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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK were do I start, we are talking about a 66 396. I understand all the procedures for removing the cam, I have done it numerous times on a SB without completely removing the oil pan, never on a BB yet. Here is my situation. FINALLY got my engine back from the engine builder (long story). Had my engine painted in a paint shop with SS auto paint. Went to pre oil the engine prior to installation and guess what, it will not oil at the rockers. They used a groved rear cam bearing but did NOT grove the cam. Groved cam bearing or not it will not oil. I want to remove the cam myself and had it groved and not waste more time with the engine builder.
My question please, I want to save this paint job on my engine concerning the the timing cover/oil pan. Can I remove the timing cover without removing the oil pan??? Is it a matter of removing SOME of the oil pan bolts and pulling the pan down just enough to slide the cover forward? A new area for me. I know the book answer is to remove the pan. I am sure glad I did not install the engine. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I am so upset I am not sure I am thinking straight. My engine has been out since 3 October and to have this to deal with is a bit much.

Jesse
 

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This has been covered many times before, and with lots of different opinions, but here is mine. I have done this 6 or 7 times with no oil leaks at all, and no problems, and many others will back this up. You can remove the cover and replace it without loosening any pan bolts. The reason I dont like to mess with any oil pan bolts is that once you disturb the seal, you take a chance on another leak. So, just take off the cover, clean all surfaces really good....the trick is getting the cover back on, over the pins. Put silicone on both sides of the lower gasket, carefully tilt the cover back in place...to get it over the pins, you have to push it in a downward direction really hard...so I sometimes get one pin started, then use a center punch or something similar thru one of the cover bolts and into a bolt hole to pry down on the cover and get the other pin engaged. It's easier to do it than try and describe it. It takes a bit of back and forth, but it can definitely be done. Like I said, I have never had so much as a drop of an oil leak, but make sure you clean and scrape really good. Use some extra silicone, but wipe it up when you're done, and there's no mess. Search around a bit, you'll find the other post, it was a couple months ago.
 

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What John said Jesse.

I swapped cam's on my 66 396 while engine was still in the car. Ya don't need to lossen the pan at all, but doing so does make it easier to re-install the cover without displacing the cover gaskets.

What I did was get the gasket surface of the cover nice and clean, then wipe a very thin layer of RTV on the gasket and position it on the cover. Let it sit over night. The RTV cures a bit and keeps the gasket from sliding around. When you install the cover put another thin layer of RTV on the gasket - this helps the gasket slide a little on the block surface which also helps the gasket stay in place. By "thin layer" I do mean thin - paper thin.

Might want to do some dry assembly runs before committing the gaskets and RTV. Since the engine is on the stand you'll easily see the left and right lower corners where the cover meets the pan. You want RTV in those corners but not so much that a bunch gets squished out. Also, lay your cover gasket on to check it's fit. Mine was too long.

Don't be too upset - think about how much time and expense you saved yourself by catching the problem now.

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
John, Thanks for your responce, I did try to search this but I must not have hit the right combo to do so. I will keep trying. Ome more question please. Do you remove the crank seal first before trying to remove the cover to give some clearance?

Jesse
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Dan, Thank you also for your input. I would like to know folks if I need to remove the front seal (crank) before attempting to remove the cover, on a SB it seemed to help gain some clearance if I remember correctly. I am going to start on this project real soon. Yes I amvery thankful I attemped to pre-oil when I did. My plans were to install the engine this coming Saturday.

Jesse
 

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recall that there are two timing cover bolts coming up through the pan from the bottom.
 

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Jesse, BTDT on the cam swap. Some timing cover gasket sets come with directions same as the following, which the way I did it. As Tom mentioned, the front oil pan bolt on each side goes into the timing cover so you have to remove those and the timing cover-to-block bolts. You don't have to loosen any other oil pan bolts. When removing the timing cover, take a razor knife and cut the oil pan gasket and rubber seal off flush with the block timing cover gasket surface so you have nothing but bare oil pan in front of that surface. When reinstalling the timing cover, cut the new front rubber oil pan-to-timing cover seal off flush with the block timing cover gasket surface. Use a liberal amount of a good RTV sealant like "Ultra Black" at the timing cover to oil pan joints where the gaskets were cut. It worked well for me and no leaks. I stuffed a rag down in the front of the pan to keep debris, bolts, etc., from falling down in the pan as soon as the timing cover was removed. Just don't forget to remove the rag when buttoning up.
 

