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Should I upgrade my cam

Runner72

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So I'm getting closer to pulling the top end of my 400 motor apart to replace my gaskets and bolts. I have an exhaust leak at the header, an oil leak at the valve cover, and a coolant leak at the head so I'm pulling it apart to fix all of this. Along with it, replacing plugs and wires, new belts, etc. Right now, from what I assume, it has a stock bottom end and heads with headers and exhaust, torker 383 intake, and a Holley 750 carb. Since I'm going to be pulling everything apart, is it worth it to go ahead and upgrade the cam(assuming it's stock- I'll check when I get it apart)? I want to do a 4 speed swap and looks like a kit from Passon runs at least 5-6k and will be a little while before I can swing that and part of me feels like I'll regret not doing the cam now, which seems like $500-$1000 depending on the cam and I'm assuming new lifters and springs. Any thoughts?
 
So I'm getting closer to pulling the top end of my 400 motor apart to replace my gaskets and bolts. I have an exhaust leak at the header, an oil leak at the valve cover, and a coolant leak at the head so I'm pulling it apart to fix all of this. Along with it, replacing plugs and wires, new belts, etc. Right now, from what I assume, it has a stock bottom end and heads with headers and exhaust, torker 383 intake, and a Holley 750 carb. Since I'm going to be pulling everything apart, is it worth it to go ahead and upgrade the cam(assuming it's stock- I'll check when I get it apart)? I want to do a 4 speed swap and looks like a kit from Passon runs at least 5-6k and will be a little while before I can swing that and part of me feels like I'll regret not doing the cam now, which seems like $500-$1000 depending on the cam and I'm assuming new lifters and springs. Any thoughts?
IMO.....Just fix the reported leaks. The Edelbrock Torker 383 manifold is a great all around good performance item. I used to use a Holley 4150 R-3310-1 780 Cfm carb., TF727B and 3.55 gears. Why change the cam if its not needed or warranted.....what is your intentions??? Race/Street/a little of each....or just having something to talk about with your colleagues? Look at the savings.....~$200 for gaskets or ~-$ 1500+ for a cam change (final costs ALWAYS EXCEED the origional estimate and the $$$ you told your wife). Run what you have and enjoy the car AS IS....... Just my opinion of course.......
BOB RENTON
 
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IMO.....Just fix the reported leaks. The Edelbrock Torker 383 manifold is a great all around good performance item. I used to use a Holley 4150 R-3310-1 780 Cfm carb., TF627B and 3.55 gears. Why change the cam if its not needed or warranted.....what is your intentions??? Race/Street/a little of each....or just having something to talk about with your colleagues? Look at the savings.....~$200 for gaskets or ~-$ 1500+ for a cam change (final costs ALWAYS EXCEED the origional estimate and the $$$ you told your wife). Run what you have and enjoy the car AS IS....... Just my opinion of course.......
BOB RENTON
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If you’re into the engine anyway I’d put a cheap cam in it.
In the ‘70’s my buddy had a ‘71 Bee. Stock 383 engine but he put a Sig Erson cam in it that the catalogue said was slightly hotter then the stock magnum cam. Cheap headers, Torker with a Holley 750. MSD box with Mallory distributor. Went great. Really woke it up.
 
If you’re into the engine anyway I’d put a cheap cam in it.
In the ‘70’s my buddy had a ‘71 Bee. Stock 383 engine but he put a Sig Erson cam in it that the catalogue said was slightly hotter then the stock magnum cam. Cheap headers, Torker with a Holley 750. MSD box with Mallory distributor. Went great. Really woke it up.
Sig Erson cam.....what partnumber, cam specs (degrees and lift, installed Cl). "Slightly hotter than stock cam"....means nothing, what sbout valve springs (specs). "Cheap cam" means ???? Inexpensive?....after all your labor is free. Lifters are not free, timing chain and sprockets, seals and sealants and gaskets are all additional costs, as are fluids......and if this is to be budget installation, what's wrong with the origional ignition system? Why spend the extra $$$?...... just talking out loud...
BOB RENTON
 
