5 Best Camshafts for Stock 350 Chevy [With Buying Guide]


Best Camshafts for Stock 350 Chevy

Incomplete combustion and performance issues of a Chevrolet engine can be solved by upgrading the stock camshaft. But when it comes to aftermarket parts, finding the best cam for stock 350 Chevy seems to be almost impossible.  

After hours of research, I have found 5 models that can improve your car’s fuel economy and gas mileage. If you want to enhance the engine’s performance, please read through the individual reviews without skipping. 

Also, owners who don’t know how good-quality cams are selected should go through the buying guide at the end of the article. Now, let’s get started.

If you are in a hurry, just have a glance at my top picked camshafts for stock 350 Chevy:

1. COMP Cams 12-602-4 Big Mutha’ Thumpr – Recommended Cam For Its Features And A Competitive Pricing

295/313 Duration, 243/257 Duration @ .050 inch, .500 inch/.486-inch Lift, 107 Lobe Separation

2. COMP Cams 08-432-8 Xtreme Energy – Premium Cam With The Best Performing Specs

2,800-6,100 RPM Operating Range, 242/248 Duration at .050″, 110 Degree Lobe Separation Angle, .540″/.562″ Valve Lift, Excellent performance in street carbureted applications

3. COMP Cams 12-235-2 Xtreme 4×4 210/218 Hydraulic Flat Cam – Best Value Camshaft For Small Block Chevy

Strong low end and mid-range torque, 1,000-5,200 RPM, 210/218 Duration at .050″. 111 Degree Lobe Separation Angle, 0.447″/0.462″ Valve Lift

4.SB Chevy 283 327 350 400 Hi-Perf RV Cam & Lifter Kit – Preferable For Mid-range Performance 

.480/.480 Lift – 282 Duration, Rough Idle. replacement for 1st generation cams, Strong torque, and good mid-range power

5. Lunati 10120102LK Bare Bones 224/234 Hydraulic Flat Cam – Great Option For Mild Bracket Racing 

2000 – 6000 RPM Operating Range, asymmetrical lobe design, increases throttle response and acceleration, 224/234 Duration at .050″, 112 Degree Lobe Separation Angle, 0.465″/0.488″ Valve Lift

Best Cam For Stock 350 Chevy: The Review

Upgrading your Stock 350 Chevy with the perfect camshaft is worth it because you’ll be getting immediate results in its performance. These are my top 5 picks that offer much more than just a kick to your engine.

1. COMP Cams 12-602-4 Big Mutha’ Thumpr – Recommended Cam For Its Features And A Competitive Pricing

Are you a fan of the aggressive sound of your exhaust while idling? Well, me too. Combined with the right carburetor and muffler, this COMP Cams 12-602-4 Big Mutha’ Thumpr camshaft will help your exhaust get loud by making a heavier sound. It has not only a powerful high performance idle, but also this cam is my top pick for many more reasons. 

It will be a perfect cam choice for muscle cars and street rods as it delivers excellent horsepower gains and a broad torque curve. By engaging the valves for a longer time, this camshaft will give the wild boost your engine needs. 

To get the most out of it, the operating range should be 2200 to 6100 RPM. With this range, it will enhance the torque and the power at the highest. 

It has a high compression ratio of 9:1, so there’s zero chance of incomplete combustion, which might block the pipes. Again, this also means you’ll need lesser fuel to drive the same miles, and as a result, you’ll produce less exhaust gas than before.   

It offers a .500″/.486″ valve lift, helping a rich air supply into the engine. So, the fuel can burn more efficiently. The lobe separation angle is 107◦ allowing enough space for fuel intake. The intake valves open up quickly at startup, and the exhaust valve stays open longer, resulting the perfect hard-hitting heavy sound.  

? Pros:
  • Available as CL, GK, and K-kit
  • Longer exhaust duration
  • Excellent horsepower gain and torque curve
  • High compression ratio of 9:1
  • Allows more air intake by .500″ valve lift
  • 107◦ lobe separation 
? Cons:
  • Requires high vacuum pressure

2. COMP Cams 08-432-8 Xtreme EnergyPremium Cam With The Best Performing Specs

This is another best performing camshaft to take your stock 350 chevy to an entirely different level. With a noticeable idle, this largest hydraulic roller cam offers excellent street driveability. Let’s dive into further details to see what more it has to offer.

