Open chat thread for Buick 350 Camshafts

Discussion in 'Small Block Tech' started by sean Buick 76, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. Gary Farmer

    Gary Farmer "The Paradigm Shifter"

    I've been trying my best to simplify stuff with the cams, though I know I still get carried away. I know not everyone has the interest in this stuff like I do, so a graph is a nice way to see the results at a glance.

    I could do a writeup for your book like that. It would be cool to be able to contribute. :)


    ---------- Post added at 11:08 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:49 PM ----------

    Did you see that high lift roller version of the 202-18 cam of mine produced 504 ft. lbs. from 2000-3000 RPM in that stroker engine? How nuts is that?

  2. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    Yeah I saw that and I think it is awesome! Sonny Seal told me one day on the phone "Sean worry less about the HP and more about the torque and the car will run fast".

    I think that once we get the bugs worked out with the stroker combos then it will be a lot easier to suggest them... It is just that thus far we only have a few examples of it being done so it is still in the early stages of development. I do think there is merit in the idea of stroking especially when looking for big HP or TQ without a power adder... It takes cubes to make power... or boost.
  3. Gary Farmer

    Gary Farmer "The Paradigm Shifter"

    Which reminds me...I noticed also in the dyno simulator that a simple overbore to .060 makes a pretty sizable difference in power, particularly torque, when used with standard valves/cleaned up heads and small-med sized cams.

    Going from standard bore to .030 is noticeable, but going from .030 to .060 is more than double, even though the numbers are double. I won't go into the math behind it, but it has to do with exponential increases, which means the more there is, the more there is to gain by increasing it by a similar number.

    This is also a 'selling point' for going overboard on the bore with the Buick 350 (some say up to .090 over?) depending on what the block will allow.
    This isn't just for all-out racing engines either. You can bore or bore/stroke any engine for any application/cam type/performance goal.
    It's also a good way to increase compression. I was told the dish size doesn't change with increasing piston size (bore), so that means the more you bore, the higher the compression goes (up to a point).

    The simple explanation is that there is more trying to get squeezed into the same space.

    Generally, the more cubes breathing through the same size heads/runners/valves, the larger the torque gains and lower the RPM the power will be seen, as well as the more cam it can handle.

    I can go into more detail about this if others are interested.


    PS- Boost is 'artificial' cubes (boost=more air=more CID) Which is also (incidentally) one of the ways the hotter cams make up for their innately shorter dynamic stroke and loss of CID by using overlap at higher RPMs to create a 'self-induced' psuedo boost created by scavenging (and wet flow momentum). This is also the same (or similar to) principle used with the 'negative' or 'reverse' boost superchargers.
  4. Gary Farmer

    Gary Farmer "The Paradigm Shifter"

    The more I twiddle and tweak with the cams, the more I see how whoever made the TA 212-350 cam probably had a computer. If I alter it in any way, in either direction, I either lose power, or trade TQ for HP, and even then, the numbers are only 1-3. (Lot of commas in that sentence!)

    If you go smaller than the TA 212-350, you only gain about 10-15 ft. lbs., but lose 25-30 HP, and the RPMs are typically shifted about 1000 down for the 'torque' grind.

    The TA 212-350 cam is just small enough so that you don't really lose a lot of torque down low, but large enough to gain a substantial amount in mid-top. This is with just swapping cams.

    If you open the engine up further (larger headers, better intake, larger carb, better flowing heads) with the TA 212-350 cam, it responds surprisingly well. I've tried my damnedest to improve it, and everything I try just ends up either losing power or swapping TQ/HP in small amounts.

    Even the TA 284-88 cam (the next step up) doesn't improve things by much on mid-high end, and you lose low end.

    So what else can I say? TA 212-350 cam has certainly proven itself in the dyno simulator at least, and has won my vote for the best Buick 350 camshaft for mild-moderate engines. :TU:

    A hearty salute to TA Performance.

    (I know many people already 'knew' this, but I'm not here to convince anyone, only to confirm existing theories/testimonies)

  5. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    Yes there is no doubt that the 212 can is a great option. I am on my phone right. Now but if you can find my old posts where I quote the poston 114 cam then Please compare it to the 212. And if you have an option on the program you are using add 7 psi of boost from turbos. If memory serves the hp was plenty healthy at 6000 rpm under boost. I have 3 of these 114 cams as they work well na or with boost... Much better under boost than the TA 212
  6. jay3000

    jay3000 RIP 1-16-21

  7. pmuller9

    pmuller9 Well-Known Member

    Yes it would. It is real close to a cam that was discussed earlier in this thread.

  8. Gary Farmer

    Gary Farmer "The Paradigm Shifter"

    The Crower level 3 has been talked up a lot and on paper, it looks like it would really perform. I put it in the dyno simulator, and it's just not that impressive. I was rather disappointed, I don't mind saying.

