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Post Info TOPIC: Cost to Install LT4 Hot CAM


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Cost to Install LT4 Hot CAM


I have a 95 Z28 convertible with LT1 and 6 speed, 4.10 gears and Kooks long tubes, CAI, 160 stat, and PCMforless tune.  I would like to install an LT4 Hot Cam, but want to find a shop to do it.  How many labor hours is that job?  About what will it cost to have it done?

Thanks

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The cost to do such a thing depends on a lot of factors.

(1) Is there anything else that would need to be addressed while in there? Such as ignition problems, distributor ect?

(2) How many mile do you have on your vehicle? Will it need new roller lifters?

(3) Do you have roller rocker arms currently installed? If not, you will need to retrofit the rocker arms to a 1.6 ratio roller rocker arm to get the advertised lift.

The labor hours to install an aftermarket camshaft are not published because the LT1's never came with the roller rocker arms. The conversion process along with adjustment process are usually in addition to book time.

Also important to consider is additionals such as Oil, Filter, valve, timing cover and intake gaskets, along with seals for the distributor, water pump drive and crankshaft. A new timing chain and gears would be advised depending on mileage with a new chain at the minimum. Spark plugs, antifreeze and supplies are all things that can really rack up additional cost. Most all roller rocker arms require aftermarket valve covers to clear the bulk of the new arms.

I would say that "ball park" you could have $1200-$2200 wrapped up in this process and even more if you planned on having the work done by a mechanic. I think a new LT4 hot cam is near the $400 mark itself. Add in rocker arms, lifters, gaskets, fluids, guides and bolts, valve covers and it's easy to see the cost could crest the $2200 mark in just parts depending on what brands you go with; and thats not even including the 10-12 hours in labor!

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Thanks form the reply.  Below is the total LT 4 HOT CAM Kit and price from Scoggin Dickey.  I just have to factor in the 10-12 hours labor.  Car has 93,000 miles and runs extremely well.  Water pump and distributor have been replaced.

Hot Cam Kit for SBC

$569.80
12480002_full.jpg
Part Number: 
12480002
SKU: 12480002
Price: $569.80

This off-highway hydraulic roller camshaft kit has the major valve train components to convert production LT1 engines from showroom stock racing, or hop up your small block Chevrolet V-8 that was originally equipped with a roller tappet camshaft. The 1.6 roller rockers, light weight valve spring caps, special designed valve springs and hot camshaft offers a significant gain in horsepower at a reasonable price. This kit includes the following items:

1 Camshaft (24502586)
16 Roller rocker arms (12370839)
16 Valve springs (12551483)
16 Valve caps (10212808)
16 Valve keys (24503856)
16 Valve spring shims (10212809)

Cam Specs
LSA - 112-degrees

 

 

IntakeExhaust
Lift w/1.6

0.525  

0.525

Dur@ 0.050

218

228



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That is a pretty good price. I have had words with ole' Scroggin Dicky on another forum when he was selling off NOS LT1 engines.

That kit does NOT include everything you need to install it. Sorry to say it's missing guides, head studs and push rods. It's also missing all of the gaskets and seals that would be required, along with the valve covers to clear the bulky roller rocker arms.

You should also know that if that kit has the self aligning roller rocker tips, they were re-called because they came apart and detroyed a lot of engines. Be sure that whoever is selling it is not bleeding off New Old Stock supplies that have been proven to fail. Not many people know about it because the LT4 engine was the only engines that come with roller rocker arms. You could buy Corvette LT4 valve covers or custom cut another set of polished aluminum ones like we do. Some people have hacked up factory covers to clear, but unless you double gasket the sucker, its going to brush the top. Also the supporting must be cut up inside the valve cover and this prevents it from distributing the pressure even, thus making the set up very leak prone.

Dont forget to budget for oil, filter, antifreeze, spark plugs, wires and a distributor if you have 98,000 miles. 

That's a pretty good deal for that LT4 conversion kit. Providing the kit doesnt consist of the failure prone self aligning rocker arms I might even be interested in one of them at that ultra low price. I think that price is about $200-$300 less than list.

Lets do the math, 12 hours X $100 per hour = $1200 + $570 (GMPP LT4 KIT) = $1,700.00 not including gaskets, seals, oil, filter, antifreeze, timing chain, valve covers, pushrod guides, studs, and possible plugs and distributor if your smart and it's looking like your well above $2800.00

I think I just realized why this kit is way underpriced, it does not include the gasket kit like the original ones offered by GMPP. I would question if this kit is being put together buy aftermarket venders of GMPP.  

Keep researching and you will be sure to get the best bang for the buck. Let us know how it all turns out too.

