I'm rebuilding my engine and it's time for me to pick out the new Stipe cam for my '14 Touring. I just can't decide between the .250 and the .280. My engine is basically stock, with the exception of polished ports, .030" over aluminum pistons, 1-7/16" modern valves and a fully balanced transmission. It retains it's stock '14 low head.
First, I'm quite familiar with the Stipe .280 cam. I've put one into each of the last three engines that I've rebuilt for myself or my family. We love them. But, according to all the info on the Tulsa chapter's website, the .250 makes slightly more power and torque at low to middle rpms with only a small drop off in power at high rpms. Could it be that less is actually more for some applications?
My '14 is used for all around touring with family and friends. It does't need to be a rocket, but I want good hill climbing ability and I want to retain that smooth feel that the car has always had. Has anybody run both .250 and .280 Stipe cams the same engine or two identically rebuilt engines? I'd love to hear about a side by side comparison of the two.
Well, not to start an argument but the 280 is not a hill climber unless your up in the rpm range but with your higher compression, it should work. On the other hand, since you'll be touring with a "load" I'd go with the 250. Keep in mind that a stock cam (in good shape) will out perform the "250".
Auxiliary transmission or not? Rear axle ratio? Are you one that uses all of the rpm range before upshifting or do you shift early?
I don't know the answer to your question, but by answering those three questions, you might get a better answer.
I have the Stipe 280 cam in my '15 right now and am going to remove it soon. The car was a much better hill climber with the stock camshaft. Now it can't even get up some hills at all. The area I live in has some very steep roads.
The 280 cam does allow me to go 50 - 55 MPH. It would only go 45 with the stock cam. I don't have any desire to run 50 - 55 MPH. I have the desire to get up hills.
Royce, I sent you a pm.
I have run both the 250 and 280 and prefer the 250. I didn't like the drop off in performance between low and high on the 280 although it ran fine at higher rpm. I wound up selling the 280 and substituting an NOS Ford cam. That's not to say the 250 is a dog at higher speeds. I like to run at about 35 mph on the flat and the 250 performs very well at that speed, at least in my cars. Its a good cam.
My understanding is if you have a stock T go with the 250.
If you have a Ruckstell with stock gears go with the 280.
I am putting in a 280. I got a Ruckstell with 3-1 rear end.
I hope I like it. I'll give a report when I get everything back together.
Wow, I'm surprised to hear that you guys are having better luck with stock cams. I've built three nearly identical engines using Stipe .280 cams, .125" milled high heads and NH or Simmons carbs. These engines, installed in Tourings and even a Centerdoor, really outperform another engine that I built for our '23 Roadster with an NOS Ford cam and an unmilled head. The Stipe cammed cars climb hills really well and have great top end. Maybe all their extra hill climbing power comes from the milled heads, rather than the cams.
At any rate, My '14 Touring runs stock gears, no Ruckstell and no Warford. Most of our touring is done at 30-35mph. The terrain here in Central Minnestoa is largely flat, with rolling hills and no mountains within 500 miles.
I have not compared the two apples to apples, but it seems to me that more lift would net more power. Yes, it may be at a higher rpm range but there are ways to adjust that.
I have Stipe cam and a Chaffin cam, with 3/1 gearing. I see no difference in performance, I do see a difference somewhere around ninety dollars
I usually go with the more is better philosophy too. I've really loved the .280 cams in our other cars. But, after looking over the dyno results on the Tulsa club's web page, I'm wondering if the .250 cam might actually be better for a pretty stock engine that's used mostly for club tours and such. Their data makes it look as though the .250 would actually climb hills better with only a 1 to 2 mph sacrifice on the top end. So, I'm really interested in "seat of the pants" real world experience with both cams.
Richard, thanks, that's exactly the kind of info I was hoping to read.
Seems to me that with a '14 block there is some slight modification needed to either the lifter or the lifter guide to allow the 280 cam to rotate freely.
Royce, have you tried the 10 tooth pinion with the 280 cam for hills?
When Tony Verschoore did my son's '16 roadster motor a few years ago we opted to try the "new" stipe cams and went with the .250 mainly because we wanted to try the new cams and wanted the motor to run quiet. I was impressed mainly that the lifter clearance was setup closer than stock. I was not looking for HP. Living in IL we aren't called upon for too much power but a nice quiet ride is what we were looking for. The car runs great and on major tours to hilly areas the car climbs hills in high easily but you must remember this is a 1916 stock roadster so it is a very light car. Stock gearing. I would rather drive my son's T than my own '23 touring car which has a reground "stock" cam in in. It runs well enough too but the roadster sits up higher and is more open feeling.
