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Fitting Of Jtw S-1 Billet Cams In A Vg33e Engine


Marooncobra
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At last I have completed the cam fit. Had to wait for permission to have the car off the road from Home Command!!!!

 

I know there are a lot of you out there who want to see how it went so I have put together a step by step method of fitting them and a selection of photos to aid the description.

 

Tools required:

 

10mm Socket, Open jaw & ratchet spanner

12mm Socket, Open jaw & ratchet spanner

14mm Socket, Open jaw & ratchet spanner

17mm Socket, Open jaw & ratchet spanner

19mm Socket, Open jaw & ratchet spanner

21mm Open jaw spanner (hold camshaft)

27mm Socket (crankshaft bolt)

1/2” drive ratchet

1/2” 12” and 6” extensions

3/8” drive swivel ratchet (for rear camshaft bolts)

Torque wrench

Selection of screwdrivers

Dial Test Indicator and Magnetic base

Hammer

Brass drift

3 Legged puller

Oil tray

Rags

Oil can with clean engine oil

Moly grease

Oil filter

Oil

 

1. Remove the plastic skid pan from below the engine (10mm bolts). Change oil and oil filter (14mm drain plug).

 

2. Drain coolant from radiator (use screwdriver to remove drain plug in bottom of radiator). As I have electric fans fitted I didn’t need to do this but if you have a conventional set up you need to remove the fan shroud and fan assembly from the water pump. Remove top and bottom radiator hose assemblies (hose clips and 12mm mounting bolt fitted to bottom rad hose). Plug exposed holes on engine with rags to prevent anything falling in!!!!

 

3. Disconnect the transmission oil cooler hoses (squeeze clips together with pliers) from the bottom of the radiator and drain any transmission fluid into a collecting pan. Remove the radiator (10mm nuts on locating plates at top of radiator) and place in a safe area so it doesn’t fall over.

 

4. Loosen the water pump pulley (10mm nuts) first and then loosen the three ancillary drive belts (12mm nuts) and remove the belts. You need to loosen the idler pulley centre nut first to allow you to slacken off the tensioner. Remove the water pump pulley. Remove the two ancillary idler pulley frameworks (12 mm nuts and bolts).

 

5. Remove the spark plug leads and distributor cap. Whilst looking at the rotor arm and using a 27mm socket and long 1/2” drive bar turn engine over to TDC No 1 (rotor arm will be at the 6 o’clock position). I didn’t remove the spark plugs for this as I didn’t want to drop anything into a cylinders whilst working. Just be aware that there is a bit of pressure due to the compression and take your time so the crank doesn’t try and throw you back. Prior to removing the distributor (12mm bolt) mark the position of the rotor arm in relation to the distributor body to aid timing process on rebuild. Plug exposed hole with a rag to prevent anything dropping in!!!!!

 

6. Loosen and remove the throttle cable and cruise control cable from the throttle body (12mm nuts). Reroute the cables so they hang outside of the engine bay. Disconnect the air vacuum pipe connected to the brake servo (squeeze clip together with pliers). The next step requires the disconnection of the wiring harness from the top of the engine (a total of 11 connectors). Again once all the quick connection plugs are disconnected you will be able to move the harness out of the way. I did not disconnect any of the fuel injection plugs as they could stay in situ.

 

7. Next remove the oil breather pipes from the front side of the engine (10mm bolts) connecting the two rocker covers and then remove the rear breather pipe located on the rear left rocker cover.

 

8. The removal of the plenum chamber is next but there are a few connections that need to be removed. This part is a real pain and you need small hands to get to the rear area of the engine bay to disconnect bits. To ease matters I will tell you where the bits are that need to be removed/loosened whilst standing at the front of the car.

 

a. On the right hand side of the engine you need to remove the heater matrix hose (screwdriver) and exhaust cross over emission tube (pipe grips). I also removed the throttle body (12mm bolts and two hose clips) to ease removal of the emission tube.

 

b. On the left hand side to the rear you need to disconnect two coolant hoses (screwdriver).

 

c. At the rear of the plenum chamber you need to disconnect a coolant hose (squeeze clip together with pliers), disconnect a vacuum hose (pull off)

 

d. Remove the 5 hex bolts holding the plenum chamber to the intake manifold (10mm hex bolts). Once all is loose you need to lift the plenum chamber up which will then allow you to disconnect the two electrical connectors located underneath it. The plenum chamber should then be free to remove from the engine. Plug all exposed intake holes with rags to prevent anything dropping in !!!!!!

