454 cam recommendation - Team Camaro Tech
Engine General Engine Discussion.

 6Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 69 (permalink) Old Nov 10th, 14, 05:43 AM Thread Starter
Gold Lifetime Member
Matt
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Lauderhill, Florida
Posts: 1,058
454 cam recommendation

I am getting ready to build a 454 big block and I am seeking cam recommendations from anyone who has real world experience with a similar build. Here is what I have. 73 454 2 bolt that will be bored 30 over. Forged G.M. crank, Eagle forged I beam 6.135 rods, Forged pistons 10 to 1 compression, G.M. 781 large oval cast iron heads opened up for 2.19 intake and 1.88 exhaust valves, Comp. Cams Pro Magnum full roller rocker arms, Weiand Stealth Aluminum high rise intake manifold, Factory 780 cfm. vacuum secondary Holley carburetor, MSD pro billet distributor and 6AL box. I currently have the block, crank, heads, carburetor, and ignition, everything else is on my wish list and will be purchased soon. I am looking for 500-525 hp. and at least the same on the torque side. The car it will be going into is a 1969 Camaro, 4 speed, 12 bolt 3.55 with positraction, power steering and power disc brakes, no A/C. This is a street driven car that will probably never see the track. I am looking for a cam that of course has a nice lumpy idle but needs to be able to run on the highway for road trips as well as be able to idle in traffic for around town cruising. I want to be able to roast the tires at will and have my eyes pressed to the back of my skull. I have had small blocks all my life and this will be my first big block. I received a complete standard, bore running 454 (casting number 399 289),with a matching pair of 781 heads and a forged crank for nothing. I am committed to building this motor. I have the budget for a roller cam. My only requirements are that the cam by hydraulic. I am not opposed to a hydraulic flat tappet either. I am not looking to spin past 6500 rpm. I more than likely will shift by 6000 rpm just to be safe. Reliability is at the top of my list. I have been looking hard at Comp Cams and Lunati and I have heard Chris Straub's name a lot as well. I appreciate any and all feed back from you guys that are running big blocks. Thanks.

1969 SS Garnet Red X55 350 Factory 4 speed
12 Bolt 3.55 Posi
461 BBC TKO600
Matt 69 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 69 (permalink) Old Nov 10th, 14, 08:03 AM
Senior Tech
Dave
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 4,681
Re: 454 cam recommendation

Big blocks do not make the same level of power per cubic inch that the small block does due to two issues. The motor was designed in late 1961 to be a race engine for NASCAR high bank racing. As such it was designed to make power only at high RPM. The heads had huge intake ports to move air at high RPM but to avoid push rods the ports were asymmetrical (paired) which created a good and bad port due to how the charge was aimed. The motor was also designed to have the maximum compression that the 104 pump gas of the day would support which was 12.5:1 provided by a large domed piston that filled the bath tub shaped combustion chamber. This is why a big block responds well to higher cylinder pressures with a lot of advanced ignition timing.

Today pump gas offers only 92 octane, so high compression isn't an option. In 1969 the open chambered head was first offered as an improvement in breathing as it unshrouded the intake valve. In every case if you compare the valve area per cube you will discover that the big block has the smallest valves per cube of any motor made. And because this bigger physically engine having to fit into car engine bays the exhaust port was short and forces the exhaust to make a 180 degree turn with in five inches.

The exhaust port has always been an after thought. It is poorly designed and small in size when considering the displacement. This handicaps the engine and anything that can improve the exhaust increased power across the entire RPM spectrum. Modern castings have raised the port by 0.300 inch to straighten out some of the sharp bend in the port but no one has yet to enlarge the port's size. When you consider few still use the stock cast iron exhaust manifolds, and most are forced to use custom made tube headers for fitment why not go bigger?

Knowing the restrictions placed on a big block build today by poor quality pump gas (the octane varies by a quite a lot depending upon source and day of the week) You are well advised to limit compression (small dome to flat top pistons). You also have to consider the restrictions of the exhaust port. Knowing the valves are small you need a cam that maximizes lift to compensate (which is why Pro Stock cars use cams with lifts above one inch at the valve).

You also have to consider you are driving on the street not on a high bank 0val of a NASCAR track. This means you do not want a long duration cam that generates "a nice lumpy idle". That rumpity rump idle is caused by your fresh air and fuel charge being pushed back up the intake ports by the valve being left open. Starved of a fresh air and fuel charge and polluted by exhaust gasses pouring into the cylinder by the exhaust valve being left open, you have no bottom end power. Long duration cams are designed for race cars that run at high RPM and need the valves left open to give air the time it needs to move into and out of the engine.

