5 Best Hydraulic Roller Cam For 454: Get High Acceleration

So you have just upgraded the exhaust and cold air intake in your 454-powered Chevy, but have you thought about upgrading the camshaft? Upgrading your camshaft will help improve acceleration, fuel economy, and torque. Not to mention you will get more horsepower with a camshaft upgrade.

So now that you know why you need to upgrade your camshaft, the next question to ponder is which is the best hydraulic roller cam for 454? If this is the question you want to be answered, you are in luck, as it is the question we will be answering in this article.

We have compiled a list of the five best cam for Chevrolet stock 454 to help you make an informed decision.

A Quick View Of Our Top Picks Of Hydraulic Roller Cam For 454

Please note that Prices and Availability Are Subject To Change

best Hydraulic Roller Cam For 454

But before going to the in-depth review section we would like to tell you why and when should buy a camshaft.

What Is The Role Of The Camshaft In An Engine’s Performance

In any vehicle, the camshaft is part of the valve train. It facilitates the flow of air and fuel into the combustion chamber. In addition, it helps move exhaust gases out after the fuel burns. Given that it is crucial to fuel and airflow, the camshaft is essential to your engine’s performance.

About The 454 Stock Engine

The 454 was part of Chevy’s big block engines and is considered one of the best Engines produced by Chevy. It was used mainly in muscle cars but could also be found in some pickup trucks. The engine was also installed in some 1-ton Chevy trucks.

About 454 Stock Engine and Camshaft

It was the stock engine used in most Chevrolet flagships, including the Monte Carlo, Corvette, and Chevelle models. First introduced in 1965, this engine came in three variations, the LS5, LS6, and LS7.

The LS5 variant was capable of 390 horsepower and 500 ft-lb of torque, while the LS6 version managed 450 horsepower. The LS7 was not meant for commercial use and could produce upwards of 500 Horsepower. It was a high-performance variant mainly used in Corvettes.

Benefits of The Camshaft in The Stock 454

  1. Upgrading the stock 454 camshaft will improve the timing and duration of valve openings like upgrading the cam for 5.7 Hemi Ram. This, in turn, results in a bit more horsepower.
  2. A camshaft upgrade will also improve acceleration as it helps the pistons carry air and fuel intake strokes with valve lifts. This lift helps combust the fuel and air mixture more efficiently, resulting in improved acceleration.
  3. One of the roles of the camshaft is to keep the valves lifted for a specific duration; this is done at the exact time and helps keep the engine from overheating.

Symptoms Of A Bad 454 Camshaft

  • Noises Coming From the valve train: If you hear ticking noises from the engine’s valve train, it may be a sign that the camshaft is faulty. These noises are usually associated with worn-out cam lobes.
  • Metal pieces in the oil: When you drain the oil from your engine and notice metal pieces, it may result from a faulty camshaft. These pieces may not be noticeable with a simple oil dip, though.
  • Frequent cylinder misfire: if the camshaft is faulty, you can expect cylinder misfires and reduced engine performance. This will result in the car losing power and sometimes shaking aggressively.
  • Higher Fuel Consumption: due to the engine losing power and constant misfire, you will notice you are spending more time at the gas station, which can be another sign of a failing camshaft.
  • Higher Emissions: Another result of engine misfire is higher emissions from your car, which will be noticeable from the tailpipe emissions.

Who needs a Hydraulic Roller cam for 454

A hydraulic roller cam will be a good option for a hot-rodded street engine. Hydraulic roller camshafts are more resilient and reliable, unlike traditional flat tappet camshafts. Also, this type of camshaft can hold the valve open for longer.

This translates to improved airflow and exhaust scavenging. This means that a hydraulic roller cam will help improve power output even with stock heads. However, you get exceptional performance when you pair a roller cam with a set of performance aftermarket cylinder heads. Which is what you are likely to get in a hot-rodded street engine.

What Cars Had The Original 454 Engine

The big block 454 engine was the stock engine in several Chevy models. These were the 1970-1974 Chevy Corvette, 1970-1975 Chevelle, El Camino and Monte Carlo, and 1970-1976 Caprice. It was also found in the 1971-1972 GMC sprint.

