Depends on your combination to be honest. If you want to extract the last bit of power, efficiency, and rpm out of a motor, nothing compares to a custom. If that isn't worth it to you, feel free to use an off the shelf. But, when you call the cam manufacturer, do yourself a favor, call them once at the beginning of the shift, and once at the end (try to talk to two different people)...and see how different your cam recommendation will be! Often, they're 180* off from each other. Kinda hard to get a good recommendation like that.
I do know this, if you really don't have the money for a custom, but do have a bit more than the cost of the cam, Jay Allen (a VERY well know custom cam grinder) offers a service (I think like 50$) to recommend an off the shelf cam for you. At least you know then that it best matches your combo, as far as an off the shelf can.
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Is1BadFord on 11/7/06 6:02am ]</font>
Oh no, it's always by FAR the better way, just sometimes not worth the money. People use sarcasm here to vent being beat as children =).
More seriously though, the sarcasm comes from that being the 'pat' answer everyone gives to a cam selection post. Often there IS a good off the shelf cam for the combination. However it will almost never be 'the perfect' cam. A GOOD cam grinder can make your car dance the electric slide, regardless of the combination. But, note I said GOOD. There's plenty of potholes everywhere, and everyone's a professional in their own mind.
I hear you on the GOOD cam grinder,I have called Comp Cams about 3 times to see how many different cam suggestion I would get. Surprisingly I had 2 of there rep. tell me the XE276HR would be a good cam for my combo. Here are the short specs. .544 gross lift(made for 1.72RR),.276-.282 advertised duration,108 CL and 112 Lobe separation. What do you think of this cam? I currently run a B came with the 1.72RR,is it worth the swap?or not?
Everything in an engine is inter-related. A custom cam can be seen two ways:
1 - A way to get all the different parts to work together the best that they can. A cam can have a huge influence on the character of an engine so it is the perfect part to play this role.
2 - A waste of time since none of the other parts are custom matched.
Do you have dyno tuned headers and collectors? Do you have custom developed intake manifold? So why a custom cam?
I think only you can decide which one you believe.
The unfortunate truth is that you will never know until you throw at least two and likely more cams at a given engine. You need a baseline. Then you need to change something so you know how it reacts. Then you need to go further with the positive change - or backwards if it was a negative to see if you've hit the sweet spot. A Pro cam guy will use experience to make the distance between those change points small - - and that experience is what you are paying for.
Custom all of the way. I am amazed by how nice my custom solid roller 347 drives on the street and how much power it is able to make over the old cam. I can cruise along in overdrive at 1200 rpm without any bucking. I picked up 10mph going with a custom solid roller vs. an off the shelf hydraulic roller.
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: gork1rogues on 11/12/06 9:21pm ]</font>
I'd go with a custom. When i first built my 351c, Comp recommended I run the 304HR cam. It was 244/244, 0.612", 304/304 adv all on a 110 lsa. I never really was satisfied with the cam. It was my first Cleveland build but I just felt it should've been better. So I talked to a few different cam builders and all of them recommended a cam with roughly the same @0.050 duration but a shorter adv duration so the lobes would be more aggressive. I ended up going with a hydraulic roller from Mark @ MME and his final specs were 242/244 @0.050, 0.640" lift, 285/287 adv and a 112 lsa. It was like turning on a light switch. Never had it dynoed before, but it definetally did the "electric slide" after that. I was very very satisfied with the cam change. I believe that the generic lobes weren't designed for a 4v headed Cleveland and made the port even lazier. I think for the little bit of extra cost there is, from now on, I'd only go custom cam on any type of performance application.