Cam selection

Gus68

Well Known Member
#1
Hey guys. Starting slowly work on my 409 build. I'm having 333 heads done. With some mild porting. And I have been looking at different cams. I found one I'm liking and wondering your thoughts. It's the comp cams pn. 48-601-5 or the 287th7. It has .525 intake and .509 lift on the exhaust. Duration at .050 is 234 and 249 with a 107 lobe seperation. I have build small blocks before but this 409 stuff is a little new to me. BUT an engine is an engine. Oh and my car is 62 bel air sedan with a Muncie m20 and 3.70 rear end. Thanx for any thoughts!
 

Don Jacks

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 2
#2
That's one of those :furious"Thumper" cams and you'll very likely be disappointed with it.A much better choice would be the 0951 from Show Cars.It's a Comp Cams Extreme Energy unit ground on a W engine cam blank.Duration is [adv.267 in.,280 exhaust],at .050 is comes in at 224 in.,230 ex.,is on a 110 lobe seperation,106 intake centerline with .530 intake,.535 exhaust lift.Another choice is the 0952,same cam with more lift.
 

Skip FIx

Well Known Member
#3
You can get a custom grind for your specific application for just a little more than an off the shelf cam. Ultradyne lobes from either Bullet or Lunati or Lunati's VooDooo line. Both were designed by Harold Brookshire.

That cam is going to be pretty lumpy in a 409 ci motor. I have an UD 239/247@0.050 on a 112 LS in my pump gas 455 in the 78 TA and it has a fair lump to it in a bigger motor.
 

Don Jacks

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 2
#4
Lunati's cams for the W engines are not expensive and if you pick one that is made for your combination.You can get decent mileage,crazy low-mid range torque,and decent top end.For your engine,I'd get something in the 227 intake,233 exhaust range with your transmission and gearing.In the case of Lunati,they will grind one of their Voodoo grinds on the W cam blank for about the same price as what Show Cars gets for one of their Comp flat tappet grinds[about 200.00].
 

Gus68

Well Known Member
#5
Ok. So the cam im looking at is very similar to the cam I have in a 406 small block in my Chevelle, and with camel back heads it has run 12.20s to 11.99. And is very streetable. And that was with a 4 speed and 3.73 gears. Now I know a 409 is a different beast, so why such a different cam recommendation? Plus the rpm range is 2200 to 6000.
 

Don Jacks

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 2
#6
It's a matter of total all around drivability,including fuel mileage.The engine will be more effecent,and have better all around manners.Or you could just settle for noise.Are you running cast or forged pistons in your 409? These engines are torque engines and they need to be cammed that way.
 

Gus68

Well Known Member
#7
I'm planning on show cars forged piston and rods. Shooting for around 10 to 1 comp. But why would it be considered a torque motor? It has a slightly longer stroke than a 350 3.48 compared to 409s 3.50 and a larger bore than a 400. And a 350 crank in a 400 block makes for a rpm screaming 377. I would think a 409 would be ideal. With the limitation being the heads. Not trying to start an argument. Just trying to learn more about these 409s
 

Gus68

Well Known Member
#8
Mileage is not a concern. But I AM going to get after it. I'm not gonna drag race it, I have another car for that. I used to race a 4 speed so this is how I'm going to get my fix, yes I will shift it hard!
 

Don Jacks

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 2
#9
The cylinder head/combustion chamber design[remember this engine was originally designed for trucks],as well as valve train weight,and piston weight are a few reasons.These areas can be improved on,but this engine is not a small block.A good improvement can be had by using the I con piston for the 4 inch stroker kit,6.385 rods and the stock stroke 409 crank.This will put you in the 10.2-10.3 range if your using a car block,deduct about .7 if you're using a truck block.I'm not trying to argue either,just pointing out that most of the dozen or so members have been disappointed to the point of changing them out for something else.Money and work wasted.Cam and build it to be shifted in the 5500-6,000 range and both you and the car will be happier.
 

boxerdog

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 5
#10
I'm planning on show cars forged piston and rods. Shooting for around 10 to 1 comp. But why would it be considered a torque motor? It has a slightly longer stroke than a 350 3.48 compared to 409s 3.50 and a larger bore than a 400. And a 350 crank in a 400 block makes for a rpm screaming 377. I would think a 409 would be ideal. With the limitation being the heads. Not trying to start an argument. Just trying to learn more about these 409s
Gus, that's really a good observation. 348s and stock stroke 409s have this "torque motor" reputation which is a bit of a fallacy. They are short stroke/long rod motors which (everything else being equal) should like to rpm...except for the piston weight, so they are generally built to avoid excessive rpm, and make best use of available cylinder heads. In some ways they are in between SBCs and BBCs, in some ways they are different animals entirely.

So, when you look at the premier W engine builders today, cylinder heads, intakes and light pistons get the most attention, it seems. They also have accumulated a lot of data on cam profiles which work with these newer pieces. Many are revised BBC profiles.

Short story, Don is exactly right. Many folks tried these Thumpers and hated them because they fell short in several ways. Actually, a generic W motor would be much happier with a simple single-pattern cam than a radical dual-pattern like a Thumper, but there are many moderate dual-pattern profiles that work too.

These are just unqualified opinions and observations. I regularly twisted my stock-stroke, stock-rod 409 to 7300 rpm with no problem for 4 years. It does have pretty light pistons in it and stockish 583 heads. Still in one piece.
 

dm62409

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 11
#13
The biggest problem I see are guys going to the bottom of the page in their cam catalog, selecting the biggest grind they can stuff in their engine with low compression,stock torque converter, and 3.08 gears, then blame the cam company when it doesn't perform well. If I had a dollar for everytime I've seen this .........?????
 

303Radar

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 2
#14
The biggest problem I see are guys going to the bottom of the page in their cam catalog, selecting the biggest grind they can stuff in their engine with low compression,stock torque converter, and 3.08 gears, then blame the cam company when it doesn't perform well. If I had a dollar for everytime I've seen this .........?????
The good thing about a custom cam is all the information they ask for. Car use, bore, stroke, bench flow numbers, carb cfm, weight, tire size, axle ratio, etc. When I filled out the request from Bullet, I probably left half their questions unanswered. This seems to be a good way to get away from bench racing and parts mismatch.
 

Don Jacks

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 2
#15
The biggest problem I see are guys going to the bottom of the page in their cam catalog, selecting the biggest grind they can stuff in their engine with low compression,stock torque converter, and 3.08 gears, then blame the cam company when it doesn't perform well. If I had a dollar for everytime I've seen this .........?????
Yes Dave,that and the wrong intake,and/or too much carb.:doh
 

Skip FIx

Well Known Member
#16
One of the Pontiac guys I know has 3.08s and his 455 runs high 10s low 11s with a medium hydraulic roller.He dose have 2.75 first gear in his TH 350.

But yes the whole package needs to be looked at.
 

4speedman

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 1
#19
The biggest problem I see are guys going to the bottom of the page in their cam catalog, selecting the biggest grind they can stuff in their engine with low compression,stock torque converter, and 3.08 gears, then blame the cam company when it doesn't perform well. If I had a dollar for everytime I've seen this .........?????

I have a friend who did just that went to the bottom of the page for his cam ,it sounded good but almost had to push it on the trailer with the lack of low end power.Makes a good story to tell while bench racing but a waste of time and money but most of us have went through this ourselves i have been guilty of to much cam and carburation/to many carbs.





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