The following cam install article is not meant to replace the cam
manufacturers directions. This is a step by step list
of directions that I followed to install cams in my 2000 GT (Windsor
engine) 4.6L. This article does not show how to degree your cams in
but it is highly recommended that it is done. The cams used in this
installation are the Cushman Motorsports NA Stage 1 cams and Comp
Cam beehive springs that were later replaced with Crower Stage 2's.
bolt for aftermarket pulley (only if you have Steeda pulleys)
air inlet assembly including MAF, air box, IAT sensor, IAC tubing
and tube going to driver side valve cover. Since there are so
many types of set ups I’m keeping this description generic. If
you have a Bullitt intake remove TB and throttle/cruise control
linkage as well.
PCV valve and vacuum line.
electrical connectors on coil on plugs, injectors, throttle body,
IAC valve, ground plugs, fuel pressure sensor, EGR.
some paper towel under the fuel lines and use the fuel line tools
to disconnect the fuel line from the fuel rail. Wrap exposed ends
with plastic such as Glad-Wrap to keep fuel from spilling.
(8) 7mm bolts holding coil on plugs in place and pull coils out.
** Remove spark plug wires at the plug end. Leave the coil end
of the wires attached.
all spark plugs (note this is a good time to replace plugs).
the wire harness along the valve cover loose from the valve cover
(11-13) 8mm or 10mm bolts holding each valve cover in place.
have 13 and Romeos'
valve covers up slowly and make sure not to rip the reusable gaskets.
There is silicone used at the joints where the timing chain cover
meets the cylinder head. Once it is loose it will take some finagling
as there is not a lot of room to work with. You engine should
look like this [Figure
the car in gear with the emergency brake on and loosen the two
18mm bolts holding sprocket to the cam [Figure
can skip this as they have pressed on sprockets. DO NOT remove
the bolts. Break them loose and snug them back up. This will make
removing the bolts without air tools easier later on.
(4) 10mm water pump pulley bolts (don’t remove until belt is removed).
tensioner and remove belt.
(4) 10mm water pump bolts and pulley.
(3) 10mm nuts holding radiator reservoir in place and tie strap
to the side out of the way.
electric fan connection and the AC electric connection on the
line just in front of the fan and move to the side.
(2) 8mm bolts holding electric fan in place and remove fan
the car in gear and E-brake on remove crankshaft 18mm bolt with
breaker bar or large ½” socket wrench. If you have air tools,
an impact wrench will come in handy here.
a harmonic balancer puller, remove the crank pulley.
(3) 13mm nuts (** 8mm bolts) holding power steering reservoir
the wire harness tab out of the power steering reservoir bracket
out and put to the side.
cam position sensor located behind the power steering reservoir.
electrical connectors going to the coil packs (two each).
the three fasteners nuts/bolts/studs holding the right coil bracket
in place and remove the bracket.
the three nuts holding the left coil bracket in place and remove
the coil brackets with coils and plug wires still attached as
a complete assembly.
up car so you can get comfortably under the car and support with
(3) visible 10mm bolts holding the power steering pump on the
driver side of the motor. The last bolt is a captive bolt meaning
it can’t be removed entirely from the assembly. To access it remove
the metal bracket attached to 90* bend of the power steering line.
Behind that line is the bolt and you will need a 10mm open ended
wrench to get at it. Once loose move it to the side. Alternately,
you can access the captive bolt with a 5° ratcheting combination
wrench through a hole on the pulley. This eliminates the need
to remove the high pressure power steering hose to remove the
electrical connector on the AC compressor on the passenger side
and crank trigger sensor located right next to compressor against
the timing chain cover. This is done to take any tension off these
wires but isn’t not 100% necessary.
(3) 10mm bolts holding AC compressor in place and move to the
(4) 13mm bolts along the front edge of the oil pan.
(2) 13mm nuts on the bottom of the timing chain cover holding
the wire harness in place.
the car back on to the ground for easier access to everything
13mm bolt holding idler pulley on the passenger side of timing
chain cover. There is a timing chain cover bolt behind it.
a flat head screwdriver pry the stock cam followers off. This
works best if the cam is at the bottom of the lobe so there is
less tension on them. They will pop right off and will not hurt
anything by doing so.
all 13mm and 18mm bolts/studs holding timing chain cover in place.
