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Old 06-17-2011, 04:25 PM   #1
Mach828
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Removing Cam Covers and Installing Cobra Cams - A Complete How To With Pics

I've heard many people rave about the Cobra intake cam mod. I've heard 20-25hp to the wheels from just the cam swap, and its an easy $150 mod. What I've learned is there is more to it than just swapping the intake cams, and its not just a $150 mod. And can be very frustrating with the lack of how to's, information available, and confusion. So here is a thread covering everything so the next guy doesn't have to figure out everything the hard way like I did.

I'm not degreeing or advancing the cams, just "dot to dot". I don't have the time or money for it. For the $150 I spent on the cams, I think 20hp is plenty worth it. So no rants about how you need to degree the cams please. Technically if I was a great mechanic with access to the whole world of knowledge and tools at my disposal I would do it. But I'm doing this install alone, with regular hand tools, in my garage. If your paying someone else to do it, have them degree and advance the cams. If not, just do like me and put the new ones in the same place as the old ones.

The absolute best option would be to install the intake cams, and degree all 4 cams to make sure they are in spec because from the factory our cars time cam timing is off (passenger side cams and drivers side cams are not equal), and its set for better emissions, which all sacrifices power.

If your interested in degreeing the cams, which will greatly increase your low to mid range power and increase your torque, read this thread for help:
http://www.mach1registry.org/forums/...d.php?t=114057
Quote:
Originally Posted by na svt View Post
Advancing the cams to 110int/118exh will make a huge difference.
Cam degreeing instructions
http://www.compcams.com/Technical/In.../COMP4-102.pdf


LET THE FUN BEGIN!
On the list:
96 Cobra Cams, and I'm painting the valve covers blue

Supplies:
Valve cover gasket set -$55
Two 96-98 Cobra DOHC cam bolts (M12 x 1.5, 1.6in) - $25 (these are also discontinued and may be hard to come by, your only option may be ARP at $50)
Two Camshaft secondary timing gears (the 96-97 are different than the Mach, 98-01 are the same) these are discontinued according to Ford Parts online, so prepare to grind the keyways down, or maybe buy some aftermarket Cloyes gears- $60
High temp silicon to hold gasket in place while your putting it on - $10
96-98 Cobra Intake Cams - $150-$200
Custom Dyno Tune (I already had an XCAL3) - $200

Total Cost = +/- $550

______

Disclaimer: The below information is just to show what I did. It is in no way a professional guide. I am not a certified mechanic, this was my first time doing this, and technically I have no mechanical education. If you proceed to try this on your own, its at your own risk. I'm not responsible for any personal injury or further damage to you or the car. The methods used are on orthodox and dangerous.
______

Part numbers for the 96-98 Cobra cams

Passenger Intake Cam F6ZE-6A270-AA (or AB)
Driver Intake Cam F6ZE-6A271-AA (or AB)
______

96-98 Cobra Cam Duration - 204 deg
99-01 Cobra Cam Duration - 200 deg
03-04 Mach & Cobra Duration - 184 deg

______


Chossing to run the 99-01 Cobra Cams vs the 96-98.

If you choose to run the 99-01 Cobra Cams, you will be able to resuse your stock cam gears and cam bolts (although it is recommended to not reuse cam bolts once they have been torqued).
I would expect to pick up ~16hp vs the ~20hp from the 96-98 cams on a mildly modified Mach
______

Cam install guide
http://www.seanhylandmotorsport.com/...329a134229edb2

______

Other useful links
http://www.svtperformance.com/forums...s-install.html
http://www.mach1registry.org/forums/...ight=cobra+cam
http://www.mach1registry.org/forums/...ight=cobra+cam
http://www.mach1registry.org/forums/...ight=cobra+cam
http://www.mach1registry.org/forums/...a+cam+duration

______

The Dyno Results.
Here is what my car made after the install, the greatest gains are up top in the RPM range after 5,000. The stock Mach cams hit peak horsepower at 5,000 and then fall on their face, the Cobra cams build power up until 6,000 and hold it pretty well to 6500 before starting to taper significantly. Although peak hp gain is right at 20hp, the gains above 6,000 are more.

Here is a pic of my dyno graph after I got it tuned. Not bad for an intake, midpipe, and catback.

http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x...8_july2011.jpg

Here is a tuned vs. untuned graph, I put it on no smoothing. This way you can really see the difference in how smooth and consistent the car will feel in comparison. The before tune was a good email tune for stock cams and the after tune was a dyno tune with the cobra cams.
http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x...dvsUntuned.jpg

The Track Results
After a tune, the cams, an aluminum driveshaft, smaller slicks (26 vs 28), and a 1.67 60ft vs. a 1.75, I picked up just under 5 tenths in the quarter mile.

