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Don't own one but soon, 2005 Pontiac GTO, M6.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've heard a lot about camming LS motors, specifically the LS2 in the GTO's. I know that you have to buy a kit because the factory springs and what not aren't great for a bigger cam, but my bigger question is what cam should I buy? I want something a bit choppier, obviously, but I also want something that would bump the power by, oh I don't know, probably 50-75 horses at least. So just recommend me a few things, or at least point me in the right direction because I have no clue what I'm doing when I look for cam kits. It might help to add I'm really just pricing parts out at the moment and I don't have my GTO yet, but by December of next year I fully intend on owning one.
 

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Contact @EDC

He’ll have you fill out a cam questionnaire and spec you a complete package.
 
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Seriously?
2004 Pontiac GTO, LS1, 6 speed, Quicksilver/Black
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2,346 Posts
Before deciding on any cam, you need to determine your end goals for the car. Are you going to do an all motor bolt ons build or do you plan on turbo or super charging it? Stock cubic inches or stroker build? The details are important to get the best cam spec’d for your engine. Of course transmission and rear end gears will also play a role in your choice.

Whatever you choose and however you determine that choice, don’t get hung up on stage 1 or 99 cams. Cam specs are cam specs. Get it right based on your engine mods and goals… the stage number is marketing BS. And yes, when you do the cam, new lifters, pushrods and valve springs will be needed for installation.
 

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New lifters are not needed for a cam swap. Beneficial; sure, but that requires removing the heads. If you remove the heads, then you might as well upgrade those too.
 

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Seriously?
2004 Pontiac GTO, LS1, 6 speed, Quicksilver/Black
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2,346 Posts
Contact @EDC

He’ll have you fill out a cam questionnaire and spec you a complete package.
That right there is a very good idea, but I wouldn’t do that until you actually have a GTO and are ready to modify it.

If I can get my hands on some 243 heads, I’ll be contacting EDC for a cam.
 

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Seriously?
2004 Pontiac GTO, LS1, 6 speed, Quicksilver/Black
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2,346 Posts
New lifters are not needed for a cam swap. Beneficial; sure, but that requires removing the heads. If you remove the heads, then you might as well upgrade those too.
True, was thinking about a heads and cam swap or ported stock heads since OP is planning on an LS2 car.
 

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The Entenmann's Shim-Sham
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Are you looking at auto or manual cars? If an auto, then you will be limited by the torque converter if that doesn't get changed. Will the car have supporting mods like headers and a different intake manifold? You can certainly change the camshaft on a car with a stock torque converter and factory exhaust manifolds, but it may not yield the results you are looking for.

The biggest thing is for you to decide on what you plan on doing with the car. If it is a street vehicle or a daily driver, then you want to take that into consideration with a cam choice. Everything has a trade-off, and a lot of people get caught up in chasing dyno numbers and sacrifice drivability along the way, only to not be happy with the end result. When you change a camshaft, you change the engine's valve events, and while doing so can increase power, it can also shift the power curve. If the curve shifts too much, then it may shift out of the RPM range where you spend a majority of the time. Engines are rated by their peak numbers, but peak numbers are a small part of the story. You can have two different engines rated for 400 HP at 6000 RPM, but at 3000 RPM, one could make 150 HP and the other could make 250. You want to look at the entire power curve.

Here is a real world example with my car. It is the same engine, a 404 stroker, with two different camshafts. The blue line is a 241/251 camshaft and the red line is a 231/239 camshaft. I can't remember the rest of the specs, but the overlap was also different, with the larger cam having 20 degrees and the smaller cam having 5 degrees. However, this illustrates my point. The larger camshaft had ten more peak horsepower and 5 more peak ft/lbs of torque. It also made more power past peak. However, the smaller camshaft made more power in the lower end of the curve (50 ft/lbs at 2000) and has a much more linear torque curve. So, it just comes down to where you think the engine is going to live for the majority of its time. For me, the car is on the street for 99% of the time, and I was having drivability issues with the larger cam. So, it was an easy decision.

