Speed Secrets: How to Choose a N/A Camshaft

Richard Holdener explains how to choose camshafts for naturally aspirated engines in this episode of Speed Secrets.

Comp Cams offers camshafts for Ford, Chevy, Dodge, and a lot of imports as well as specific applications. With so many options available for just about any project, you can imagine it can be a bit confusing. Richard Holdener with Speed Secrets and Comp Cams team up to address one of the most frequently asked questions. 

While planning out a project from start to finish is always best, it doesn’t always go that way. So, what if you’ve already started a project with a camshaft intended for a naturally aspirated engine, but then decide on a power adder? Do you need to start over? How well, if at all, would a N/A camshaft work with a forced induction system? Well, the answer is not a clear yes or no and is best explained with a few examples. So, Richard and the team put 3 different engines with healthy N/A camshafts installed to the test, and hit them with 2 different kinds of boost and nitrous. 

First, a 5.0L Ford with a Comp XE274HR cam, that made great power with and without a shot of Zex nitrous or boost from a turbo. Next on the dyno, a 4V Cobra engine with Comp XE262AH cams made 50 HP gains over stock and even more when ran with a turbo. Then a N/A SBC with a Comp XR294HR cam. With a big 8-71 blower on top the results were the same – more power. To wrap up this test, a twin turbo SBC with Comp XR276HR cam. The N/A cam worked well with the boost.

This experiment has concluded that even with a naturally aspirated camshaft, power adders work great. While sure, you could get 10-30 more horsepower with a dedicated camshaft for forced induction applications, but if you add boost to any N/A combination thats already making good power, thats a recipe for success, and you can always just turn up the boost to make up the difference. But remember, no matter the application, whether naturally aspirated, turbocharged, supercharged, or nitrous Comp Cams has the cam for your build.