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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-21-2004, 11:44 AM
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Installing Camshaft - what do I need to know?

Hello Jeepers,

Just got a spankin new camshaft from Hesco along with a double roller timing chain. I am going to be swapping in the Mopar MPI so I figured I would do a new cam and lifters too. What do I need to know when putting the new cam in? Anyone familiar with degreeing a timing chain like this? Just tryin to get some info before I dive in and drown. [img]images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-21-2004, 11:57 AM
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Re: Installing Camshaft - what do I need to know?

Make sure that you pull straight out when removing the old cam and don't force anything! When replacing the new cam use LOTS of cam lube. Lube everything - lobes, the dist. gear and the surfaces that come in contact with the bearings. Then lube it again. It all disolves in the oil and you will want to change that after your intial break in anyways. Be carefull when you put it in. Be gentle and don't force it. If you can, get a cam handle that bolts on the end and helps you stabalize it when you push it in.

You need a timing degree wheel to actually get the cam degreed. It is prety simple. Did they send you any directions with the timing chain. Sometimes there are dots on each gear to help you get them started and lined up.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-21-2004, 12:10 PM
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Re: Installing Camshaft - what do I need to know?

They gave me mild instructions, nothing too explanatory. Can I get the cam handle and degree wheel at a local parts store? Something rental type?
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-21-2004, 12:15 PM
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Re: Installing Camshaft - what do I need to know?

1. I've always felt this is a fairly good guide....

is a fairly good guide...
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-21-2004, 02:06 PM
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Re: Installing Camshaft - what do I need to know?

I think he said CAMSHAFT not crankshaft [img]images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]. Do they have the same type of info for a cam replacement? One of the best places I use is the Crane website.
post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-21-2004, 06:28 PM
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Re: Installing Camshaft - what do I need to know?

1. Camshaft?
2. Doh......... I coulds swore I read Crankshaft!
3. Yep they do have a good article on 'em...



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post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-21-2004, 06:55 PM
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Re: Installing Camshaft - what do I need to know?

Speed shops have the degree wheel.

Do a web search on degreeing a cam - lots of information on it. It's NOT just lining up the marks if you want to do it right.
Use the information on the cam card. You'll need an adjustable timing gear too. And you'll need a dial indicator with magnetic base, a piston stop, as well as the degree wheel and pointer.

Mainly the degreeing process is getting that last little pony or two out of the cam. And what you adjust it to depends greatly on how much, and what else, you've modified, like exhaust, intake etc.
Degreeing it will dial it in like the cam grinder intended, retarding or advancing it more than that mainly just moves the peak HP up or down the RPM scale - to where it more closely matches the other components. Figure about 100-200 RPM for every degree.

Otherwise just line up the marks and be done with it.

Lots of lube as said before. YOU CANNOT USE TOO MUCH!
Lots of lube on the chain and gears too.

Get the engine totally ready to fire before cranking it. Make sure battery's charged, fuel's up, ignition's ready and close to being in time etc.
Cranking it is the worst thing you can do to a new camshaft.

Get it started, immediatly rev it to 1800-2500 and hold it there - run it for about 15 minutes like that - watch that oil pressure - and don't let it overheat.

---- Important -- DO NOT LET IT IDLE!!!
If you see something's not right, shut it down. It's better to restart it than let it idle even for a moment.

The cam gets about 60% of the wear it'll ever see in it's entire lifetime the first 15 minutes during break-in. Do it right! At idle it isn't riding the lobes like it should to break in, and the oil's not getting up to it enough. That's very important!

Hopefully you are using new lifters with it. Using old lifters works - sometimes. You'll know it didn't if the new cam goes flat in 100 miles.

Both the lifter bottoms and the cam lobes have a very thin layer of case hardening. Once the hardening wears through it takes only a few minutes to go flat. There's lots of pressure against the lifter and cam lobe.

It doesn't hurt to contact the cam grinder and go by his recomendations.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 11:51 AM
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Re: Installing Camshaft - what do I need to know?

Sheesh, Im gettin scared. Thanks for all the info guys. Yes I am using new lifters, new push rods and new rockers, figure I may as well take care of most of it while I am in there.

As for it starting up right away, all I can hope for is that the MPI kit works right off the bat, I havent used it yet, being that I havent installed it yet, I'll do my best to get familiar with it.

Ill see if I can find a degreeing wheel, I dont know of any speed shop around here, but I usually luck out with the local auto parts guy I go to, but not to many people seem to work on cars much out here.

I was also wondering, would it be wise to remove the oil pan while I am doing this, seeing if it gets caught up on something as I am pulling it out or pushing it in, it would be easier to see the problem from underneath, right?

Again, thanks
post #9 of (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 01:05 PM
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Re: Installing Camshaft - what do I need to know?

Jegs or Summit has the degree wheels. See the web for them.
You'll also need the cam card, a dial indicator on a magnetic base, a felt pen marker, and a piston stop. It's easiest if the radiator and grill is removed so you can see it. And you'll need something to turn the crank back and forth.

But based on your questions (experience,) I'd suggest just putting it in and getting the marks lined up. What you might gain isn't worth the effort or expense, and avoids the possibility of problems. You'd need a performance gear set to make any adjustments anyway. Stock you don't have a choice of adjustment. 99.99999% of all engines don't get degreed.

As far as removing the pan - shouldn't be needed, and won't really make it much easier.

Just leave the big gear on the cam, use that to hold onto while you slide it in. You don't need special handles or gimmicks. Goop it up real sloppy!

Do it gently. Remember all the bearing sizes are the same, so as you go in you have to go through all of them.
--- EASY DOES IT! ----
Don't force anything, just a gentle twist and turn and you'll feel the bearings line up. It'll take you longer to read this than do it. Once you do it you'll laugh at how easy it was.
Then just drop in the lifters etc. - more goop - you can't use too much.

Hopefully the injection system will work. That's the problem with doing several things at once.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 03:16 PM
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Re: Installing Camshaft - what do I need to know?

Yeah, as far as camshaft experience, I have none. [img]images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img] I am pulling the radior and grill anyway to install the new cam, so Ill be able to everything just fine I think. But I do have the performance gears, at least I think I do for the price I paid, its a double rolling timing set from HESCO.

I checked out the wheels and stuff on Summit and most are $40+ I don't know if its worth it getting that to use it once, Ill check out the shop in town. What amount of performance am I going to be losing without it being degreed?
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