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Stock cam versus 292 - real world driving experiences


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I've been debating with Bill, my "old school" mechanic and friend, about going backwards - from a Schrick 292 to a stock 264.

Can one cam have it all? That's what I want to know.

Bill spent his early career as a factory trained BMW mechanic at an Arizona dealership. 02s were new models then and he spent lots of time doing tune ups. Now in his early 60s', he rides a Harley to work and owns a garage, where he services mostly domestic vehicles. When a vintage BMW pulls in, his eyes light up. Perhaps it's his past that leads Bill toward favoring reverting vintage BMWs back to stock.

Me? I bought my 02 for a mix of spirited Sunday driving on Montana's twisty open roads and mountain blacktops, where performance at 50-75 mph is the priority. But on weekdays, I'm stop and going around down town with a top speed of 35 mph.

So I'm interested in knowing subjective "real world" experiences and opinions about going from stock 264 cam to a 292 Dr. Schrick (or back).

How much of a performance boost does one get under 4.5K rpm? What are the everyday driving pros and cons? How much does MPG change? if your car is a daily driver / commuter, how much change is there in smoothness of idle and acceleration. What about "lopey-ness" especially when the engine is cold.

Sure there's lots of Schrick cam talk in the Forum, but mostly it's tech discussions about duration, peak timing, valve lift, etc. If this has been covered recently, don't want to be redundant - please link me.

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Well, the 284 is probably the better choice for street cars. The cam raises the HP, but moves it up in the RPM range. So a 292 LOSES power from a stop, but maybe after 3500 RPM, it kicks in and its peak power may be around 5500 RPM. But with redline about 6500 then you have 1000 RPM of real huge power....but what if you dont really drive it that hard...then you'll get LESS power from your average driving. The 284 is better off the line and give you more power.

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Man, I put a 292 in my engine when i rebuilt it in my 71. Stock (8.6:1) pistons, everything else stock, with an Ireland mech. dizzy and stainless exhaust. Its freaking awesome. I just got past 500 miles, so I can drive past 3k and up. It sounds great and pulls way harder than my 75 with 9.5:1 pistons and a stock cam. Now the 75 is a lot heavier, my 71 has no interior and is very light, the 75 has factory everything. I want to put a 292 in that car now. Both have correctly jetted 32/36s also. I couldn't believe the difference the 292 made, specially since the other car had high comp pistons too. Both car are daily drivers, and I only drive the 71 now. Put the cam in, you will love it!


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I've got a 292 in my rebuilt engine with 8.5:1 i believe. I've got a 32/36 and a header. As stated above, below 3500 rpm, it's a little bit slower than stock, but when it kicks in at 3500 it's really fun.

My car is my daily driver and i thoroughly enjoy driving it everywhere. As for the idle, it a little bit inconsistent at times, but i really don't have any problems with it, even at cold start. Mileage didn't change much. maybe 1 or 2 mpg less. i drive with a lead foot 40% of the time and i can squeeze 220-230 miles out of a tank.

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It's a multi-hour production. I need to pull the head anyway to send it to a machine shop to find out why I'm hearing so much clatter. Theory is that it's going to require a valve rebuild.

It's a good time to evaluate the pros and cons of the 292 cam, the MSD 6A multi spark box and hotter coil, the non original distributor. Successive owners have modified the car, hoping to improve on BMWs original engineering. Sometimes, the cumulative effect of add-ons is to undermine the original integrity of the machine. When nobody can figure out why an engine is running improperly, the best approach might be to wipe the slate clean and go back to stock.

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Is swapping cams that easy?

Figure a day, if you're not pressed.

We can do it in 2 hours with 2 of us at the track.

But that sucks.

It's a head- off job in the shop, but you CAN unhook the

back of the trans, tilt the motor up, roll the motor to a known

safe position, open the valves (not TOO far or they hit each other and bend)

and pull the cam out the front.

But you need to be skillful and experienced to do it safely.

And anyway, it's best to keep the rockers with the cam lobes, and that's

head- off time...

As for the original question, well, that's why variable cam timing was developed!

You want the stock cam for the weekdays, and the 302 for the weekends!

I think it kinda comes down to what will make you the least unhappy.

Will you miss the 15hp on twisty roads more than the torque off the line

on Mondays through fridays? And that's a question only you can answer...

no help here,


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