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My '72 454 needs new lifters. I know this from the ticking and the mechanic that has looked at it. His quote was about $4k to replace the cam, lifters, springs, etc.

I am thinking about replacing the cam and lifters myself with the engine still in the car ('68 Camaro). Am I crazy for trying this? I have tools and some mechanical experience but have never gotten into the innards of a motor.

Any thoughts, tips or advice is appreciated.

Troy
 

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Should you do something that any backyard mechanic with tools and any number of magazine articles from the last thirty years on how to do it or a book like Vizards on how to rebuild an engine and save yourself $3K at the same time? Yes! Yes! Yes! This isn't rocket science, its a big block chevy! Simple. Follow all procedures and torque specs and sequences and have the satisfaction of doing it yourself.
 

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My '72 454 needs new lifters. I know this from the ticking and the mechanic that has looked at it. His quote was about $4k to replace the cam, lifters, springs, etc.

I am thinking about replacing the cam and lifters myself with the engine still in the car ('68 Camaro). Am I crazy for trying this? I have tools and some mechanical experience but have never gotten into the innards of a motor.

Any thoughts, tips or advice is appreciated.

Troy
The 4k quote is insane. You can rebuild an entire engine for less. The job should be less then $1000. Did. Cam lifter spring swap in a 69 with a 396 in an afternoon
 

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4k for a cam change, WOW, he wants to retire early!!!!
 

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For an in-car cam swap, the radiator has to come out and hopefully you don't have AC.

Other than that, it's not really that big a deal.
 

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Mahunt is right. And yes everyone is right, $4,000 is CRAZY. I rebuilt a 350 engine for the first time a few months back. There is 'nothing easy' about engines, but you should not have too much trouble. Someone mentioned a book by David Vizard- it's a good book. Just don't forget to get a table on torque specifications.
 

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You could buy yourself a new crate 350 for that money. Price is crazy, I would not trust the diagnosis either. You might just need rocker arm adjustment,or exhaust leak, I would get a second opinion.
Before the internet, myself and probably thousands of others rebuild SBC's with nothing more than Vizards book and maybe a Chiltons manual. Now you can Youtube how to do it.

How to Rebuild Your Small-Block Chevy: David Vizard: 9781557880291: Amazon.com: Books
 

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Solid or hydraulic, roller or flat tappet. Cam and lifter changing is not complicated. Removing the parts is simple as well. Depending on your setup I would definitly get a second and third opinion. I would stay away from that mechanic. Probably thinks you're not so smart. That would more than piss me off. Black flag that guy and call around your area. Best of luck. I also have a 68 with a 396. These motors are all a lot of fun and not as challenging as you may think or been led to belive. Did my first SBC at age 14 (with my dads supervision) but did and only with a 105 piece craftsman tool set and a borrowed torque wrench. What a blast.
 

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How many miles is on this 454 engine? Check your oil pressure before disassembly. Don't forget to check clearances on cam bearings. What type of camshaft are you going back with Hydraulic, solid, Hyd. roller, or mech. roller. If you have a good manual that gives you step by step directions you will have no problems. Special tools: http://www.summitracing.com/parts/sum-900134/overview/ I would get this tool to keep from banging the camshaft and bearings during installation. Replace your timing chain and gears while you have it apart.http://www.summitracing.com/parts/clo-9-1110/overview/make/chevrolet I have forgotten to mention that the Pep Boys in Petersburg ,Va is selling high performance parts now. I don't know if all the Pep Boy stores are doing it. The manager of that department says he will match prices with Summit and Jeg's.
 

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Agree with everyone else. Any reputable shop would charge maybe 6 hours labor with engine in car, 8 hours if it has A/C. Are you sure the $4K isn't a total rebuild? You can get an Edelbrock kit that includes complete heads (springs, rockers), cam and valves, pay full labor, and still come nowhere near that $4K.
 

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$4K for a cam and lifters? That guy is crazy; I wouldn't trust anything he said.
Is the engine running bad? Why does he think that it needs cam & lifters & springs?
I'd try to adjust the "tick" out before replacing parts that may have nothing wrong with them. Anyone who quotes $4K for a cam/lifter change immediately raises red flags to me.
 

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if I was closer, I would help you do it for a case of beer
When I do mine this winter will that case of beer cover me to get you to lend a hand? :beers:

Seriously, though, light or dark?

I need to pull my head, get some headwork done, put in oversized valves, a cam... you know. Little things.

I can probably do the work myself but it's always fun to work with a fellow gear head to work with on the big stuff. :thumbsup:
 

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I am thinking about replacing the cam and lifters myself with the engine still in the car ('68 Camaro). Am I crazy for trying this? I have tools and some mechanical experience but have never gotten into the innards of a motor.

Troy
You'd be crazy not to try it yourself.
 

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So, this guy that says you need a new cam and lifters is the same guy that quoted $4 grand. I'd get a second opinion, although it's a pretty easy job if you want to do it yourself. There's a whole bunch of help here to get you through it. Kevin
 

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You stated you need a cam change because it is ticking and the mechanic said so. Before you purchase any parts I would suggest you simply try adjusting the valves. Typically if a cam has flat lobes the engine will be down on power or missing. Ticking does not necessarily indicate a flat cam.
 

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Troy,

Here's what you should do : contact a local mobile mechanic (he will come to you ) through the Dallas craigslist : http://dallas.craigslist.org/search/aos?query=mechanic

Pay the guy $30/hr or more and you will get this done in 1 or two days.

If you have very little experience, don't try tearing into this engine.

Pay a good mechanic who will let you help and watch and you will be back on the road soon.

If you give us more detail we can tell you what parts to have on hand.
 

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Can you read a book? Can you turn a wrench? Do you understand torque specs and why they are important? Do you own a torque wrench? If you answered yes to those questions, you can probably do it yourself. Honestly, i can do the cam swap in about 3 hrs, sealed and done. It may take someone that hasn't done it 12hrs at most due to all the reading and setting the valves is going to be the trickiest thing. 4k is absolute BS. You could buy the one on my floor that makes 500+ Hp for that (not for sale) but the sum of its parts is about that. Point being, as previously stated that job should be no more than 1000 in labor plus a 100 gasket kit, and whatever other parts you need. People get scared of engine building, but when you realize that you are just repeating the same operation over and over and over again, it really is not too bad. Do some serious reading up on it, and if you still feel like you can't tackle it, then pay someone. At the end of the day, its just this bolt goes here, that bolt goes there.
 

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Troy,

Here's what you should do : contact a local mobile mechanic (he will come to you ) through the Dallas craigslist : http://dallas.craigslist.org/search/aos?query=mechanic

Pay the guy $30/hr or more and you will get this done in 1 or two days.

If you have very little experience, don't try tearing into this engine.

Pay a good mechanic who will let you help and watch and you will be back on the road soon.

If you give us more detail we can tell you what parts to have on hand.
$560 to do what you can do yourself? Good mechanic that will let you watch? Where do you find those? Most are not going to tell you what they're doing let alone let you watch. What exactly would that accomplish? You take notes for next time it happens? How does one get experience in your world? In my world, you get your head under the hood and get your hands dirty and learn by the best way there is.....doing it yourself. Thankfully, I get the sense the OP was leaning towards doing it himself and now that he has heard from so many that it is easy to do I am sure he's leaning that way.
 
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