Advice / Recommendation on Head swap and cam install - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
 
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Advice / Recommendation on Head swap and cam install

I am looking for advice on doing a head swap and cam installation on my 65'. Essentially my question is should I leave the motor in the car or pull it? Pulling the motor would likely take more time, but once out would be much easier to install and degree the cam. Advice from those that have done it ?

1965 GTO Convertible 3 speed tri-power drum brakes originally

Current setup:
400 cu in with tri-power
4 speed Muncie
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 10:36 AM
 
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For just a cam swap, I'd do it in the car.

But, for heads & cam, definitely pull it out.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 11:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by bigD View Post
For just a cam swap, I'd do it in the car.

But, for heads & cam, definitely pull it out.
Agree. Leaning over the fender and having to lift the heads off & out, scrape & clean the deck, hoping you can see and get everything removed (and keep the cylinders clear of junk), then juggling the heads back over the fenders and easing them into place hoping they don't slip out of your grip and dig into a head gasket or drop off the edge of the block ......can be done, but can be a pain.

Just depends on whether or not you have the engine lift, engine stand, and space. I have re-ringed a Chevy engine in a 1970's truck, so it can be done, just want to exercise a lot of caution as those iron heads are heavy when leaning over a fender and have an air compressor to blow out the cylinders. Use plenty of light so you can see the block's deck surface so you get it clean, and you might consider cutting out a cardboard circle the same size as the cylinder bore and using duct tape to secure it all around the wall at the upper cylinder to act as a catch can and prevent any debris from dropping into the cylinder - which can cause scratches in the cylinder wall when the engine fires up and the rings run over the bits & grits.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 11:47 AM
 
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Obviously its easier with it out of the car. But the time it takes to disconnect everything, unbolt the trans, yank the motor, get it on the engine stand ect and then have to do all that again to get it back in the car.... you could have done in half the time doing it in the car. Just did heads, cam, intake, carb swap on a much smaller ‘69 mustang with a 351w in the customer’s barn in a day. Would have take at least twice that with pulling the motor. Degreed the cam with the motor in the car as well.

Now if you have no time constraints, want to take ur time, clean and paint things while putting it apart ect. then go ahead and yank the motor.
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2006 GTO M6

Motor - Stock with Vararam
Bunch of suspension
Bunch of brakes
Stock tune

365/368 std
12.81 @ 110.6 2.03 60'
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 01:11 AM
 
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And there you have it.

Just as with cam advice & other stuff, just depends on who you ask.

Take your pick.

The ONLY way for YOU to know which is best for YOU, is for YOU to do it both ways. ONLY then will YOU know which is best for YOU.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by bigD View Post
And there you have it.

Just as with cam advice & other stuff, just depends on who you ask.

Take your pick.

The ONLY way for YOU to know which is best for YOU, is for YOU to do it both ways. ONLY then will YOU know which is best for YOU.
I think unfortunately it means yanking the motor for me....Which means I will take my time and do other things as well (like paint the motor), which is a bummer as I don't want the car to be out of commission for long....

1965 GTO Convertible 3 speed tri-power drum brakes originally

Current setup:
400 cu in with tri-power
4 speed Muncie
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 03:10 PM
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I have done MANY head and cam swaps in-car. Not an issue if all else is ok. How strong are you? How good is your back? I used to be strong and have a pretty strong back. Not so much these days. Still, I would do a cam/head change in-car. It's not THAT hard. TIP: make two studs out of all-thread or a couple of old head bolts by cutting the heads off. Grind a slot in the end of each stud, and screw one stud on each end of the bank you're currently going to put the new head on. The studs let you grab the head and slide it into place, and will guarantee the head does not fall, slip, ruin the head gasket (BTDT) or cut your hand off. When the head is bolted in place with a few bolts, remove the studs and use them on the other bank. Cheap easy insurance.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 09:03 PM
 
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if you pull the engine, you can also take a peek at the bottom end. checking bearing health is always a good idea. good luck
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 12:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geeteeohguy View Post
... TIP: make two studs out of all-thread or a couple of old head bolts by cutting the heads off. Grind a slot in the end of each stud, and screw one stud on each end of the bank you're currently going to put the new head on. The studs let you grab the head and slide it into place, and will guarantee the head does not fall, slip, ruin the head gasket (BTDT) or cut your hand off. When the head is bolted in place with a few bolts, remove the studs and use them on the other bank. Cheap easy insurance.
The Cut off Bolt Tip - works great on the rear of the block for aligning the Transmission as well.
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