I've been putting this off far too long since its such a newbie question, but I definitely have a cam in my future but most of the cams that make really good power make that power until 6500-7000rpm in some cases. In order to stay safe I always planned on having shift points set to 6300 to make sure there wasn't much stress on the valvetrain, including blowing the motor. But, if I did want to go with a bigger cam, and possibly heads as well, what would need to be replaced/upgraded in order to allow the engine to safely reach higher rpms, like 7,000-7,500 maybe?
(07/01/11 - 08/12/2014): SOLD 1999 Firebird Formula A4: Stalled w/ Bolt Ons - 326rwhp 322rwtq tuned by Andrew at Complete Street
You need better valve springs for higher RPMs. Those need to be upgraded along with a cam. There is no need for higher RPMs with the stock cam because it peaks around 5600. Aftermarket cams typically peak around 6300 and 6800 is a common rev limit. Over 6800 requires more parts and planning.
You don't want to spin a stock bottom end LS1 past 6800. If it is a pre-2001 new rod bolts would be a must to even reach that. I would focus on finding a cam that peaks earlier where you don't have to spin it that high.
Also, I forgot to mention, with the ARP rod bolts I hear that you have to resize the rods which means you have to remove the motor from the car and disassemble it pretty much. A good alternative could be the Katech bolts, I hear those are very nice. Plus, you can change them in the car. However, to me it seems like it would be a good idea to just go ahead and resize the rods anyways.
I'm doing a h/c/i build on my 74k mile SBE ls1 in my 99 t/a it will consist of cnc ported & milled 243's shooting for 12.1cr, 239/243 112+4 cam, ported fast & 102mm tb, flycut stock pistons/ported oil pump everything else stock on the bottom end so im thinking 7k+ shift points so i'll see how that goes!!!