and thought about this job, but the car turned out to have a lot of hidden rot :P I probably should have grabbed it anyway, a 3.4 with 60,000 km was probably worth something. I will have aother spare motor soon. What else can i cram it in?

ejguillot
12-11-09, 10:31 AM
Yes Sub I have to do that. I have about 100 gallons of waste oil saved already for that purpose.....

Taylor I can handle the cold for a little while, but not for too long. I really need to move to Florida...

YES YOU SHOULD! Or at least the southeastern US. :thumbsup: (Speaking as a resident of Tampa, FL.) You'd be busy down here too.

97EldoCoupe
12-11-09, 03:09 PM
I spoke to a shop in California yesterday, the owner said it was 24 degrees outside. That's 8 degrees below freezing point. In California? Oh boy.....

There's no refuge from the cold...... lol

codewize
12-11-09, 05:21 PM
Not in this country. That's why I'm moving to the Caribbean. Never cold there.

ejguillot
12-11-09, 05:43 PM
Here in Tampa it's in the 50's. Head to SW Florida, and it's in the 70's in January!

Edit: Sunday's predicted high is almost 80. Don't you wish you were down here? :bouncy:

TimPic
12-12-09, 07:58 PM
would these cams, require ECM programing?

32vmonte
12-13-09, 12:27 AM
Sounds like something is wrong with the cold fast idle settings and maybe the EGR is opening too soon, leaning out the mixture.

The air filter on the front cam cover - the supply for PCV fresh air - that hose should be installed and should come off the throttlebody fitting in order to NOT draw cold, moist air into the engine. (Shut down, cool down, and moist air goes directly into the cam cover where it condenses water droplets all over everything.) Which begs the question: Is the PCV valve installed and is it run to the fitting on the intake manifold behind the p/s pump tank ?? If you have no PCV valve your fuel/air mixture is screwed up from the get-go. The proper PCV flow is factored into all fuel delivery trims.

Do something about the main hot air intake. I know you're just getting this thing together, but that's something to look at, too.


The breather is doing exactly what it would do if it was coming from the intake duct. It is in your intake duct to get filtered air into the crankcase. The air being pulled into the crank case by the vacuum of the intake manifold through the PCV is filtered as it should....what sensor is monitoring moisture going into there?

IDK what exactly you where getting at there but it is hooked up as it should be. But that seems correct to me I have the breather on the front cover so that dirty air does not go into the crankcase. The air gets sucked in by the vacuum from the intake mani. its self. Usually there is the tube that runs from the front cover the the intake duct thus pulling filtered air into the crankcase instead of dirty air. So my breather is still doing what it needs to I just eliminated the tube going the the intake duct behind the air filter to get fresh air.

Plus ppl put breathers on LS motors, ECOTEC's, mitsu. 4g63's, b16 b18's from honda anyhting and that effects nothing to do with the idle ever. Now if I took the PCV off the intake it would lose its vacuum and the motor would go crazy.

The HAI is going to stay it's not really that big of a deal and they custom made it for the N* and my monte. Plus I don't think an air box from a cadi would look to clean in there.

The PCV is still hooked up and essentially still functioning correctly. I was just wondering possibly does my motor have cams.

Reason I posted the vid is to see if jakes 272's sounded like my car at all. I have a original build sheet for the motor when the car was swapped and it says for camshafts they where customer substitutes. The owner stated when he sold the car it had those cams and alot of other stuff in the motor. I soon found out it had nothing of what he said was supposed to be in the motor the only thing I didn't have checked into was the cams.


OH YEA FORGOT TO MENTION SO FAR SO GOOD ON THE STUDS!!!

Submariner409
12-13-09, 10:15 AM
You are correct: Without the PCV your idle and fuel/air would be screwed up; I said as much when I asked if it was in fact installed.

The observation on the little cone filter on the front cam cover is based on the "sensor" of 55 years of engine building experience and methods to keep engines in one piece for as long as possible: Moisture condensation kills engines and is a very good and valid reason why the original intake air line was run to the clean air side of the throttlebody casting. Merely an observation, nothing more. You may install aftermarket filters to your heart's content - I'm only making recommendations based on watching the evolution of engine ventilation systems over a lot of years.

97EldoCoupe
12-13-09, 05:01 PM
32valvemonte - my cams are the 272's from chrfab. I have a video on my JVC cam now but can't find the cable to upload to my laptop. I'm getting used to controlling the car. I DO believe it has a little more punch but before anyone says it: No I have no proof at the moment.

I'm pretty sure I know what type of custom grind I want now. CHRFAB will grind me a custom set to my specs. Also, I had a long discussion on Thursday with my CNC machining shop. I showed them a cam and they did tell me they can machine some blanks out of billet steel. They have to get some new tooling in for some of the drilling but they're willing to do it. This way I can have the grind of my choice while keeping the factory base circle diameter. I don't care too much for having the lifters nearly maxxed out. Once the profile is ground these CNC cut cams will be hardened. I want a set of cams that increase the performance throughout the powerband WITHOUT the negative effects I'm getting now. Life is full of trade-offs but I think I have a profile that's going to work.

