Menu

Shop

Garage

Cart

Account

Products to Compare (max of 3)
X
Compare These Parts

Pick The Right Camshaft For Your Project

7/11/2016

From mild to wild, Speedway Motors offers close to 100 various grinds of camshafts for your selection. From a cam for your 1932-1948 Flathead, to a small block Chevy, all the way up to a 460 Ford and a 496 Chevy BB, we have it.

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a cam for your engine. The lift, duration, and separation are just a few. Primarily, you have to ask yourself what you intend on doing with the car. Do you want a strip-ready 10 second car, or do you want to be able to drive it on nice days?

What we did was come up with 4 different sample vehicles, and asked our in-house techs what cam they would recommend for each vehicle. We’ll call these cars primarily street, with the occasional drag strip weekend.

The "Real World" Examples:
  • 350 S/B Chevy - 9.0:1 compression, dual plane intake, 600cfm carb, auto transmission 3400 pound weight 260°-268° advertised duration, 210°-220° duration at 0.050" lift
  • 302 Ford- 8.5:1 compression, dual plane intake, 550cfm carb, 4 speed transmission, 3400 pound weight 260°-268° advertised duration, 210°-220° duration at 0.050" lift
  • 454 B/B Chevy- 9.0:1 compression, dual plane intake, 750cfm carb, auto transmission, 3400 pound weight 270°-292° advertised duration, 224°-244° duration at 0.050" lift (NOTE: the 280° will need a 2500 RPM stall converter, the 292° will require a 3000 RPM minimum)
  • 383 S/B Chevy- 10:1 compression, dual plane intake, 750cfm carb, 5 speed transmission, 3400 pound weight 280°-292° advertised duration, 230°-244° duration at 0.050" lift (NOTE: the 280° will need a 2500 RPM stall converter, the 292° will require a 3000 RPM minimum)

Whatever choice you settle on, it is recommended that you upgrade to stiffer valve springs as well, otherwise you may pick up a little “valve float” at high RPM’s. You’ll know that when it happens, because you will lose power all of a sudden. Your valve springs should always be matched to the recommended seat pressure set forth by the cam manufacturer. Too little seat pressure causes valve float can bend valves and cause damage to pistons and cylinder heads when valves hang open too long. Too much seat pressure can prevent lifters from properly rotating and flatten your camshaft.

Keep in mind; these recommendations represent a wide range, as longer duration cams will perform better with a rearend ratio that is higher numerically. If your vehicle has a ratio higher than 3.40:1, the lower end of the recommendation will provide the torque curve desired.

Products Featured in this Article

Related Articles

Ford 302 and Chevy 350 Timing Pointers - Step by Step Instructions
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
10/13/2016
Learn how to set initial timing on the Chevy 350 SBC and the Ford 302. Our guide covers step by step instructions so you can set timing on your engine.
Chevy 350 and Ford 302 Performance Upgrades
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
7/11/2016
Learn how to upgrade your stock Chevy 350 or Ford 302 for peak performance with bent exhaust systems and more. Don't settle for stock in your crate engine.
SBC Firing Order and Torque Specs | 350 & others
by Jason Lubken - Posted in Tech
6/7/2021
Reference material on the firing order and torque specs of a Small Block Chevy. Our guide covers popular SBC V8 Torque specifications so you can be sure you're getting peak performance.
Chevy Small Block Casting Numbers
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
6/4/2021
Decode small block Chevy engine suffix codes with our SBC block casting number guide. Learn how to find and decipher your small block chevy engine code stamping numbers.
Small Block Chevy in a 1953 Chevy 3600
by John Wulbern - Posted in Tech
8/7/2017
In this Tech Tip, John advises a customer on the parts needed to slip a small block Chevy engine in his 1953 Chevy 3600.
Speedway Roadster Headers for a 305 Trike
by John Wulbern - Posted in Tech
3/16/2017
In this Tech Tip, a customer asked about using a set of Small Block Chevy Sprint Roadster headers for his trike, powered by a stock 305.
Heavy Steering Solutions
by John Wulbern - Posted in Tech
9/15/2016
In this Tech Tip, John helps a customer troubleshoot his heavy steering in his project.
Building up an LT1
by John Wulbern - Posted in Tech
9/16/2016
In this Tech Tip, John discusses LT1 rotating assembly options for a customer looking to build a solid autoX, drag, and occasional strip powerplant for his Firebird.
SBC Oil Pan Gasket Differences
by Jason Lubken - Posted in Tech
7/7/2016
How to pick the right small block Chevy oil pan gasket. We look at a 350 Chevy oil pan gasket and help you identify what thick or thin gasket you will need.
Engine Building - Valvetrain Tips
by Jason Lubken - Posted in Tech
7/6/2016
Once you're ready to start selecting valve train components, we have some useful tips and tools that should boost your performance. We discuss proper valve-springs, pushrod length, and rocker arm ratios.
Error
X
Note
X
Ok