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Pelican Technical Article:

Camshaft Cover Removal

Steve Vernon

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$8 to $20

Talent:

***

Tools:

8mm, 6mm short and long Allen, 10mm wrench

Applicable Models:

Porsche 944 Turbo (1986-89)

Parts Required:

New seals

Hot Tip:

Make sure engine is at Top Dead Center

Performance Gain:

Proper engine operation

Complementary Modification:

New belts

The design of the 8 valve Porsche 944 engine differs from most engines when it comes to the valve cover. Unlike traditional designs where there is a separate valve cover that just covers the valve train and can be removed to service the valve train and camshaft(s) the "valve cover" on the 8 valve 944 motors actually houses the camshaft and lifters. Removal is not difficult but does involve more work than that of a traditional motor.

To remove the camshaft housing you will first need to remove the fuel rail (red arrow).
Figure 1

To remove the camshaft housing you will first need to remove the fuel rail (red arrow). Please see our article on fuel rail removal for additional information.

You will also need to remove the distributor cap (red arrow) and the timing and balance shaft belts behind the front cover (red arrow).
Figure 2

You will also need to remove the distributor cap (red arrow) and the timing and balance shaft belts behind the front cover (red arrow). Please see our article on these procedures for further assistance.

With the timing belt removed the cam sprocket should be set at Top Dead Center (green arrow).
Figure 3

With the timing belt removed the cam sprocket should be set at Top Dead Center (green arrow). The cam sprocket (red arrow) and the distributor housing (yellow arrow) will come off with the camshaft housing. We had removed the cam sprocket and distributor housing to repair the camshaft oil seal but you DO NOT need to remove the sprocket to remove the camshaft housing.

Use an 8mm Allen and remove the six plugs or cover screws in the top of the camshaft housing (red arrow).
Figure 4

Use an 8mm Allen and remove the six plugs or cover screws in the top of the camshaft housing (red arrow). Make sure to "wake up these bolts by seating the socket firmly and fully in the bolt head and then giving them a tap or two with a hammer.

You will need a long 6mm Allen to remove the Allen bolts below the openings in the housing.
Figure 5

You will need a long 6mm Allen to remove the Allen bolts below the openings in the housing. Try not to use a socket on an extension, as you do not want it falling off inside the camshaft housing. Make sure to "wake up these bolts by seating the socket firmly and fully in the bolt head and then giving them a tap or two with a hammer. You do NOT want to strip these bolts inside of the housing.

Make sure you get both the bolt and the washer out when removing.
Figure 6

Make sure you get both the bolt and the washer out when removing.

There is a bracket at the rear of the housing that holds an electrical port.
Figure 7

There is a bracket at the rear of the housing that holds an electrical port. Use a 10mm wrench and remove the bracket form the housing (red arrow).

Before removing the lower bolts, it is a good idea to get the power steering reservoir out of the way.
Figure 8

Before removing the lower bolts, it is a good idea to get the power steering reservoir out of the way. Use a flathead screwdriver and loosen the clamp holding it in place. Slide the reservoir up and out of the way; there is no need to drain it. There are nine bolts that hold the bottom of the housing to the head (yellow arrows) and two of the bolts hold the coolant line (green arrows). You will need a combination of long and short 6mm Allen's to remove these.

Make sure to wake up these bolts by seating the socket firmly and fully in the bolt head and then giving them a tap or two with a hammer.
Figure 9

Make sure to "wake up" these bolts by seating the socket firmly and fully in the bolt head and then giving them a tap or two with a hammer. You do NOT want to strip these bolts as the previous owner of our project car tried to do (red arrow).

Removing the housing is a bit tricky and better handled if you can get a friend to help.
Figure 10

Removing the housing is a bit tricky and better handled if you can get a friend to help. The lifters sit inside the camshaft housing and will want to fall out when removing the housing (red arrow). If you are reusing the lifters you will want to keep them in order and at the very least make sure they do not fall out into the engine or on the floor. Tilt the head back as you remove it, making every effort to keep the lifters in place.

Remove the old gasket from the head (red arrow).
Figure 11

Remove the old gasket from the head (red arrow).

Make sure to clean the housing and head (red arrow) mating surfaces well.
Figure 12

Make sure to clean the housing and head (red arrow) mating surfaces well. Do not use anything metal on the matting surfaces. Plastic and Scothbrite cleaners are good to use. Make sure when installing the new gasket that it is oriented correctly so as not to block the oil passages.

When getting ready to install the housing it can be a good idea to place a little grease or assembly lube on the lifters (red arrow) to help hold them in place while you install the housing back on the head.
Figure 13

When getting ready to install the housing it can be a good idea to place a little grease or assembly lube on the lifters (red arrow) to help hold them in place while you install the housing back on the head.

Make sure the camshaft mark (red arrow) is lined up with the TDC mark on the distributor housing (yellow arrow) before installing the housing.
Figure 14

Make sure the camshaft mark (red arrow) is lined up with the TDC mark on the distributor housing (yellow arrow) before installing the housing. Failure to do this will cause the cam to try and force some valves down onto the pistons and can result in damage.

Place the valve housing on the head making sure it lines up with the alignment pins.
Figure 15

Place the valve housing on the head making sure it lines up with the alignment pins. The housing will not sit flush on the head as the cam will be trying to push down some of the valves; this is normal and the cam sprocket may move slightly while you are tightening everything down but that is normal and OK. When installing the bolts, try placing a small amount of grease to the end of the 6mm Allen. This will help hold the bolts in place while getting them inside the housing. There is no official tightening sequence but make sure to tighten the fasteners in an order that pulls the cover down onto the head evenly.

Do not forget to install the crush washers on the cover bolts or you will get oil leaks (red arrow).
Figure 16

Do not forget to install the crush washers on the cover bolts or you will get oil leaks (red arrow). Installation of the rest is the reverse of removal.

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