I just installed a Stype 280 in my 1913 block yesterday. I have of course not run it yet. I had to relieve the block with the adjustable lifters I am using. These are the cheaper style with the lock nuts. The stock Ford lifters are perfectly flat on the underside of the head, whereas these adjustable lifters have a taper and are slightly thicker. I had to relieve the underside of the lifter as well to get the clearance. Surprisingly, the block was not uniform and I needed more relieve at the front of the engine than the back.
I also ran into a problem with the new reproduction cam bearings that I got from Langs. The front bearing was too wide to fit between the flange and the first cam. Also, the bearing was marked stock, but was clearly undersized. This prevented me from assembling the engine with the new bearings. I have set them aside and installed the old bearings, which seem just fine. By the way, the machining on the Stype cam is just beautiful. I would find it hard to believe that the problem with the bearings is there.
I live in a hilly area. I hope the 280 works for me. My car is a light runabout with a stock rear end, aluminum pistons, stock 13 head and carb. I may yank this cam and use it in my new speedster I am building with a Roof head. I have thrown so much money at my 13’ I might as well get it right from the start.
RV, I think you would be much happier with 250 and Standard gears.
I tried Ten tooth, 250, 6 to 1 head, Atwater Kent D and Ruckstell. I never used the Ruckstell, Was out of high gear only two times up 14,000 foot Mount Evans. I do believe I could have pulled it in high, If I was trying. 13 Runabout with two people.
It was a case of gross "UNDERKILL". No top end for normal driving. I couldn't get the 10 tooth out soon enough. The following year I drove the same car on another CO Tour with the standard gear. It was wonderful.
Comparing a Ford factory cam with no wear with the Stipe 250 cam.
Both have the same physical lift, .253, ground into the cams. Both have the same performance characterics ground into the cams. Maybe Ford knew what he was doing?
Experience has shown us that a Ford Factory Cam will little or no wear is a fine cam indeed. But better than the Stipe 250 cam? Maybe not. A couple of subtle changes were made to the Stipe 250 cam to improve performance. First the ramps were softened to reduce wear. Then gap requirements were reduced to .010 on the Stipe Cams. The performance characteristics for the two cams are identical, except a .025 gap is required on the Factory cam. This results in a .015 increase in lift for the stipe cam.
Why is there a difference in the gap requirements between the two cams? I thought that the gap was to take up heat expansion of the valve and stem. With modern valves, wouldn't you set them both the same? You can tell I'm not a mechanic, but just play one on weekends!
Fred & all:
The 280 cam was a Christmas present before the engine was rebuilt.
The car ran ok with the Ford cam with the valves set by piston position. After running the newly rebuilt engine in the garage, the first ride was eventful. I was more than satisfied with my new engine..... I had a damn speedster. Our area of coastal New Jersey is relatively flat with some rolling hills. The '26 Runabout has standard gearing, Ford coils, Anderson style timer & now runs on Mobil 1 5W40 synthetic oil. Not knowing how the engine would run with the 250 cam, I'm satisfied with the 280.
Thanks again Fred for all your help.
Just my $ 0.02
I see a lot of comments related to the different cam's in lighter open cars. Has anybody compared them in closed cars? I'm getting fairly close to needing to make a decision on this for my '24 tudor sedan. Anyone want to pass on some advice for the heavy weights out there?
Thanks Richard, John and Fred. Your experience has helped me make up my mind. Even though I've had great experience with the .280s, this car should have the .250 cam.
Side note on relieving the block for the .280 with adjustable lifters; yes, I had to do that on the '22, but not the '24 or '26 engines.
Mike Morse, the heavier the car, the greater the requirement for high torque at low rpm. I would use the Stipe 250 for the heavier car.
Noel Denis, the gap is designed into each cam and determines duration(where each valve opens and closes, lift and all charactistics of the cam. The designer of the 250 Stipe cam requests that a gap of .010 be used to get the original Ford Characteristics. It works for me.
Many folks use the Stipe 280 cam and are very pleased with it. It is a cam also designed with low rpm torque, just a smidge less than the 250. You will get better performance at high rpm's than the 250
Thanks, Fred. I hadn't heard of that reason, and it makes good sense. I put a .280 Stipe in my 23 touring last year and love it so far. I debated going with the .250, but since I have a Ruckstell and a Z head, I didn't think I needed the additional low end of the .250. This combination makes the touring a pleasure to drive in traffic or on the highway.