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I have a 1997 Chevy 1500 350 vortec. I want to swap the original cam with a better one without doing any engine work. I have a 350 that I spun a rod bearing so I ordered a short block. I am using the original heads, what cam can I use? I believe I can use an lt1 cam but I don't remember which years worked.
 

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when the sort block arrives,measure the deck height and see what pistons it has.then calculate your compression ratio
 

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Wrench Turner
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4,952 Posts
What are you wanting expecting from the cam swap?More torque for pulling?More speed to play around with?If you are using a stock replacement short block that will retain the 9.4:1 CR,there are lots of choices.The Ramjet cam #14097395 is a good choice if you don't wanna do any other mods.I would recommend a better set of springs than the OEM springs for any cam.The beehive spring is a popular choice.The Ramjet cam will give you a good flat torque curve,maybe 25HP,idle smoothly & perform very well in a stock L31 engine.The LT4 Production cam(not the LT4 Hot cam) is also a really popular swap.The Ramjet cams be found regulary as new pullouts on EBay for about $120.It really just depends on what you are wanting to accomplish with your truck.FWIW,a good tune will be the best money you can spend on it with or without a cam swap.
 

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Wrench Turner
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As Vinnie stated above.Measure how far down the bore your pistons are.This will effect your CR.If the block hasn't been decked & the engine builder used "rebuilder's pistons"that have a shorter pin hgt,you will lose some compression & detonation resistance,so,you will need to be a lil more picky with cam choices.If your pistons are more than .028 to .030 down the bore,that is prolly the case.
 
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