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Speed Secrets: Do You Have a Favorite Camshaft?

Most engine builders, especially those that have been building engines for a long time, have a go-to camshaft. Something they really trust to do well on any combination, from mild to extreme, and Richard Holdener with Speed Secrets is no different. He brought his first 5.0L Ford in 1987 embodied in a 1988 5.0L Ford Mustang LX. Since then he’s put together 100s of different 5.0L Ford combinations and usually reaches for the same, trusted camshaft.

The Xtreme Energy 274 from Comp Cams, because he has found that, no matter the application, from mildly modified to stroker, the XE274-HR camshaft is going to perform well. Whats great about this cam for a 302 is that, even though it is not the most powerful camshaft ever made, it makes plenty of power without sacrificing idle quality, drivability, or even fuel mileage. Even though Richard has plenty of experience with the Xtreme Energy 274 under his belt, he teamed up with the guys from Comp Cams to prove it. 

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Starting with a stock fuel injected 5.0L Small Block Ford with the XE274-HR camshaft – .555/.565 lift, 224/232 duration, 113 LSA – installed, they head to the dyno where they find power gains of 35-40 HP, But when used in a top-end package, that includes heads cam and intake, the test engine gained 140-150 HP. With the SBF already making plenty of power, they add a 100 shot of nitrous from a Zez Single Fogger system.

At 600 HP, the power gains are serious but why stop there? Its time to see how the camshaft handles boost. With a centrifugal supercharger, which the cam seems to like a lot, the 302 puts down almost 650 HP. The Xtreme Energy cam from Comp Cams continues to shine when paired with a turbo, as the Ford 5.0L is again nipping at 650 HP.

It did extremely well on all the combinations the team tested it on, even the turbo, which is why it was and and continues to be Richards go-to camshaft for small block Ford engine builds.