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Discussion Starter #1
Like title, can the cams be changed with the engine in the car?

Saw posting about people doing the HG with the engine in the car, but it being a bitch, Wondering if the cams can be done easier?
 

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-Administrator- 2002.5 F55 STS 2014 FWD Explorer
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Unfortunately changing the cams (but, why???) involves removing the ignition system(s) and cam covers as well as the water pump drive. The job CAN be done with the engine in the car, but it requires so much equipment removal and endless engine jockeying, plus....retiming everything is an unholy bitch, that the whole task is better done on the ground (engine out the bottom).
 

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I have changed out cams , with the motor in the car. Not bad at all to do . Tha hardest part was puting the valve cover back on. Most of the time its been the front Int cam with the water pump drive brocken off, because the person thought that they could just slide it off and end up breaking the end of the cam off instead. Which cam or cams did you need to change ?
 

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As I had stated in my post about replacing my headgaskets with the engine in the car, timing the engine is relatively simple. I would place the engine at tdc for #1 cylinder, and lock it there. Tie wrap the chain to the cam gear. After you remove the cam gear, keep the chains tight with a bungee cord. Place the new cam in the same general orientation as the old one, tweak with a wrench if necessary, and reinstall the gear. If it is the rear cam, use a come-along to pull the engine forward, and you will have more clearance to r & r the valve cover.
 

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I have changed out cams , with the motor in the car. Not bad at all to do . Tha hardest part was puting the valve cover back on. Most of the time its been the front Int cam with the water pump drive brocken off, because the person thought that they could just slide it off and end up breaking the end of the cam off instead. Which cam or cams did you need to change ?
I am confused, how the hell did someone 'break off the end of a cam' with a plastic valve cover?

You can do it, but you'd better mark your cams, timing chains, crank, everything to keep timing.

Just as a question, why are you replacing just the cams?
 

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-Administrator- 2002.5 F55 STS 2014 FWD Explorer
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..................you, me, and a big crow bar couldn't break the end off an intake cam. Maybe screw up the seal surface or internal threads royally by trying to incorrectly pull the water pump drive pulley, but not snap it off. Those puppies are a healthy chunk of hardened cast iron.

bigtone is correct about holding the sprockets and chains in time by using tie-wraps, but the job is still no picnic.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have changed out cams , with the motor in the car. Not bad at all to do . Tha hardest part was puting the valve cover back on. Most of the time its been the front Int cam with the water pump drive brocken off, because the person thought that they could just slide it off and end up breaking the end of the cam off instead. Which cam or cams did you need to change ?

I was thing about making my SLS motor a STS, so which cams would that be?
 

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Dig around in here and find a thread from a couple of months ago, posted by AJxtcman, giving all the specs for all the different year SLS and STS cams. A new set of 4 cams and lifters will cost you around $1500, and the engine design was changed in 2000, so you need to watch that, too (roller cam followers with static hydraulic lash adjusters vs. the older direct-acting hydraulic followers).

Don't forget that the two cars have different final drive ratios and different PCM engine/transmission programming. A set of STS cams controlled by a SLS program/final drive would be practically useless.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Dig around in here and find a thread from a couple of months ago, posted by AJxtcman, giving all the specs for all the different year SLS and STS cams. A new set of 4 cams and lifters will cost you around $1500, and the engine design was changed in 2000, so you need to watch that, too (roller cam followers with static hydraulic lash adjusters vs. the older direct-acting hydraulic followers).

Don't forget that the two cars have different final drive ratios and different PCM engine/transmission programming. A set of STS cams controlled by a SLS program/final drive would be practically useless.
Thanks, I read that post can't remeber off hand if it the intake or exhaust that are different, I got a buddy whose a tech at a dealer, probably pick a set up from him, and just replace lifters new
 

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Respectfully Submariner409 you are totally wrong and Hank-Z is absolutely right.

I am one of the idiots he mentioned.

