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Old 05-13-2008, 12:39 AM
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350 chevy cam

I have a pretty much stock 350 sbc. I'm pretty sure my uncle put a mild cam in it but I dont want just mild. I want to know what I need to put in it and what I need to change out. Any ideas on what or any help is appreciated. Thanks.
-Justin

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Old 05-13-2008, 01:39 AM
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Way, Way too vague pal, we need to know everything about the engine, heads, intake, compression???....what kind of trans. and converter you plan on using, rear end....what you want to do with the car when you're done, street machine, race car???? No info = no help
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:07 AM
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I dont know that much bout it. Its got headers on it but other than that its stock. My uncle didnt put a cam in it either. I just wanna know what kind to run. Its in a 4x4 S10. I want a choppy idle out of it and performance in the low-mid range. The trans is a 700r4 B&M shift kit. 4:11 gears. If this helps any. I can try to find out more today and post up. Sry I dont know much bout specs. I've built several sbc but I just put them together with parts customers give me for it. I know I should know all this but I'm workin on it.
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:23 AM
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Cams that have a racey "choppy idle" do not have good low rpm power.
Cams with a "choppy idle" need to be matched up with higher compression ratio, higher rear gearing and a high stall torque converter for a auto trans.
(The effective power band gets shifted up in the engines' rpm range at the expense of low rpm torque)
The most common mistake of novices is installing a race cam in a stock vehicle expecting lots of low rpm torque. It does not work that way.
You need to educate yourself on the hows and whys and effects of high performance camshafts and valve timing on a motor.
Don't get carried away. If fuel economy is of any concern then you are barking up the wrong tree.
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:34 AM
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I could care less bout fuel economy. It gets 8mpg anyway so that dont matter to me. My dad wants low-mid range for that truck. I want mid-high. It dont see offroad besides huntin season. Its a show truck that is expected to perform. I run down the track on some weekends (1/8 mile). I also enter burnout contests with it (no brake torque, all roll-on power). I just want more out of it beside stock. Any everything helps. Sry I'm learnin.
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:37 AM
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What year 350? If you let us know what it came from we might be able to help narrow it down for you.

There are casting numbers behind the distributor right in front of where the tranny mounts (should be anywhere from 6 to 8 digits) and a stamping number on a machined pad in front of the passenger side head. Those would be very helpful.

As others have said, stock engine and choppy idle don't go together very well. Compression, head flow, torque converter stall speed, rear axle ratio, tire size, vehicle weight, and desired use all play HUGE factors in which cam will make you happy. If you're willing to give up major drivability, MPG, and power, you can just stab a big cam in any engine, but the mismatch of components will probably make you very unhappy with its performance.

... and don't apologize for learning. We are all at different levels of knowledge on this forum in different areas, and you are wise for asking first. I personally could build an engine in my sleep. I could tell a tranny shop what I wanted, but I've never really built one, and don't even get me started on how I suck at body work. I get a lot of cars from frustrated owners at the shop where they slapped something together before asking and then they were unhappy with the results, so you're ahead of the curve.

Last edited by curtis73; 05-13-2008 at 03:44 AM.
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:44 AM
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Does this "stock 350" have a flat top piston or a dished piston?
What is the cylinder head casting number ? (under the valve cover).
Are you willing to install a very high stall torque converter? (3500rpm stall)
does the truck have 4.11's now?
What carb and intake manifold? Headers?

I have a few cool cams in mind for you. Need more details.

I also enter burnout contests with it (no brake torque, all roll-on power)

have you considered Nitrous Oxide Injection? Very effective.

What about a bolt on mini blower ( Weiand pro street. 177) very good way to hop up a low compression motor for big power.

Both are a easy way to get big power for smokey burnout contests using a basicly stock 350 motor as a base. A well matched blower/nitrous cam is good too.

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Old 05-13-2008, 04:15 AM
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I dont know what it came out of or what yr it is. My uncle done all the work on gettin the stuff for the truck, I just put it in. I'll try to get hold of him today to find out. I dont know bout the pistons, I'm assumin flat. I'll have to wait till I get off work to get the numbers. Cant see all that good in here. If I'm not mistaken it has 2000 or 2500 stall in it now. Not sure tho, i'll replace it if I have to. The truck does have 4:11 gears now. The carb is a Rochester Quadrajet, I'm assumin again stock intake, and It does have headers. Right now Its a daily driver. I'm sellin my 88 dakota and 68 camaro to buy another truck so I can get this one off the road and fixed up. So after next week I'm tearin into it. I want the most out of it.
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:31 AM
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you can get a lopy idle and good low rpm torque with a cam that has a narrow lobe separation angle (LSA). Plus a cam like this works well with stock heads and low compression.

The down side is a short power band. But you will get a lot more peak torque.

get a cam with 215 to 218 degrees on the intake and 6 to 8 more degrees on the exhaust. And a LSA of 104 to 106 degrees.

so a cam with 218/224 degrees at 0.050" and 106 lsa will have about the same overlap of a cam with 230/230 with 110 lsa (compcam 280H). And a 280H cam will idle pretty rough.
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:38 PM
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I got to lookin at some cams the other day and I found a comp cams thumpr series cam. Know anything bout it? From readin bout it it souns like a pretty good cam. I got to thinking bout idle sound. I drive this thing a lot to shows and what not. If I can get a sound that aint smooth and sound like this thing is just gonna tear the road up it'll work. I dont want a stock, smooth idle. I'll have the numbers posted up tonight off the motor. Thanks again for the help.
-Justin
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Old 05-14-2008, 03:56 PM
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Yes, those thumpr cams are what I'm talking about. A moderate amount of duration with a narrow lobe separation angle. But I think they are roller cams.

Call compcam and for an extra 100.00 they will grind a flat tappet hyro cam to any specs you want.
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Old 05-14-2008, 04:15 PM
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comp has the flat tappet ones now also,I would invest in some L98 corvette aluminum heads from gm performance you can get them thru sdpc2000.com.
They have 58cc chambers and would bump up the compression a little with a thumper flat tappet cam and that should be nice.But the extra info would help us alot
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:26 AM
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What about the vortech heads? I've had some ppl round here tellin me to get those. They better than the L98s? Sry I aint got the number posted yet. I'll try and get them by lunch.
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:12 AM
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I didn't think bout this till just now. Its got 4:11 gears and a 700r4 tranny. When I'm runnin 65-70mph I'm runnin at 23-2500rpms. I dunno if that would matter or help any but I'm sure it'd play some factor. Anyways, just thought bout it. Thanks again for all the help.
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Old 05-15-2008, 07:20 AM
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yes, vortec head are better.

but those heads require machine work to run over 0.450" and require vortec rocker arms, valve covers, and a vortec intake manifold. The heads are cheap but the added expensive of buying the stuff that goes with them make it possible to just buy a good set of aftermarket heads, like dart or edelbrock, ect.
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