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Old 01-17-2011, 07:16 PM   #1
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After market cam with stock springs?

So I have pushing the idea around with an LS9 cam swap in my LS3, reason being is that it is in my price range! They work with stock tune and stock valve train parts! The problem I have with it, is that from I understand there is no lope So my question is... is there any aftermarket cams that are close in spec to the LS9 cam that I could use with my stock springs ect. That will give me some cam lope?
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:20 PM   #2
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Are you doing the labor yourself? If not, thats not alot to save for a minimal gain....to go with a cam that will make noticeable gains you will need to match springs to the lift. Do it right and you won't regret it.
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:30 PM   #3
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The LS9 cam does have some sound to it at idle. It definitely doesn't sound stock. Check out the GM "hot cam" with the narrow lsa and .525" lift (I think). It's not that high in lift but I'm pretty sure it will require a tune. If you're paying for the install go with a true aftermarket cam as the savings will be minimal.
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Are you doing the labor yourself? If not, thats not alot to save for a minimal gain....to go with a cam that will make noticeable gains you will need to match springs to the lift. Do it right and you won't regret it.
I agree. The springs are easy to replace with the right tool.

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Old 01-17-2011, 07:38 PM   #5
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Money is an issue...I would be doing the labor myself, so this LS9 cam swap would be super cheap! I keep hearing this cam sounds stock, thats the only thing that I dont want! All I want is a little lope and it would be totally worth it, I want to do that cam with long tubes and 1 chamber flowmasters... hoping it will sound tuff, kinda old school! I know a bigger custom is the way to go, but I just dont have the funds for that, I could always do that in a few years.
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:28 PM   #6
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Why the LS9 cam? Are you going with a blower soon? If not, the GM hot cam should be in the same price range. Or save for a little while more and get a full kit with a bigger custom grind cam.
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Old 01-18-2011, 01:20 PM   #7
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why would you not want to do springs.......when you increase lift you need to increase spring pressure because you have changed the resonance points of the valve....in other words you could get valve float without a higher spring constant valve spring.....

It will hurt upper RPM performance of the engine.........thats why you do springs...

If you just want a little more power get 1.8 rocker arms and leave the cam alone.

If you just want sound I'll mail you my single letter mass air meter...it reads on the low range and makes my car sound like it has a little cam to it.

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Old 01-18-2011, 01:39 PM   #8
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I am not going to even read the first post

the title says it all "aftermarket cam with stock springs"

the answer is no

no matter what, no

no no no no no no no no

again... no

just no

NO
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Old 01-18-2011, 01:55 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Irnwkrkev View Post
The LS9 cam does have some sound to it at idle. It definitely doesn't sound stock. Check out the GM "hot cam" with the narrow lsa and .525" lift (I think). It's not that high in lift but I'm pretty sure it will require a tune. If you're paying for the install go with a true aftermarket cam as the savings will be minimal.

Agree with this on the LS9 cam...I've got one and it does sound a little different than stock at idle but no "Hot Rod" lope like what you're wanting.
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:22 PM   #10
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Like I said its a cost thing, the Ls9 cam works with a stock tune and stock parts and makes 20rwhp alone and with addition of headers... ADM made 430hp at the wheels! So for my free labor I think its a good upgrade, I dont need a leason as why you need to replace springs with a cam, its just a question. The Ls9 cam works with stock springs, so I figured there might be somthing out there that is simular that may have some lope. I have not found anything, so I think I might just do this Ls9 cam for now.
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Old 01-18-2011, 03:43 PM   #11
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After spending $38,000 for a car, saving $300 bucks on a cam swap and stock springs isnt what you want to do.

Do yourself a favor and take it from guys that have been around for a while, Spend $300 on a decent cam, $300 on dual springs, and $150 for harden push rods. Save your $10K motor not a couple hundred bucks. If money is an issue, the performance game is not for you.

If you want to save money, increase your insurance deductible.
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Old 01-18-2011, 03:49 PM   #12
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After spending $38,000 for a car, saving $300 bucks on a cam swap and stock springs isnt what you want to do.

Do yourself a favor and take it from guys that have been around for a while, Spend $300 on a decent cam, $300 on dual springs, and $150 for harden push rods. Save your $10K motor not a couple hundred bucks. If money is an issue, the performance game is not for you.

