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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I ordered one of those "How to rebuild a Chevy small block" books. I am installing a new cam, heads, pushrods and roller rockers. The most I have done to an engine before was rebuild my carb. It doesn't look all that bad. I have stripped all my accessories off and put the individual assemblies w/ screws into seperate boxes as not to lose/mix anything. Does anyone have any suggestions to make this easier? Is this a good refrence book to go by? It's by David Vizard. I also bought a cam degreeing kit to really "dial" it in. The two things that scare me the most is dialing it correclty in the beginning to remove the Dist. and also setting up the rocker arms correctly. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 
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Have you removed the radiator, if there is A/C that needs to come out of the way. I don't know if you are working on a rat or a mouse but the prep to remove the oil pan bolts is different. The mouse motor is much more difficult than the rat. Measure from the face of the motor forward, then measure the cam, that is how much room you need. Some cars require the grill be removed as well.

Do not use any type of abrasive pads, those green pads made from plastic to remove gasket material. Use a good old fashion scraper, razor blades, whatever but not those pads.

Get it clean, take your time and ask questions if you get confused.
 

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That is the book I used to rebuild my engine in '87 and it is still motoring along today! Clean all your parts with solvent and search the tech articles,there should be one on setting rockers. Check in here if you have problems or just to let us know how it turns out. Good luck.
Jim
69 Malibu
 

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The touchiest part will be removing the old cam and installing the new cam. Getting the old cam out can be a hassle because the bearing journals don't always wear evenly. Makes getting the old cam out a little difficult. Each time the cam journals come out of the bearings, there is the possibility of gouging the bearing with the old cam lobe.
Just be aware of this. Ideally, you should replace the cam bearings also.
When installing the new cam, be careful for the same reason. Make sure you get a BUNCH of breakin lube on the cam and lifters. Don't forget to run it around 2000 rpm for 10 - 15 min. to break in the cam.
Keep things clean!

good luck
 

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the most important thing that can be forgotten is cam lube! don't stiff on it. use lot's! you might want to have someone whose has rebuilt an engine, and degreed in a cam before, there to help you. it's a scary job, but the most important part is to have fun!
 

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That is a great book, I've used it many times. His method for setting the valve lash is excellent if you follow it closely. He also describes how to get the distributor in easily and have it close to a good timing setting enough to get it started. It's worked for me everytime.

All this will be much more convenient if you have the motor out of the car. If not it is still possible, just a little more work. Make sure and use quality gaskets and sealer (Fel Pro products are my favorite) and clean every mating surface extremely well. Any dirt in a cylinder or oil passage only has one way to go when you fire it up.

The book also has a great tip for removing the cam to avoid damaging the cam bearings.

If you do pull the motor, it's not much more work to tear the short block down some of the way or all of the way to check to make sure all the bearings, pistons and rings are in good shape as well. A little time spent there can prevent the need of tearing into it again in the near future.
 

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Rich brings up good points.
If you have the time, pull the motor and follow his advice.
It really isn't as much work as changing cams with the motor in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The motor is a 307. I pulled the radiator, carb, alt., fan, shroud, A/C, and am about the set cylinder #1 to TDC to remove the Dist. There is a LOT of room to work with this little block. The whole car has 37,000 original miles on it. I will keep you guys posted as I come along. This site is the greatest as you can count on help when needed. Thank you guys, and thank you Team Chevelle!
 

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Bradley,
If you are not going to change the intake manifold, first get the motor on tdc for #1 with the timing mark aligned to "0", then take a small punch, or chisel, and make a mark on the distributor base and the intake manifold, so that you can get the distributor in the same exact location when you put it back in. Also mark the distributor cap with a crayon or magic marker where the rotor is pointing. I have done this many times and the motor will fire right up when you are done. A good hint for getting the old cam out, and the new one installed is to get about a 6" long bolt that will screw into one of the holes in the front of the cam. Use it like a handle to help you balance the weight of the cam as you pull it out. Dont worry yourself to death about scarring up the cam bearings, they can take quite a bit of abuse and not cause a problem.
Have at it !

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Bill Koustenis
Advanced Automotive Machine
Waldorf Md

1971 Heavy Chevy - original owner
Team Chevelle #100
 

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Bradley, a little tip.
Don't forget to remove the fuel pump and drop the pump pushrod down before trying to remove the cam. This has hung up alot of guys (yes me too) when pulling a cam. Just trying to save you from pulling on your hair


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71 Ragtop, finally under reconstruction!
MCC #347, TC (Gold) #174
[email protected]
 
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