Cam selection... 383 chevy, vortechs, heavy car...streetable but fun. 400hp-ish - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:55 PM
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Cam selection... 383 chevy, vortechs, heavy car...streetable but fun. 400hp-ish

Got a 59 Chevy wagon, putting together a 383 for it. I'm wanting a good 400 or so HP and good torque... almost daily driven rig. I like a good thumpy cam but want it civil as well.

Looking for advice on a roller cam

383 ci
9 to 9.5-1 compression
Vortech heads
Edelbrock performer RPM manifold
Stree Demon 625 cfm
Sanderson cast headers
700r4
1800-2000 stall convertor
3:73 gears w/ 29" tire

Got a buddy happy with his GM 10185071 roller, but he's in another state so I can't check his setup out.

So far...most stuff I've built I've always erred on the side of conservative, and almost always wish I'de gone further.

Any advice appreciated!!

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Old 12-03-2012, 07:08 PM
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With those mild parts you're going to need to stay conservative to get good power out of it.

I'd use this cam or milder: Howards Cams Hydraulic Roller Camshafts 180885-08 - SummitRacing.com
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:05 PM
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As you say, I build mild daily drivers. Nothing wrong with your plans , but a 1800 stall is kind of weak. If i was building a performer cam 350, 3.73 rear I would still use a 2800-3000 stall. A 3000 rated converter is only going to footbrake till 2200 at the most. There are so few driving conditions were it will feel loose, or greatly affect mpg. The benefits of a 3000 stall are imediately noticeable from the moment you hit it. If you build a nice street ride you might want to include a more aggressive stall as part of the basic hotrod package.

I used a 4200 stall in a race vehicle . That was a slush box. You could brake to 3000 at least and scream from the hole. A 3000 is totally different.

Do you like pop corn maker cams, or drive in bubblers? Find something you are familiar with.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:20 PM
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If your heads are set up for the cam AP72 said It will motor,or a cam like that,,,exact numbers can be matchet to CR,,,,would be a tire melter

cams operating range would start about 1700 rpm in a 383,so that converter would work excellent.
The 3k stall would be nice if you race
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:40 AM
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What about edelbrock cam. They are good quaility and work well in heavier cars.

Edelbrock.com - Power Package - Top End Kits - Chevy

Look at the power packages above. you will see one for 400 hp or round abouts. It may not suit your needs. But you can see what is out there with good heads and cams. 400 may be a stretch and still keep it running smooth.

I like the howards cam that was suggested as well. But may be a little small to make 400 hp and not as smooth as a good roller.

In this case i am going to recommend a roller cam. As you need all the low end you can get. Roller will give a clear advantage with heavier car and low rpm running.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:27 AM
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Edelbrock cams are just reboxed crap- always have been.

And the Howard's cam is a roller.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:49 AM
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Edelbrock makes a recreatable package that does what it claims. There are too many poeple tring to be different when it comes to cam selection. The cam and intake are a match. How many diffrent intake types are there? The rest is bean counters looking for a extra few hp.

A roller is only going to be 15-25 hp higher than a flat hydraulic, in the range of a driven car. I have a roller in my 440 4spd and the diffrence was NOT amazing. For the money to retrofit I was robbed. A supercharger would have actually got the job done with a big smile. A roller cam conversion was more than half that cost.

The suggested Howards cam even states 2600+ stall. The plus indicates more than. Stock modern heavy vehicles are stalling around 2800.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinn View Post
Edelbrock makes a recreatable package that does what it claims. There are too many poeple tring to be different when it comes to cam selection. The cam and intake are a match. How many diffrent intake types are there? The rest is bean counters looking for a extra few hp.

A roller is only going to be 15-25 hp higher than a flat hydraulic, in the range of a driven car. I have a roller in my 440 4spd and the diffrence was NOT amazing. For the money to retrofit I was robbed. A supercharger would have actually got the job done with a big smile. A roller cam conversion was more than half that cost.

The suggested Howards cam even states 2600+ stall. The plus indicates more than. Stock modern heavy vehicles are stalling around 2800.
Their packages do deliver what is promised but the cams are NOT tailored to their intakes, heads, or anything else- its simply the cheapest cam they can get that is "close enough" and then they rebox it. Its been like that for decades. If you're going to buy a cam spend the 10 or 20 dollars difference and get one that really does match your combo.

And I agree the Howards cam is a bit on the big side, but he wanted the rough idle. A well tuned 383 combo like his though will have no problem with a stock converter- not optimal but you have to sacrifice something to get that sound.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap72 View Post
With those mild parts you're going to need to stay conservative to get good power out of it.

