When I was asked to write a review or guide for best camshafts for a 454 engine, I yelled with joy. Then I suddenly realized that this was a trick question since all the aftermarket 454 focused camshafts are designed to fit a large block Chevy 454 engine, and unless you buy a cheap piece of shit from some unknown source, the market is full of “the best” power performance you seek.

The 5 Best Cam for Stock 454:

  1. Edelbrock 7162 Performer Cam and Lift Kit – the best cam for Stock 454
  2. COMP Cams CL11-600-4 Thumpr 279TH7 Cam and Lifter Kit for Big Block Chevy
  3. COMP Cams K11-242-3 Camshaft Kit (CB XE268H-10)
  4. Lunati Voodoo Cam and Lifter Kits 10110703LK
  5. Howards Cams CL120245-12 Cam and Lifter Set

Top-rated Cam for Stock 454 List:

Preview
Edelbrock 7162 Performer Cam and Lift Kit
COMP Cams CL11-600-4 Thumpr 227/241 Hydraulic Flat Cam and Lifter Kit for Chevrolet Big Block 396-454
COMP Cams K11-242-3 Xtreme Energy 224/230 Hydraulic Flat Cam K-Kit for Chevrolet Big Block 396-454
Lunati 10110703LK Voodoo 227/233 Hydraulic Flat Cam/Lifter Kit for 396-454 Chevrolet Big Block
Howards Cams CL120245-12 Cam And Lifter Set
COMP Cams 11-430-8 Magnum 224/224 Hydraulic Roller Cam for Chevrolet Big Block 396-454
Name
Edelbrock 7162 Performer Cam and Lift Kit
COMP Cams CL11-600-4 Thumpr 227/241 Hydraulic Flat Cam and Lifter Kit for Chevrolet Big Block 396-454
COMP Cams K11-242-3 Xtreme Energy 224/230 Hydraulic Flat Cam K-Kit for Chevrolet Big Block 396-454
Lunati 10110703LK Voodoo 227/233 Hydraulic Flat Cam/Lifter Kit for 396-454 Chevrolet Big Block
Howards Cams CL120245-12 Cam And Lifter Set
COMP Cams 11-430-8 Magnum 224/224 Hydraulic Roller Cam for Chevrolet Big Block 396-454
Our Rating
Prime
-
-
Feature 1
Offers improved throttle response
Kit is for high performance street applications
Trusted industry leader
Very strong cam with great street manners
1965-1996 Chevy 396-502 Mark IV
Cam Upgrade for Chevy Big Block Engines
Feature 2
Designed to match the powerband
Provides three cam options
Delivers a slightly rough idle
Delivers exceptional results
Hydraulic roller camshaft
Perfect for street machines
Feature 3
Perfect for high-performance street
Deliver horsepower gains
Combined with street carbureted upgrades
Camshaft for a specific applications
Optimized street performance
Said to be easy on the valvetrain
Preview
Edelbrock 7162 Performer Cam and Lift Kit
Name
Edelbrock 7162 Performer Cam and Lift Kit
Our Rating
Prime
Feature 1
Offers improved throttle response
Feature 2
Designed to match the powerband
Feature 3
Perfect for high-performance street
Details
Preview
COMP Cams CL11-600-4 Thumpr 227/241 Hydraulic Flat Cam and Lifter Kit for Chevrolet Big Block 396-454
Name
COMP Cams CL11-600-4 Thumpr 227/241 Hydraulic Flat Cam and Lifter Kit for Chevrolet Big Block 396-454
Our Rating
Prime
-
Feature 1
Kit is for high performance street applications
Feature 2
Provides three cam options
Feature 3
Deliver horsepower gains
Details
Preview
COMP Cams K11-242-3 Xtreme Energy 224/230 Hydraulic Flat Cam K-Kit for Chevrolet Big Block 396-454
Name
COMP Cams K11-242-3 Xtreme Energy 224/230 Hydraulic Flat Cam K-Kit for Chevrolet Big Block 396-454
Our Rating
Prime
Feature 1
Trusted industry leader
Feature 2
Delivers a slightly rough idle
Feature 3
Combined with street carbureted upgrades
Details
Preview
Lunati 10110703LK Voodoo 227/233 Hydraulic Flat Cam/Lifter Kit for 396-454 Chevrolet Big Block
Name
Lunati 10110703LK Voodoo 227/233 Hydraulic Flat Cam/Lifter Kit for 396-454 Chevrolet Big Block
Our Rating
Prime
Feature 1
Very strong cam with great street manners
Feature 2
Delivers exceptional results
Feature 3
Camshaft for a specific applications
Details
Preview
Howards Cams CL120245-12 Cam And Lifter Set
Name
Howards Cams CL120245-12 Cam And Lifter Set
Our Rating
Prime
-
Feature 1
1965-1996 Chevy 396-502 Mark IV
Feature 2
Hydraulic roller camshaft
Feature 3
Optimized street performance
Details
Preview
COMP Cams 11-430-8 Magnum 224/224 Hydraulic Roller Cam for Chevrolet Big Block 396-454
Name
COMP Cams 11-430-8 Magnum 224/224 Hydraulic Roller Cam for Chevrolet Big Block 396-454
Our Rating
Prime
Feature 1
Cam Upgrade for Chevy Big Block Engines
Feature 2
Perfect for street machines
Feature 3
Said to be easy on the valvetrain
Details

