Dear Scotty, I have a 90 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera with the 2.5L 4 cylinder engine and 357,000 miles. It has meshed timing gears rather than a timing chain or belt. Recently the cam gear stripped on it and the engine simply stopped running. It is a non-interference engine so no additional damage occurred when this happened. I want to replace the cam gear. Have you done this on one of these? It is in a difficult location. Articles I have read say to pull the engine and then take the camshaft out to replace the cam gear on it. It is pressed on. Is there any way to replace the cam gear without pulling the engine, and to leave the camshaft alone - or do I have to do it the way the articles say? Also, the cam gear is this fiber micarta material. I can get an aluminum cam gear, but that would mesh with the steel crank gear. Is it better to use a fiber cam gear again or switch to an aluminum gear? I know this is ridiculously high mileage, but it's the best car I've ever owned. I never had any trouble with the transmission ever, and never had a problem with the engine until now - so I want to fix it. Thanks Scotty!
From Edmunds Forums, and I quote: "The cam gear is a fibre gear with a steel hub, that is pressed onto the cam. Usually the cam gear comes apart around 100-120K miles. It is a major bear to replace. If it is attempted to replace the cam gear without pulling the cam (usually have to pull the engine), most times when the new cam gear is driven on, it pushes the rear cam cap gasket and causes a leak. Not good."