camshaft install instructions

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Sep 26, 2012
Fort Collins, CO
Hello all, so I have to put my cam back in and I want to make sure I do it right. The FSM was suppose to arrive today but it did not so I am hoping someone can tell me the correct steps. I have been searching for hours but have not found what I need. I have found a lot dealing with people wanting to remove the gear without taking the cam off but nothing specifically on the cam.
The good news is that the motor is on a motor stand so all I have to do is get the cam, lifters, push rods, head, and rockers back on then of course the side plate.
First question is can i do all this with the head on. I got a little ahead of myself and installed the head without considering the cam. Part of me tells me i should be ok as long as i can determine TDC with the heads on. Anyways....
Can someone attach the section from the FSM that deals with this or tell me what I need to do in what order?
I want to know how to properly align the motor and cam at TDC, then after that is done should i just slide the cam in, slide the lifters in, pushrods in, and then rockers in, in that order?
Any help would be appreciated, thanks
Sounds like you have the sequence right, line up the marks on the crank gear/cam gear, that should be TDC (the position of #1 cyl. cam lobes will confirm) then lifters, rods, rockers, side cover, distributor. Be careful with the fasteners on the timing cover, they have to go in the correct position or you will have the mother of all oil leaks.
ok thanks,
hmm first of, I'm sure I'll figure it out when I go to put them on but to verify... the lifters go in with the depression up right? so that the ball end of the rods can roll on them?
Second, I looked, probably not hard enough but i did not find the marking on the crank gear, I saw the dot/hole on the cam gear, am I looking for the same thing on the crank gear? And your saying that if these marks (or which ever are the appropriate marks) are lined up the stroke should be lined up with the cam automatically?
Is there a way it can be 180 degrees off? One of the reasons I am asking is because I know the two gears are different in size so depending on their ratios the lining up should only happen at the certain interval. Anyways, I just want to get it all right, last thing I want to do it re pull the cam when I'm thinking I'm buttoning everything up, thanks
The lifter's smooth face goes against the cam. The timing marks do align every second rotation of the crank. Since valve "events" happen at half the frequency of crank rotation, the gear ratio between the crank and cam is 2:1. So, if you line up the marks, you will be fine. Theoretically speaking, perfect timing alignment and being 180* off from that is exactly the same thing. The only variable would then be distributor timing.
ok got it... and I just took a second look at the crank gear and sure enough I found a dot, not nearly as dark as the one on the cam gear but the cam gear did just get back from a resurfacing so they might have just darkened it unless it's meant to be lighter idk.
Alright, well I'm going to put it in first thing tomorrow, the distributor is going to be one of the last things I put on, it has been a while since I have replaced one and it was on a non toyota motor but I figure it should be the same way. But I'm sure there is some info about that in the forum already so I'll do a search for it in case I need the reminder, thanks again.
Moly grease on the lobes and the lifter faces, and ZDDP in the oil and don't let it idle when it
first starts, too.


Moly grease on the lobes and the lifter faces, and ZDDP in the oil and don't let it idle when it
first starts, too.



Why does he not want to let it idle when it first starts? I am expecting to have to rebuild my engine in a year or so and just wondering out of my own curiosity.
Yea wondering about that to. I know the first start will be rough on the parts but I also know that starts in general are hard on parts because there is a portion of time where the parts are moving without getting oil on every start, I would think idle would be the best way to get oil on everything to avoid a second try start.
What the cam grinders have told me is that there's not as much oil flow at idle- keep it in the mid- rev ranges, and let it vary.
You're trying to get the cam to bed to the lifters, and there's a relatively small window to get that
to happen.
Oil presence is important, but so is flow, I guess.

But ask the people who made the cam- they'd know best.


my machinist and cam grinders both agree- 20 minutes at around 2000 RPM- between say 1700 and 2300. don't have to raise and lower speed at consistent intervals, just don't want a static speed, and you don't want to idle. My machinist told me to go ahead and hammer it after the first oil change at 500 miles. and I have been:steer:
good to hear, hmm after all the time it is taking to finish this build those 20 minutes are going to feel like 20 hours, the thing is calling out for a good hammering
good to hear, hmm after all the time it is taking to finish this build those 20 minutes are going to feel like 20 hours, the thing is calling out for a good hammering

first oil change was 500 miles. don't kill it too soon..., and yes, it felt like forever before I felt OK about goosin it. think the first 500 miles I kept it around 2500 with a few trips to 3200. Now I shift when I need to and don't think twice about seeing 4K on the tach- there's still more in there, I'm sure, but I don't seem to need it, yet.

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