Camshafts are considered the “brain of the engine”. Choosing the right camshaft that fits with the engine and crankshaft of your Chevy Stock 350 is critical to the output you are hoping for.
Along with turning rotational motion to linear motion, camshafts modulate the air and fuel flow to the engine to ensure optimum performance depending on the RPM and fuel economy of the engine.
Chevy 350 is a beast of a car with a v8 small block engine delivering 175 hp at 4200 RPM and 265 lb-ft @2800 RPM of maximum power and torque. An aftermarket camshaft, if not installed by amateurs, can deliver increased horsepower by keeping the valves open for a longer time during engine stroke.
How to Choose a Camshaft?
A “bigger cam” generally means how big the cam lobes are and the duration of the valve off its seat.
The camshaft is responsible for Horsepower, Torque, Idle Quality, and more. There are several variables other than choosing the biggest camshaft for your Stock 350.
– Operating RPM of the camshaft should match the Operating RPM Range of your Stock 350. Basic Operating RPM is the value where the power is maximum. For Stock 350, 4200 rpm.
– Lift is the distance that the valves are lifted from the seat or resting position. Expressed as a thousandth of inches.
– Duration is the amount of time the valve is kept open or is lifted from the seat. Expressed as the degree of rotation. A bigger cam usually means more duration.
– Lobe Separation Angle (LSA) is the distance between intake and exhaust lobes, choose your cam according to the specification provided with Stock 350.
Before throwing your hard-earned money and beloved Chevy in the wrong hands, ask these questions. Check the specifications of your stock 350 Engine specifications before getting the biggest cam to delight it.
What is the Biggest Cam for Stock 350:
Several manufacturers claim to produce the best and biggest cam for Stock 350, but COMP Cams CL12-600-4 is the biggest and best cam for Stock Chevy 350 with:
– 2,000-5,800 RPM Range
– 107-degree lobe separation angle
– 227/241 Duration at .050″.
– 0.479″/0.465″ Valve Lift
– Long Exhaust duration
– The springs fit the vortex head without machine work.
– Sounds meaner than the engine is.
– Made in the USA
This camshaft satisfies all the requirements of Stock 350 and is the biggest one you can fit. If you are looking to increase your car’s performance, this cam is the best for you.
Why Use Performance Camshafts:
Camshafts are responsible for the duration of valve opening and fuel intake. A performance camshaft – a bigger cam – can and does increase the horsepower of your stock 350 engine to generate more acceleration and torque. You’ll idle a little rougher, but the satisfying rumble of the engine is what some of us want.
While high-speed performance will certainly increase, performance cams are detrimental to lower speeds. You need higher torque to start the vehicle with a heavy load.
What is Cam Overlap?
Cam overlap is when intake and exhaust valves are opened together. It’s expressed in the degree of rotation.
A higher magnitude of overlap benefits from Scavenging Effects, but at a lower rpm, a vacuum is produced in the engine and causes a rough idle.
To calculate cam overlap, Exhaust Closing Point + Intake Opening Point = Overlap is used.
Does a Cam make a Car Louder?
Yes, especially if it has a nice lope to it. All the cars get louder after adding a cam. It’s not unbearably loud though, it’s more like a nice rumbling engine sound, even better when idling.
The choppy idling sound earns the cool factor. The noise could be a good or bad thing depending on the intended usage of your vehicle.
Do Performance Cams Harm my Car?
The performance cams are not known to “harm” the engine in a general sense, but fuel economy is certainly affected, especially in lower RPMs. As the aftermarket cams increase the fuel intake, more fuel is expected to burn to gain more acceleration.
Another disadvantage of a bigger cam is the lift. If the lift is not adjusted accordingly, it can push the lobes continuously to harm the springs. Installing a cam on worn-out springs is another hazard.
Should You Install the Biggest Cam for Stock 350?
One thing I should’ve mentioned earlier, that is aftermarket cams are not meant for every other Stock 350 owner. If you are racing with your Chevy, going for the biggest one won’t harm you, but if not, installing an aftermarket cam may affect your on-road performance and fuel economy, as the performance cams hurt low-rpm performance.
And the loud rumble might get you reported to the authorities.
How Hard is It to Install a Cam?
Let me tell you, you do not want to do this on your own at home without professional knowledge or guidance. It’s not easy as it sounds. The tricky part is not removing every other internal element to reach the camshaft and replacing it, the tricky part is to put back the elements together.
Installing the cam is not the goal, installing it effectively is. The adjustment required to not harm the engine needs to be accurate, or else you risk a breakdown. At this point, you have to call a mechanic to fix your car, which you can avoid by getting professional help from the beginning.
How to Detect a Faulty Cam?
Some of us replace the cam after it starts to feel faulty, some symptoms of a faulty cam are:
– Popping Sounds from the Engine
Misfires seldom occur naturally; you need to contact a mechanic if it happens.
How much horsepower will a cam add?
The engine can produce 390 to 440 horsepower depending on the bolts used and cam settings. Some cams can also produce 500 horsepower.
What gives a cam a lopey idle?
When the engine is shut off, the overlap causes the engine to continue to idle, giving the cam an idle slope. Since it blocks the exhaust, the more overlap there is, the greater the idle slope.
Is a four-bolt main better than a two-bolt main?
Yes, the 4-bolt main valve is more powerful and efficient than the 2-bolt main feed. Because the 4-bolt main feed withstands less pressure when power or torque is increased compared to the 2-bolt main feed.
How much power can the 350 produce?
The new conventional 350 engine can produce between 350 and 375 horsepower. The power output of the larger 350 engines remains between 400 and 475 horsepower and sometimes exceeds 500.
How much power can the 350’s four-bolt main valve handle?
In general, the 350’s four-screw main valve can handle up to 1200 horsepower over a day, compared to the 350-375 upward horsepower produced by a typical 350 engine.
Can you get 500hp out of a 350?
Yes, you can get the 350 engine to produce 500 horsepower, but you won’t be able to enjoy the torque. Because the 350 is a small engine, 500 horsepower can improve its performance.
What is the best cam for the stock 350?
Because of its excellent shifting ability, the Chevy 350 stroker cam is one of the best cams for the stock 350. Its lobe separation unit exceeds 100 degrees, and its RMP ranges from 2200 to 6100.
What is the best cam to install in the stock 350?
The COMP CL12-600-4 cam is the best cam installed in the stock 350. It can significantly increase horsepower and comes with a full one-year warranty.
What is the biggest cam in the 350 TBI?
The largest cam in your 350 TBI LT1 truck cam set. In TBI applications, the cam has excellent duration and lobe separation. The valve will remain closed for an extended period as the LT1 duration increases. At the same time, the increased lobe separation of the LT1 can provide a wider power band, better vacuum signal, and better idle quality.
What is the biggest cam available for the 350 Vortec?
The best 350 stroker cam is the largest and one of the best cams for the stock 350 Vortec. The cam has a powerful power and torque boost function that can provide the best overlap performance in the industry.
What is the biggest cam that fits the original 350?
The COMP CL12-600-4 cam is the largest in the 350 inventory and has proven its reliability for performance enhancement since 1976. It will significantly alter the horsepower and torque performance of the vehicle.
Out of all the cams available for Stock 350, the one listed here is by far the biggest and most popular among Chevy owners. Being a very old engine, a new camshaft will make a huge difference to your car or even pump a new breath of life.