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I would normally just steer clear of this thread, but I will also note that I have climbed the cam ladder and it progressively sucked harder towards the top.
2002: 222/226 ran on stock tune for about a year, got it tuned and it seemed to have a tad more.
2002: 224/224 ran with the 222/226 cam tune and it ran great all day all kinds of weather.
2004: 228/232 had a surge issue here and there
2005: 236/236 had low rpm bucking and surging, but I was still willing to tolerate it.
2005 - Current: 244/248 bucks like a champion bull, surges on hot days in traffic, burned up a clutch just to get it to go, worthless until 4k, but sounds cool.
This was all on the stock gears. I don't drive it but every now and again though. It is getting close to being weekend warrior and track car only (which I don't want). I will take it to work right now just to have some oil move through it. Still undecided on a rear end, but it will consist of a cam swap...going smaller I can tell you that.
I think some of us did learn the hard way. I started with the G5X2, went to the G5X? (this was one NASTY cam... felt like a drag car and would not do anything but buck and surge below 3k, but after that it would flat ******* fly!) , then to the G5X3 (I liked this one) and then went to the LPE GT2-3
Selling in the crowded automotive aftermarket seems to need
vendors to get folks to let go of rationality and buy based on
excitement / impulse. Common sense is not part of the picture.
Hard to get someone to plunk down $350 for "It's not the best,
biggest or baddest but it's sensible improvement" when your
comp is saying "only $349.95 and you will kick all ***" (fine print
says "may require some tuning, 5.83 gears and a 9000RPPM
Sex sells. Just so happens the little bit about giving or receiving
(and side effects) is left to the buyer's imagination.
Me, 224/224 on a 116, still on the shelf. Used. I'm nobody's
As has been stated already. You have the crowd who thinks bigger is better. If 230 is good, then 240 must be better. After all it is bigger, so its going to make more power, right? I'll use the T-Rex as an example. Q: What was the impetus for that cam? A: The biggest possible cam you could fit into a motor plain and simple. That isn't to knock TR for building it, they built it to fit a segment of the market who feels bigger has to be better. They gave the market exactly what it wanted. Even if what hey wanted isn't the best choice for them. I commend them for it. After all if the stupid people want it, and you try to educate them, and they still come back wanting a BIG cam, give them what they want....
Patrick is right tuning is the key. I saw the Aussie guys in '03 tune BIG cams to run in SD. We're just getting to where they were several years ago. Tuning software is getting beter. Now, the skill of the tuners just needs to catch up.
But, it all comes down to combination. Folks never want to hear that. Let me give you an example. Going back to "old school" (mid-late 80's).
Everyone who put together a motor seemed like they either had to go with a Comp 292H (244/244 110+4) or if you were going crazy, then you stuck in a 305H (253/253 110+4). These were stock headed 355's to 406's. Sometimes with ported iron heads, but often times you were just lucky to have unported heads and 2.02/1.60 valves. Of course for anyone who was around GenI stuff, you all know what "double hump" or "camel hump" heads are. For anyone else, they were the 461 casting "fuelie" heads. A setup like this made decent power. With a good setup you could have a a car that you could drive to school and run 12.20's to 11.80's. Throw a 250 shot plate on the car and run mid 10's.
Now, I didn't follow the trend. I built a 383 with a relatively small cam. It was based on a Crane HMV-278 which if memory serves me was either a 216/228 or a 222/234 cam. Same weight car (3364 for my car) as everyone else, and it ran 12.30's. I had a small stall (2200), but I ran 4.10's. The car actually had too much gear, as I'd go through the traps on the rev limiter. Car had gobs of torque, and ran down cars with much lumpier cams, better heads, etc... It was all in the fact they had not thought about the combo. It was all about bigger must be better. I outran numerous cars that on paper I shouldn't have.
Another example. Everyone had to have an 850 double pumper. I ran a 750 vaccum secondary with a metering block conversion kit so I could jet the back barrels, and to control the "hit" from the back two barrels). I tuned the carb so that with my small stall (which was just a bit too small for my cam), and with a #25 squirter in the front that the car had just the least ammount of bog in it. This allowed me to run CHEAP tires on the car. My daily driver tires were Road Hugger Radial GT's that my buddy gave me off his car. They were like 215/75/15's (car ran 12.50's to 12.70's on them). I had a set of M&H's that a buddy witha Mustang said wouldn't hook. I mounted them on spare rims, and ran them for 2 more years. I just carried my "carb kit" in the center console. So, when I swapped tires I just changed out the squirter (to a #35). Then the car got VERY throttle resposive. Had I gone with conventional wisdom and put an 850 on the car it would have been over-carb'd, it probably would have been soggy on throttle responsiveness, etc...
Half the folks on here just want to keep adding lobe, spreading LSA, and advancing the cam in the hopes it will make power. If folks spent half as much time thinking about the end goal of their combo, rahter than who makes the best looking airlid, or whose Y pipe is going to get them .0001HP then there would be a lot more cars out there who were making big power.