This varies by year and manufacturing plant. Unless noted above,
the remaining idler pulleys and belt tensioner do not have to
all bolts removed the timing cover will be loose. Pull the top
edge away from the motor and upward to remove. Be aware there
are two plastic tabs on the leading edge of the oil pan gasket
that the timing cover may catch on while removing it. Do not break
the (2) 10mm bolts holding down each of the chain tensioners [Figure
Be careful as you remove these because there is some tension on
off the curved portion of the timing chain guide rail and put
to the side [Figure
Figure 2 Figure 3
Figure 4 Figure 5
2 Valve Spring Install:
getting started use a towel to plug the 3 oil galley holes at
the bottom of the cylinder head to prevent any parts going down
into the motor. This needs to be done on both heads.
- You can skip steps 2-4 if you use a compressor and put air pressure
to the cylinder to keep the valves in place while you change springs).
Put the crank bolt back in the crank along with a couple washers
to make sure the bolt isn’t bottoming out.
something to use as a feeler gauge to slide into the spark plug
hole so you can determine top dead center for the cylinder you
are working on. We used a long piece of vacuum tubing [Figure
the crank bolt and use the feeler gauge to determine top dead
center for that cylinder.
spring compressor tool we used was made by OTC, part number 7928.
It works by hooking around the cam lobe for leverage while an
arm below presses against the spring retainer and on the opposite
end you use a long breaker bar or socket wrench depending on working
the spring compressor in place, press down on the spring until
you see the spring compress, leaving the valve locks in the open.
the magnetic tipped screwdriver, grab the valve locks and carefully
pull them out.
the locks out, remove the spring and retainer and replace with
new valve spring.
the retainer in place on top of the spring and, using the compressor
tool, press down on the spring.
the spring compressed, place the retainers back in place. This
can be done many different ways and is the hardest part of the
job, bar none. One method is to put an all purpose type grease
on the valve stem where the locks seat. Then, using the magnetic
screwdriver, maneuver the locks in place. The grease will help
keep the locks in place. Another way is the same as above but
by using grease on a regular screwdriver instead so it’s easier
to pull the screwdriver away. One other option is to put the grease
directly onto the valve lock instead of on the valve stem so it
sticks to the valve stem when you pull the screwdriver away. If
your fingers are small enough, a dab of grease on the tip of your
finger will hold the keeper on your finger while you place it
on the valve stem. After placing the first keeper, carefully rotate
it around the stem so it is in the bottom position. The grease
you placed on the stem will hold the keeper in place. This will
allow you easier access to place the other keeper on the top portion
of the valve stem again.
the locks are in place, release tension on the spring so it seats
properly. ***NOTE*** A couple pointers for the install. First,
once you get the first half of lock in place try to get it spun
around so that it’s on the back of the valve stem. This will allow
the second half to go on easier. Second, keep the spring compressed
as much as possible while trying to put the locks back on. You
can’t have enough of the stem exposed. If you don’t, the first
half of the lock will not want to slide around to the back side
of the valve. Finally, be patient This job sucks. Allow plenty
of time to do it, and if you get frustrated, walk away and come
these steps on the remaining cylinders.
6 Figure 7
3 Cam Install:
the 18mm bolt and washers from the crank.
the order and placement of the trigger wheel and gears. Slide
the stock timing trigger wheel off of the crank.
the timing chain from the passenger side cam sprocket and crank
sprocket. The 96-98 motors have a two piece crank sprocket and
the 99+ cars have a once piece crank sprocket.
the timing chain from the driver side cam sprocket and crank sprocket.
going any further, spin the cam to get a feel for how free it
a side to start with and grab your new cam for that side. Most
will have a notation on the cam as to left or right side. Left
means driver side and right means passenger side. Compare the
lobes to the cam in the corresponding head to make sure it matches
up. Cams are specific to each side, so if you put them in wrong
there will be problems.
