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My engine shop guy is talking about a custom grind Howard cam for my 347 Stroker for about $850. That seems pretty steep. Off the shelf Howard cams for Chevy's are $650 at Summit Racing so maybe a custom grind from them does cost that much. Is it worth it? All sorts of Comp Cams, Crane, etc. for half that price or less. I'm assuming his $850 price is for a cam/roller lifter set.
 

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Usually I see it for that much when its the cam, springs, retainers, locks, etc.. Something like this:


Not just for a cam. So I would want to know what's included in the $850 cam package.
 

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67 coupe, 69 Sportsroof, 86 hatchback
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Some years ago I bought $50 cams from PAW and a set of new flat tappets to with it for another $50. I still have one of those sets in my '67. I don't see paying that much for a cam unless you are racing for money or racing where money is no object to you. Ford roller "letter" cams are much less and cover most of the bases for street use.
 
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Sounds like I am right to question such a high price, and I will when I see him tomorrow. So far, he seems to be a straight up guy and will gladly answer my questions. The bottom end of my stroker is coming together. Now to decide on heads, intake manifold and fuel delivery, i.e., carb or fuel injection, if carb, what carb, etc. Then, what headers? Which mufflers? So many decisions! Yikes. Pretty much decided on a 3:70 9-inch rear end.
 

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I bought my 351W, bored .030, decked heads, E-Brock Performer 351 intake and Performer Plus cam, double-roller timing set, roller rockers... (anything I'm forgetting?)… Anyhow, $1500. Granted it isn't a stroker, but, yeah... that's an expensive cam.
 

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I bought a 351 W bored it .030 stroked it to a 408 with AFR 185 Renegade heads. I went with the Lunati Voodoo roller cam Lunati Voodoo Camshafts 20350711 $300 and a set of Scorpion roller rockers $260. I can't see paying $850 for a cam unless you're taking it to the strip or track and going to pull every bit of HP out of it every time you drive it. Call the different cam manufactures and talk to their help desk. They'll help you pick a cam depending on your build and what you're using it for.
 

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How many off the shelf cams are suitable for a 347?
Just for thinking sake, say you put the infamous C9 "LeMans" cam in a 347. It was lopey and a bit slow to come alive in a 289, what would it be like in a 347?


Custom grinds make me think about if a size 12 shoe is kinda tight and a 12 1/2 is sorta loose, do you let it stretch or wear a thicker sock? Does it matter to anyone other than a Usain Bolt?
 

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Consider this.... You could spend half that amount and get a cam that produces 10-15% less power, or not the optimum curve for your vehicle, be made from a blank of "questionable" quality, and come with some "generic" pieces. Is it worth a few hundred bucks extra? IMHO, "you betcha".
 

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My engine shop guy is talking about a custom grind Howard cam for my 347 Stroker for about $850. That seems pretty steep. Off the shelf Howard cams for Chevy's are $650 at Summit Racing so maybe a custom grind from them does cost that much. Is it worth it? All sorts of Comp Cams, Crane, etc. for half that price or less. I'm assuming his $850 price is for a cam/roller lifter set.
I bought a custom roller cam from Ed (FTI) for our 347 build about 5 yr ago.....it was nowhere near that--I think around $400. That price must be for a complete kit but, even at that I think you could piece it together for less. Prices have gone up no doubt and maybe the builder is tacking on a bit to cover his costs (fair enough).
 

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Consider this.... You could spend half that amount and get a cam that produces 10-15% less power, or not the optimum curve for your vehicle, be made from a blank of "questionable" quality, and come with some "generic" pieces. Is it worth a few hundred bucks extra? IMHO, "you betcha".
I totally agree. When we were doing our 437 I knew that an OTS cam would have been good (any of the big companies would get you close) but I knew if I went that route I would be thinking sooner rather than later that for another couple hundred (or less) I could of bought something tailored directly for our combo. Having said all that, if I was only doing a cam swap on an existing build, then I might just go OTS. Just my .02
 

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My engine shop guy is talking about a custom grind Howard cam for my 347 Stroker for about $850. That seems pretty steep. Off the shelf Howard cams for Chevy's are $650 at Summit Racing so maybe a custom grind from them does cost that much. Is it worth it? All sorts of Comp Cams, Crane, etc. for half that price or less. I'm assuming his $850 price is for a cam/roller lifter set.
C'mon....details! Yes, it should be a billet, what are the supportive parts? Ask, don't be intimidated. It's your money....
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The price is for a custom grind specified by the engine shop guy and Howards best link-bar lifters. He tells me that cam companies don't make their own lifters. They buy them primarily from Morrell or Waterman and Waterman is the better lifter. No idea if that's true but he runs a custom engine shop. I've built exactly 5 engines on my own. He uses a cam simulator to determine the cam parameters based on my desires, which are quick throttle response, quick off the line, peppy rather than a top speed demon. I want it to behave on the street, a daily drivable combo with hidden power and quickness. He tells me that the cam he gets should be fine no matter whether I decide on carb or fuel injection. Sounds like the intake manifold choice is more important with the carb/injection decision. I also want the guy sitting next to me at a stop light to know I've got something more than a stock engine. I remember commuting to work every day in Sunnyvale, California and nearly every day a guy with a late 60s Firebird would come up next to me and I'd turn off the radio and just enjoy the beautiful music that engine made.
 

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Pretty simple and modest requirements. Sounds like what I like. I find it difficult to believe there's not a single cam on the shelf somewhere that won't do what you want right out of the box. Has anyone looked?
 
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