We run a fairly big stick in Tommy's car, but it is purpose built for one reason, so that is the cam that does what it needs to do. I could drive a car with deep gears and a big lope every day. But I know a lot of folks who wouldn't enjoy it at all. So, it also comes down to personal preference.
But, I think it is funny to lay some of the graphs over one another and you see a car with 400 HP, and the area under the curve and the average power is 100x that of a car making 450 RWHP that has a little ski slope at the end of the graph basically. But, those big numbers are what sell packages. People don't look athe whole graph just like they only look at peak flow numbers froma flow bench. Who cars about port volume or midlift....
My main concern in starting this thread is my opinion (and many others) the smaller 221 to 224 cams can ACTUALLY make good usuable power and go fast. so MANY cars were going 11s n/a and 10s on spray on a daily driveable small cam combo. i think its ridiculous when i see these 240+ duration cammed cars in T56 cars going 12s
1999 Pontiac Trans Am | 404" LQ9 | Nitrous | Drag Radials | 3600 lbs
9.2 @ 144 1.28 60'
Sadly, I feel that too many newer LSX enthusiasts that just joined the game are influenced by peak dyno numbers and are forgetting that it is all about having the highest average horsepower throughout the racing RPM range. That means you want a nice broad HP curve across your racing powerband, not just some goofy looking high HP spike at the shift point.
We were running 11s on motor back in 1999 with 221/221 cams, full weight cars with zero weight reduction, on drag radials, hypertech tuning, with ported heads that didn't even clear 300 cfm. It is sad to see how many cars today run slower than that and have HUGE cams and crappy drivability.
Time to quit dyno racing and spend more time at the track.
btw to add to this post, not only can you run a small cam, run great numbers, have a great driving street car - but you can do it on cheaper valve springs. comp 918 springs are great on those small cams.
1999 Pontiac Trans Am | 404" LQ9 | Nitrous | Drag Radials | 3600 lbs
9.2 @ 144 1.28 60'
or you can throw in a 224 cam on nearly stock tuning, run 11s na, and have a great running car lol...
I ran just as fast as 228/228 as I ran with a 232/236. I probably did a better job tuning the 228 cam, but for my combo even with better tuning, I wouldn't have seen enough gain to justify the slightly worse street manners of the bigger cam.
__________________ 2008 Atomic Orange Coupe 3LT, CC3, Z51 M6
LG Pros with cats, Vararam, 160 T-stat, DTE 3.90s, Elite tunnel plate, Pfadt JOC Stage I, catch can, LG Wheels with 275 / 325 Invos MGW Shifter, EPS 226/230 115 cam, Peak ported IM & TB, HPT.
Gone but not forgotten:
2002 Camaro SS Droptop. cam, gears, etc.
11 sec 99 Z28 Vert, RIP.
it is kinda sad when you think about it but ALOT of people are all about the big DYNO number and then the car has nothing on the street where its mainly used. there are still a few here that do get it though and strive to teach the new comers its more about "under the curve " power that you want. im still on the smaller side and love it with no surges/bucks/ect. all my setups so far have run great. TR230/224- made great power, ran hard at the track. got 26+mpg still lol. 230/228 on 112 same thing drives awsome with no issues, and backs it up at the track and street . espically when 80% of the cars usage is the street . AFR desigened there heads to work with smaller cams , look what that 224/228 "baby" cam did. ill take smaller anyday to a monster that wont be up to par under the curve on the street. now whe you add more cubes it gets a tad different
__________________ SOLD 2000 m6, Built/Tuned By Slowhawk Performance
VA Speed 418, TF-225's, baby cam, 9",SPEC-dual,
current vehicle- 2013 Kia Optima
I think it has alot to do with people not wanting to spend big bucks on heads to match there smaller cam. I would take a 22X/AFR's over my F14 anyday...but the the cost difference between them is huge.
__________________ 98 Trans Am Forged 370 / ST80 Front Mount - In The Works 04' Silver R1 GYT-R Exhaust, PCIII, LSL Sliders 95 F-350 11" Suspension Lift, 38x15 PJ's/Forged Ion Wheels 03' Quicksilver ZO6 Kooks 1 3/4 Coated Headers/Catless X-pipe, B&B Bi-Modal Fusion Catback VR-B2/PD, Jantzer TB, MGW Shifter - Jeremy Formato Tuned 393WHP/371TQ
__________________ RED 2002 SS (no T-tops), m6, 224/228 112 lsa 108cl 570/560 lift (373hp/366.8tq), Compcams 915 valve springs, ASP pulley, SLP headers/cats/Ypipe and 1998 OEM WS6/SS Single Outlet Exhaust, 3.73 ring and pinion, Lou's shortstick with SLP short throw shifter, SLP ram air kit, SLP Spring and Shock package, SLP Shck Tower Brace, SLP Torque Arm.