1st Gen FTW - It's AutoMedic!
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Garrison, ND
That is also what I discovered (the Ross method).
However, I wonder if someone with the cam tool, AND with a parts engine (or just an engine in some stage of dis-assembly) could do an experiment for us. If you take an installed cam and cam gear, and install the tool - then mark the head and cam gear in (called Mark #1) some fashion to indicate the alignment of the cam gear to the head. Then, remove the tool and rotate the came to let it 'detent' out in a neutral position - then mark the head/cam gear relative to each other again (called Mark #2). Then remove the cam gear. Since the cam is in a neutral detent, it shouldn't go shifting if you don't go turning the cam, and since the cam gear is marked on the head, it should be happy as well.
Then, put the cam gear back on, lining up the "Mark #2", and tighten down the center bolt. Then, rotate the cam and install the cam alignment tool to see how close to the "Mark #1" lines up.
I think if you're accurate enough with the markings, you can make it work. This would only work if you are not removing the cam itself from the head. If you are removing the cam from the head, you'd have to make a third mark on the back of the head - remove the cam thrust cover, and mark the cam relative to the head. Then you can disassemble the head, service the valves, etc, and re-assemble the cam to the head, lining up "Mark #3". As long as your marks are made with a punch (marking only the head, not the tail of the cam, using the alignment dowel pin hole for the cam side mark), the marks you made should not disappear if/when serviced by a machine shop.
I will try this on a parts motor some time this summer if no one else here chimes in.