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Old 02-25-2007, 09:49 PM   #1
c66vet
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Default Cam recommendations 540 Build 1966 Coupe

I am trying to obtain some real world cam specifications, everything on line is for 454's or 502's nothing larger. Cams recommended for a street performace 540: -Comp Cams 294HR 242/248 Dur, Lift 540/560 L 110, lift seems low. Crane HR 240 139681 Dur 240/248, Lift 621/632. L 112. I do not plan to race this car, but want this car to go and sound fast.The basics:
- Car 1966 427/425 stock motor removed, want a driver, that is a sleeper looks stock, but not. Currently the body is off fame and I am re doing the supension and chassis. Richmond 5 speed 4:10 1 st - 4th, 5th 3:08, Tom's complete rear end, evething except 12 bolt. Guldstrand springs, VB upgrades. I have a new/old never used Mark IV Bowtie Block 10051107 that will be bored to 4.500. Want to use GM Signature Series Aluminum Oval port heads, 2.25 int / 1.88 ex. I want to show car in NCCC, 10 changes for modified class. Using Vintage AC, pwr steering, might add pwr brakes. - JE Pistons Compression between 10 to 10:5, street car want to use pump gas. - Intake stock Big Block 069 66 high rise dual plane modified, or Eldebrock Perform RPM. Would like to use Callies crank and high end rods, probably not required. Stahl side exhaust into modified 2 3/4 ID side pipes. I have Sandersons block hugger headers which I used on the 427, but these would really choke a 540. 10 inch tires(safety valve), offset trailing arms, upgraded brakes/rotors, and upgraded cooling system. Sorry for the lengthy description but need help with a good cam for my 540 that will make 650/700 hp, 650 tq in RPM range of 1800-6500. Are these numbers a dream? In addition can anyone recommend a engine builder in South Florida. Thanks
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Old 02-26-2007, 07:29 PM   #2
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I went with a solid roller using 266*/272* duration @.050, .700" lift, and 108*LSA (that'll give it the sound you wanted) for my street Hotrod. 10.75:1 cr, AFR 335cc CNC heads, 2.300 and 1.88 valves, with 2 1/8 header primaries. Still haven't finished the engine yet, but other Monster Motor guys are quite happy running similar setups, though with a bit wider LSA. Give some thought to a cam in this ballpark, with a single plane intake like a Victor Jr and a big Holley. Caution, you may not be able to remove the grin from your face after driving it, since it may make around 100hp more than you called for.

Last edited by 540 RAT; 02-26-2007 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 02-27-2007, 05:40 PM   #3
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I originally had the CC242/248 110 in my 427 small block. not enough solid roller for me. So this time i installed a 248/250 .685/.715 110 LSA

Your head choice might be on the small side for 540 ci

Crane makes these two H-rollers.

Camshaft Specification Card BACK TO LIST
Part Number: 139651 Grind Number: HR-306-2S-14 IG
Engine Identification:
Start Yr. End Yr. Make Cyl Description
1967 Up CHEVROLET 8 ROUGH IDLE, PERFORMANCE USAGE, GOOD MID AND UPPER RPM HP, BRACKET RACING, AUTO TRANS W/3500+ CONVERTER, MARINE PERFORMANCE, 3800-4200 CRUISE RPM, FOR 500+ CU. IN. ENGINES, 10.5 TO 12.5 COMPRESSION RATIO ADVISED. BASIC RPM 3800-7000
Engine Size Configuration
396-454 C.I. V

Valve Setting: Intake .000 Exhaust .000 HOT

Lift: Intake @Cam 372 @Valve 632 All Lifts are based
on zero lash and theoretical rocker arm ratios.
Exhaust @ Cam 372 @Valve 632
Rocker Arm Ratio 1.70

Cam Timing: TAPPET @.004
Lift: Opens Closes ADV Duration
Intake 40.0 BTDC 86.0 ABDC 306
Exhaust 94.0 BBDC 44.0 ATDC 318

Spring Requirements: Triple Dual Outer Inner
Part Number 99896
Loads Closed 150 LBS @ 1.900 or 1 29/32
Open 466 LBS @ 1.290
Recommended RPM range with matching components
Minimum RPM 3000
Maximum RPM 6400
Valve Float 6800

