Camshaft Installation

Write-ups and procedures on how to get things done

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Camshaft Installation

Post by Gzero » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:03 am

This was taken from a few notes I had written down during my last install. There may be incorrect information, typos, or items forgotten. If you see something that is incorrect or needs fixed, please let me know and I'll be sure to correct it. Hope this helps someone.

Install parts:
Assembly lube
Cam shaft
RTV (seal up corners where timing cover and oil pan come together)
Flexplate locking tool
Torque wrenches (Standard 3/8" drive and larger 1/2" with angle)
Magnetic pen tool (with strong magnet)
New oil pump o-ring (does the oil pump need to come off if the chain and gear aren’t replaced?)
New front cover gasket
5/16” brake line (straight) (2) 30” rods or something equivalent
Zip ties
Optional: Springs and pushrods
Optional: Spring compressor (suggested using dual spring compressor)

As most general write-ups begin, disconnect battery.

Remove items in front of timing cover
Belts, Fans, radiator, A/C condensing unit (can stay, but will need to move up and down quite a bit), water pump, hosing)
items removed from in front of timing cover
Remove items from above valve covers (coils and coil rack, engine cover, disconnect wiring and move wiring out of the way, intake tube)
Remove valve covers, unbolt rocker arms with 8mm impact socket. These are spec'd to 22 ft/lb (will break normal sockets and possibly strip rocker bolt heads). I removed each rocker and kept them in order so they can be replaced in the same spot they originated from. Remove pushrods, as these will put more weight on the lifters. Keep same configuration if possible.
Remove timing cover (8 – 10mm bolts on front and 2 – 10mm bolts coming up from oil pan.
Remove timing cover
Remove oil pump (4 bolts in front and 1 bolt going up from the oil pump tube). Getting the tube bolt out can be very tricky if you don't remove the oil pan. I succeeded by doing this without removing the pan but you have to be very careful not to drop the bolt. If you drop the bolt try fishing it out with a telescoping magnet or remove the pan. Removing the pan on a AWD adds quite a bit more work. I'd suggest loosening the bolt a bit until you can get a zip tie around the threads. Possibly even a few zip ties staggered so there is always a end you can grab onto while loosening the bolt head.
Pickup tube bolt
Remove oil pump
With the oil pump out of the way, find top dead center (TDC) by spinning the crank bolt (24mm) and matching the marks on cam gear and crank gear. Cam gear will have the dot at the bottom and crank dot will be at the top of the respective gear.

Lock flexplate with tool. To use this tool, starter will have to be removed. This will prevent the crank from spinning.
flywheel locking tool.PNG
locking tool
flywheel locking tool in action.PNG
tool mounted
Unbolt the camshaft bolt or bolts (single bolt is 24mm). Remove cam gear and chain. Remove chain dampner.

With everything out of the way you’re ready to get the lifters in position so the cam can be removed. If the lifters aren’t held in place, it’s possible they’ll fall once the cam is removed as the lifters ride on the cam lobes. Put the cam bolt back into the cam and spin the cam as fast as you can by hand a couple times. This will send the lifters up. You should be able to slide the (2) brake lines through the lifter holding holes. The brake line or rod you use will ride along the sides of the lifters. This puts tension on them and keeps them from dropping.
5/16" brake lines holding lifters up
Once the rods are fully in and all lifters are held, you can slowly pull the camshaft out, turn the cam slowly as you pull it out. You don’t want to smack the cam on any of the rollers that are at the bottom of the lifters. There is a small section of the lifter still poking out even when the lifters are held in the up position.
Removing old cam
Bottom of lifters being held up
Once the cam is out, you’re ready to lube up the new cam and insert it. Make sure you have bolts inserted into the new cam as you’ll need them to twist the cam in. Using the assembly lube, coat the new cam fully before inserting it. Slowly push the cam in. You’ll want to slowly spin the cam just like you did when removing the old cam.

If you're changing your springs and pushrods, now is a good time to start that process. I used an inexpensive single spring compressor which didn't work as well as I'd hoped. I'd suggest finding a dual style compressor. With the rockers and pushrods removed previously, I removed the rocker tray. This gave me a place to bolt my spring compressor where the rockers normally bolt up.
Spring compressor
Compress the spring until you can remove the retainer locks. I used a pen magnet on the top of the valve and tapped the retainer locks. If the spring is compressed enough the locks should pop off easily enough and the magnet pen will help catch them. With the locks off, you can decompress the spring and the retainer and spring will come loose. Remove your old valve seals and replace with new seal, spring, and retainer. Notice the valve seals are color coded for intake vs. exhaust, so be sure to place them correctly. I'll try to work up a diagram showing which valves are intake and which are exhaust. With the retainer placed on the new spring, using the spring compressor to compress enough to place new retainer locks. To help place locks, I put my magnet pen on top of the valve end and it helped keep the locks up against the valve stem. I've also heard a little assembly lube will help keep the locks in place. With the locks in place, you can decompress the spring making sure the locks center on the retainer well. Continue until you have all springs replaced.
New springs placed

Once the cam is in place, its time to start replacing the items that were previously removed. You’ll have to put the cam gear back on temporarily and get the timing mark lined up with the crank as previously done. Once the cam is where it should be, you’ll need to put the chain on the bottom gear while putting the cam gear back on before bolting it up.