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I have done a cam swap on a BB in a Dually Crew at the dealership I worked at and did not find it necessary to drop the oil pan. I would say it is way easier to get the timing cover on the BB off and resealed over the SB, just take out the front 2 oil pan bolts that go into the timing cover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey Von, Good to hear from you, how about them Colts, I was happy for the team and thought of you. Thanks for the info on the timing cover as it will be very helpful. Did you remove the front seal when you did this job? Thanks again.

Jesse
 

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Hey Von, Good to hear from you, how about them Colts, I was happy for the team and thought of you. Thanks for the info on the timing cover as it will be very helpful. Did you remove the front seal when you did this job? Thanks again.

Jesse
Yes sir, GO COLTS! If you're talking about the rubber oil pan to timing cover seal, yes I removed it and I believe a new one comes in the timing cover gasket sets. If you're talking about the balancer to timing cover seal, no I didn't remove that. No need to. If it's been recently replaced there's no need to replace it again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks guys for all the good info, you all have been a great help. Just one more please, since the BB cam is no doubt longer and heavier, what seems to be the best method for removal without dragging it across the cam bearings causing damage, (when the cam first clears the bearings). I was thinking of making a homemade tool of some sort that would help stablize the cam during removal. Once again thank you all for the inputs.

Jesse
 

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I just use the cam gear for leverage...after removing the gear and chain, I put the gear back on, just finger tight on the bolts...you dont even need all three bolts...and just use the gear as a sort of 'handle'....just go very slowly and you wont score the bearings. I admit, a handle would be nicer!! Maybe I'll try one next time. Good luck, John
 

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They make a "handle" that threads into the front of the cam in a timing gear bolt hole, but I just use a 6" long bolt. I think it's 5/16" std coarse thread. Get them at any hdw store. That helps get some leverage on it so it doesn't get dragged across the bearings as bad. Jesse when you put it back in, use plenty of gray moly paste on the lobes and lifter bases. Put a can of GM EOS assembly lube in the oil and use Shell Rotella 15W40 oil. It has a high zinc (anti-wear) content. That's all I use in my Chevelles full time.
 

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My goodness Jesse I can't believe what I'm hearing!!!

I'm anxious to hear the full story on this problem.:noway:

Having done a few cam changes myself under stressful circumstances I can trulely relate !!!:sad:

All I can add to the good advice you've got so far is that I have had great success with permatex "Right Stuff" sealer.

If There's anything I can do to give you a hand let me know!!!:beers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks Johhy O. and Von, good suggestions. Big James I will be glad to tell the rest of the story when we meet again. It is like a bad dream but it really happen and is still happening. Yes I remember your cam changing days James and it was a trip for you for sure. Hope to see you right soon at a car Show or Cruise In.

Jesse
 

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FWIW if I recall correctly, the 65/66 blocks did not use pins on the block for the timing cover????? That being said you still have to be careful when installing the cover. You get it aligned properly with the ballancer installed. Then you tighten the bolts.If you do not do this you risk getting a leak on the balancer seal.

Jesse, I am curious as to why a machine shop did not check oil peressure BEFORE the engine went out the door.

On the other note if the engine is still out of the car thisis not that big of a job. Somewhat easier than the mouse motors. But AGAIN be careful with that front cover alignment!!!!!!!!!!! They (GM ) actually used to have a tool for it. I used to use an old balancer that we honed to let it slide on and off with ease.
 

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Actually all Chevelles came equiped with a handle for the cam, if you still have it, the j-bolt that holds the spare tire in the trunk. That j-bolt is the correct thread pitch and sized just right to get a good hold of the camshaft as it is pulled from the engine. Sure was nice of GM to be so thoughtful to give such a useful tool in the trunk.....:p
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Levon, you are right on the money, no pins nstalled on this ole girl, when I removed the last top bolt the cover jumped up like a jack in the box. I will installed the balancer as you mentioned and then torque the bolts. Also I like the spare tire tool tip, will try that also. Man you guys are kind to an old man. A old dog can learn new tricks. Thanks everyone again.

Jesse
 
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