Cam Timing: TAPPET @.050
Lift: Opens Closes Max Lift Duration
Intake 13.0 BTDC 51.0 ABDC 109 244
Exhaust 67.0 BBDC 9.0 ATDC 119 256


**************************************** *************
Part Number: 139661 Grind Number: HR-318-2S-14 IG
Engine Identification:
Start Yr. End Yr. Make Cyl Description
1967 Up CHEVROLET 8 ROUGH IDLE, PERFORMANCE USAGE, GOOD UPPER RPM HP, BRACKET RACING, AUTO TRANS W/3500+ CONVERTER, MARINE PERFORMANCE, 4000-4400 CRUISE RPM, FOR 540+ CU. IN. ENGINES, 11.0 MINIMUM COMPRESSION RATIO ADVISED. BASIC RPM 4000-7200
Engine Size Configuration
396-454 C.I. V

Valve Setting: Intake .000 Exhaust .000 HOT

Lift: Intake @Cam 372 @Valve 632 All Lifts are based
on zero lash and theoretical rocker arm ratios.
Exhaust @ Cam 372 @Valve 632
Rocker Arm Ratio 1.70

Cam Timing: TAPPET @.004
Lift: Opens Closes ADV Duration
Intake 46.0 BTDC 92.0 ABDC 318
Exhaust 98.0 BBDC 48.0 ATDC 326

Spring Requirements: Triple Dual Outer Inner
Part Number 99896
Loads Closed 150 LBS @ 1.900 or 1 29/32
Open 466 LBS @ 1.290
Recommended RPM range with matching components
Minimum RPM 3600
Maximum RPM 6600
Valve Float 7200

Cam Timing: TAPPET @.050
Lift: Opens Closes Max Lift Duration
Intake 19.0 BTDC 57.0 ABDC 109 256
Exhaust 71.0 BBDC 13.0 ATDC 119 264
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Old 02-28-2007, 12:18 AM   #4
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c66 it would be very helpful to find out what cfm the heads flowed at
different lifts... if you don't know this then cam recomendations are going to be a guess..and the guess could be wrong.
My from the hip gander is that the heads are going to be a restrictive
choice for the 540..

Here is a Flow Data chart for RHS 360cc port Big Block heads.

Click the image to open in full size.

Unfortunately GM doesn't provide these charts like most of the
aftermarket head mfg's do.... so you can either have your heads flow checked at a competent machine shop... find the flow in a magazine or
on a website, or just not know.

The HP potential of a head is generally about 2hp for every 1 cfm
of flow.... so a head that flows 300cfm at .500 lift of camshaft has
the theoretic potential of 600hp...
You also want to match your port CC's to the engine size you are
using.... GM, again, often doesn't list these figures.
For a 540 you are going to want heads that flow between 270cfm to 420 cfm between .500 to .700 lift... port CC's between 310cc to 390 cc's
The more CFM's a head flows with smaller port CC's... the more efficient and well designed the head... and generally the better throttle
response you will get without sacrificing top end power.

Biggest CFM's with the smallest CC's... that's what you want..
If you are picking between 2 heads that seem fairly equal in these
regards.... look at the low lift figures.. the cfm's flowing at .300 and
.400... the head with better low lift numbers is usually considered the
better head.
600hp to 700hp should be a fairly easy mark to make if you choose
your parts to match... that's a powerful street engine...
Good Luck.
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Old 02-28-2007, 11:53 AM   #5
c66vet
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I want to thank 540Rat, Gkull, and KyleDallas for the valuable input and help. It seems things are not always straight forward, just putting parts together is not the answer. I see that I have to do more homework with the cam and heads. I believe that cam lifts in the 630/650 range is where I want to be, I'm not sure of the LSA I believe the tigher the LSA the rougher the idle. I read in a previous thread that a 112 LSA in a 540 will act like a 110 in a 454, 110 like a 108. I do not want to shake the car apart. I'm interested in hearing the outcome of 540Rat's engine. I will look at bigger heads, I have always heard that rectangle heads were to big for a street car, this is why I went with oval port heads. Based on the information biggest CFM's and small CC's, but I do not want to lose the low end torque. I was trying to use GM heads, I may look at the GM rectangle heads and try to find out if anyone has any experience with these heads. Othewise there is Brodix, Dart, and AFR who all provide flow and lift infomation. I have ordered Performace Trends Engine Analyzer software to help me with my parts selections. Thanks again. Bob
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Old 02-28-2007, 09:58 PM   #6
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There are quite a few 540's around here. In various stages of *radical-ness*.

