When we finished last, the head was put onto the block. In this chapter,
the camshafts and timing belt will be installed. Doing this requires
that everything be lined up correctly. This is an easy process, right?
Here's the head with all 16 rocker arms installed. I had 3 heads to pick
from for this engine. I used the 89 Integra head with the 87 Integra
rockers since they were in better shape. My plan was to mix and match
using the 89 Integra head, the 89 ZC cams, and the 87 Integra rockers.
The JDM ZC cams drop right into this head. The JDM ZC is basically the
japanese version of the 86-89 Integra engine. It makes ~135 hp vs 118hp
for Integra. I was planning on using the ZC camshafts.
Here are the AEM adjustable cam gears. Since the head now sits about .035"
closer to the block (due to decking/milling), the camshaft timing will be
altered. Cam gears allow me to adjust for this in addition to being a valuable
tuning tool. With the turbo installed, the ability to dial in/out overlap
will be a valuable asset.
Here is the trusty Helms manual that illustrates that locking the cams
at TDC using two 5mm punches is the way to line things up. 5mm punches
are not easy to find, so I used two #9 drill bits. The shank measured
As you can see, something is seriously outta whack here. These are the ZC
cams installed with the AEM gears. The Helms manual says that when the cams
are locked at TDC via the 5mm punches and the timing marks on the gears
(at 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock) are lined up, everything is in the correct
spot. However, in this position both cams are off by 9 degrees! Time
to start swapping parts...
Here is the winning combination. These are the 89 Integra cams in the
89 Integra head using the 89 Integra cam gears. The cams are at TDC and
the timing marks (at 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock) line up correctly.
Knowing that the gears and head were correct, I installed the ZC cams
and hoped that they would line up. Unfortunately, they do not. I did some
research on this and apparently Honda did things a little different with
the ZC. Since I wanted to make sure that I could accurately measure
everything, I decided not to use the ZC cams. Any loss in power
due to using the Integra cams will be made up for via my boost controller.
Knowing that the stock Integra camshaft gears were correct, I decided
to compare them to the AEM gears to make sure that the markings were
correct. Side by side, everything looks right...
With all those teeth on the cam gears, a quick glance can be deceiving. So,
I looked closer and counted teeth. The AEM cam gears are marked wrong!
Unfortunately, AEM is the only company that "makes" cam gears for the 86-89
Integra, so I don't really have the option of returning these gears and
getting another brand (I wish I did). I chose to just make marks on the cam
gears that showed the correct location of the timing marks.
Since the camshafts are a long way from the oil pump and will be rotated
several times during the process of tensioning the timing belt and
adjusting the valves, plenty of assembly lube was used on the rocker arm
pads, camshaft lobes, and cam bearing journals.
Here we are after everything has been aligned correctly.
Before buttoning things up, a valve adjustment had to be done. This
is the Snap-On tool. It's basically a wrench and a screwdriver in one.
Valve adjustment is accomplished by turning a screw that increases/decreases
the distance from the rocker arm pad to the camshaft lobe. The bolt is
then secured via a jam nut. This tool makes it possible to hold the screw
while tightening the nut. The same can be accomplished with a 12mm wrench
and screwdriver, the but adjustment tool makes the job much easier.
It's almost done! This is how she sits until next time...
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