Jesel Cam Belt Drive Systems - Engine Builder Magazine

Jesel Cam Belt Drive Systems

Built with quality materials, Jesel’s camshaft belt drives feature several performance and valvetrain stability enhancements over traditional timing chains and gear drives.

Dan Jesel invented the small block Chevrolet camshaft belt drive back in 1982 with one goal in mind – to make the most accurate and durable cam timing system available. In its almost 40 years of existence, Jesel’s camshaft belt drives have often been duplicated, but never matched. Whether you’re running a 24-hour endurance race or a 4-second pass down the drag strip, you can count on Jesel to get you to the finish line first. 

Built with quality materials, the company’s camshaft belt drives feature several performance and valvetrain stability enhancements over traditional timing chains and gear drives. The Gates patented High Torq Drive reinforced belt spins dry on a steel crank pulley and a hard coated aluminum upper pulley and helps isolate crankshaft harmonics to the valvetrain. Teflon-coated high vacuum cam and crank seals are long lasting and insure the extreme amount of vacuum found in today’s race engines stays sealed in the crankcase. Cam timing can be externally adjustable ±10° in minutes to dial in the power curve, and cam thrust can be reduced to as little as .001” with available dual thrust cam adapter assemblies. 

Another advantage is the ability to swap out cams directly through the front cover. Cam swaps can be performed quickly without needing to remove the oil pan by simply removing the upper cam pulley and un-bolting cam seal plate saving countless hours during dyno sessions. 

With over 42 applications from OEM blocks to aftermarket raised cam blocks, you can be certain that the camshaft belt drive used to win countless championships will provide you with years of durable race winning service.  

Jesel also offers belt-driven distributor systems, which are a direct bolt-on accessory to Jesel’s camshaft belt drives. This component eliminates timing inaccuracies due to camshaft deflection and cam walk. A typical gear-driven distributor running off the camshaft has the possibilty of altering the initial ignition setting at high rpm due to the camshaft twisting from torsional loads. By driving the distributor drive directly off the camshaft pulley, ignition timing stays constant and will not deviate from the initial settings. Another benefit to using a belt-driven distributor is the ability to set the engine back further in the chassis without worrying about firewall or windshield interference. A crank trigger firing system along with an external ignition box is required for all belt-driven distributor systems.

Lastly, Jesel offers complete front drive combos for the engine builder planning on using a camshaft belt drive as well as a belt-driven distributor. These front drive combos incorporate both units as one convenient part number. In addition to being an ordering convenience, the front drive combo is easier on your budget as the units are discounted when bundled together. The combo can be ordered with either Jesel’s Pro Series or Extreme Series distributors with or without the available Individual Cylinder Timing system. As with all Jesel distributor drive systems, a crank trigger-type firing system as well as an external ignition box is required.

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