Best Cam for 406 SBC [Review & Buying Guide]

If you’re building a high-performance engine, the camshaft you choose can make or break your engine’s power and performance. Today, we are here to tell you about the best cam for 406 SBC – Small Block Chevy. And ultimately, it’s the camshaft’s responsibility to control the engine valves’ opening and closing, which ultimately determines your engine’s power. So let’s dive in.

Best cam for 406 sbc

The key to finding the best camshaft for a 406 SBC engine is understanding the engine’s intended use, weight, and desired power output. It’s essential to select a camshaft that matches these specifications to achieve the desired power gains.

When selecting a camshaft, keep a close eye on the duration, lift, and lobe separation angle. These factors play a significant role in your engine’s power and performance. Longer duration camshafts offer more top-end power, while higher lift camshafts provide more low-end torque. Additionally, the lobe separation angle affects the engine’s idle quality and vacuum pressure.

If you’re looking for the best camshaft for your 406 SBC engine, you’re in luck. We’ve researched and tested several options and identified the camshafts that provide the best power gains and performance for this engine. With our help, you can be confident that you’ll find the perfect camshaft for your 406 SBC engine to give you the power and performance you desire.

Best Cam for 406 SBC

COMP Cams CL12-212-2 Magnum Cam and Lifter Kit

The COMP Cams CL12-212-2 Magnum Cam and Lifter Kit is an exceptional choice for a cam seeking reliable performance for a 406 SBC engine. Here are three key benefits that make it stand out from other options:

  1. Improved High RPM Power: The CL12-212-2 Magnum Cam and Lifter Kit offers excellent high RPM power, making it ideal for those seeking a cam that can deliver reliable performance at higher engine speeds. With a 2,000-6,000 RPM operating range, this cam can provide a significant boost in power to your 406 sbc engine.
  2. Easy on Valvetrain Parts: This cam and lifter kit is engineered to be gentle on valvetrain components, reducing the wear and tear on your engine over time. This feature makes it a solid choice for those seeking a cam that won’t cause excessive damage to their engine.
  3. Compatible with a Wide Range of Chevrolet GEN 1 Small Blocks: The CL12-212-2 Magnum Cam and Lifter Kit is designed to work with a range of Chevrolet GEN 1 Small Blocks, including the popular 406 sbc engine. 

Pros

  • Great high RPM power
  • Easy on valvetrain parts
  • Can be used with mild ratio rocker arms and traditional performance valve springs

Cons

  • Needs 2500+ stall, headers, and gears
  • Rough idle
  • Not suitable for LT1/LT4 or factory roller Small Blocks built from 1985 and newer

Specs

Designed for Chevrolet GEN 1 Small Blocks such as the 262, 265, 267, 283, 302, 305, 307, 327, 350, and 400, the COMP Cams CL12-212-2 Magnum Cam and Lifter Kit has the following specifications:

  • Operating range: 2,000-6,000 RPM
  • Duration at .050″: 230/230
  • Lobe separation angle: 110 degrees
  • Valve lift: 0.480″/0.480″

The CL Kits come complete with a camshaft, a set of lifters, instructions, and assembly lubricant. The product is made in the USA and has a real angle of view of 110 degrees. It has a voltage of 12 volts and is compatible with a monitor. The product weighs 13.4 ounces and has product dimensions of 26 x 5.5 x 3 inches.

Overall, the COMP Cams CL12-212-2 Magnum Cam and Lifter Kit is an outstanding choice for those in search of a cam that provides exceptional high RPM power while being kind to valvetrain components.

Big Mutha’ Thumpr Cam/Lifter Kit by Comp CamsHigh Performance Cam for SBC 406

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08/12/2023 05:01 am GMT

Get ready to unleash the beast within your SBC 4056 truck with the Big Mutha’ Thumpr Cam/Lifter Kit! This kit is not for the faint of heart – it’s designed for those who crave raw power and aggressive performance.

With its unique hydraulic roller design, this cam/lifter kit will give your engine an intimidating, ground-pounding idle that will turn heads everywhere you go. But it’s not all about sound – the Big Mutha’ Thumpr Cam/Lifter Kit also delivers on performance.

This kit boasts increased torque and horsepower throughout the entire RPM range, giving your truck the extra power it needs to dominate the road. And with its easy installation process, you can have your truck up and running with this powerhouse cam/lifter kit in no time.

So if you’re ready to take your SBC 406 to the next level, look no further than the Big Mutha’ Thumpr Cam/Lifter Kit. Get ready to turn heads, dominate the road, and feel the power of true performance with this ultimate tuner kit.

Pros

  • Creates a powerful, hard-hitting exhaust note
  • Provides excellent horsepower gains and broad torque curve
  • Fits Chevrolet GEN 1 Small Blocks including the 262, 265, 267, 283, 302, 305, 307, 327, 350 and 400

Cons

  • Requires 9.5:1 compression, 2800+ stall, intake, gears and headers
  • Very rough idle
  • Not compatible with LT1/LT4, or factory roller Small Blocks built from 1985 and newer

Specs

The Big Mutha’ Thumpr Cam/Lifter Kit by Comp Cams operates in the 2,500-6,400 RPM range, making it an ideal street/strip cam. It boasts 243/257 Duration at .050″, 107 Degree Lobe Separation Angle, and 0.500″/0.486″ Valve Lift, providing maximum power and performance.

