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Technical Cam Bearing Installation Tool

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ekimneirbo, Jun 8, 2020.

  1. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,125

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    Decided to buy me a cam bearing installation tool. Looking around on the internet it "appears" that most of the available ones are very similar if not downright identical. Even though they look the same in the pictures, they don't always turn out to be the same quality. Jegs has one thats a little different and costs a little more. I'm willing to pay more if I'm actually getting something for the difference......but I don't want to pay more for the same thing in a different color box. Here are some pictures of some of the available tools. Anybody out there using any of these ? Anybody got something they like better ? Or are all of them pretty much the same?;)

    Antier Cam 80.jpg
    Performance Tool 95.jpg

    Lisle Camshaft 148.jpg
    Jegs Cam Tool 140.jpg
     
  2. irishsteve
    Joined: Jan 10, 2017
    Posts: 733

    irishsteve

    Unless your building a number of engines just pay to have it done. I would buy a lisle just because they have been around forever.
     
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  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,148

    squirrel
    Member

    I bought a Lisle a couple years ago, it works, it's probably not as good as they made them in the old days.
     
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  4. MO54Frank
    Joined: Apr 1, 2019
    Posts: 275

    MO54Frank
    Member

    Never used one. I see each one has five “dies”, or whatever they are called. Do they fit a variety of engines? Thanks.
     
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  5. The Magic Ratchet
    Joined: Apr 8, 2019
    Posts: 45

    The Magic Ratchet
    Member

    For what it's worth, years ago I had the Snap-on version and always thought it was a re-packaged Lisle.

    Lou
     
  6. I have the Lisle version that I bought 25 years ago. It works great, the others look like Chineseum copies. Sadly, I’m not sure the Lisle tool is made here anymore.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  7. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,148

    squirrel
    Member

    Yes, each of the mandrels as an adjustment range, so it will fit a large variety of bearing sizes. Also they come with two sets of rubber bands, for different thickness of cam bearings. Most are thin, but there is thick also.
     
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  8. I have a Lisle that I bought maybe 25 years ago.
    I just looked to be sure,,,it is laid out just like the lisle in the pic,,,,,but the case is red like the Jegs unit,,,,,,,I paid 165 dollars back then for it,,,from a local parts store here .
    That was several dollars then,,,,but at that time shops near here were charging maybe 30-40 bucks labor to install cam bearings,,,if you got lucky and they were friendly,,,,,25 .
    I have paid for it several times over in cost savings,,,,,and I also have the satisfaction of knowing they are in perfectly,,,,and the fit is right on the money .
    It is not really hard to do,,,,,it is just the expense of buying the tool .
    And,,,I have even helped a few friends out by helping them ,,,,I don’t charge them,,,,,,,,yes,,,,I know,,,,,,I’m gullible,,,Lol.

    But,,,so many people have helped me in the past,,,it wouldn’t be right to not pay it forward in some way .

    Tommy
     
  9. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,240

    Gman0046
    Member

    How about borrowing a loaner from your local auto parts store if its not something your going to use very much. I borrowed an A/C hose crimper several times when doing A/C installations.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2020
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  10. Joe H
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 902

    Joe H
    Member

    I bought the Lisle last year, it did what I needed it to do without any issues. I did installed bearings in two 455 Pontiac's I was building. Both sets went in really easy, and the olds came out easy, guess it helps to have the right tools!
     
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  11. bill gruendeman
    Joined: Jun 18, 2019
    Posts: 305

    bill gruendeman
    Member

    What type of engine and how many are you doing? If you are only doing one brand of engine, build one that works on that brand. The last pontiac I did, I picked up some plastic pipe and fitting at Home Depot ( soft plastic won’t hurt the bearings) and made my own. Hey it work for me and it was cheap.
     
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  12. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,125

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    It's really just a matter of convenience . I've got a couple of old Caddy motors I plan to build. I'm making a derusting tank to soak them in to get the rust out of the inside of the block. They will hang in a citric acid bath for an extended time and the acid would eat the bearings. I figure to drive them out and save them. Then I'll reinstall them so I can moch up the valve train and pistons to see what I have......need. Then get the block machined and maybe cleaned again, and then install the new cam bearings. Gonna do it at least twice on each engine, and I don't want to spend time waiting on a machine shop any more than I have to. Looks pretty easy......
     
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  13. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 1,052

    alanp561
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Gman has the right idea. Anytime I need something I wouldn't normally have in the way of automotive tools I run down to Advance, pay a security deposit equal to the price of the tool and when I return it, the deposit goes back on the card.
     
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  14. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 3,482

    Budget36
    Member

    After messing up (I don't know why) several cam bearing 30+ years ago, I use my set as an extra seal driver, now just let a shop do it.

    Sorry, no help:)
     
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  15. I bought mine when I was racing and used it a lot. After I stopped racing, the tool has sat for several years, but in the last four years, I’ve used it on a 318 Chrysler, 302 Ford, and my O/T 3.0 liter Ford in my Ranger work truck. The only set of bearings that I screwed up were the 3.0 Ford. I was pretty upset, used Engine Tech brand (ya cheap shit!), and bought the proper Clevite brand and they went in perfectly. It was my fault for being a cheap shit.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  16. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 914

    birdman1

    Get the lisle. No matter which one you get, use care removing and installing the bearings. When installing, don't overtighten the expanders. Then tap, don't hammer, the bearing gently into the block. If you ruin one bearing, you get to buy another set. Don't ask me how I know
     
  17. Mac VP
    Joined: May 13, 2014
    Posts: 309

    Mac VP
    Member

    I know ours is flathead V8 only, but it works well and is made right here for us in Ohio. We only had drivers made to fit the Ford flathead V8. The other kits definitely let you do other engine makes. We’ve sold over a hundred of ours and no complaints. Whichever type you use, it’s easy to do cam bearings and you don’t have to wait to borrow one or pay a machine shop to do the job.

    http://www.vanpeltsales.com/FH_web/flathead_tools_forsale.htm
     
  18. WB69
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,227

    WB69
    Member

    I have had the Lisle for several years. No problems as of yet. Not something I use everyday, but when needed no one has one it seems.
     
