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Technical best cam for a 400 SBC

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jimv, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. Jimv
    Joined: Dec 5, 2001
    Posts: 2,924


    I have a 400 CI SBC in my T bucket.Its a stock engine ( dished pistons) with block hugger headers, Pertronixs ignition, 2.80 rear,Turbo 350 tranny, 3 deuces & a 2300 stall converter. I want to get a cam that's will just give me a little bit more punch, nothing radical.
    So the question is can anyone tell me what "the specs are on the stock cam & what would be a good "mild" cam for me?
  2. landseaandair
    Joined: Feb 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,409

    from phoenix

  3. sdluck
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,608


    What heads are on it.
  4. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,448

    from Missouri

    Look at some of the Isky super cams.

  5. Jimv
    Joined: Dec 5, 2001
    Posts: 2,924


    stock heads, 1.94's nothing special.
  6. WZ JUNK
    Joined: Apr 20, 2001
    Posts: 1,692

    from Neosho, MO

    I have a similar set up in my old truck. I called Comp Cams and they recommended one of their Thumpr cams. They asked several detailed questions about my vehicle and the engine transmission setup before making their recommendation. It made sense to me to buy one that they recommended based on their experience. I have been very happy with it.

    Just a side note. I have been making passes with the old truck for about 15 years. The only work the engine has required is a cam change due to a couple of flat lobes. This was probably caused by the reduction of zinc in the oil I used at the time. My best time was 13.1 during the second season that I ran the truck. Today, after many passes, it has slowed to about 13.5 and I do not push it as hard. An old man with slow reflexes does not make for a good nostalgia bracket racer .

    I am usually the only vehicle entered that is driven to the strip and driven home. I may be the one who is having the most fun.

  7. benchseat4speed
    Joined: Feb 11, 2008
    Posts: 382

    from Golden, CO

    Call Comp Cams, or Crane, or Isky, or...

    Tell em what you just told us. Asking for cam advice here is a great way to get the wrong cam.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  8. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 2,186

    Mike VV
    from SoCal

    """I want to get a cam that's will just give me a little bit more punch, nothing radical."""

    Take the 2.80 gears out and put in a set of 3.55's.
    That'll "really" wake up your car. THEN, you can decide if you still need more cam.

  9. RDP
    Joined: Dec 3, 2010
    Posts: 242

    from Kansas

    I would go with the gear swap too. Easier swap.
  10. Jimv
    Joined: Dec 5, 2001
    Posts: 2,924


    gear swap isn't a option right now, my cam is worn so its got to go.
  11. My brother had a car with a 400 with a RV/towing cam in it and, highway gears in the rear and, the car ran damn good for what it was.
  12. Hotrodhog
    Joined: Aug 11, 2011
    Posts: 169


  13. Dished pistons as in 8:1 or less static compression dished pistons?

    The reason I ask is that a low compression engine and I am assuming stock heads as in lazy open chamber heads is not going to handle much of a cam and if you call any major came manufacturer and get a tech worth his salt you are going to either hear the same thing or his is going to recommend a cam that is pretty close to the stock camshaft.

    Someone mentioned an RV cam if you decide to go with one I have specs and a part number on a Lunati that I have used with good success on smaller displacement engines. It may just work for you.

    Or my go to cam for street driven SBCs is an L-79. I have even stuffed them on low compression engines and they did well, they certainly didn't perform up to their potential but they added a little spunk to the mill and have a decent sound of sound it what you are after. Crane makes an excellent blueprint cam of the L-79 and it is not expensive.

    Anyway that is my thoughts in the subject.
  14. oregonite
    Joined: May 11, 2011
    Posts: 18


    I have a 480lift/230 duration 108 degree lobe center in my 400 in a '66 Nova and it's a good street cam.
  15. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,561


    Look at the Lunati VooDoo cams. Select something with pretty short duration to keep the idle fairly mild. It takes a pretty loose convertor in that light of a car to allow for a real choppy cam. I have used this grind in several motors and it sounds almost stock but gives some serious pull thru the low and mid range..... 10120702LK

    Don't let the gentle idle fool you !!
  16. I just put a Comp 268H in my stock 73, 350 with stock TH350 and 3.08:1 rear. Got it at the recommendation of a reputable local engine builder. Has a little higher lift than stock but supposed to work with stock springs. Haven't started the engine yet so can't comment on performance.
  17. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,282


    had the same cam as greybeard had in my last car, ran real nice. if you save some bucks up put a 373 ratio rear end in it and run a 700r4. that combo will make your hair stand up stop light to stop light and when it locks up in od you can just cruise along.
  18. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,037


    Low compression, lazy 70's smogger heads, and 2.80 gear. You don't want a very large cam, comp 262 or 268 something in that range. Dual pattern cam will help you on the exhaust side.
  19. 47.Poncho
    Joined: Nov 16, 2010
    Posts: 68


    can't go wrong with the 30-30 cam.
  20. 1934coupe
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 4,260


    Reher of Reher and Morrison was quoted as saying that the cams of today are so much better than the old days and even a cam like quoted above is better than any stock cam the specs are just more precise. You can never go wrong with a mild cam in your "Stock " motor. The Comp cams 268 is an excellent choice. A 30-30 cam is so old and the specs on them vary on every thousand they made.

    In my opinion

  21. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,448

    from Missouri

    That make sense.

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