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Cam Swap 351C 2V


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What's involved in a cam swap generally speaking? Does the engine have to come out? Any idea on how long it should take or a general price range if I supply the cam? I just want to be able to have some basic knowledge when talking to a mechanic about it.

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I've never swapped 'just' the cam, but I would imagine pulling the engine would probably be the easiest, since you need to slide the cams in/out through the front of the engine - the radiator, condenser (if A/C), fan & shroud, pulleys, water pump, timing cover, timing chain, and timing gears need to come out for that alone.  Then there's the lifters, push rods, and rocker arms to consider - which is easier done by pulling the heads (pulling the cam without securing the lifters has them in the bottom of the engine... oil pan if you're lucky.


Still, I know lots of people have swapped cams without basically pulling the engine out and/or apart - I just don't know how to do it that way.


Whatever you decide, having a mechanic do it will take time and a pretty good chunk of change.  Good luck!



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+1 on everything that Eric said. While you can change the cam with the engine in the car you have to be part contortionist, and then getting everything sealed back up can be a problem.


You'll also need to change the lifters, which means pulling the intake manifold, at a minimum. Getting the lifters out of the bores can be a problem, especially if the engine has many miles. There can be a buildup of hardened oil around the bottom of the lifter which can make them hard to pull out.


And then, you have to consider the bearings, how worn they are, if they're pitted, etc. There is no way to replace the cam bearings with the engine in the car.


Just pull it to begin with, saves time in the long run. Check the oil pump while it's out, pull at couple of rod and main bearing caps, check their condition. The new oil pan gasket can save you a lot of grief down the road.


Before you put a cam in it run a compression test on all of the cylinders, no reason to pump up the power if the rings are bad, will just run the engine into an oil burner.



“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”

--Albert Einstein


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I did mine in car. Remove the radiator and grille and it comes right out through the core support. Took me a weekend working on and off. Probably 10-12 hours total. If you have other things you want to do like fixing leaks or detailing the engine bay or engine it makes sense to take the engine out.

73 conv. 460, D0VE large valve heads, Performer RPM manifold, Voodoo 227/233 cam, Holley 950 HP carb, C6 trans, 3.25 trak-loc.

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