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Camshaft Selector






The Proper Camshaft For Your Application

Common Usage: Mild street performance to mild race

Key Benefits: Modern, aggressive roller profiles, reduced friction, low maintenance, reduced valve train noise, more power than conventional hydraulic flat tappet camshafts

Limitations: Increased cost, limited rpm range

Select a camshaft for your application? Learn About Hydraulic Flat Tappet

Frequently used in today’s OEM factory engines and mild to moderately aggressive performance engines, hydraulic roller cams use lifters equipped with a roller wheel that tracks along the camshaft lobe, reducing wear and friction, and enabling faster lobe ramp rates than flat tappet cams. These quiet operation lifters feature the same internal design as hydraulic flat tappet lifters with internal cavities and pistons but do not rotate within the lifter bore. Suited for typical street or moderate race engine speeds, the lifters are pre-loaded and do not require a lash setting. Most OEM hydraulic roller camshafts are limited to 6200 rpm and performance aftermarket systems to approximately 6800 rpm. Hydraulic roller lifters require an appropriately selected valve spring to maintain control and avoid lifter float at higher engine rpm. Hydraulic roller lifters can be re-used with multiple camshafts, however they are more costly than any form of flat tappet lifters.

Common Usage: Mild street performance to mild race

Key Benefits: Modern, aggressive roller profiles, reduced friction, low maintenance, reduced valve train moise, more power than conventional hydraulic flat tappet camshafts

Limitations: Increased cost, limited rpm range, profile limitations

Select a camshaft for your application? Learn About Hydraulic Flat Tappet

These cams contain all of the same benefits and limitations as a standard hydraulic roller cam; however they include a specialized base circle to accommodate the taller hydraulic roller lifters in blocks that were factory equipped with a flat tappet valve train set-up.

Common Usage: Mild street performance to mild race

Key Benefits: Minimal maintenance, little or no valve train noise and economical cost

Limitations: Long-term wear, limited rpm range, lobe profile limitations

Select a camshaft for your application? Learn About Hydraulic Flat Tappet

A popular street camshaft used with pre 1985s original overhead valve OEM engines, the hydraulic flat tappet cam is commonly used in up to mildly aggressive performance profiles. The flat tappet lifter has a flat appearing base (this surface is actually slightly crowned) that rides on the cam lobe face, rotating slowly within the lifter bore to promote proper oiling. Internally, the lifter features a cavity that fills with oil and a piston that is depressed by the pushrod (and valve spring). This “hydraulic chamber” provides a cushion of fluid to soften the impact on the valve train, creating room for expansion as the engine reaches operating temperature. Hydraulic flat tappet camshafts deliver quiet operation at street to mild racing engine speeds. The biggest advantage to hydraulic flat tappet lifters is that they do not require constant maintenance to ensure proper valve lash. Hydraulic flat tappet camshafts/lifters are pre-loaded at initial start-up and require little, if any, maintenance from that point forward. Flat tappet lifters can only be used once per camshaft and must be replaced due to wear patterns created by the direct contact of the cam with the lifter base.

Common Usage: Moderate street performance to serious race

Key Benefits: Increased engine rpm and profile aggressiveness vs. economical cost of hydraulic flat tappet

Limitations: Long-term wear, limited rpm range, periodic valve adjustment required

Select a camshaft for your application? Learn About Hydraulic Flat Tappet

The original race engine lifter, solid (also referred to as mechanical) flat tappet camshafts feature a more aggressive street performance or racing profile and are capable of higher engine rpm than hydraulic flat tappet camshafts. As with the hydraulic flat tappet camshaft, the flat appearing lifter bottom follows the contours of the camshaft to operate the valve train components at the appropriate time, rotating within the lifter bore in a similar fashion to the hydraulic flat tappet lifter. The solid lifter does not have the internal cavity and piston found with the hydraulic lifter and does not expand or contract with engine temperature. Because of this feature, the solid lifter requires an initial cold valve lash setting and then adjustment after the engine has reached operating temperature (hot lash setting) to deliver the engine’s top performance potential. Solid flat tappet lifters also feature a signature performance “ticking” sound, particularly when cold, that many performance fans find attractive as well.

The lash setting is adjusted by using a set of feeler gauges to set the proper distance between the rocker arm tip and top of the valve stem when the lifter is on the base circle of the camshaft. Solid lifter camshafts require a certain level of valve lash maintenance at regular intervals. Flat tappet lifters can only be used once per camshaft and must be replaced due to wear patterns created by the direct contact of the camshaft with the lifter base. Special Note: Flat tappet camshafts require a special break-in process to allow the lifters and camshaft to properly mate. These steps include (but are not limited to) using a suitable engine oil with high Zinc (ZDDP) content and reducing valve spring pressure during break-in. For a complete step-by-step break-in procedure, please consult the Flat Tappet Tech Bulletin.

