Top 7 Best Cam For 350 With Vortec Heads (Buying Guide)

Throughout the years, 350 engine modifications and upgrades continue to be one of the most interesting topics for all car builders and enthusiasts worldwide. Whether you are an experienced or first-timer in building your engine, we can probably all agree that it is not an easy project to do. While there are many parts to consider for engine building, cams are one of the key components to consider first.

There are many cam options in the market today so it is not easy to find the best cam for 350 with Vortec heads or regular heads. Cams are unique from each other in terms of power, types, and many more.

Keep reading as we discuss how you can choose the best cam for 350 with Vortec heads. In addition, I also took note of some of the best cam recommendations so your engine customization will become a lot easier.

What Is A Cam?

What Should I Look For When Buying The Best Cam For 350 With Vortec Heads?

Cam is the shortened term for camshaft. It is considered the brain of the engine and is responsible for keeping it in harmony with the other parts. It opens and closes the valves letting air and fuel mix in and out the combustion chambers.

What To Look Before Purchasing The Right Cam For 350 With Vortec Heads?

01. Purpose

When purchasing anything including cams, your purpose should always come first. Make sure to identify your goals and answer the question "What is your engine for?" or "why are you building your engine?"

Make yourself knowledgeable about the how's of engine building as installing the wrong cams or adding in too many cams can result in unwanted scenarios.

02. Types of Camshaft

Cams come in four different types which are hydraulic roller, hydraulic flat tappet, solid roller, and solid flat tappet. Before purchasing, always check the cam-type indicated in the package so you can buy according to your needs.

03. Compatibility

Cams are responsible for keeping the engine parts in a synchronized system.

Cams are responsible for keeping the engine parts in a synchronized system. Hence, it should be compatible with all the engine parts. It should also be compatible with your purpose and goals.

Remember to always check the cam specifications on the box's label. If the cam is not compatible with the engine, there is no way you can use it for your engine.

04. Performance

Cams come in different levels of performances to choose from. Different cams may offer you good performance with a mid-range operating range for overall performance at different RPMs.

However, always opt for high-performance cams that come with a very high operating range. This choice can give you the best cam for chevy 350 with Vortec heads for perfect performance and speed.

Keep in mind that cams should improve the engine performance and not the other way around.

05. Duration

Cam duration refers to the amount of time that the valve is open

Cam duration refers to the amount of time that the valve is open. It is measured in degrees by the rotation of the crankshaft. If you are looking for a cam with more duration, opt for a cam with a bigger size as they are more ensured for more duration.

06. Separation angles

In simple words, the separation angle refers to the distance formed between two cams that are lifted. It is the biggest angle to take note of.

Separation angles are important to consider as it works out how the lobes will work with each other on the cylinder.

In addition to the separation angle, you should also take note of the time synchronization in the opening and closing between the intake valves and exhausts.

07. Lift

Lift is the distance of the valve from the cylinder. It is measured in inches and simply indicates the height or how tall cam lobes are.

08. RPM range

The RPM range is probably one of the main concerns of many engine builders.

The RPM range is probably one of the main concerns of many engine builders. The RPM range refers to the scope of the engine's peak or highest performance.

Your camshaft choice should have an RPM range that is compatible with your purpose and engine parts.

09. Price

Cams are sold in different price ranges nowadays. It is difficult to find a low-priced cam with good performance but it is not impossible.

Keep your attention to the basic requirements of the cam you are looking for so you can get the best but lowest price possible.

There are still cost-effective cams that have a low RPM but can still produce torque and good performance. However, cams with better performance can also come at a price

Our Recommended And Top 7 Best Cam For 350 With Vortec Heads Review

Choosing the best cam for your 350 with Vortec heads is highly critical as it can either add to the benefits of the Vortec heads or ruin your engine performance completely. While it may sound complicated with the physics involved, you can definitely choose the best cam for you.

01. COMP Cams CL12-600-4 Hydraulic Flat Cam Kit

31Xm1l2VWRL. SL500

Why It Stands Out to Us

The COMP Cam brand has been in the aftermarket cams industry and has built its reputation as a reliable cam provider. The COMP Cams CL12-600-4 is just one of the sought-after cam products of COMP Cams.

It features a 2,000 to 5,8800 RPM range that provides sufficient power output and works best for 2000+ converters and gears. It can also offer the highest horsepower among other cams that come at the same price range providing the best value for your money.