I'd use this cam or milder: Howards Cams Hydraulic Roller Camshafts 180885-08 - SummitRacing.com
That looks to be at about the top of the range cam for these heads from what I've read..... It may be the direction I head, thanks.
I don't race the car... kinda pointless really. I drive it almost daily, my wife drives it regularly as well.
I forgot one more item... I want the car to get reasonable fuel milage. Hoping to get 15mpg on a regular basis, better on the hwy. That's one reason I'de planned to stay with the lower stall convertor.

Everything in the list above... I already have in the car in it's 350cu.in. mode. The motor has exessive crankshaft endplay though, so I figured since it'll need crank work, now's the time to go 383.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:46 AM
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mileage and power are different tunings
even the A/F ratio is different. The longer the duration the cam,the more fuel it will waste at idle.
If you want both(who doesnt) consider fuel injection or swapping in an LS engine. AP72 can help you with wiring and harness questions,and,,,, a 5.3 with little work can produce 340 hp and return decent MPH
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinniekq2 View Post
mileage and power are different tunings
even the A/F ratio is different. The longer the duration the cam,the more fuel it will waste at idle.
If you want both(who doesnt) consider fuel injection or swapping in an LS engine. AP72 can help you with wiring and harness questions,and,,,, a 5.3 with little work can produce 340 hp and return decent MPH
An LS is just not what I want to do with this car... at least not any time soon. I have considered the new MSD Atomic fuel injection... but at best it'll be a year or so past the motor build. Only got so many pennies I can throw at once.

Fuel milage isn't really my "focus", or I wouldn't even consider the 383. I just don't want it to be ****ty. I'de still rather have a strong running car that get's 11mpg over an "ok" running one that get's 15mpg.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:15 PM
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An LS 5.3 will cost about a grand to buy complete. It comes with a roller cam,heads that flow 225 cfm and fuel injection.You can make an LS 383,,,
If you want a gen 1, 383 then build that with a cam like the one posted or a couple sizes smaller, tune your A/F for 13 to 13.5:1,you will need to spend some money on the carb. Make sure your exhaust is also free flowing, 2 1/2 min
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:21 PM
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If I'm looking at two different cams... lift and duration being identicle, but lobe seperation being the difference, the wider lobe seperation would reduce overlap... and possibly give better fuel milage, correct?

Is there much difference between a couple degrees (110 vs 112) or is it more noticable at larger spreads like 108 vs 114?

What is the drawback to the wider lobe seperation?

This is one of the cams I'm considering.. http://www.summitracing.com/parts/hr...make/chevrolet
a bit smaller than the one suggested.

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Old 12-04-2012, 12:46 PM
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so many variables that its not as simple as spreading or narrowing lda.The intake valve closing and CR need to be matched,even more critical when economy and pump gas are involved.Techinspecter is probably one of the best guys here to optimise intake valve closing times for street cars.

rough way to work with LDA is the narrower angles will have more over lap,rougher idle,lower vacuum.They are usually more advanced icl and make more bottom end power with a narrower power band. A wider lda will idle smoother and make perhaps more top end power or rev/make power to a higher RPM.

super stock engines quite often have a very advanced ICL because of low compression ratio and need to close the intake soon enough to not bleed of to much compression,but those cams are also fairly long duration with significant lift.
Its all mathematical formulas with uncountable combinations possible.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap72 View Post
Edelbrock cams are just reboxed crap- always have been.

And the Howard's cam is a roller.
Not sure how you can say that edelbrock is the one company out there that really stands behind there product. They sell the highest quaility hop up parts on the market. Yes they focus on middle of the road performance. But that hardly means its junk. Really means its what this car needs.

With this car i would go for 300-350 ft tq. Hp is not going to matter much and may even slow the car down if the cam is to peaky. I got my 4000 pound 71 gp from a guy that had tried 10 cams and finally went with a smaller pmd cam factory cam. That made the car run the fastest at the track. The op can save himself the issues of replacing several cams to find something that works he could just get the performer or the torker. Edelbrock provides thecombos that work for little money and big results that act as expected.

The 59 wagon has to be every bit of 5000 lbs. Does it have an X frame? Might want to be easy on it with older frame. 400hp and the tq that comes with it is a lot of pressure to put on the old style frame. It will be fine with street tires and normal fun run type of driving. Some slicks and some abuse at the race track could lead to some major issues. Best to let it spin if you get a lot more power than stock. Especially if it has stock suspension and brakes.
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