L79 Cam - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 02, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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ok I got to thinkin Im supposed to build an L79 for this guys 66 nova. So I went up to GM and asked them for the specs on the L79 cam, they came back and said 320 duration at the lash point!!! How can that be, that thing wouldnt come around till like 4500. And then they gave me the duration at .05 which is 222. Ok so how can a cam have so much advertised duration and only have 222 at .05. Does gm rate that cams differently to the aftermarket ones and if so what is the real advertised duration. And if so how much compression could you run with this beast with vortec heads,good quench and sanded sharp edges. I tried Pat kellys calculater but it didnt turn out right, any experience on these motors on the street? Man I thought if it was a GM cam it wouldnt be very wild...... god bless the 60's uhh? I would like to run 92 but I can get 100 for $1.70 any ideas? its going in a 331does anyone know how it would act in a 355
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 02, 01:00 PM
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There really are better cams around now than the old 350HP. Gm always put gentle ramps on their cams that is why at zero lash they look huge but in reality they aren't.

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 02, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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yes I know there are better cams, but this is stock replacement with the new heads and such. I guess he just likes the sound of 320 degrees of duration
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 02, 03:42 PM
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Moe,
I've got a box stock, original, L-79 with 41K miles in my '68 Vette and it runs fine on 92 octane pump gas. The motor has never been apart! I believe the advertised CR was 11.0. It's a little soft until around 3K rpms (M21, 3.70 rear), then all heck breaks loose. Very fun to drive.

------------------
Bill Burke

'80 Camaro RS
383, AFRs, TH350, 3.73
'68 Corvette L-79
41K original miles
'02 Corvette convert.
Torch Red/Black

'68 Corvette L-79
'80 Camaro RS
'02 Corvette
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 02, 05:58 PM
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The old -151, 350hp/327 cam is actually around a 290 cam by modern spec's and NOT GM's old off-the-wall spec's!

The old -346, or 30-30 solid, cam was per GM like a 346 cam but really about a 314 or so figured the modern way!

And, sure there are better modern cams out there but I gotta sneaking feeling that after all is said, the old-fashioned -151 cam will still be running after 120K miles where them modern fast action hi-po grinds will probably be worn out! Imho. pdq67
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 02, 03:06 AM
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I ran a 327 with 10:1 and the "151" cam. It needs to be installed 4 degrees advanced to pump up the bottom end. Use variable duration lifters to furter fatten the bottom end and it will run great. That cam when set up this way is trouble free, does not need any fancy valve springs or screw in studs or guideplates and has an outstanding RPM range. It has slow ramps which allow it to rev higher than a newer style camshaft with a similar application. A proven combination.

-Mark.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 02, 04:05 AM
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Make sure your running a 4 speed or an automatic transmission with greater than a 2600 RPM stall speed torque converter and rear gears lower than 3.55:1 with this cam. Keep in mind the cam was desinged for a 4 speed car, it is a very peaky cam. HP and torque don't really begin to get good until your above 3000 rpm. Also run as much compression as you can get gas for, at least 10:1 (4 valve relief, flat top pistons are only 9.7:1 with 62CC heads).

I had it in a 350 with 9.7 compression and a 2400 RPM torque converter and 3.08 gears. It was a dog off the line.

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1969 Indy Pace Car
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 02, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for all the responses. Im glad to hear that I can put some good squeeze with the cam. I saw an article with this cam and vortec heads in a 65 nova with the RPM manifold. It ran 12.2 with 373 out back and a m20. I have to disagree with the comment of the peaky power, I have built many of these and the cam with its 114 LSA has a wide range of power in even a 327 the only reason I could see it as peaky is that it aint a big block so it is gonna be soft till 3000. I like you may need to understand that if you dont have a 383 or 400, any other small block with be so to speak soft. I have never built one with vortec heads though, most owners like to use the edelbrouch RPM heads. I think the vortecs will be fine with a little bowl clean up. I too love the idea its a stock GM cam which promotes great durability and drivability along with power brakes in most cases. Do you guys have any ideas on the victor vortec? Is it worth the extra 60 bucks?

