Basic camshaft installation guide

Discussion in 'News and Features' started by Izso, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. Izso

    Izso Boooooossst
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    [​IMG]

    I've never been a believer of camshafts not because I think they're funny, only because I own an auto car. To make it worse - I'm driving a 3-speed auto. So anything that affects my low end is generally a bad thing for me since my gear ratios are ridiculously tall.

    What does that mean? It means camshafts are for people who want to improve their mid to highend power. Or so I thought. I've tested a few cars with similar configurations as my own car and they all have fantastic oomph across the whole powerband (almost all) and the car was no less drivable as my own car when driving like a tortoise on a road. Reading about it at howstuffworks.com made it even clearer on how cams work (fantastic pictorial descriptions!)

    That got me itching - should I get a cam installed? My evil friends all replied : Oh hell yes!
    (What are friends for if not to poison you into modifying your car?)


    After some surveying, I opted for what I call the "Hellokitty" camshaft. A mild 260 degree intake and 288 degree exhaust billet cam. Feedback for this cam was it worked wonders for the mid to high powerband and it didn't mess with your idling too much like the "Thundercat" 292 high cams. Too much overlap between intake and exhaust gases will need some A/F tuning which can only be done with management (piggyback or standalone) otherwise you'll have some really rough idling or it won't idle at all and just die off everytime you lift off the accelerator.


    [​IMG]

    Anyway, since my car is only a single overhead cam engine, it was relatively simple to remove the cam.

    First things first, battery comes out. Safety first! Next remove the whole airbox assembly right to the manifold. Then the rocker cover (or valve cover / cam cover / whatever you call it) comes off.

    In my case, the ignition coil was in the way so that had to come out too.


    [​IMG]

    Remove the bolts clamping down on the camshaft. Since I was changing my cam-pulley as well, that had to come out as well.

    Gently turn and slide the cam shaft out. You have to be extremely patient to do this and brute force should never be used if it's stuck.


    [​IMG]

    Once the stock camshaft is out, lube the new cam first. It makes it easier to install. Notice Drexchan (my installer for the cam shaft and pulley) is not wearing any gloves. Why? Gloves has hair and/or may introduce foreign objects into the exposed cylinder head. We wouldn't want any dirt or hair mixing in with the oil do we?


    [​IMG]

    Gently slide and turn the new cam in. Be extra careful with the camshaft oil seal! You may need to take out the oil seal for the new cam to sit properly on the seal. If you're skilled enough like Drexchan, you should be able to twist it into the oil seal without problems.


    [​IMG]

    Refit all the bolts back into the original locations. To tighten the bolts, start from inside/middle and work your way outwards to ensure equal pressure on the camshaft. Best to use a torque wrench to ensure you get the best and even torque is used to lock down the bolts. Once done install the new cam pulley.

    At this point you can re-tune your tappets if you're not using a hydraulic lifter setup. Since mine is old school manual tappet adjustment, I had mine re-adjusted just to compensate for any differences between my original tappet gap difference and now since over time the clearances might change.


    [​IMG]

    The cam pulley was retarded -4 degrees initially and it was found that the powerband was way too high. Changed that to -2 degrees and it worked better. From 0 to 4000rpm the rev was normal but after that the RPM meter moved drastically faster and the car surged forward quite satisfactorily. Happy but at 4k RPM, for an automatic that was somewhat dissapointing.

    I experimented using a higher octane petrol with my next fuel fill and surprisingly this worked much better. 2.5k RPM all the way to 6k RPM the oomph was there! After a discussion with Drexchan on my findings, he figures the overlap between the intake valve and exhaust valve opening somewhat decreases the octane in the cylinder making it harder to burn. Switching to a higher octane petrol offset that loss and translated into power.

    A week and a half later I'm still experimenting with different setups, mainly tappet adjustment, octane boosters mixed with RON95 (I'm a cheapass ok?), cost vs benefits, etc. Will share my findings as my experiments complete themselves.

    Until then, I highly recommend camshafts to anyone who doesn't have one. I'm pretty much sure it'll help your acceleration or improve your overtaking prowess. And the rawwwrrr the Hellokitty cam gives me when I hit the powerband is priceless! :biggrin:
     

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  2. Won

    Won 5 Year | Silver

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    Mate, good write-up. I must admit that I learn a lot from reading your entries!
     
  3. D7zul

    D7zul Senior Member
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    nice..

    soon, we all going to be mechanics.. hehehe..

    :biggrin:
     
  4. sti-yookuza

    sti-yookuza Senior Member
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    thanks for the info bro....
     
  5. bera

    bera Senior Member
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    good write up...
     
  6. amirmambo

    amirmambo Senior Member
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    Soon Mechanics in Msia also dont knw what to do edi..Hahaha ZTH has alot of great members that keeps giving us information for DIY stuff or even things like Mods to make sure that we wont get cheated and cheers to that :biggrin:..Another great write up from a fellow caring ZTH member :rock:
     
  7. omnikron

    omnikron Senior Member
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    i have a question in the write up :

    "he figures the overlap between the intake valve and exhaust valve opening somewhat decreases the octane in the cylinder making it harder to burn"

    can the octane number actually change? or is it the Air/Fuel Ratio?
     
  8. Mr.JY

    Mr.JY 5 Year | Silver

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    Izso, you are really a DIY king! Even camshaft now?

    Few years down the road, you'll be overhauling your own engine. Or you have already done that?! :biggrin:
     
  9. achelone

    achelone Senior Member
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    errr some camshafts require change of valve spring......that hello kitty (is it jasma?) doesn't need that?
     