Top 5 Best Hydraulic Roller Cam For 454

COMP Cams 11-600-8 Thumpr Hydraulic Roller Cam

The Comp Cams 11-600-8 is a hydraulic roller cam designed for the 396-454 8-cylinder engines produced between 1967 and 1996. It is a hydraulic roller cam with hydraulic lifters. So why did we pick this as our top choice?

Improved Horsepower And Torque

This camshaft comes in three design variations. The three deliver good horsepower gains and torque. For this review, we used the 1900 to 5500 RPM rated option. This is ideal with muscle cars and street rods. It offers a thumping idle with good performance.

Early Intake Valve Opening

This camshaft utilizes an early intake valve opening combined with a long exhaust duration. This configuration results in a hard-hitting exhaust sound that is quite noticeable. So if you want to give your exhaust an aggressive sound, this will be a good pick for you.

Assembly Lube and Instructions Included

Though this option comes only with the camshaft and no kit, you get an assembly lube and a complete instructions manual. The manufacturer’s warranty covers it. It is important to note that you will need shorter push rods to use this camshaft.

Who Is It For COMP Cams 11-600-8 Thumpr Hydraulic Roller Cam?

So should you get this camshaft for your Chevy? It is not as powerful as the other Comp options under this configuration, making it ideal for most base street car rods and muscle cars. It also produces a great sound and is thus suitable for those looking to give their engines an aggressive sound.

Lunati XXX11232HR Bootlegger Stage 2 Hydraulic Roller Cam

The Lunati XXX 11232HR Bootlegger hydraulic cam is another designed for the 396-454 Mark IV Chevy engines. It delivers an impressive exhaust note with a good performance. It is also an inexpensive alternative to some other roller cam options.

Powerful Camshaft for Street Performance

This camshaft operates at ranges of 2700 to 5900 RPM and has a separation lobe angle of .108 degrees. This gives it impressive low to mid-level power for good street performance with its 0.585-inch and 0.585-inch valve lift.

Great Exhaust sound

With this camshaft installed, you can also expect an excellent aggressive sound from the engine. The sound is thanks to the 104-degree intake centerline of the camshaft. A controlled closing ramp also helps to produce an excellent and aggressive sound.

Improved Horsepower And Torque

This camshaft works well with 3.73 rear gear for improved horsepower and torque. However, we also noticed it results in quite a choppy idle. As for the engines, it fits it should fit the 396 to 454 Chevy engines.

Who Should Buy Lunati XXX11232HR

In terms of who it is designed for, this camshaft is designed to deliver power for street performance.

COMP Cams 11-451-8 Xtreme Marine 230/236 Hydraulic Roller Cam

This Comp Cams camshaft can be used on vehicles as well as on boats. As with the other camshafts on the list, it is designed for the big block 396-454 engines. It operates at a range of 2,200 and 5800 RPMs.

Wide Separation Angle For Improved Horsepower

With this camshaft, you get a lobe separation angle of .112 degrees, which is ideal for generating more power at both low and high RPMs. The duration stands at .050 inches and has a valve lift of 0.547/0.547.

Maintain High Speed For Longer

This camshaft is efficient at maintaining low idle speeds. Furthermore, with its specs, it helps keep high speeds for longer distances. And it also works well against restrictive exhaust systems.

Who Needs This COMP Cams 11-451-8 Xtreme Marine 230/236

This camshaft comes in various options, with the 2,200 to 5,800 RPM one being our choice for this review. This unit is ideal where low idle speeds are required.

Xtreme Energy 218/224 Hydraulic Roller Cam

The Xtreme Energy 218/224 Hydraulic roller cam is another that is available in several options, nine to be exact. These different options offer different performance benefits and run at various RPM ranges. For the purposes of this article, we picked the 1,600-5,400 RPM range.

Faster Lobe Profiles Opening

This camshaft offers a faster opening of the lobe profiles. This delivers speedier responsiveness and more area under the lift curve. And as mentioned, it operates at ranges of 1600 to 5400 RPMs. It has a .110-degree lobe separating angle.

Improved Performance With Headers

While it is possible to use this with a stock exhaust manifold, we recommend using it with headers. The performance output was significantly better with headers than with the stock exhaust manifold.

Good Idle And Torque Output

This camshaft is designed to be an aftermarket replacement for the old tappet cam. It has a similar profile to the tappet cam but has a better idle. It also offers great torque improvements to the old tappet cam.

