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Anyone used CB-Eagle hydro cams in WBX?

Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 10:49 pm
by tencentlife
I've been hunting down parts for an upgrade to my 2.1. I'm going with the GoWesty 96mm Wiseco P&L set, and my stock cam was junk so I started hunting down some alternatives that would give a little more power, especially high-end since I have a .77 4th gear and do a lot of freeway driving. Lotsa T1 peformance cams out there, but I would have to switch to solid lifters. I want to stay with hydraulic lifters, I like the convenience and honestly have had no trouble with them on several engines. But lo and behold, CB Performance has 4 different hydro grinds in their Eagle cam line, intended for some T1 cases they offer that are bored for T4 hydro lifters.

( ) and ( )

I went ahead and ordered the 2252 (270 advertised duration, 214 @.050", .298" lift), pretty mild, but should give me some more upper end power without making the bottom end lumpy. I hope. I'll use my 1.25 rockers for valve lift of .373" . I don't want to get into very long duration, I want to keep the CR high because I spend all my time at 5000-7000 feet altitude and higher.

I guess these are pretty new. Has anyone tried any of them in a WBX already?

Posted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:58 pm
by tencentlife
Well, 5 weeks later I'm gonna answer my own question. The engine has almost 1000 mi. on it already and I just did the second oil change. I ran it in on Castrol GTX 20w50, but decided to switch to Chevron Delo 15w40 for the regular lube, because with a lighter base oil more of the flow will go thru the depth part of my Trasko filter earlier, plus this oil is available everywhere at Chevrons in gallon jugs, and it's only $9 at AutoZone ($15 at Chevron, go figure).

The cam is working out nicely as part of this motor. It impacts idle very little, but I feel like in conjunction with the mild porting I did and the 1.25 rockers it is helping the top end breathing plenty. The power in the upper band is great: hills I used to crest at 55, floored and fading, ready to downshift, it now pulls at 70 at part throttle. Mileage is up from around 17 to almost 20 when cruising at 75. I did a run of 60 mi. at 80-85mph on one tankful and it still managed 17.7mpg, which is as well as it ever did before when cruising 75. Having the compression back up to 9:1 and 100 extra cc's helps, too.

Don't know how well this cam will wear, but the lifters are new and I did a 30 min. 2000rpm run-in on first start-up, so they're as well matched as anyone can expect.

Posted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:40 pm
by regis101
It's great to see someone do the homework, use their better judgement, and have good results. Even if the result is bad, a learning curve is established.

I am also an advocate of hydraulic lifters. Our 78 Westy runs smooth and quiet.

A big deciding factor when cam shopping and the use of factory FI is (not) to overcam. IMO, you're right there. Anything more than 220* @ .050 might be trouble. I'm partial to Isky cams. They have two older Hydr grinds for the Type 4. Their Torquer is similar to yours. Your application answers some of my own questions.

Happy trails to you, Regis

Posted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 6:34 pm
by Steve Arndt
Thanks for updating us with how the setup is working. Can you list all the details of your engine combo for us? I have an 87 Syncro that needs more power!

Posted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 8:40 pm
by tencentlife
Sure, Steve.

Mine's an '87 too. This motor started off as a longblock from AVP which I got in early '99. I built aircooleds for a living long ago, but the OEM motor chucked a rod thru the roof, ruining all cores, so I was reduced to buying someone elses engine.

The AVP always had much less power than the OEM did. Compression was about 130# when the OEM had still raised 160#, even with 160k miles on it. I never figured out why 'til last year, when I read this article at GoWesty:

You've probably read it. I figured it must have those low-comp Brazilian pistons. It did. I had 90k on it so I figured it was time for an upgrade. I had looked a lot into the Suby conversion but decided I would rather build up my wbx, since now parts were available to do a better job. Much less money than a conversion, too (~$2000 vs. $3500-5000?).

It turned out to have a 1.9 case, which I understand is narrower, but the P&L set worked out fine. It has:

OEM 2.1 76mm crank
GoWesty 96mm WiseCo P&L set
VanCafe remachined rod set with 1.9 type bolts.
Reciprocating assemblies balanced to 1g.
T1 Mains #2,3,4
Boston Bob saved the day with a custom oversize thrust bearing
Full-flange cam bearings
CB Eagle 2252 hydro cam & bolt-on gear
Meyle (CB) hydro lifters
CB oil pump, ports matched to case
CB solid rocker shafts
OEM rockers modified to 1.25 lift ratio (I had run these on both previous motors but with OEM shafts)
Rhino 9mm swivel-foot adjusters (likewise). These require at least .060" riser spacers to clear the feet, but wear extremely well.
AMC heads were new with the AVP build. I did all the guides and exh. seats. They had VW intakes, which I reground. New exhaust valves. I did minor port work, match-porting, and minimal polishing. Hand-lapped the valves. Only thing I regret is, since the intake guides and seats were reworked but the exhausts were all new, the intakes are a bit proud in the rocker chamber. I ground a bit off the underside of the intake rockers to clear the adjuster feet rather than add higher shims, since the geometry worked nicely at .060" riser.
I modified the oil pickup tube to eliminate the bizarre oil overpressure return galley VW put in the wbx case. It always drove me nuts that they did that, if you know anything about pump dynamics.
S&S 4-in-1 header sys, Turbo muffler, no cat (this was also run previously)
New water pump, 80deg.C t-stat
Trasko bypass oil filter (also run previously)

That's about it. Standard tune-up parts, Bosch tri-electrode copper plugs. Did some cosmetic surgery to tighten up the throttle body, which really helps idle and hot-starting (I put a how-to-do-it up at Samba)

I could bolt on some 1.4 ratios in future for .42" lift. I'm just not sure if I want that much pressure at the cam, unless I can lighten the springs some to compensate.

