Those of you with cams installed by shop

I have been saving for cams for a while now, cms stage 2 n/a's if you are wondering, and I almost have enough for everything I will need. However my preferred installer is asking $750 for install does that seem to pricey? The guy does amazing work but I want to get this done asap so when the track opens up I can have some fun. Installing myself is not an option I simply do not know enough to do internal work like that. Just wondering if I should look around for cheaper prices or if this price is about normal, cause like I said I like this guys work and I trust him but 750 just breaks the bank right now.
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Mar 30, 2005
Dallas, TX
Yeah, the prices I was quoted for doing a cam and valve spring install were so high it's what made me start learning to do my own work. The cam swap is really not hard at all, but the valve spring install... :notnice: For that, I'd honestly prefer to pull the motor, then remove the heads and do the springs on a bench. Doing them in the car (which I spent about 6 hours on with a friend) was about the most frustrating and infuriating thing I have ever done.


Jan 30, 2009
Honestly, I know you hate to hear it, if you ever plan on getting head work done - either porting or new pieces, wait and do it all at once. You will save a ton of money, basically you will get the cams and springs installed and tuned for free since the heads have to come off and a new tune applied anyway.

If you want a set of cams now, get a set of stage ones that don't require springs or a tune. A reputable shop will have the special tool to install the cam while retaining the timing chain in place. It cuts the install time down to about three hours. All you need to do is remove the cam covers and unbolt the cam caps. Most shops will charge less than $300 dollars to do it.


10 Year Member
Oct 30, 2008
i may be wrong, but i heard the hitech stage2 cams work with stock springs. personally i would change the springs for the added insurance but if your trying to save money... also, anderson ford motorsports sells a timing chain tool that lets you change the cams w/o pulling the front cover i think its somewhere around $40, and you can do the swap your self. There are write ups in the forum that explain how to do it. We are talking a 3 or 4 hour job. Its really not that complicated.


Founding Member
Jun 5, 2002
Tuscaloosa, AL
The timing chain wedge is a huge time saver if all you're doing is changing cams - removing the timing cover and all the timing components sounds simple, and for the most part it is, but it's very time consuming and the opportunities for putting things back together wrong increases a lot. I wish I'd known about it when I did my PI cams.

Changing the springs (or valve stem seals for those of you with smoky motors) in the car is a major pain in the butt but it can be done. The valve spring retainer locks are tricky to get back in to place - there's not a lot of room to maneuver around in there between the cams, bearing towers and caps. Replacing them with the cams out of the way would be a lot easier but I haven't been able to confirm that a regular OHV valve spring compressor will fit down in there.


New Member
Nov 1, 2008
You will need to change the springs if you go with CMS stage 2 cams. There is no way around that, it has a .560 intake lift and .575 exhaust lift, stock springs WILL fail. But yes $750 for cam snd spring swap is very reasonable.
I could probably do the cams but I have no clue what I'm doing with the springs so I'll just have the shop do it, just checking if that was a solid price. I know about the hitechs and that I could sue stage 1's but I would rather do the stage 2's and the springs, it will take me longer to save up for it but atleast I will be happy with it.