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Herbert cam

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Herbert cam

Postby cjperformance » Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:29 am

Anyone with an old Herbert cam catalogue here?
15ish years ago a bought a Herbert cam for a Ford Clevo, i now have no idea what the part number was. It was a solid flat tappet, specs as much/close as i can remember are,

- 275/283@.050
- .670/.685 valve lift 1.73 rockers - 109 lca.

feeling nostalgic, lol, im building up a similar engine again and although initial thoughts were for a roller cam i have decided to go flat tappet and would like the same cam once more. Any part number info would be great.
Cheers,
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Re: Herbert cam

Postby CamKing » Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:49 am

I don't think you will be able to buy that same cam now.

Your best bet is to see if someone can find the specs of the old cam for you, then call up Comp or Isky to see if they can make you one to the same specs.
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Re: Herbert cam

Postby bigjoe1 » Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:13 pm

From my own dyno testing with Herbert cams, you are just wasting your time. I have never seen any cam grinds they made that were worth getting a copy made== There are much better grinds availaable from other cam companies.


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Re: Herbert cam

Postby Keith Morganstein » Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:01 pm

bigjoe1 wrote:From my own dyno testing with Herbert cams, you are just wasting your time. I have never seen any cam grinds they made that were worth getting a copy made== There are much better grinds availaable from other cam companies.


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I agree. I used Chet Herbert cams way back, but you might as well get something with more modern design. There is nothing nostalgic about a cam of that duration IMO.

Just get one that works well with you combo.
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Re: Herbert cam

Postby CamKing » Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:39 pm

I wasn't talking about the performance.
I don't think the cam that comes in the Herbert box will be the same as the one you had 15 years ago.
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Re: Herbert cam

Postby PackardV8 » Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:00 pm

Agree X5. No one can see what cam you're running. Buy some current best science horsepower and then tell everyone it is an old secret Herbert grind.

Chet's rollers were the hot setup in 1963. I once spoke with Chet to ask for another cam for Bobby Allison. Chet used Bobby's photo in his ads and gave him free cams when he was winning NASCAR Modified Championships. He was an incredible innovator who overcame handicaps most of us would never be able to handle. If interested in the back story, read below:

Chester "Chet" Herbert is a member of the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame and died less than a year ago at age 81.
Herbert was stricken with polio at age 20 and lived the rest of his life in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the chest down.

His son Doug said, "My grandmother told me he was so wild about racing, that if he didn't have polio to slow him down, he probably would have died in some crash. When my dad was 12, my grandma bought him a trumpet and hoped he'd learn to play. But he traded the trumpet for a Cushman scooter and it was life in the fast lane ever since."

Lying in a hospital iron-lung for six months in 1948, Herbert developed ideas for manufacturing racing parts. Among his engineering and design innovations were the first commercially-available roller camshafts for US V8 race cars. He was among the first to try nitromethane as a fuel in a dragster after reading how the German army had used it to power torpedoes during World War II. Herbert helped develop the zoomie exhaust header that blew smoke away from a dragster's rear tires to improve traction, helping dragsters surpass 200 mph.

Growing up in Southern California's 1950s hot rod scene, Herbert turned a Harley-Davidson motorcycle into the fastest quarter-mile dragster of its time. Nicknamed "The Beast," the motorcycle clocked 121 mph at one of the first drag races in Santa Ana. Rival racers running slower cars complained that motorcycles held an unfair advantage and should be disqualified from Top Eliminator competition.

Just to show he could beat them with a car, Herbert turned to building innovative cars that often tested the rules of the National Hot Rod Association, the sport's governing body. He developed scores of dragsters, drag motorcycles and land speed-record streamliners for other drivers.

Herbert was one of the first to establish a successful speed shop and parts mail-order business and was one of the first racing parts retailers to advertise in national magazines and to sponsor championship racers.

Doug and his sister Doris, who as editor of Drag News was inducted into the sport's hall of fame along with her brother in 1993, said "Despite the fact that he had polio and was in a wheelchair for much of his life, he never let that stop him from doing anything," Doug Herbert said. "I'm glad I had the opportunity to follow in his footsteps and be involved in a sport that he helped to invent."

