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What is the best cam for my car?

This is a discussion on What is the best cam for my car? within the Internal Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I've been thinking of getting an aftermarket cam for my Z28, and would like to hear from folks who have ...

  1. #1
    IMPORT KILLER PEWTER Z's Avatar
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    PEWTER
    1999 Z28 CAMARO

    Question What is the best cam for my car?

    I've been thinking of getting an aftermarket cam for my Z28, and would like to hear from folks who have had this done to there, and what they would recommend. My mods are listed below, and headers and cat back are my next mod coming really soon, and the cam right after that. I'm looking for increased performance, a nice cam exhaust lope, and be able to pass MD emission with no problem. Thanks.

    Mike

    99 Z28
    A4, 3.73
    Phoenix Pro 3500 2.5 STR converter
    Pewter w/Leather interior
    35% window tint
    Falken 512 245 16" tires
    NGK TR55 Plugs w/Thunderbolt wires
    Descreened MAF
    Free Ram Air Mod
    EGR Mod
    LS1 Motorsports Lid w/ Holley filter
    Flowmaster muffler
    Mobil 1 5W-30 Synthetic Oil
    12.80@ 106.62 MPH 1/4 mile on BFG DR's
    8.16 @ 84.48 MPH best 1/8 mile
    1.77 best 60'
    .556 RT

    Future Mods:

    Wet Nitrous kit
    Magnaflow cat back
    LT Headers
    Performance cam

    Be American and buy American

  2. #2
    One Bad Bird silver98TA's Avatar
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    I have the Thunder Racing 224/.563 112 LSA. I love this cam for a daily driver. It has a very nice lope. It has a lot of power down low and in the mid range. I don't have to worry about emissions, but I've heard it should pass. You'll need a tune to get the most out of it.

  3. #3
    SSdemon
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    Quote Originally Posted by silver98TA
    I have the Thunder Racing 224/.563 112 LSA. I love this cam for a daily driver. It has a very nice lope. It has a lot of power down low and in the mid range. I don't have to worry about emissions, but I've heard it should pass. You'll need a tune to get the most out of it.
    Not a great cam for nitrous and witha 112lsa it'll be hard if not impossible to pass a sniffer test. so unless your state only does OBDII testing you'r not gonna pass with that cam.

  4. #4
    Eric @ DMS
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    Wow, there are a lot of factors in deciding which cam to go with. Some questions you should know before doing your research:

    1) Is this mainly your daily driver?
    2) Is this mostly a track car
    3) Can you handle the temperment of big cams?
    4) NA / Nitrous / or Forced Induction?
    5) What are your intentions with the car? Street dominator or track dominator

    Don't get hung up with just producing high numbers. That's a trap many newbie cam owners fall into. It's not just about the highest numbers you can produce. What counts is the correct setup for your application. For example, many want the best numbers producing cam out there so they can brag about having 450hp. However when on the streets they get smashed. I can take a small heads/cam setup (prepped for the streets) and destroy big cammed cars that aren't correctly set-up (speaking for light to light type racing). It's what's under the curve that counts (again depending on your application). Track cars see great performance from big cams (i.e. power coming in from upper mid range all the way to the top end). Street cars will do much better with cams that produce power down low and have a great curve up through the midrange. Cars that maximize power up in the 6500+rpm range (as with big cams) will not do well on the streets. Careful research and knowing the answers to the questions above (at a minimum) will get you on the right path.

  5. #5
    Prophecy
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    I had Don Kinder (Slowhawk) Setup my cam. Im going same direction as you. Boltons and nitrous.

  6. #6
    member since may 2000 nhraformula's Avatar
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    get something along the lines of a 224/224 cam if youre gonna daily drive it.
    if its a weekend toy only, go alittle bigger
    2000 nhra edition formula
    a few bolt ons, 379 rwhp
    11.96 @113.25

  7. #7
    member since may 2000 nhraformula's Avatar
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    btw, the 224/224 581/581 114 lsa cam is very streetable.
    i have that cam. i just did a 800 mile road trip and the car drove flawless.

  8. #8
    fguy1998
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    so would the texas speed 231/237 .598/.595 112 lsa or 232/234 .598/.598 112 lsa be too big for a car that is only driven every once and a while.? mostly driven on the street but sometimes driven at track. i want a big lope and good #'s

  9. #9
    Eric @ DMS
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    fguy -
    That cam makes good numbers. Do you plan on using your stock heads or aftermarket ones and flycutting your pistons? Remember, it's not about the top end numbers, especially when your car is mostly for the street. Maximize the area under your curves and that will be the most efficient street setup.

  10. #10
    IMPORT KILLER PEWTER Z's Avatar
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    PEWTER
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    Would the 224/224 581/581 114 lsa cam be better than the 224/224 581/581 112 lsa cam for a street driven car? This is my daily driver, with the occasional trip to the track. I live in MD, and emissions are a concern. I'd like to be able to do 11.70's without nitrous using aftermarket heads, cam, LT headers and exhaust. I'm already doing 12.80's, and I still have the stock exhaust system, minus the slowmaster muffler. My 3500 converter and 3.73's really woke my car up, but 11's are my goal and still be able to drive on the street with no problems.

