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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Want Help Adding a cam to 1968 stock 302

I want some expert advice on adding a cam. I have a 1968 stock 302 motor with the Edelbrock RPM Performer intake and holley 600 CFM carb.

Code on the engine is C8OE.

The car is a 3 speed with 9 inch rear end (don't know the gearing on that yet)

The problem;

I was told two different things;

Machine shop said to keep the cam at about 216 and 474 lift and not to go over that amount on lift. Kinda makes sense.

Mustang shop said to match the cam to the intake manifold, which sounds kinda okay at first.

The rpm performer cam spec is at 224/234 intake and exhaust duration
and 496/520 lift. Both numbers seem way over the specs suggested by the machine shop.

Also the specs for this cam at summit say it requires valve springs. If I have to get new valve springs how do I know what to get and how do i measure what I have and also will the increased strength valve springs be too much load for my stock heads??

I prefer to keep it simple but I want a cam that will sound good at idle and mild-moderately increase torque/hp in low to midrange.

Any ideas?
 

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Do what you want - BUT

1. Always check for piston - to - valve clearance. (Use search)

2. Always install the valve springs the cam maker advises to use.


Rule #! is sometimes skipped when dealing with a known piston/cam/lifter/pushrod combination. If you don't know for sure exactly which parts you have.......see rule #1.
 

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a cam swap with your setup won't do anything other than change the sound at idle. by anything, i mean anything you will notice from stop light to stop light. check out the 268H comp flat tappet cam. i think the comp website will also tell you which springs you should use.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thank you

Thank you 66kcar and Jason I will follow both of your leads and any more advice is welcome.

Jason, why exactly wont the cam do anything from light to light?
Only want a mild increase in power anyway but Prefer a meaner sound at idle.

I heard of the mother thumper cam it sounds rough, dont like it at all and heard it was junk.

If anyone can make some part number recommendations at all in the summit catalog or rockauto - I'm all ears
 

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there are a lot of limiting factors with an otherwise stock 302 from 68 (ie. the heads, exhaust manifolds, etc.). a cam swap at that level might, for argument's sake, make 18hp more at its peak which means even less incrementally up the power curve -gains you likely will not feel. if you're going through the effort for the sound, you wouldnt be the first, but any power gain you speak of will be more of the placebo effect than anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Focus on the sound

for argument's sake, make 18hp more at its peak which means even less incrementally up the power curve -gains you likely will not feel.

Thank you, that's good to know, so now I'm more focused on the rich sound and even less on the power.

The crate motor did come with headers - they look rather generic - wish i could post a picture on here.

With all that the motor came with I would think it would have came with at least a mild cam too. are there any identifying numbers anywhere on the cams so I can tell what I have??
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Valve Springs? CAM ID Numbers on CAM??

I'm willing to upgrade the springs and whatever else I have to to go with the cam but I have to keep the cam project under $200-250 give or take, if possible cause of monetary constraints.

so... any affordable advice for an inexpensive (summit or other affordable brand) cam would be greatly appreciated.

Any discount codes for a cam upgrade would be appreciated too.

Want a good to choppy idle sound (NOT SMOOTH)

Don't want to have to install a torque / stall converter for 400-500 bucks - don't have the cash and since it's a 69 hardtop I'm already way overspent on the value of the car.

lastly - HOW DO I TELL WHAT TYPE OF CAM I HAVE - ID NUMBERS?? or do I have to measure and how would I do that??
 

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a cam swap with your setup won't do anything other than change the sound at idle.
I would politely disagree. Most Ford cams were the proverbial broomstick; very little lift or duration. Switching from a factory cam to even an RV/towing cam would improve low end torque significantly. Of course, any other mods, like headers and dual exhaust, recurved distributor, would provide even more of a power increase. No, it won't be a street fighter. But it will provide a nice power increase.

Factory 302 heads don't flow really well. But that doesn't mean you can't build a nice street engine with factory 302 heads. People have been doing it for decades; long before the proliferation of aftermarket, aluminum heads.

Your cam choices are limited with an automatic and a factory torque converter. But I will say what I have been often repeating lately; Call Bullet cams. Tell them your specs and what you want your car to do. They will grind a custom cam specifically for you and your car. It won't cost any more than an off-the-shelf cam. Bullet will also sell you the right springs for the cam. And, best of all, they won't try to sell you something you don't need.

I just ordered a cam from Bullet for my 351 Cleveland. The guy who answered the phone was the guy who machined the cam. And he said to call him if I had any questions. That's another thing that's nice about a smaller outfit like Bullet. And boy do those guys know cams!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
cam upgrade

yes I realize that cheap is bad, Is there any way to tell what I have in there while the engine is still out of the car??