Destroyer
12-13-09, 08:32 PM
YES YOU SHOULD! Or at least the southeastern US. :thumbsup: (Speaking as a resident of Tampa, FL.) You'd be busy down here too.As a Tampa bay resident I too have noticed that N* with blown head gaskets are in abundance around here. I find N* powered cars on Craigslist all the time with blown H/G's for dirt cheap prices...heck, almost scrap prices.

97EldoCoupe
12-14-09, 12:12 PM
Gee, we could be neighbors- I can picture it now. I'd walk outside in the morning with a cup of coffee in one hand, keys to my Caddy in the other, when Destroyer would glance over and say "Mornin' neighbor, HG's blown yet?" LOL - but of course, I'd take no offense to this, as Destroyer has some beautiful cars sitting either in his driveway or at the curb, increasing my property value with each gleaming chrome wheel....

Yeah Florida is full of Cadillacs. I have some customers here in Ontario who spend their winters in your neck of the woods. And they buy their Caddys in Florida, bring them to me for HG repair over here. I tell you there is nothing like working underneath a Florida car. No rustproofing crap underneath, no rust falling down with every turn of a wrench, and the bolts usually all break loose on the exhaust system without the need for a plasma cutter......

ponyboyt
12-14-09, 02:01 PM
i love that. So far both mine are clean underneath. When i did my engine there was lots of greese but no undercoating crap or rust.

Oh and..... plasma cutter???? I usea sawzall... my buddy has a cranky thingy kinda looks like a oil filter wrench but it cuts through in 3 or 4 cranks.

Destroyer
12-18-09, 10:04 PM
Gee, we could be neighbors- I can picture it now. I'd walk outside in the morning with a cup of coffee in one hand, keys to my Caddy in the other, when Destroyer would glance over and say "Mornin' neighbor, HG's blown yet?" LOL I'd know better than to say that about your N* Caddy's.:cool:

Yeah Florida is full of Cadillacs. I have some customers here in Ontario who spend their winters in your neck of the woods. And they buy their Caddys in Florida, bring them to me for HG repair over here. I tell you there is nothing like working underneath a Florida car. No rustproofing crap underneath, no rust falling down with every turn of a wrench, and the bolts usually all break loose on the exhaust system without the need for a plasma cutter......Florida with all it's flaws is a great place if you love cars, especially old cars. Clean, elderly owned, garage kept cars are plentiful. Canadian's are also well know around here. Not very popular with the locals though as they are noted for there bad driving. :bouncy:

97EldoCoupe
12-19-09, 01:22 PM
That doesn't surprise me Destroyer - we have a lot of crazy drivers in Canada. Some good ones. But I get sick of driving the 401 freeway up to Toronto. The main cuase of traffic jams seems to be people who are too slow to react.

On another note: I cannot WAIT to get back to the 1/4 mile track to see what these cams do. 100 MPH takes no time. About a 1/2 hour ago I took a fellow forum member for a ride in my '98. He has a Z rated '98 as well, HG's done by me in May of '08. I asked him his thoughts on if it picked up power over stock. 100% positive that it did was the answer. Neck snapping shifts. The cons are still there but it has straightened out somewhat- still wants to occasionally stall at idle, still runs a bit rough at low RPMs. I am more anxious than ever to try a different cam grind. These cars CAN be improved without tuning the PCM. There IS hope. I'm going to need time to find the perfect cam profiles though to get the best driveability/power compromise.

Steve, if you find this thread, that was 87 octane in my STS's tank.....94 might even add a touch more (maybe). The car has really adjusted to the cams.

97EldoCoupe
12-19-09, 01:29 PM
Within about 6 months time I expect to have something ready to sell to fellow Caddy owners - cam/head packages for most years of Northstar front wheel drive cars. Ported heads, polished back-cut valves, polished chambers, custom cams (brand new), maybe even performance engines intended for stock replacements with studs and a bit more kick.

It's time these Northstars were brought to their full potential, or at least closer to it.

I'll post pics soon of what I'm doing to my '04 Bonneville's heads....

codewize
12-27-09, 10:49 AM
I anxiously await a real, drivable, viable solution.

ga_etc
01-04-10, 05:53 PM
Jake, did you ever manage to upload that video?

stngh8r
04-23-10, 03:14 PM
LOOKING FORWARD TO MORE INFO! :yup:

Pictures, dyno #, videos, track times, prices, difficulty, supporting/necessary modifications, tuning options, etc, etc.....

You have a tough row to hoe. But you would certainly have the market cornered if you were able to provide performance products and services.

Don't give up and don't leave us hanging! :thumbsup:

eyekandyboats.inc
04-25-10, 10:29 PM
pretty sure this is on the back burning right now. everything in due time.. in due time