Best Cam for Stock 454

Cam for Stock 454
Written by Ken Coul

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.

Top-rated Cam for Stock 454 List:

PhotoProduct nameFeatureProsMore info
1. COMP Cams CL11-600-4 Thumpr 279TH7 Cam and Lifter Kit for Big Block Chevy1. COMP Cams CL11-600-4 Thumpr 279THKit is for high performance street applications

  • provides three cam options

  • deliver horsepower gains

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2. Edelbrock 7162 Performer Cam and Lift Kit2. Edelbrock 7162 Performer CamOffers improved throttle response

  • designed to match the powerband

  • perfect for high-performance street

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

  • delivers a slightly rough idle

  • combined with street carbureted upgrades

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4. Lunati Voodoo Cam and Lifter Kits 10110703LK4. Lunati Voodoo Cam 10110703LKVery strong cam with great street manners

  • delivers exceptional results

  • camshaft for a specific application

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5. Howards Cams CL120245-12 Cam and Lifter Set5. Howards Cams CL120245-121965-1996 Chevy 396-502 Mark IV

  • hydraulic roller camshaft

  • optimized street performance

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

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.
 

 

2. Edelbrock 7162 Performer Cam and Lift Kit

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.
 

 

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

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

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

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.
 

 

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.