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Generation III Internal Engine
1997-2006 LS1 | LS6
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Old 02-27-2008, 04:31 AM   #1
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Question Does a big cam require gear and converter?

Alright, here's the deal...I'm looking to put a big cam in the SS. I've been doing a lot of thinking and decided that because the car is not daily driven, a big cam would be the ideal path for me. I was initially looking at the MS4 but after a lot of reading, I kind of realized I want a T-ReX...as for what the car has now, full intake and exhaust... I'm looking to go cam only as well. Obviously I would replace the springs and pushrods and such. Come summer, my plans are to throw in a pt4400 and 3.73 gear (car is A4)...but do you guys think that putting this cam in lacking a converter and gear is a bad idea? I figure it will be tough as hell to drive around without a tune and all but I think it would be even more difficult without them. That is really my main concern. Any thoughts?
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Old 02-27-2008, 04:58 AM   #2
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If your car came with the 3.23's I'd just cam and stall it. Unless you are building for the track Id keep the gears high and the top speed up.
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Old 02-27-2008, 05:22 AM   #3
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You have to put a stall in it for a cam anywhere near that big.

If you have 2.73's you really need to upgrade them before putting in a cam anywhere near that big. If you have 3.23's you might get away with it but 3.42's or 3.73's would be much better.

Tuning will be required before driving it more than around the block for a cam anywhere near that big.
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Old 02-27-2008, 06:41 AM   #4
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yea sorry i forgot to mention...its a anniversary model...came with a 3.23...so stall is the most serious thing i have to wrry about then...pt4400 sound like a good buy?

and if you guys could also help me out...im in school far from home so i dont get many chances during the year to get an estimate for labor...have any ideas on how much labor would be on installing the cam and all components?
stall? gears? thanks
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Old 02-27-2008, 06:45 AM   #5
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Yep, I love my PT4000. Great converter and it will play fine with the 3.23's though you'll gain more if you step up to 3.42 or 3.73's.
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Old 02-27-2008, 07:31 AM   #6
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That thing won't idle at the stock idle speed if you're not getting it tuned.. I'm pretty certain of that. Then say you drill out the tb a little to get more air in and you're idling around 1000.. that thing is going to push through the brakes like you wouldn't believe. For a cam that big without a doubt going with the converter first is the only way to go.
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Old 02-27-2008, 07:46 AM   #7
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cool...thanks guys i appreciate it...im working a few jobs over the summer because i want to finally start putting stuff in the car...i remember the time i put headers in i never wanted to get out of the dam car! i think my plan is this...get the pt4400...then the big *** cam...and 3.73's...cant forget stickies...then ill be in great shape when theh rear end blows to ****!
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Old 02-27-2008, 07:54 AM   #8
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With that large of cam, and w/o gear OR converter its going to suck. You need a loose one for that!
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Old 02-27-2008, 08:03 AM   #9
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yes, you will need both with that big of a cam, and you will need a tune. If you dont you wont see the full potential of the cam and it would probably help out with the streetable to get a stall and gears
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Old 02-27-2008, 07:16 PM   #10
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i keep hearig different things about shift kits too...should i worry about getting one?
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Old 02-27-2008, 07:42 PM   #11
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I installed my TREX myself and drove the car to a friend's shop with stock gear, converter and no tune. Drive slow DONT WOT. If you're driving it just to the tune shop there wouldn't be a problem at all. Car is driveable with stock gear and converter if you havent got money, just get a really good tune for a trex, its a badass cam with a badass duration and a baddass idle. For performance application you should get some gears and a converter (at least 3800) I got 4400 with tbrake, if you get a 4400 and brake stall it, it'll break stall at 3400 aprox and the cam says range of power is at 3500 minimum, I'f you're gonna brake stall it I'd go with a 5000 stall. By the way get a 4.10, there's no much difference from a 3.73. Good luck pal
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Old 02-27-2008, 07:46 PM   #12
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id gear it and stall it first. dont jump the gun
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Old 02-27-2008, 08:38 PM   #13
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Atall definitly for a cam that big. As for gears, try to find a used 3.42 out of a stick car. You can probably find one for free or close to it in your local forums. That will get you through until you can get a new rear or the 3.73's in.
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:04 AM   #14
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Gear arent expensive. I got a 3.73 rear for $150. That's with the gears already installed. Just look for entire rears. It's faster to install IMO. That car isnt going to be too driveable i cant imagine though. You don't want 4.10s. In my Lt1 T56 with 3.73s i turn 2500rpm in 6th at 75mph. You'll be more like 3,000 with 3.73s and 4.10s will put you up even higher.
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:12 AM   #15
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so you think the setup im hoping for is a lost cause? i appreciate your advise though...im trying hear as much as i can...what do you think would be an ideal setup for what it looks like i want to accomplish?
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:36 AM   #16
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A cam is about the most expensive mod asside from a procharger and the heads themelves that you can do. It adds up quick.

for the front gasket set - $53
new oil pump - $90
timing set - $60
camshaft - $300
springs - $200
pushrods - $115
oil - $40
coolant - $40
rent spring compressor/pushrod tool - $40
tune - $300

And you WILL NOT be happy with the performance with a stock stall and rear. You will need atleast a 3600-4000 ($500) stall and 3.73s ($300). It'll be fun but less streetable. Thats the whole reason i took out my built Th400 and put in a T56 in my 68. I say just wait. I've been collecting parts for a year and a half now and just finally took my vacation to put it all in. I'm happy i waited because i have everything here and its everything i wanted.
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Old 02-28-2008, 10:58 AM   #17
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Your set up is not a lost cause, it's just a huge cam, lol. I just got my TR224 installed this weekend and i can feel it begging for a stall, and i also have 3.42 gears. And if you have a shop do all the work, it's gonna run ya about $1,200. Also, if you have the stock TB, i suggest you drill a hole because it's gonna be hunting for idle, my car stalled quite a few times on the way home the night i did the cam.
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Old 02-28-2008, 11:06 AM   #18
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With T-rex you want a stall and gears. Just call Thunder and talk to them about it, they are more than glad to help.
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Old 02-29-2008, 09:10 AM   #19
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would there be much difference if i did an ms4 instead of a trex?...performance wise?
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Old 02-29-2008, 09:16 AM   #20
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trex was designed for stock heads, ms4 I'm not sure. I works great with ported heads from all accounts but most dont use it for cam only. So cant truth fully answer that.

Trex was king of the hill for a long time for a cam only car. But you really need to think about this first. Those are big cams and the power band will not be street friendly. In a cam only car your going to be soft/soggy on the bottom end and pull like hell up top.
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Old 02-29-2008, 09:16 AM
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