06/23/10 10:49 AM
Camshaft R&R Question

I am thinking about changing out my cams this weekend and had questions about the procedure. I read somewhere that when doing this, I don't have to mess with the timing belt if I put zip ties around the cam gear to hold it in place, then I can swap out cams no worries. Is this accurate? And while on the same topic, other than valve cover gasket, should I replace anything else in the process?
Lastly, how do I identify the stock intake vs. exhaust cams? Are they marked accordingly?

(Rock Star Status)
06/23/10 11:58 AM
Re: Camshaft R&R Question

I'd highly recommend just following the timing belt R & R, and swapping out the cams during that process. As far as other parts- half moon seals would be a good idea, as would a thorough going over. When was the timing belt done last?

(retard monkey strength)
06/23/10 12:33 PM
Re: Camshaft R&R Question

You can hold the gears to the belt with zip ties if you compress the hydraulic tensioner but then you have to worry about the belt changing position on the crank sprocket. In all honesty, I find it easier just to remove the belt and re-time the car. I have several other reasons though.
First, you get better and better at the T-belt job the more you do it.
Second, the only time you are saving is the time required to loosen the belts, remove the water pump pulley and belt cover really.
Third, now you get to inspect all the stuff you would otherwise ignore.
Forth, it doesn't always work anyway and the cam gear bolt, in my opinion, is easier to remove off the car than on since you can't get an impact at it without a flex socket.

But that's just me.


(Fatty McButterpants)
06/23/10 12:33 PM
Re: Camshaft R&R Question

I agree. I have never been a fan of hoping the Tbelt stay in place while doing it that way. My not spend a little exrta time and make sure the timing components are in good condition while you change out the cams.

Remember there is no prize for doing work super fast.

06/23/10 10:08 PM
Re: Camshaft R&R Question

The timing belt is fine, so no need to replace it. Just getting to it and pulling all the other crap off is a son of a bitch, more work than I care to do. If I can pull the cams, swap them, without pulling the front of the motor down, I will do it.
Right now I am missing my Conquest. That things had a nice little cradle for the cam gear to rest on for doing cam swaps and pulling the head. It was stupid easy.

06/23/10 10:39 PM
Re: Camshaft R&R Question

Rather than removing and bleeding all the lifters (and putting up with a horrendous clatter when you first start it again) Once you've got the stock cams out (and all the valves are now closed) rotate the crank 1/4 turn (90º) so the pistons are all level halfway up the bores. Fit the new cams, torque down the cam caps and leave overnight for the lifters to sort themselves out.

In the morning turn the crank back to tdc and refit the timing belt/etc.

(it's peace of mind at 100 mph plus)
06/23/10 10:44 PM
Re: Camshaft R&R Question

Please Be sure to refer to the vfaq on bleeding your lifters.

While the cams are out they *may* extend.

This could cause everything from no compression to catastrophic engine damage if the lifters extend while the cams are out.

Worst case scenerio will allow the valves to contact the pistons when the engine is fired up...

Do yourself a favor, read and understand the vfaq, then bleed the lifters, or let the engine sit overnight before you light it up.

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