What is the best cam kit? A series of questions that often confuse and frustrate buyers and us alike.
Unfortunately, we see this question a lot and it is what we refer to as a loaded question. Loaded because the answer varies and the question itself is bad. But why is it bad? Well, it’s bad because there is no usable information for us to help someone out.
Questions we ask, what is your displacement, current mods and use of the vehicle? Are you boosted, if so, is it a blower or turbo charged application? If you have a blower what type? If turbo where is full boost made? What RPM range is your ideal or actual power band? (This is derived by your intake manifold, displacement, and boost application).
From here we often get “I just want to make the most power I can from just a cam”. This leads us down the next line of questioning, what type of transmission, if auto do you plan on doing a stall converter and what RPM do you want to target for? Or we get “I just want a lot of chop without having to do much else”
Once we have gotten through that we now have some information to work with. Savy researched buyers usually come with the understanding that they will likely need to buy a converter to get the desired RPM and sound they seek. However, a cam quote can become frustrating for some as it can come with sticker shock. We ask our line of questions to feel out a potential buyer, to understand their need, their budget and to help them understand.
Often people see a video of a cammed hemi and don’t know there more to it than the cam itself. To get that desired chop you are deleting MDS and locking out VVT. This makes the powerband range narrower, and the vehicle less fuel efficient, but were here for gains. A cam upgrade means that you will be upgrading lifters, locking out the cam phaser, upgrading valve springs, and having to tune the car and may have change the torque converter too. The effective range of the cam comes from its profile. Ramp, duration, lobe separation angle and lift determine this. Typically, the choppier the longer the valve duration is paired with a lower lobe separation angle. This will determine the powerband based on your engine’s other modifications.
However other components must be adjusted also. Example you will need to upgrade valve springs as they now open further for much longer now requiring the use of a stronger spring. Without these upgrades the new forces can allow for valve float or a broken spring which may lead to engine failure. The stock springs are just not meant to work that hard.
The torque converter also has an effective RPM stall speed that matches the stock cam. The stock converter is good until a certain point. If the cams effective range starting point is much higher than the stall of the converter the transmission begins loading the engine out of range and really has a negative effect on the drivability. Your torque converter has to be in the range of your camshaft, and the more aggressive a cam is the higher the effective RPM range is.
So if you’re looking for the most aggressive with the most chop plan on the following.
VVT lock out
Engine hardware and gaskets
High stall torque converter
And we also suggest.
A harmonic damper and long tube headers for ease of install.
However, you can still get a great sounding cam with a nice effective powerband and not have to pull the trans and do a torque converter. We have a few cam options that offer this with great drivability. This is why we are asking you what feels like a million questions. We do not want to just sell you a bunch of parts that require more parts that take away from the drivability of the vehicle and make you unhappy. No now you understand why we are asking you question after question, we have to. And feel free to reach out to us.