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How hard is it to install a new cam?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Lotsa_Faith, Feb 9, 2003.

  1. Lotsa_Faith

    Lotsa_Faith 1/2 ton status

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    I am thinking about getting a mild cam to liven up my 350. What would the install consist of?
     
  2. TX Mudder

    TX Mudder 1/2 ton status

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    No, it's not hard. I've only installed it with it on the engine stand. In the truck it's a little harder to get to. I'm pretty sure you'kll have to remove the radiator to do it.

    You'll need to remove the air cleaner, carb, distributor and intake manifold. Reinstalling the dist. is a bit of a pain, so make sure to mark the rotor orientation.
    You'll also need to remove all the engine accessories - you have to so that you can remove the timing chain cover. Also, you'll need to remove the oil pan (the front lip of the oil pan hold the timing cover on.)

    Basically it's a lof of diassmebly and putting on new gaskets. The actual cam install is easy.

    Get new lifters. If your cam doesn't come with them, then buy some.
    Get a new timing chain setup.
    ANd also, of course, buy all new gaskets.
    -- Mike
     
  3. MOABDADC22

    MOABDADC22 1/2 ton status

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    A cam swap is a piece of cake. This should help you. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. slider

    slider 1/2 ton status

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    Ok this all depends on how mechanically inclined you are. You have to pull the radiator, the grille, if you have a/c the condenser in other words you have to have the whole front of the engine compartment grille area open. You also have to pull the fan shroud, the cooling fan, water pump, timing chain cover, oil pan (to do it the correct leak free way) harmonic ballancer, pully off the crank, belts, hoses,distributor,intake,valvecovers,the valve train hardware, (pushrods, rockers etc). It is alot of work but well worth it. You will need a intake gasket, timing chain cover gasket, oil pan gasket(if removed), distributor gasket, water pump gasket etc. If you have never done this get a buddy who has and get his help. Make sure he is not a wanna be who thinks he knows what he is doing, Nothing more frustating than a know it all who knows nothing when you have a question or run into a problem. As you can see it is a big project and I did not list all of the stuff you will need to do. Sometimes you have to change valve springs to use an aftermarket cam, use screw in studs because the lift will pull out the pressed in studs etc. Hope this helps Later Slider
     
  5. 4DiggerDan

    4DiggerDan 1/2 ton status

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    So far, you've got a lot of good feedback. The only other thing that needs to be mentioned... Cam lobes are SHARP, like razor sharp. You should probably wear a set of gloves when handling it. Unless you like cutting your hands to ribbons.

    Again. Make sure you've got enough spring to work with that cam. If you need a set of springs put it in, you've got two options, buy one of those spring compressors that work on the truck (you run the piston up TDC, then air it up with compressed air to hold the valve shut) These things are a pain in the ass, and hardly ever work right. Or, you could make your life a whole lot easier and pull the heads off (this will give you better access to the lifters) and you can run your heads down to your friendly local engine machinist, have him put in the new springs and check to make sure that you have enough clearance between the retainers and tops of the guides with the stem seals installed. He shouldn't charge you much more than 20-40 bucks to do this.

    Having the heads off will also give you an idea how much engine you've got left. You'll also figure out what chamber you've got (most likely a late model smogger chamber, 72-76 CCs) and what type of piston you've got (flat-tops, late model smogger...) Knowing this, you can figure you're compression ratio, and see if its going to work with your cam.
     
  6. BlackDog714

    BlackDog714 1/2 ton status

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    Actually, it more than likely wont matter if you dont mark the position of the distributor as you will disturb timing lining up the cam with the crank.

    Just yank and re-time.
     
  7. Sandman

    Sandman 3/4 ton status Author

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  8. trouble1

    trouble1 1/2 ton status

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    I am most likely oneoftheleast mechanical ppl in this forum and I changed out my cam. It is a fairly simple deal and way worth the money. The only thing that I can say is allow a lot of time. /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     

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