What You Need to Know About Installing a Camshaft

The COVID-19 lock downs put all of us on a sort of house arrest. For someone like you who loves to get on the road, irritating is a mild word to describe that experience. But thankfully, the restrictions are letting up a bit and we can get back on the road. Even better, you can get back on track and go faster with a new camshaft install.

In this article, we’ll answer your questions about camshaft installation — whether you should do it yourself, how to choose the right cam, and how to install a cam yourself.

Installing a Camshaft

The cam in your car engine is what controls the intake and exhaust valves, so it helps to regulate the way your engine runs. It rotates at half the speed of your crankshaft with precise timing. If that timing is off even by a fraction, your engine will be damaged.

So you should take care when installing a new cam. With safety and specific requirements for your car make and model in mind, you can get this done.

Should I Do My Own Camshaft Installation?

This is advanced mechanical work and would be best handled by a professional. But if you have the mechanical skills, pay attention to details, and can follow instructions carefully, you can install your camshaft by yourself.

How to Know the Right Camshaft to Install

Camshaft selection requires careful, honest thought about how the car will be used afterward. 

How is the car currently configured?

It is important to identify the car’s weight, rear axle ratio, and stall speed transmission converter. Regarding the engine, calculate or determine the compression ratio, the cylinder head and the airflow induction system, and how restrictive the exhaust system is.

Make the camshaft one of the last considerations as the car is set up for its intended function.

Understand the camshaft

Identify, learn, and understand camshaft terminology and timing events and how cam action affects engine performance. If necessary, find someone you trust who understands this information.

Decide on what type of cam follower (plunger) to use

Decide which type of cam follower (plunger) should be used. Current cams are available in two forms, each having two types of tappets. The lift types are either flat pushrod or push roller.

Each is available with a hydraulic or mechanical (solid) clearance design.

How do you plan to drive the car?

Target the engine speed that the engine will be driven at almost all the time, and modify the entire combination first, so that it provides the best environment for the cam to operate.

Choose a camshaft manufacturer that you feel confident will recommend accuracy and provide a design that is ideal for the application. Most camshaft companies have trained technicians available to answer questions and offer suggestions based on input from the car owner.

Do-It-Yourself Cam Installation

Replacing the camshaft with your own hands is not particularly difficult, but requires precision and care. If installed incorrectly, the cylinders will fail, which will immediately affect engine performance.

Steps to replace your camshaft

1. Remove attachments from the engine

To remove the camshaft, it is first necessary to remove the interfering accessories:

  • breather hose (weaken the clamp with a screwdriver and disconnect the hose from the air filter housing),
  • air filter with housing (unscrew 3 nuts on the air filter housing cover and 4 nuts securing the air filter housing to the carburetor),
  • suction cable (unscrewed with a screwdriver and a wrench),
  • gas shutter control (removed by disconnecting the drive and removing the lock washers).

So that nothing gets into the carburetor and then into the combustion chamber (for example, a nut, washer, etc.), cover it with a rag or plug the holes in the carburetor.

2. Remove the valve cover from the power supply

Unscrew the 8 nuts securing the valve cover to the cylinder head, remove it and rinse it.

When installing the valve cover, it is recommended to replace its gasket. This is due to the fact that after assembly engine oil can be forced out. When choosing a gasket, rubber-cortex should be preferred.

3. Remove of the camshaft from the engine

Before removing the camshaft, you must first combine the mark on the drive gear with the protrusion on the camshaft bed.

To remove the camshaft, you must first release its gear from the timing chain. To do this:

  • using a wrench, weaken the chain tensioner,
  • bend the lock washer and unscrew the bolt with a wrench,
  • remove the chain from the gear and hang it (for example, on a wire) so that it does not fall,
  • in a checkered pattern from the edges to the center, unscrew the nuts securing the camshaft plate on the cylinder head,
  • remove the pastel with the camshaft assembly from the landing studs,
  • unscrew the two bolts holding the thrust flange at the end of the bed and remove the flange,
  • take the camshaft out of bed

4. Troubleshooting the cam motor

Before purchasing a new camshaft, it is necessary to replace the default engine, since the engine may not be defective.

5. Install the camshaft and assemble the engine

The camshaft is installed in the reverse order of removal. To avoid bias when installing the camshaft bed, the bolts are tightened in the order specified by the manufacturer and with some effort.

After replacing the camshaft, it is imperative to adjust the timing of the timing chain and valves, otherwise you will have to repair them in the future.

When the work is done, start by inspecting the engine and listening to it. In this case, immediately repair the detected faults.