Because the engine came with some pretty good aftermarket parts I'm presuming it may have a good cam already too, how do I tell though???
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Bullet

Thank you thank you - bullet cams sound like the type of people I should talk to - now were talkin!
 

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yes I realize that cheap is bad, Is there any way to tell what I have in there while the engine is still out of the car??

Because the engine came with some pretty good aftermarket parts I'm presuming it may have a good cam already too, how do I tell though???
There might be a part number machined into the back of the cam. Of course, you'd have to pull the cam just to see if any numbers are there. Otherwise, your only alternative would be to use a dial indicator to get the lift and duration.
 

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Wait a sec....so you are jsut assuming that you have a stock cam? Hve you heard this motor run?

If you have no baseline to go off of then really any aftermarket cam will "sound" better. I honestly am leaning torwards the Edelbrock perfomer/RPM myself for simplicity, but may give this Bullet place a call.
 

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Thank you thank you - bullet cams sound like the type of people I should talk to - now were talkin!
Be aware these guys are in the Mississippi backwoods. And they sound like it when you talk to them. But they really know they're stuff. They make high performance cams for drag racing and circle track as well as moderate performance towing cams and street performance cams.
 

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I honestly am leaning torwards the Edelbrock perfomer/RPM myself for simplicity, but may give this Bullet place a call.
I ran a Performer cam in my 351W for many years. It was my daily driver. I stayed with the factory gear and factory torque converter. At the time, the Performer cam was a good choice. I was happy with it. But I'm betting Bullet can grind you something better. As many people will say, the Performer cam is an "old school" grind.

I admit I'm no cam expert. That's why I called Bullet. They are cam experts. Just be sure to have all your specs ready when you call Bullet: compression, rear gear, type of rocker arms, etc.
 

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I would politely disagree. Most Ford cams were the proverbial broomstick; very little lift or duration. Switching from a factory cam to even an RV/towing cam would improve low end torque significantly.
That's fine and I don't really want to split hairs over a couple horsepower. But since you brought up the RV cam thing...I did the same exact thing in the 90's. I installed an RV cam in an otherwise bone stock kragen crate 302 ($750 long block) with an old school offenhauser dual plane intake, and a Carter AFB (basically a 1406). I told myself (and anyone who would listen) that the car felt way faster, but the truth was, the car STILL ran 14's while all my buddies with stock foxbodies and bolt ons were running low 13's. So in the end, I chalked that exercise up to a big waste of time. Oh yeah, the RV cam didnt lope whatsoever. The cams I mentioned in an earlier post at least do that.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Bullet

Thank you thank you - bullet cams sound like the type of people I should talk to - now were talkin!
 

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That's fine and I don't really want to split hairs over a couple horsepower. But since you brought up the RV cam thing...I did the same exact thing in the 90's. I installed an RV cam in an otherwise bone stock kragen crate 302 ($750 long block) with an old school offenhauser dual plane intake, and a Carter AFB (basically a 1406). I told myself (and anyone who would listen) that the car felt way faster, but the truth was, the car STILL ran 14's while all my buddies with stock foxbodies and bolt ons were running low 13's. So in the end, I chalked that exercise up to a big waste of time. Oh yeah, the RV cam didnt lope whatsoever. The cams I mentioned in an earlier post at least do that.
Note I made no mention of horsepower or ET's. I said "torque". Yeah, if you install an RV cam expecting a lot more horsepower and lower ETs in the quarter, you're going to be disappointed. But a mild cam will indeed improve low end torque and you should notice a difference when, say, merging onto a freeway.

And, BTW, for a mild 302 street engine, 14's in the quarter is pretty good.
 

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Best I've found

If your looking for sound power and reliability. The best thing to do is keep the stock 68heads (if 4v motor) just change out the valves with stainless valves change out the manifolds with headers (for sound) keep the stock 4v intake (it is very good at low to mid range) get a Holley 600cfm dual feed card change out the distributer and coil (skip white proformance is very good) and put a 292 liniditi cam. This won't make a radical track ready motor but for a every day driver it's pretty badass. This is what I've done to my 68 coupe and it dynoed [email protected] rpm and 367 foot pounds of torque @4000 rpm
 

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If your looking for sound power and reliability. The best thing to do is keep the stock 68heads (if 4v motor) just change out the valves with stainless valves change out the manifolds with headers (for sound) keep the stock 4v intake (it is very good at low to mid range) get a Holley 600cfm dual feed card change out the distributer and coil (skip white proformance is very good) and put a 292 liniditi cam. This won't make a radical track ready motor but for a every day driver it's pretty badass. This is what I've done to my 68 coupe and it dynoed [email protected] rpm and 367 foot pounds of torque @4000 rpm
was this on a flat tappet motor or a roller??
 
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