Common Usage: Serious street performance to all-out racing

Key Benefits: Maximum performance, reduced friction, most aggressive profiles

Limitations: Increased cost, periodic valve adjustment required, not well suited for extended low rpm operation

Select a camshaft for your application? Learn About Hydraulic Flat Tappet

The highest of all performance level camshafts; solid rollers are designed for both high performance street through all-out racing applications. They feature the most aggressive camshaft lobe profiles and withstand the highest valve spring pressures. As with their solid flat tappet camshaft cousins, they are noisier than hydraulic camshaft systems, particularly when cold, yet they deliver more performance and throttle response, especially when adjusted to “tight” lash settings of 0.010" – 0.012". The solid roller camshaft also uses roller lifters that do not include an adjustment for valve train component expansion due to internal engine heat and requires regular lash adjustment service to deliver top performance. Solid roller lifters can be re-used, however are more costly than flat tappet lifters.

Camshaft Families

Understanding the COMP Cams® camshaft families is a great first step in determining which camshaft is right for you

Today, there are a huge number of aftermarket performance camshafts available. Your challenge: find the right one for your engine application. As you start to research the right cam for your engine, you’ll need to take into account the application and vehicle. Other important details include the engine, transmission, rear gearing, fuel induction system, weight of the vehicle, type of vehicle and all the rest. As any knowledgeable technician can tell you, selecting a camshaft solely based on the fact that it fits your type of engine is a sure recipe for disaster.

Within the COMP Cams® camshaft family,, there are several different types of camshafts available for most popular domestic engines ranging from the Xtreme Energy Cams™ to Nitrous HP™ Cams. So, which one is right for your application? While a simple call to the COMP Cams® CAM HELP® tech line (1-800-999-0853) and short discussion with one of the highly informed tech line personnel will always get you the right answers, having a little personal knowledge on the topic is always a good idea. Any time you are making this kind of important decision about your engine, it’s smart to understand the reasoning behind the selection.

All in the family

While it is important to understand the attributes of the various camshaft families, it is equally important to note that camshaft selection is a individual as the personalities of a customer and his engine. What is perfect for one buyer, regardless of the engine platform, may be totally incorrect for another. In essence, the camshaft family is a good place to begin, but you could end up with a camshaft that is very different from what you originally planned.

Fanning through the COMP Cams® catalog can be a fun endeavor, and while many of the camshafts are categorized by a camshaft family name, more often that not the key determiner is the end usage. Drag racing, pulling/towing, oval track, marine, Nostalgia Plus™, factory muscle or even something like the Tri-Power Xtreme™ are all categories you will discover. It can be confusing for the novice cam buyer – but that is to be expected of a highly technical product such as a camshaft. That’s why a quick call to the COMP Cams® CAM HELP® tech line can help clear the air.

In addition to the CAM HELP® tech line call, you can also shop for your camshaft with our online application CamQuest™, which is available at This powerful tool will not only recommend the best camshaft for your engine and application based on the information you provide but will also give you alternative selections to consider. Best of all, the CamQuest™ online application will run a virtual dyno test of your engine with the new camshaft you select so you can see the power and torque you will achieve once installed.  Want to know just how much torque you generate at 2500 rpm? It’s all there.

Regardless of how you ultimately select a camshaft, the key is doing your homework. Research your camshaft online with  CamQuest™ – and then call our CAM HELP® line for verification and suggestions.

Click here to try CamQuest™ Online


Pure Energy™
50-State legal emissions legal for carbureted engines
Mild performance gains over the factory camshafts
Important Considerations:
Work with factory stock components
Great daily driver style camshafts


High Energy™
Work well with mainly stock components (rockers, manifolds, heads, compression, converters, gears…)
Good blend of efficiency and performance
Perfect choice for performance rebuilds
Important Considerations:
Not the optimum choice for racing applications
Great choice for engines where performance upgrades are not planned


High Energy Marine™ Cams
Good for OEM replacement with mild performance gain
Increased torque and power improvement
Easy drop-in installation
Important Considerations:
Great for stock rebuilds
Camshafts deliver improved performance over stock
Works with factory configuration engine components


Magnum Cams
Great high rpm power
Easy on valve train parts
Can be used with mild ratio rocker arms and traditional performance valve springs
Important Considerations:
Really need converter and gear change
These like compression (9.5:1 & up)
Larger Magnums are a little lazy at low rpm


Xtreme Energy™
Quicker opening lobe profiles deliver increased responsiveness & more area under the lift curve
More vacuum allows a step up in duration for greater performance
Best seller; excellent all around performance in street carbureted applications
Important Considerations:
Work best with COMP Cams® roller rockers and matched valve springs
Require other performance parts (intake manifold, headers, etc.) for best performance


Great sound (early exhaust opening and more overlap)
Great power (new lobe designs give great area and air flow)
Great mid-range response (early intake closing traps more air)
Important Considerations:
Minimal engine vacuum – requires mods for any vacuum accessories such as power brakes
Designed for use only with valve train upgrades including COMP Cams® Beehive™ Valve Springs and roller rockers
Works best with looser converters, more rear end gear and other performance engine modifications


