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can you install a camshaft while the motor is in the vehicle?

stamina

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i have a 1990 ranger standard cab with a 4.0, by removing the grille, radiator, fan, and condenser is it possible to install a cam while the motor is in the vehicle?
 


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You should be able to, I did that with a ‘77 305 nova. The only thing im unsure of is weather there is a strip of metal in the middle of the core support, you could always cut it out then weld or pop rivit it back in. I think the cam is higher than the front bumper, so no need to remove it.
 
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rhekman

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i have a 1990 ranger standard cab with a 4.0, by removing the grille, radiator, fan, and condenser is it possible to install a cam while the motor is in the vehicle?
Are you asking about leaving the intake/heads in place on the motor? I don't think the 4.0 hydraulic roller lifters will fall out of the bottom of their bores, but their preload might give you trouble re-installing a new cam. They don't have a retention mechanism like a GM LS.

I've only ever replaced cams in motors out on a stand. In the engine bay, you might need to remove the valve covers and loosen the rocker shafts to get a new camshaft in through the core support.
 
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Angie

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I don't see why it can't be done. as long as you get the front of the truck's body clear. you will need a straight unobstructed line into the cam's bearings. going in and out.

(rhekman) yes all the heads and lifters will need to be taken off the engine, as it would be 100% impossible to return the cam shaft into place, let along get the old one out.

cheers
 

Eddo Rogue

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Just out of curiosity, are you swapping in a bigger aftermarket cam or just replacing the stock cam?
 

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If you don't have time to do it right will you have time to do it over?
If the 4.0 is like a 2.9- and I think it is- the lifters won't come out with the heads in place. The little extra work to pull the engine out where you can work on it comfortably is worth doing.
 

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"the lifters won't come out with the heads in place. "

Is there an engine out there where the lifters will come out with the heads intact on the block?
 

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I have an engine that I can remove the lifters with only taking the valve cover and rockers off. It has a side cover plate that gives access to the lifters. However, that is not possible with any Ranger engine I am aware of.
 

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"the lifters won't come out with the heads in place. "

Is there an engine out there where the lifters will come out with the heads intact on the block?
Sure, a 302 is one example.
 

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interesting. next engine i pull apart i am going to try and see how easy it is to replace a lifter with heads on. Never thought of looking into it before. just assumed for ease to take heads off.

cheers
 

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If you don't have clearance because of something in the front, you can unbolt the motor mounts from the frame and lift the front of the motor with a floor jack, too
 

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