It provides an intake valve lift of 0.495″ and an exhaust valve lift of 0.502″. So, more air can enter into the engine. Again, it can burn the fuel more efficiently, and as a result, your car will gain more power and torque. 

It enhances the horsepower and torque best at 2800-6100 RPM. With the quicker opening lobe profiles, the responsiveness will improve like never before. And you’re going to get more room under the lift curve too.

Here advertised intake and exhaust valve duration is 270 and 276, respectively. But, at 0.05″ lift, you’re going to get 242/248. The exhaust duration is lesser than my top pick. As a result, you’re going to get slightly less horsepower gain and torque curve here.

It has a lobe separation angle of 110◦, which is even higher than COMP Cams Big Mutha’. Bigger separation angle means more space for fuel intake. And here, the compression ratio is even higher, which is 9.5:1. Therefore, cleaner combustion will take place, and you’ll be driving miles with lesser fuel. But make sure to get some valve springs that can handle the lift because the stock springs usually don’t have enough capability.

? Pros:
    • Excellent performance in the street carbureted applications
    • Ideal for 3200+ converter and gears
  • 2800-6100 RPM operating range
  • Prevents incomplete combustion with 9.5:1 compression
  • Lobes separate by 110◦
  • Allows more vacuum and assists power brakes
? Cons:
  • Doesn’t fit a LS engine

3. COMP Cams 12-235-2 Xtreme 4×4 210/218 Hydraulic Flat Cam – Best Value Camshaft For Small Block Chevy

This is another dependable camshaft for small block chevy for you to consider. It gives the engine strong low-end and mid-range torque. Also, it features a good idle to help your engine make impressive loud sound. From towing loads to off-roading, this camshaft offers amazing versatility. Even in high-speed driving will be there to support your engine to give the best of it.

The COMP Cams 12-235-2 Xtreme provides 0.447″ lift at intake and 0.462″ lift at the exhaust. At 050″ lift, it offers a prolonged intake and exhaust duration of 210/218. This means by engaging valves for a longer time, it will give more power and torque gain. As a result, your engine will get the perfect boost it needs to run well. The lobes open faster than most other cams. So, the COMP Cams 12-235-2 Xtreme is super popular on hot roads for its fast responsiveness. 

As the operating range is between 1000 to 5200 RPM, you’ll get maximum power and torque as output in this range. The lobe separation angle here is 111◦, which is much broader than the COMP Cams Big Mutha’ and Xtreme Energy. This means it will allow more fuel intake than the previous two products. But let me tell you beforehand, like the COMP Cams 08-432-8 Xtreme Energy, you’ll be needing valve springs to fit this too. 

? Pros:
  • Improved throttle response
  • Features RPM range of 1000-5200
  • Prolonged valve duration 210/218 at 050″ lift
  • 0.447″/0.462″ valve lift allows more air intake
  • Greater lobe separation angle of 111◦
  • Excellent power gain
  • Broader torque curve
? Cons:
  • Nothing found

4. SB Chevy 283 327 350 400 Hi-Perf RV Cam & Lifter Kit – Preferable For Mid-range Performance

If you’re searching for a camshaft for your mid-range performing engine, look no further because I’ve got just the perfect product for you that’s built to last. 

This cam kit contains a camshaft, lifters, and Zinc additive lubricant. The advertised intake and exhaust duration are 282/282, perfect for high performance idle at startup. And after .050″ lift, it becomes 232/232, which means valve engaging for a prolonged time. This results in impressive horsepower gain and torque. 

Again, it offers a valve lift of .480″ at both intake and exhaust to provide the engine with an ample amount of air supply. As a result, it becomes more powerful by burning fuel more efficiently.

The operating range to get the strongest torque and power is 2000-6500. But I won’t sugarcoat, the lifter that comes with the SB Chevy is not that good quality. Some users have complained of them being stuck in the lifter bore and wouldn’t even pump up. So, I would suggest you to buy compatible lifters to use with the camshaft. Moreover, you won’t be getting a cam card along with the kit.