REVIEWS YOU CAN TRUST 

All the information and opinions you find on Mechanicguides.com come from a team of automotive journalists and an independent mechanic, Steve “Whip” Whipple with 11 years of auto industry experience. We look at the latest market research, talk to experts, and draw from our own practical experience to bring you reviews and guides that reflect what you’ll encounter in your garage. For more information about the team, see here.

The top cam manufacturers supply at least one version if not more than one version of a 454 camshaft, only because this is found on any 427-cubic-inch engine that General Motors introduced in the 454 during 1970.

What a year and what an engine. The Chevy 454 came in three variations; there were the LS5, LS6, and LS7 which never reached the general public, since the LS7 was used for high-performance applications such as the Chevelle and the Corvette. Some claim that the LS7 HP output was understated during the muscle car wars era.

Just so you get a picture of the performance, in 1970 the 454 was the most powerful engine to hit the market, and it displaced 360HP in the LS5 model, while the LS6 gave out 450HP. Due to ever increasing emission controls, the LS6 was closed down, and the LS5’s HP was reduced to 245 in 1973.

Chevrolet phased out the 454 from cars in 1975, and from trucks in 1996.

A question I am frequently asked is, how many Liters are in a 454 engine?

The 454 is a 7.4 Liter engine, with a bore x stroke of 4.25 in × 4 in (108.0 mm × 101.6 mm).

What cars used the original 454 engines?

  • 1970–1976 Chevrolet Caprice
  • 1970–1975 Chevrolet Chevelle
  • 1970–1975 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
  • 1970–1975 Chevrolet El Camino
  • 1971–1972 GMC Sprint
  • 1970–1974 Chevrolet Corvette

As of today, the Chevrolet 454 is still one of the most popular aftermarket engine and parts that are sought out by enthusiasts all over the world.

Best Cam for Stock 454 Reviews:

1. Edelbrock 7162 Performer Cam and Lift Kit – the best cam for stock 454

Edelbrock 7162 Performer Cam and Lift Kit
  • Designed to perfectly match the power band of their Performer RPM Series of intake manifolds
  • Tested and tuned on engine dynamometers for maximum performance
  • Offers improved throttle response and torque
  • Intake Valve Lift With Factory Rocker Arm Ratio is 0. 560 and exhaust valve lift is 0. 573
  • Intake durationat0. 050 inch lift is 240 and the exhaust duration is 247

Specifications

  • Cam Style: Hydraulic flat tappet
  • Basic Operating RPM Range: 1,500-6,500
  • Duration at 050” Lift: 240 int./246 exh.
  • Advertised Duration: 300 int./306 exh.
  • Valve Lift with Factory Rocker Arm Ratio: 0.560 int./0.573 exh.
  • Lobe Separation (degrees): 112
  • Computer-Controlled Compatible: No
  • Lifters Included: Yes
  • Lifter Style: Hydraulic flat tappet

Features

The Edelbrock 7162 performer cam is designed to match the powerband of their Performer RPM series of intake manifolds perfectly.

