It is my understanding that you would not have to remove the engine to complete a cam swap in a 78 Nova. I at least thought I understood that it is much easer to do the swap with the motor pulled but that you can still drop the oil pan and remove the timing cover with the engine in the car. I have a 305 and I just bought a new cam, lifters, springs, retainers, locks, valve seals and roller timing set to keep it alive a little longer and add a little performance while I build a new motor. I donít have a place to work on my car so I asked a guy I know who is trying to start a performance engine shop out of his garage if he would let me do the swap at his place. He told me that I would have to pull the motor to do the swap. Obviously I have never swapped a cam before or I would know the answer to this but Iím no slouch on figuring out solutions to mechanical problems or reading anything and everything I can get my hands on that is engine related. But with all the information contained in all the rags I have read there is no clear instruction on how to properly remove and install all of the gaskets required for a cam swap. (i.e. oil pan and timing cover) I have done an intake, carb, water pump, and harmonic balancer swap and I also have a set of headers to add to the list of successful swaps but this will be a first. Any advice will be appreciated and anyone with an open bay close to McKinney TX for me to work on my car in would be very appreciated. :D
02-10-2006 06:08 PM
You don't need to yank the motor to do a cam swap. It would be easier, but not necessary. All you really need is about 3 ft in front of the motor (to pull the cam out). this means removing the radiator, and all the shroud, etc. You'd need to drop the pan to get the timing cover free. That may require jacking up the motor off its mounts, a major pain if you have a crossmember in the way...The rest of the swap you can figure out. I would budget a weekend for this, as you will always run into stuck bolts, broken bits, etc. I've done it and it isn't too hard, just a bit involved.Good luck!
10-17-2006 09:55 PM
I don't belevie you have to drop the pan to get timing cover off on that year.
10-18-2006 04:52 AM
All you have to do to the pan is remove the two front bolts. Then before you reinstall front cover cut the bottom of the cover at the seal at a angle so it slides back in.