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    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. 


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Figure 1


Parts/Materials Needed:

  • Cam shafts (I used Cushman Motorsports NA Stage 1)

  • Cam shaft sprockets (if you have a 96-98 or 01+ you can reuse your stockers)

  • Right hand side (Ford part# F8AZ-6258-AA)

  • Left hand side (Ford part # F8AZ-6526-BA)

  • Cam bolts (12mm Ford part # F1AZ-6A340-A) (10mm Ford part # YF7Z-6279-AA)

  • Cam washers (Ford part # F1AZ-6278-A (x2))

  • Cam spacers (Ford part #F3AZ-6265-A)

  • Spring retainers (Ford part #F6AZ-6514-AC)

  • Valve springs (Comp Cam Beehive Springs later replaced by Crower stage 2s)

  • Extra locks (just in case one is lost) (Ford part # F1AZ-6518-A)

  • All purpose grease

  • Zip ties

  • Hand Towels

  • Brake cleaner

  • Starter bolt for aftermarket pulley (only if you have Steeda pulleys)

  • Grease pen

Part 1 Disassembly:

  1. Disconnect battery.

  2. Remove 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.

  3. Disconnect PCV valve and vacuum line.

  4. Disconnect electrical connectors on coil on plugs, injectors, throttle body, IAC valve, ground plugs, fuel pressure sensor, EGR.

  5. Place 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.

  6. Remove (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.

  7. Remove all spark plugs (note this is a good time to replace plugs).

  8. Pull the wire harness along the valve cover loose from the valve cover studs.

  9. Remove (11-13) 8mm or 10mm bolts holding each valve cover in place. Windsor's' have 13 and Romeos' have 11.

  10. Pull 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 2].

  11. Put the car in gear with the emergency brake on and loosen the two 18mm bolts holding sprocket to the cam [Figure 3]. Windsor motor cars 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.

  12. Loosen (4) 10mm water pump pulley bolts (don’t remove until belt is removed).

  13. Loosen tensioner and remove belt.

  14. Remove (4) 10mm water pump bolts and pulley.

  15. Remove (3) 10mm nuts holding radiator reservoir in place and tie strap to the side out of the way.

  16. Disconnect electric fan connection and the AC electric connection on the line just in front of the fan and move to the side.

  17. Remove (2) 8mm bolts holding electric fan in place and remove fan

  18. With 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.

  19. Using a harmonic balancer puller, remove the crank pulley.

  20. Remove (3) 13mm nuts (** 8mm bolts) holding power steering reservoir in place.

  21. Pull the wire harness tab out of the power steering reservoir bracket out and put to the side.

  22. Disconnect cam position sensor located behind the power steering reservoir.

  • Remove electrical connectors going to the coil packs (two each).

  • Remove the three fasteners nuts/bolts/studs holding the right coil bracket in place and remove the bracket.

  • Remove the three nuts holding the left coil bracket in place and remove the bracket.

  • Remove the coil brackets with coils and plug wires still attached as a complete assembly.

  1. Jack up car so you can get comfortably under the car and support with jack stands.

  2. Remove (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 bracket.

  3. Disconnect 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.

  4. Remove (3) 10mm bolts holding AC compressor in place and move to the side.

  5. Remove (4) 13mm bolts along the front edge of the oil pan.

  6. Remove (2) 13mm nuts on the bottom of the timing chain cover holding the wire harness in place.

  7. Lower the car back on to the ground for easier access to everything else.

  8. Remove 13mm bolt holding idler pulley on the passenger side of timing chain cover. There is a timing chain cover bolt behind it.

  9. Using 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.

  10. Remove 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 be removed.

  11. With 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 these.

  12. Remove the (2) 10mm bolts holding down each of the chain tensioners [Figure 4]. Be careful as you remove these because there is some tension on them.

  13. Slide off the curved portion of the timing chain guide rail and put to the side [Figure 5].

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  Figure 2        Figure 3        Figure 4        Figure 5

Part 2 Valve Spring Install:

  1. Before 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.

  2. (*NOTE* - 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.

