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Advise about a CAM

This is a discussion on Advise about a CAM within the Internal Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Hey guys, i need your help here. I'm looking into getting a CAM, one that will not require a tune ...

  1. #1
    Visualize°Design°Create SSwt00SS's Avatar
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    Advise about a CAM

    Hey guys, i need your help here. I'm looking into getting a CAM, one that will not require a tune because shops here want between 750-1000 for a tune (get software, install, tune, etc) and thats way to high.

    My car is a Daily Driver and I'm looking for a CAM that gives good low/mid/high end HP and TQ gains. The mods that I have are listed in my SIG. I want something thats sounds nasty, mean at idle and when i blip the throttle at the corner tavern it makes all the beers go flat. I have the Loudmouth Cat-back and want it to sound good at WOT also. I have been to LS1 Sounds.com, but most guys have Headers/ORY on their car and I know that changes the sound dramatically as well as power gains. please help

    I found the specs for a Comp CAM "comp 218":
    Duration: 212/218 @ .050
    Lift: 522/529 @ .050
    Lobe Sep: 114
    Powerband: 1200-6000 PRM

    Will this CAM be what im loking for? if so what might the gains be for HP and TQ. Also this CAM would allow me to retain my stock pushrods/springs, retainers, etc. That is what i would like to also do, keep my stock components and just get a CAM.

    Please let me know what you think. also what about the Thunder 224 CAM? thanks guys.
    2000 SS - The Wicked Witch: °°Cammed 'n Slammed°° 458rwhp/410rwtq
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    Member Huskerz1's Avatar
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    Hey SSwt00SS,

    I just went to RPM in Lewisville yesterday. They tune for $400 and every retune after is just dyno cost time if that. I watched them dyno tune a 99 Z28. Guy had a 100 shot of gooffy juice, full exhuast with duals, and a cam only. He made 483 hp. http://www.real-performance-motorsports.com/index.cfm

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    HuskerZ1:

    what did you think of the shop? did i recommend a good place for you and quite possibly for me as well? what was your impression? $400 for a tune sounds like what ive heard everyone else mention. thanks man. by the way, i got your PM. let me know. thanks

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    Member Huskerz1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSwt00SS
    HuskerZ1:

    what did you think of the shop? did i recommend a good place for you and quite possibly for me as well? what was your impression? $400 for a tune sounds like what ive heard everyone else mention. thanks man. by the way, i got your PM. let me know. thanks
    They have alot goin on there. Rebuilding LS engines, CNC head porting, custom RPM cams, putting in all the bolt ons, dyno tuning with a dynojet, using hp tuners, and a few guys working there. They have a couple lifts and two more stalls. I mean it's a working garage. Your not gonna eat off the floor or anything. The parking lot was full of vettes and camaros to work on so I think if they had a bad rep then it wouldn't be that way. I'm gonna give 'em a shot tuning my SS. I'm going to put some stuff on first like gears, LCAs, panhard, torque arm, 160 degree therm, pulley, Strut Tower, change plugs and wires, and finally maybe LTs w/high flow cats if I got the money. I will be doing these thing mostly myself. I got a mechanic bud that will help me with some too. RPM can do it but it just takes more money. They charge $250 for a header install, $100 for intake swap, etc. I'll let you know when I get tuned maybe we can meet up or something.
    Last edited by Huskerz1; 05-02-2006 at 02:26 PM.

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    Member keliente's Avatar
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    Just curious, why do you capitalize cam? It is short for camshaft, not an acronym.

    You're going to want a tune no matter what cam you choose, otherwise you will be missing out on all of the horsepower gains as well as good driveability. Even though the lift on that cam is not very big, aftermarket springs would still be a good idea. Hardened pushrods are also important because they won't flex under high load/rpm like stock ones will - which decreases power and may cause valve float. You don't need to replace retainers.

    In my opinion if you are going to do a cam, do it right. Don't skimp out on springs/pushrods, or a tune. You live in TX...I know a million f-body people in TX there has got to be SOMEONE out there that can tune a car for less than $500. And if not, you can always go with a good mail order tune as well.

    I would go with at least a 224 cam. It's a decent sized job so it would suck if you spent all that time installing a cam just to realize it's way too small.

    I would also consider doing headers & an LS6 intake before a cam swap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by keliente
    Just curious, why do you capitalize cam? It is short for camshaft, not an acronym.

    You're going to want a tune no matter what cam you choose, otherwise you will be missing out on all of the horsepower gains as well as good driveability. Even though the lift on that cam is not very big, aftermarket springs would still be a good idea. Hardened pushrods are also important because they won't flex under high load/rpm like stock ones will - which decreases power and may cause valve float. You don't need to replace retainers.