  19. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,366

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    I really doubt trying to re-use bearings that are a press fit is a good idea ...JMO
     
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  20. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,148

    squirrel
    Member

    He wasn't planning to reuse the bearings, he was planning to put the old ones back in to mock up, then replace them again with new ones, when he gets it all figured out. That's a lot of bearing swapping. Hence the value of owning the tool.
     
  21. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,366

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    Sorry , my reading comprehension skills obviously failed !
     
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  22. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,860

    sunbeam
    Member

    Over the years the rubber sleeves tend to give up. I redid my dies clamping them together with a hose clamp and cutting groves with a lathe for several standard O rings . The O rings protect the bearing and are easy to find.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2020
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  23. I have a snap on that I use that I like well enough. Unless I am doing an SBC. Even the snap on is a little bit universal if you catch my drift. I have one that a machinist buddy made for SBC. I like it better than the snap on.

    Anyway I like the snap on unit real well and I have used a ton of different ones in the last 50 or so years.
     
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  24. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,125

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    We all misread sometimes. I still appreciate that your intent was to help keep me from making a mistake. I don't know if the bearings will keep their shape when I drive them out, but I think I can make them work long enough to get some measurements. Its a whole lot harder to find info on what works in old Cad engines, so I'll just have to make sure by checking everything myself. Many of the parts are more expensive than Chevy parts, so I'm going to use the original flat top pistons and see if the valves clear or I need to put reliefs in them. Then once I see for sure what works, I can order some pistons. The rust that accumulates inside many of these 50+ year old blocks and its effect on cooling is why I want to take steps to remove it prior to machining the block. Many of the old (472/500) Cads have a reputation for running hotter than most engines. I also found some information about opening some coolant holes that is supposed to help.......
     
  25. Jokester
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 405

    Jokester
    Member

    About 40 years ago I had a machinist make this for me. It only fits SBC, but that's the only engines I built at the time. He threaded it to fit my axle puller/slide hammer. I've used it a million times (well, maybe not a million).

    .bjb cam bearing driver.JPG
     
  26. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,971

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    When I was a student in high school auto shop in the 60's the shop had a set that a student had machined with the drivers like the one Jokster and Vanpelt showed. I never saw anyone (all high school students) screw up a cam bearing with that set. You do have to have the tapered cone for the shaft though. It had been done away with and replaced with a Lisle when I started teaching in the shop in 1978.
    I've got one of the expander O ring ones like the lisle out in the garage, I don't use it much but snagged it for cheap a few years ago. The only reason I bought it was it was too cheap to turn down as I don't do that many engines any more.
    If you are using one of the Lisle type make sure the O rings are in perfect shape because a roughed up o ring will mess up a bearing real quick.
     
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  27. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,148

    squirrel
    Member

    Before I got the Lisle, I did cam bearings in some engines using my old Lempco transmission bushing driver set, along with a longer driver that I made, and a plastic cone I made. The neat thing about the real cam bearing tool is that you can adjust it to exactly the size it needs to be, and some engines have 5 different sizes of cam bearings. Chevys are relatively easy compared to the other stuff.
     
  28. Ericnova72
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 383

    Ericnova72
    Member

    When you re-install the old bearings for mock-up, you only need the front and rear for that...leave out the hassle of putting all the center bearings in and out for a mock-up fit-up.
     
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  29. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 3,482

    Budget36
    Member

    I am curious, what's the purpose of mocking up the cam?
     
  30. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,125

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    What I need to do is put the new roller cam in and the new shaft mount Harlan Sharpe roller rockers and see how everything stacks up. I need to see where the rocker rollers meet the valve stem tips. The heads I have were purchased used and modified by Cad Company. The valves are larger than stock and I don't know if they are stock length.....so I need to verify that the pivot point of the rockers is the right height to properly push the valve down. They could be too high or too low since I don't know till I check. Moving backward from there, I have no idea how long my pushrods should be till I put the roller cam in and some new roller lifters. Then I can take the adjustable (moch up) pushrods and get a preliminary length. With the head torqed in place on either an old gasket or a new one if I decide to change gasket thickness, I can rotate the assembly by hand to see if the valves hit the original flat top pistons or if there still is sufficient clearance. May even cut some valve reliefs in the old pistons if necessary to gain clearance. Then I have established that everything can rotate without hitting each other. I remove the heads and check deck to piston distance. Then I decide if and how much I want the block decked. That will affect the length of the pushrods I need and the compression height for the pistons. Then l scratch my head and hope all my calculations are right......
    If I didn't want to internally derust the block, I wouldn't need to remove and reinstall the old bearings. This way I get a little practice before I install the new bearings.
    So basically it's a matter of having a bunch of unknowns and trying to verify what I actually do have.Hope that clarifies it for you.
     
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