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Took the valve cover off to check camshaft before doing the timing belt this weekend, well, it was really hard to tell wether the lobes are worn without taking other parts off , the best was to actually just to feel the lobes with the finger touch. I did get a glimse of lifters, the seemed all still blackened and without apparent dish faced syndroms. Let me know what you think guys, any advice would be much appreciated:
 

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All I see are oiled lobes. A finger touch of the lobe tip can show more.

In pic #11, I do see some streaking on the lobe but I can't tell if it's oil or copper streaking. I only mention it because it's the last lobe (and often the first) that always wears first. If you touch the lobe tip and it's sharp, you know the lifter life is limited. If there's no dishing you can still drive the car but it does mean that it's wearing down and will dish and fail sometime in the future.
 

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Thanks for the insight, I'll probably check again bfore the timing belt job. So if its just oil streaks on the lobes, I am probably ok for the next 100kms. However, if that last lobe you mentioned has copper streaks instead of just oil, than I am in trouble and need to replace the camshaft all togethere??? Also, if the top of the lobes have sharp edges, that would be another sign of abnormal wear?
 

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Yes, if copper streaks they're from worn cam bearings. Replace cam+bearings+lifters. The first and last lobe wear, as discussed in the FAQ, Franko6 believes that the torque on the rocker bolts is too high and warping something. The rockers don't go all the way to the end of the cam, the first and last cap aren't covered. This could be part of it, insufficient oil or too thin oil are other possibilities. It's hard to say the definitive causes but these all sound like reasonable possibilities. These are theories only and any modification or non factory thing you do is at your own risk.

If the lobe tips have sharp tips, it's not normal wear. If you look at the camshaft replacement article, it gives examples. A cam should never wear like that. Replace cam+bearings+lifters.

If it's just minor wear your car won't blow up if you don't change it today but it should be changed. If you're going to do the TB soon it makes sense to do it at the same time, esp since you are going to do the TB this weekend, plan to decide if the cam needs changing now or later.

On the bright side, if you change the cam later you don't have to remove the motor mount. You just have to readjust and reset the belt. The reason for motor mount removal is to get the tensioner off. But it's still a 75% redo.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That makes sense, I'll have another look this weekend at the cam and if all good, will proceed with TB replacement, if not, I'll just a buy a civic :) just kidding, I love my TDI and plan to run it for another 100k
 

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Does anyone know if a new camshaft like the one from IDParts will last longer than the original camshaft. Is the material better? I have heard the new black riser are better than the original silver risers. Is the probability high that in another 100k+ miles the camshaft will need replacing again?
 

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The lifts in the pictures are actually black (barely visible in the pics), so they came stock like that in the BRM and should be replaced with the same INA (VW supplier) black lifters. I have read numerous posts on this website and TDIclub regarding BRM oem cams vs BEW vs colt vs aftermarket, and there is just not enough data to compare OEM cam vs other alternatives. Either way IDparts is reputable vendor and only has proven and reliabe parts, I am sure their cams for BRM are just as good. Even though I live in Canada, I still get all my supplies from them. Did I mention they have super fast delivery :)
 

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Does "just as good" mean they are just as good as original, so I will be replacing the camshaft again 100K+ miles from now? Or does anyone know if the new camshafts are improved and should last beyond the life of the car like the original camshaft should have lasted.
 

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Does "just as good" mean they are just as good as original, so I will be replacing the camshaft again 100K+ miles from now? Or does anyone know if the new camshafts are improved and should last beyond the life of the car like the original camshaft should have lasted.
IDparts isn't going to sell you junk but there may be a design issue here with PD heads in general. Drive another 100,000 miles and let us know because as ruso tusito said, nobody knows for sure for the many thousands of PD sold just in the US. The black followers are better but they don't prevent the lobes from wearing down, they just withstand worn lobes better.
 

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I have read on the internet that the black followers are more durable than the silver followers and therefore should last longer. I am wondering if the new camshafts have been made out of a more durable material (harder type of steel, for example).
I have not seen any claims of the new cams being better than the old cams; I was hoping someone on this site might have knowledge of any improvements (shape or material etc.) made to the new TDI cam available on the market.
 

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just inspected my cam @ 85,000 mi. BRM engine. all lobes are good except the one closest to the vaccum pump. it has copper streaks and the follower looks scratched but not dished. I would like to replace the one scratched follower and all the cam bearings, but i can not find just one follower. they are always sold in sets. the cam is not sharp or worn on that lobe so i think i can polish it up.

or i thought of taking the injector rocker shaft off and polishing the cam, leaving the follower alone and running heavier oil. and keep an eye on it to see if it gets worse.

doing TB soon anyway so popping the cam is no big deal.

any help on parts or advice is apperciated
 

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That sounds like a good idea. Yes, I would just replace all of the followers and as you've already found out, they're sold in sets. I haven't looked at the parts catalog but I wouldn't be surprised if 1 OEM follower is not much more than a whole set of INA (OEM manufacturer).

You don't need the 2 special tools for the camshaft pulley removal since you're not separating the pulley.
 

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I looked on rockauto and they sell individual followers made by bgautomotive, an aftermarket company in europe. Are they a reputable company?
 
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