Camshaft is frozen solid on the cylinder head
1990 Dodge Shadow

Camshaft is frozen solid on the cylinder head

(1990 Dodge Shadow)
The cam shaft is not turning but. The harmonic balancer is turning on the block. Can I just replace the cylinder head instead of having to but another engine? Please help!
2 answers & 2 comments
Popular Answer
on January 06, 2014
First you need to find out why the cam seized up! Most likely no oil getting to it and that indicates more engine problems. This is going to have to be looked at to determine your best fix!
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on January 06, 2014
My wife pulled in the driveway prior to discovering the next day that the car would not start. I'm trying to find the cheapest way out, whether to replace the engine or the cylinder head thanks
on January 06, 2014
I understand all that! Remove the cam,, if the head is messe up, then you most likely have an oil pressure issue! Find out why the cam locked-up first and go from there. If you just install another head, you may have the same problem again! It is going to have to be 'seen' before a reasonable decision can be made. Get someone that has prior engine knowledge to help you with it. Ol Joe from down the road or the like.
You are probably looking at another engine!
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on January 06, 2014
First you need to find out why the cam seized up! Most likely no oil getting to it and that indicates more engine problems. This is going to have to be looked at to determine your best fix!
Sign in to reply
on January 06, 2014
My wife pulled in the driveway prior to discovering the next day that the car would not start. I'm trying to find the cheapest way out, whether to replace the engine or the cylinder head thanks
on January 06, 2014
I understand all that! Remove the cam,, if the head is messe up, then you most likely have an oil pressure issue! Find out why the cam locked-up first and go from there. If you just install another head, you may have the same problem again! It is going to have to be 'seen' before a reasonable decision can be made. Get someone that has prior engine knowledge to help you with it. Ol Joe from down the road or the like.
You are probably looking at another engine!
on April 18, 2014
I am aware this is months old, any you may or may not have fixed the problem. But as a thought, have you removed the top cover to reveal the timing belt (two nuts on the valve cover)? If the timing belt is fine, you shouldn't be able to rotate the crank and not the cam, as they are connected via the timing belt...

My best advice, remove the 8 bolts on top of the valve cover where your oil cap is, you may need to replace the gasket if it is destroyed in the removal process. (Some stick, others don't. My 92' 2.2 required a head gasket replacement, and I did it myself in the garage.)

Once you are inside the valve cover, there is only a blast shield sitting on top of the cam to deflect oil, after removing that, you will see the cam. If the bearings look fine, and just the cam is noticeably seized.. Take a penetrating oil, something not Abrasive and spray the carrier barrings, that should allow some play and my only require that.

On the other hand, if your cam is really stuck, in your Haynes (or similar) manual, you have a removal and torque spec requirements for removing and installing the carrier bearings (bearing caps). Note (I didn't remove my bearings, I only loosen the bolts a few turns. But if you see bad corrosion you may need to clean or replace either or both; bearing and cam (if damaged of course).

Either way, I don't see how this could damage the head, even being aluminum if the cam is seized due to lack of lube. at the very worst you may have to go back to TDO ((Top dead center, listen in Haynes manual as #1 piston at the top on exhaust stroke.) via the timing marks on the cam and crank, or also a TDO mark on the flywheel.)) If you find that it is not the timing belt or corrosion, then you may need to disassemble the head under the cam, looking for any bent or broken lifters.

Hope that helps, if this helps you in any way great! If it's done already, I would be interested in knowing what your problem was.
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