  11. #11
    member since may 2000 nhraformula's Avatar
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    with emissions you cant go bigger than a 224 cam.
    the 114 lsa wont lope as much.
    adding above cam to youre car will get you 11s

  12. #12
    member since may 2000 nhraformula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PEWTER Z
    Would the 224/224 581/581 114 lsa cam be better than the 224/224 581/581 112 lsa cam for a street driven car? This is my daily driver, with the occasional trip to the track. I live in MD, and emissions are a concern. I'd like to be able to do 11.70's without nitrous using aftermarket heads, cam, LT headers and exhaust. I'm already doing 12.80's, and I still have the stock exhaust system, minus the slowmaster muffler. My 3500 converter and 3.73's really woke my car up, but 11's are my goal and still be able to drive on the street with no problems.
    with that converter you should be in the mid 12s.

  13. #13
    IMPORT KILLER PEWTER Z's Avatar
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    PEWTER
    1999 Z28 CAMARO

    NHRA Formula:
    Tractions is a problem for me, even with the DR's. I still have the stock rear suspension, stock exhaust minus the Slowmaster muffler, and over 100,000 miles now. ET Streets and some BMR rear suspension parts should cure my traction woes.

  14. #14
    fguy1998
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric @ DMS
    fguy -
    That cam makes good numbers. Do you plan on using your stock heads or aftermarket ones and flycutting your pistons? Remember, it's not about the top end numbers, especially when your car is mostly for the street. Maximize the area under your curves and that will be the most efficient street setup.
    i'm probably going to stick with the stock heads for a while, so flycutting and clearence won't be an issue right now. so that sounds like the cam i'm going to go for.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Redphoenix1998's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PEWTER Z
    NHRA Formula:
    Tractions is a problem for me, even with the DR's. I still have the stock rear suspension, stock exhaust minus the Slowmaster muffler, and over 100,000 miles now. ET Streets and some BMR rear suspension parts should cure my traction woes.
    You need to ditch that stock rear suspension and invest in some Lower Control arms, torque arm, and a Panhard rod. That should help you out a lot with Traction. I'm pushing 490 rwhp and run low 11's on DR's and traction is not too much of an issue. I run JPR S2 heads, full bolt on's, LS6 motor with a TR230 cam.

  16. #16
    Eric @ DMS
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    LCA's and brackets should be used at the very least. Other suspension mods will be essential if you want a lot of bite. Your stock rear end will eventually go if you're putting down a lot of power.

  17. #17
    Grand Imperial Wizard Sarge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric @ DMS
    fguy -
    That cam makes good numbers. Do you plan on using your stock heads or aftermarket ones and flycutting your pistons? Remember, it's not about the top end numbers, especially when your car is mostly for the street. Maximize the area under your curves and that will be the most efficient street setup.
    Werd! ^^^^Match your cam to your heads to obtain your optimum results.
    Get with your wrench/tuner (who has bookable LS1 experiance) and talk to them about what it is your are trying to achieve...street beast to terrorize the Main St. crowd....1/4 mile demon etc. Your wrench is going to take you to a "matched" set of heads to maximize the cam setup.....I run a CompCam 221/224 581/588 113 lsa with custom cut pistons and Patriot Stage II heads....sumbiatch flat ass gets out of the hole and screams...but is a tame street car when needed.....work with your tuner/wrench....put some thump in your rump man

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    IMPORT KILLER PEWTER Z's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info guys. I know a great LS1 wrench who should be able to steer me in the right direction. the 224/224 114 cam sounds more like what I'm looking for. I want a strong runner at the track, but don't want a unreliable pain in the rump on the street since it's my daily driver. The 224/224 sounds like a happy medium, especially with LT's, aftermarket heads, LS6 intake, and a good 3" Y pipe and cat back. Once I hit the 11's, then a 6 point roll cage will be next. I know a guy here who can do those too. Hope my tranny and rear hold up. I've already had my 10 bolt rebuilt once when the 3.73's went in last year.

  19. #19
    member since may 2000 nhraformula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PEWTER Z
    Thanks for the info guys. I know a great LS1 wrench who should be able to steer me in the right direction. the 224/224 114 cam sounds more like what I'm looking for. I want a strong runner at the track, but don't want a unreliable pain in the rump on the street since it's my daily driver. The 224/224 sounds like a happy medium, especially with LT's, aftermarket heads, LS6 intake, and a good 3" Y pipe and cat back. Once I hit the 11's, then a 6 point roll cage will be next. I know a guy here who can do those too. Hope my tranny and rear hold up. I've already had my 10 bolt rebuilt once when the 3.73's went in last year.
    the 224 idles just about stock. my idle is set at 800 rpm.
    it does has a slight lope to it where you can hear the cam.
    the cam really woke up my mid range rpm.

  20. #20
    I Fixed Da Rear jimbo98z's Avatar
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    Mystic Teal
    1998 Z28 M6

    If you have a 224/.563 with a 112 lsa, will you need new rods/springs/lifters to compensate?

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