All very good points. Right now the goal of the car is to get it on the road and will be a fun second car for the street. Maybe drive to work once a week/drive on the weekends. My long term goal of the car is a pro touring style street car with a built 400/4 speed so I'd end up probably replacing all of that anyways when I figure out how I want to build the motor. Plus I'm sure stuff is gonna break and I'll need the money to fix it lol
 
Sig Erson cam.....what partnumber, cam specs (degrees and lift, installed Cl). "Slightly hotter than stock cam"....means nothing, what sbout valve springs (specs). "Cheap cam" means ???? Inexpensive?....after all your labor is free. Lifters are not free, timing chain and sprockets, seals and sealants and gaskets are all additional costs, as are fluids......and if this is to be budget installation, what's wrong with the origional ignition system? Why spend the extra $$$?...... just talking out loud...
BOB RENTON
Damn, I stayed away from this place for almost a year, make one post, and I’m sucked back into the petty bullshit again. Here goes…
The catalogue described the cam exactly as I said: “slightly hotter then the stock magnum”. Their words.
My words: stock 383. That means original timing chain, heads, bolts, everything other then what I listed.
We were 16 and seventeen years old. Never built an engine before.
The headers were unknown, salvaged. Springs? Dunno. They were what was in the stock heads.
Yes, cheap means inexpensive. Not sure about down there, but here cheap means inexpensive.
Just typing out loud.
 
You can get a summit cam and lifters very inexpensive. Hand lap the valves and run the springs you have.

Screenshot_20220823-220213.png
 
Unless you are going to go all in on a rebuild I would fix the minor problems you have.
If compression is good then maybe the bottom end is ok for now.
Now explain what you mean about a coolant leak in the head ?
 
Damn, I stayed away from this place for almost a year, make one post, and I’m sucked back into the petty bullshit again.
Gee... I thought these forums were to talk cars... and all the associated stuff back-and-forth. If you think this is "petty bullshit" why do you bother ?
 
Have an old Erson book 1990 or so but dont think they have much for our cars now. They are linked with PBM now, sure you could spec a cam from them. Who grinds it ect is another issue. Back when we were running dirt Steve Tonzi was the man at Erson. I can pull some #s from the OLD catalogue if you like. Wonder what happened to Tonzi?
 
flatten a cam on break in and the hole gets deeper
I haven't heard anything bad about their cams.
My brother ran one in his 440 for a while and it was great.
The lifters should be checked closely to make sure they freely move up and down in the bore.
If I was in the same position that is what I would probably do.
 
I’d probably do something like a Comp 268H or XE262.
A spring upgrade should be part of the plan.
 
All very good points. Right now the goal of the car is to get it on the road and will be a fun second car for the street. Maybe drive to work once a week/drive on the weekends. My long term goal of the car is a pro touring style street car with a built 400/4 speed so I'd end up probably replacing all of that anyways when I figure out how I want to build the motor. Plus I'm sure stuff is gonna break and I'll need the money to fix it lol
Out of curiosity, whay is a: "pro touring style street car"......not have heard of this terminology b4.......
BOB RENTON
 
Unless you are going to go all in on a rebuild I would fix the minor problems you have.
If compression is good then maybe the bottom end is ok for now.
Now explain what you mean about a coolant leak in the head ?
It looks like the leak is coming from the driver's side rear header bolt.
 
Out of curiosity, whay is a: "pro touring style street car"......not have heard of this terminology b4.......
BOB RENTON
I guess I should have just said a pro touring car that's mainly going to be driven on the street. Maybe some track days here and there. But essentially upgraded suspension, big brakes, wide front and rear tires, and powerful motor.
Stock 1972
1661389610363.png

Pro Touring 1971
1661389548644.png
 
I guess I should have just said a pro touring car that's mainly going to be driven on the street. Maybe some track days here and there. But essentially upgraded suspension, big brakes, wide front and rear tires, and powerful motor.
Stock 1972
View attachment 1333020
Pro Touring 1971
View attachment 1333019
How much does the driver/owner of a "Pro Turing Car" benefit annually? Thanks for the pixs.....My '70 GTX is already in that category......but....the last time I went to the grocery and spent $200.00+ for groceries then paid my $7000 property taxes, i showed the clerks pix of my car.....and their comment was: "so what" or "that's nice".......but, I guess its a matter of personal preference and understanding......and wants and need. Enjoy your car.....
BOB RENTON
 
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