This cam also has a 107-degree lobe separation and 0.465 inches Valve lift. It can also provide a good sound without any massive power gains.

Our Experience With It

The specs align with the basic cam requirements for added power and improved engine performance we need. This Camshaft produced a good sound that was totally impressive on the road.

Overall, it was able to live up to our expectations and deliver good results.

What We Didn't Like

  • This cam needs a high stall converter.
  • Installing a vacuum canister might be necessary so the power brakes can work reliably.

Who Is This Great For?

This cam is great for every enthusiastic engine builder as it may require more technical knowledge to install.

SPECIFICATIONS
  1. 2,000 - 5,800 RPM range
  2. 107-degree lobe separation
  3. 227/241 duration at 0.50 inch
  4. 479 inches and 0.465 inches Valve Lift
Pros
  • Great sound
  • Great performance
  • Cost-effective
Cons
  • Needs additional engine parts for optimum performance

02. Lunati 10120102LK Hydraulic Flat Cam/ Lifter Kit

41YdHjVLRjL. SL500

Why It Stands Out To Us

If you are working on a limited budget, this cam is a good choice for you. Even though it's relatively cheap, it can provide good horsepower so you can enjoy driving to the fullest.

This cam is also optimized for improving acceleration and throttle response as it is designed with an asymmetrical lobe design.

These lobes are also responsible for idle to mid to upper RPM power that your car needs. It provides outstanding torque for your car as well.

We were also impressed by its complete manuals and other camshaft tools like assembly lubricant and set of lifters. Its lifter kit is preferable for street performance and mid-range racing.

Furthermore, this cam can be of use for different Chevrolet Gen 1 Small Blocks.

Our Experience With It

This cam was able to provide good sound at an affordable price range. It was able to increase throttle response and acceleration. It comes with complete instructions and assembly lubricant for easy installation.

What We Didn't Like

Using this cam might require engine builders to use new valve springs.

Who Is This Great For?

This cam is best for people who are working on a budget but are looking for good horsepower capacity.

SPECIFICATIONS
  1. 2,000 to 6,000 RPM Range
  2. 224/234 Duration at 0.50 inches
  3. 112 degree lobe angle separation
Pros
  • Best for street performing or mild bracket racing
  • Exceptional acceleration and throttle response.
  • Can fit Chevrolet Gen 1 Small Blocks
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good sound
  • Modern design
Cons
  • Doesn't come with a hardened ring

03. COMP Cams CL08-408-8 Hydraulic Roller Cam Kit

31i2dct+OZL. SL500

Why It Stands Out To Us

We especially liked the variations and wide variety of available RPM range of this product. Its RMP Range is from 1,000 to 6,200 depending on the variation. Its price also matches its features so you get good value for your money.

This hydraulic roller cam offers outstanding energy for chevy 350 with its top-notch application and huge stock converter.

You can also count on its 110-degree lobe separation angle which can maintain vale intakes and exhaust system effectively. It comes with complete manuals and a set of lifters too so you can install the camshaft easier.

Furthermore, it offers quicker opening lobe profiles that deliver increased responsiveness. Its duration is relatively increased because of its added vacuums as well. It can fit Chevrolet GEN 1 305/350 small blocks that are originally made with roller camshafts.

Our Experience With It

This cam was able to provide better torque upon engine installation. We also observe faster engine response while using this cam. It is a bit pricy for our budget but it was worth every penny.

What We Didn't Like

This cam is specifically for roller engines only so it may not be suitable for other engine types.

Who Is This Great For? 

This is perfect for engine builders who are looking for making torques stronger and improving mileages.

SPECIFICATIONS
  1. 1,000 to 6,200 RPM Operating Range depending on the RPM variation
  2. 218/224 Duration
  3. 110 Degree Lobe Separation Angle
  4. 0.480" / 0.487" Valve Lift
Pros
  • Improved torque and mileage
  • High RPM Operating Range
  • Good performance in carbureted applications
  • Has more vacuums

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • Only suitable for roller engines.

04. Stock Cam & Lifter Kit 1968=79 Chevy

31T2GU2AlVL. SL500

Why It Stands Out To Us

This Stock Cam and Lifter Kit is a compatible replacement for the 1968-79 Chevrolet 283, 305, 327, 350, and 400 consisting of a Melling CCS-2 or Elgin E-274S stock camshaft and Elgin HL 1817S lifters.

