On a 350 HP 396 with stock heads, is there much benefit to be had to replacing the cam without also replacing the heads? The application is primarily street, but with increased horsepower.
The year is 1968. I need to get a reference for this motor to know anything about the rocker arm ratio, but I also want to go to a roller tappet system. What I really should do is save up for an Edlebrock top end kit. Your idea has merit as an interim solution. I'll look into it, I need a Chevy big block book anyway. Thanks, great suggestion!hey Doc, which year would that be? and depending on what the lift is, would it be easier/feasible to just swap different rocker arm ratios in there? (1.6 vs 1.5, for example)
Thoughts to carefully consider. Thanks, Patrick, I appreciate your analysis. DocA 396 powered Camino in good tune should have more power than the tires can handle in stock trim. Once you’re moving it should have more power than you’ll need on the road. More than the brakes and suspension can use, too. That said, there’s two reasons to upgrade. (1) If you want more power for a faster quarter mile, you’ll need to match the cam to your compression, transmission and rear gears. Heads will also affect cam choice. If you have an ET goal, it will determine the need for heads. You’ll also need slicks and some rear suspension help to get it off the line. All these things will make it quick and a byproduct of that may be a lumpy idle and ‘mean’ sound. (2) If you don’t have any interest in actually racing or doing the mods for racing, you can pick a mild cam that will sound close to stock and put out more power for more driving pleasure, or you can go big, sound lumpy and actually worsen performance. Swapping in shorter rear gears (depending upon what’s there now) is one of the best ways to wake it up without touching the engine. The heads are not really going to help on the street except, as part of a whole build, they’ll allow more conpression on pump gas.
With either choice it’s critical to match the cam to your conpression and rear gear (unless all you care about is sound).
I’d do a mild cam swap, maybe gears and see what you think. If that leaves you wanting more, then I’d consider heads carefully, maybe as part of a fresh build.