So what about the cam recommendation? Like Chris Straub I used to build motors professionally; the biggest difference being that I am a lot older, and I am now retired. Another difference is I have a degree in engineering. Because of this I am a little more conservative because it has to work as intended. You want a street driven car that you are "... able to roast the tires at will and have my eyes pressed to the back of my skull."
That requires you to maximize engine torque and a high numeric rear gear.

I have had issues with Comp Cams before I retired in terms of reliability; one of the parameters you requested. I would use a Lunati cam or a Crane cam. GM thinks highly enough of these two companies to use their cams and cranks in their crate engines.

You need a cam that has more duration on the exhaust side than the intake and an LSA that is wider than narrow to build power in the lower RPM range. The narrower LSA creates a motor that has a higher peak horsepower but the RPM band width is narrower. Widen the LSA and the opposite occurs. You want a cam that has the highest lift with the smallest duration. These are generally found in the RV or Marine section of the cam catalog.

I will start crawling through my cam catalogs and get back with you on a specific cam grind for all of the cam grinders that I have access to. This will take a while to research.

Big Dave
Larger Dave is offline  
post #3 of 69 (permalink) Old Nov 10th, 14, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
Gold Lifetime Member
Matt
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Lauderhill, Florida
Posts: 1,058
Re: 454 cam recommendation

Thank you Big Dave for the response. I appreciate you taking the time to help me select a cam for my motor. I forgot to mention that I will be running 2'' long tube headers going into a 3'' exhaust with an "X" pipe that reduces down to 2 1/2'' after the X all the way out to the tails with DynoMax Super Turbo mufflers. Do you have any opinions on my setup? Is there anything that you would change or do differently? I have not purchased the pistons yet, so compression can be adjusted and optimized if necessary nor am I committed to any cam manufacturers. Do you have a preference towards what type of cam? Hydraulic roller vs. Hydraulic flat tappet? I will wait for your response. Thanks. Matt.

1969 SS Garnet Red X55 350 Factory 4 speed
12 Bolt 3.55 Posi
461 BBC TKO600
Matt 69 is offline  
 
post #4 of 69 (permalink) Old Nov 10th, 14, 09:23 AM
Senior Tech
Dave
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 4,681
Re: 454 cam recommendation

A roller cam beats a flat tappet hands down. It not only does a better job of optimizing the lobe profiles it also can work with todays motor oils that lack DZZP in sufficient levels to protect a motor.

Keep in mind that horsepower is determined by your choice of heads. Modern cams have much more lift than older cams thought were ever possible. This can compensate for a poor head choice but not as much as a modern cam and a modern head. A lot of computer time has been invested in designing modern heads which can be disguised as an original head. The original heads were created not by computer, but by an engineer that was more concerned with ease of casting more than optimizing horsepower. Case in point the hottest 454 offered by Chevrolet was the LS-7 that was rated at 465 horsepower and 610 ft./lbs. of torque. This is below your horsepower goal but the torque is enough to roast any street tire.

I haven't found it yet but I am looking for a cam with a duration at .050" tappet lift of about 220°/230° and lift at the valve of 0.530"/0.550". with a 112° LSA This is why I always have my cams custom ground as I have a hard time finding what I want in the catalogs.

Big Dave
zdld17 likes this.
Larger Dave is offline  
post #5 of 69 (permalink) Old Nov 10th, 14, 09:39 AM
Gold Lifetime Member
Timmy
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Trumbull CT USA
Posts: 603
Re: 454 cam recommendation

Quote - "This is a street driven car that will probably never see the track. I am looking for a cam that of course has a nice lumpy idle but needs to be able to run on the highway for road trips as well as be able to idle in traffic for around town cruising. I want to be able to roast the tires at will and have my eyes pressed to the back of my skull."

Hi Matt
I had what you are looking for and have almost the same Build for my 69 SS/RS.
Do not want to get into a "Overlap/ Duration/ Roller" battle, I went with what my Engine builder recommended and we assembled my 427.

I told him around 500 HP, Drivability for the Street "pump Gas", need Vacuum for the brakes and I wanted that "Thumper Sound" and have the SS Hood I did not want to loose to a tall Hi Rise Manifold, might go to the "Track" once in 5 years or so for a few runs.

Block is a 1972 454, .060" over pistons, Steel 427 Crank, Went with an Iskenderian Cam, Flat Tappet/ Hydraulic Cam, Crane Roller Rockers. And use the Valvoline Race oil with the Zinc additive.

Dyno #’s were 434 HP and 483 TQ, I could have gotten 500+ if we left the 11:1 Compression and a few more things – 500 HP was just a bragging # for me

I went thru 3 sets of Headers’, and finally went with the Doug’s D-320 as my Car has Power Steering and they fit great.

Still working towards getting my Car on the road but I have a great Engine package.

Coleman Racing Engines on YouTube :

https://video.search.yahoo.com/searc...-s&fr2=piv-web

Video is from June, I did a Video in the Car 2 weeks ago but can't upload it here, PM me and I will send the one in the car.

I have more info if you want.
Timmy
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	427 w Rockers.jpg
Views:	292
Size:	91.1 KB
ID:	91425   Click image for larger version

Name:	427 on the Dyno June 7 2014.jpg
Views:	293
Size:	117.4 KB
ID:	91433   Click image for larger version

Name:	1969 Camaro 427 Dougs 007.jpg
Views:	331
Size:	131.9 KB
ID:	91441  

Click image for larger version

Name:	1969 Camaro 427 Engine Installed 003.jpg
Views:	540
Size:	124.8 KB
ID:	91449  
french69ssrs is offline  
post #6 of 69 (permalink) Old Nov 10th, 14, 10:00 AM
Senior Tech
Jess
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Lost Creek, KY
Posts: 1,355
Re: 454 cam recommendation

I agree with the roller. If i had the bucks back then I would have gone roller in my car, but I didnt. I have the same engine as you just about. Mine 30 over and 10.25 to 1. Iused a Comp Cams dual pattern XE272H. Works great for me. Here is the Link: http://www.compcams.com/Company/CC/c...?csid=396&sb=0
I know it was said that Comp Cams gave issues. I have never had one, but if you got the cash, go roller. No break in. Run smoother. Easier on the valve train which is a weak spot for big blocks. Good Luck! Let us know what you go with. Have any questions just PM me or hit me in the forum.

Jess67
67 Camaro Blue 427, 4-speed, 12 bolt
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

67 Camaro 350, 200-4R, PS, AC, PB, IN PARTS
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Jess67 is offline  
post #7 of 69 (permalink) Old Nov 10th, 14, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
Gold Lifetime Member
Matt
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Lauderhill, Florida
Posts: 1,058
Re: 454 cam recommendation

Thank you Dave, Tim, and Jess. I value your experience greatly.Picking the cam seems to be the hardest part to decide on when building a motor. As stated earlier, I do have the funds for a hydraulic roller cam and that is what I have been leaning towards. I have read that the lift and duration profiles change when you go roller, and that the specs appear to be more aggressive then the cam actually is. I just want to make sure that I have "enough cam" for my motor. I want to build it right the first time. I too have heard good and bad about Comp Cams. My experience with them has been positive. I have had a Magnum 292 hydraulic flat tappet cam in my 350 for 15 years and thankfully have not had any issue's. The available profiles from the cam manufacturers are unlimited, that is why I am seeking everyone's own experiences. Thanks again guy's. Keep the info coming.

1969 SS Garnet Red X55 350 Factory 4 speed
12 Bolt 3.55 Posi
461 BBC TKO600
Matt 69 is offline  
post #8 of 69 (permalink) Old Nov 10th, 14, 12:05 PM
Senior Tech
Brian
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Maryland
Posts: 104
Re: 454 cam recommendation

How about something from Howards Cams? Their part number 120245-12 looks like a possibility. I was thinking about 120265-12 for a 496 but still not sure.

http://www.howardscams.com/chevrolet...967-1995#core2
BrianS is offline  
post #9 of 69 (permalink) Old Nov 10th, 14, 02:22 PM
Senior Tech
Chris
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Tri-Cities, TN
Posts: 539
Re: 454 cam recommendation


454 with a Strauby
570/550
229/241 .050"
109
zdld17 likes this.

Chris

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
cstraub is offline  
post #10 of 69 (permalink) Old Nov 10th, 14, 02:41 PM
Senior Tech
Dave
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 4,681
Re: 454 cam recommendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianS View Post
How about something from Howards Cams? Their part number 120245-12 looks like a possibility. I was thinking about 120265-12 for a 496 but still not sure.

http://www.howardscams.com/chevrolet...967-1995#core2
I couldn't find the 120245 grind, but I did find one I liked under the Marine section; 122121-14 225°/235° duration @ 0.050" lift, and 0.527"/0.533" lift at the valve on a 114° LSA. This cam requires headers and a 2500 RPM stall converter.