This combination is matched through exact dyno testing and calibration to reach maximum optimized performance.

This cam kit is perfect for high-performance street and strip use.

The Edelbrock 7162 powerband ranges from 1,500 to 6,500 rpm, and they maintain a 10” to 12” vacuum during idle.

These parts deliver maximum power ratings in high RPM and deliver very good low-end torque.

This kit comes with Includes Hydraulic Lifters and Assembly Lube and provides more lift and duration than most of their competition.

Q&A

  • What is a good spring, rate, and diameter for running this kit?

Edelbrock installs the springs at the height of 1.900″ – 1.975″ minimum together with a135 lbs. seat pressure of 300-350 lbs. The open Pressure is set at ½” lift at the valve for reference.

2. COMP Cams CL11-600-4 Thumpr 279TH7 Cam and Lifter Kit for Big Block Chevy

COMP Cams CL11-600-4 Thumpr 227/241 Hydraulic Flat Cam and Lifter Kit for Chevrolet Big Block 396-454
  • High performance street, stock converter ok, best with 2000+ converter and gears. Choppy/thumping idle.
  • 1,800-5,600 RPM Operating Range
  • 227/241 Duration at .050". 107 Degree Lobe Separation Angle. 0.498"/0.483" Valve Lift
  • CL Kits include a camshaft, a set of lifters, instructions and assembly lubricant.
  • Early intake valve opening and long exhaust duration create optimum overlap for powerful, hard-hitting exhaust note. Best with aftermarket converters and more rear gear.

Specifications

  • Cam Style: Hydraulic flat tappet
  • Basic Operating RPM Range: 1,800-5,600
  • Duration at 050” Lift: 227 int./241 exh.
  • Advertised Duration: 279 int./296 exh.
  • Valve Lift with Factory Rocker Arm Ratio: 498 int./0.483 exh.
  • Lobe Separation (degrees): 107
  • Camshaft Gear Attachment: 3-bolt
  • Computer-Controlled Compatible: No

Features

COMP Cams is an aftermarket force-majeure that is revitalizing the muscle car sound science.

The COMP Cams Thumpr 279TH7 Cam and Lifter Kit is designed for the Big Block Chevy and provides three cam options that deliver excellent horsepower gains, broad torque curve with early intake valve opening & long exhaust duration that combined create an optimum overlap for powerful, hard-hitting, deep exhaust note.

This model fits all 1967-95 Chevy 396-454 engines. I actually like the Thumpr due to the tones it delivers along with the gains in HP and torque.

Q&A

  • What valve spring is used in this part?

Comp Cams #911-16 is the correct valve spring for this cam.

  • Can I use this cam in combination with the springs on an Eldebrock 454-High Comp Head?

Yes, just make sure the springs are rated for the lift.

3. COMP Cams K11-242-3 Camshaft Kit (CB XE268H-10)

COMP Cams K11-242-3 Xtreme Energy 224/230 Hydraulic Flat Cam K-Kit for Chevrolet Big Block 396-454
  • Good for street machines, slightly rough idle, stock converter will work but best with 1800+ stall.
  • 1,600-5,800 RPM Operating Range
  • 224/230 Duration at .050". 110 Degree Lobe Separation Angle. 0.515"/0.52" Valve Lift
  • K Kits vary in their contents, but generally contain a camshaft, a set of lifters, valve springs, retainers, locks, valve seals, timing set, assembly lubricant, decals and instructions. Check description for more accurate listing of kit contents.
  • Excellent performance in street carbureted applications. Quicker opening lobe profiles deliver increased responsiveness and more area under the lift curve.

Specifications

  • Camshaft Type: Hydraulic Flat Tappet
  • Intake Duration: 268
  • Exhaust Duration: 280
  • RPM Range: 1600 to 5800
  • Lobe Separation: 110 °
  • Intake Duration .050″ Lift: 224
  • Exhaust Duration .050″ Lift: 230
  • Intake Valve Lift w/ Rocker Arm Ratio: 0.515″
  • Exhaust Valve Lift w/ Rocker Arm Ratio: 52″
  • Valve Spring Included: Yes
  • Lifter Type: Hydraulic Flat Tappet

Features

The K11-242-3 – Camshaft Kit, CB XE268H-10 cam is designed to fit Chevrolet 396-454 c.i. 8 CYL. 1965-1996 application.

