Cam for 5.0 with AFR 165 Heads
Good choice on the AFR's, little more pricy than the other guys, but worth it! Look into the Edelbrock intake as well, it flows a tad more than the GT 40 styles, which may compliment your AFR's more. As for a cam, you are right most of the cams have lift in the .530-.550" range. They do this to work both for normally aspirated and blower applications. Lift does not effect driveability (to within reason). I've found a couple of cams that may do what you want. The first is the Trick flow (Part No TFS51402000) Stage 1 cam. It has 221in/225exh degrees duration (@0.50" lift) with .499"in/.510"exh and 112 degrees lobe seperation. I've talked with the guys at Trick flow about this grind, and they claim it idles pretty smooth, at 112 lobe seperation they are probably not fibbing. The cam is not emissions certified, but I heard thru the grapevine it will pass a sniff test. The Crane cam 2031 (originally designed as 93 Cobra cam replacement) might be a good choice it has 214in/220exh duration with 512"in/529"exh lift but thats with 1.7 rockers. Using 1.6's will bring that down to .482"/498" lift, this cam is also certified, and idles pretty nice. One cam I like is the Lunati 51023 grind, it has 215in/224exh duration and .522" lift with 112 lobe seperation. Once again the cam is not certified, but with specs like that I'll bet it passes a sniffer test. I would spend the extra doe on upgraded valve springs that can handle 0.55 - 0.60" lift, you won't be sorry. The E cam has a bit of lope to it, but it's not bad, if its ultra stealth your looking for, stick with the stock cam, it's actually not so bad, just move up to 1.7 rockers to take advantage of the AFR's flow potential. Your idle will always be OK as long as the lobe seperation is around 116-112, the lower you go the lumpier it gets. (incidently the stock cam is 118 lobe seperation) When all is said and done, you will be pushing about 300 hp at the fly wheel, but with cams I listed above, you can strap on a blower, and that will jump past 400 faster than you can say chevy sucks!