Not crazy about a hydraulic flat tappet cam unless you use Morel tappets and break in the cam with your old valve springs. Then swap the springs over to the ones that meet the minimum spring rate that they recommend only purchased from PAC if you can find that spring rate.

Found one that is closer to ideal in the hydraulic roller section. Grind number 122115-14 225°/235° duration @ 0.050" lift, and 0.595"/0.601" lift at the valve on a 114° LSA. The added lift is due to the roller tappet that rolls over a steeper faster accelerating ramp where a flat tappet's edge digs into the ramp.



Big Dave
Larger Dave is offline  
post #11 of 69 (permalink) Old Nov 10th, 14, 02:56 PM
Senior Tech
Chris
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Tri-Cities, TN
Posts: 539
Re: 454 cam recommendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by cstraub View Post
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYUw9boCQ5s

454 with a Strauby
570/550
229/241 .050"
109
11" of vacuum minimum

Chris

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
cstraub is offline  
post #12 of 69 (permalink) Old Nov 10th, 14, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
Gold Lifetime Member
Matt
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Lauderhill, Florida
Posts: 1,058
Re: 454 cam recommendation

Thanks for the reply again Big Dave. With the cam that you suggested, what kind of street manners due you think a 454 would have? Is that cam considered big for a big block? Does Howards grind their cams on billet or cast cores? Do you have a preference? What brand hydraulic roller tappets and valve springs would you recommend?

1969 SS Garnet Red X55 350 Factory 4 speed
12 Bolt 3.55 Posi
461 BBC TKO600
Matt 69 is offline  
post #13 of 69 (permalink) Old Nov 10th, 14, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
Gold Lifetime Member
Matt
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Lauderhill, Florida
Posts: 1,058
Re: 454 cam recommendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by cstraub View Post
11" of vacuum minimum
Thanks for the video Chris. I was waiting to here you chime in with your thoughts and recommendations. It appears that you and several others on here have extensive experience with big blocks. The Chevelle in the video sounds sweet! I like the idle, but how does it run on the street?

1969 SS Garnet Red X55 350 Factory 4 speed
12 Bolt 3.55 Posi
461 BBC TKO600
Matt 69 is offline  
post #14 of 69 (permalink) Old Nov 10th, 14, 04:59 PM
Senior Tech
Anne
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Eddyville KY
Posts: 1,470
Re: 454 cam recommendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt 69 View Post
I like the idle, but how does it run on the street?
He posted 570 hp/ 550 tq. Very impressive.

And with only 229 intake duration.

Sounds like a low 11 second Camaro to me.

Are you planning on bigger valves and pocket porting the 781's ?

If you sell those 781's and price some brodix race rites, you might prefer to buy the aluminum heads and save 70 pounds. The difference will probably be $600.

Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.
Ronald Reagan
Lawrence454 is offline  
post #15 of 69 (permalink) Old Nov 10th, 14, 09:01 PM
Senior Tech
Brian
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Maryland
Posts: 104
Re: 454 cam recommendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larger Dave View Post
I couldn't find the 120245 grind, but I did find one I liked under the Marine section; 122121-14 225°/235° duration @ 0.050" lift, and 0.527"/0.533" lift at the valve on a 114° LSA. This cam requires headers and a 2500 RPM stall converter.

Not crazy about a hydraulic flat tappet cam unless you use Morel tappets and break in the cam with your old valve springs. Then swap the springs over to the ones that meet the minimum spring rate that they recommend only purchased from PAC if you can find that spring rate.

Found one that is closer to ideal in the hydraulic roller section. Grind number 122115-14 225°/235° duration @ 0.050" lift, and 0.595"/0.601" lift at the valve on a 114° LSA. The added lift is due to the roller tappet that rolls over a steeper faster accelerating ramp where a flat tappet's edge digs into the ramp.



Big Dave
My link went to the flat tappet tab, but I was looking at the grinds in the Retro-Fit Hydraulic Roller tab. Definitely going with roller. The 120245-12 is 225/231 @ 0.050 and 0.567/0.578 lift at 112 LSA.

Or maybe a 120205-12 or -14.
233/245 @ 0.050 and 0.634/0.634 lift at 112 or 114 LSA.
BrianS is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Team Camaro Tech forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address.
NOTE we receive a lot of registrations with bad email addresses. IF you do not receive your confirmation email you will not be able to post. contact support and we will try and help.
Be sure you enter a valid email address and check your spam folder as well.



Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome