removing cam - it got stuck - I used a pry!!! trouble??? [Archive] - Team Camaro Tech

: removing cam - it got stuck - I used a pry!!! trouble???

caribbean camaro
Apr 4th, 02, 03:27 PM
I did on the back end of the cam with the pointed edge of my lug wrench as a pry bar

I could not get the distributor gear to pass through the second to last cam bearing of my 355 - it was a crower solid

Then it got stuck at each remaining one after that - I tried a quart oil all over the cam

engine has been out for a while but its in my games room covered and just minus the heads

my mind tells me that at the end of the exercise I saw a fine thread like thinge about 1/2 inch long and MADE OF STEEL!!! drop out the front cam bearing area when almost removing the last half of the cam

Can the distributor cam gear or cam actually tear into the bearing - and does this mean I ruined a bearing (I cannot see any physical damage but I did see the piece of steel thread!!

What do you think?? and what to look for??


85 Camaro Berlinetta - 305ci, stock heads, flattops, 214/224-443/465, Edel. 600 & Performer intake, 700-R4 & transgo kit, TCI competition 10in. conv, 4.10, Auburn posi

Apr 4th, 02, 03:40 PM
Did you remove the fuel pump rod before pulling the cam (if you have a mechanical fuel pump)? The cam shouldn't get stuck in the bearings, and YES, you can do a LOT of damage to the cam bearings. This could wreak havoc with your oil pressure in addition to possibly killing your engine with debris that may have fallen inside.

Can you physically see the entire bearing surface of each bearing (top and bottom)? Since the motor is out of the car I'd have a machine shop look at it to be sure you didn't damage them or move them out of position.

Not sure what the piece of metal was. If it was this hard to remove I'm guessing the fuel pump rod was the problem although I'm not sure you could get the cam out without removing it. It should pull out fairly easily with some spinning of the cam to clear the lobes and bearings.


[This message has been edited by Camcojb (edited 04-04-2002).]

Vintage 68
Apr 4th, 02, 03:44 PM
You should never have to "pry" a cam out of an engine! If you did, there was/is a problem and it has probably damaged the cam bearings.
Inspect the distributor drive gear on the cam for any burrs on the teeth, I have seen these caused by improper lubrication to the cam, the wrong gear used on the distributor and problems with the distributor itself.
The bad news is you are probably going to have to replace the cam bearings - the good news is that cam bearings are not to expensive, it is not to costly to have done and it can be done in the car if necessary most of the time.
Inspect the bearings carefully to see where the metal shavings came from and replace them if you can see or feel any marks on them.

stevo camaro
Apr 4th, 02, 03:50 PM
Ouch! Yes, the bearing can be damaged and grooved doing that. Take the safe course, and believe what your mind saw. Did the piece of metal go into the oil pan? If you think it did, take the pan off & look for it. Take a high powered flashlight or a halogen lamp and shine it in the motor and look at the cam bearings as good as you can. If you just cannot see every single one, all the way around, you may want to replace them.
It sounds like they have been scratched.

We were all posting at the same time, I hate it when that happens!

67 396 race car project
67 SS 396,4-sp mothballed for resto
67 RS 327,4-sp
72 RS 350/350, under current resto
69 4X4 suburban 350,4-sp
73 3/4 ton 454/400
Stevo Camaro's Toy (
Our Muscle Cars (

[This message has been edited by stevo camaro (edited 04-04-2002).]

caribbean camaro
Apr 5th, 02, 05:12 AM
The engine has no externals on it - it has been out for about 3 months now - so the fuel pump was put on my 305

The reason I proceeded to pry was that the cam when we first installed it would not go in easily - we had to nudge and tap a few times - despite all lubrication methods possible

thats why my local fable bench story when people ask about my cam was that it is so big we had to hammer it in!!

maybe the gear is not cut right - I will take a good look this weekend but what is the worst case scenario for a gouged or stripped cam bearing?? do you end up with knocking noise like in the mains -

or does it destroys the cam lobe??

just what I needed -


85 Camaro Berlinetta - 305ci, stock heads, flattops, 214/224-443/465, Edel. 600 & Performer intake, 700-R4 & transgo kit, TCI competition 10in. conv, 4.10, Auburn posi

Apr 5th, 02, 06:09 AM
Don't take any chances on the cam bearings. If they're scratched or nicked in any way take it down to a machine shop and have them replaced. It's very cheap compared to replacing the engine.


Apr 5th, 02, 06:44 AM
I'd be suspicious of the cam bore or if the cam bearings were installed correctly to begin with...

"The '69 (, the '96 ( & the club ("

Vintage 68
Apr 5th, 02, 07:11 AM
If the cam bearings were "knocked in" (pounded in with a hammer and driver) v.s. being pressed in with a proper cam installation tool during the rebuild it can cause the bearing to be slightly cocked or it can leave a ridge on the leading edge of the bearing that will hinder the cam installation.
You should never have to 'drive in' a cam. With the cam installation tool bolted to the front, you should be able to slowly insert the cam into the bearings with assembly lube on each journal and lobe with only slight clocking of the cam from side to side.
Like everyone has said, disassemble the engine - check for debris - clean everything well - install new bearings and remeasure the camshaft journals (and gear!) to be sure they are within spec. before you try to put it back together.

Apr 5th, 02, 09:37 AM
the cam bearings are different diameters, if they were installed wrong, that could account for the tightness.

I would definatly replace the cam bearings.

Apr 5th, 02, 09:44 AM
Thats what I recall from years ago. Cam bearings are progressively smaller from front to back I think. If a center one and rear one got switched by accident that would account for too tight of a fit. In this case, the center bearing sleeve would be to tight but could be forced through, but in turn the rear one would be to large for the cam. Wonder why it would even run then? Interesting question to follow.

69RS 350/255 LM1,TH350,Dover White,Blue Vinyl top
F&R spoilers,pdb,ps,am/fm,4.10 Posi.,A/C,
fold down rear seat.
My RS (

Apr 5th, 02, 09:54 AM
I agre with all the other guys here, replace the bearings even if you can't see the damage. I bet what you saw was a shaving from one of the bearings, cause by the edge of one of the lobes or the gear. If you take the chance and do not replace the bearings, there is a good possibility your oil pressure will be low. That could lead to a host of other problems. It should cost you less than $70 for parts and labor. Clevite 77's are only around $15.00 for a set, and it really shouldn't cost over $40 for labor.


70 Camaro 385ci
69 Camaro (soon to be 6" rod 355 backed by a T56)
2000 GMC Z71

Vintage 68
Apr 5th, 02, 01:16 PM
The I.D. of all 5 bearings are the same, the O.D. of the 1-3, 2-4 & rear are different. These bearings are also available in oversizes so rebuilders can use reground cams, make sure your engine builder did not put in the wrong bearings. Every quality preformance aftermarket cam I have checked was a standard O.D. bearing spec.