If you want to save money, increase your insurance deductible.
I find this so logical and funny at the same time.
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Old 01-18-2011, 05:56 PM   #13
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Adding 1.8 roller rockers is way more expensive than even an aftermarket cam and it is recomended to change springs with them. With higher ratio rockers you are increasing the ramp rate and adding lift which brings you closer to coil bind. The LS9 cam is a FACTORY CAM and has virtually the same lift as stock but with more duration. I have reved my LS3 with LS9 cam to 6,800rpm without valve float. With the wide lobe separation angle big int/exh split the power doesn't drop off rapidly either. 20hp for less then $200 is a bargain. Now if you have to farm it out forget it. Spend the $600+ and go with an aftermarket cam because you'll be spending more then that on labor. I'm pretty sure the GM "hot cam" with .525" lift will work fine with the stock springs but with such a tight lobe separation angle it will most definitely require a tune.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:58 PM   #14
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What do you mean save my 10K motor, the LS9 cam is a stock GM cam, how in the hell would that ruin my engine! I have been around cars for a long time, and I know big cams need matching springs! Thats not what my question was guys If I buy a aftermarket cam setup your talking ALOT MORE MONEY! Not to mention more money on a tune, and I dont want a tune yet! This cam works with stock tune and headers, ADM has already done this and sells this setup. The cam swap would be done by me, so its only a 200$ job for 20rwhp, why would you not do it!! You would rather spend $400 on a cold air...not me! That cam and long tubes will make some nice power and I will have money to spend on other areas of the car. Like make traction to put down the power!
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:20 PM   #15
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OP, maybe LS1Tech if you're looking for more substantive responses.

As I recall, the ADM Stage 1 cam is a lot like the LS9 cam-might even be the same cam. I also seem to recall that the Lingenfelter GT-11 is like the LS9 too.

I would also talk to Comp cams for a custom grind. It'll be more than the LS9, which is what, $125, but they can grind something that will work with the stock valvetrain.

I would also talk to some of the better known cam makers like Vengeance and Thunder Racing. I think some of their most mild cams might work on the stock valvetrain. I feel like Thunder definitely had something for the stock valvetrain.
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:40 AM   #16
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GT-11 has HUGE lift but low duration. You can't get away with anything but double springs for that cam.
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:47 AM   #17
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Thanks for the replies, I will contact some of those comapanys before I decide. Thanks
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:23 AM   #18
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I'm interested in this too as I am considering the LS9 cam, doing all the work myself and was wondering what would be a good, reliable set of springs for the LS9 cam for a daily driver with an occasional road course or autocross event.
Ed M.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:50 AM   #19
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LS9 cam works with stock valve train parts and stock tune...thats the only reason to run it! If you plan on new springs, you might as well run a true aftermarket cam.
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:01 PM   #20
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How hard would this install be, seems like a good idea to me too.
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:00 PM   #21
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How hard would this install be, seems like a good idea to me too.


Dumb Question:

What do you have to remove or do to install the LS9 cam on a SC engine?

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Old 03-19-2011, 06:29 PM   #22
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I have been interested in this for several months. I have done a ton of research on this subject and found out that some peolpe don't know what they are talking about. I guess they are trained that you need to upgrade everything they can (or add "insurance")... whenever they can, no matter the cost.

The LS3 uses the springs from the LS6/LS2. GM part # 12586484 has been used on the LS2/LS6/LS3 since February of 2004.

http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c5-z...-spring-3.html

https://store.gmperformanceparts.com...umber=12586484

They are good to .570" lift. Aftermarket springs will get you up to .600, 650, and even .690" depending on the style. Therefore, for any cam with less than .570" lift, you can (and probably should) reuse the springs, seals, seats, and retainers. You will save yourself alot of money and headache. Remember that the factory installs things with precision, gearheads usually do not.

EDIT: Also, stock LS7 valves and springs are ok to use for .570” thru .591” lift

However, you should use new pushrods if the new cam has a smaller base circle than stock (most of them do) or you will have "valve float" if the pushrods are too long or lifter ticking if they are too short. There is a tool that you can use to determine the size of the pushrods needed. Or... the most direct method for determining the pushrod size is:

EDIT: see post #87 of the camshaft DIY thread for replacement pushrod length calculation for an LS3 http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=125123

Most people that measure the required length with the special tool also use this method to make sure the measurement is in the right ballpark. When it is time to order the pushrods, 16 of these (0.080" wall thickness) cost $100 - $150. You will be removing the pushrods anyways to get the lifters up, so no biggie.

After reading a horror story of a guy that stayed with a single bolt cam (timing gear pin broke, crank was spinning, cam was not ... )... I would go with a 3 bolt design. You will need GM part # 12586481 (timing gear) to do the conversion. You will hear from multiple sources that the stock tensoner will not work with a 3 bolt cam... but the guys at the factory that make the LS9 think otherwise and call it an upgrade over the LS2 dampener.

http://jalopnik.com/#!5371569/how-we...a-corvette-zr1 and http://www.gm.com/experience/technol...LS3_Marine.pdf


Overall, I think your best bet is to get a custom grind cam that has ~.565"-.570" lift, then let the pros determine the LSA and duration (which determines overlap) per your drivability needs, and request that the cam have the same base circle as stock. Then you can just pull the old cam out... and put the new one back in (you may want new gaskets).