Xtreme 4x4™ Cams
Improved throttle response and increased low and mid-range rpm horsepower
Designed for use with common restrictive factory exhaust system including OEM exhaust manifolds
Feature latest camshaft technology in lobe design
Important Considerations:
Both towing and off-roading camshaft profiles available
Features aggressive lobe profiles with short duration specs
Excellent for Jeeps and off-road vehicle use


Xtreme Marine™
Extremely wide powerband helps get boat on plane while making max horsepower
Power enhancement helps maintain top end speed
Feature latest camshaft technology in lobe design
Important Considerations:
Intended for applications where low idle speeds are required
Work well against exhaust systems with restrictive back pressure
Available for Small and Big Block Chevy as well as Big Block Ford


Dual Energy™
Similar to High Energy Cams™, but may work better at high rpm when coupled with headers because of added exhaust duration
Work great with most stock components
Very flat torque curve for great streetability
Important Considerations:
Do not work well with restrictive exhaust systems
Larger exhaust does not give a sharp early torque peak
Our other cams make more power if other components are changed


Nostalgia Plus™
Specifically designed to capture the essence of the original 1960s muscle car style
Delivers improved muscle car sound and horsepower
Newer technology lobe design delivers increase throttle response & torque
Important Considerations:
Combines famous factory cam performance with more modern technology
Excellent sound improvement through camshaft specifications (with similar vacuum characteristics to its muscle car era counterparts)


Factory Muscle™
Reproduction of factory original muscle car camshaft
Produce more torque and horsepower than original factory camshaft
Maintain efficiency and drivability of the engine
Important Considerations:
New computer controlled aided design avoids previous factory design compromises
Tailored to work with high compression engine of the 1960s and 70s
Best choice for “era-correct” engine rebuilds


Nitrous HP™
Wider lobe separation and added exhaust duration from base XE series help shift the power to higher rpm where it can be used in nitrous applications
Early exhaust opening helps scavenge the extra spent gasses out from nitrous or forced induction
Better time slips for nitrous passes at the strip
Important Considerations:
Slight sacrifice of some torque and responsiveness to the base XE family for improved performance with nitrous oxide
Works best with COMP Cams® roller rockers and matched valve springs
The big question is which time slip matters more to you (normally aspirated or N2O-assisted)?
*(Depending on duration)


Computer Controlled
Replacement camshafts for OEM EFI engines
Wide variety of camshaft sizes available for significant power gains
Available for electronic fuel injected, throttle body injected and tuned port injected engines
Important Considerations:
Available for both stock and modified computer systems


Newest and quickest lobe profiles in the Xtreme family and provide a terrific increase in performance
Tuned for use in EFI applications where extra air flow signal through the carburetor is not required (feature wider lobe separation without loss of responsiveness)
Work well with aftermarket cylinder heads and feature high lift
Important Considerations:
Xtreme Energy™ Cams are more responsive in carbureted applications
Designed for use with COMP Cams® Beehive™ Springs and roller rockers
Really need other performance parts to shine


Tri-Power Xtreme™
Three different camshafts offered for each engine platform
Camshaft designs are targeted to improve horsepower, torque or fuel efficiency
By decreasing pumping losses, efficiency and performance are enhanced, regardless of camshaft selected
Important Considerations:
Made for factory fuel injected engines
Best mileage gains require use of programmer


Blower & Turbo
Specifically designed for maximum power on supercharged and turbocharged street and street/strip applications
Available in mild to aggressive cam specifications
Important Considerations:
Custom grinds available for more efficient turbo applications
Turbo grinds avoid excessive exhaust valve opening duration, which is not required


Xtreme Turbo
Helps build pressure between engine and turbo for faster spool up
Delivers wide powerband without compromising peak power
Designed to focus on systems with similar boost to back pressure ratios as seen on most modern turbo systems
Important Considerations:
Limited to 6500 rpm peak
Requires lower back pressure system


Take advantage of today’s newer and better flowing aftermarket cylinder heads
Feature higher exhaust duration and overall to provide broadest powerband and most top end power of any COMP® LS cam
27 Unique grinds for both cathedral and rectangle port cylinder heads
Important Considerations:
Require 26926-16 high pressure valve springs
Available in different cores. Please refer to chart on pages 186-187 to make sure you order the correct part number.


Racing Cams
Features a wide assortment of racing camshafts for all application requirements of drag, oval track and puller & mud competitors
Important Considerations:
Require accurate assessment of rear end gearing and other vehicle-based equipment to deliver top performance
Not made for street use or vehicles requiring accessory drive equipment, such as power brakes, air conditioning, etc.

Consult with your engine builder and COMP Cams® to determine proper application as these are extremely specialized components.


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