Installing a performance camshaft is arguable the best decision you can make if you are pushing a lot of torque. On a budget, I recommend a flat-tapped cam from Summit Racing. These are generally the best quality products for the cost. But you may need to shop around depending on what you are hoping to spend.
Drain the coolant and then remove the radiator and then unbolt the fuel pump. Next, remove the distributor and intake manifold. When you remove the rockers, pushrods and lifters ensure you keep these in order in case you want to go back to the original later.
Ideally, you will have a harmonic tool. If you do a lot of engine work you should invest in one of these. However, if this is a one-time project, you may be able to rent one from an auto parts chain.
Remove the oil pan bolts just enough to loosen and drop the oil pan down. You only need to remove the timing cover so total removal of the oil pan is unnecessary. The fewer loose parts the better. The ...view middle of the document...
It can be installed in one of three positions (4 degrees advanced, 4 degrees retarded, 0 degrees). Degreeing the cam is not necessary, although you can if you wish.
Carefully line up the timing marks on the crank and cam gear. Put a thread lock compound on the three cam bolts. It is also preferred to use a machinist scale to ensure the cam gears are properly aligned.
With the timing set and new gasket in place, install the cover and replace all the pan bolts. You may want to consider using a silicone sealer as well to prevent oil leaks.
If you use dual valve springs, use an over center-style valve spring compressor tool to remove the inner springs. This will reduce the load on the cam during the breaking in phase. It bolts down on the rocker studs and puts pressure on the springs. You may also want to use a specific type of “break-in” oil and oil filter.
Set a quarter turn preload to the lifters using the exhaust-opening and intake closing method. This method is the most reliable to ensure set the preloads and is still trained in automotive repair courses. Bump the engine until the exhaust begins to open and set the preload on the intake valve. Do this for each cylinder. To set the exhaust preload, turn the engine until the intake is nearly closed. Repeat this for all the valves.
Be sure to remove all the old intake gasket material and install the new one. Some gasket sealer can dissolve in gasoline, so be sure to use a fuel resistant silicone sealer around the intake ports. You can also use adhesive based sealant if you prefer not to use silicone here.
Replace the intake and torque it down. Set the initial timing at 15 degrees on cylinder 1 and position the distributor with the rotor pointing to the number 1 plug wire. This will ensure your engine starts as quickly as possible. You may want to double check the initial timing if the engine struggles to start.
With the engine on, monitor the engine temperature and oil pressure and do not allow the engine to idle for the first 20 minutes. Continue carrying the engine speed to ensure the lifters are getting enough oil.
If you are satisfied with the performance, go ahead and remove your valve spring compression tool and replace the inner valve springs. Set the lifter preload a final time now that the cam is broken in.