best cam for 302 in f100?

I really need to figure out a cam choice for my 1972 f100 with 302 auto. it has long tube headers going into dual exhaust, highrise intake, edelbrock 600cfm new, and lower gears (unsure exactly) in rearend, I need a new cam to go with it though. I have stock heads as of right now and I cant afford new ones, but these were rebuilt a little while ago and ported. Im looking to get a little more tourque preferably. what cam/lift should i get without new heads and still see gains.

4 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I make the cams for the record holding fastest 302's in the world.

    302's do not like wide lobe separation angles on cams (unless we're talking about tiny cams, and in which case they tolerate them).

    These engines have good rod to stroke ratios which gives them a natural wide power curve. It also makes them VERY sensitive to cam and heads. Meaning that you can knock the punch right out of them and kill off a ton of cylinder pressure which will make them scream for compression. They don't need a wide 112 lobe separation angle cam in order to have a wide power band. If the cam has a ramp with alot of high lift area (Fat on the nose), then it will naturally feed the engine air upstairs without having to widen the lobe separation angle in order for it to help carry the engine's power band.

    If you are looking to make some torque and pack in some punch, grind a cam on a 108 lobe separation angle, to start with. That alone will also give the engine a hell of a lot more tone at idle, too. You'll be able to hear that it has more cylinder pressure, and it will be ALOT more responsive.

    Due to the good rod to stroke ratio of 289's and 302's, a little bit of cam timing goes a LONG way in these engines. They don't need much cam duration. They just need a fast opening ramp (We have the steepest ramps in the business and everybody knows it).

    I would put a little solid lifter cam in it, opposed to a Hydraulic. It'll have nearly twice the opening ramp intensity. If you use a good rocker arm nut, I'll show you how you can run a solid lifter cam on the street quietly and you'll set the valve lash once and forget it. Solid lifters have a bad reputation as constantly having to be adjusted. This is simply not true. What IS true is the problem occurs when the adjusting nut loosens because it is an inferior lock. Don't believe me..? Paint a line on the nut, fire the engine and watch the nut start to loosen right before your eyes.

    I can also show you how to do it with the pedestal mounted rocker arms.

    That carburetor you have has some VERY rich metering rods in it. You can replace those.

    Regardless what you decide to do with a cam, I would buy the Mr. Gasket 3404 carb spacer and install that right now. You'll notice an improvement with that addition right away.

    Another area where you will get into trouble with knocking out a bunch of torque unnecessarily is with a dual pattern cam. Cam timing on the exhaust side will kill torque in the lower RPM ranges faster than just about anything. Also, single exhausts on naturally aspirated engines, will ALWAYS make more torque and Horsepower than duals. A dual will not touch a single below 7,000 RPM so long as the single is sized correctly for the HP of the engine. Your engine will gain about 30 HP and 40 ft lbs of torque with a single 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 inch system over a dual 2-1/4 system. A single 2-1/2 inch system with clean bends and a good Flow-Master will handle up to around 300 HP, no sweat. Simply install a single inlet/dual outlet muffler for the dual look. Nobody will think otherwise. LOL.

    The secret is that a single will create a stronger scavenge signal against the intake during the valve overlap event. It will pull more oxygen starved spent gasses out of the cylinder which will make for a fresher charge for the next event in that cylinder. When you do that, you gain torque. When you gain torque, you will automatically gain HP at the same RPM. When you gain more torque at the RPM where the cruise speed is at, you will gain gas mileage, too.

    Keep the valve lift well under 500 for those heads.

    I'll give you a 100% money back guarantee on a camshaft, as well.


    Source(s): Camshaft design/manufacture, full competition race engine building/development, failure analysis of internal engine components, carburetor blueprinting, drive-ability/MPG/durability expert.
  • 9 years ago

    Honestly I wouldn't waste your money on a cam as long as your using stock heads. It will not yield you enough to justify the cost and time. Your heads are going to be a serious bottleneck, even if they are ported. It might yield you 10hp with the right cam, hardly enough to justify it. I would wait and pick your cam when you pick some good heads. I would recommend Trick flow heads.

    In the meantime, if you really want to get performance change your rear end gears to 410's. You'll be glad you did. An automatic is good with 410's. Plus it takes a lot to get a heavy truck moving. 410 gears will not give you more HP. Instead it will take what HP you are putting out and get it to the ground faster. Your truck will do 0-60 much faster. I put 410 gears in my 91 Mustang GT and it was the best decision I made. You'll like it even more in that truck since it is so heavy.

    A set of Ford Racing gears is about $130-150 and a bearing kit is about $75. The cost to have a shop put them in can cost a few hundred dollars though. I would be cheaper just to do it yourself.

    Also, if your 72 has a C4 transmission you might want to consider upgrading it to an AOD because the 410 gears will really make your RPM's rise up on the highway. At 70 mph you'll probably do 3500-4k RPM.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    F100 302

  • 9 years ago

    Ok look I know exactly wat you need.dont let people **** talk you.compcams makes the high energy gives great low end and high end torq.its got a nice lope will work perfect with you apolication.especially with ported heads good luck.oh and I have great experience with the 292duration/501 lift

    Source(s): Motor builder and mechanic
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