you have the correct cam, remove the 10mm bolts holding the cam
caps in place. Make sure to keep the cam caps in the proper order
so they go back on in the same place. ***NOTE*** The Windsor motors
have individual cam caps [Figure 8] on the
head and Romeo motors have two large cam caps per head [Figure
the caps removed, pull the cam out. Be careful - the cam lobes
you are reusing your old parts, remove the 18mm bolt from the
front of the cam. This was loosened earlier and shouldn’t be hard
the cam sprocket off (keep in mind which side faces forward) and
the cam spacer as well.
the cam spacer on to the front of the new cam, followed by the
cam sprocket, cam washer and cam bolt. If you have a compressor,
this is when you should impact the bolts on, however they can
be tightened later.
cam lube on the bearing surfaces and lobes and place into the
head. You can use oil in the cam journals as well.
the cam in place, put the cam caps back in place and finger tighten
the proper sequence tighten the bolts to 70 to 106 in-lbs. Once
done, the cam should spin just as freely as it did before. If
not, loosen up the caps and retighten. A common problem is over
tightening these, so only torque down as specified.
to the other side and repeat steps 6 through 14.
you know you have no clearance issues, it’s time to put the cam
followers back in. The back of the follow sits on the valve and
the front on the lifter. Find a cam lobe that is at the base of
its circle (shortest point) and slide the follower under it so
that the rear is over the valve, the roller is under the cam lobe
and the front of it is directly in front of the lifter. Now take
a large screwdriver and position the flat head of it behind the
lip on top of the follower and pull backwards using the cam lobe
for leverage [Figure 10]. It will pop the
follower back into place. Don’t worry about the cam lobe surface
it is very strong and will not scratch. Do this for all followers
and make sure to rotate the motor as you go so you can access
each one while the base circle is facing down.
one of the timing chains and lay it on a clean surface with it
stretched out and use a grease pen to mark the two end links that
are facing outwards. Repeat this on the other chain [Figure
the crank gear (or gears if you have a 96-98 car) on the crank.
Put the 18mm bolt and washers back in the front of the crank.
Looking at the crank gear, find the mark and turn the crank so
that it is in the position. This is your first alignment mark.
turn the driver side cam until the alignment mark is perpendicular
to the head surface (the alignment mark is a circular dimple along
the outer ridge) [Figure 12]. Put the chain
on the rear crank gear, aligning the mark on one end of the chain
to the rear crank gear alignment mark and the mark on the other
end of the chain to the cam alignment mark. The right side of
the chain should be tight when placing the chain. You will need
to use a wrench to rotate the cam slightly when aligning the marks.
When you are done, you should have both of the alignment marks
matched up to the marks you made with the grease pen.
the same thing on the passenger side cam, except this time the
bottom of the chain will go on the front of the crank sprocket.
you are ready for your chain tensioners. To compress them, you
must push down on the hydraulic part of it and the trigger on
the top right next to it. As it bleeds down, you will see the
teeth unlocking. Using a small allen key, push these teeth over
so that it compresses completely. When it does compress completely,
you will use that same allen key to lock the tensioner in the
compressed position by putting it into the small hole at the bottom
of the front face of the tensioner [Figure 13].
This will keep it compressed until you have it bolted in. Do this
for both tensioners.
the driver side curved timing chain guide [Figure
5] back into the place, then bolt in the left chain tensioner
using the (2) 10mm bolts and tighten to 15-22 ft-lbs. Once it
is in place, pull the allen key out and it will automatically
put tension against the chain.
the passenger side curved timing chain guide back into place,
then bolt in the right chain tensioner using the (2) 10mm bolts
and tighten to 15-22 ft-lbs. Once it is in place, pull the allen
key out and it will automatically put tension against the chain.
a long breaker bar, spin the motor over slowly. If you get any
resistance, stop and check your work. You might have piston to
valve clearance or other issues like the alignment marks are off.
the factory timing trigger wheel onto the front of the crank shaft.
