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Thread: How to install Cams and Springs and/or Retainers in the VE

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Posts: 1-10 of 64
2007-12-11 20:46:23
How to install Cams and Springs and/or Retainers in the VE
OK, here is a little write up after the install this past weekend. We learned a few things and clarified some things that we thought we knew.

What you need for Cams only:
10mm to remove valve cover nuts
10mm and 12 mm to remove valve cap bolts
24mm for cam bolts
1" or something to possible turn the cam with. If no 1" wrench, then get a 1/4 extensions to block the cam gears from turning.
Zip ties
wooden chain block per JWT specs(click for picture) attach rope or zip tie to it help you pull it out.

What you need additional to do springs and/or retainers:

5mm Allen head socket
10mm Allen head socket
Lisle Tool pn# 36200 (click for image) Buy it HERE
Compression tester with end to fit your air compressor
air compressor
heavy hammer
skinny screwdriver

To Change Cams:

Remove spark plug wires.
Mark/scratch distributor and housing next to it with a straight line so you can install distributor back in the exact spot.
Remove distributor by removing 1 or 2 bolts. Have a rag ready under when you remove as it will drip some oil.
Remove valve cover. There are 13 bolts all the way around including 1 longer one in the center.
Turn crank until at Top Dead Center. Two thing will tell you this. 1. The pointer on the front cover will be lined up with the mark on the crank pulley (very easy with the G Spec pulley) and the Dowel Pin on the Exhaust Cam will be straight up at 12 o'clock
Zip tie at least 2 zip ties on cam each gear and chain. Nice and tight so they won't come off.
Place wooden chain block down inside between the gears between the chain. This keeps the tensioner still to.
Put your 1/4" extension through one of the holes in the cam gear in a place where it will allow the least rotation as you loosen the cam gear bolt. Once it is loose it will turn out by hand.
Once both gears are off and pushed aside, it's time to remove the cam caps. I do this in about 1/2 turn increments in a sort of pattern, but the trick is Slow and Steady wins the Race. Do NOT turn one all the way out and move to another. You might break the cams. Just go slow and turn a little at a time and move around.
Once all the caps are out, set them aside in order. The cam is now ready to come out.
Sometimes the cam will be tight and you just need to jiggle it a little and it will come out.

When they are both out, you can move to springs and retainers step. If not read ahead.

Re-installing Cams:
Try to remember where the dowel pins were positioned when removing and re-install the cams as close as possible to the same position.
Install cam caps by using the same cautious, turn each bolt a very little at a time method. Hand thread them until tight and then start 1/2 turn or so at a time. When the caps are down all the way, tighten sorta hand tight. Make sure it's tight but don't crank down on it.
Get the gears lined up to dowels as best as you can. You can use a wrench to turn the cam to help, and if you need more slack you can turn the crank pulley a little too.
When the gears are installed be sure to tighten the cam bolts pretty good.
Cut off zip ties and reinstall valve cover.
Re-install distributor, lining the scratch marks you made earlier up. Install the spark plug wires and fire it up.

How to Change the Springs and Retainers:
Once cams have been removed you will be looking at the rocker arms.

You will see the 2 bolts necessary to remove to remove the rocker arm shaft. Above is the Exhaust Side, below is the Intake Side.

Remove them with the 5mm Allen head. Be sure it is in deep or you might round it out.

Locate the round plug where distributor mounts.

Remove it with the 10mm Allen head.

Remove it. Then remove the solenoids with housing. There are 2 nuts and 3or4 bolts. All 10mm. Shaft is removed once it is removed.

Use the set bolt as a tool. insert it into the hole in the shaft and **** it a little to help you remove the shaft.

Notice the large hole the set bolt went through and notice the small oil holes. When the set hole is up and down, the oil holes point in towards the spark plugs

Remove each rocker arm as the shaft is removed and set aside in order.
You will have to remove the battery to remove the exhaust shaft!

You know are looking at only springs and retainers.

remove spark plugs if not already done.
remove each shim and be sure to place them in order so they may be reinstalled in exact order.
Screw in compression tester with the end on it to fit your compressor. Be sure it does or you can't go any farther. Turn on compressor and attach it. This will air up the cylinders and prevent the valve from falling in. There will be some air leakage noise and the compressor will periodically kick on and off to keep the pressure.
Grab you Lisle pn#36020. It has 2 main pieces: the Silver piece and the Darker piece. Using only the silver piece, place it on top of the retainer and give it a whack. Too soft and nothing happes, too hard and it's too hard. Just right and the retainer will be stuck to the end and the 2 keepers will be held inside by the magnet. Remove all four of the same cylinder in this manner.

Replace all the springs with the new ones. Install retainers. The flatter side goes up.

Install the keepers into the hole. Get them in evenly if possible. They are tapered and must go in the right way. Use the skinny screwdriver to get them in right.

Add the dark piece inside the silver piece, place it on top and give it a good whack.

It will push it down and set them perfect. If you don't succeed, you can always take out the dark piece, whack it to remove the keeper, and start over. When installed correctly it will look like this

Once the cylinder is done, unplug the hose and unscrew the compression tool and go to another cylinder. Do all the same way. When finished, re-install shims EXACTLY in the order they were removed.Re-install the rocker arm shaft, and each rocker arm in order. Remember the set hole is up and down and the oil hole point into the center.

Reinstall the set bolts. They need to be tight but not cranked down.

Next step is important. Tap the rocker arms ontop the valves and shims several times, as hard as you can. You want to be sure the shims will not slip out. Very important step!

Reinstall the cams per above and you should be good to go.

If you let the chain off the gears, line up timing like so.
1. Get the crank to Top Dead Center. The Exhaust cam dowel pin (not the dot on the gear) will be straight up at 12 o'clock.
2. Remove the tensioner.
3. dot on the exhaust gear will be in between the 2 pins on the outer link. The intake is the eleventh, counting the link the exhaust is on.
4. Get the gears on correctly and re-install the tensioner.
Last edited by GregV on 2011-09-03 at 22-10-11.
2007-12-11 21:21:27
Awesome thread, especially since my friend just ordered some BC stg.2's... Starting the new forum off right!
2007-12-12 05:33:58
GregV! Way to go, proud to see you joined us!

... Just a thought, perhaps your advertising dollars could go further on sites OTHER than the previous one? - hint hint.
2008-09-23 01:38:21
great thread, Im going to order some SR16 cams from ya pretty soon. This write up would help me!
2008-11-21 02:00:53
So do you tap the rocker arms with the hammer, or just a few wacks on the retainers themselves? Is there risk of damaging the rocker arms themselves?
2008-11-21 02:07:11
Originally Posted by PhorB13
So do you tap the rocker arms with the hammer, or just a few wacks on the retainers themselves? Is there risk of damaging the rocker arms themselves?

Huh? What are talking about taping rocker arms?

The tool you hit pushes down on the retainers to let the keepers come off the valve stem.

So no risk at all to rocker arms.
2008-11-21 16:51:08
right. When I mentioned tapping the roccker arms, thats just with your hands to make sure they gonna move freely.
2008-12-02 16:11:17
greg did you use that wooden thing in between the cam gears? i didn see it in your pics............
2008-12-02 16:19:59
I did. Sorry I didn't add a picture. Next time i do it I will. It is less important on VEs because the chain will NOT drop off the crank gear like a DE. Though it is handy keeping the tensioner compressed as much as possible.
2009-11-12 01:19:46
Pictures don't work...
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