I (all by myself) tried to remove the water pump pulley, but couldn't find the tool I bought years ago (that I'd used more than once with little effort). I got the thing to budge ~3/16" with the smallest puller handy... then it stopped. It laughed at me and my high-tech-nano-fangled penetrating oil... and then the stupid plastic wheel broke off the tungsten-titanium-depleted-uranium metal central hub. (Seriously though... now I wish I tried to cut it off! Anyway...) So I thought "heck... it moved, and has now been lubed-up for a half hour... AND it's tapered. So how much hold can be left? The crappy plastic <important> part was melted anyway!" So I tried to coax the indestructible part the rest of the way with a few little love-taps to a pickle-fork... and yeah. It came right off. Sadly still welded to the tip of my camshaft! I had six STSs and just like that... I now have 5 and a half! Fortunately another one of 'em is also a 1999. So now I gotta swap camshafts... 'till I can find one of those healthy-hardened ones you mentioned to replace it with.

Saddest of all, I might not be in this 'pickle' (hmmm... so THAT's why they call them that!) had I seen this ten-year-old post! But the forum's password requirements are so ridiculously stringent, I rarely use this site anymore! It has to be 10 characters long, include the name of an endangered animal, be a palindrome, and must be something impossible to remember for more than 27 minutes! It's worse than my flippin bank!?! So to come on here, I invariably have to waste a half-hour trying to remember it, before having it reset every single time! Seriously!

But it was worth it this time, if it'll hopefully remind even one guy... DO NOT TRY TO PULL THE WATER PUMP PULLEY WITHOUT THE RIGHT TOOL!!! The tool's cheaper than a camshaft!
 

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Too bad they didn't make the camshafts out of the same stuff as the hub of w.p.pulley!!!
(Or just used a key, like I'da-done if it were me!)
None of the later STSs were ~NEARLY~ as good as my ole '93!
just sayin.
 

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The ONLY statement in your last two posts that is even close to technically or factually correct is "DO NOT TRY TO PULL [install] THE WATER PUMP PULLEY WITHOUT THE RIGHT TOOL".

FWIW the intake cam extension is not tapered - it's constant diameter, hardened, and the pulley hub takes the correct tools to pull and install - and you don't work with the plastic pulley - you use the groove in the metal (mild steel) hub. I have (unfortunately) 11 of these pulley changes under my belt - no broken cams. (Other people's cars, not mine)

If you nicked that cam extension hardened surface with the pickle fork it's just like scratching glass with a diamond - cracks start. Besides, the tapered pickle fork was bearing against the pulley hub and the cam cover/oil seal, not the cam itself - so you were actually prying the end of the cam off on an angle.

Further Google searching in this site would have uncovered a hundred other threads on just this procedure - not just one that has been dead for 10 years. I'll post some of the reference pictures yet again.

The last picture - tensioner and pulley - is the reason the plastic drive pulley melted in the first place. As posted many, many times - if that tensioner pulley hasn't been replaced by 65 - 75 000 miles, do it yesterday. A half hour simple wrench job.
 

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+1 to broken tip of intake cam while trying to replace/remove a pulley without a proper tool.
By the way, it has been repaired by cutting thread inside and using a long bolt with threadlocker... Worked for couple of months and got broken when disassembling again by mechanic who was not aware of a tool again :))

Anyone knows, if that intake LD8 camshaft with broken tip still can be of a value for someone? :))
 

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I doubt the cam is any good - it goes in one place in one engine - your 1997 LD8 Northstar.

Your other two engine threads - one in Seville, one in Northstar - have been merged into one overhaul thread here in Northstar.

I suggest that you subscribe the car to www.alldatadiy.com - it's the online service manuals for THAT car/engine and it contains all the information you need on the special procedures required for a Northstar overhaul.

If you run into special part or repair troubles you might try an e-mail to www.northstarperformance.com.
 

