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#1071757 - 08/23/21 12:48 AM Best Performance cam for all stock 87 SS  
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 7
BT87SS Offline
New Member
BT87SS  Offline
New Member

Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 7
Hillview Ky
Good evening!
I'm looking to bring the performance up on my all stock 87 SS 305HO. Still has the factory computer carb and everything just like it left the factory. Runs very well with only 112,000 on the engine. I've put Comp Cams roller rockers and new style valve seals on is the only other upgrade and having the original carb redone by Guaranteed Carbs. What is the best cam that I could put in it and still run the factory set up and have a little more HP? please don't say put a 350 in it. I want to keep the original engine in the car. Thanks!


87 SS,55 Belair
#1071758 - 08/23/21 01:11 AM Re: Best Performance cam for all stock 87 SS [Re: BT87SS]  
Joined: Dec 1999
Posts: 11,891
86ttop Offline
20+ Year
86ttop  Offline
20+ Year
Member

Joined: Dec 1999
Posts: 11,891
Brooksville, Fl
Jim, you should call the cam companies of your choices and get their input, good luck!


Leo Paugh
It's not an attitude, it's just the way I am.
POW*MIA
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If things improve with age, I must be approaching magnificent. thumbs
#1071759 - 08/23/21 02:00 AM Re: Best Performance cam for all stock 87 SS [Re: BT87SS]  
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 1,850
BadSS Offline
20+ Year
BadSS  Offline
20+ Year
Member

Joined: May 2000
Posts: 1,850
Pearl, MS, 39208
I did 15-20 cam installs (at least 10 different cams) in the 305HOs (SS, Z-28, T/A) back in the 80s and early 90s. By far the best running with the stock 2000-ish rpm stall was a 205/215-112 Lunati and a custom grind 206/212-110 Comp. The biggest off the shelf cam that I would eventually end up installing was the 212/212-110 Comp 260. The last one I had personal experience with was still a few years ago and was a Comp 4x4 206/214-111 with 1.6:1 rockers in his L69 Z-28 (new springs and a mild pocket port clean up on the heads). My buddy and I were both extremely pleased with the outcome and it didn’t sound much different than stock.

I always did before and after ETs with an accelerometer when I swapped cams, so the cams above really are what I know to be really nice performers in a stock SS with the stock stall speed. Be careful though because if the transmission has been rebuilt it's possible they replaced the HO converter that stalled around 2,000 rpm with one that stalls around 1200-1400 rpm. If that's the case, go with smaller of the cams above. If you go too big with the cam on a low stall speed converter, the car will be sluggish and can actually run slower in the quarter-mile than the stock cam.

You'll definitely need to replace the timing chain with the mileage you have on the car and would recommend changing the valve springs to the Comp 981-16 springs for the cams I listed. From what I can gather, there is a problem now-a-days with the flat-tappet hydraulic lifters. Might want to check out Mike Jones Cams, http://jonescams.com , I found out recently that he's one of very few places that sells made in USA lifters.


Original owner of 1985 SS black hardtop w/gray interior. Frame-on restoration in progress. 406 sleeper w/ heavily ported FIRST TPI. 1.875" headers and dual 3.5" Borla exhaust. TH400, Ford 9", anti-roll bar, and notched frame. Dropped 2", 18" wheels, and F/R disk brakes. 10-point cage w/swing-out bars, custom gauges, and audiophile stereo system.
#1071863 - 08/30/21 03:47 AM Re: Best Performance cam for all stock 87 SS [Re: BadSS]  
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 17
Ghost Car Offline
Junior Member
Ghost Car  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 17
Houston, TX
In 1994, I had my 84 SS engine rebuilt, balance and blue printed and had a Crane Compu Cam 2030 installed. This same cam was later offered in the late 1990s/early 2000s in the GM Performance Parts catalog. It advertised a 30 Hp/14 TQ gains in the 305. The specs were .423 I/.446 E, 282 I/ 297E. with stock 1.5 stamp rockers. You are ahead of the game in having a specialist rebuild your Q Jet Carb. I was disappointed in my engine rebuild until a year later when a local specialist rebuilt my Carb. When warm, it idles at 500-600 RPM. You hear the "lope" like an old school 327 or 350. and the tires chirp when shifting to 2nd gear. My car was ordered new by my Dad and it never idle low new and didn't chirp the tires in 2nd gear.

#1071924 - 09/03/21 04:02 AM Re: Best Performance cam for all stock 87 SS [Re: BT87SS]  
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 4,301
MAP Offline
15+ Year
MAP  Offline
15+ Year
Member

Joined: May 2002
Posts: 4,301
Yuma, AZ
My experience with cams in the 305 aligns with BadSS's, although my experience is far less than his. The most important lesson I learned was that the big cork in that engine is the heads (!)

Last edited by MAP; 09/03/21 04:03 AM.

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