Hi all -
Sorry for the delay in following up, but I hope "better late than never." ;)
(1) As for the choice between 268s and others (e.g. 260/264, 256): I didn't
find the 268s to be worth it, on my otherwise fairly-stock car. Perhaps
they're worth it if you have some serious head work done (porting, big
valves) but if you don't, they definitely AREN'T worth it. Sure, they move
the peak power up in the rev range, but they don't make any more power.
That's right, I saw less than 2HP more peak power with the 268s compared to
the stock cams. Sure, that peak was up a few hundred RPM higher in the
band, but it didn't make any more power. To me, that's a waste of money and
only reduces driveability. Shift a little earlier with the stock cams, and
you'll be going just as fast. Maybe it's fun to wind out the motor more,
but if it's only for the noise and doesn't make the car go faster, it's not
worth it IMO. (See http://www.p-vector.com/bob/garage/vw/cams-dyno/ for
details and dyno plots. Note that I wrote that up before I decided to ditch
I've heard that the 268s *do* work better if you've had other work done, but
I know from personal experience that if you *only* do cams (and springs)
then the 268s aren't worth it. Factor in the "exploding" valve springs
(which happened on my car too), and for my tastes, the 268s definitely
aren't worth it.
(2) As for doing it yourself: Tom (Fiction) is right in that doing cams
isn't too bad. But if you *do* go for cams which require new springs, that
makes it considerably more involved. You'll need a valve spring compressor,
a tool to remove the keepers, and (most importantly!) a way to keep the
valves from falling down into the cylinders while the springs are being
replaced. Tom Doblmaier and I did it on my car, but it took a whole weekend
(two 14-hour days) to do it. That's from two fairly intelligent humans who
had never done the job before. I'm certain that with experience that time
would come down considerably, but for the first time, count on spending an
entire weekend. However if you just do the cams (no springs) then it's
quite a bit easier.
- Bob T.
'96 GTI VR6 179k miles - back to stock cams and loving it