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Speed Secrets: Swapping a Cam in an LS3 Crate Engine

No matter how many times or combination of upgrades, testing an LS based engine never gets old. On Speed Secrets with Richard Holdner and the guys at Comp Cams, the team puts an LS3 Crate Motor on the dyno to see just how much power a cam swap has to offer. 

Normally a factory LS3 engine has stock LS3 heads, but the test motor that Richard and the team got from Gandrud Chevrolet was not a normal LS3. It already had GM CNC Ported L92 Heads from GM Performance installed. The thought being, the higher flowing heads should help the cam swap make even more power, and the team would have to make one less modification to the LS3 engine.

To prepare the engine for the actually fairly simple test, a manual 90mm Fast throttle body replaced the factory drive by wire throttle body and the team installed long tube headers and dialed everything in with a Fast XFI ECU management system. After making some noise on the dyno, the LS3 with the stock camshaft made 503 HP and 497 Lb-Ft of torque, and with a good baseline for the Crate Motor, it was time for the cam swap. 

Richard and the team installed a Comp 54-459-11 camshaft with a .617/.624 lift, 231/239 duration, and 114 LSA, along with Comp 26918 valve springs. On the dyno, the power gains were impressive as the engine made 569 HP and 522 Lb-Ft of torque. Compared to the factory LS3 cam, the Comp 459 cam helped the LS3 Crate Motor gain over 60 HP and 25 Lb-Ft of torque.