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KB Article IH SV Cam Swap Basics

Binder TV
By Bill Hamilton (Bill usn-1)

One flat lobe on a fairly new cam necessitated that I make a cam and lifter swap.

Lets cover a few basics first.

WASH the ENGINE!!!!!!!!!!
Before you start

Parts required from Autozone.
Cam kit- They offer 2 kits. $135
IH345CK01- for contour piston engines
IH345CK02- for flat top piston engines
I don't know the difference if there is one but I ordered the 02 kit.

Timing Cover gasket set- Felpro TCS 12882-1 $18

Valve cover gaskets if needed.
Tube of Black or blue silicone $3

$156 total

1. Always change the cam with the lifters. If you are going to buy a used cam (not recommended) make sure it comes with the lifters marked where they came from or just install new lifters.

2. Before starting the tear down, rotate the engine to TDC of the compression stroke for #8 cylinder for V8's or #1 cylinder for 4's.

3. Remove the + positive cable from the battery.

4. Drain the radiator and if possible, remove the block plug from just in front of the starter.


Now lets get started.

Remove the air cleaner

You will need to gain access to both valve covers if working on a V8. The driver’s side is normally pretty wide open but the passenger’s side will have heater hoses and AC lines.
I was able to snake my PS valve cover out without disconnecting anything but it is much easier to just undo the heater hoses from the heater box.



Once the cover is off then you can remove the rocker arm shaft. I try to loosen the bolts a couple turns at a time evenly across until the spring tension is released.
Once the shaft is removed you can also remove the pushrods. keep them in order from front to back so they can go back in the same hole.
I normally just use a piece of cardboard or Styrofoam to poke the push rods through.



Then you can see the lifters that ride on top of the cam lobe.


Repeat the same process on the other side of the engine.

Now comes the fun part.
You get to go fishing for lifters.
There is enough room on the SV motor to remove the lifters through the pushrod holes.
Just make sure that none of the intake bolts extend into the pushrod bore or the lifter will hit it.

Here are some of the various tools I have handy when performing this part.

I have several different sizes and shapes of magnets. These can be used to remove the lifters up out of the bores but it may be difficult to install them with it and still get the magnet to release.
The other thing is that on old engines, baked on oil deposits form on the bottom half of the lifter making it difficult to pull out. You may need to work them up and down several times until they come all the way out.

For me the best tool is the lifter removal tool.
It has 2 fingers that expand and catch on the retaining clip groove in the top of the lifter.
that way you can use a little more pressure up and down to get them free.



Repeat until you have all 16 out.

One of these lifters is not like the others....can you tell which one???



That's about as far as we can go on the top side of the motor.

So lets move to the front.

Some of these steps may be optional for your specific model scout or truck.
If you have a 2 piece grille shell, you may be able to just remove the lower half to gain access.

Start by removing the headlights and the grille.
There are grill to fender bolts behind the headlights so don't forget them.


When loose, you can pull it forward to disconnect the turn signal wires.


Then set it to the side.


I run a tranny cooler and AC so both have to be moved.

Mine had enough play to just unbolt and pull out of the way.


Then back up top to unbolt the radiator shroud and disconnect the cooling and tranny lines if you run an automatic. I just set the shroud on top of the fan blades.


Then it's decision you pull the hood or not....
I left mine on and just got another person to help lift the radiator up out of the front.

Once the radiator is out, you can also remove the shroud.

Now you are left with a view of a very dirty engine!!


You may be able to just unbolt the water pump and housing with an open end wrench and leave the pulleys attached. The bolts will stay in the holes of the waterpump housing.
I removed each item to demonstrate how I do it.

Now just remove the 4 bolts for the fan, or the 1 large nut style, and set aside.


Now you have access to the 4 screws holding the pulleys on.

NOTE...I have not removed the belts yet. This helps keep the pulleys from rotating.

Use a #4 phillips or I prefer an impact screwdriver and #4 phillips bit.


Now you can loosen all the belts and remove them along with the pulleys to include the crank pulley if you have one..


I took this time to do a little cleaning so I would not drop any dirt in the oil pan when I remove the front cover....


Now remove the water pump housing and water tubes. I do not unbolt the pump from the housing.


More cleaning......

Now remove the center bolt for the crank balancer.
I prefer and impact gun but you could also use a breaker bar if you have someone hold the flywheel with a crowbar or large scredriver between the teeth and the block.
Once the bolt is out I remove the washer and reinstall the bolt several threads in.
Then grab your harmonic balancer/steering wheel puller and remove the balancer.
Looks like my timing cover seal was leaking a little!

If you haven't converted to EFI yet, then this would be a good time to unbolt the fuel pump. You may want to remove the inlet line and plug it to be safe.



Next, remove the timing cover bolts and the 4 on the bottom that go through the pan.

Then remove the cover.

If your still on TDC then you should see the dots on the gear line up!!