Back in the day we offered complete LT4 clone engines for $3800 complete with heads, re-ground cams, higher compression pistons, head work and all new bearings, rings, pump, seals, gaskets ect. Were still in the process of finishing a few of them up, and I seriously doubt we could ever offer them for sale at that cost again.

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One more thing to consider with that kit is the fact it comes with valve springs. That means in order to do the job right you would have to pull the heads! This would add about 8 more hours worth of labor.



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I just realized the question about how much to convert and LT1 to LT4 upper end specs has been asked and answered in the past.

Here is the link.

http://autotrend.activeboard.com/forum.spark?aBID=91042&p=3&topicID=16108060

The dollar amount came in a hair under $3400 doh



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My LT1 mechanic is very knowledgible and according to the other forums, it looks like I can use my factory push rods and factory press-in studs are fine also.  These are self aligning rocker arms.  I was un-aware of any issues with them coming apart.  I will do some more research on that.  My factory roller lifters should be fine.  I plan on purchasing a new timing set.  That is not cheap!!  May try E-bay.

To the person who replied regarding replacing the valve springs.  I have replaced several by pulling the plugs one at a time and installing a screw in fitting that fits to my air compresser.  Anything above 60psi, holds the valve up nicely until you can compress the spring and replace it.

As far as valve covers, I have had 2 guys tell me that they did not have interference with the rocker arms.  I like the idea of finding LT4 covers though.  I just dont want to pay for them if they are unnecessary.

Fel-Pro makes a gasket set for a cam change - Summit Racing -



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Sounds like you are well on your way to getting er' done!

I agree you can pressurize the cylinder to replace the valve springs, however it will be a pain in the ass given the ultra low stance of the Camaro. It's going to be a back breaker for anyone that has to do this job, regardless what path they take, outside of droping the engine out the bottom and you might find some mechanics will require this.

Not a lot of shops will perform performance work, let alone break their backs to save you labor cost.

The timing cover kit will not be enough seals. The intake has to come off if you are replacing the cam even if you do use your old push rods and lifters, which I do not recommend doing if your installing a brand new cam. So you will need an intake kit, and anyone that installs new spings without replacing at least the valve seals is asking for trouble. You should have one converted solid lifter to check for valve binding. Sometimes you have to shim the spring. What I am saying is most people will agree that at almost 100K miles a head job is in order. No pun intended.

Let us know how it goes. I am a big fan of photos and progress!

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I would love to install a Stage I head/cam package from Lloyd Elliot.  I have a set of nice cores with the casting # he requires off a 94 Z28.  It's all about budget though.  I do everything with cash.....no credit!!

Thank you for all your help and advice.  You have certainly helped me to be aware of some things that I didn't think about before!  If I pursue this project, I will post my progress to this website.

Thanks Again!
Toolman

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toolman wrote:

 

My LT1 mechanic is very knowledgible and according to the other forums, it looks like I can use my factory push rods and factory press-in studs are fine also.  These are self aligning rocker arms.  I was un-aware of any issues with them coming apart.  I will do some more research on that.  My factory roller lifters should be fine.  I plan on purchasing a new timing set.  That is not cheap!!  May try E-bay.

Your LT1 mechanic should know that only cast iron LT1 heads had the press in studs. All of the aluminum heads have the studs. I myself do not like the self aligning rockers arms due to the lack of support. You could get away with using the lifters and if you plan on going that way you might as well just buy a chain and used the existing timing gears.

To the person who replied regarding replacing the valve springs.  I have replaced several by pulling the plugs one at a time and installing a screw in fitting that fits to my air compresser.  Anything above 60psi, holds the valve up nicely until you can compress the spring and replace it.

Yes I can not count how many individual springs I have replaced using compressed air, however if it were my car I would pull the heads and do it right. Valve seals, a little port and polish and I would have the heads milled 10-20 thousandths.

As far as valve covers, I have had 2 guys tell me that they did not have interference with the rocker arms.  I like the idea of finding LT4 covers though.  I just dont want to pay for them if they are unnecessary.

Thats VERY interesting. Clearance IS an issue with the stock valve covers after installing roller rocker arms. Take my word for it, this ain't my first rodeo.
 
Fel-Pro makes a gasket set for a cam change - Summit Racing -

I am a big fan of Fel-Pro, even if their distribution network sucks. It's fucked up when the main headquarters is in my back yard, yet I am stuck buying from other vendors because of policy. You don't even want to know what their manditory per year purchase amount is. None the less the quality of Fel-Pro gaskets have been stellar. 

I have several photos of the cam change process. Would you like me to post them?


 



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