This part delivers a slightly rough idle, but is hydraulic-good for street applications,

This model has quicker opening lobe profiles that provide increased responsiveness with more area under the lift curve, and the increased vacuum delivers a prolonged duration for improved performance that assists power brakes.

This is an excellent performer when combined with street carbureted upgrades.

Q&A

  • Will this model fit a ‘71 Chevelle? With a Weiand and Edelbrock intake. Will it raise power and rpm.

The COMP Cams K11-242-3 camshaft kit fits the Gen V big-block Chevelle engine and improved both power and rpm performance.

  • Do this cam use stock pushrods and rocker arms?

Yes, this cam will fit stock pushrods and rocker arms.

4. Lunati Voodoo Cam and Lifter Kits 10110703LK

Lunati 10110703LK Voodoo 227/233 Hydraulic Flat Cam/Lifter Kit for 396-454 Chevrolet Big Block
  • This high performance street cam likes 2400 RPM stall, 800 CFM carb, dual plane intake and headers. Makes unequaled power to 6200 RPM with proper valve springs. Very strong cam with great street manners. EFI motors need custom tuning.
  • 1800-6200 RPM Operating Range
  • 227/233 Duration at .050". 110 Degree Lobe Separation Angle. 0.542"/0.554" Valve Lift
  • Lunati Cam and Lifter Kits include a camshaft, a set of lifters, instructions and assembly lubricant.
  • More Power Where It Matters - Lunati's Voodoo cams deliver more area under the curve than any other camshaft series.

Specifications

  • Cam Style: Hydraulic flat tappet
  • Basic Operating RPM Range: 1,800-6,200
  • Duration at 050” Lift: 227 int./233 exh.
  • Advertised Duration: 268 int./276 exh.
  • Valve Lift with Factory Rocker Arm Ratio: 0.542 int./0.554 exh.
  • Lobe Separation (degrees): 110
  • Lifters Included: Yes
  • Lifter Style: Hydraulic flat tappet

Features

The Lunati Voodoo is aptly named because it has successfully hypnotized everyone into believing it’s “the best” Hydraulic Flat Tappet Cam on the market. So now for some facts. Yes, this is an exceptional 268 cam, and yes, it’s a high-performance street cam that likes a 2,400 RPM stall and an 800 cfm carb and comes with a dual plane intake with headers.

Essentially, this is a powerful cam that delivers exceptional results. Don’t let all the “internet” yahoo buzzwords confuse you, this is a great camshaft for a specific application, and is only one of the best.

Q&A

  • What length are pushrods recommended to use with this cam with stock stamped steel rocker arms?

For stock factory heads you need length 8.280/9.250 on a standard block, not the tall deck.

  • Will this cam fit a ‘69 454 and what springs should be used?

Lunati 73124-16 Valve Springs are best for this application, and yes, it will fit a ’69 454.

5. Howards Cams CL120245-12 Cam and Lifter Set

Howards Cams CL120245-12 Cam And Lifter Set
  • 1965-1996 Chevy 396-502 Mark IV
  • Lift: 0.578 in.
  • Duration: 284 Deg /278 Deg
  • LSA: 112 Deg
  • RPM Range: 1800-5400 Fair idle, Street & mild performance usage, Compression throttle.More specifications

Specifications

  • Cam Style: Hydraulic roller tappet
  • Basic Operating RPM Range: 1,800-5,400
  • Duration at 050” Lift: 225 int./231 exh.
  • Advertised Duration: 278 int./284 exh.
  • Valve Lift with Factory Rocker Arm Ratio: 0.567 int./0.578 exh.
  • Lobe Separation (degrees): 112
  • Camshaft Gear Attachment: 3-bolt
  • Lifters Included: Yes
  • Lifter Style: Hydraulic roller
  • Firing Order: 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2

Features

The Howards Cams CL120245-12 Retro-Fit hydraulic roller camshaft and lifter kit is a perfect upgrade for your 454-camshaft selection. When matched with their premium lifters, you get an optimized street performance cam set that delivers power and performance beyond all competitors.