 

8. Remove starter motor (17mm bolts) and use an implement to hold flywheel to allow you to loosen the crankshaft front pulley bolt (27mm bolt). I used a chisel. Use a 3 legged puller to remove crankshaft front pulley. Replace bolt and washer into crankshaft to aid turning engine over later.

 

9. Remove top and bottom cam belt covers (10mm bolts). Check timing marks on camshaft sprockets and crankshaft align to confirm engine is at TDC No 1. Use white paint to mark timing marks if difficult to identify.

 

10. Remove LH rocker cover (screwdriver) to expose valve train. Loosen the rocker assemblies (12mm bolts) a ¼ turn at a time in the correct sequence as laid down in the manual. Remove the two rocker shaft assemblies. Remove the hydraulic follower cage assembly from the engine. In the manual it says to wire the hydraulic followers together prior to removal but I just lifted the assembly and turned it over quickly to prevent the followers falling out.

 

11. Repeat stage 10 for the RH bank.

 

12. Slacken off the cam belt tensioner and remove cam belt. As all valve train has already been removed you can now turn cams without fear of damage to valve train or piston tops. Remove the camshaft sprockets from the cams (14mm bolts) by holding the cams with a spanner (24mm). Don’t mix the two camshaft sprockets up as they are different. Remove the cam belt back plate (10mm bolts)

 

13. Remove the rear cam covers from rear of cylinder heads (10mm bolts). I used a ratchet spanner to get into the tight area to remove these covers. There are additional items connected to these covers, tranny dipstick tube and water heater matrix pipe. Once removed use the 3/8” swivel ratchet and 19mm socket to loosen rear camshaft bolts whilst using a spanner (21mm open jaw spanner) to hold the camshaft. Be aware that once the bolt and washer have been removed approx 100mm of oil will flow out of the cam as it is hollow and used as part of the oil system to lubricate the valve train.

 

14. Use a screwdriver to remove the camshaft oil seals and then withdraw the camshafts from the heads. Be careful not to damage the camshaft bearing surfaces in the head as you remove the cams. You will need to angle the cams upwards and above the air con condenser matrix towards the end of withdrawing them from the heads.

 

15. Fit new camshafts into heads ensuring that you lubricate all bearing surfaces and that you are careful not to damage the camshaft bearing surfaces in the head as you refit the cams. Once installed in head refit new oil seals and refit cam belt back plate. Fit cam belt sprockets ensuring they are on the correct cams and tighten to correct torque. Refit both rear camshaft bolts and washers and tighten to correct torque.

 

16. You now need to check the camshaft end float with a Dial Test Indicator (DTI) and magnetic base. Set up magnetic base on a ferrous part of the engine and set the DTI to measure +/- end float. I needed to change both washers as I had 0.10mm end float on one cam and 0.00 end float on the other. Spec from manual is 0.03 – 0.06mm. After changing the washers for replacements (type C and B washers) from Nissan, two weeks delivery from Japan, check end float again.

 

17. Rebuild of the engine is reverse of the strip down but make sure you use new followers, cam belt and tensioner. Apply Moly grease to all cam lobes and hydraulic followers and lube all valve train with oil prior to replacing the rocker covers.

 

18. During rebuild I also took the opportunity to replace all coolant hoses under and around the plenum chamber knowing how difficult it is to replace them once rebuilt. I also replaced all six spark plugs.

 

19. On completion of rebuild the cams need to be run in. I carried this out with my wife so she could sit at the controls whilst I stood at the engine bay listening and observing for any faults/noises. Note that as you can not run the engine initially to set the ignition timing, the revs will be too low to lubricate cams sufficient during the run in, therefore you have to set it up approximately. This is the main reason why you need to mark the rotor arm in relation to the distributor as detailed in part 5. It is not critical at this point as the engine will not be under load but just keep your eye on the water temp as this is an indication if it is too far out:

 

a. Start engine and raise revs to 2000 rpm immediately to ensure adequate oil supply to cams and valve train. Listen for any strange noises. You may hear a tappet noise for a few seconds but this should disappear once the oil pressure is up. If you feel something is not right switch off engine, investigate and fix it. Once fixed restart engine and raise revs to 2000 RPM immediately again.

 

b. After 5 mins raise engine RPM to 3000 rpm.

 

c. After 10 mins slowly fluctuate RPM between 2000 and 3000 RPM.

 

d. After 20 mins allow engine to idle and then switch off. Cams are now run in.

 

e. Check ignition timing 15 degrees BTDC with a timing light. As I am able to switch over to dual fuel (LPG) I have set mine to 20 degrees BTDC.

 

20. JTW recommends no engine revs above 4000 RPM for the first 500 kms and to carryout an oil change after 100 kms.

 

21. Total time to carryout work was 4 nights (1700 – 2100 hrs). Time taken for two camshaft thrust washers to arrive from Japan via local Nissan garage 10 days.

Edited by Marooncobra
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Remove radiator and store it somewhere so it won't get knocked over

 

DSC01947.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Loosen the water pump pulley bolts prior to removing the serpentine water pump belt.

 

DSC01927.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Using a 3 legged puller to remove the crankshaft pulley.

 

DSC01930.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Plenum chamber removed.

 

DSC01928.jpg

 

DSC01945.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Underside of plenum chamber. Note pipework and electrical connections.

 

DSC01946.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Timing cover removed.

 

DSC01931.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Rocker cover removed exposing valve train.

 

DSC01932.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Rocker shafts and followers removed, camshaft exposed.

 

DSC01933.jpg

 

DSC01934.jpg

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Rocker shaft and rockers.

 

DSC01948.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Upper view of hydraulic follower valve lifter guide.

 

DSC01949.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Bottom view of hydraulic follower valve lifter guide.

 

DSC01950.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Hydraulic follower.

 

DSC01951.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

3/8" swivel ratchet used to remove the rear camshaft bolts.

 

DSC01943.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Removing the RH rear camshaft bolt.

 

DSC01935.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Removing the LH rear camshaft bolt.

 

DSC01936.jpg

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New camshaft in dust proof transit packaging.

 

DSC01941.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Old and new camshafts, new camshaft is at bottom of picture.

 

DSC01937.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Refitting new camshaft into head.

 

DSC01938.jpg

 

DSC01939.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Offering up replacement camshaft oil seal.

 

DSC01940.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Checking camshaft endfloat with DTI (0.03 – 0.06mm).

 

DSC01942.jpg

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Great write up! I'm planning on doing the same swap on mine as well, but I have the engine out already. I have a few questions to ask: what exactly is endfloat? Did you change out the hydraulic lifters? I take it you didn't due to the low mileage of your engine. Notice your engine bay and internals are clean! Did you use engine assembly lube? Did you notice the big change in power through the rpms?

Edited by Cuong Nguyen
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You are lucky to have the engine out as you won't have the hassle of removing the plenum chamber with the little space that is offered by the fire wall.

 

Answers to your questions:

 

The end float is how much the cam moves backwards and forward in the head. The spec is 0.03 - 0.06 mm. Too little and the cam may seize, too much and the cam will move about and potentially cause damage or excessively wear on the lobes. I ended up having to order two new cam thrust washers from Nissan to give me the correct clearance. You may find that JTW will supply these items as well as I had to wait for Nissan to send them from Japan.

 

Yes I did use new followers (hydraulic lifters) and you must with new cams. If you use the old ones you will chew through the new cam and it will be ruined.

 

Yes I did use assembly lube but only on the high contact areas i.e. cam lobes, hydraulic lifter faces, rocker arm tips. I then use a hand oiler to totally pre lube the valve train.

Edited by Marooncobra
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I know what a camshaft is and does, but I would be too scared to take apart my engine like that.

 

I have a mechanic's knowledge of about 4 on a scale of 1-10. how difficult would you say such a project would be for me?

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I know what a camshaft is and does, but I would be too scared to take apart my engine like that.

 

I have a mechanic's knowledge of about 4 on a scale of 1-10. how difficult would you say such a project would be for me?

 

10. :tonguefinger:

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Projekz

 

Don't want to floor it yet as recommended by JTW but you can deffinately feel more torque across the rev range.

 

Brerben

 

I don't know what your skill levels are like when you say 4 out of 10. I am a qualified mechanic although it is not my job now. It comes down to confidence, having the right/good quality tools, time to carryout the job and a mechanical understanding so you know why you are doing a certain process i.e. camshaft endfloat, correct tension on a cam belt, undoing parts in the correct sequence so as not to stress the item or potentially warp it etc. If you think you have the above attributes then you may want to attemp it but it is under your own choice. An engine in open heart surgery does put a lot of people off especially if it is over several days and then you start asking yourself 'where does that part go'.

Edited by Marooncobra
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o rly

 

I only say that because it looks like something I would be hesistant to tackle myself, and I consider myself to be pretty good with automotive work (more than a 4/10, anyway). I don't even want to change my own timing belt. I'm sure I could but it actually looks like more work than I'm willing to put up with.

