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Since I have never written on this subject before, I figure that it’s about time to discuss how to choose a high performance camshaft for your muscle car, I’ll discuss the main ideas, and the best ways to choose a camshaft for your muscle car.
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The first thing that you need to have a good handle on is what are you going to do with the car, how will often will you drive it, and what are your requirements for your car as far as performance, is this car to be a daily driver, or just a weekend warrior.

Do you depend on it to get you to work every day, or is if mostly a fun car to have, and you drive it occasionally, you need to know these things because they make a huge difference in the camshaft that you choose.

What is the intended rpm range of your muscle car, does it have an automatic transmission, or is it a manual transmission, if it’s an automatic transmission, you need to pay close attention to the rpm range of the camshaft, and match it to a stall converter for the cam.

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Usually the high performance of the cam that you choose, the higher the the rpm on the stall converter needs to be, for the best results you should match the stall rpm, to the point where the power range begins on the cam shaft, let’s say the the cam you chose has a rpm range from 2,500 – 7,500 rpm.

You’d need to purchase a stall converter that stalls at 2,500 rpm, or in other words in locks at 2,500 rpm, if you use a standard transmission, you won’t need to worry about this, the clutch in your car will take care of it.

This is only the beginning of the things that you need a handle on, for the best results you heads, and your valve springs need to match your cam specs, if your valve springs won’t handle the lift spec on your camshaft, this valve spring could bind, and shove the valve in to a piston.
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The best thing that you can do here is to use the manufacture recommended valve spring, let’s say that your camshaft has a spec of .550 lift and .260 duration, which is a pretty healthy camshaft for a street car, I would say that your valve springs should spec to at least .570 lift.

Usually camshaft specs are taken at 50 thousandths lift, or half lift, you also need to take the rocker arms in to consideration when selecting your camshaft, for a small block Chevy the factory rocker arms are usually set to a 1.5 ratio, and this works fine.

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But if you want to squeeze all of the performance possible out of the camshaft, you might want to think about using a 1.6 ratio on the rocker arms, I won’t go the nuts and bolts of what the ratios will do, but the 1.6 ratio will increase lift, which will make more power in the upper rpm ranges.

You should also think about how much time you want to spend under the hood of the car making adjustments to your valve train, if you like spending time under the hood, I would suggest that go with a solid roller cam, it will defiantly perform better.

If you prefer not to spend a lot of time under the hood, you should consider a hydraulic roller cam, I’m a big fan of the roller cam because it makes a lot less stress on the engine, and therefore generates more reliable high performance power for you muscle car.

You camshaft also needs to match the compression ration of your car, usually a bigger cam requires more compression, and therefore is not the best choice for street use, due to the fact that high octane gas is not easy to get these days.

But like everything else there are acceptations, if you plan run a turbocharger, or a supercharger you should not go above 9:1 compression, your power adder will make the extra compression that your engine needs to facilitate the camshaft.
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You best bet to get everything just right, is to have a chat with the tech line of the company that you plan to buy your camshaft from, Jegs high performance has the best tech line that I know of for a first time camshaft buyer, but you need to be ready to answer his questions.

He’s likely to ask questions like, what is the elevation that your at, what’s the compression of the engine that your building, what transmission are you running, is it turbocharged, or supercharged, and what carb do you plan to use, so be ready for the question, Jegs has a bunch of great guys.
[tags]muscle cars, camshafts, high performance cars[/tags]

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