One is in ML67's '67 Coupe. It's nearly identical to 540Rat's...except for LSA...same cam...just on a 112 LSA. He runs a Richmond 5 speed with 3.08's. He's making 702 RWHP last time out!!

TNBusa just dyno'd his with 315 AFR heads and a relatively mild Crane Hyd roller and made like 719 flywheel HP...and it still had at least another 20 or so left in it with tuning.

Mine has been through a couple of versions. First version used unported as cast Brodix 365cc port heads, 10.5 compression, a 262/273 .675/.678 lift on a 112 solid roller, a Team G intake and it made 732 HP. But power fell off rapidly after 6500 rpm. Next version had the same heads professionally ported, a 272/278 .731/.731 lift cam on a 112. It also got a new Super Victor Intake. Made 825HP@ 7400 rpm.....went a little further than I had planned. It now has everything else the same, but it has a 266/272 cam on a 112 with same .731 lift. I haven't dyno'd it yet...but it tremendously picked up when playing at the track, plus lots better manners.

VetteManiac had a 540 in his C-3 (now installing a 638"!!) that he literally drove on the street to work everyday in Dallas traffic. He started with GM/Edelbrock (that's who makes those heads for GM) rectangular ports, a 230'ish Hyd roller with 114 LSA and approx. .600 lift. He used a factory 427/425 hi-rise type intake. The engine was basically a great big truck motor..on the dyno it was strangling for air at any rpm above 5000. It peaked at 410RWHP at 4900 rpm or so I think. He later had heads ported very nicely, changed cam to a 240'ish one with similar lift, changed to a Holley Strip Dominator intake (picked up 30 RWHP alone!!) and a 1000cfm HP Holley carb (up from the 850). When all was done, he was at nearly 500 RWHP..but it was still having breathing issues with his small exhaust.

To debunk the big head myth a little...he installed a set of AFR CNC 357cc heads which should be too large for this combo...and it made more HP on the top end AND on the bottom end. For sure you CAN go too big on heads..but when you are in the 540"+ range, it's important to have serious heads. Anything less with starve it.

My gut tells me that you aren't wanting anything as radical as Mark, Rick or I have....but TNBusa's (do a search) would probably be close. Only real change is cam timing. Solid rollers come with a need for a maintenance program if you drive them much on the street. I'm not a giant fan of Hyd rollers...but they do alright in some cases. I would probably run a nice solid flat tappet so I could rev it out a little if I wanted to and keep decent performance.

If you want a deal on some pistons, ML67 has a real nice set of forged flat tops you could get for a good price. 4.500 bore.

I would forget the GM heads and go with aftermarket. AFR will work great, the ex ports are raised a little..but not as bad as Brodix. I like the Brodix castings. On the AFR's, the 315's or 335's would be perfect.

If you're interested we have a great contact for heads and stuff that treats you right and has great prices. He's in Ca, but he could build you an engine and ship it if needed.

Headers will likely need to be 2-1/8" for best overall power. 2" works fine up to 6200-6400 rpm range....but quickly choked my 540 on the dyno after that. Don't scrimp on rest of the exhaust. You need minimum of 3" pipes after headers.

There are lots of hyd roller cams out there these days if you are wanting to use one of them. If a solid is an option..things get even better.

A good intake is essential. You need air! ZL-1Power just did a 496 with a performer intake on Edelbrock rectangular ports and made nearly 700hp..but he used a solid roller. But I bet he was on the edge. I saw another test of a 496 with an RPM AirGap against an old C-454 Dominator flanged intale and the C-454 matched it, despite the use of a 2" spacer on the Air Gap. I know my Team G was holding mine back.


Keep us up to date and we can help you a lot and save you some grief. Good news is everything you're talking about has been done by some member of the group!


JIM
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Old 03-02-2007, 08:05 AM   #7
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427Hotrod, thanks for the valuable information. You are correct I don't want a real radical engine. I am concerned about how the cam will act. idle quality. I know I want my cake, but I do not want a cam that shakes things apart. I would be interested in hearing how some of these engines idle and at what RPM. When you read the cam catalogs they state chopey, lopey, rough, and radical. I have heard that 540's and larger swallow up the cams specified for 454's. The idle and RPM range specified for the 454's would be different in a 540. This is why your experience and other real world input is so valuable.

