Anderson Ford Motorsports Tappet Tool
Anderson Motorsport's tappet tool may look simple, but trust us it is worth its weight in gold. At $60 the savings in time and intake gaskets makes it pay off in one or two cam swaps.

We've taken the manifold off to show you how AFM's Tappet Tool works, however in real life there is no need to remove the manifold. High-powered magnets, placed down the pushrod hole, pull the lifters up enough to slide the cam out.

How many of you have changed a camshaft? Looks like most of you are raising both hands.

Changing cams is one of the core skills of any power addict. Most of us have done more cams than we care to count. We all probably would agree that the worst part of the job is having to pull the intake manifold in order to remove the lifters. With flat tappet lifters this is absolutely necessary, because those lifters cannot be reused. However with roller lifters being reusable it makes it even more irritating that we must pull them out in order to slide in a new camshaft. What if we could simply lift them up enough to get the old cam out and new grind in? It's a thought that has crossed our minds many times, but we've never dwelled on it enough to devise a solution.

Well fortunately the guys at Anderson Ford Motorsport (AFM) did stop to think. Being involved with numerous race engines -their own and their clients', they realized the need to save precious wrenching time while evaluating cams on the dyno, or in a competition situation. Their solution is so ingenious, yet simple, it makes us wonder why we didn't think of it first

Using a high-powered magnet, secured to the end of a long carriage bolt, AFM came up with a clever tool to pull all sixteen lifters high enough in the bore to clear the cam lobes. The intake (lower intake on EFI motors) never comes off. At about $60 for the set, the tool pays for itself in over two hours of labor and gasket costs. It truly is a tool that makes you wonder how you got by without one.

The tool is intended to only be used with roller lifters. Flat tappet lifters should not be reused because they wear a pattern with the cam lobe. Furthermore due to the shorter height of flat-tappet lifters you run the risk of pulling the lifter out of the bore using the magnet tool. With stock roller lifters the tool pulls them up far enough in the bore to clear and standard Windsor base-circle roller cam. If you are using link bar type roller lifters, which usually require removing the heads for removal, this tool provided even more gasket and labor savings.

Follow along as we run through a cam swap on a late model 5.0L fuel-injected motor, with air, smog, and power steering. We'd usually allot six to seven hours to this job, but this tool enabled us to buzz through it in less than four. Continue

1.If you have an EFI motor, like this 5.0L, you'll most likely need to remove the upper intake in order to remove the valve covers. The upper is easy to remove (five or six bolts, vacuum hoses, and the throttle cable bracket) and usually you can reuse the upper to lower gasket. On carbed motors you can obviously skip this step.

2. With the rocker arms and pushrods removed, the magnetic bolts are slipped down the pushrod holes until they catch the lifter.

3. Pull up slightly on the lifter and then spin the wing nut down against guideplate or head. The wingnut simply holds the lifter up off the cam lobe. You only need to lift the lifter one-half inch or so to allow the cam to clear, so don't be tempted to pull the lifter too high -with some lifter/head combos you risk pulling it out of the bore.

4. We've removed the intake to show you how the tool works to pull the lifter up -obviously you don't need to remove the intake since that defeats the point of the tool! An added benefit of the Anderson tappet tool is in the case of Crane's linkbar lifters (shown) which normally require removing the head in order to pull the lifters our for a cam change. Not having to change head gaskets is a $100 savings, and several hours, in itself! Continue
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