Like many other car owners, I am also obsessed with getting more and more horsepower out of car engines. Why not? It’s the best thing for your car and wallet. So I look up to a performance Cam for the engine as it certainly adds power to the engine.
Cam is the shorthand for camshaft. It is a metal rod operating in the engine. Changing this component can increase the performance of the engine in a particular RPM range. However, it’s a challenging task to get a performance Cam while still maintaining excellent driveability.
Let’s make it easy for you. I have dug out the 5 best cams for LQ4 with 317 heads. So go through them and get your best-suited one. Also, read the buying guide and relevant question answers.
What Is A Cam For LQ4 With 317 Heads?
Each car engine has one or more cams. A camshaft is a type of rod containing some irregular lobes. It is an essential part of the engine design. When the part rotates, the valve opens and closes, and the air-fuel mixture gets in and out of the combustion chamber.
The Cam’s lobes activate the engine’s intake and exhaust valves. One of the lobes opens the intake valve, and the following one opens the exhaust valve. And the shaft continuously rotates and operates the valve at the appropriate timing. It is a well-choreographed arrangement that recounts hundreds of times in one minute.
A camshaft determines how the engine performs as it fixes the duration and nature of the combustion chamber. For example, the intake valve can open for a longer or shorter period for a cam. That means a short change in this duration can make a big difference.
Why do you Need a Camshaft?
If your vehicle has an LQ4 engine with 317 heads, then you should immediately jettison the original camshaft because the original camshaft is small and affects the engine’s performance. So changing the camshaft will be more effective, rather than installing a power adder.
Furthermore, the engine will have a noticeable HP boost. When a cam modifies the time duration of the engine valve, ultimately, it increases the horsepower output.
According to car enthusiasts, replacing the camshaft can add more than a 10% HP boost, although the result may vary due to engine type and size.
OUR TOP PICKS
Your car’s LQ4 engines can sound great and crank serious top-end power by simply replacing the camshaft. Thanks to the advanced cam technology that brings out high RPM power, great drivability, and loping idle that I love most.
Here is my top 5 camshaft for LQ4 with 317 heads. Scan my top picks in a snap.
- Best overall: Sloppy Mechanics Stage 2 Camshaft
- Best For Boosting HP: COMP Cams CK54-317-11 Stage 2 LST
- Best For Improving RMP Range: BRIAN TOOLEY BTR Turbo LS Stage 2 Cam
- Best For Streetcars: Brian Tooley Racing LS Turbo Stage 4 Cam
- Best For Budget Price: Elgin E-1838-P Camshaft (Performance)
Top 5 Best Cams for LQ4 with 317 Heads Review
Getting the particular type of camshaft for the LQ4 engine is a fairly challenging task. So before making this important decision, read the reviews thoroughly. You will get all the information in detail about these camshafts.
1. Sloppy Mechanics Stage 2 Camshaft
Sloppy Mechanics stage 2 is my first pick which is the best for LQ4 with 317 heads. This Cam perfectly fits the Pac 1218 springs and valve seals. The Gasket kit package is also available, where everything is included to install the camshaft.
The famous OG sloppy mechanic Matt Happel is the engineer of this camshaft. The design has proven a great combination of street and strip. The bright point is that this performance cam is available at reasonable prices.
This Cam has an aggressive profile which is the main reason I pick it. Its excellent Lopey idle produces a gentle amount of power. So this is a great choice for regular cars, trucks, street rods, LS swaps, etc.,
Your car will have an excellent car muscle sound too. The performance of the Cam is noticeably well throughout the majority of the mid and upper RPM range. It has a 3-bolt timing gear pattern. So, if anyone pairs this camshaft with a converter, then the stall speed can be 2800 RPM or higher. Altogether, your car engine will perform like a beast with this camshaft.
This camshaft requires upgraded springs as it doesn’t fit with factory springs. This is the little drawback of it. Otherwise, you can improve your vehicle performance at an optimal range.