Thanks for all the help. Bob

After reading your posts and others it looks like I will go with the AFR CNC 315 heads, Crane cam H-roller 244/256, Lift 632/632, LSA 112, RPM Performer, and a 950 Holley. As for the these and other parts I am interested in your contacts, in addition I am looking at Callies, JE, Oliver, and Lunati.

I have read some posts about a person named Harold who designs and build cams. What is the name of his company, does he do this for a business?

On the side exhaust I planned to use 2 3/4 pipes after the collector with aircarft stand off rivets attaching the stock corvette cover to the body. This rivet spaces the cover 1/2 inch from the body and not noticable enough unless you are really looking down at the exhaust covers. I think I can get a 3 inch pipe under there. Headers, I had planned on the 2 inch, because of clearance issues on the 2 1/8 inch pipes. The H-roller cam will be all out at 6200, don't know if there is anything to be gained with the extra 1/8 on a H-roller.

How do you keep drive shafts in your cars? Everywhere I beef up the rear end there is another weak link. Mine are the small tires which will break lose before anything else and the small univeral joints on the small drive shaft. I installed a T400 pinion yoke on the diff which effects my clearence and may be a potential issue. I do not want to change the T400 yoke to the smaller yoke, I spent a lot with Tom's and don't want to screw up the diff. I now require 2 offset u joints for the drive shaft because of body clearance issues and mismatch of components. I have 1/2 inch clearence between the yoke and the diff cross member bracket. Hoping the diff dose not move too much from the torque.
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:23 AM   #8
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Call Mike Lewis. Tell him Hi from Jim!

http://www.lewisracingengines.com/

Mike is a great guy and will help you get the right parts at the right price. He can sell you the parts all balanced (the RIGHT way) or build you a motor or whatever. He can usually beat everyone on AFR prices as well as Isky parts.

The Performer will do OK...but a 540 has no need for a dual plane, especially with a stick trans and some gear. You're going to find that it will RPM awful quickly and that's when you find out having a 6200 rpm rev limit is a problem. You have to be ready to pull gears awful fast...or you'll over wind the hyd setup. That's why I like solid stuff....

For other cam ideas...go check GM performance. The hyd roller cams in the 572/620's are made by Crane (the solids in the 572/720's too). They are using about 10 more degrees duration than you are planning, but otherwise very similar and it still peaks at under 6000 rpm I think. I think you can get some downloads from them on sounds and dyno tests so you can get an idea of how they act.

Harold Brookshire is still in cam business. Try this number-662-301-1245....plan to spend some time talking to him.....but he can for sure build you a cam.

The 2-1/8" would be best overall......2" will work OK.....but 2-1/8" aren't too much of an issue. In fact on mine, they seem to fit much better with the raised port heads than they do with stock heads!

Too bad...Mark just old his extra set of custom built sidepipe 2-1/8" headers to our buddy Dixon in La.

The Vette diff shouldn't move much. Mine is very close too..but no problems. I had a 2.5"X.134 wall shaft made with Spicer 1350 yokes on it. The 3" shafts are REAL close and from the modeling we did the 2.5" was plenty tough when made out of .134 wall tubing. So far it's been through countless launches on slicks and 140-150 mph runs with no problems.

Hope all of this helps a little.

JIM
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Old 03-08-2007, 01:06 AM   #9
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Install a LS7 camshaft, it would be better than a hydraulic anything.
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Old 03-09-2007, 11:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironcross View Post
Install a LS7 camshaft, it would be better than a hydraulic anything.
A truer statement has never been made!

Truthfully, I always go for great heads and a solid flat tappet over fair heads and a hyd roller or any other hyd cam.

Unless I'm building a pickup truck!

JIM
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Old 03-10-2007, 01:04 AM   #11
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This guy for real Jim? Could be a dreamer with one of those desktop things. Too specific!
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Old 03-10-2007, 11:25 AM   #12
c66vet
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Again thanks for the valuable input and constructive criticism. Criticism well taken, I am trying not to re do things too many times and the valuable input obtained from this and the Team Chevelle fourm is priceless. Anything you want to know is at your finger tips. I knew I wanted a 540, I had the BowTie Block and needed to match the correct components.