Our Experience With It

Unfortunately, this product is not available at the moment. However, a quick scope on the ratings states that this product is a 4.4 out of 5 making it a decent product for engine building.

What We Didn't Like

This product doesn't have complete product details making it difficult to identify its pros and cons.

Who Is This Great For?

This cam is great for people who are looking for Melling or Elgin Cam Stock OEM replacements.

SPECIFICATIONS
  1. INT. Lift 260 Duration 390
  2. EXH. Lift 273 Duration .410
Pros
  • Makes a great replacement for early SBC stock engine
Cons
  • Limited information

05. COMP Cams K54-412-11 Hydraulic Roller Cam Kit

41YGV0IiBNL. SL500

Why It Stands Out To Us

This cam from COMP Cams will definitely impress you with its great torque performance and powerful mid-range power. The COMP Cams K54-412-11 offers an exceptional RPM Operating Range from 1,200 to 6,000 RPM. It has a 212/218 Duration at .050", 114-degree lobe separation angle, and 0.522"/o.529" Valve Lift.

Furthermore, it comes with an 850-16 OE-style Hydraulic Lifter Set that is highly suitable for LT/LS Engines and 87 OE Roller SBC. This cam also comes with COMP's Xtreme energy technology that provides greater power capacity and works effectively with the enhanced cylindrical design of the LS engine head.

It comes with a complete K Kit that includes the camshaft, set of the lifter, valve springs, retainers, locks, valve seals, timing set, decals, and instructions.

Our Experience With It

We can't deny that this cam is a little over our budget but its performance and the complete kit totally overweighed the high price concern. It was able to provide improved torque and power.

Overall, the Xtreme energy technology was also very dependable.

What we didn't like

There was nothing that we didn't like about this COMP cam but some may argue that it's not big enough.

Who Is This Great For?

This cam is great for engine builders who are looking for good torque and highly strong mid-range power.

SPECIFICATIONS
  1. 1,200 - 6,000 RPM Operating Range
  2. 114 Lobe Separation Angle
  3. 212/2198 at 0.50 Inches Duration
  4. 59 inches/0.522 inches Valve lift.
Pros
  • High performing Cam
  • Xtreme technology design
  • Outstanding mid-range torque and high-end power.
  • Great investment for power and torque
  • Had great idle and sound.

Cons

  • The cost is relatively high
  • Traction is not as good as other cams

06. GM Parts 12480002 Hydraulic Roller Camshaft Kit

Why It Stands Out To Us

This Hydraulic Camshaft Kit features a duration of 218 / 228. This duration allows the cam to run higher compression from low to mid-range. It offers an 1800 - 5,800 RPM that is suitable for a 350 engine. It helps produce maximum power too.

This hydraulic roller camshaft can also reduce wear and friction making them more long-lasting. It is optimized to offer advanced levels of performance to restore the original power of your car engine.

Furthermore, it can enable quicker lobe ramp rates and offer better combustion with a Vortec head. Overall, it is a good choice for a long-lasting and powerful cam for your chevy 350 engine.

Our Experience With It

This cam was able to improve the performance of a chevy 350 engine. Its RPM Operation Range was suitable for our engine performance needs.

What We Didn't Like

At present, this product only provides little information making it difficult to distinguish other characteristics.

Who Is This Great For?

This cam is best for people who are looking for long-lasting cams that can resist wear and tear.

SPECIFICATIONS
  1. 1800 - 5800 RPM Operating Range
  2. Valve Lift 0.492
  3. Duration 218/228
Pros
  • Good RPM range that can provide maximum power
  • Can resist wear and tear
  • Long-lasting
  • Offer better combustion with a Vortec head
Cons
  • The available information about the product is still limited at the moment.

07. Chevy SBC 350 5.7L HP Stage 4 488/509 Lift Cam

Why It Stands Out To Us

This hydraulic flat tappet camshaft stage 4 comes with a roller timing set, full gasket set, assembly lube, and ZDDP oil additives for 1958 to 1979 Chevy SBC 283, 302, 307, 327, and 350.

It provides strong pulling power and is suitable for both street and mild bracket racing. It also offers acceleration rates that extend valve train life. This is due to the controlled ramp lobe profiles of the cam.

