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Camshaft and Hydraulic Lift 2023 Buyer’s Guide

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Upgrading your camshaft and lifters can help you get more out of your engine by providing refreshed performance and increased efficiency. Performance cam upgrades with hydraulic tappets are a great way to make that upgrade, because they require little ongoing maintenance and adjustment. For most drivers, it is just a matter of breaking in the new camshaft and lifters, calibrating them the first time, and letting the hydraulic system handle the rest.

Upgrading the Camshaft for Power

Increasing the size of the cam is one of the best-known tricks for getting more power out of an engine. Going bigger than stock does not necessarily mean choosing the biggest cam available, however. You’ll want to check the fitment and additional upgrade requirements for each size you consider. At the same time, a new 292 comp cam upgrade is going to give you more power than the original, but the gains will be determined by your driving style.

Not every driver gets the same performance boost simply because not every driver asks the engine for the same power output. If you are more concerned about top speed than acceleration, for instance, you might need two different lifter upgrades.

Understanding Valve Lift

A lot of the performance difference comes down to valve lift, which is the distance the lifters rise from their seat. Generally speaking, the more lift, the more fuel and air you get flowing through the engine. There are a few factors to consider, however.

  • Piston clearance can be an issue if you increase the lift too much
  • Camshaft upgrades need to match the valvetrain’s requirements
  • Induction and displacement also need to be matched to the new part’s specs

Doing the research to make sure all these factors line up is the best way to figure out what camshaft upgrades work best for your vehicle. If you’re looking to increase power beyond what you can with a lifter and cam upgrade, you can also increase flow through the engine by going for a bigger intake or a performance 351m carburetor.

Camshaft Duration

The other major factor to consider is the duration. This is basically the length of time the valves are open, and the duration is typically expressed as the number of degrees of movement the shaft makes during the open and closed phases of the intake valves. It is different from the advertised lift, which tends to be a little big greater than the duration achieved in most engines. Duration also affects the overlap, which plays a big role in a vehicle’s performance.

What Is Overlap?

Having the exhaust and intake valves open at the same time is an unavoidable part of camshaft design. Larger overlap takes advantage of the scavenger effect, which can improve power and performance at high speeds. It also leads to an increased engine vacuum effect and rough idle at lower speeds. The only way to decrease the overlap is to change to a different size of camshaft.

Upgrades for engine power and top speed typically involve making multiple changes, but a 350 TBI performance kit is a great way to streamline those changes by combining your intake and camshaft upgrades. Check out your choices today.

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