I have used all of the forum information to be as specific as possible and to come up with real world performance and pricing. Ironcross I did purchase the Performace Trend Engine Analyzer last week to take on my business trip to Finland. Something to play with on the plane and to feed all of this information into the program.

The software has shown and everyone has stated, hyd cams are all out between 5500/6200 RPM's with severe valve float, performace falls flat. The software does show the dramatic difference between hyd and solid cams, very little difference in the low end, and night and day difference on the top end. My problem is that I did not want all of the maintenance associated with a solid cam.

You have brough up another question, solid flat tappet or solid roller for the street use??

My project is real, I do not want to experiment, this is why this input is important, positive or negative. I will post pictures of my progess as I move forward.
Bob
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Old 03-10-2007, 08:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c66vet View Post
You have brough up another question, solid flat tappet or solid roller for the street use??
Bob
In your case use I'd use a flat tappet, perhaps with some of those new isky pressure fed lifters. A solid roller is less forgiving, everything has to be just right. Wait till your third big block before you try a solid roller.

And a flat tappet is cheap, saving money for good heads.

A solid flat tappet is very low maintenance once set up.
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Old 03-11-2007, 09:21 AM   #14
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Lots of good information posted here.

I do have a set of forged & coated Arias 4.500 pistons for sale. These will yield approx. 10:1 CR in a 540 (6.385 rod) with a 114 cc chamber. PM me if interested.

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Old 03-14-2007, 05:30 AM   #15
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I spoke with Mike Lewis (Lewis Racing Engines), he has a wealth of knowledge and experience in building big blocks. Even though we are on opposite coasts he is willing to do and help me with whatever I need. I was expecting to hear that he could not help me because of the distance, but Mike actually kept me on the phone for an hour telling me what he has done, what would work in my application, what parts and manufactures he can help me with. Mike said he would ship me a balanced assembly.
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:03 AM   #16
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I told you he was a good one!!

He's a stand up guy and you will get what you need...not some quickie production deal.


JIM
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:30 PM   #17
c66vet
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ML67, I may be interested in your pistons. I have to get a final hone to find out actual bore size. I am curious as to what intake, headers you are using especially since you are getting that much HP to the rear wheels. Your car virtually looks stock. Bob
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Old 03-16-2007, 10:42 AM   #18
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That Mark is a sneaky one!!!



JIM
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Old 03-17-2007, 09:02 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c66vet View Post
ML67, I may be interested in your pistons. I have to get a final hone to find out actual bore size. I am curious as to what intake, headers you are using especially since you are getting that much HP to the rear wheels. Your car virtually looks stock. Bob
snyd6153@bellsouth.net
I tell people its just a 427 w/ a cam and headers....

I'm running a Vic Jr intake ported by Bernard Mondello. He milled the carb pad at a slight angle to fit under the hood. The headers are done by Custom Tubes. The rest of the exhaust system is 3 1/2" pipes and Borla mufflers that were sectioned, rolled and stuffed under the factory side exhaust covers.

It merges well into traffic.

Let me know if you are interested in the pistons.

Mark
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Old 03-18-2007, 06:32 PM   #20
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Sometime ago I built 2 510 BBC Mark IV engines. They were identical except for the cam. Crane hyd. rollers were used in both. Both cams had .632 lift on I & E. The only difference was duration. As I recall, one had 244 or 246 intake & the other one was 254 or 256 I believe. Exhaust was about 10 degrees more . I don't have the cam cards handy but you will spot the cams in the Crane catalog. Both were run on a very conservative Superflow 901. The HP was 677 on one & 679 on the other. The power curves were nearly identical except the bigger cam made it's max HP & torque 500 RPM higher. I swear it was wierd. The smaller cam peaked at 6000 & the bigger one was at 6500. We do a lot of BBC engines. I dyno every one. This dyno is about 10% less than a couple others close by. I use them because the dyno owno operator is an expert carb tuner. GMPP uses the very same (bigger ) CRANE cam in the 572/620 crate motor.I do run about 20# more spring pressure than CRANE says to use on a retro hyd. roller, otherwise valves float early.

Last edited by msb184; 03-18-2007 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 03-18-2007, 06:32 PM
 
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