  3. Find 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 6].

  4. Rotate the crank bolt and use the feeler gauge to determine top dead center for that cylinder.

  5. The 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 room [Figure 7].

  6. With the spring compressor in place, press down on the spring until you see the spring compress, leaving the valve locks in the open.

  7. Using the magnetic tipped screwdriver, grab the valve locks and carefully pull them out.

  8. With the locks out, remove the spring and retainer and replace with new valve spring.

  9. Put the retainer in place on top of the spring and, using the compressor tool, press down on the spring.

  10. With 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.

  11. Once 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 back later.

  12. Repeat these steps on the remaining cylinders.

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Figure 6        Figure 7

Part 3 Cam Install:

  1. Remove the 18mm bolt and washers from the crank.

  2. Note the order and placement of the trigger wheel and gears. Slide the stock timing trigger wheel off of the crank.

  3. Remove 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.

  4. Remove the timing chain from the driver side cam sprocket and crank sprocket.

  5. Before going any further, spin the cam to get a feel for how free it spins.

  6. Pick 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.

  7. Once 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 9].

  8. With the caps removed, pull the cam out. Be careful - the cam lobes are sharp.

  9. If 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 to remove.

  10. Slide the cam sprocket off (keep in mind which side faces forward) and the cam spacer as well.

  11. Slide 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.

  12. Use cam lube on the bearing surfaces and lobes and place into the head. You can use oil in the cam journals as well.

  13. With the cam in place, put the cam caps back in place and finger tighten the bolts.

  14. Using 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.

  15. Move to the other side and repeat steps 6 through 14.

  16. Once 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.

  17. Take 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 11].

  18. Slide 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 6 o’clock position. This is your first alignment mark.

  19. Now 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.

  20. Do 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. 

  21. Now 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.

  22. Slide 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.

  23. Slide 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.

  24. Using 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.

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Figure 8        Figure 9         Figure 10       Figure 11       Figure 12      Figure 13



Part 4 Reassembly:


  1. Slide 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 correct way.

  2. Clean 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 pan junction.

  3. Using 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

  4. Take 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.

  5. Put the transmission in gear and torque down the 18mm cam bolts to 82 – 95 ft-lbs.

  6. Put 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.

  7. Put the valve cover back into place and tighten the 8mm (or 10mm) bolts down to 71 – 106 in-lbs.

  8. Install the idler pulley on the upper left side with the 13mm bolt.

  9. Remove 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.

  10. Line the water pump pulley up and hand thread the (4) 10mm bolts into place. These will get tightened later.

  11. Put the electrical fan back in place and tighten up the (2) 8mm bolts.

  12. Plug in the fan connections and AC connection right next to it.

  13. Cut 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) 10mm nuts.

  14. Gap and install spark plugs using 5/8 socket.

  15. ** Re-install the coil pack brackets. Plug the electrical connectors back into the coil packs (two each).

  16. Re-install coil on plugs and tighten down the 7mm bolts for each coil.

  17. Plug back in the coils, fuel injectors, fuel pressure rail, EGR, grounds, IAC and throttle body electrical connections.

  18. Re-connect PCV valve.

  19. Re-install inlet tube assembly including MAF, IAT sensor and air filter.

  20. Re-connect tube to IAC valve and to driver side valve cover.

  21. Jack up the front of the car and support with jack stands.

  22. Line 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.

  23. Line 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 its location.

  24. Put the clip back in place on the 90* bend of the power steering line.

  25. Bolt 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.

  26. Plug in the AC compressor and crank trigger sensor.

  27. Put the wiring harness tabs back on the bottom of the timing chain cover and tighten down the 13mm nuts.

  28. Go over everything under the car that you touched to make sure nothing is left undone.

  29. Lower the car back on the ground.

  30. Plug 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.

  31. Slide 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.

  32. Route the belt around the accessories and engage the tensioner.

  33. Tighten the (4) 10mm bolts holding the water pump pulley in place.

  34. Do a once over all parts that have been touched to make sure nothing is left loose or not torqued down.

Special 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.


Warning: 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 here.

found @ http://www.modularrevolution.com