Cam Change in car

Caprice and GM-related general tech topics.
bluethunder
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:43 pm

Cam Change in car

Post by bluethunder » Wed May 23, 2018 2:01 am

Is there a way to do a cam swap without discharging the AC system??

Thanks

xcidmigs
Posts: 754
Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:12 am
Location: SE PA

Re: Cam Change in car

Post by xcidmigs » Wed May 23, 2018 11:47 am

Yes, several have done so, myself included... requires tilting the AC condensor at a crazy angle and would be better with multiple pairs of hands but I did it solo somehow.... radiator and fans assembly is the real blocker then all the associated trans cooler lines...

bluethunder
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:43 pm

Re: Cam Change in car

Post by bluethunder » Thu May 24, 2018 11:39 pm

It can be done...…..We did it

Silversled
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Location: Tampa, FL

Re: Cam Change in car

Post by Silversled » Fri May 25, 2018 12:37 am

I've done it both ways. I prefer to do it with the condenser off but in the end keeping the AC intact saves a lot of extra work. To do it right, you should replace the dryer, then hook up the charging manifold and fiddle with the cans of crap.

I just tilted to condenser up and bungee chorded it up far enough to feed the cam through the front of the car.

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2014 Chevrolet Caprice PPV
2014 Chevrolet Stingray Z51
2016 AMG C63
2015 BMW X5 iDrive 50i

Capeasy
Posts: 86
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:16 am
Location: Downey, CA.

Re: Cam Change in car

Post by Capeasy » Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:59 am

I was just wondering about that myself when I do my cam swap, but since mine has north of 95K miles on it and 2/3rds of the hour idling in Muggy Florida and a compressor that has a little tick and takes a few minutes to really get cold I dont think I'll mind taking a trip to the A/C shop for once over on the worn out system. I just hope a new compressor isn't crazy expensive, it'll take all the fun out of not having to pay a shop $2500 for the DOD and cam swap.
Does anyone know about how many hrs. Or days are involved in the complete swap for a "in my driveway" do it yourselfer?
Thanks
Walt
Walt (AKA:Capeasy) So. Cal.
2013 Caprice 9C1,Huron white, 99K, Blackbear tune, Spectra CAI, 3.45 Diff. BlackWidow Venom exhaust,Granatelli oval cutouts, Pedders coilovers,Tower brace,

lastcall190
Posts: 491
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:17 am
Location: North Jersey

Re: Cam Change in car

Post by lastcall190 » Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:39 pm

First cam swap I ever did was on an LS1 f-body where half the engine is under the picnic table/dash, had to pull the radiator, flip up compressor like Silversled, etc. Most of the PITA of it was working under the cowl for 1/3 of the engine. I did it over a weekend. I also had my parent's garage at the time... with my Caprice I didn't have a garage much less a driveway that was suitable. If you are mechanically handy and this is your first ever LSx cam swap, I would budget 2 weekends or a solid week (to take into account old/rusted fasteners, and surprises due to age and things breaking you didn't plan on replacing). That might be super conservative and I'm sure others could do it way faster. I wish I had just done it myself, to be honest but just wasn't going to happen at the time. Oh well, next time. Enjoy!

-J
2012 Caprice
2008 CVPI

CrashTestDummy
Posts: 2077
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:31 pm
Location: Pearland, Texas

Re: Cam Change in car

Post by CrashTestDummy » Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:56 pm

Capeasy wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:59 am
I was just wondering about that myself when I do my cam swap, but since mine has north of 95K miles on it and 2/3rds of the hour idling in Muggy Florida and a compressor that has a little tick and takes a few minutes to really get cold I dont think I'll mind taking a trip to the A/C shop for once over on the worn out system. I just hope a new compressor isn't crazy expensive, it'll take all the fun out of not having to pay a shop $2500 for the DOD and cam swap.
Does anyone know about how many hrs. Or days are involved in the complete swap for a "in my driveway" do it yourselfer?
Thanks
Walt
Do a 'DOD Delete' search on this forum, and you'll come up with several hits. There's one where the owner showed doing the cam swap with the condensor twisted up and out of the way, hanging over the driver's fender.

The tick could be the tensioner arm, or bearing. They are prone to wear, and for the A/C, they're down where they can get splashed on, especially if the belly pan is gone.

But IF you do get the compressor swapped, pay to have the high-side charging port replaced. They're prone to leak, and easy and cheap to replace. You just have to empty and recharge the system to do so.
Gene Beaird,
Pearland, Texas
2012 Caprice 9C1
1992 B4C 1LE Camaro
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1995 DGGM Impala SS
1996 BBB Impala SS (11-second DD)
1985 Firebird - 310 LS1 C Prepared autocross car.
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TheCrapicePPV
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:08 am

Re: Cam Change in car

Post by TheCrapicePPV » Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:28 am

Just finished my dod delete recently (2012). I took the radiator, hoses, and fans out. Unhooked the trans cooler lines (you have to do that to get the radiator out). Unbolted the cooler that sits below the condenser by going through the bumper. I unbolted the washer fluid fill neck and pushed it towards the outside of the car. After that I could wiggle it and tilt the passenger side up and sit the corner on the core support.

Ilikemtb999
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:49 am

Re: Cam Change in car

Post by Ilikemtb999 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:41 am

One thing that was key for me was a set of vacuum port plugs to plug the trans cooler lines and not make a huge mess on my floor.

Capeasy
Posts: 86
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:16 am
Location: Downey, CA.

Re: Cam Change in car

Post by Capeasy » Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:47 am

Great advise, it will probably take me a couple weeks of after work late evenings. Since it has a few miles on it I'll probably have the heads sent out for a valve job if needed , and the purchase of some LSA Head gaskets sounds like a good idea. And I will definitely have the AC shop change out the high pressure port to. The ticking/growling sound is definitely noticeable when the compressor is running then purrs like a kitten when it isn't compressing.
Walt (AKA:Capeasy) So. Cal.
2013 Caprice 9C1,Huron white, 99K, Blackbear tune, Spectra CAI, 3.45 Diff. BlackWidow Venom exhaust,Granatelli oval cutouts, Pedders coilovers,Tower brace,

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