Slope Rectangle Plot Font Line
 

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Don't own one but soon, 2005 Pontiac GTO, M6.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Before deciding on any cam, you need to determine your end goals for the car. Are you going to do an all motor bolt ons build or do you plan on turbo or super charging it? Stock cubic inches or stroker build? The details are important to get the best cam spec’d for your engine. Of course transmission and rear end gears will also play a role in your choice.

Whatever you choose and however you determine that choice, don’t get hung up on stage 1 or 99 cams. Cam specs are cam specs. Get it right based on your engine mods and goals… the stage number is marketing BS. And yes, when you do the cam, new lifters, pushrods and valve springs will be needed for installation.
very true, I plan on keeping it NA and stock cubes with a few bolt on mods. Just want to keep it as kind of a street beast, maybe break it into the 10's lol. a lot of people have told me to find specs not stage because of the marketing BS. I know it also depends on the car, since all GTO's were built with different tolerances. I figured this would be a later in ownership project, mostly because I want to get a decent handle on my suspension and exhaust first. I'm not sure if I'll ever do a head swap to it, but porting and polishing for sure. I had heard somewhere that they had LS3 or LS6 heads, I'll have to revisit the article I read about it on. Thanks for the advice as usual!
 

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Don't own one but soon, 2005 Pontiac GTO, M6.
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Don't buy a cam just for sound and don't buy parts for a vehicle you don't own. Things can change and you'll be stuck with something for a vehicle you don't have.
well for one I'm not buying anything, I'm just trying to price out, for two I didn't say I was buying it Just for sound, I said obviously for sound but also for performance. I'm not that kind of person.
 

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There's a lot more to this than just the camshaft!

What I've been doing for over four decades is provide "combinations" that work for each customer, whether a DIY guy or a performance shop.

That's why the infamous Cam Tech form is what is required to do any project correctly and it has to be pretty damned good since it's been plagiarized by a quite a few places. ;)

Get your goat and then we can do up a package.
 

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So I've heard a lot about camming LS motors, specifically the LS2 in the GTO's. I know that you have to buy a kit because the factory springs and what not aren't great for a bigger cam, but my bigger question is what cam should I buy? I want something a bit choppier, obviously, but I also want something that would bump the power by, oh I don't know, probably 50-75 horses at least. So just recommend me a few things, or at least point me in the right direction because I have no clue what I'm doing when I look for cam kits. It might help to add I'm really just pricing parts out at the moment and I don't have my GTO yet, but by December of next year I fully intend on owning one.
so like 1.5 years from now, you are buying a GTO? (scratches head)
 

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Don't own one but soon, 2005 Pontiac GTO, M6.
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
There's a lot more to this than just the camshaft!

What I've been doing for over four decades is provide "combinations" that work for each customer, whether a DIY guy or a performance shop.

That's why the infamous Cam Tech form is what is required to do any project correctly and it has to be pretty damned good since it's been plagiarized by a quite a few places. ;)

Get your goat and then we can do up a package.
great, I'll remember that for when I have it!!
 

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Don't own one but soon, 2005 Pontiac GTO, M6.
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
so like 1.5 years from now, you are buying a GTO? (scratches head)
I know, strange that I'm pricing out parts for a car I don't have and am not going to have for a while. but that is my intention. It's a dream car of mine and it's something I've thought a lot about, so whether I buy it now or next year it doesn't really matter. Either way I still like to know what price range I'm gonna be in when I start to upgrade it, and hopefully the car parts and cars for that matter will be down in price next year, but you never know.
 

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I had an EDC cam on my Corvette and it performed great. Was running 10s in a H/C/I/ E N2O set up. Also if you're looking for chop and perforce GPI make some great choppy cams that put down really good performance. I already have a specked out cam by them. It's 50 dollars and they will do it to specifications.
 
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