Chevy Nova Forum banner

1 - 20 of 70 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
911 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Need help choosing a new cam.
I want brute low end torque and a noticeable idle.
Here are the specs of my old camshaft I used-

Basic Operating RPM Range 2,200-5,200
Duration at 050 inch Lift 218 int./218 exh.
Advertised Duration 274 int./274 exh.
Valve Lift with Factory Rocker Arm Ratio 0.450 int./0.450 exh. lift
Lobe Separation (degrees) 106

I'm guessing it sounded really good due to the lobe separation being such a low degree. I want a camshaft that will work with stock valve springs. My old camshaft was ok but the RPM range was a little on the high side. This will be a daily driver and I'm going for street performance.

I've been looking around and found two cams that I'm interested in.

Howard 1
Howard 2

I'm open to other suggestions.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
508 Posts
IMO.... either one would be good for a street car. staying with a tighter lobe sep. will infact increase cylinder presure and increase power. if you plan on leaving it N/A i would try and stay around a 106-108 LS. it will have a decent little chop being the duration isnt all that high but will give good vacum for the power brakes (if you have them) and good crisp throttle responce. not to mention great manners for the street.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,146 Posts
PM camgrinder he has a 268 duration cam that works awesome! its got a better lobe than a comp 268, I had it in my 383 and I loved it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,244 Posts
The second is way to big if you want a lot of low end torque and are using a stock torque converter. It will be a slug off the line. The first one will be ok if you have atleast 9.0:1 compression. I wouldn't run stock springs with either of them though. They are just a little to aggressive.

Probably the best thing you could do is call Lunati. They are awesome with choosing a good camshaft for your setup. Be honest with them and yourself. If you really want a "driver" with good low end power, then tell them thats what you want. My personal opinion is, never choose a camshaft for the sound it makes. You will be disappointed when it becomes a turd to drive. Trust me, they sound better with a good setup that screams then a big cam..

Things you need to know to have them recommend a cam.
-Engine size
-compression ratio
-type of cylinder heads
-type of intake manifold
-carb size
-exhaust setup
-transmission
-torque converter stall RPM
-Rear end Gear Ratio
-Car weight
-Driving style
-etc..

-Dan
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,405 Posts
Low end torque and choppy idle are asking for two different things. The choppy idle is from low efficiency and the egr effect from the exhaust valve gas recycling to the intake. Performance cams by nature are a compromise. You sacrifice low end torque for high end performance.
That's why Variable Valve timing is so cool. You can have both worlds.

The cam in that rebuilt 400 will be fine. I don't think you should mess with it until it's out of warranty.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,072 Posts
The cam in that rebuilt 400 will be fine. I don't think you should mess with it until it's out of warranty
That's what I was thinking; I'd drive it until it quits....which hopefully will be longer than the last one! If you're not willing to change valve springs, maybe you shouldn't be looking at cams.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,612 Posts
i think

i would ride it a while like others posted and make sure it does ok this time.

when you get a good sense that the engine is sound , then you might play with the cam.

your old cam in a 400 wasn't a bad selection really if your not going to get a converter or anything else. Its actually lower in RPM capabilities than both of the Howards cams i would think. What timing chain did you use with the old cam ??? Some stock ones have 4 degrees cam retard cut into the stock timing chain sets. It might be why it seemed to RPM more than you wanted. Retarded cam timing will raise the rpm range some. Get the good ol' zoom double row timing chain maybe next time that has 3 grooves in the gear that goes on the crank. Then you can select 0 degrees , 4 - ( advanced ) or 4 + ( retarded, like some stock sets ) . Most of the time , 4 advanced is how alot of cams need to be installed but look at the cam card or talk to a tech where the cam was made. Installing it 4 degrees advanced will also take up for some timing chain stretch as well.