Now remove the cam bolt and again use the puller to remove the gear.


Grab the impact screwdriver again and remove the screws for the cam thrust plate.


There are tools for this part but I just grab a long bolt to help guide the cam out and back in to avoid damaging the bearings.

Make sure you also unbolt the distributor and lift it up away from the cam gear.


Here's the bad lobe.



Since I was in a time crunch to get this back running, I took the cheap way out.
I ordered the cam and lifter kit from Autozone for $135 and the cam change gasket set (timing cover set). I already had a complete gasket set with me when I shipped it over here!! So you may also want the valve cover gaskets.



Comparing the cam looks like all the blanks come from the same place.
The old cam was an Isky.






So now you clean up all the gasket surfaces and wipe them all with a rag and solvent. I prefer Brake cleaner. It leaves no oily film.

For the front seal, I remove the old one and then use it as a driver to install the new one.



Now use the supplied cam lube generously all over the cam and slip it into place. At this point, I found out you get what you pay for....
When I got to the distributor drive gear the cam stopped going in.
I ended up having to dress the ruff edges off the gear with a fine file to get the cam to slide all the way in.


Then reinstall the thrust plate.


And reinstall the cam gear making sure the dots line up. Torque to the spec in the book.


Then I apply a very light coat of silicone to the gasket surface. I normally use my finger and use only enough to make the gasket look wet.
The sealant is not there to make a gasket, it is there to fill in any imperfections, and it helps the parts seperate during removal.
I also use a little extra where the cover meets the pan and the block. Just to prevent a leak in the corner.


Then I install the cover but leave the bolts slightly loose.
So I can install the balancer and have it center the seal on the shaft.
Just to help prevent another leak.


Then torque the cover bolts down.

You should not have silicone squeezing out or you used too much!!


Then finish up the front just like you took it apart.

Now Back up top.....

Before the lifters can be installed they need to be pumped up.

Here's how I do it.
Nothing special, just some oil in a can top. then use a pushrod or phillips screwdriver to pump the top up and down till the air bubbles stop. You may need to put a little oil in the top of the lifter to seal the piston. You should feel resistance build till you can't pump anymore.


Now apply more lube to the bottoms and using the lifter tool, slip each lifter back in it's hole.

If you drop one....and you will....use the magnet to go fishing!!!
Take your time.

When they are all in, then just reverse the process and bolt everything back in. Make sure you torque all bolts according to the manual.
Always apply a little sealant to the threads of the bolts on the rocker shafts and the intake manifold. A little permatex nonhardening is good for this.

When you start it up for the first time, make sure you break it in according the the cam MFR proceedures. Most recommend 20-30 min at 2000rpm on initial start. So make sure everything is done and checked. To include the water!!


There are many other things we could have covered here like how to degree the cam, cleaning the oil return holes, replacing the valve guide seals to eliminate that smoke on start up....but those are all covered in other threads!!

Hope this helps.

Note, additional info on cam break in;

Break in instructions included with new Iskendarian cam.

ISKY Racing Cams break in instruction sheet said:

Important message regarding "break in" protection for all high performance flat tappet and solid lifter camshafts.

........government regulators have mandated as of Jan 04 the complete elimination of the critical anti-wear additive package (zinc/phosphorus) from all "SM" rated (street legal) motor oils to protect catalytic converters.

Isky recommends the use of only the following oils for maximum cam lobe and lifter protection before and after the break in period because they are the only conventional mineral based oils available with generous levels of the zinc/phosphorus additive package.

Brad Penn Penn-Grade 1 ** The very best in our opinion and the only oil refined from 100% PA crude.

Pennzoil "GTP" Racing Oil (Excellent. Do not confuse with regular grade of Pennzoil)

Valvoline Racing Oil (Excellent. Do not confuse with regular grades of Valvoline or Valvoline VR-1)


If you do not use one of the above oils, the next best approach is to supplement other common mineral based oils with EOS (Engine Oil Supplement) available from any GM dealership. .................

Special Note Regarding Synthetic Oils

Please note, Isky does not recommend the use of synthetic oils with any flat tappet camshaft especially during break in. If you must use synthteic oil after break in, there are only two brands we are comfortable recommending. They are Amzoil [sic] (Red) racing Oil and Joe Gibbs Performance Racing Oil. Both contain zinc and phosphorus and will fare well AFTER break in has been successfully completed. Other synthetics, especially those with very low viscosity index numbers (i.e. 0W-15, 5W-20, etc) have very low film strength and are not designed for, nor should they be employed in any flat tappet cam installation.

.....................remember to immediately rev to 2500 RPM and keep it there for the first 15-20 minutes of operation...................

More info on zinc/phosphorus additives here;
Bill USN-1
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This was a fantastic guide for me when I switched out my Cam and lifters. I would have been lost without this.
I have not changed an IH cam but I have changed MoPar and Ford. These are quality, easy to follow instructions.