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Old 01-24-2018, 04:56 PM   #1
Cadillac Kid
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Question What Camshaft For A Stock 1974 350?

Hello everybody.

My truck is a 1974 c10 longbed, with a TH350 transmssion and a 12 bolt rear axle with 3.73 gears and the factory locker.

The motor is all stock 350 4 bolt main with a 4bbl quadrajet carb.

The truck drives nicely and has power, but you can tell the stock cam is chocking it up and get horrible economy. My 4,800 pound 472ci Cadillac gets better economy. I really want to swap the cam with something like an RV grind. Camshafts are an area that I'm not very educated in, and have always been overwhelmed by how many choices there are for the small block.
Too many! My requirements are smooth idle, great low end tourqe, and no more fuel consumption then I already have currently. I don't want to get involved in the heads or valve springs. I'd like to get a cam I can just drop in and go. Does anyone have any suggestions for something that would work for my needs?
I appreciate it.

Thanks

-Gavin
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Old 01-24-2018, 05:20 PM   #2
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Re: What Camshaft For A Stock 1974 350?

No spring upgrade really limits choices. Whatever the smallest lunati voodoo or comp XE cam made it probably what you'll want.
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:25 PM   #3
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Re: What Camshaft For A Stock 1974 350?

Leave it alone and optimize your timing.
What’s your timing set at?
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:49 PM   #4
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Re: What Camshaft For A Stock 1974 350?

I believe I set the timing at 14 degrees.
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Old 01-24-2018, 08:14 PM   #5
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Re: What Camshaft For A Stock 1974 350?

Headers and dual exhaust will help if you can do that. I see you got air pump lines. Do you need to pass visual inspections?
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Old 01-24-2018, 08:41 PM   #6
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Re: What Camshaft For A Stock 1974 350?

The truck has 1-5/8 long tube smog legal headers on it. They were on it when I got the truck. The exhuast I made for it is a dual 2-1/4 system with an H pipe and turbo mufflers. I'm smog exempt in California, I just figured I would keep the smog stuff on it and keep it happy until I did more modifications?
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Old 01-24-2018, 09:34 PM   #7
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Re: What Camshaft For A Stock 1974 350?

GM # 3863151 should be a direct swap.

A friend of mine was a mechanic at a Chevy dealer years ago and put one in his 74 truck with 373's in the rear. Said it was the cam GM used in the 350Horse\327 Corvette so I thought I would try one. I bought mine from the GM parts counter and installed it at 30K with no other modifications other than headers. Our engines were stock but his had a rougher idle than mine. This was a long time ago and he may have had a street intake. I don't remember exactly because he rebuilt that motor so many times I forget what it had and when, but I know he started with the 3863151 GM and headers.

It's an old grind and there are probably others available that can do better. Times change and gas isn't what it was then so I don't know how that cam would do today. I do remember it wasn't a torque monster but it added power. It also liked to rev so it may not be exactly what you want. The idle was slightly noticeable in mine but I had no trouble with the stock converter or vacuum devices. I had 308 gears and that truck would have flown if it had wings. I don't remember any real change in MPG as long as I kept my foot out of it.

If you haven't considered a B&M shift kit (the cheap one) I recommend it. I had one and the shifts were positive but not harsh under normal driving. However, they were solid as a rock under hard acceleration. Sold the truck with 180K miles and never did anything other than routine maintenance.

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Old 01-24-2018, 09:39 PM   #8
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Re: What Camshaft For A Stock 1974 350?

I personally like the summit cam 1102 , I spoke with a guy at a car show last summer in a 80 2wd short bed that sounded awesome, nice lope, and he said it had a lot of bottom end.....he put it in a new gm crate 350 engine without needing to upgrade the springs
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/sum-1102
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:56 PM   #9
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Re: What Camshaft For A Stock 1974 350?

I wanted just what you do. Looked and looked. Bought and installed a Lunati LUN-10120701LK. 1000-5500 rpm RV type cam. Check out the specs.

Smooth idle,no vac problem,good torque,good mileage (13 and I haven't really tuned it yet) Drops right in w/stock springs. Comes w/lifters @ around 200 bucks. I put in some Elgin Long slot 1.5 rocker arms to be sure the extra lift would work, RK508 ebay 68 bucks and some new stock size pushrods for fun Elgin also ,43 bucks. Was my first cam change. Did it engine in the truck and just had to bend a center support a bit to get the cam in,bent right back. Did break-in changed the oil after break-in and again in 500 miles,and I use a ZDDP additive. 3K miles and nothing but fun !! I change my oil about every 2K.
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Old 01-25-2018, 07:20 AM   #10
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Re: What Camshaft For A Stock 1974 350?

When I put 33s on my truck I wanted a little more torque, so I swapped the stock cam out of the goodwrench 350 for a summit 1102. I got more power, and better fuel economy, the motor just seems to run more efficient. I have used 3 summit cam and lifter kits, and have no problems with them at all.
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Old 01-25-2018, 09:28 AM   #11
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Re: What Camshaft For A Stock 1974 350?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadillac Kid View Post
I'm smog exempt in California,
Now that's something you don't hear very often. In fact, never.
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Old 01-25-2018, 09:54 AM   #12
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Re: What Camshaft For A Stock 1974 350?

I think the 1102 will be a good improvement. It's nice and mild in my book. The small cams Tom recommended would be great too. The old 151 cam always worked good for me. A modern version should be even better.
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Old 01-25-2018, 10:53 PM   #13
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Re: What Camshaft For A Stock 1974 350?

I would second a recommendation for the Lunati LUN-10120701LK, or the Summit sum-1103 if you're on a tighter budget. I've used both in mild 350s and have been happy with them.
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Old 01-28-2018, 05:09 PM   #14
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Re: What Camshaft For A Stock 1974 350?

I think I'm going to go with the summit 1102 Cam.
Ive heard the term retarded cam timing thrown around with the 70's motors. Do I need a different cam gear? I replaced the original cam gear with a stock replacement when I first got the engine running. Does retarded cam timing apply to my motor? I also saw that summit has engine break in Oil with zinc for about $7.00/quart. Would this work for just the cam break in? Also, do I need to prime the oil pump after swapping the cam prior to starting, or is that just for a complete engine rebuild?
I'd love to get some opinions about these things. Thanks.

-Gavin
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Old 01-28-2018, 05:53 PM   #15
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Re: What Camshaft For A Stock 1974 350?

No worries on the retarded cam timing. In fact most grinds are ground 4 degrees advanced.
Ford motors are notorious for retarded cams.
Yes on the break in oil. Use whatever you like after the first 500 miles.
Yes to priming it. You need oil to the lifters and rockers. Confirm you have oil to the rockers before firing it up.
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