And regis, I made out. I learned a lot, and the results are wonderful. Smooth and powerful.

Posted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:08 pm
by regis101
Nice build sheet. What mods did you do to the pick up tube?

As for the rockers, choices ( combo's )are many. I prolly wouldn't change a thing. One point is that a symmetrical cam is said to be better for lower end torque. Another point is that you could put ratio's on the exhaust and change the dynamic of the cam. Might get an increase in the higher rpm range. I'm gonna think you don't go much over 5500. It is common knowledge that the wasser and aircooled for that matter are designed to rpm. If you were able to make things happen in your desired ( cruising) rpm then all is well and I wouldn't change a thing.

A good thing about the wasser is that internal temps and dimensions are steady due to water cooling as compared to my severely expanding aircooled. You can definately beat on yours more than I would ( do ) mine.

Thanks, Regis

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 4:15 pm
by Pillow
>What mods did you do to the pick up tube? <


Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:01 pm
by tencentlife
Yeah, I probably won't ever change them, just talkin'. It's the only bolt-on thing left that would squeeze any more power from it. Except maybe a bolt-on turbo.

I use the revs pretty high, especially in 3rd. I have a .77 4th, down from .82, but 3rd is stock, so you gotta take it right up to 4800 to come into 4th with real pulling power. Weird thing is, since the reinstall, at 5100 it acts a little like the rev-limiter. Not as abrupt, but can't rev it higher. I'm convinced it's Digifant-related because when you drop it back down, say by shifting to 4th, it's a bit ragged for the first 1/4 second. I'd like to have that extra few hundred revs back, I would always dip into the orange zone occasionally (they like to rev). I haven't hunted down the cause yet, though.

On the pickup tube I added about a 2" extension with an o-ring groove to seal in the pump inlet passage past where the overpressure galley cuts in. Drilled thru the relief hole in the control valve bore to let overflow go directly back to the sump, and an extra drain hole lower in the galley. I can't imagine why they did that mod, it's unlike any engine I've ever seen. I deal with pumping systems sometimes and you just never want to have any irregularities on a pump suction line. The oil pressure would often be irregular before, and it drove me nuts knowing that the suction side was that way, so now at least I can rule it out. It's early to judge and this engine is very tight, but it seems like pressure is more consistent than it was before.

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:44 pm
by regis101
Your rev limit is definately built in. Other factors are that the injector (time) runs out. but that's a little off topic.

My L-jet set up revs to ~ 5400 before cam and FI programming peters out.

My interest in your build is that I've slowly been gathering info about the wassers cause I know the day is coming when I move over to a Vanagon Weekender.

Longshot, is that the valve springs are not up to snuff with the cam upper rpm limit. Similar to float

Thing is to enjoy your newfound power, I suppose. At least for a while.

Thanks, Regis
78 Westy

Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:57 pm
by tencentlife
No, my ECU rev-limit was always about 5600rpm. This is 500 short of that. It always revved right up to it no problem before, and I've got the same set of valve springs. The cam is different, true, but not by a lot. The rockers are the same ones but on new shafts. I feel like it's engine management related, since when I back down the revs it's still a bit ragged for 1/4-1/2 second. Could be valve float, but it doesn't feel like it to me. I'll work it out eventually.

Well, I hope you and others can use my experience to have an idea of what will work for a nice increase in power for the wbx without having to get too crazy or do a complicated conversion.

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 9:41 pm
by tencentlife
Well, the rev-limit problem is fixed. The green frequency wire from the Hall effect unit had a break in its old brittle insulation. I had just taped it off, but went back and soldered a butt connector as a repair. The revs go up to the old ECU cutout again. Nice to have that extra 400 back.

Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 8:26 pm
by regis101
Did you suspect that it was ignition related or did you happen to stumble upon the problem during blanket inspection of the work done?

Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 12:47 am
by tencentlife
I suspected it must have to do with the rpm signal, and that's generated by the hall effect unit. I had noticed this crack in the insulation of the center green wire there earlier, just a couple inches away from the dizzy plug, and had taped it off and wrapped the three wires with electrical tape. I went in later and soldered a small butt connector there instead and the problem went away. Now it revs up to 5500 before it cuts out, just like it always did before.

Those signals like rpm and O2 sensor, are very low power, so they're pretty susceptible to resistance or interference.

Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 10:51 pm
by regis101
So...How's it goin'?

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 2:34 am
by 51MAN
Yeah, hows it going
how many miles on it now?