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Discussion Starter #1
I never thought this day would come, but I would like some opinions on a cam for my setup. You see these threads all over tech, and it gets old. But here I am nonetheless... figured people with a gto may have more relevant opinions.

The car is an 05 gto, a4. Stock bottom end with full exhaust (1 7/8 longtubes to magnaflow catback), but soon to have prc 2.5 heads, ls3 injectors, a dorman ls2 intake and a 3200 circle d converter. Efi performance called to discuss yesterday. He said in 15 years, he'd done maybe a dozen tunes with heads only. But when I asked for his opinion, he said that's normally an interview process to come to a suggestion.

So, here's my resume: full weight street car, not interested in compromising driveability. Honestly, given the opportunity, I'd like to keep my idle as close to stock speed as possible. A lope is nice, but torque is a priority as it will almost exclusively be driven on the road. A bit of a weird restriction, but id like to keep the lift at the valve lower than 0.590".

  1. Honestly, the front runner right now is the gm hot cam in the ls3 crate motor, but 3 bolt. In the end, if I don't feel comfortable that I can accomplish my "goals", I'll just leave the stock ls2 cam in it.
Thoughts?
 

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Nope. Neither one of those. 100% go with the summit ghost cam. It barely lopes in my 5.3. Drivability is 100% perfect. I can send you and kind of video you like. The specs are 222/233 on a 115 lobe separation. I kinda wish it would lope a little more. But it’ll pull to about 6800rpm. I shift at 7000. I’d skip that 3200 Convertor. Get at least a 3400 but preferably a 3600 yank power adder series. It’ll flash good rpm, is tight when cruising and couples up good on top end.
my buddy has a 06 gto, he didn’t listen to me and went with a 3200. And guess what, 6 months later he pulled the trans out and went and had it restalled to a 3600. He likes it much better. My dumbass went with a 3600 originally. Ran good, pulled a 1.7 60ft. I thought if I restalled to a 3200 (trans broke, it was out anyways and needed cleaning, rest all was included in cleaning) I would pick up gas mileage. It made 0 difference.My gas mileage problem ended up being my 72-78psi base pressure.
If you rather a really small cam that works really well, the Texas speed 212/218 high lift is a damn good cam too. I prefer the summit cam tho. It idles at 625 in my 5.3 btw.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
Nice, I wasn't sure if I'd get some off-the-shelf suggestions, but so far so good... much appreciated, gents. Although I'm 75% confident Farnsworth is teasing me lol!

I'll look into those cams. what's the p/n on the hot cam these days? I searched and was surprised to see the 0033 part was a kit, and didn't look as readily available as I expected.

Also, what's the p/n on that summit ghost cam? Who does their cores these days? Not sure if the comp core issue is over, but I recall them being troublesome.

I should mention, I had a very enjoyable cam in my 00 ls1 hombre. It was a no-lope cam for sure, 210/215 .561/.561 at 113+4 iirc. It sounded like it just has a little compression if you were listening, otherwise, no indication. Definitely a torque cam, loved it in that little truck!

And thanks on the converter, but it's going to be a 3200 circle d. I have a 3200 circle d in my belair and love the driveability. I just don't flog it as much as I used to. Which might make you ask why I'm talking about a cam. But I digest...
 

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Nice, I wasn't sure if I'd get some off-the-shelf suggestions, but so far so good... much appreciated, gents. Although I'm 75% confident Farnsworth is teasing me lol!

I'll look into those cams. what's the p/n on the hot cam these days? I searched and was surprised to see the 0033 part was a kit, and didn't look as readily available as I expected.

Also, what's the p/n on that summit ghost cam? Who does their cores these days? Not sure if the comp core issue is over, but I recall them being troublesome.

I should mention, I had a very enjoyable cam in my 00 ls1 hombre. It was a no-lope cam for sure, 210/215 .561/.561 at 113+4 iirc. It sounded like it just has a little compression if you were listening, otherwise, no indication. Definitely a torque cam, loved it in that little truck!

And thanks on the converter, but it's going to be a 3200 circle d. I have a 3200 circle d in my belair and love the driveability. I just don't flog it as much as I used to. Which might make you ask why I'm talking about a cam. But I digest...
you digest? Lol.