Sound
These cams do sound very slightly different than the stock cams. It dose not sound like a heavy cam'd car, but it does have a more aggressive idle tone.
______

Day 1

Well, I didn't get as much time as I would have liked. Got off work late. So I only had about an hour and a half of wrench time. Managed to get pretty well prepped for tomorrow. Hopefully tomorrow the valve covers will be off tomorrow afternoon.

Here is how it started


Next i went ahead and took the shaker off and the intake


I took the throttle body off. Be sure to NOT take off your tps sensor, its the black sensor shown here. Disconnect it, but don't unbolt it form the throttle body. I learned this before when I took it off to polish the stock throttle body (mine is soo shiny and smooth haha) the TPS sensor is a total PITA to get adjusted right if you take it off. So just leave that pos where it is on the throttle body. Unplug the sensor, and call it good.


Next pull the throttle cable back to the WOT position, and take the throttle linkage off by sliding it to the side. The cruise control comes off by just pulling up on it from the position of zero throttle. Take the spring off by pulling it towards the intake manifold side, and sliding it out of the whole. After removing the 4 bolts on the TB, she will come right off. Be careful with the stock gasket. It will likely get damaged and you will need a new one if you've never taken it off before, and you are not running an oil catch can or breather for the pcv system. I'm running a breather on the passenger side, and catch can on the drivers side. So your upper intake and throttle body will be no where near as clean as mine is if your not doing the same.


You don't need to, but I started pulling the entire intake manifold off to give me extra room. I've taken the upper intake manifold off a few times so I knew this wouldn't take long. There are just a few 8mm bolts that hold it down. The EGR was challenging my first time to clear the manifold, but I think its gotten used to being moved aside, so it came off easy.
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Last edited by Mach828; 07-10-2014 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 06-17-2011, 04:25 PM   #2
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Re: Removing Valve Covers and Installing Cobra Cams - A Complete How To With Pics

I went ahead and finished taking the intake manifold off. I wanted to disconnect all the vacuum lines, fuel lines, and anything else that might get in my way. Be careful to not damage the throttle body gasket, or intake manifold gasket.



Dang does that look good. No burnt black oil, just a nice light golden brown.



A few shop towels made for a good block for the upper intake manifold. Taking off the strut tower brace was a bit time consuming. I started disconnected all the pcv system, all the sensors, and the fuel injectors. This way I can move all the wiring harnesses out of my way so they don't piss me off when I'm trying to pull the covers off later. No real process here, just disconnected and moving everything aside.


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Last edited by Mach828; 06-18-2011 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 06-17-2011, 04:26 PM   #3
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Re: Removing Valve Covers and Installing Cobra Cams - A Complete How To With Pics

Alright, so next I went ahead and got to work on actually removing the covers. I was pretty nervous, but it went fairly well.

Your going to want to start disconnected and relocating all the wires. Remove the two fittings for the heater. They have coolant in there, so be careful. It has two tabs, so squeeze them on either side tightly,



Next disconnect the fuel line, get a set of fuel line disconnect tools. You can see from the pic you need to slide it on going towards the passenger side, then it just pulls out.



After you pull the spark plugs, and take off all the bolts around the coil covers and around the cam covers, you are ready to pull it out. Just wiggle it to break the seal. I got the rear cleared then I just slid it forward. Be patient its gonna take a while. Beware of wires and stuff getting in your way. I had to cut off this foam cover on a line next to the shock tower to get it to clear.



But, once it is off, its a beautiful site to see!


Then I started to get ready for the drivers side. I took off the the clutch cable from under the dash, and removed the firewall adjuster. I pulled the throttle and clutch cables off to the side. I took off the pcv on the head too.

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Last edited by Mach828; 06-18-2011 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 06-17-2011, 04:26 PM   #4
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Re: Removing Valve Covers and Installing Cobra Cams - A Complete How To With Pics

Next I took the front sway bar off, and loosened the nut on the engine mount on the passenger side, on the drivers side I took the nut off. I had one jack, and two jack stands as a safety. Since the engine is now off the support, and it is dangerous, especially when your working in a tight space, if it moves it could be the last you see of a lift or finger. So take extra precautions like I did and use jacks, jack stands, and anything you can as a safety net. I put a block of wood between the oil pan and K member, and another between the motor mount and k member. Its probably safer to remove the brake booster and master cylinder, but I didn't want to do that.

