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Old 01-28-2005, 02:34 PM   #1
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Question How hard to change the Cam myself? (L98)

Just as the title says. When it warms up a bit, I am debating on trying to change out the cam myself to save on labor. Has anybody here done this? What all is involved and how hard is it to do? (with motor in car)

Guys that had their cams swapped at a shop.....how much was labor? I need to know the going rate for this if I decide against doing it myself.
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Old 01-28-2005, 02:54 PM   #2
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Re: How hard to change the Cam myself? (L98)

It's a good chunk of time. Depending on how fluent you are around the engine, it can be a whole days work, or a weekend.

Instructions in my sig.
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Old 01-28-2005, 03:07 PM   #3
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Re: How hard to change the Cam myself? (L98)

Thank You

I always thought I would need a degreeing wheel for this. I guess not.

So would it be safe to reuse the oil pan gasket or just change it out? I would probably just lower the oil pan instead of dropping it.
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88 Iroc L98/A4 - Sold 04/23/2006

Last edited by Dyosis; 01-28-2005 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 01-28-2005, 03:17 PM   #4
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Re: How hard to change the Cam myself? (L98)

If you just lower it, you have to reuse it. The gasket seals around the bolts. The only way to change it out is to drop the pan.
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Old 01-28-2005, 03:47 PM   #5
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Re: How hard to change the Cam myself? (L98)

hoss,its not really a job for a novice,not thats its hard,but if you dont know what your doing it could get costly and even wreck the engine itself.id suggest if you wanna try it you got a few months before it warms up to use the great tool called the internet and or shop manual and do your homework,and not just ask here,(no offense guys)..for instance you mentioned degree wheels,do you have no,,it will still run,will it run the way it should?maybe maybe not.some folk say u dont have to ,others says you should check cause theres always machining variances in parts and manufactors that could cause the timing to be off.but either way like i said it will run but u may not get out as much as youshould be.besides degreeing a cam i simple,if you do you homework and it cant be described here.
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Old 01-29-2005, 07:38 AM   #6
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Re: How hard to change the Cam myself? (L98)

Just be careful and do your homework, every engine can benifit from a bigger cam then factory (albiet not too large because you have factory heads). I'd just be careful because of two things, you only have so much clearance before you hit the valve guides and stock L98 heads cannot take much lift over a factory cam without head mods (springs, valve guides milled, etc...) Also if you step up any in duration/lift you will need to have a chip tuned or diy. Just some things to consider. Little more work involved when you have FI then just changing it out... Not ment to discourage, just give you all the info.
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Old 01-29-2005, 11:20 AM   #7
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Re: How hard to change the Cam myself? (L98)

I was probably going to go LT4 Hotcam with my stock heads and upgrade to a CC XR276 down the line with new heads. Will the press in studs hold up to an LT4 hotcam? I was going to upgrade the springs/retainers and the valve seals while I am at it. Will the valve guides have to be milled?

I'm trying to absorb as much info as I can now. As far as a chip, it will be DIY. I figured the LT4 Hotcam will go nicely with a Stealthram and 3.70 gears.
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Old 01-29-2005, 02:07 PM   #8
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Re: How hard to change the Cam myself? (L98)

Hotcam is excellent choice, but I believe that you have to have the valve guides milled for it (Check thirdgen.org when it get's back up, lots of info on hotcam in L98). I'm stuck w/ the STOCK L98 cam because I didnt' want to put any money in the heads because I plan on upgrading soon (w/ Stealthram too, good choice! )

