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Technical thoughts on 327 camshaft for improved economy

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by studebaker eric, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. CAHotRodBoy
    Joined: Apr 22, 2005
    Posts: 204


    I LOVE '59 Elky's!

    I'd leave the engine alone and get an overdrive trans. Best way to have decent performance and then cruising gas mileage once you get up to speed. All the money you are going to spend on engine parts and rear gears will pay for a 5 speed.
    Deuces and olscrounger like this.
  2. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 3,925


    If looking for milage I'd ditch the 3x2s A milder cam may require better fuel It's all about compression pressures.
    olscrounger likes this.
  3. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 11,401

    from oregon

    And settings, both carb(s) and ignition if efficiency is the goal.
    If there is a chassis dyno shop near you (that knows more than "tuner" work) this could be the best money spent whether you leave it as is or go on with your plan.
    At a minimum the distributor could benefit with some time on a dist. machine.
    rockable likes this.
  4. My 2 cents. RV type cam, and progressive linkage on the 3 -2 set up. good hot ignition. Should do just fine with good power and throttle response . Run off center carb till you lay into it with linkage set where you want the two end carbs to kick in.
    pitman likes this.
  5. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,918


    I got a 350 that makes over 400 that has consistently gotten over 20MPG (NO OD FOR ME) on a stock 350 horse 327 cam (also known as an L-79). My compression ratio is in the 11 to 11,5:1 range. But I know that with iron head this cam will still work at 9.5:1. It is a real forgiving camshaft. LOL

    Isky grinds a good camshaft so do not misinterpret what I am going to say here. For a driving around car that is GM powered you simply cannot beat a GM designed camshaft.
  6. jbarker
    Joined: Nov 18, 2018
    Posts: 36


    Like said before, an RV cam or stock 929 cam. A cheap and effective way for better mileage is to raise timing. 34-36 total and 12-15 on the vacuum advance should give a nice jump in throttle response and mpg. A set of lighter springs for the mechanical advance might not hurt either. Also, run the vacuum advance to manifold vacuum. If it's time for tires, you could go to a taller tire. Could jet the carb down some if the plugs look rich, otherwise best thing is just to slow down.

    If it means anything I got 13mpg in my 64 with the 305 grenade engine running a 650 double pumper, rpm intake, 48* timing at 3200 rpm. THis was on a 4 hour trip and 90*F outside.
  7. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 4,137

    jimmy six

    I'd advance the cam a few degrees, up to 6. Always helped starting off performance and fuel milage. Best is compression and a light foot.
  8. BigDogSS
    Joined: Jan 8, 2009
    Posts: 813

    from SoCal

    I think you'd get better mileage with the Q-Jet over the 3x2 Rochesters.
  9. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 11,401

    from oregon

    Plus, you get that great "whowwww" sound when you bury your foot in it.
  10. Friends '50 Merc is running a 283 with a stockish 350 hp cam, 3x2 and a 3 spd o/d unit and gets about 17-18 mpg. I'll ask him the specs on the cam.

    I agree with the Quadrajet carb. Told him to use one but he wanted the flash :).

    The Biggest improvement would be an o/d unit. You could T5 it or back on the column for a 3 spd. I have another 3 spd o/d unit saved for my '60 Elco when it gets back on the road.

    I find it kinda funny, asking about a SBC cam for a '59 Elco from a Studebaker Eric :D
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  11. I find it kinda funny, asking about a SBC cam for a '59 Elco from a Studebaker Eric :D
    What can I say, I am a sick man. This one also has a 327, for which economy was NOT the goal dads car.jpg
    mcsfabrication and pitman like this.
  12. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,466


    Ok , here is MY opinion LOL. I drive my 59 EC a lot. It has a 305, 58 CC 305 head with a multi angle valve job. 235-75 tires,3.08 rear. with the very low 1st gear saginaw.I run interstate a lot.Put a cheap tach in so i could see what RPM was at 70-75 MPH. ordered cam that had that rpm right smack dab in middle of power band for cam. I usually run 70 but with the millennia's running 80+ i'll hang with them for a while, just cause i can. Carb is 600 edelbrock. should have went with the 585 size i think??Any way i've run this thing for 20 years like this, knocked out about 18-20 MPG .also use a HEI. RPM is a little high, between 2500-3000. Not the most optimal, but will run all DAY right there .Technology has changed a lot in 20 years.Prolly a lot better stuff to use now.
    Car weighs about 2800-3000 lbs aerodynamic as a brick.Keep us posted.
  13. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,466


