+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: To Cam or Not to Cam?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Boise, ID
    Posts
    65

    To Cam or Not to Cam?

    OK. It seems like a perfectly good time to upgrade a cam and add some ponies to the new transplant motor while it's still on the hoist prior to the install. While cams can be expensive, many are not too bad in cost, but I'm wondering if I should bother. Here is what I've got, and what I'm going for - any suggestions?

    I have a stock 1988 K5 Blazer (it's kind of sexy in the Deliverance sort-of way) and I'm going to install an LMG 5.3L and 4l60e from a 2008 Tahoe. The donor engine and transmission are stock with pretty low miles (about 67K). My goal is to get better gas mileage and more than double my HP from the Blazer's Gen II 5.7l with TBI. I'm not trying to make a monster truck, and I'm sure as hell not trying to make a racer.

    Would a cam upgrade be worth my time and money? If I do it, I guess I should do it soon, but I have two concerns: first, will it really be worth it for my goals (if so, what cam would work best); and second, will a cam upgrade make the re-flash harder to program? I ask the second because there is a guy, Brendan Patten at http://http://www.lt1swap.com/geniv.htm, and he sort of suggests that flashing an E38 PCM (what I have for my Gen IV) is challenging.

    I really would like this engine to be dependable, and I'm quite happy with a mere 330 stock HP. Any thoughts or info on this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Arizona/Utah
    Posts
    3,955
    It will cost roughly $1000 to make it happen. Also no matter what you do a complete custom tune will be required. Nelson performance, or any reputable shop can make that happen easy. If you plan on stock exhaust manifolds, and a stock stall then I would suggest the 212/218 for a mild choice or the trick flow 216/220 for a little more aggressive. The first will open up roughly an extra 45-50rwhp and power will really hit around 2000rpm. The trick flow will open up around 65rwhp, but will hit closer to 2400rpm. Both will perform great and really make your build a whole lot more mean. If you want to go bigger I would suggest supporting mods including a stall and long tube headers. A 224/228 .581/.581 is a much much more agressive cam, but a hella more fun option. Roughly 100rwhp with a tune and headers will be added over stock. It Will completely change the style and performance of your ride. You will need a somewhat tight 34-3600 stall to make it drive just right.
    ECSB 2kSierra 2wd 4.8L-K&N-HPtuners-Calspeed LT's-Magnaflow-Tahoe20's-HankookRH06

    waiting to go in... 3.90s, 214/220cam

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    warwick ny
    Posts
    247
    It will be a lot easier to do now while you have it in the stand.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Boise, ID
    Posts
    65

    Thanks for the feedback.

    So I was looking into the cost of various cams and stalls that would work for my engine - including those that were previously recommended, and I'm presently leaning more away from the upgrade. It's going to likely be about another $800 to $1000 I would need to add to the cost of the swap, and $5K is my limit for this endeavor.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Arizona/Utah
    Posts
    3,955
    Sold can swap will cost $1000 with everything.
    ECSB 2kSierra 2wd 4.8L-K&N-HPtuners-Calspeed LT's-Magnaflow-Tahoe20's-HankookRH06

    waiting to go in... 3.90s, 214/220cam

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    20
    Here's my experience. I've swapped, and had several Ls powered vehicles. I've put a cam in several of them because I think I can't live without it, and let's face it they sound awesome. then I do, and regret it. If it's your daily driver I'd just leave it alone. Any cam is going to have to have a tune, really probably going to need a stall, the valve train is going to be noisier, and more than likely your going to loose a couple mpg. I just swapped a 90 454ss, with the goals of a dependable daily driver, more pep than the 454, and twice the mpg. Of course it had to have a cam, still gets several mpg better and a hell of a lot more power, but the tune isn't spot on so a little finicky to drive, can't really sit in a drive through without pissing off everyone around you, not really something I want to sit in line to pick the kids up from school in. I really just wish I'd left the motor stock. If it's a weekend toy, go for it, but if you plan on using it everyday as normal transportation, I'd hold off, or maybe just go with like a z06 cam or somtjing.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Las Cruces NM
    Posts
    209
    ^^^ word! Wish I could follow that advice myself. Everything he said is the truth.
    97 RCSB . 2WD . 5.3 . 4l60E . E-FANS . PNP 706s . TSP 228R . 3600 STALL . HD2 . VETTE SERVO . 3.73s . 2" DROP
    TURBO IN THE WORKS

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    DIrty south AZ
    Posts
    1,024
    Quote Originally Posted by 12thstreetjunkman View Post
    Here's my experience. I've swapped, and had several Ls powered vehicles. I've put a cam in several of them because I think I can't live without it, and let's face it they sound awesome. then I do, and regret it. If it's your daily driver I'd just leave it alone. Any cam is going to have to have a tune, really probably going to need a stall, the valve train is going to be noisier, and more than likely your going to loose a couple mpg. I just swapped a 90 454ss, with the goals of a dependable daily driver, more pep than the 454, and twice the mpg. Of course it had to have a cam, still gets several mpg better and a hell of a lot more power, but the tune isn't spot on so a little finicky to drive, can't really sit in a drive through without pissing off everyone around you, not really something I want to sit in line to pick the kids up from school in. I really just wish I'd left the motor stock. If it's a weekend toy, go for it, but if you plan on using it everyday as normal transportation, I'd hold off, or maybe just go with like a z06 cam or somtjing.
    I got 22 mpg with my truck. FBO tr 220 cam and heads with a 3200 stall. alot of it is how you drive too. just my 2 cents...
    Built 2 Run! 6XX HP/ 6XX TQ

+ Reply to Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts