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Old 03-10-2010, 01:36 PM   #1
RickyTheStorm
 
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L99 CAM SWAP - HELP!

Alright guys, here is the deal. The mechanic working on my car went to do the cam swap and now he is saying that the headers, heads and intake have to come off because of the lifter design on the DOD and the cam won't come out.

Now I have done tons of research on a cam swap on a automatic - and even have a magazine article. What step is he missing for the swap that is not letting the cam slide out? The magazine article just mentions two bolts that are typically missed on the oil pan but he has already removed my entire oil pan

Please, any help would be appreciated, he is saying 13 additional hours to do the headers, heads and intake!

Even a step by step list would be great on doing a cam swap in the L99, I know some of the performance shop members on here have done it, so anything would be greatly appreciated and quick too as my car is just laying in parts right now
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Old 03-10-2010, 01:56 PM   #2
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No the heads do not need to come off to my knowledge at least just to swap the cam out BUT the AFM lifters should come out and be replaced with non AFM lifters and to do that? Yes the heads must come off. Swapping in a cam and retaining AFM is very risky.....

Heres a cut and paste about it what I said in another thread. Search it out man you dont want to cook your new engine from a lifter failure

1. AFM. Active fuel management and VVT are two completely separate systems do not confuse the two. AFM lifters are less than ideal for big lift cams it seems. They just dont seem to be able to handle the big load of high valve springs that are required when running big cams. This is the biggest issue with stock L99 cam swaps PERIOD. Furthermore GM apparently has some kind of patent on the AFM lifter design preventing the aftermarket from building a hi-perf set to swap out with. So for the time it appears that the only safe option on any decent sized cam swap is going to require AFM delete and removing the 4 AFM lifters and replacing them with 4 new stock non AFM units. Keeping the stick VVT system is fine however and should make the engine outperform a comparably cam'd non VVT equipped engine so good news there. That said VVT cam research is really just getting off the ground so as noted above a little patience is probably your best friend here while the aftermarket figures out exactly how to extract the most out of these VVT phasers and what lift/lobes/duration works best.

2. VVT phaser. The stock VVT phaser looks to be the weak link in the VVT system thus far. They just dont seem to last with big dual valve springs and big cams. So selecting a cam that doesnt require monstrous dual valve springs is also important. For the time being that is... Im smelling a completely new aftermarket phaser on the horizon or at least an upgraded version that will not suffer these ills and then we're good to go. In the meantime if you NEED a cam then I'd shy away from going too big for the time being and select a cam that can get by with single coil beehives. Besides theres lots of threads recently coming up with smaller cams making bigger power through LS3 heads so this isnt all that bad. Search Justin Timberlake cam over at tech. A quote from a tech member "The JT cam is so named because although its small like JT is, They can both still go around ****ing anything they want to"
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:01 PM   #3
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My mechanic is worried about the lifters dropping using the rod technique but is going to attempt.

I will be replacing everything and eliminating the AFM down the road, just do not have the finances right now and from what I have heard so far - everyone who has kept AFM and put these MAST Motorsports cams in have done alright - so I will hope for the best for the time being.

Hopefully the lifters don't drop
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3300 (scheduled for prod ): 5/11/09
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3800 (produced ): 5/22/09
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:07 PM   #4
RamAir02
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To prevent the lifters from dropping the rod technique may work, as it worked well for me when I did my LS1 Trans Am. Another way is to use a bunch of pen magnets to prevent the lifters from falling. That is the riskiest way though.

Check out ls1howto.com for guides and such...great walkthroughs with pictures for LSx motors
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Option 1
JPR Lifter tool method
This method is by far the easiest. You'll need to buy the JPR Cam install tool available from Thunder Racing.

If you have these, it'll make this a no sweat operation. To install them, you simply slide them into the 2 holes in the front of the motor. The one marked "L" goes in on the passengers side of the motor, and the one marked "R" goes on the drivers side of the engine. The tool head will face up and outward as shown in the image.

If it seems the tools are tough to get in, try spinning the cam a couple more times and slowly sliding the tool in. Once both are in, the lifters are locked into place making it impossible for them to fall! Great!

Option 2
Pen magnet method
If you don't have the tool in option 1, the next best thing is to go buy 16 retractable pen magnets from Walmart/AutoZone/wherever you can find them. The heads on the magnets need to be small as the opening to get to the lifter is a little less than 1/2" in diameter.

Once you have the magnets, extend the magnet about 6" and put it down the pushrod holes in the head. You should feel it 'snap' onto the lifter and at that point you should be able to push the lifter up and down. Rotate the cam some while doing this so you can understand how this works. The lifter rides on the cam, so you need to make sure (by spinning the cam) that the lifter is UP away from the cam. The magnet is there to help the lifter stay up, so you need to squish the retractable part down and bend the pocket hook on the pen magnet outwards some to grab on to the head. Hooking the pocket hook onto the bolt hole for the rocker arm bolt usually works well.

Install all 16 magnets to hold up all the lifters. Now, spin the cam and if ANY of your pen magnets move when you do this, then that lifter is hanging down too low. Use the magnet and spin the cam to hold the lifter up higher.

Option 3
Russian roulette method
Now, this method has been in use for years and requires no magnets or special tools, however, it is prone to disaster. Below the LS1 cylinder head, there is a plastic "lifter cup", and when you spin the camshaft the lifters go up deeper into the plastic holder and friction alone keeps them from falling back down. I personally have done 8-9 cams using this method and I never had an issue, however, on the 10th cam I tried to do there were 2 lifters that quite simply just wouldn't stay up. That is when the magnet method or the JPR method become necessary, not just recommended. After seeing several LS1's now with lifters that would just *barely* stay up, there's no way I'd ever attempt this, but if you're feeling lucky give it a shot.

Basically, all you do is spin the cam a few times and that's it. Turn off any bass coming out of your speakers, hope there is no thunder or earthquakes, and say your prayers. If a lifter falls, don't say I didn't warn you, I don't care how many buddies you know that have done a cam swap this way.
From LS1HowTo.com

I'm not sure if there is any difference in procedure for AFM motors. I suspect not, but can't be sure.
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:35 AM   #6
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I know this is a little late but...


Here's an article on a cam swap from and L99.

http://www.superchevy.com/technical/.../camshaft.html

I've been researching a while now, I’m putting a cam in my car this weekend (LS3) but YES YOU CAN keep the AFM with the right cam. Comp cams wrote an entire article about their new line of LSr cams that were developed with with a strong mindset around AFM motors and using it to their advantage being able to phase the cam on the fly. keep in mind also a TUNE is very needed. The Rod trick does work, tell your mechanic to go buy a 4 foot piece of 5/16 steel dowel and cut it in half and round the ends. This can be found at your family friendly home depot cost=5 bucks compared to $129 from other places i've seen and it works the same.
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