Edited by XPLORx4
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WAY TO GO! I can't wait for you to break those in an give your opinion in full! I loved what mine did even for my wounded VG....I was going to note how insanely clean your engine is then I realized that it was an 03....clean anyways--yes!

 

I am ecstatic for you! You already have the electric fans...do you have intake/exhaust, manual hubs? I am so excited it makes me giggle like a school girl!!

That is too cool with the 15BTDC timing that you have posted..I actually, through the old butt dyno, had mine at 14 BTDC...I was damn near right on the money!!!

SUPER!

Edited by 98silverpathy
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Projekz

 

Don't want to floor it yet as recommended by JTW but you can deffinately feel more torque across the rev range.

 

Brerben

 

I don't know what your skill levels are like when you say 4 out of 10. I am a qualified mechanic although it is not my job now. It comes down to confidence, having the right/good quality tools, time to carryout the job and a mechanical understanding so you know why you are doing a certain process i.e. camshaft endfloat, correct tension on a cam belt, undoing parts in the correct sequence so as not to stress the item or potentially warp it etc. If you think you have the above attributes then you may want to attemp it but it is under your own choice. An engine in open heart surgery does put a lot of people off especially if it is over several days and then you start asking yourself 'where does that part go'.

 

yeah, I've heard of guys videotaping themselves when undertaking such a project, so if they forget where a part goes they just look at the video and see where they got it from.

 

Also another question: when you install cams such as these and other deep-engine mods in particular, wouldn't you have to modify your cooling system a bit to fight back the extra heat that is created when your engine runs 25hp more? I mean, if these performance cams are everything they are talked up to be, surely the Nissan engineers would have already put them in the stock engine. but they're not, so there must be a reason, right?

 

I already know that Electric fans* and 8mm plug wires** are gimmicks. However, I'm not saying that performance cams are, either. but surely they can't be good for your engine if such a thing wasn't already in the engine. Do they use a special new lobe-grinding technology or something?

 

* - http://www.aaroncake.net/rx-7/efanmyth.htm

** - http://www.ngksparkplugs.com/tech_support/...ets/faqs/mm.asp

Edited by brerben
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Emissions and fuel economy is the main reason they don't put performance cams in stock vehicles. E-fans do help on some vehicles, perhaps not on RX-7's in particular...and 8mm plug wires are good on lots of applications, ask any performance enthusiast.

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Emissions and fuel economy is the main reason they don't put performance cams in stock vehicles. E-fans do help on some vehicles, perhaps not on RX-7's in particular...and 8mm plug wires are good on lots of applications, ask any performance enthusiast.

 

so performance cams such as what xplorx4 put in will hurt gas mileage as well as emissions?

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  • 2 weeks later...
so performance cams such as what xplorx4 put in will hurt gas mileage as well as emissions?

 

I haven't installed performance cams (yet). Marooncobra did. I don't think that the performance cams will harm emissions or fuel economy. In fact, I would expect the cams to improve fuel economy.

 

There's an article about camshaft upgrades at nissanperformancemag.com.

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  • 1 month later...

I did the camshaft job recently and was answering a few questions for someone interested in doing the job. As there's some info on there that may not be covered on this thread I'm posting the email for anyone interested:

 

Yeah, I did everything I could to the truck from all suspension upgrades to the k&n, sparkplug wires, cleaning out the throttle body, throley headers and borla catbacks cuz my 94 was really underpowered. The headers and catback helped but still felt weak compared to practically every other car out here in LA. I got the Nissan euro spec cams which isn't rated to give a drastic boost in power but from the concern of passing smog here in CA I decided to stay conservative on it. I think there are Nissan cams that can give more boost in power but it's supposed to idle kinda rough, which is no big deal. Still I'm pretty happy with it. I feel like I can pass up cars in most situations now under 75 mph. And hills and mountains are no problem either. I guess only thing that I'm kinda concerned about is at very low but small rpm range under 1000 when I'm just barely touching the gas it's starting to do this undulating thing. Instead of just going up linear it does an up and down thing but it's so small that it's not a big concern. It didn't do it for the first 200 miles. I'm not sure what's causing that.

