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Discussion Starter #1
Guys,
I have been searching a bit - What's the general procedure to replace a worn camshaft in a BRM ?

Specifically, how does the camshaft come out of the head? Do the bearing caps unbolt and let the camshaft come straight up? I assume the lifters would pop right out too. Is there anything finicky about the injectors and their rocker arms?


I had the camshaft cover off my friend's BRM today and saw a bad lobe (and early silver lifters) but I neglected to pay attention to how it could be removed. Ideally with the head in place and engine still in the car :)


TIA!
 

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If the bearing cams are removed the cam could come up but it won't because the end is slotted into the tandem pump and the camshaft pulley will catch on the head. You may be able to twist it around but the right way is to remove the cam pulley first and the best way is to use the advanced method in the FAQ article so that you don't have to remove the tandem pump (to avoid opening the fuel system). The lifters come right out.

The full article is here: http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/multi/camshaft-inspection-replace-vw-tdi.htm
 

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Awesome! That is a huge help. Keeping the head on, and the tandem pump in place will be a huge win.

Using the advanced method, is it possible to remove the camshaft with the pulley in place, or is it absolutely mandatory that the pulley come off first ?

What is the rule of thumb on reusing timing belts? ~10k on this timing belt. Is it safe to reuse, or must it be replaced ?

Any recommended vendors for cam kit packages? (cam, bearings, bolts, lifters) ?
 

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there are 2 procedures to do this. The standard procedure and the modified procedure which includes drilling of the cam caps and head. If you do the modified procedure it MAY help prevent this from ever happening again. Now a word of caution with either procedure. If you do not have the tools or are not familiar with these engines, I suggest you take it to someone who is. If you are going to do the drilling procedure and you are the least bit hesitant or unsure, take it to someone.

If you are going to do it yourself, I strongly suggest you purchase some assembly lube, ZDDP additive and 2 oil filters with some break in oil. Frank's tdi's in Missouri has a good kit as does Bora parts in Oregon. Frank modifies his bearings for more oiling in conjunction with the drilling procedure. Frank will supply the break in oil and assembly lube upon request. They are also available from Amsoil and Royal Purple. After the initial break in of 2500 rpm for 1/2 hour, change the oil and filter. I suggest you put more break in oil in with the ZDDP additive and drive 500 miles. At that point change it to a 5-40 505.01 oil such as Pentosin HP2 or Lubro-molly high tech diesel. Do not use a 5-30 oil in these ever. Drive 2500 miles and change it again. At this point you can go back to the 10k interval. Frank has a nice performance cam for these as well but it is meant to be used with other mods.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Much appreciated.

I am a noob here but I have spent plenty of time wrenching on less annoying engines. Pretty familiar with the PD/BRM as I did the timing belt with no issues. Now that I see how the cam comes out (no need to pull the head, or engine!) it looks pretty straightforward. I have no reservations with doing the swap.

I've been using 5w40 505-01 religiously. Now you have me wondering, I thought the assembly lube that I typically use has ZDDP. I'll check and be sure to use some wen reassembling with the new cam and lifters.
 

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congrats on the cam swap, i am consider tempting mine. the timing belt looks like a pain. where did u buy your cam kit from? did u have all the special tools listed in the DIY?
 

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Hi
I am new here, and have problems with worn camlobes on my AVF PD-engine. I wonder what torque to use when re-fitting the cam?
 

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Hi folks,

I recently purchased a 2006 Jetta TDI with the BRM engine. I'm almost certain my cam is gone as I have a ticking or clicking noise on acceleration as well as when I rev the engine. Brought into a dealer and they said cam, but didn't actually look at lobes. Maybe I haven't read enough here but I'm contemplating doing the procedure myself. My question is tooling. Do I need a lot of special tooling and if so is there any cost effective alternates rather than purchasing from VW? I have average mechanical skills and am not afraid of a good challenge. If you can offer some advice I'd appreicate it.
 