I'm doing the TBI to TPI swap for now w/ a complete L98 engine. I went w/ the STOCK chip because otehr then headers, it's all stock! heh. Anyhow, my next step is to figure out DIY before I purchase either the Stealthram (probably next step) and heads. Without DIY might as well leave it stock. I'm not a big fan of the Aftermarket DFI because they cannot do anything more then teh factory except user friendly, and with alot of the DIY stuff out now you can practically do it for nothing and the software is not that hard at all. And the factory ECM will run lockup, VSS, etc, etc... DFI is /way/ overated. Glad to see your going DIY.
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Old 01-29-2005, 02:18 PM   #9
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Re: How hard to change the Cam myself? (L98)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrome383Z
Hotcam is excellent choice, but I believe that you have to have the valve guides milled for it (Check thirdgen.org when it get's back up, lots of info on hotcam in L98). I'm stuck w/ the STOCK L98 cam because I didnt' want to put any money in the heads because I plan on upgrading soon (w/ Stealthram too, good choice! )

I'm doing the TBI to TPI swap for now w/ a complete L98 engine. I went w/ the STOCK chip because otehr then headers, it's all stock! heh. Anyhow, my next step is to figure out DIY before I purchase either the Stealthram (probably next step) and heads. Without DIY might as well leave it stock. I'm not a big fan of the Aftermarket DFI because they cannot do anything more then teh factory except user friendly, and with alot of the DIY stuff out now you can practically do it for nothing and the software is not that hard at all. And the factory ECM will run lockup, VSS, etc, etc... DFI is /way/ overated. Glad to see your going DIY.

Yeah, I'm going to buy a PROMinator (look it up when thridgen.org is back up.....no swapping chips!!! - edit http://misterbill.homeip.net/aboutprominator.asp). I bought a laptop recently and have an obd1 scan tool on the way.

I'm ready to dig into my car but I have 2 problems. 1 is my Saturn (my dd) needs a new motor and 2, it is cold as *#($ here.

Unfortunatly I can only gather up all the parts and then wait for better weather......well except for the prominator, I'll put it in when I get it (still haven't bought one). I am probabaly going to run the ARAP code and go from there.
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Old 01-29-2005, 04:27 PM   #10
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Re: How hard to change the Cam myself? (L98)

You could do more with less duration. What kind of intake setup are you using? Stock TPI? Don't bother with the LT4 hot-cam. By the time the hot-cam is up to where it makes power the stock TPI will already be asleep.

If you are going to do a cam again when you get new heads just get a smaller cam, or put 1.6rr's on the car and do full bolt-ons. The stock L98 cam is already 207/213 duration @ .050" and at .415"/.430" lift. Add 1.6rr's and you will gain some duration, and run about .431"/.460" lift. Well within the capabilities of stock heads. Full bolt-ons will get you more power than the hot-cam could.
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Old 01-29-2005, 05:14 PM   #11
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Re: How hard to change the Cam myself? (L98)

Quote:
Originally Posted by FruityOne
You could do more with less duration. What kind of intake setup are you using? Stock TPI? Don't bother with the LT4 hot-cam. By the time the hot-cam is up to where it makes power the stock TPI will already be asleep.

If you are going to do a cam again when you get new heads just get a smaller cam, or put 1.6rr's on the car and do full bolt-ons. The stock L98 cam is already 207/213 duration @ .050" and at .415"/.430" lift. Add 1.6rr's and you will gain some duration, and run about .431"/.460" lift. Well within the capabilities of stock heads. Full bolt-ons will get you more power than the hot-cam could.
I was going to swap over to a Stealthram hopefully sooner than later, that's why I wanted to get a Hotcam. How much do you think the 1.6rr will fetch me on horsepower?
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Old 01-29-2005, 09:22 PM   #12
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Re: How hard to change the Cam myself? (L98)

Probably between 5 and 10hp. But you'll gain more power with the bolts ons. The stock heads won't really let you get the most out of the hot-cam. Now, if you did the vortec head combo, and a vortech stealth ram (not released yet), then you could definitely live with the Hot-cam.

Holley is still testing the vortec stealth ram. Also, BBK is developing a intake for TPI replacement. Rumor has it that it will be a mid-high range intake for about $600, probably with a similar powerband to the SuperRam. No pics of hard info as of yet.
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Old 01-29-2005, 09:22 PM
 
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