Originally Posted by L8knight
I am planning on putting gear drive in it, but I'm looking for recommended alternatives to Pete Jackson's gear drive (too pricey for me)...but one that doesn't require a bunch of additional work to install (machining the block, etc.).
A quick note about gear drives. There are basically two types commonly found on the market. One is with a fixed idler and the other is with a floating idler. The fixed idler (like Milodon 14200) is rather expensive and involves a minor bit of modification work to the block. A floating idler like the PJ are inexpensive and require no modifications to the block, or very minor clearancing if anything is needed.
Regardless of how much "noise" they make, the floating idlers are a waste of money for anyone who cares about camshaft timing. During rapid acceleration and deceleration of the engine, the floating idler will move up and down the cam gear somewhat effectively adding or subtracting as much as 3-4 degrees of cam timing. While modest camshafts/engine builds may never notice a problem with it, more aggressive builds could encounter P-V problems as well as a notable power decrease as a result of incorrect timing.
There is also a transition from timed as X to timed as Y during the movement of the idler. This transition can effect distributor/ignition timing (advancing/retarding it slightly) and generally make your car very inconsistent or consistently as poor as the characteristics of the floating idler.
As a street use item, it is simply just noisy and expensive. A quality timing gear and chain set will stretch about 3*, but can be preset for that stretch so that the camshaft is properly timed very early after initial startup.
Aussies make one of the best sets of billet timing gears and chain available here and they are only about $65 US. I'm sure that they must be cheaper down under without the added shipping costs!
My advice to anyone investigating gear drives, use a Milodon gear drive or similar with a fixed idler...if you have any regard for accurate valve timing.