Why Should You Consider Xtreme Energy 218/224?

This is ideal if you want to get mid-range torque output from the engine. If your Chevy uses the early big block engine, which had the flat tappet camshaft, this will be a suitable replacement.

COMP Cams CL11-450-8 Magnum 232/232 Hydraulic Roller Cam and Lifter Kit

Most of the options above come with the camshaft only. But what if you want the best cam for 454 big block kit? You may have to spend a bit more, and one of the best 454 cam upgrade kits is the COMP cams CL11-450-8 Magnum 232/232 hydraulic roller cam.

Lifter Kit Included An Instructions

Instead of getting the camshaft only, with this kit, you also get a set of lifters and an instructions manual. This kit works well with torque converters and a 9.5:1 compression ratio. It can also be used with mild ratio rocker arms. And you can also choose to pair it with traditional performance valve springs.

Improved Performance At High RPMs

This camshaft operates at higher RPMs from 2,500 to 6200 RPMs, and you should notice a higher power output at higher RPMs. As mentioned, it works best with aftermarket torque converters.

Great Torquer And Idle

It uses a .110 degree lobe separation angle with a 0.578/0.578-inch valve lift. It works best with aluminum intake and headers. It worked with the 396-454 8-cylinder series of engines from 1967 to 1996.

Who Needs COMP Cams CL11-450-8 Magnum 232/232

This is a relatively costly camshaft compared to others on this list. It would be a good option for high RPM and street/strip applications.

Keep These Factors In Mind Before Buying Hydraulic Roller Camshaft

If you are looking to swap out your 454’s stock camshaft with a hydraulic roller camshaft, you will find a lot of options on the market. Knowing which will be the right choice for your engine is crucial, and here are some of the things to look for.

The Lobe Separation Angle

The angle between a camshaft’s intake and exhaust lobes is known as the lobe separation angle. It is essential to the camshaft’s functionality. It directly impacts when the cylinders fire in the operation cycle.

The wider the angle, the more power you get at lower RPMs. But this can result in poor idle and even damage the engine when used with the wrong components. Ideally, you want a camshaft with a separation angle above 100 degrees.

The duration

Measured in degrees, how much time the piston spends in the intake and exhaust strokes is also critical. The more time spent means more time for the intake charge. Therefore the longer the duration, the better the engine output.

Type of Lifters

You can get two types of lifters with a camshaft kit: flat tappet and roller rockers. The two work differently, and the latter produces less friction, resulting in minimal wear and tear. For the best performance, go for a roller rocker type of lifters; it is worth noting these types of lifters tend to be pricier than flat tappet ones.

The Range Of RPM

Camshafts are designed to work optimally at varying RPMs. Thus when purchasing a camshaft, check its RPM range and ensure it matches your expectation. But more importantly, it fits your Engine’s RPM range.

Type of Valvetrain

With this, you have three options, flat tappet, hydraulic, and roller rockers. For the big 454 engine, hydraulic valvetrain is the best option.

The Overlap Degree

You can get the overlap degree by subtracting the intake duration from the exhaust duration. In terms of the recommended overlap degree, 30 plus degrees is ideal. A high overlap degree will produce a bad engine sound, while a small degree will not produce sufficient power.

The Valve Lift

On the other hand, this is the maximum lift a cam will go through in both intake and exhaust valves. This maximum lift is only noticeable when the camshaft operates at its rated RPM. You may notice more lift if your engine is capable of higher RPMs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does compression ratio mean?

Compression ratio refers to the ratio of the volume of a given gas mass at a specific pressure compressed to a lower volume at a higher pressure.

How much will it cost to replace a 454 camshaft?

The cost of replacing a camshaft can range between $1,376 and $1,606. This is; however the average and cost may vary based on the vehicle.

Is it possible to drive with a bad camshaft?

In some cases, you can drive with a bad camshaft, but it is not advisable, and the camshaft failure will eventually lead to engine failure if not addressed.

Which Is Better, Howards Cam Or COMP Cam

In truth, both companies have quality camshaft offerings. Comp Cams tend to be the more popular of the two. But in most cases, it comes down to personal preferences and what you need from your aftermarket camshaft.

Last Updated on March 15, 2024 by Rifen

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top