- Perfectly fits with LQ4 engines.
- Contains aggressive profile
- Boosts the vehicle performance
- Affordable prices.
- Not compatible with factory springs.
2. COMP Cams CK54-317-11 Stage 2 LST
COMP cam kit is the best suited for those who want to boost vehicle horsepower. You can get this for your drag race car or regular street car. This aftermarket product gets a higher rating point for delivering the maximum power from the engine.
This is a complete kit where you will get a camshaft, XD-A pushrods, springs, locks, retainers, spring sheets, and seals. The whole unit is extremely durable that meets street compatibility.
The brand claims that the cam kit can add 119 horsepower. This is a bigger boost for your car performance. Still, you may get less or higher horsepower depending on the engine type and model.
Furthermore, the cam features advanced camshaft technology to improve valve train stability at higher RPM with a range of 3,600-7,500. It also helps to recover shifts in manual transmission and keep the engine stable in its power band.
Another plus point is that this cam kit is easy to install. You won’t need to do any guesswork. Just ensure that the CK kit components match the valve train. However, this aftermarket piston tends to fit an LQ4 engine with 317 heads.
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- Adds a significant amount of horsepower.
- Perfect for drag race cars and street cars
- Delivers higher RPM range
- Comes with a complete kit.
- It includes innovative camshaft technology.
New COMP Cams Stage 2 LST Turbo Camshaft Overview
3. BRIAN TOOLEY BTR Turbo LS Stage 2 Cam
Brain Tooley BTR Turbo cam kit is another best product to improve the RMP range of your car. It gives more increased RMP range than stage 1. This kit knocks off your old camshaft’s limit and gives a push to your light car wanting.
This camshaft features dual platinum springs with lightweight titanium retainers. And you know that titanium retainers deliver faster revving than steel. There are 7,400 Chromoly pushrods. Altogether, this dual spring kit is the ideal alternative to a factory camshaft.
Many car enthusiasts highly recommend this cam component as it serves only outstanding performance. It comes with a 3-bolt gear pattern and includes the necessary locators for stick guides, seals, and locks.
However, the BTR turbo cam’s idle is relatively mild, which can be a flaw for some engines. It fills up with a more aggressive profile than stock ones.
- Increases the RMP range of your car
- Delivers faster revving
- It is a complete dual-spring kit.
- It has an aggressive profile.
- The idle is mild
4. Brian Tooley Racing LS Turbo Stage 4 Cam
Brian Tooley Racing Turbo stage 4 is a 3-bolt timing gear pattern cam. Typically, this stage 4 cam is popular for trucks, but it is also better suited for streetcars, equipped with an LQ4 engine with 317 heads. Must choose this one if you want maximum peak power from the engine.
This cam is designed to be used in conjunction with valve springs and stock pushrods. These cam cores are made of a few thousandths of the final grind size with maximum depth heat treatment. Each grind of the cam has its own respective core. In turn, your car will have more torque, higher peak power, and optimal durability.
You will get the best performance along with long-term durability. For the increased horsepower and maximum torque, your money is worthwhile to invest in.
This camshaft is quite different and has the lop to sit at a stoplight. By the way, the grind moves the powerband upstream; that’s why bottom-end torque is not right for the towing department of regular vehicles. So you require to install an aftermarket torque converter with this camshaft kit.
- Ideal for street cars.
- Provides maximum torque
- It works like a power booster for towing department.
- Durability built quality.
- Requires torque converter installing
Brian Tooley Racing LS Turbo Stage 4 Cam Review
5. Elgin E-1838-P Camshaft (Performance)
My last pick but not least is Elgin E-1838-P for those who are looking for a budget camshaft for their car engine. This is a quality camshaft with high performance. In terms of adding horsepower and torque, this product is an excellent choice for LQ4 engines with 317 heads.
Elgin is a leading supplier for producing standard automotive camshafts. So many people adopt their aftermarket components as they ensure optimal performance with reliability. The camshaft gives the excepted level of service life, which is worth it.