Once the gear and chain is in place, make sure you’re marks are still lined up. You can now put on your chain dampner and oil pump. I changed to a single, more solid, chain dampner as I've seen the two piece dampners break on occasion. Also, be sure to use a new oil pump o-ring. Be careful when putting the oil pump back on as you don’t want to damage the o-ring.

Getting the pickup tube bolted back up is definitely not an easy task when the oil pan is still installed. We used two sets of hands, magnetic pen tool, a couple skinny but long zipties, a skinny long flat blade screwdriver and with some patience and a little luck we got it in. Strap the ziptie to the middle of the bolt as tight as possible. You don’t want the bolt to slip out from the ziptie.
Important!..While holding on to the ziptie put the bolt in to the oil pan and maneuver it over where it needs to be bolted up in the tube. Get it angled up into the threads of the hole. Start with the ziptie as far left as possible, have someone hold a skinny flat blade screwdrive up under the bolt. With the screwdriver put enough pressure on the bolt to keep it in the hole but not too much that you can’t spin the bolt with the ziptie. Try threading the bolt by slowly spinning the ziptie to the right. Once your ziptie is as far right as possible, you can take another screwdriver and push the ziptie in further to twist it some more. Once you’re to a point where you can’t spin it any further, put more pressure on the bolt with the holding screwdriver. Enough pressure that the bolt won’t spin when pulling the ziptie back to the left. You want the bolt to stay still (not unthread) but you want to reset the ziptie to the left. Again, release just enough pressure on the bolt so you can twist the ziptie to the right and allow the bolt to continue to thread. This may take several times trying to get the bolt to actually start in the threads. Once you’re convinced that the bolt is up high enough and you have definitely gotten it threaded, you can cut the ziptie with a razor blade at the bolt threads. Don’t leave any ziptie attached to the bolt. Get an angled wrench and tighten the bolt up. An angled box end worked for us but it had to be pretty thin as gear wrenches were to thick.
New gear and chain on
You can now get your timing cover ready to bolt back up. Be sure you clean all the gasket surfaces. Place a small bead of RTV in the corners of the oil pan where the pan meets the front cover. Place the new gasket on the cover (this is a directional gasket) and place the cover on. Start bolting it up. Torque all cover bolts to 18 ft/lbs.

With the timing cover back on you can install the crank pulley. I used a new crank bolt and had to tighten to ######### ft/lbs with an additional ##### degrees.

Now you can install the water pump. Again, be sure you clean all the gasket surfaces. I placed the (6) 10mm bolts into the water pump and hung the gaskets on the bolts, then matched the pump bolts up to the engine block. Hand tightened the bolts as much as I could then snugged each one up before torquing to #####ft/lbs.

Now replace the belt tensioner with (3) 15mm bolts and torque to ####ft/lbs.

Install thermostat with (2) 10mm bolts at #####ft/lbs of torque.

Now you can start placing your hoses, radiator, A/C condensor and other misc. pieces back up front
07 3SS AWD Summit White - TVS1900|The Force Cam|HP Tuner Pro|RPM lvl6|Vig 3200 Tri-disk|Kooks 1-7/8" w/ ORY|Magnaflow Catback|4" MAF Fenderwell Intake|Dual LS1 eFans|PCM Pickup Tube|160* Stat|BM Trans Cooler|Dual Aeroforce|Anzo Halos & OPT7 HIDs|Big 3 Gnd|Pioneer 7" Nav|Massive Audio Subs & Amps|Diamond Audio Components

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Post by Gzero » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:55 pm

I've been meaning to get this all put together for quite some time, still needs some work but figured I needed to start on it sometime. I'll post it in a public forum when it's ready. Feel free to read over it and slap me around on anything I've forgotten or screwed up on.
07 3SS AWD Summit White - TVS1900|The Force Cam|HP Tuner Pro|RPM lvl6|Vig 3200 Tri-disk|Kooks 1-7/8" w/ ORY|Magnaflow Catback|4" MAF Fenderwell Intake|Dual LS1 eFans|PCM Pickup Tube|160* Stat|BM Trans Cooler|Dual Aeroforce|Anzo Halos & OPT7 HIDs|Big 3 Gnd|Pioneer 7" Nav|Massive Audio Subs & Amps|Diamond Audio Components

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