I posted a link for that cam. The ls9 cam is bonk. Watch the Richard holdener test on it vs the next stage up summit cam (one step higher than the ghost cam) it made more midrange and bottom end and he even said the ghost cam would be even better. The summit cam was a good bit better all the way around. My buddy made 455rwhp with the ghost cam thats in my car, I bought it used from him. He had ported heads, fast intake and the ghost cam in a stock bottom end 5.7 in a trans am. I don’t know who does their cores but I think it’s cam motion. Here’s a video of it in my 5.3, do note that a bigger motor tames a cam even more. But it barely lopes in my 5.3. I have the tune dialed now and it’s even smoother than this, I’d do another vid but I’m on vacation right now.

 

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man, kfxgai just broke my heart. ripped it out and threw it against the wall, and made me watch it slide dowm the wall into the garbage can.

p.s. wut doz "bonk" mean?
 

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Nice, I wasn't sure if I'd get some off-the-shelf suggestions, but so far so good... much appreciated, gents. Although I'm 75% confident Farnsworth is teasing me lol!

I'll look into those cams. what's the p/n on the hot cam these days? I searched and was surprised to see the 0033 part was a kit, and didn't look as readily available as I expected.

Also, what's the p/n on that summit ghost cam? Who does their cores these days? Not sure if the comp core issue is over, but I recall them being troublesome.

I should mention, I had a very enjoyable cam in my 00 ls1 hombre. It was a no-lope cam for sure, 210/215 .561/.561 at 113+4 iirc. It sounded like it just has a little compression if you were listening, otherwise, no indication. Definitely a torque cam, loved it in that little truck!

And thanks on the converter, but it's going to be a 3200 circle d. I have a 3200 circle d in my belair and love the driveability. I just don't flog it as much as I used to. Which might make you ask why I'm talking about a cam. But I digest...
LS9 cam will idle like stock and give a decent power bump. not just rpm-wise, but it will sound stock. it's actually real close to LS7 specs, and it's cheap as smurf, too. it's also a 3-bolt cam, and will work with ls3 springs, although you'd probably want to run a pac 1218 or something.

it gives up a little low end on a 5.3, but should be ok on a 5.7 or 6.0.

i mean yeah, an aftermarket cam like kfxgai suggested will make more torque and power. shoot, the FTI SS-TQ might be up your alley. Just a tad more lift than you said you want, but a nice cam with good manners and nice torque curve.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, it was true at the time, I had just finished dinner. A little word play for dessert...

Wow, I thought Farnsworth was messing with me. Looking up the ls9 cam and doing some research, it actually sounds like that may work! Plus, it really is cheap, $140 shipped from ebay! That may actually get me to pull the water pump, radiator and balancer off this thing. I underestimated you!

The hot cam is still a contender, but it's a good bit more expensive and harder to find. The ghost cam is basically at the limit for what I wanted to play with on lift and duration, but would probably be the best with these heads from a performance standpoint. Hmm...
 

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i ordered one for the 5.3 i'm messing with, and i got mine for 140 i think from scoggin dickey. i just picked it because it's probably the hottest cam out there that literally has a stock idle and is proven to be pretty reliable with a stock valvetrain, because that's what it was designed for.

the ls9 is not a bad cam, kind of a sleeper factory cam, but kfxguy does bring up a good point. you could do better.

you should take the time to talk to a cam guru, like someone from cam motion, or edc, or someone else of that caliber, and ask them to spec you a cam. that's been the go to answer here for years now, because i think that's really the best answer. they may pick one of their of the shelf cams for you to use, but honestly they've done their own research for their cam grinds and know what works well. or, they could custom spec something. Lots of possibilities there.

in the end you'll spend more, but probably be happier.

oh, if you do go with the LS9 cam, the easiest way to get it out of the GM packaging is just to thump the tube up and down until the metal cap falls out! lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, you talked me into it. Yes, it's for square port heads. Yes, it's for forced induction. But geez, 140 shipped is stupid for a new cam that's better than the stocker in my ls2. Ordered a new ls9 cam, along with water pump gaskets and a crank bolt. And with efi performance doing free updates in the first 30 days, I'll have the calibration updated for around 30 in shipping.

Thanks for the input, gents!
 

