Speed Secrets: Single Pattern Camshaft Test

Richard Holdener with Speed Secrets teamed up with Comp Cams, so right off the bat, you know theres gonna be a cam test but not just any cam test. A complete mild to wild single pattern camshaft test on a Stroker Small Block Chevy. For a test motor, a 420ci Stroker SBC seemed like a good starting point to run 3 different cam profiles on so you can have all the information you need to choose the camshaft with the power curve that best fits your application.

Featuring an aftermarket block with a 4.155 inch bore and 3.875 inch stroke, the SBC was topped with a set of Brodix aluminum 235 heads and a matching single plane intake, and because it was designed for boost, it had a low 8.5:1 compression ratio. To start testing the trio of single plane cams, the team installed a mild Comp camshaft with a .526 lift, 210 duration, and 112 LSA. Equipped with the smallest of the three camshafts, the engine made 467 HP @ 5,300 RPM and 495 Lb-Ft of torque @ 4,400 RPM. 

Removing the rockers and intake, Richard and the Comp team then remove the lifters, front cover, timing chain, and cam button and installed a medium Comp camshaft with a .551 lift, 232 duration, and 113 LSA. With a total peak power output gain of 41 HP, the SBC made 508 HP and 505 Lb-Ft of torque. However, there was a trade off. A loss in some torque below 4,000 RPM. Equipped with the wildest of the three Comp cams – .552 lift, 248 duration, and 114 LSA – the peak power output jumped to 534 HP and 501 Lb-Ft of torque, representing a gain of 67 HP over the mildest cam. 

But because there is more to a camshaft than just peak power, when picking out a camshaft, you need to take a close look at the entire power curve. With that in mind, the mild cam is going to be the best for applications where torque and drivability are the most important characteristics. For drag race applications where most of the time spent is between 4,500-6,500 RPM, the wild camshaft is going to do the trick. However, the second camshaft tested will create the best of both worlds, with most of the peak HP of the wild cam and most of the drivability of the mild cam. Each one of these Comp cams has a little something for everyone.