This camshaft is durably-made with innovative camshaft technology. So the valve trains stay in a more stable state and increase RMP up to 1500 to 2000 in the first 30 minutes of operation. Moreover, after installing the kit in my vehicle, I noticed improved performance, strong horsepower, and maximum torque response.
Elgin camshaft provides conceivable performance to oval and drags racing to street performance. It also manages the light-truck towing application engines. Along with the maximum power boosting, the camshaft help to increase fuel economy.
But you need to replace the lifters when you are installing the new Cam. Because the old lifters quickly score the lobes, it leads to premature failure.
- Affordable price range
- Provides maximum torque output.
- Improves fuel economy.
- It offers extended service life.
- Requires replacing the older lifters.
Buying Guide For the Best Cam for LQ4 with 317 Heads
While buying the camshaft for the first time, you must look for some factors to get the ideal component for your vehicle. For example:
Since you are installing the cam kit to improve vehicle performance, ensure that Cam’s profile is better suited to your engine model and effectively works for it. Consider the lift and duration, which is the primary factors. It measures in degrees of crank rotation.
Adding horsepower is the main purpose of replacing the camshaft of the engine. So before buying the kit, thoroughly scan how much horsepower it adds to your vehicle. Also, consider the torque output and RMP range of the camshaft.
The materials of the camshaft directly affect the service lifespan. The durable camshaft doesn’t wear out and break easily. As a result, it won’t have premature damage. So always consider robust and solid materials while choosing it.
In terms of cam selection, you should consider newer developments of camshaft cores. Choosing high-strength cores is necessary as it allows larger gun drills through the camshaft. In turn, there will be less rotating mass and decreased power losses.
Actually, the duration fixes how big the camshaft is. A big cam opens for a longer duration, which means it opens the valve larger. On the contrary, a short cam opens for less duration. You should always seek a big camshaft as it increases top-end power to the low-end torque. Small Cam provides less boost and drivability.
Value for the money
Here’s the important part come. A cam kit is a relatively pricy modification for your car. So it is necessary to compare the value of the money. You should think about your getting the right component that you expected, and it serves a longer lifespan.
FAQs About Camshaft for LQ4 Engine
When do you need to change the camshaft?
Camshaft failure can happen for various reasons. Lobe wear can cause cam failure. So make sure you use a lubricant for every cam lobe surface. Moreover, the old camshaft’s springs and rotating parts become loose and break, which indicates to change in the cam. They are some common reasons that determine you need to change your car’s camshaft.
How much HP does an aftermarket camshaft add?
Surely, replacing the camshaft adds noticeable horsepower to the car. Depending on various vehicle models, a camshaft can add up to 10% HP to the car, which is impressive enough. The vehicle gains this significant horsepower through the current duration of air and fuel intake.
Is Cam worth buying?
Replacing the camshaft is a more cost-effective modification to gain a decent amount of horsepower. Also, the factory camshaft of LQ4 with 317 heads is quite small. So it would be better to replace it with an ideal camshaft. It is worth buying because your car will get more HP and maximum torque response.
How Much Does It Cost To Cam A Truck?
As I saint earlier, camshafts are available at various price ranges. To change the cam of LQ4 engines, you may need to spend $300-$1000. Moreover, you can also cut the mechanic cost if you install the kit yourself.
Is cam size affect the performance?
Of course, the bigger size of the cam provides more power; on the other hand, the small one provides less. The bigger cam means more opening duration of the intake valve, letting more fuel and air into the cylinder. As a result, the towing compartment supplies more power.
How to Install a New Camshaft [Expert Video]
You will get a lot of benefits by replacing the camshaft of your LQ4 engines with 317 heads. It is a great medication at a lower cost while gaining serious horsepower, improved torque output, increased fuel economy, and much more.
Before making the decision, consider these reviews and compare which one will fit into your account. All these reviewed cams are best suited for LQ4 with 317 heads.