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I have changed out cams , with the motor in the car. Not bad at all to do . Tha hardest part was puting the valve cover back on. Most of the time its been the front Int cam with the water pump drive brocken off, because the person thought that they could just slide it off and end up breaking the end of the cam off instead. Which cam or cams did you need to change ?
I also heard that this is a bitch because of hard-to-access hydraulic tensioners. Is that the case? Or can I simply do these with zip-ties and a bungee? I'm trying to replace my Lft Int cam on one of my 1999 STSs. Also, the stamp on the one I broke is a 1647435... but my Cadillac dealer parts guy says it should be 1647439!?! Does anyone know which one is right? Both my '99 STSs are the 300hp '9' versions. Anyone know the difference between these 2 versions of left intake cam?
 

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The ONLY statement in your last two posts that is even close to technically or factually correct is "DO NOT TRY TO PULL [install] THE WATER PUMP PULLEY WITHOUT THE RIGHT TOOL".

FWIW the intake cam extension is not tapered - it's constant diameter, hardened, and the pulley hub takes the correct tools to pull and install - and you don't work with the plastic pulley - you use the groove in the metal (mild steel) hub. I have (unfortunately) 11 of these pulley changes under my belt - no broken cams. (Other people's cars, not mine)

If you nicked that cam extension hardened surface with the pickle fork it's just like scratching glass with a diamond - cracks start. Besides, the tapered pickle fork was bearing against the pulley hub and the cam cover/oil seal, not the cam itself - so you were actually prying the end of the cam off on an angle.

Further Google searching in this site would have uncovered a hundred other threads on just this procedure - not just one that has been dead for 10 years. I'll post some of the reference pictures yet again.

The last picture - tensioner and pulley - is the reason the plastic drive pulley melted in the first place. As posted many, many times - if that tensioner pulley hasn't been replaced by 65 - 75 000 miles, do it yesterday. A half hour simple wrench job.
Well, I wasn't wailin' on it like it was a Pittman arm or something. I already had a pulley-puller on it and was trying to gingerly give it a little extra coaxing to keep the plastic from cracking from flexing too far. And no, I wasn't leveraging it at an great angle (larger than the bevel of the fork itself.) or using a cheater-bar or anything. Regardless. It shouldn't happen and water pump pulleys shouldn't be made out of plastic. Not on a Cadillac. And I'm clearly not the only one that did this. It is (or at least was) a common problem.

The reason 'my' pulley melted (just so others can be more careful) is that I replaced the radiator, and neglected to thoroughly circulate the coolant and have it at the proper concentration. I had too much nearly-pure water in the bypass, it got unexpectedly cold and froze the water pump... I started the engine (unaware of that) and the pulley(s! The idler melted too!) melted from the belt moving while the pump couldn't. So folks who live where it's cold... ~really~ need to insure that their coolant concentration is correct, Because it takes a long time for that coolant bridge to heat up, and if the pump is frozen, the belt WILL melt the pulleys before it does! And the belt'll continue to turn. So if you don't look... at the actual pulleys (and the belt shroud doesn't help here) you won't know... not till it starts to overheat.

Still... I'll eat the crow I deserve, because without question was a dumb-ass move. Whether it's tapered or not... I don't know or really care. It didn't matter, since the pulley's still on the shaft. (Or at least the end of it!) And it didn't break along an external score-line... it broke exactly at the equator of that little b-b-like steel ball they pressed in to seal off the oil passage, at least a half inch from anywhere the fork touched. So I'm not guilty of being that 'violently' stupid. (Just lazily-stupid.)

But I ~AM~ guilty of being even more stupid than that...

  • since I own 6 STSs
  • I've pulled these pulleys several times before
  • AND... I have/bought/own the correct tool! Years ago.
  • And you're right. With the right tool, it comes right off (at least the ~5 I've done did).
So yeah, there's no excuse. I couldn't find the 'safe place' I put it, and got too impatient and tried to use a standard pulley puller... thinking it might work and it didn't. (But the pickle fork sure did! :) )

I'da been more careful were it someone else's car.
But it's mine... I learned... I knew better... I was stupid... and now I'm paying for it.
(Oh! Thanks for the pics. But I own the full set of FSMs... so no excuse for me there either.)

So I'm in the market for a left intake cam... if someone has a spare they'd like to sell.
 
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