  10. huakenny

    huakenny LB Performance
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    not all...some only
     
  11. myakac

    myakac 5 Year | Silver

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    thank you for your passion and patience in sharing the knowledge,izso. may your passion alive all the time in sharing the knowledge to all of us; the petrolheads.Salute..
     
  12. punk

    punk Senior Member
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    bro,,pls give more details in retune the tappet..:biggrin:
    which part should i start first to adjust??
    i have see the manual but still couldnt understand..
     
  13. 1JZtezza

    1JZtezza Senior Member
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    Just out of curiousity---'Hellokitty' cams?

    Err why 260/288 compared with stock 248/252 which assuming my info is correct The exhaust increase by 36 degree not that mild anymore. compared to an increase of 12 degree for intake

    Intake: open 15 degree BTDC close 53 degree ABDC peak (symetrical cam) 109 degree ATDC
    Exhaust: open 57 degree BBDC close 15 degree ATDC peak 111 degree BTDC

    Where you set the 'peak' or if based on inlet ;to maintain same peak should retard 6 degree but because its SOHC what about exhaust.

    Stock engine says 69kw @ 5500 rpm and torque 126Nm @ 3000rpm

    Any intentions to dyno and see the difference??

    Adjustments to ignition timing??

    cheers:beer::beer::beer:
     
  14. Izso

    Izso Boooooossst
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    Well, if you look up the definition of "octane rating", it tells you how much the fuel can be compressed before it spontaneously ignites. It's not so much about the fuel itself when I was talking about it. I'm referring to all of the combination as a whole, exhaust gases, fresh air and fuel altogether. The exhaust gas will make it harder for the fuel to ignite or in this case prematurely ignite. Higher octane fuel is harder to ignite but when it does, it'll do it at much higher compression and that's what I've achieved here, harder to compress because of the extra exhaust gases but when it does, it does so at the right piston height.

    Problem is full engine rebuild was actually completed 2 years ago without documentation. Sigh.

    Nah. It's not that aggressive to warrant a valve spring change. 292 might but 260 is too mild to need a stronger spring.

    ---------- Post added at 09:23 PM ---------- 6 hour anti-bump limit - Previous post was at 09:19 PM ----------

    Erm.. Ok can. But I need to figure out what adjustments give what results before I write on it.


    LOL.. hellokitty referring to the Pipercam Billet 260 in 288 exhaust cams la. I don't consider these as aggressive cams.

    I've yet to try 6 degrees as my testing is mostly based on guess work. But I'll test it based on your calculation and give feedback.

    As for dyno, not really. I don't have the patience to sit on a roller and to let a machine tell me what my car is capable of. The weird thing is different machines give different readings. So what I'm doing is using a Gtech Pro to measure on the road performance. It's a crude reading, but in the end it's what feels good to me that counts. Besides, I don't have a base dyno figure to compare with.

    Oh and adjusting ignition timing is not technically possible for the Siemens VDO 4G15. The only way I do it is by adjusting the crank sensor angle but the thing is that's pretty much guess work too and over advancing it will make my car knock pretty badly.
     
  15. 1JZtezza

    1JZtezza Senior Member
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    How do u know if its not 'knocking'?..and to compensate for the bigger overlap may have to advance(earlier) ignition timing.

    I am not criticising any of your stuff;please dont get me wrong-I would like to see you optimise your cam with and without fuel changes.I dont know the answer; I dont play the 4g15.Just call it points to ponder.
     
  16. Veloc

    Veloc Senior Member
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    Bro.. How much and from where did you get your camshafts?
     
  17. skazareth

    skazareth Senior Member
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    Izso, (i hope i spell ur name right this time), u hv made ZtH not boring with all ur interesting write ups. Ppl hungry with this kinda knowledge nowadays. Not to become mechanic and destroy all workshop incomes but to hv knowledge of it. At least u understand what those foremen do with ur car in workshop.

    @Tom, this guy is good.
     
  18. Izso

    Izso Boooooossst
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    Regarding the Octane comment earlier, well... I guess it's a matter of how you look at it. You've got a pretty solid point there too but I'm inclined to think the exhaust gases + air + stock fuel (RON97) is in some way related to the compression & early detonation. But hey, everyone's just guessing and until I have a proper way to test this out, we could both be right! :biggrin:

    As for knocking, in my case I use the least unscientific way to test this - butt dyno! :biggrin: Hopefully I'll be able to afford a wideband sensor by year end then I'll know for certain. But it was very obviously knocking when I advanced my ignition timing too much. Erm.. lack of power, clacking noise, juddering as I accelerated, etc.

    No worries on the criticising. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I'm very appreciative that you're bringing your knowledge here to discuss. I'm always open to more learnings! Judging from your nick, you're probably driving a way more advanced Altezza vs my 4G15. Yes?

    ---------- Post added at 07:31 AM ---------- 6 hour anti-bump limit - Previous post was at 07:29 AM ----------

    I got my camshaft from EA Autoworks, specifically khguan. Try PM-ing him or Drexchan. Cam Pulley same place.


    Wah... this is very high praise. I thank you fellow zth-ian. :biggrin:
     
  19. langsuyrx

    langsuyrx Senior Member
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    Too much info.. too much info.. brain freeze.. brain freeze.. :argh:
     
  20. reuben88

    reuben88 Senior Member
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    Hi Izso, why is your valve color silver instead of black in a 4G15?
    Anyways.. how does it compare with powerzone or matspeed cams?
    Good luck in your tuning bro!
     

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