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Camaro V8 LS3 / L99 Engine, Exhaust, and Bolt-Ons Bolt-Ons | Intakes | Exhaust

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Old 07-30-2009, 07:08 PM   #1
usmcjlp

 
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Effects of Cam Switch on Engine Life

What will the effect of changing a cam be on engine life?

I spoke with Mast Motorsports about their stage 1 (least Aggressive) cam which is designed to be used in conjunction with a supercharger. They told me any cam switch requires replacing the valve springs for proper engine wear. I also spoke with Ron at Vengeance Racing and he recommends changing the springs at 30,000 mile intervals to maximize life.

I intend to supercharge this engine. I am tempted for the price/performance gain to start by first replacing the cam. I don't want to lose the bottom or mid-range acceleration. I also don't want to damage the engine. I've read everything I can find, but don't understand it well enough yet. I have been following pharmMD's build, which is along the lines of what I intend to do.

I am by no means an expert and all vendors I mentioned here have been extremely helpful. If something is inaccurate please let me know.

Also, while the engine is taken apart would it be a good idea to replace any other internals? I do have a budget and will be forced to do this in stages. I intend to keep the car so I can take my time and do it right.

Any recommendations?
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Old 07-30-2009, 07:48 PM   #2
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lets pull this apart shall we...


Quote:
I spoke with Mast Motorsports about their stage 1 (least Aggressive) cam which is designed to be used in conjunction with a supercharger. They told me any cam switch requires replacing the valve springs for proper engine wear. I also spoke with Ron at Vengeance Racing and he recommends changing the springs at 30,000 mile intervals to maximize life.
just about any cam swap will require new springs. reason being is that GM designed the springs on this motor to work with this cam. if you swap in another cam with a higher lift value, then you are pushing the stock springs further than they were intended to go.

as for the 30k, ive heard of it, but never done it. and dont know any one else who has, with the exception of guys who are thrashing their cars at the track all the time and pushing every bit of their motors to the brink.



Quote:

I intend to supercharge this engine. I am tempted for the price/performance gain to start by first replacing the cam. I don't want to lose the bottom or mid-range acceleration. I also don't want to damage the engine. I've read everything I can find, but don't understand it well enough yet. I have been following pharmMD's build, which is along the lines of what I intend to do.
if you know for an absolute fact that you are going to supercharge the motor, then you will want a cam that will maximize the supercharger's added power. that being said, some blower cams without the blower can drive/feel like @$$ as they are made to work in conjunction with a s/c.
and since you are going to be pulling the top of the motor apart anyway, id hold off on the cam swap until you are ready to do the s/c install. as you need a tune 99% of the time with a cam swap. (the other 1% is for hot cams and such that are just a bump over stock and while you still need a tune with them, you can function without)



Quote:

Also, while the engine is taken apart would it be a good idea to replace any other internals? I do have a budget and will be forced to do this in stages. I intend to keep the car so I can take my time and do it right.
we've already seen that the LS3 can take quite a pounding without the need to upgrade the internals. if you have the budget for it, look into getting your heads ported and polished. also if you havent done it already, a CAI and headers should be on your to-do list.

give Mast another call and talk to them with your plans in detail on your overall goal with the car.
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:09 PM   #3
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I tend to agree w/ the above post...if you're definitely going to supercharge it, I'd do the cam at the same time. I have a friend who built a Cobra engine to supercharge but hasn't supercharged it, and I wouldn't want to live with those cams.

And yes, you should upgrade the valvesprings with a cam.
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Old 09-23-2009, 08:52 PM   #4
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I'm doing a similar swap with a slightly more aggressive cam. The local speed shop I ordered from said I'd be fine with stock lifters/pushrods since the car is brand new. I'm skeptical. Anyone know the limits of LS3 pushrods?
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:30 AM   #5
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For $100-$110.00 I would go ahead and replace the factory pushrods As far as the changing the valvesprings every 30K miles that's always a good safe idea to tell all your customers. The lobes on the camshafts these days are pretty aggresive and harder on the valvetrain than the stuff that was built years ago.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:03 AM   #6
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I would personally replace the springs every 20K miles. It is a cheap investment in the long run.

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Old 09-24-2009, 08:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuffl View Post
I'm doing a similar swap with a slightly more aggressive cam. The local speed shop I ordered from said I'd be fine with stock lifters/pushrods since the car is brand new. I'm skeptical. Anyone know the limits of LS3 pushrods?


I would be skeptical of them also. The pushrods may be good enough but the valvetrain geomety will most likely change with the new cam. You would most likely need diff. length pushrods to get it right.
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:25 AM   #8
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The pushrods are a VERY smart investment when doing a camshaft upgrade. The more aggressive lobes will cause flex/distortion in the OEM pushrods.

As mentioned above, the smaller base circle of some of the aftermarket camshafts will require different length pushrods from time to time.

Changing spings, while alot of people dont do it, is an EXCELLENT investment in the longevity of your engine.. I have seen people push their aftermarket springs to 50,000 miles and come in with valve sticking thru their pistons... Not often, but it does happen.
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkbadz28 View Post
For $100-$110.00 I would go ahead and replace the factory pushrods As far as the changing the valvesprings every 30K miles that's always a good safe idea to tell all your customers. The lobes on the camshafts these days are pretty aggresive and harder on the valvetrain than the stuff that was built years ago.


I sure am glad RPM is doing all my work on my Car......

They know there stuff and look after there Customers.....
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:55 AM   #10
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I sure am glad RPM is doing all my work on my Car......

They know there stuff and look after there Customers.....

Thank you
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:17 AM   #11
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Go with dual valvesprings, worth the money.
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron@Vengeance View Post
The pushrods are a VERY smart investment when doing a camshaft upgrade. The more aggressive lobes will cause flex/distortion in the OEM pushrods.

As mentioned above, the smaller base circle of some of the aftermarket camshafts will require different length pushrods from time to time.

Changing spings, while alot of people dont do it, is an EXCELLENT investment in the longevity of your engine.. I have seen people push their aftermarket springs to 50,000 miles and come in with valve sticking thru their pistons... Not often, but it does happen.
Right on Ron!

Add a nice set of lifters and you are golden, for absolute performance and longevity.

Regards
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