SB Chevy is a perfect camshaft to have for strong torque and mid-range power level. So, if your car shows lagging performance and needs a kick, this is the best street cam for small block chevy for you to get

? Pros:
  • Extended intake and exhaust duration of 282
  • Features operating range of 2000-6500 at best
  • Offers .480″ valve lift for adequate air supply
  • Both intake and exhaust valve duration of 232 
  • Sounds great with the rough idle
? Cons:
  • Included lifter quality is inferior
  • Doesn’t come with a cam card

5. Lunati 10120102LK Bare Bones 224/234 Hydraulic Flat Cam – Great Option For Mild Bracket Racing

The Lunati 10120102LK Bare Bones is another hydraulic flat cam for you when you want excellent mid-range and upper RPM power. It is a deal for budget-conscious hotrodders as the Lunati Bare Bones camshaft series delivers dramatic horsepower increases without breaking the bank. So, if you’re on a tight budget, read on to learn more, as this can be the thing you were always looking for.

First of all, thanks to its asymmetrical lobe design. Like the other cams in the Lunati Bare Bones lineup, this one also features increased throttle response and acceleration. Also, it prevents premature failure of the valve train and reduces noise with slower closing sides. 

The lobe separates by 112◦, which is even broader than every COMP cam series product I’ve reviewed. This means more room for fuel intake. To let more air for combustion, it offers a 0.465″/0.488″ valve lift. On top of that, valve duration here is 224/234 at .050″ lift. So, compared to SB Chevy Hi-Performance RV Cam, you’ll be getting a longer exhaust duration here. 

Lastly, for easy installation, the kit comes with a camshaft, a set of lifters, assembly lubricant. The included lifter with this is much better than the SB Chevy I reviewed before. But some users complained they didn’t get the lifters like the advertised picture. 

? Pros:
  • Asymmetrical lobe designs 
  • Quicker acceleration
  • Faster throttle response
  • 2000 – 6000 RPM operating range for best power gain
  • Budget-friendly power production
? Cons:
  • Some complaint getting different lifters than pictured

What To Consider Before Buying The Best Cam For Stock 350 Chevy? 

Finding the right stock 350 cams can be a daunting task. Some over-enthusiasts goes for the cams with impressive specs without checking it’s compatibility with their engine. It harms the performance of the engine rather than improving it. So, here’s what you need to check before getting yourself a new camshaft.

RPM Range

Before buying a cam, the first thing to do is to know the operating rpm range of your chevy 350. This is the range where the engine performs its best. As the camshaft you’re buying will complement your engine, help it to run gracefully while lifting it and adding more duration. So, the rpm range should match, otherwise, it will be of no use. 

Intended Usage

Now, the vehicle’s intended use really plays a significant role while finding which cam you’ll be needing. So, first, ask yourself what type of engine you are trying to build? Is it for everyday driving or drag racing? You need to check the transmission system and the gearing too. 

Obviously, higher lift and longer duration profile add up more power, but if it’s not compatible with the engine’s potential and power, it won’t help much. It can be harmful to the engine instead.

Compatibility

The camshaft should be compatible with your engine. Over-camming with too much valve lift or duration is another common mistake people make. The valve lift shouldn’t be too high or too low. It should be just right with the engine. Otherwise, the cams would get locked up in position. 

So, I would suggest you to know your engine. Have a clear concept about its specifications, then get a matching cam for it. 

Lobe Separation Angle

Lobe separation angle is measured by the distance between the centerlines of the intake and exhaust valves. This angle is basically the time synchronization of the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves. If you want a camshaft to enhance street performance, you’ll need a wider lobe separation angle, preferably 112◦-118◦. But for drag racing cars, you’ll want a narrower separation angle, which is 106◦-110◦.

Valve Springs

The most frequently encountered problem while installing a new cam is using valve springs that doesn’t go with it. Stock springs are too weak or bound-up to handle the lift. So, you might fail to get the desired rpm use or performance. 

Stock springs work okay for stock camshafts with low lifts, but with high lifts, you need to use the valve springs that the manufacturers have recommended.

 

Conclusion 

The right camshaft will not only provide your engine with extra power and torque, but it will also cause you to waste less fuel. After installation, you’ll find a drastic improvement in gas mileage. So, get yourself one of the best cams for stock 350 Chevy with a high compression ratio and all the other features I’ve mentioned in the buying guide. You can thank me later after noticing an immediate improvement in engine performance. 

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Thomas Anderson

Thomas Anderson, the author of Autotroop website. He has been working on the mechanical industry for a long period of time. He is skilled and dependable with hands-on experience and excellent training to perform service and repairs on domestic cars and trucks.

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