This part will fit all 1965-1996 396-454 big block cars.

Q&A

  • What pushrods do you use with this cam for 5/16” guides?

You have to measure your pushrod length when using the Howards Cams CL120245-12 camshaft kit and purchase the correct part using this factor.

  • Will this camshaft fit a stock motor with flat top pistons and oversize valves?

This part will fit a 9.5-1 or better compression engine. As for fit, this depends on how deep your valve reliefs are, valve diameter, combustion chamber cc’s, and more.

6. Comp Cams Magnum Hydraulic Roller Cam for Chevrolet Big Block

COMP Cams 11-430-8 Magnum 224/224 Hydraulic Roller Cam for Chevrolet Big Block 396-454
  • Great for street machines. Use headers, 9.5:1+ compression and 2000+ stall. Lower gears in all applications. Rough idle.
  • 2,000-5,500 RPM Operating Range
  • 224/224 Duration at .050". 110 Degree Lobe Separation Angle
  • .566"/.566" Valve Lift
  • Best with aftermarket torque converters and 9.5:1 compression.

Specifications

  • Cam Style: Hydraulic roller
  • Basic Operating RPM Range: 2,000-5,500
  • Duration at 050” Lift: 224 int./224 exh.
  • Advertised Duration: 278 int./284 exh.
  • Valve Lift with Factory Rocker Arm Ratio: 0.566 int./0.566 exh.
  • Lobe Separation (degrees): 110
  • Camshaft Gear Attachment: 3-bolt
  • Lifters Included: No
  • Lifter Style: Hydraulic roller

Features

If you’re looking for a cam upgrade for a street machine with the Chevy Big Block V8, the Comp Cams Magnum Hydraulic Roller Cam makes a lot of sense. It’s available as camshaft only (the product chosen), camshaft + lifter, K-kit, or SK-kit. Depending on the application, you can choose from a variety of operating RPM ranges. The one we have here has an operating range of 2,000 – 5,500 rpm.

The listing mentions it’s great for street machines, will have a rough idle, and works best with 9.5:1 compression. It can be used with mild-ratio rocker arms and conventional valve springs. Looking at the specs of the camshaft, it’s made of austempered ductile iron, has a 3-bolt camshaft gear arrangement, and doesn’t come with lifters or assembly lubricant.

The intake and exhaust duration at 0.050-inch lift are 224 and 224 respectively. The lobe separation angle is 110 degrees whereas the intake and exhaust valve lift are 0.566 and 0.566. The camshaft is said to be easy on the valve train parts, but it’s priced close to other options on the list here. You’ll need to get in touch with the seller about the warranty and other details.

Q&A

  • What engine is the camshaft made for?

The Comp Cams Magnum Hydraulic Roller Cam is made for the Chevy 454 Big Block V8 made from 1967 to 1996.

  • What is the difference between K-kit and SK-kit?

This is the brand’s very simple way of distinguishing between its products with the help of codenames: you get CL for camshaft and lifter kits, K-kit for a complete kit (camshaft, lifter, timing chain and gears, valve springs, retainers, assembly lube, locks, etc.) and SK-kit (camshaft, lifter, timing chain, and assembly lube).

What is the best cam for stock 454?

For the 454 Chevrolet Big Block engine, a cam upgrade means an upgrade in performance — and if done right, the results can be surprising. Out of the five cams here, choosing the best one isn’t going to be easy, but the Edelbrock 7162 looks like our pick of the lot. It’s got great specs and offers low-end torque and power higher up in the rev range. 

The Comp Cams Magnum Hydraulic Roller cam isn’t a bad choice, either. This listing is for a camshaft only, but you can even purchase the full kit as a one-time upgrade. The other two Comp Cams (CL11-600-4 and K11-242-3) are great for power increment and street performance. The other equally celebrated high-performance street-oriented cams are the Lunati Voodoo and the Howards Cams product.

Conclusions

Whenever you buy a single component or a full kit, such as a camshaft, you will need to make sure it fits the application perfectly. Check your vehicles exact make, year and model and look at the VIN number if applicable. Don’t buy a camshaft because someone said it was great, buy a camshaft because you know it will fit your vehicle and provide you with the performance style you seek.