At the time of his death, Herbert and Doug were in the process of building a Bonneville streamliner with which they hoped to achieve 500 mph and break the world speed record for piston-powered, wheel-driven cars.

thnx, jack vines
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Re: Herbert cam

Postby levisnteeshirt » Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:53 pm

i bought a cam off of him around 1990 ,, i was bored with the street car and wanted to try a solid cam in it ,,, he was a nice guy , he'd talk your ears off but it was great to listen to him. I never knew he was in a wheel chair ,, amazing
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Re: Herbert cam

Postby bigjoe1 » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:41 pm

I also knew Chet Herbert very well== My shop is only a few miles from where he was located for 50 years== He was a smart and very inovative person== His cams just could not keep up with the competition== I tested a bunch of caams for him about 20 years ago, and when I showed him the results, he stopped grinding many of them, because he could buy and sell better grinds from Comp and just resell them.I used to see him about 8 or 10 times per year before he died== TOO BAD


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Re: Herbert cam

Postby cjperformance » Sun Feb 07, 2010 6:54 am

Ta guys, im probably just too nostalgic about the whole car. Sort of like a grumpy pig thats full of caffiene. Just one of those car/engine affairs that for some reason you get attached to! Just something about it.

Keith, yes the duration is pretty crazy, a bit like some of Ford's old OHO cam's!, it was only 302ci aswell so low end tq was not grand!

In all practicality a more modern grind would be much better but it's not for a race car.
I can get the cam ground no problem but i would of loved to get the full spec list for this cam.
Possibly a little less duration would'nt hurt though! Lol
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Re: Herbert cam

Postby rskrause » Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:14 am

American racing, especially drag racing (though also stock cars a generation ago) has been full of colorful characters who were also great innovators. This seems to be vanishing. Will another innovative, colorful generation come along? Not with the current rule structure (the resistance to electronics) and the need for corporate sponshorship to win at a high level.

I enjpoyed learning more about Doug Herbert.

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Re: Herbert cam

Postby moparian » Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:16 pm

i had a roller cam done by rubin racing cams which he works for chet herbit speed shop doing there cams these days the cam is 050 270.2/277.1 .200 is 189.5 /194.6 lobe is 450/420 adv .020 304/312 these lobes are not slow or super fast but getting up there should be reliable at the least.
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Re: Herbert cam

Postby ed nix » Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:54 pm

I bought cams from Chet in the early 60's his # 90 grind was one of his popular circle track
grinds Bobby Allison used this cam more than any other he won many races with it.
Chet called it his #90- 300° .500 lift. I use to get them in by train,packed in a plywood box that was the cheepest way at the time . The billit steel cam, roller lifters, springs and alum. retainers cost $130.00 . His # 70 grind for drag racing the best I can rember was about 280°
around .560-.570 lift. Other # I recall was #13,H2x and #50 grinds. Those of you that can re-
member back then knows how tough the 49-53 olds was on the drag strips but the cam would go down when you put enough spring preasure to turn higher rpm. Herberts roller lifters fix
that problem and the olds. was hard to beat, Just thought this might be of intrest to someone.
By too old in TN.
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Re: Herbert cam

Postby promachine » Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:44 am

If you call Chets shop today you can talk to Donnie Johansen about a camshaft. He really exells in blown or nitro applications and I have had really good experiences with his grinds. I think Ruben grinds most of the $39.oo stuff but I could be wrong.
Chet was a dear friend and a great man. I am hoping that his son will set up some sort of display at his shop or maybe on a website of some of the amazing things that Chet designed and built.
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Re: Herbert cam

Postby PackardV8 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:25 pm

Hi, Ed,

Guys here should know if this is the Ed Nix of Tennessee racing legend, he is one who has forgotten more than most will ever know about building engines. Great to hear you are still in town, still around and still building engines. Are you still at the shop (Ed Nix Balance & Machine, 117 Glenn Springs Rd Lawrenceburg,TN 38464-3101 (931) 762-3977) ?

Thanks for refreshing my memory about the specs of the Herbert roller. FWIW, we never degreed cams in those days. Whatever Chet recommended, out of the box and into the engine. Another FWIW, that $130 billet roller cam and kit from 1963 would equal $925 today, so it was a high-dollar item for guys building short-track engines racing for fun. Most were racing for fun because the same half-dozen guys took home all the money. Fortunately, Bobby Allison took home the most. Still, winning the National Modified Championship, it wasn't really enough to support a family pay the crew anything beyond hamburgers. He had to rebuild stock customer engines in the off-season. I remember one friend had him do a stock 2-bbl 265" and paid Bobby $500, which was huge money in 1963. The Mud Creek Racing Team got lots of local support that way.

Ed, for whom were you building short-track engines in those days? Remember, Bobby, Donnie and Eddie Allison, Red Farmer, Coo-Coo Marlin, Freddie Fryar?

thnx, jack vines
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Re: Herbert cam

Postby ZIGGY » Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:44 pm

Since this thread has kinda wandered around anyway, I want to ask Mr. Vines if he was with
Farmer & Allison when they came to Bristol for a big Nascar Modified & Sportsman race circa 1962?
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