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Camshaft Thrust Washer Question
Posted by: PGVair ()
Date: February 17, 2018 04:47PM

I have two 891 camshafts with factory gears installed on them. The thrust washer on one is smooth all the way around and the other has three notches on the face at 120 degree spacing. What is the purpose of the notches? Is one design better than the other? You can see two of the notches in the attached picture.

Wade Lanning

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Re: Camshaft Thrust Washer Question
Date: February 17, 2018 05:11PM

Likely just a path to allow oil to make it's way to that space.


Dan Davis ~ Pierce County, WA ~ CORSA Western Director + Corvairs NW + North Cascades Corvairs + Corvanatics
1966 Corsa Turbo coupe ~ ~ 1966 140 Corsa ~ ~ 1965 Monza 140/4 'Vert Sierra Tan/Fawn ~ 1964 Monza 'Vert (SOLD) ~ 1960 Monza Ermine White/Red PG ++ ~ 1965 Monza 140/4 Evening Orchid w/ ivory/black interior ~ 1962 Monza Wagon 102/4 ~ 1963 Rampside/Scamper ~ 1963 Red/Greenbrier ~ 1969 Ultra Van #468

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Re: Camshaft Thrust Washer Question
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: February 17, 2018 07:31PM

I've seen lots of these washers with the three grooves. I do not recall the plain one, but maybe early production or late?

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA

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Re: Camshaft Thrust Washer Question
Posted by: Vairismo ()
Date: February 17, 2018 07:55PM

I would lay odds that the grooved version is earlier production style. As time goes by they try to economize, and not making the grooves would cost less.

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Re: Camshaft Thrust Washer Question
Date: February 18, 2018 02:29AM

Could the thrust washer be grooved on only one surface and be installed grooves up or down?

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Re: Camshaft Thrust Washer Question
Posted by: vairmech ()
Date: February 18, 2018 05:25AM

I've seen and have both styles of thrust washers. On a stock build I will use the flat washer but on any more HP engine I will opt for the one with the grooves.

Keep in mind that the cam journal right next to that thrust washer has oil coming out of it. That oil has to go somewhere and should go somewhere the washer with the notches lets the oil flow past the washer.

Ken Hand
Handy Car Care
248 613 8586

Vairmech@aol.com

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Re: Camshaft Thrust Washer Question
Posted by: Max Roeder ()
Date: February 18, 2018 05:37AM

Normally hydrodynamic thrust bearings have a smooth surfaced rotating member some call the "collar". A fixed non rotating sector shaped disc pad (or pads if thrust is to be realized from both axial directions) is for the distribution of lubricant to the collar.

I believe the oil distribution grooves were determined to be non essential due to the application. The oil distribution into the thrust cavity is passive, a virtual dip ring technique. One more good reason for the collar (thrust ring) to be secure to the camshaft.

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Re: Camshaft Thrust Washer Question
Posted by: PGVair ()
Date: February 18, 2018 01:19PM

Ken, that was my thinking too. With the last cam journal pushed up to the washer, it would seem logical that the notches would promote better oil flow to the bearing. What was puzzling is that both camshafts were 891s, which was a design used from 64-69. I don't know the history on both of the cams, but the one with the flat bearing was in a '65 block I just recently disassembled. The cam with the notched washer has been residing in my garage so long I don't recall where I got it.

Wade

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