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Nevermind. Parts ordered, but I won't install. Looks like it shifts everything out 1000 rpm and loses down low. The best comparison I found was the info from hot rod how they gained 60hp. They should have titled the article how to lose 25-30% of your power in daily driving. I realize that's on a junkyard 5.3, but that's as close as I have to good info. I'll keep the parts for a future project, but not this one.
 

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Nevermind. Parts ordered, but I won't install. Looks like it shifts everything out 1000 rpm and loses down low. The best comparison I found was the info from hot rod how they gained 60hp. They should have titled the article how to lose 25-30% of your power in daily driving. I realize that's on a junkyard 5.3, but that's as close as I have to good info. I'll keep the parts for a future project, but not this one.
So... you have a 5.3l? Did you see how much low end torque an ls6 cam lost on a 5.3l? Not to mention the lm7 has trash for a compression ratio. You have 6 liters and 10.95:1 CR. And you could try advancing the cam slightly...

Anyway...

Why don't you call edc? Get something in the 22x/22x range with around 0-3 degrees of overlap. Have the right amount of advance ground in.
 

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No, it's a 6.0. I understand my compression and displacement will have an advantage over the 5.3L, but if those tendencies carry over (lose torque down low, shift peak everything right), I'm not interested. This car will see nearly exclusively street driving on 18in 245 summer tires. Spinning is fun, but it's not exactly what I was interested in lol!

I'm not selling the cam. I've always wanted a supercharged car. Seems like this would be a good start on a new motor for a project. I just don't know what that project is yet. And if I change my mind, should be able to cash out the cam for a minimal loss.
 

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Dyno done by tsp posted on camaro5.

Yeah... not an ls2, better flowing heads and more displacement. But not a massive loss under 4000 like with a 9.5:1 CR 5.3l.

The LS3 cam is also a bit more agressive than the LS2.
 

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No, it's a 6.0. I understand my compression and displacement will have an advantage over the 5.3L, but if those tendencies carry over (lose torque down low, shift peak everything right), I'm not interested. This car will see nearly exclusively street driving on 18in 245 summer tires. Spinning is fun, but it's not exactly what I was interested in lol!

I'm not selling the cam. I've always wanted a supercharged car. Seems like this would be a good start on a new motor for a project. I just don't know what that project is yet. And if I change my mind, should be able to cash out the cam for a minimal loss.
It's good for a cheap junkyard motor project.

The big letdown on the ls9 (as well as the ls7 or any other factory cam) is the lack of overlap. Go with an aftermarket cam that has a little more overlap, better valve events, and you'll see an increase in torque. But you will lope a little more as well. And you'll need to upgrade your whole valvetrain.

Same goes for a lot of these "stealth" cams out there. Not really that stealthy... they just sound like smaller cams than what they are. Unless you go with say a gt2-3 or gt11, or some of the other low overlap cams... still need an aftermarket valvetrain.

Anyway... How many times do i have to tell you to CALL EDC OR CAMMOTION OR TSP. Sheesh.
 

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It's good for a cheap junkyard motor project.

The big letdown on the ls9 (as well as the ls7 or any other factory cam) is the lack of overlap. Go with an aftermarket cam that has a little more overlap, better valve events, and you'll see an increase in torque. But you will lope a little more as well. And you'll need to upgrade your whole valvetrain.

Same goes for a lot of these "stealth" cams out there. Not really that stealthy... they just sound like smaller cams than what they are. Unless you go with say a gt2-3 or gt11, or some of the other low overlap cams... still need an aftermarket valvetrain.

Anyway... How many times do i have to tell you to CALL EDC OR CAMMOTION OR TSP. Sheesh.
A few more times, but it probably won't help lol! I've had 2 custom cams in my ls history: a 210/215 in my ls1 isuzu hombre and a 230/236 in a 383 ls6 in my 02 Camaro. The 210 was by cam motion, the 230 was by Geoff at eps.

On the 210, I emphasized torque and a tame idle. It was tame at idle, but the torque wasn't mind blowing. On the 230, I (again) emphasized torque (always a priority since all my cars are daily capable). It gained top end and didn't really gain anything over the outgoing lunati 60511 cam. Disappointing, considering it had 8 degrees more on intake and exhaust, and went from .567/.567 to something like .602/.602.

Custom cams are nice, but they're just not for me as I'm a "casual" enthusiast who bolts stuff onto street driven cars, not racecars.
 
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