[This message has been edited by MoeSS396 (edited 08-29-2002).]
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 02, 03:52 PM
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By modern measurement standards, the "151" cam has 221*/221* duration @ .050", .447"/.447" gross lift, 110* intake centerline, and 114* lobe separation (and uses all plain ordinary rockers and springs). I've had several Corvettes with this cam (4-speeds), and it's probably the best all-around zero-maintenance performance hydraulic cam Chevy ever made. It was never offered with an automatic - only with a 4-speed. Installing them 4 degrees advanced definitely improves low-end torque - I did my last one that way, and it made quite a difference.

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 02, 04:01 PM
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Or drop the old -151 in a stock 350, L-48 engine at 10.25 to 1CR. or so and the stroke makes it very good! pdq67
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 02, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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any ideas on the victory manifold I have heard good things but I dont know if a 331 needs all that air? When do you guys think this cam will run out of steam with good hydo lifters. The one I seen run 12.2 shifted at 7000, I myself thought that was a bit high. does advancing the cam hurt top end pretty bad I mean this car has a 3500 stall. Thanks for all the info and stories
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 02, 04:48 PM
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The cam has a great RPM range and will not run out of steam at the top end even if installed 4 degrees advanced. Advancing this cam does not hurt the top end but makes a bigger difference at the bottom end. If you have DD2K you can try to model the cam but it has unusual specs so the program does not do a very good job simulating it based on the available settings. You can definately see how the 4 degrees helps it run better though. I can not tell you about the Victor Jr on this combo. I used a Edelbrock Performer and it worked great on the street with a Q-jet.

-Mark.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 02, 05:36 PM
 
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Just my opinion, but I absolutely HATE that cam. The shop that built my first engine 9 years ago was instructed to build a 350 horsepower 350 Chevy for high performace street use. Evidently they believed that since this cam made 350 horses in the L79, it would also make 350 horses in my 350. Not so! The original L79 was an 11:1 compression engine with a high rise manifold and good (for the time) heads. My engine with smog heads and stock mid 70s vintage intake manifold was a real dog. I'd recommend going with a more modern cam design; I think the engine would be much more responsive (especially if you plan to run it on today's junk gas). Maybe I just had a bad experience, but I was very dissatisfied with this cam's performance--remember, it is a design that was state of the art over 35 years ago.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 02, 06:23 AM
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Slow,

That's what we are saying! It need's some good CR. to really run right!

Nobody would think of dropping it in a low compression, smog engine and expect it to run right... Sorry you got a slug of a combination years ago by a shop that didn't have it together!

You want power out of a smog engine then stick with the old stock -929 cam (195/202) or step up to the Performer cam (204/214)that is just about exactly one step up the ladder!!!

Some of the guy's are even making the Crane 266 cam (210/210) work in these engines by really figuring out a good combination, but, IMHO, it is about tops for smog engines!! pdq67
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 02, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah Slow, why didnt you just tell them to build you an L79 then you get 350 hp. Some cams dont work with low compression and that is why this cam was never put in anything under 10.5-1. Man even with 11-1 you can run pump gas it bleeds of that much!!! I guess you just got burned cause I have built a handfull of these with great sucess. 12.2 in a 66 nova. thats with a 4 speed and 3.73 out back. I like to call that one hell of a engine using stock GM parts.... It has cleaned house on many a big block. I mean I could go faster but I like to say that im using all GM parts.... But im getting away from that. Im still looking for any updates on the victor vortec manifold. From what ive seen 7 HP on top aint worth 30 FT/lbs down low. Any of you guys heard anything on polishing the runners or anything. I have heard if you knock that edge out from under the exhaust valve and if you polish the runners it really helps. I just want some more opinions.
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