Next I took a firm block of wood and raised it up on a jack on the drivers side. I lifted it at the spot were the oil pan bolts are at on the drives side front corner. This allows the engine to tilt high enough to clear the master cylinder and brake booster. Checked how far it had tilted to make sure the engine mount bolt was still lined up with its hole, I also put a metal spacer between the mount and K member in case my wood failed me, that way I wouldn't lose a limb. Be careful to treat the engine as if its could fall or move suddenly. Best to have a friend with you.

Anyways, after some jiggle work and patience. I finally got the bastard off. YAY!



I then decided to just paint my valve covers and call it a day, since everything went well. I'll put the cams in tomorrow and reassemble.
OLD SCHOOL FORD BLUE FTW

For prep I washed it with gas and used rags first, then used some high pressure water, then used comet and soap, more high pressure water, finally used some paint thinner, let them dry, hit it was 3 coats of engine paint primer, then coats of engine ford blue.


.
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.
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Note on the actual cam install process

Make lots of marks to make sure you keep the timing right. I used white out, and marked the crap out of everything to make sure it goes back together correctly. I used wire to keep the timing chains snug, you don't want to slip a tooth down at the crank and start it, and realize you just bent a valve. Take your time!

To actually pull the cams off, its easy to back take off the exhaust cam bolt, then slide the exhaust gear back slightly to allow more chain slack and room. To get more slack, I compressed the chain tensioner by hand, then slide a flat head screw driver in to hold tensioner compressed. Then you are able to lift the intake cam a little bit, and slide it off the intake (secondary) cam gear. Reassemble the same way.

Depending on where the engine stopped, the cam might not want to go in flush right away. This is ok, because the lobes have to push the rockers down, so its going to be tight. Get it lined up the best you can, then use the camshaft retainers to help guide the cam into place, and tighten in the proper pattern and to proper torque specs as supplied in the manual pdf linked at the top of this thread.

If you have any questions feel free to PM me or post on this thread! Thanks!
-Aaron
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Old 06-17-2011, 04:27 PM   #5
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Re: Removing Valve Covers and Installing Cobra Cams - A Complete How To With Pics

Bravo man, good luck! Remember the pictures!
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Old 06-17-2011, 04:39 PM   #6
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Re: Removing Valve Covers and Installing Cobra Cams - A Complete How To With Pics

Sweet. Gonna have dyno #'s before and after? Thx either way. The registry has been getting kinda low on "mod talk" as of late. We need more of this sort of thing.
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Old 06-17-2011, 05:10 PM   #7
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Re: Removing Valve Covers and Installing Cobra Cams - A Complete How To With Pics

I'm looking forward to seeing the how to
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Old 06-17-2011, 05:28 PM   #8
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Re: Removing Valve Covers and Installing Cobra Cams - A Complete How To With Pics

I think red valve covers would be wayy too much for a AB mach I vote wrinkle black! Good luck man
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Old 06-17-2011, 05:33 PM   #9
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Re: Removing Valve Covers and Installing Cobra Cams - A Complete How To With Pics

Mine are black and don't look that great. I think blue would look the best.
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Old 06-17-2011, 05:34 PM   #10
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Re: Removing Valve Covers and Installing Cobra Cams - A Complete How To With Pics

I'm leaning towards blue myself.

And I'll get some dyno numbers afterwards and get a custom tune for E70. We'll see what she does.
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Old 06-17-2011, 05:38 PM   #11
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Re: Removing Valve Covers and Installing Cobra Cams - A Complete How To With Pics

Are you talking AB or ford blue? Either of those would be cool
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Old 06-17-2011, 05:54 PM   #12
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Re: Removing Valve Covers and Installing Cobra Cams - A Complete How To With Pics

Quote:
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Are you talking AB or ford blue? Either of those would be cool
Ford Blue. I have AB paint from painting my termi parts, but its not engine paint. Ford Blue engine paint is like $7 bucks a can
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Old 06-18-2011, 04:17 AM   #13
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Re: Removing Valve Covers and Installing Cobra Cams - A Complete How To With Pics

Had nearly two hours to get started tonight. I took the off intake, strut tower brace, intake manifold, and moved all the wires and vacuum lines out of the way. I also loosened the transmission mount to allow more flex when I tilt the engine tomorrow. With the stock mount you probably wouldn't have to, but I'm running the energy suspension mount which has zero flex in it. It is going smooth thus far. We'll see what happens tomorrow. I didn't touch the spark plugs yet since it was still hot from driving from work. By tomorrow morning everything will be cooled off.
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Old 06-18-2011, 06:08 AM   #14
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Re: Removing Valve Covers and Installing Cobra Cams - A Complete How To With Pics

