I have been itching to get my camshaft replaced in my 2002 Dodge
Cummins ever since I saw the article in Diesel Power magazine. I
researched it and made an appointment with DynoMite Diesel in Monroe,
to get it done. I also needed some better injectors because the ones I
was using gave me really bad Idle and I needed to upgrade to something
bigger due to my recent twin turbo installation. DynoMite Diesel
specializes in injectors and acually hones and balances their own
nozzles. I chose their 150HP Injectors.
Camshaft that I chose for this project was from Diesel Dynamics in
Nevada. I have only heard good things about their camshaft and their
camshafts are new, not regrounds. Another sweet thing about Diesel
Dynamic's Camshaft is that it comes with the gear already mounted to
it. Having the gear already mounted to Cam saves the mechanic a lot of
time in the process.
Mechanic working on our truck today is Mike. Mike has been working with
diesels for several years now. I really appreciated the care and detail
he put into working on my truck. He really payed attention to the
little things and did not rush anything for the sake of getting the job
done fast. The operation went smoothly and no time was wasted.
first step that was taken was putting protective liner on the sides of
my truck right outside of the engine compartment to keep anyone leaning
over my truck from scratching it. The next step in the camshaft upgrade
is to drain the coolant, remove the bumper, intercooler and radiator to
give complete exposure to the front of the engine. The head cover is
then pulled and the rockers removed.
Before the gear and camshaft are pulled
out, each of the tappets must carefully be lifted up by sticking wooden
dowels in the centers and holding them up with clothes pins. There are other ways of replacing the
camshaft, but this is the most efficient way to do it. Great care must
be taken though, if any one of the dowels or tappets fall while the
camshaft is being pulled, they fall into the engine or oil pan and
removing them is a big deal. It is really important to make sure that
the wooden dowels are not worn out so that they will hold well.
The front engine cover gets taken off to expose the gears. The big gear
in the middle of the picture is the gear with the camshaft connected to
that will be removed. Mike took great care in removing the gear without
forcing it so that none of the dowels or tappets fell. This process is
almost like watching a locksmith pick a safe. Mike has never had a
tappet or dowel fall in all the camshaft installations he has done but
we all still hold our breath while the camshaft is out.
round tray that you see in the picture is placed in where the camshaft
was. One by one, each dowel is lowered onto the tray and the tappet
pulled out with a magnet. Using the same tray, a system of strings and
springs, the new tappets are pulled through the engine on the tray into
their positions. Each of the new tappets is then held in place with a
wooden dowel and clothes pin. Before the new tappets are installed,
Mike places them in a foil tray and makes sure they are completely
covered in oil.
for the moment we have all been waiting for! The new Camshaft is oiled
and gently installed the same way it was removed. The gear on the end
of the camshaft has little dots on each side that must line up with the
dots on the gears to the right and left. For the picture, we added some
white dots where the real ones are so you can see them better. If you
look through the bean shaped hole in the gear you can see the spacer
that Mike put back there. The spacer keeps the Camshaft from moving
back and forth. The Cam bolt in the middle of the gear gets tightened
to 85 Ft/Lbs.
that the camshaft is installed, each of the tappets can now be lowered
back on to the cam and the dowels and pins removed. The old gasket
material is stripped from the front of the engine block and front
engine cover and new gasket material is installed on the cover. The
cover is then put back on the front of the engine and bolted on. The
rockers are put back in the same order that they were removed and
tightened to 27 Ft/Lbs of torque.
radiator, intercooler and bumper is now back on and we put the coolant
back in the radiator. They dont always do oil changes at the same time,
but I figured it wouldnt hurt and I'm due for an oil change anyways.
For the oil change I brought 12 quarts of AMSOIL 15W-40. While my pan
was draining, Mike installed my fresh off the press 150HP injectors.
it was all said and done, Mike brought the truck out of the shop and
let the truck idle at 1500RPM for 15 Minutes. This allows the new
Camshaft to break in.
took the truck and went for a test drive, and wow, I definitely noticed
the difference. Nothing quite as amazing as adding a 120HP chip, but
the whole truck just seemed to run better. Between the new Camshaft, my
new Dyno-Mite 150HP injectors, and my new twin turbos from BD Power,
the truck just sailed smooth. At any given time I can break the back
tires loose, but with me, I would rather not and just know that I can.
almost makes me sad that I dont tow for a living because the truck is
so setup for it now. The EGT's on average are 200 degrees lower, and
the cool thing is I have a hard time bringing it over 1000 degrees now
when I floor it. Even going up a grade on the freeway, and punching it,
I have a hard time going over 1000 degrees. Before the camshaft
upgrade, I would have a hard time staying under 1000 degrees doing
As far as my fuel economy goes, I'm getting about 2 more MPG better if I keep my foot out of it.
Cummins Forum Truck now has 456 RWHP, and 910 Ft/Lbs of torque without
any chemicals. Dyno-Mite Diesel did a great job on my truck and I would
definitely recommend them to anyone looking to get new injectors or the
Camshaft upgrade. They do really thorough, good, clean work and on
things like replacing camshafts and injectors, you cant afford not to