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PD rig not sure if you ever got an answer but i used the BEW cam kit for my BRM from Bora parts. That what they recommended, i slapped it in this past weekend and it worked out great . I have 250K on my 06 jetta. I got the Gibbs break in oil as well. Guys at Bora were very helpful and a good price. Thanks to Chitty and his post on how to do the CAM swap it all went smoothly. Never could have done it with out the great instructions that were posted here.
Here is the link to the cam kit.
http://shopping.boraparts.com/product_info.php?products_id=216
 

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For what it's worth, I replaced my camshaft + lifters last summer and the car runs great! I would advise anyone doing this the first time to set aside plenty of time and have a spare car to drive in case you get stuck. This is definitely a job you don't want to rush! Be especially careful to make sure the pump drive slot is vertical when you loosen the caps to remove the camshaft. The camshaft has to come straight up or you could break the drive dog on the pump. I bought all myparts at Pelican Parts: Kolbenschmidt camshaft and INA black nitride lifters. My cam lobes and lifters were very worn at 100k mi.
 

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Timing belt time again at 200K. This time the cam shaft has a worn lobe so I will be changing the cam shaft this time as well. No holes worn in lifters. Researching cam shafts I have found what boils down to just a couple of manufactures that their cams are re-branded and sold as several popular names. I have "read on the internet" that billet cams are harder however the chamfer is reduced thus less lobe material to make contact with the lifter translating to faster wear. Has anyone researched or determined which is best replacement for the long run, billet or cast? Is there a camshaft that is considered longer wearing or a better than? Not looking for performance increase, just to squeak out as many miles as possible before having to replace this again.

Thanks
 

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I think the issue is a steep, narrow, lobe and thin oil. A more gradual lobe ramp and slightly thicker oil should help max out cam life, but beyond that, we need more data or testing.
 

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Has anyone researched or determined which is best replacement for the long run, billet or cast? Is there a camshaft that is considered longer wearing or a better than?
I did a lot of reading on this topic, and I don't think there's much difference in longevity between the BRM stock replacement cams in billet vs cast. In all the reading I did do, I did not come across any mention of the lobe chamfer being reduced, so I can't comment on that either way. As far as I understand it, the two upper shelf replacement BRM cams are either from Frank's TDI's or Colt Cams. Pretty much everything else is a stock replacement.

If your original stock cam lasted 200k miles, I would certainly have no issue going with another stock replacement. Break it in properly, use good oil, and theoretically, it should last longer than the original.

I ended up going with a complete BRM cam replacement kit from IDparts when they were on sale. I believe it was advertised as an Estes brand billet cam, but what was delivered was an AMC brand complete kit. As I understand it, AMC cams are Estes cams. The kit came with (8) black nitrided lifters, cam cap bolts, injector rocker bolts, tandem pump gasket, and cam bearings.

BTW, a tip of the hat to this website...I used the BRM cam how-to on here and it was a snap. I used the shortcut method and left the tandem pump intact. I also used the shortcut method to install the timing belt...left the motor mount, coolant reservoir, and fuel filter all in place. That saves some time and reduces the wear and tear on the mount bolts imho.

Also, pay close attention to the injector rocker oil plugs as mentioned in the write up. I found two of mine completely popped out, and a third half way out. Luckily the two missing plugs were close by;).

The write-ups and how-to's on here are outstanding.

Just 2 cents worth from a guy that just finished a BRM cam replacement a couple days ago.
 

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Does anyone have the special tools needed to do the camshaft replacement for a BRM. They are around $100 and I'm wondering if someone would sell/loan me theirs.

Also, what special tools are they exactly? Seems that people differ on opinions and I'm confused on what I need.
 

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Some of the camshaft replacement kits come with the tools - which basically include a cam locking pin and an crankshaft alignment tool for retiming. Beyond that, a puller is beneficial but not truly needed for the camshaft pulley. (I had a puller but ordered a VW kit that had it as well and used the one from the kit.)
 
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