What is cam-walk?
Cam walk is the movement either forward or backward of your cam within the block. The telltale signs of cam-walk are a worn thrust face on the block (if movement was backward) or a scored timing chain cover (if movement was forward), or excessive wear of the cam's distributor drive gear.
Cam walk is a common occurrence found in roller cam setups and is caused by your engine block having its tappet bosses bored out of square with the cam bearing bore, causing the roller tappets to thread the camshaft in or out, depending on the direction of rotation. This is a normal occurrence for roller motors but is pretty much non-existent in non-roller setups.
The cam thrust plate is designed to wear out and sacrifice itself to save your timing cover from cam-walk.
After a long service life spanning many years & tens of thousands of miles, your camshaft thrust plate will probably need replacement during your camshaft install or engine rebuild. This steel replacement camshaft thrust plate from Ford Racing for production cast iron thrust plate are for severe service.
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