You can also count on its exceptional horsepower which is enough for every streetcar. It can also improve torque for an overall upgrade of performance.

Furthermore, it comes at an affordable price making you get more from what you pay.

Our Experience With It

We were able to install it easily as it came with complete instructions and other accessories. An increase in power and torque was also observed upon installation.

In general, this product was good value for our money.

What We Didn't Like

We didn't have any negative reactions to the product however it may be difficult to find stocks for this cam.

Who Is This Great For?

It is perfect for anyone who is looking for enhanced power gains and extended valve train life.

SPECIFICATIONS
  • 3000 - 4000 RPM range
  • Intake 303 Duration
  • Exhaust 313 Duration
  • 10.25:1 and above compression ratios
Pros
  • Can provide good RPM Operating Range for streetcars
  • Enhanced power gains
  • Good acceleration rates that extend valve life
Cons
  • Comes in limited stocks

FAQs Regarding Roller Cams For 350 With Vortec Heads

Let's Get Started Few Important FAQs About Cams For 350 With Vortec Heads

Q. What cams work with Vortec heads?

When it comes to CAM types suitable for Vortec heads, hydraulic rollers are the most preferred choice. They can offer excellent energy and can reduce both wear and friction. However, you can still use other cam types depending on your purpose and need. 

Furthermore, take into consideration the other parts of your engine to ensure compatibility.

Q. What is the difference between Vortec heads and regular heads?

What is the difference between Vortec heads and regular heads?

The main difference between Vortec heads and regular heads will be the amount of horsepower and efficiency they can offer. Using Vortec heads can easily add around 55 and more horsepower to a regular head with the same displacement. Vortec heads are also more efficient than regular heads.

The Vortec combustion chamber is also different from the regular 350 head. The Vortec combustion chamber has a kidney-shaped design promoting improved combustion.The spark plug is also located near the chamber's center. 

Furthermore, the regular 350 head uses a 90-degree intake bolt angle while Vortec uses a 72 degree bolt angle.

Q. Are Vortec heads better than double hump heads?

If you are looking for more engine efficiency, then yes. Not only are Vortec heads lighter, but they are also more efficient than a double hump chamber.

This is possible because of their kidney or heart-shaped combustion chambers that are optimized for better efficiency.

Q. Can you put an LS cam in a 350?

Can you put an LS cam in a 350?

First of all, cams are lower in the small-block compared to an LS and the deck is notably higher than a regular small-block.

Because of these differences, bolting LS heads on chevy 350 small block can be very challenging and is not recommended.

Q. How much horsepower does a 350 with Vortec heads?

A 350 with a Vortec head can produce about 350 to 375 horsepower. This horsepower is enough to make the car feel much lighter and faster.

Oftentimes, this power is not easily handled by beginner drivers.

Q. What is the biggest cam for stock 350 Vortec?

What is the biggest cam for stock 350 Vortec?

Larger cams consume more engine energy to operate the valve lift. While bigger cams seem to be more thrilling to use, make sure to use the most appropriate size for your engine to ensure compatibility.

There are many cam brands that declare to make the biggest cam for Stock 350 Vortec. However, our research has shown us that the COMP Cams CL12-600-4 has the biggest cam for Stock Chevy 350. This cam has exceptional specs making it a top choice for many car builders.

Some of the key specs of the COMP Cams CL12-600-4 include:

  • 2,000 - 5,800 RPM range
  • 107-degree lobe separation angle
  • 227/241 Duration at 0.50"
  • 0.479" / 0.465" Valve Lift

Q. How much lift can Vortec heads take?

The Vortec heads' tall valve guides can only handle lifts around 0.420 inches at most. Factory Vortec Heads utilize light and a single wire valve spring that has a damper.

This can produce between 70 and 80 pounds of loads on the seat. This makes the Vortec heads work with a 1.5'1 rocker and only have 0.420 inches lift.

Conclusion

We understand that choosing the best cam can be a highly stressful task but it is not impossible to do even for newbies. Always keep in mind your purpose and your priorities for installing the cams and you will surely find one that is suitable for you.

Furthermore, always remember to only buy from reputable automotive shops to ensure quality.

Our recommendations are highly guaranteed to be genuine and can deliver optimum performance so you can feel confident with your choice while you are in the comfort of your home.

Andrew Calderon
 

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