Cam for delayed turbo setup? - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Cam for delayed turbo setup?

Hi everyone,

I have a 94 9C1.

I am wanting to ultimately do a turbo or supercharger setup (preferably turbo, single, bi, pr twin) but I cant afford it right now. I want to do the cam swap now because I need to do the opti and figured it's basically half of the labor for the cam swap.

Anyways, is there a cam I cam get (I have never used comp but my mechanic has had bad luck with them. I would prefer Howard's of something not comp) that will work ok without boost until I can afford to do the turbo setup? I dont mind if I sacrifice some power or drivability in the mean time until I add the turbo but I want it to be drivable still.

I have questions about tuning as well but I will address these in a separate thread.

Thanks everyone!
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 09:50 PM
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You can buy the cam now, and install it later. You are going to be doing a lot more than just the cam when you get a compressor of any type. You should consider reducing your compression ratio, because you have more tuning opportunities with about an 8:1 compression ratio.

You can hone the cylinders, install forged internals, get rings with a larger gap (so the heat does not cause the rings to seize in the cylinders, and rip the top of the pistons off). You will probably need the heads redone as well to contain the pressure. You will need higher flowing injectors, and maybe a higher flow fuel pump. Plan on new cam, main, and rod bearings, because you are installing a new cam, and the bottom end needs to be refreshed, or replaced with forged parts.

Putting a cam in for use with a compressor is a small portion of the job, and unless you do it right, you will not be experiencing the real possibilities of supercharging. You may also damage your current setup.

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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 09:16 AM
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Just fix the opti now and do all that engine work later. You'd be better off doing it that way.
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 09:49 AM
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The Optispark and water pump replacement is a fraction of the labor involved in a camshaft swap.

Do the necessary maintenance now and wait for the rest. You wouldn't be doing yourself a favor by swapping the camshaft at this point in time.

Mike - '94 BBB SS (RIP 06/16) - '95 DGGM SS - '96 DCM SS - '92 BBB Wagon
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 10:07 AM
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If I was you I'd save up and start lurking on Facebook groups like LT1 Nation and such. Guys (especially F-body guys) are regularly selling built LT1s and 4L60Es as combos for relative bargains. Keep in mind a forced induction motor will require a very strong transmission to survive. Or even just sell your 9C1 and buy a car with this work already done.

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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replys guys! As for selling im going to pass on that idea. I like the ability to seat 6 and haul another 6 or 7 in the trunk lol. I got the car for 2k with tons of mods so its just going to be my fun "daily" beater eventually with scary horsepower (id like to get 450+ out of a boost setup eventually)

I will heed the advice about just doing the opti for now. It's just such a big job I'd like to get more payback for my time investment.

Anyone know if the opti or CEL could be related to why my AC suddenly wont turn on? Just had the engine cut out and the AC was working fine right before, but upon restarting the CEL came on and now the AC compressor clutch wont engage. This happened before but i cant recally when the AC came back.
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Mendonmafia View Post
I will heed the advice about just doing the opti for now. It's just such a big job I'd like to get more payback for my time investment.
The opti is not a big job. I've done it multiple times on my wagon and can start-to-finish it in under 2 hours. I have a ram-air intake, so I have less intake crap to move out of the way, though. I'd figure that a fairly competent tech oughta be able to do it in about 4 hours if he's got all of the tools handy.

To do the cam, you have to remove the thing on the end of the crankshaft (requires a special puller) to remove the timing cover, and on top of the motor, you've got to remove the intake (and everything around it) and the lifters. I haven't actually done the cam (but I have replaced the lifters), and doing a cam swap is HUGELY a bigger project than the opti.
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mendonmafia View Post
...I will heed the advice about just doing the opti for now. It's just such a big job I'd like to get more payback for my time investment.
Good idea. I've swapped Opti's in 30 minutes at the track. It shouldn't take more than two hours at the slowest, unless you stab it wrong and miss the dowel hole.

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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TheFleshRocket View Post

The opti is not a big job. I've done it multiple times on my wagon and can start-to-finish it in under 2 hours. I have a ram-air intake, so I have less intake crap to move out of the way, though. I'd figure that a fairly competent tech oughta be able to do it in about 4 hours if he's got all of the tools handy.

To do the cam, you have to remove the thing on the end of the crankshaft (requires a special puller) to remove the timing cover, and on top of the motor, you've got to remove the intake (and everything around it) and the lifters. I haven't actually done the cam (but I have replaced the lifters), and doing a cam swap is HUGELY a bigger project than the opti.
Well sure it's much bigger than just the opti but I'm gonna feel really weird not swapping the opti and water pump if I ever get around to the cam and based on what I did for the opti to water proof it I'm not going to want to. I dont drive much so chances are they'll have under 10k miles before i do the cam. Probably going to just do a full rebuild by then.


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Originally Posted by RatSSled View Post
Good idea. I've swapped Opti's in 30 minutes at the track. It shouldn't take more than two hours at the slowest, unless you stab it wrong and miss the dowel hole.
Took me way longer than 2 hours but the hardest part was swapping the plugs. 3 of the 8 plugs were next to impossible to remove and reinstall. Would a proper 5/8 spark plug socket help? For one of them I couldn't even get the socket onto it and had to use a an open ended wrench at a cockeyed angle to get to the plug. But if the spark plug socket is shorter than a normal socket then it might fit. I also had to get under the car for that one plug. I even have headers which I heard makes doing the plugs easier.

I did struggle loading the opti a bit because everyone that I saw do it said it should slide on easily and not to force it. But the new gasket I used actually (felpro timing kit) provided quite a bit of resistance even with a bit of oil. Once I realized that it was the gasket and not misalignment, it went right in.

Last edited by Mendonmafia; 07-08-2019 at 12:19 AM.
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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By the way, AC is working fine after the opti swap.

Thank you all so much for the replies this far! This forum is wonderful!
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