Exploring the Best Performance Cam Options for 5.7 Vortec Engines

When it comes to extracting the full potential of your 5.7 Vortec engine, upgrading to the best performance cam can be a game-changer. Equipping your 350 with Vortec heads with the right camshaft doesn’t just enhance efficiency; it’s a pathway to heightened horsepower levels and a finely-tuned combustion system. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of camshaft upgrades, exploring the best options for your 5.7 Vortec engine, ensuring that you’re armed with the right knowledge to make an informed decision.

The Heart of Performance: Choosing the Ideal Camshaft

Selecting the best cam for your 350 with Vortec heads is a critical decision that should be made with careful consideration. The right camshaft can significantly impact your engine’s performance, providing increased power, torque, and overall efficiency. Here’s what you need to know to make the right choice:

Benefits of Upgrading Camshafts

Upgrading your camshaft offers numerous advantages for your 5.7 Vortec engine:

  1. Increased Horsepower: The right camshaft can unlock hidden horsepower potential, making your engine perform at its best.
  2. Enhanced Torque: Torque is vital for acceleration and towing capacity, and a well-chosen camshaft can optimize torque output.
  3. Improved Combustion: Upgrading the camshaft can lead to more efficient fuel combustion, resulting in better fuel economy.
  4. Smooth Idle: Achieving a balanced and steady idle is possible with the right camshaft, enhancing overall engine operation.

Several factors should be considered when selecting the best cam for your 5.7 Vortec engine:

Factors to Consider

  1. Intended Use: Are you looking for street performance, track racing, or a balance of both? Your engine’s usage will influence the type of camshaft that suits your needs.
  2. Duration and Lift: Camshaft duration and lift affect valve timing and airflow. Optimal values depend on your desired power band and usage.
  3. Valve Timing: Proper valve timing is crucial for performance. Camshafts with adjustable timing provide flexibility to fine-tune your engine’s behavior.
  4. Compression Ratio: Cam selection should align with your engine’s compression ratio for optimal performance and efficiency.
  5. Valve Springs: Upgrading valve springs along with the camshaft ensures compatibility and optimal performance.

Top Picks: Best Performance Cams for 5.7 Vortec Engines

1. COMP Cams Xtreme Energy Camshaft

The COMP Cams Xtreme Energy Camshaft series offers a range of options for various performance needs. Designed for modern Vortec-style engines, these cams deliver a balanced blend of power across the RPM range. Their hydraulic roller designs ensure durability and smooth operation, making them ideal for street and mild performance applications.

2. Crane Cams Energizer Camshaft

For those seeking an affordable upgrade, the Crane Cams Energizer series provides value and performance. These cams work exceptionally well with Vortec heads and offer improved low-end torque, making them suitable for street-driven vehicles. The hydraulic flat tappet design ensures reliability and ease of maintenance.

3. Lunati Voodoo Camshaft

Lunati’s Voodoo Camshaft series is known for its aggressive profiles and excellent power gains. If you’re looking to push the performance envelope, these cams are worth considering. They’re designed to work with Vortec heads and offer impressive mid-to-upper RPM power. Hydraulic roller and flat tappet options are available.

Installation and Tuning

Installing a new camshaft requires careful attention to detail and precision. While some enthusiasts might choose to tackle the installation themselves, seeking professional help is recommended, especially for those unfamiliar with engine modifications. Proper tuning is essential after the camshaft upgrade to optimize performance, ensure reliable operation, and prevent drivability issues.


Investing in the best performance cam for your 5.7 Vortec engine with Vortec heads is a strategic move to elevate your vehicle’s performance. The COMP Cams Xtreme Energy, Crane Cams Energizer, and Lunati Voodoo series offer a variety of choices to match your performance goals. Remember that each engine is unique, so take the time to research, consult experts, and fine-tune your selection for the best results. Unleash the potential of your 5.7 Vortec and experience the exhilarating power that a well-chosen camshaft can bring.

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