 

Anyway the job isn't that bad if you've already done a tbelt change before. Just the only pain is the plenum chamber, especially the 2 little coolant hoses in the back. I managed to pull out one and got frustrated with the other one and just cut it. You might wanna just save yourself the hassle and just cut those and replace them. And besides the oil hose that hooks up to the passenger side valve cover (you should just cut that too and replace it) that should be it for anything that connects to the back of the chamber. There's also 2 electrical connectors underneath the chamber, and on the driver's side there's a bunch of crap you gotta disconnect but it's easy to do cuz you can see it right there. As long as you know that you don't need to disconnect anything else behind or under the chamber. It's just really tight back there and hard to see and it wasn't coming off so I did bunch of unnecessary disconnecting. When I finally got it off I saw that I disconnected everything that basically attaches to itself and felt stupid.

 

The cams are pretty straight forward. Just be careful not to dent anything when taking the camshaft out and putting the new one in. Also there's a hole to the lifters so that oil can get inside. Just make sure you lay the new lifters on the side and rotate it so the hole can take on oil for a few days and when you lay them in the engine make sure the holes face each other so that oil can get inside when they're working. You'll see what I mean when you take your old lifters out. Just make sure you remember to note which way the hole is facing on each lifter. I would've overlooked this if I wasn't being observant.

 

Also you should measure the play of the camshaft with a dial indicator but I didn't get it delivered on time and just said screw it. I figure since Nissan made it it shouldn't be too different from the stock camshaft. But I wouldn't recommend it cuz if there's not enough play it supposedly can cause the cams to seize. The guy who wrote up his camshaft change talks about it in the forum. Oh, and I forgot to coat the new valve cover gasket with non hardening silicone so I have some oil leak. I'm gonna have to take out the plenum chamber again. I am SO looking forward to that. It'll be a good opportunity to also dump like 2 to 3 cans of throttle body cleaner in the chamber to get all that tar looking crap out. Also do that to the throttle body. I guess the last thing would be to make sure when you bolt and unbolt the rocker shaft do it in like half turn at a time when it's close to getting tight. And you need to do it in order from outer bolts in as to not cause too much stress on the shaft as they're already being pushed up from the valve springs. Conversely when you're tightening them down go in order from inner bolts out.

 

If there's no strict emission laws in your state I'd go for as much more power as I can get. I think it's a little more expensive but you're already paying a lot for new cams anyway.. just spend a little more and get the most power out of it. Oh yeah, because you have to coat the lifters and the cam lobes with molly grease the engine oil's gonna get dirty quick. So, before you do the job get an oil and filter change, drive for about 50 to 100 miles then do the job, and after the run-in (keeping it between 2000 to 3000 rpm for 20 minutes) I'd do another oil change right away. The guy who wrote it up said to do the oil change after the first 50 miles or so but I noticed the truck started bogging out a little and even died at idle once I think because all that molly grease caused some resistance or something. The oil was really dark when I changed it after the first 100 miles.

 

I think that's about it. Kind of a lot to read but I think it's gonna be helpful when you start doing the job.

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The cams are pretty straight forward. Just be careful not to dent anything when taking the camshaft out and putting the new one in. Also there's a hole to the lifters so that oil can get inside. Just make sure you lay the new lifters on the side and rotate it so the hole can take on oil for a few days and when you lay them in the engine make sure the holes face each other so that oil can get inside when they're working. You'll see what I mean when you take your old lifters out. Just make sure you remember to note which way the hole is facing on each lifter. I would've overlooked this if I wasn't being observant.

 

 

Robbie,

 

With regard to refitting the lifters, you do not have to worry about making sure the oil holes face each other. By their design and in conjunction with the camshaft, they actually rotate each time they operate (30 operations and the lifter would have rotated 360 degrees). This ensures there is even wear across the working faces of the lifters during their life, 80 - 100,000 miles.

 

With regard to my rebuild, what a difference! The acceleration and mid power is extrordinary even on LPG. I wish I had gas flowed my heads when I refitted new exhaust valves for the LPG conversion to tap into some more power. I am now looking at improving the air intake as the 2 inch intake within the air box is very restrictive and the convuluted way in which the air makes it way into the plenum chamber is also power sapping. Hopefully by Xmas I will have sorted this out and will post some pics.

Edited by Marooncobra
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Excellent info & pics Maroon! makes me a bit more comfortable about doing it;

and electric fans Brer... I take it you haven't been into deep water before?

After the first time of my clutched fan hit the water I switched to electric fans so I can turn them off instead of fan pieces in the radiator.

Performance cams may hurt mpg(kpg) stock cams are more to easily pass emmisions rather than getting the most power/economy. In California they have some pretty tight restrictions (as they do in the great lakes area as we have to run 10% ethanol and have for many, many, MANY years)

 

If your worried about gas mileage you should get a Prius or something?

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