Ford 390 FE Engine Overhaul


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The cam can only come out after the lifters are out.  In order to get the lifters out, the Valve Covers, Rocker Arm Shafts, Pushrods, Distributor and Intake Manifold must be removed.  Since pushrods go through holes in the Intake Manifold, the sequence needs to be followed in this order.  Then, the Damper Pulley, Sleeve, Water Pump, Timing cover (with Fuel Pump), and Timing Set must be removed. (See TIMING SET REMOVAL.)

At this point, the cam may be pulled out but Cam Removal is much easier if the Crankshaft is out.  These cams are expensive and heavy.  I suggest you have the Crank out for Cam Assembly as well.  There is no sense in galling new Cam Bearings.

Remove the Cam Thrust Plate and all 16 lifters.  If the lifters don't slide out easily work them up and down.  Eventually the varnish will give out then the lifters will come.

There are two ways to remove the cam.  The very easiest way is with the crank removed.  Why?  Because the cam is heavy, very long, and the lobes are sharp enough to cut your hands.  Speed shops sell extensions you can bolt onto your cam nose, so you can use it as a lever.  Since I am doing a major overhaul, I will remove the crankshaft first, and make life easy on myself.

Twist the cam as you pull it out.  If it helps, leave the thrust plate off but put the sprocket back on and twist out.  If the cam still gives you problems, tap the cam from inside the block in a forward motion just behind the distributor gear.

Eventually it will come out.  As it does, carefully 'fish' it out and try not to tear up the cam bearings.


This Cam
was hard coming, so I use Channellocks to twist while I stabilized the cam inside the block.

Finally out.  Cams should install and remove very easily.  This block is going to the machinist for a good align bore.


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