AEM Cam Gear and HKS Cam installation 2003 Lancer Evolution VIII
This article will show you the process of installing adjustable cam gears and HKS cams in 2003 Lancer Evolution VIII followed up by a trip to the dyno tuned by Shiv of Vishnu.
AEM Adjustable Cam Gears and HKS Cam Shaft Installation
This article will show you the process of installing adjustable cam gears and HKS camshafts in 2003 Lancer Evolution VIII followed up by a trip to the dyno. This is not meant as a step by step tech article. We just want to show you what it takes to install these products and what kind of horse power numbers to expect.
Here is a shot of the new AEM Tru-Time cam gears for the Evolution VIII.
Start off by removing everything attached to the valve cover.
Next you’ll have to remove the upper timing belt cover to reveal the cam gears.
Remove the front passenger wheel to gain access to the crank pulley. Before you remove the cams gears you’ll need to set them at Top Dead Center. It’s best to rotate the engine from the crank pulley. Also if you remove the spark plugs it makes it a lot easier to spin the crank.
Take a 1/2 inch drive extension and insert into the center of the crank pulley. Turn the pulley clockwise until cam gear markings line up with the TDC marks on the valve cover.
This is a shot showing the cams gears at TDC (Top Dead Center). Take notice o the painted mark lining up with the mark on the valve cover.
This is a picture of the valve cover and all accessories removed.
Next we must remove the cam gear bolts. This picture shows the spot to hold the cam in place using a 26 mm open end wrench.
Use some zip ties to tie the belt securely to the cam gears. You do not want the belt losing it’s position.
Pictured here is the timing belt tensioning tool. This tool will release the tension on the timing belt so the cam gears can come off. You can pick this up from Amazon. It’s about $50.00 and well worth it.
Remove the rubber plug and insert your tensioning tool. It’s a good idea to lube the thread with a little oil and turn the tool very slowly. If you turn it too fast it could snap.
Once the tension has been released you can see the belt start to raise up.
Be careful to keep tension on the timing belt when removing the gears. You don’t want it to skip a tooth on the balance shaft or crank pulley. We wire tired the whole assembly to the A/C hoses to keep it in place.
At the end of the cam shaft closet to the front there is a cam angle sensor. You’ll have to remove the plate to get to the bolt that holds the cam shaft in place.
Using your open ended 26 mm wrench grab a hold of the camshaft on the left side on the holding point. On the right side use a breaker bar to loosen up the bolt holding the cam angle sensor. A universal joint will come in handy at this point.
This is a picture of the cam angle sensor. Once you remove it you’ll have to scrape off all the old sealant.
You must remove the cam bearing caps next. These have to be removed in the correct order, start on the outside caps and criss cross to the middle. Continue the criss cross pattern a few turns a time on each bolt.
Here are the new HKS 272 cams. It’s very important to put the end caps back in the same spot they were removed. It’s best to just lay them out on your workbench in the order that you removed them.
Apply assembly lube to the cam journals and lobes.
When you replace the seal make sure to apply some clean engine oil on the inner ring. After you press the seal back onto the cam make sure to apply some sealant around the edges, Make sure the head is clean and all the old sealant has been removed.
Re-install the cam bearing caps in the reverse order that you removed them. Be sure to take your time and go slow. You can torque these down to 14 or 15 pounds.
Here is a picture of the AEM Tru-Time Adjustable cam gears. For now we set them at 0. Make sure to torque these down to 15 foot pounds.
Cut the wire tires on one of the cam gears and carefully replace it with the new cam gear, remember to keep constant tension on the belt. You must have the cam gear in the same position on the belt as the previous cam gear. If it is off it can cause serious problems. Just repeat for the other side. Apply new wire ties to hold the new cam gear in place.
Torque the center cam gear bolts to 65 foot pounds and remove the tension tool.
Before re-installing the valve cover make sure to apply sealant around the cam angle sensor.
Once everything has been double checked make sure to rotate the motor at least 3 times and check your TDC marks on the valve cover. If everything lines up correctly you’re done.
We brought the car to Vishnu Tuning to get a custom tune and also have the cam gears adjusted.
We spent the day at Vishnu and had Shiv work his magic on the car. We had the car dyno’d at Vishnu in January with only a Works P2 Flash. It put down 221 hp to the wheels. This time it was dyno’d with a 3″ Helix turbo back exhaust, Perrin test pipe, HKS 272 intake and exhaust cams and AEM adjustable cam gears.
Without any tuning and the cam gears set to 0, it averaged 245 hp after 5 pulls. Shiv was able to make 265 hp from tuning alone. He then adjusted both cam gears to -2 and picked up another 7 hp bringing the car up to a total of 272 hp.
We feel this article shows the importance of proper tuning. We were surprised by how much the cam gears can help not only with making horsepower but also smoothing out the idle. On this same dyno adjustable cam gears have shown a 20 hp increase to the wheels on a stock Evo.
We would really like to thank Shiv at Vishnu for putting so much time into the car. We highly recommend Vishnu, we felt that Shiv treated the car as his own and he is very enthusiastic about making power and making it safely. You can check out Vishnu’s site at http://www.vishnutuning.com
Disclaimer: This is only for theoretical educational use. Please consult your factory service manual for official guidelines. Attempt at your own risk..