    To be fair, it could be the simulator. Or it could be that the simulator isn't 100% like it would be in real life (which is probably true anyway), though it certainly seems to be pretty close so far.

    A couple of points worth noting about the simulator is that even though you can do a lot with it, it's still limited. For one, you can't put in figures for asymmetrical lobes, so I can't test any of the cams that I came up with unless I make the lobes symmetrical...

    I do think that making the lobes asymmetrical is one of the ways to improve existing designs, or to come up with one that 'treats' the engine better.

    The TA 212-350 cam (or any cam with a similar attribute I'm about to describe) mimics a design type I came up with (though I'm probably not the first to think of it, I just 'discovered' it for myself) on an asymmetrical intake lobe to extend the lift beyond a symmetrical lobe as it closes, so the cam will act like it has a wider duration on the intake (not as necessary on the exhaust, esp with a wider exhaust duration, though it would help with making it easier on the valve seat in the head).

    The idea is to put the intake on a wider lobe intensity than the exhaust, which the TA 212-350 does, at 62* for intake, and 55* for exhaust.

    You could take this similar design with an asymmetrical shape and extend it further.

    This serves two purposes: to allow the valve to open sooner, acting like a smaller cam with a power band coming on earlier, and have it extend a bit so it acts larger. It seems to do very well on the TA 212-350 cam, even with symmetrical lobes. I imagine it would be even better with the asymmetrical design.

    Simplest way to achieve this design is to create the lobe durations @.006 at a more retarded (I used 2*) and leave the duration @.050 at 0*, then advance it when you install the cam to wherever (I used 4*), so that it brings the .050 numbers to 4* advance and the .006 numbers at 2* advance.

    You can advance the .050 numbers to 2* or 3* so that when it's installed to 4* advance ICL, the .050 numbers are actually sitting at 6* or 7* advance, while the .006 numbers are much less.

    I don't have a computer simulator for this part of it, but I can envision the shape in my mind. It's not difficult to do: just imagine the lobe curving more on one side than the other. It lifts the valve faster, and closes it slower. The stock camshaft does this.

    Anyway, where was I...I get so sidetracked. :p

    The simulator only does symmetrical lobes, so it's limited. Still useful though.

    I've tweaked and twiddled with numbers, sometimes only 1 or 2 degrees on some cams, and it makes a difference. This program doesn't take everything into account, and seem to be 'Chevy' friendly. The default values are set up for Chevy (many of them) so I have to change things around in the sub-charts. Numbers are numbers though. The simulator is just a big fancy calculator that spits out answers and links them together to make a curved line.

    The Crower level 3 seems to fall in the middle between a torque grind and a performance grind, which sounds great doesn't it? Put it in the simulator though and it shows up as having less torque than the Crower level 2 (a torque grind), and less HP than the TA 212-350. So instead of being the best of both worlds, it takes the worst of both grinds. :(

    This isn't to say it's a crappy cam, because it's far from it. The ratios on it are damn near perfect, it's just sitting in a place where most other cams shy away from.

    I made a cam that's better than either the Crower level 2 or level 3, and it was surprisingly simple to do. Simply take the same LSA, same intake lobe duration and lift on the Crower level 2, and then give the exhaust lobe the same lift and extend its duration to almost where the Crower level 3's duration is. It woke it right on up.

    Low intake durations are helped most by wide exhaust durations, because it seems the exhaust helps to draw in more and make the intake act larger than it is (which plays into what I was talking about earlier) at higher RPMs, while at lower RPMs, lets the cam behave like it's smaller.

    This only works up to a point. The TA 212-350 cam sits right on the fence where if you tweak anything (and I mean anything, other than lift) in either direction, it falls off the fence.

    Decrease exhaust duration, it loses power and RPMs. Increase exhaust duration, it loses power and gains very little RPMs...Tweak the LSA one degree or the other (109 or 111) and it swaps power around and not much changes. Increase exhaust lift and it loses torque. Etc etc etc.

    I don't care for the exhaust lobe sitting at 55* intensity, and wanted to bump it to 58 to make it a little more stable, which is just an increase of 3* on the exhaust duration @.006 from 285 to 288, and it lost 1 HP and 3 ft. lbs.! I was like are you ****ting me? lol

    So it's perfect just the way it is. Everything on that camshaft is sitting in such a way that it's perfectly balanced with everything else around it.

    This is for an N/A engine...

    Which brings me to what Sean was talking about with his Poston 114. I'll have to look up the .006 numbers again, but I do remember the .050 numbers, LSA, and lifts.

    A couple things why the Poston 114 cam would make a better forced induction cam:

    1. First and numero uno reason: less overlap compared to the TA 212-350. Less charge gets blown out the exhaust.

    2. More lift on the lobes vs the TA 212-350

    3. An extremely wide exhaust duration emphasis (214*/241* I/E @.050)

    There's a section in the simulator where you can add forced induction into the equation, but it lists a bunch of turbo brands/types that I'm unfamiliar with.

    Seems like a no-brainer though: forced induction would really turn on in a camshaft like the Poston 114.

    (Remember this is just intuitive...Paul once mentioned something about a tighter LSA and less exhaust duration for the v6 turbos, though I'm not sure how it would play into reacting with the the forced induction aspects aren't the same, and it matters which TYPE of forced induction too it seems...that a blower needs different specs than a turbo because the turbo's boost is exhaust driven, while the blower's is belt driven)

    I'm not a pro on forced induction.

  9. pmuller9

    pmuller9 Well-Known Member


    Did you run a Sim on the Crower level 4 cam that Jay posted first?

  10. Gary Farmer

    Gary Farmer "The Paradigm Shifter"

    Ok Paul hang on. I'll post some screenshots of the cams side-by-side.

    All the cams are good, it's just according to what else is done to the engine. I'll put them all in a typical environment, with 'stock' intake setting, 750 CFM carb, small tube open headers (to show what they'd look like on the dyno), and corresponding CR (I have to drop the CR half a point for the Crower level 2 vs the Crower level 3 and TA 212-350, which both share a 66* IVC point, while the Crower level 2 has a 58*).

    (Forgot to say it'll be with cleaned up Stage1 heads)

    The cam I made sits in-between the Crower level 2 and 3, with more HP than the 2, and more torque than the 3.

    All engines are .030 overbore and stock stroke (355 CID).

    I'll pull up the images, give me a few minutes.


    ---------- Post added at 10:48 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:47 PM ----------

    I'll put that one in there too.

    ---------- Post added at 11:01 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:48 PM ----------

    Something else worth noting: there's two different readings, one at .050 and another at .006. I usually try to mentally combine the two (an average) to get a more accurate idea of how they'll behave when both are taken into consideration. There are some aspects about this simulator that aren't very user-friendly and can be a bit misleading if one were to overlook something and get the wrong reading...

    So this will take a little time. I'm going to put both (.050 and .006) for each cam. The rest of the specs will remain the same, aside from matching the compression ratios.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014
  11. Gary Farmer

    Gary Farmer "The Paradigm Shifter"

    Ok here they all are for side-by-side comparison.

    Stock Speed Pro cam: Stock_.050.jpg Stock_.006.jpg

    Crower L2 Buick 350: Crower L2_.050.jpg Crower L2_.006.jpg

    GF 202-18H GS-350: GF 202-18H_.050.jpg GF 202-18H_.006.jpg

    Crower L3 Buick 350: Crower L3_.050.jpg Crower L3_.006.jpg

    TA 212-350: TA 212-350_.050.jpg TA 212-350_.006.jpg

    Crower L4 Buick 350: Crower L4_.050.jpg Crower L4_.006.jpg

    The first image is @.050, and the second is @.006. I posted them both so you can get a better overall image of how the cam would perform.

    All engines are @.030 overbore, stock stroke, cleaned up 'Stage1' heads, with matching CR's; all have stock intakes with 750 carb, small tube headers with open exhaust (similar to what you'd see on a dyno...actual real world power will be less with mufflers, pipes, etc.).

    Notice the stock cam doesn't do too shabby (*see note below), a lot better than you'd think by the skimpy specs on it. Crower level 2 picks up the pace over the stock cam, while the level 3 gains HP and TQ drops (as to be expected) over the L2. I made a cam in-between them, with about the same HP as the Crower level 3, but with the L2's TQ. (with the same CR as the L2)

    TA loses a little torque down low, but picks up nice past 3000 RPM with substantially more HP.

    Crower L4 shows a swap in HP and TQ over the TA cam. It loses a little TQ, but gains a little HP.

    All would be good cams, but the TA 212-350 sits in a nice zone in the middle, where it's not too big or too small to get the job done in applications from mild-moderate.

    Maybe I was just so hyped up over the Crower L3 that its performance disappointed me a bit. It's a good cam, of course.

    I suppose it's personal preference in the end though.


    (*the stock cam I had to make symmetrical for this dyno simulation, and in reality the cam is asymmetrical on the lobes. I averaged out the specs to get a 'best guess' on a symmetrical lobe design. The actual performance would be a little better than this simulation indicates)
  12. Gary Farmer

    Gary Farmer "The Paradigm Shifter"

    I took CRs into consideration with an approximate 'optimal' setting that I created myself based on a few factors: valve timing events, RPMs to be used, and overlap/scavenging increasing DCR at higher RPMs.