    Don't you have to turn top of air cleaner over to get that sound.................
    Montana1, BigDogSS and Truck64 like this.
  14. I got that good sound that my dad liked in my new 327 '68 Camaro .... with an exposed element air cleaner.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  15. Taboo56Chevy
    Joined: May 21, 2018
    Posts: 350


    I would vote for the L79 cam shaft as well. Good little lump at idle but not a super hot cam. with the 3x2s run progressive linkage and adjust when the front and rear carb come on only at or very near full throttle so to avoid any chance of cruising on the hwy with them partial open and sucking more gas. You shouldn't have too much compression with flat tops and those heads. Only real issue is that your 60 over on the cylinders but Ill take a 327 over a 350 any day of the week.
    das858 likes this.
  16. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 2,428


    Not an expert on cams, but like the 'beaner, had good luck for street vehicles with the factory designed cams.

    For carburetion, I would suggest either:

    (A) Cast iron GM spread-bore intake with either Rochester Q-Jet or Carter TQ 9800s.
    (B) Aluminum GM 2x4 intake with two Carter 400 CFM (9400s or 9410s) and solid linkage

    Either will give better driveability, power AND economy than the tripower; and with the dual quads, you also get "the look".

    saltracer219, Deuces and olscrounger like this.
  17. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 5,732

    from Nicasio Ca

    Haven't heard that sound since...yesterday! Actually last night on my way home, unwinding after a long day. It's the only carb I've had on my current daily. Really got to put your foot in it to get good power but it's there. When we used to swap them out for Holleys it felt like an immediate power boost but I think it was just getting a bunch more juice quicker out of the primaries.
  18. 283john
    Joined: Nov 17, 2008
    Posts: 741


    X2 on this.
    Montana1 likes this.
  19. sdluck
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,069


    Are you running a vacuum advance preferable a adj one,cam manufacturers know more than us,give them your info and see what the reccomend,Get a q jet,run lots of timing.
  20. sdluck
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,069


    Every properly set up blown car I have ever worked on got excellent gas milage
    Montana1 likes this.
  21. sdluck
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,069


    Dema Elgin is still in business Santa Rosa

    D. Elgin Cams

    1808-D Empire Industrial Court

    Santa Rosa, CA 95403

    Phone: (707) 545-6115 / Fax: (707) 545-6223

  22. Many interesting and knowledgeable responses, but no one answered the cylinder pressure issue fully, which, after much research, I have determined will be an issue, as I dont want to run 91 octane. I will run the 3 rochesters, all three functional, otherwise, whats the point. With proper tuning
    Of the carbs, and Ignition curve, as well as some ouher refinements I should reach my goal. I own all the parts mentioned already. I am no longer moving to the middle of nowhere, just the edge so i can play.
  23. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 1,852

    dan c

    i can't get excited about a cam with 108* lsa. vacuum killer.
  24. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 15,907


    I can. Run manual brakes.
    porknbeaner likes this.
  25. Never2old
    Joined: Oct 14, 2010
    Posts: 466

    from so cal

    I am a believer of using premium in all of my vehicles.
    For the cost per tank I think it's worth it.
    If tuned correctly you will get better MPG and your engine will live longer.
    Just my $.02
  26. sdluck
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,069


    I agree with Never2old,on most vehicles
  27. saltracer219
    Joined: Sep 23, 2006
    Posts: 612


    Man, those Carter 400's are getting real hard to come by!
    gimpyshotrods likes this.
  28. mrhp
    Joined: Nov 19, 2006
    Posts: 208

    from MICHIGAN

    What is the cranking compression of the motor? What are the cam specs in the motor now. This will help pick the right camshaft.
    Montana1 likes this.
  29. ZZ Top Chop
    Joined: Aug 12, 2018
    Posts: 146

    ZZ Top Chop

    I agree with Hotrod, overdrive instead. Manual or 700R4
  30. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 450


    A tight LSA is a GOOD THING if you are stuck with low(ish) compression! It opens the intake sooner and closes it later.....trapping more air/fuel mixture. More mixture = higher comp. (cause its filled the cylinder fuller)
    Advancing the CAM timing (degree wheel etc.) will "steal back" some of the low end the snotty idle takes away. Besides.....snotty idle and loud pipes is what its all about, right?!
    If not......a nice Altima may fit the bill!?
    Check with my guy Ken @ Delta Cams....he's on your side of the US in Tacoma. He'll give you plenty of time and honest advice. Reasonable price also...good bunch of guys!! 1(800) 562-5500.

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