    In my opinion if you are going to do a cam, do it right. Don't skimp out on springs/pushrods, or a tune. You live in TX...I know a million f-body people in TX there has got to be SOMEONE out there that can tune a car for less than $500. And if not, you can always go with a good mail order tune as well.

    I would go with at least a 224 cam. It's a decent sized job so it would suck if you spent all that time installing a cam just to realize it's way too small.

    I would also consider doing headers & an LS6 intake before a cam swap.
    The stock springs are just barely adequate for the stock cam. You will definitely need stronger springs. If you break a spring, you could drop a valve and nuke your entire engine. I have a 224 and it's a great daily driver cam, plus it will pass emissions in Cali.

  7. #7
    juiced00ss
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    Yeah i have a thunder racing 224 cam with a 125 shot and a loudmouth and let me tell you it sounds mean. Even with stock manifolds and stock cats. I did use there valvesprings as well as a ls2 timing chain. I made 466 rwhp and 525 rwtq on a 125 shot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by juiced00ss
    I made 466 rwhp and 525 rwtq on a 125 shot.
    Sounds like you could really benefit from headers & an LS6 intake. I made 445 hp on a 75 dry shot, and that was before my cam.

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    Beach & juiced:

    so it sounds like the TR 224 is what i should look into more. plus i hear from you both that springs and retainers are a must. did either of you upgrade the stock pushrods at all? what about a tune after that? would i need to upgrade the timing chain to an LS2, any info on that would be appreciated.

    juice: off the NOS what were your numbers? did you go with an LS2 timing chain because of the NOS? also do you happen the have a sound clip of your car you could send me? im curious to the sound at idle, WOT, and throughout the whole RPM range.

    thanks for your help guys

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    Quote Originally Posted by SSwt00SS
    Beach & juiced:

    so it sounds like the TR 224 is what i should look into more. plus i hear from you both that springs and retainers are a must. did either of you upgrade the stock pushrods at all? what about a tune after that? would i need to upgrade the timing chain to an LS2, any info on that would be appreciated.

    juice: off the NOS what were your numbers? did you go with an LS2 timing chain because of the NOS? also do you happen the have a sound clip of your car you could send me? im curious to the sound at idle, WOT, and throughout the whole RPM range.

    thanks for your help guys
    You can keep your stock retainers, if you go with a beehive-type spring, like the Comp 26918 spring. Pretty much the only alternative to stock retainers is titanium retainers, and they're up to around $275 a set now, which is ridiculously expensive. I also upgraded to chromoly pushrods, which like Kaliente said, is a good idea, and they're not too expensive. Thunder Racing, for one, has package deals from time to time that include everthing you need. The timing chain is also strictly optional. If you get something like a 224, you will need a tune, especially if you have an A4-- my car wouldn't idle at all after the cam install.

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    [QUOTE=keliente]Just curious, why do you capitalize cam?[QUOTE]

    The grammar police?

  12. #12
    juiced00ss
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    Yeah i should have got the headers first.But I got a really good deal on the cam so I did it. The tune cost me 400 but just like Huskerz1 said anytime I need a retune i pay for dyno time. I did use the ls2 for a couple of reasons. One it was half the price of a double roller 200 compared to 100. And two yes because of the nitrous. Don from Dez Racing said i am easily losing 50 or more rwhp because i dont have headers or a ls6 manifold. All motor I made 344 rwhp and 348 rwtq. Belive it or not when i got the car back I noticed it pulls like a mother at 3000 and above. I have had no problems with emisions and I drive the car during cold New England winters too.

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    Junior Member 00SLPSS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juiced00ss
    I did use the ls2 for a couple of reasons. One it was half the price of a double roller 200 compared to 100.
    I would definately get the ls2 timing chain, it can be had for under $30 shipped (just bought one 2 weeks ago). IMO thats a very minimal amount of money for the insurance of having a stronger timing chain. From what I've been told double rollers can be a PITA to install, and some have clearance problems with aftermarket pulleys.



    Like everyone said, if you are going to the trouble to tear everything apart for the cam, I would go ahead and do everything.. Oil pump (optional depending on year and milage etc), new timing chain beings it will all be apart, its not any harder to re-install, new pushrods, and depeing on springs new retainers.

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    That Comp 212/218 cam is pretty small and wouldn't sound nasty at all. Without a tune I doubt you'd see much of a gain at all.

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