Man this is awsom. Thanks for taking the time to post this swap up, sure do appreciate it
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Old 06-18-2011, 10:53 AM   #15
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Re: Removing Valve Covers and Installing Cobra Cams - A Complete How To With Pics

before you take the brake booster off I would try to loosen the driver side motor mount maybe the pass side a bit too and see if you can tilt the engine enough to take the cover off without messing with the brake booster. Unless you have already decided to haha, good job so far man.
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Old 06-18-2011, 11:46 AM   #16
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Re: Removing Valve Covers and Installing Cobra Cams - A Complete How To With Pics

Quote:
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before you take the brake booster off I would try to loosen the driver side motor mount maybe the pass side a bit too and see if you can tilt the engine enough to take the cover off without messing with the brake booster. Unless you have already decided to haha, good job so far man.
Ya thats the route I'm going to take. Hopefully won't need to touch that booster.
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Old 06-18-2011, 03:28 PM   #17
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Re: Removing Valve Covers and Installing Cobra Cams - A Complete How To With Pics

After 4 hrs total I've got the passenger side off. I'll post details on the process with good pics later tonight. Drivers side is gonna be tough to clear. Motor mounts are loosened.

I can't believe how clean my top end is looking. I run rotella diesel spec 15w-40 oil. I'll post pic comparisions of the cams later.

Anyways, I'm nervous about pulling the cam out. How do I make sure the timing doesn't get messed up?? Can someone provide details on that tool to keep it in place?

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psnger side valve cover.jpg  
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Old 06-18-2011, 05:48 PM   #18
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Re: Removing Valve Covers and Installing Cobra Cams - A Complete How To With Pics

Well I got it. Drivers side cover is off without removing the brake booster or master cylinder. Just had to tilt the engine, and use a little wiggling and she came off. Wasn't really any more difficult than the passenger side.

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drivers side valve cover.jpg  
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Old 06-18-2011, 07:13 PM   #19
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Re: Removing Valve Covers and Installing Cobra Cams - A Complete How To With Pics

nice man, yeah I knew you could do it lol
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Old 06-18-2011, 07:15 PM   #20
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Re: Removing Valve Covers and Installing Cobra Cams - A Complete How To With Pics

Not bad for a days work
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Old 06-18-2011, 10:53 PM   #21
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Re: Removing Valve Covers and Installing Cobra Cams - A Complete How To With Pics

Day 2 how to is up.

Anyone with advice on actually pulling the cams off? I'm doing it tomorrow.
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Old 06-18-2011, 11:09 PM   #22
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Re: Removing Valve Covers and Installing Cobra Cams - A Complete How To With Pics

The blue covers look great
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Old 06-18-2011, 11:17 PM   #23
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Re: Removing Valve Covers and Installing Cobra Cams - A Complete How To With Pics

have you seen this man? Maybe it can help you out if you havent seen it yet

http://www.svtperformance.com/forums...s-install.html
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Old 06-19-2011, 12:18 AM   #24
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Re: Removing Valve Covers and Installing Cobra Cams - A Complete How To With Pics

subscribing
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Old 06-19-2011, 04:23 PM   #25
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Re: Removing Valve Covers and Installing Cobra Cams - A Complete How To With Pics

Well new cams are in the car. I totally forgot to buy the new cam bolts from Ford, and since today is Sunday, I won't be able to finish until tomorrow. I got too excited

The orange chain rails have 2 of these tiny little fittings, and the top one on each side broke without any force. Luckily I had towels covering all the holes, and they didn't get anywhere they shouldn't have. I would be surprised if anyone else who has does the install hasn't broken the little fittings.

The drivers side cam wasn't too bad, passenger side more challenging. Long as the cam covers go back on smoothly, and timing chains turn smoothly when i test crank the car, it will have been a successful project. Very challenging. But I'd say its at about the same level as doing gears, and a clutch and flywheel.

Hoping after a custom tune running ethanol and a lot of timing I will be at about 320hp. But since I don't care much for dyno numbers, the track is the real determination. Hoping to hit a 12.9 et with our 7,000 DA over here in ABQ

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I was able to get much more clearance by taking of the exhaust side cam bolt, and sliding the cam gear back to give me more chain slack.
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Vortech V2 S-trim, E85, A2A Treadstone, Comp cams, built engine, full exhaust, built rear, built 4r70, more mods.

Tuned by me with SCT Advantage

Last edited by Mach828; 09-18-2011 at 08:15 PM.
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