    Stock cam set at 10.25:1 SCR for closer to 8:1 DCR

    Crower L2 set at 9.5:1 SCR for closer to 8:1 DCR

    GF 202-18H is same as Crower L2 on IVC so it's also 9.5:1 for closer to 8:1 DCR

    Crower L3 set at 10:1 SCR for closer to 7.9:1 DCR

    TA 212-350 set at 10:1 SCR for closer to 7.9:1 DCR

    Crower L4 set at 10:1 SCR for closer to 7.7:1 DCR

  13. pmuller9

    pmuller9 Well-Known Member


    I appreciate all this time you invested in cam evalutions. Thanks

    The Crower L4 would work a little better with a 10.25 SCR and move it's DCR up with the rest.
    I suspect if you left the SCR at 10:1 and tightened the LSA to 110 the midrange would look much stronger.

    It appears that the 350 likes tight LSAs and long exhaust durations.

    If your looking for fuel economy and power, use a cam where the exhuast duration is the same or less than the intake on a wide LSA and add a turbocharger.

    Say 112/112, .500" lift, 114 LSA, 110 ICL, 9:1 SCR with 8 lbs of boost

  14. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    Do they have an option for twin Garrett T04E-57 or T3/T4 hybrid?
  15. Gary Farmer

    Gary Farmer "The Paradigm Shifter"

    I saw a list of turbos in there. That name rings a bell. Compression? 8:1? Poston GS 114 cam?

    I'll get on that in a few minutes.

    Meanwhile, I brewed up another simple screenshot for everyone to drool over...

    This is the TA 212-350 cam, only in roller version. All I did was simply move the lift up to around max for the single Stage1 springs to put it in a safe zone for coil bind and resonance.

    Lift is bumped to .484/.488 in keeping with the original spirit of the lift pattern of the flat tappet version, where .490 is the max so I put them in the 80's.

    I also changed the headers to large tube. This design seems to want the large tube headers (especially with the extra lift), gaining both TQ and HP throughout the entire RPM range. (EDIT: I made an error here...the small tube headers trades HP for TQ, so the small tube has more torque than you see here, but a little less HP).

    It gave it a nice bump. All the rest of the engine specs are the same as the ones above where I did the comparisons.

    Large tube headers: TA 212-350 Roller.jpg TA 212-350 Roller 2.JPG

    Small tube headers: TA 212-350 Roller Small.jpg TA 212-350 Roller Small 2.JPG

    Trades 3 ft. lbs. for 7 hp when you go big.

    Funny thing here is I'm listening to Rammstein, and "Du Hast" just came on when I hit the 'print screen' button, so it caught it in the screenshot.

    Coincidentally, the song is 3 minutes and 55 seconds long, showing up as '3:55' which is what this engine is. lol

  16. Gary Farmer

    Gary Farmer "The Paradigm Shifter"

    There's a list of "Garrett" turbos but the only "TO4" I see is the "T04B-60*/50*" whatever the heck that means. The dyno is all over the place with it though. It also has a place for an intercooler and its efficiency. What would that be set to?

    Doesn't seem to have an option for 'dual turbos', but I'll set the intercooler to 50% efficiency (it goes up to 150%) and let you look at the screenshot.

    This is with 7 lbs. boost and 8:1 comp.

    Poston 114 turbo.jpg Poston 114 turbo 2.JPG

  17. Gary Farmer

    Gary Farmer "The Paradigm Shifter"

    Here it is again, with 20 lbs. of boost, 150% intercooler, and a 400 shot of nitrous!

    Poston 114 turbo-nitro.jpg lmao

    1037 HP @5500 RPM and 1520 ft. lbs. @2000 RPM.

    sean Buick 76 likes this.
  18. pmuller9

    pmuller9 Well-Known Member


    A good air to air intercooler has between 60% and 70% effeciency.
    It requires an icewater intercooler to get above 100%.

    Try 8 lbs of boost with the 212/212 I mentioned earlier with 8.5:1 compression.

  19. Gary Farmer

    Gary Farmer "The Paradigm Shifter"

    I just did that last one for a laugh to see how high the numbers would go.

    Paul's cam turbo.jpg Paul's cam turbo 2.JPG

    Ok 212/212 @.050, 270/270 @.006 (58/58 lobe intensity), 114 LSA @ 110 ICL, 8.5:1 SCR, 8 lbs. boost and 65% air-air intercooler efficiency.

    Not sure why the lines are all squiggly after 6000 RPM. Before that though the curves look good.

  20. pmuller9

    pmuller9 Well-Known Member

    Thanks Gary

    That's what I was hoping for, a nice high torque midrange for the street.

    I think you mean how high the pieces would fly


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