It will line up with the keyway, and make sure it’s facing the
the surfaces where the valve cover sits against the head and where
the timing chain cover meets the block and head. Carefully clean
the factory silicone from the valve cover/cylinder head/timing
cover junction, the cylinder head/block junction, and the block/oil
some oil resistant silicone gasket maker, put small dabs on the
surface where the timing chain cover touches the junction between
the head and block and at the point where the timing chain cover,
block, and oil pan meet
the timing chain cover and put it back into place. Once it’s lined
up, begin putting the various 13mm and 18mm bolts back into the
cover in the same positions they came out.
the transmission in gear and torque down the 18mm cam bolts to
82 – 95 ft-lbs.
some of the oil resistant silicone gasket maker on the valve cover
surface right where the head meets the timing chain cover. Do
this for both sides of the motor.
the valve cover back into place and tighten the 8mm (or 10mm)
bolts down to 71 – 106 in-lbs.
the idler pulley on the upper left side with the 13mm bolt.
the crank bolt, then reinstall crank pulley on the crank shaft.
Don’t forget to use silicone to seal it. Since there are so many
types of pulleys, use the instructions that came with them for
install specifications. Stock crank bolt should be torqued to
114 – 121 ft-lbs.
the water pump pulley up and hand thread the (4) 10mm bolts into
place. These will get tightened later.
the electrical fan back in place and tighten up the (2) 8mm bolts.
in the fan connections and AC connection right next to it.
the tie strap holding the radiator reservoir out of the way and
line it back up with the factory studs and tighten down the (3)
and install spark plugs using 5/8 socket.
Re-install the coil pack brackets. Plug the electrical connectors
back into the coil packs (two each).
coil on plugs and tighten down the 7mm bolts for each coil.
back in the coils, fuel injectors, fuel pressure rail, EGR, grounds,
IAC and throttle body electrical connections.
inlet tube assembly including MAF, IAT sensor and air filter.
tube to IAC valve and to driver side valve cover.
up the front of the car and support with jack stands.
AC compressor back up and bolt up with (3) long 10mm bolts. Make
sure not to pinch any of the wires going to the AC compressor.
the power steering pump up and start the (3) 10mm bolts and alternate
between these three and the one captive bolt behind the main line.
You can only go so far before this bolt is stopping your progress.
***NOTE*** Some people just cut this bolt out entirely due to
the clip back in place on the 90* bend of the power steering line.
the (4) 13mm bolts back into the bottom of the oil pan into the
timing chain cover and torque down to 15-22 ft-lbs.
in the AC compressor and crank trigger sensor.
the wiring harness tabs back on the bottom of the timing chain
cover and tighten down the 13mm nuts.
over everything under the car that you touched to make sure nothing
is left undone.
the car back on the ground.
the cam sensor back in. This is located on the upper right hand
side of the timing chain cover, behind where the power steering
reservoir is located.
the power steering reservoir back into place and on to the three
studs. Tighten down the (3) 13mm nuts holding it in place. **
Replace the power steering reservoir with the three 8mm bolts.
the belt around the accessories and engage the tensioner.
the (4) 10mm bolts holding the water pump pulley in place.
a once over all parts that have been touched to make sure nothing
is left loose or not torqued down.
Thanks to Modular Depot/Scott and Jim of Cushman
Motorsports for parts, Bob Cordoza for his expertise and help
with the install, to Keith (Phatdoggy) for giving me insight to some
overlooked details on 96-98 engines.
These instructions are to be followed at your own risk and in no way
should they replace any manufacturers instructions or recommendations.
I (Bill Putnam) and Modular Revolution accept no risk or liability
for any damages resulting in the use of these instructions stated
Hey man, I'm doing my cams next weekend using this write up and a couple others. When i'm doing the valve springs, if I use and air compressor do i just need to get a threaded fitting to stick in the spark plug hole wiht the other ones in then compress the head and pull the valve springs, and keep it compressed till I get the new one in there or once the valve spring is out can i decompress till I install. Thanks for the help. I just want to get all my ducks in a row before I tackle this
I didnt actually degree my cams so couldnt offer too much information about it. I can recommend that you joing up on New York Mustangs and ask in the tech forum, there are a lot of people wbleepedcan help.
March 31, 2009 - 12:12 AM
Subject: cam install
do you have any info on degreeing cams? I am doing the install soon and want to degree them as well.