buy one of these next time too
http://www.jegs.com/i/Mr.+Gasket/720/1589/10002/-1

this too

http://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS/555/81622/10002/-1

use the top dead center tool to locate top dead center for #1 , then use the degree wheel on your balancer. Then you should able to check the accuracy of how well the cam was cut and the accuracy of your timing chain set. Read up on " degreeing a cam " No matter what specs are in the cam , it still depends on the accuracy of the timing chain to perform how you want
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
911 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Mine had 3 grooves in it and i put it on the zero degrees mark. I know there is a better camshaft then the one it has in it to bring the 400 alive. Lets say springs are in my budget would that be the only thing i need? I wouldn't need a higher stall because I want to keep the RPM's low. There is no sense in buying a cam that from 3000 to 6500 RPM's if my engine will barley see anything past 4000 or so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,612 Posts
stock converter -

stock cam ,,,,,is a pretty good rule to live by,,,,

if 4000 is all you want , but you want a boost in power ,,,, only thing i've ever saw that had that was my 89 vette L98 engine. Its a hyd roller thats very small. In a 350 , about 4000 it was done , i never just kept my foot in it until it quit winding , it stopped pulling so i would shift it.

there is a kit to convert a non-factory equipped hyd roller motor to accept the factory hyd roller lifter system. It takes some work but it can be done.

honestly , IMO , you would get more fun out of a 2500 stall converter than a cam. Some people might say thats too big for a stocker , but if i'm going to go to the trouble to change it , i want some results for the work. A transmission shop could swap it out for ya very quick.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
911 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I guess yall are not letting me upgrade my cam lol. I know i want the sound and the squeeze of power from a new cam but I can't argue with you all because you do know more than me. Guess I'm sticking with the stocker. I can always upgrade later on the cam i just wanted to do it now while everything was apart. :yes:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
911 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
well i still have the $800 dollar budget i was going to use to repair my engine but now I am free to spend it on other stuff.

Will this be enough for a decent torque converter, a camshaft, and some higher lift springs? I guess what every one is saying here that you have to do all three and can not get away with just doing one or the other. If that is the case I am willing to spend the money now to get it right the first time.

Suggestions?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,072 Posts
Dale's old 406 made gobs of torque with a Lunati Bracket Master cam that was [email protected]/.480 lift-it had a tight converter, but still pulled like crazy down low. It's an old design, but still works well. The cam and lifters are $151, and the springs for it are $59 at Summit. They have another one a step down at [email protected]/.458 lift, but I have no experience with it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
911 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Great thanks bowtie. My engine came with new lifters so could I use them with just the cam or are the lifters something that is in sync with the bracket master camshaft?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
The first cam is similar to mine which is a crane blueprint cam based off the l79 327. Its 222/222 duration and .447/.447 lift. In my 400 its advanced 4deg on an otherwise stock 400 thats .030 over. It will pull a house down off idle and run up to 5500 but I shift mine at 5200 at the track. Its pushes a 4000lb truck to high 13s driving 60 miles round trip to the track. 3.73 gears and a 2200 hughes converter into a th400.

Others will say there is better dual pattern cams out there but this one flat out works.

Another thing to consider is the 400sb will eat a cams lump up. For instance a similar cam would sound more radical in a 327 or 350
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,904 Posts
haha your going through the same thing i did with the whole cam pick and all if you recall the thread i made of me wanting a cam just for sound but in the end after everyone's input i found it best not to cause it was just gonna hurt me in the end with being stock everything so im just gonna save some more up and get some new heads with the new cam :yes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,904 Posts
Ha yeah i remember that thread. I dont really want it for the sound though but it would be nice to have it.
ha ya man i still want that sweet sound but i think its just gonna hurt me so i was like dam :( idk i still might do it but might change up the springs and a few other things or try and get some new heads
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,146 Posts
With that cam you're still gonna need to check and reset the valve spring pressures and heights. You're increasing lift which when the spring is opened it puts the retainer closer to the top of the valve guide. Also it is highly recommended you open up the push rod hole and add screw in studs and guide plates. You may be able to reuse the spring but you need to check....if you want this engine to last.

FWIW I wouldn't waste the money on those comp roller tip rockers. No real advantage. Save your money and buy some full roller rockers. I know where there is some for sale....:D

I know what your going thru. I do it all the time and have been doing it since I was 18. Stick with what you know works. Listen to the people who have the experience and have learned from their own mistakes. Lots of sound advice from the guys on here.
 
1 - 20 of 70 Posts
Top