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Just unwrapped my new camshaft and noticed some rust on the journals. Is this something I could take care of with a 3M pad or steel wool? Or get a replacement?
Leaning towards getting a replacement since this is supposed to be a polished smooth surface with tight tolerances.
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I had a timing belt failure over a year ago and I had to get another head. Luckily I found one at the junkyard. Pulled it, cleaned and put it back on and with a new timing belt I was back in business. I did, however, note that I had much less power than before. I pulled it apart again and found that the camshaft (junkyard one) had lobes that had quite a bit of wear. Should have checked that earlier (duh). And I had been driving around for about month by then.

I checked the old head and the cam had been replaced by the previous owner. I ordered new cam lobes and went to town pulling the cam off.

At this point since the old head had been sitting in the garage for over a month without any oil it had some surface rust like in your pictures. I used engine oil and my fingers and a shop towel to rub it off. It all came off easily and then I reassembled it. It's been working great since then.

Hope you have similar luck getting the rust off. I would not use anything abrasive on the cam like sandpaper or a pad and especially not steel wool. Some elbow grease engine oil and towel should do the trick. If it doesn't work you will still be able to get a replacement because there will be no marks on the cam.
 

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That part should have been coated with light oil. If it doesn't come off with minimal effort, return it. Maybe just an oily rag or 800 (or finer) wet sandpaper or steel wool or?
 

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Scotch-brite is your friend for this sort of thing. Use motor oil for a lubricant. If there are pits that remain after cleaning off the surface rust, return it.
 

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With all the scuffing you will see after the scotch brite I doubt you will be able to return it :)
 
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