I have an excel sheet that I am using in preparation to buy parts, tools, gaskets, etc. My cost would be ~$570 for a cam with less than 0.570" lift and a stock base circle. It will be $947 for one that is more than .570" and a smaller base circle (these do not include the timing chain or the tune). Strangly enough there is a shop in texas that will do the whole ordeal (parts and labor) for $1000... http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=117934 ... for a cam with over .600" lift ... I'm not sure how they pull it off.

Please reference the cam DIY: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=125123, but you will get to skip a bunch of difficult steps since you are using the stock valvetrain and timing chain.


...I am not a mechanic... nor do I work at a performance shop, but I am pretty good at doing my homework. I hope this helps.
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:10 AM   #23
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Couple of questions. Is anyone running the LS9 cam in a N/A LS3 ?? If so, does it idle close to stock ?? Does the LS9 cam have the same base circle dimension as the stock LS3 cam ?? What valve springs did you use on the LS9 cam ??
TIA...Ed M.
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:22 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Bell040 View Post
I have been interested in this for several months. I have done a ton of research on this subject and found out that some peolpe don't know what they are talking about. I guess they are trained that you need to upgrade everything they can... whenever they can, no matter the cost.

The LS3 uses the springs from the LS6/LS2. GM part # 12586484 has been used on the LS2/LS6/LS3 since February of 2004.

http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c5-z...-spring-3.html

https://store.gmperformanceparts.com...umber=12586484

They are good to .570" lift. Aftermarket springs will get you up to .600, 650, and even .690" depending on the style. Therefore, for any cam with less than .570" lift, you can (and probably should) reuse the springs, seals, seats, and retainers. You will save yourself alot of money and headache.

EDIT: Also, stock LS7 valves and springs are ok to use for .570” thru .591” lift

However, you should use new pushrods if the new cam has a smaller base circle than stock (most of them do). There is a tool that you can use to determine the size of the pushrods needed. Or... the most direct method for determining the pushrod size is taking the stock base circle diameter (D1), subtract the new base circle (D2) divided by 2 (to get radius). Then add this number (delta L) to the stock pushrod length (L1 = 7.325") and find a pushrod that is as close as possible to this new number (L2). Most people that measure the required length with the special tool also use this method to make sure the measurement is in the right ballpark... [(D2-D1)/2]= "delta L"... and L1 + "delta L" = L2 = new pushrod length. 16 of these (0.080" wall thickness) pushrods cost $100 - $150. You will be removing the pushrods anyways to get the lifters up, so no biggie.

After reading a horror story of a guy that stayed with a single bolt cam (timing gear pin broke, crank was spinning, cam was not ... )... I would go with a 3 bolt design. You will need GM part # 12586481 (timing gear) to do the conversion. You will hear from multiple sources that the stock tensoner will not work with a 3 bolt cam... but the guys at the factory that make the LS9 think otherwise and call it an upgrade over the LS2 dampener.

http://jalopnik.com/#!5371569/how-we...a-corvette-zr1 and http://www.gm.com/experience/technol...LS3_Marine.pdf


Overall, I think your best bet is to get a custom grind cam that has ~.565"-.570" lift, then let the pros determine the LSA and duration (which determines overlap) per your drivability needs, and request that the cam have the same base circle as stock. Then you can just pull the old cam out... and put the new one back in (you may want new gaskets).

I have an excel sheet that I am using in preparation to buy parts, tools, gaskets, etc. My cost would be ~$570 for a cam with less than 0.570" lift and a stock base circle. It will be $947 for one that is more than .570" and a smaller base circle (these do not include the timing chain or the tune). Strangly enough there is a shop in texas that will do the whole ordeal (parts and labor) for $1000... http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=117934 ... for a cam with over .600" lift ... I'm not sure how they pull it off.

Please reference the cam DIY: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=125123, but you will get to skip a bunch of difficult steps since you are using the stock valvetrain and timing chain.


...I am not a mechanic... nor do I work at a performance shop, but I am pretty good at doing my homework. I hope this helps.
Great post!
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:54 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by flht99b View Post
Couple of questions. Is anyone running the LS9 cam in a N/A LS3 ?? If so, does it idle close to stock ?? Does the LS9 cam have the same base circle dimension as the stock LS3 cam ?? What valve springs did you use on the LS9 cam ??
TIA...Ed M.
Go to "search", choose "advanced search options", type "LS9 cam", choose "search only thread titles"... then hit search.

It pulls up a few people selling them among all of the technical threads... but you will have plenty to read.
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