This kit includes a camshaft, a set of lifters, instructions, and assembly lubricant, making installation simple and straightforward. The camshaft’s early intake valve opening and long exhaust duration create optimum overlap for a powerful and hard-hitting exhaust note.

For the best results, the Big Mutha’ Thumpr Cam/Lifter Kit should be used with aftermarket converters and more rear gear. This cam is perfect for muscle cars and street rods, providing exceptional performance and an aggressive exhaust sound that is sure to turn heads.

Lunati Bare Bones 224/234 Hydraulic Flat Cam/Lifter Kit – Best Value Cam for 406 SBC

Lunati designs the Bare Bones camshaft for small block Chevy (SBC) engines, particularly the 406ci engine. This hydraulic flat tappet camshaft offers a well-balanced performance and street drivability.

The camshaft boasts an aggressive profile, which gives a noticeable increase in horsepower and torque. It keeps the intake and exhaust valves open longer than a stock camshaft, thanks to its duration of 227/233 degrees at 0.050-inch lift. This allows more air and fuel to enter the combustion chamber and boosts power. Moreover, the camshaft’s lift of 0.489/0.504 inches enhances airflow and power even further.

Despite its aggressive profile, the Lunati Bare Bones camshaft remains relatively easy to install and tune. It does not require any special modifications to the engine or valve train and works well with both stock and aftermarket components. The camshaft also has a smooth idle, which suits street driving.

The camshaft also boasts remarkable durability. Made from high-quality materials, it is designed to withstand the harsh conditions of high-performance driving. Plus, it comes with a one-year limited warranty, providing assurance against any defects or issues.

Pros

  • Noticeable idle, great mid range and upper RPM power
  • Budget Conscious Power Production – Ideal for budget minded hotrodders
  • Modern Profile – Thanks to an asymmetrical lobe design, the Lunati Bare Bones line greatly increases throttle response and acceleration

Cons

  • The lifters are a mid-scale rating quality
  • Does not fit LT1/LT4, or factory roller Small Blocks built from 1985 and newer

Lunati Voodoo Hydraulic Flat Tappet Camshaft and Lifter Kit

If you want to boost the performance of their sbc 406 engines, then opt for the Lunati Voodoo Hydraulic Flat Tappet Camshaft and Lifter Kit. This kit boasts a high-performance hydraulic flat tappet camshaft and lifters that deliver excellent low-end torque and mid-range power. 

One of the most notable features of this kit is its aggressive profile that offers a significant increase in horsepower and torque compared to stock camshafts. The camshaft is engineered to provide a broad powerband, delivering ample power and torque across the entire RPM range. This results in a noticeable improvement in acceleration and overall engine performance, whether cruising or racing. 

Additionally, the camshaft and lifters are made from top-quality materials that can endure the high stresses and demands of high-performance engines, providing a long service life even when regularly pushing the engine to its limits. Installing the Lunati Voodoo Hydraulic Flat Tappet Camshaft and Lifter Kit is relatively easy, especially for experienced engine modifiers.  

Pros

  • Great power delivery
  • Produces great sound
  • Works well with high-performance setups

Cons

  • Doesn’t pull much vacuum, making vacuum advance difficult to use
  • May require additional modifications to your engine setup
  • Higher cost compared to some other options

 In summary, the Lunati Voodoo Hydraulic Flat Tappet Camshaft and Lifter Kit is an excellent investment for anyone seeking a significant improvement in horsepower and torque, thanks to its aggressive profile, broad powerband, and durability.

KAISAL Sloppy Stage 2 Camshaft

KAISAL Sloppy Stage 2 Camshaft engineers a significant boost in horsepower and torque throughout the entire RPM range of small block Chevy engines with a displacement of 406 cubic inches. Its aggressive lobe design maximizes valve lift, which results in improved airflow and increased power output. The camshaft’s tight lobe separation angle enhances throttle response and mid-range power.

This camshaft is impressive in its compatibility with both hydraulic and solid lifter setups, allowing engine builders greater customization and tuning options. The KAISAL Sloppy Stage 2 Camshaft is constructed from high-quality materials, ensuring durability and longevity. It is also designed to be easy to install, making it an attractive option for both DIY enthusiasts and professional engine builders.

Engine builders consider the KAISAL Sloppy Stage 2 Camshaft a top-of-the-line option for small block Chevy engines due to its aggressive lobe design, compatibility with multiple lifter setups, and high-quality construction.

Pros

  • Compatible with a wide range of GM Chevy LS engines
  • Direct replacement camshaft that does not require tuning
  • Manufactured with OEM standard for the same performance and durability as the original parts

Cons

  • Not compatible with Active Fuel Management (AFM) engine
  • Stock valve springs cannot be used
  • Before placing an order, make sure our sloppy stage 2 camshaft if fit your car’s model or not

Buying Guide for a Cam for SBC 406

To simplify the process of selecting a camshaft for an SBC 406, consider the following factors:

  1. Consider the intended use of the engine. For racing, choose a high lift and duration camshaft. For street driving, choose a camshaft with a milder profile.
  2. Take into account the type and quality of valve train components. If the engine has a hydraulic lifter, choose a camshaft with a hydraulic profile. If the engine has a solid lifter, choose a camshaft with a solid profile.
  3. Consider the compression ratio of the engine. A high compression ratio engine requires a camshaft with a longer duration and higher lift. A low compression ratio engine requires a camshaft with a shorter duration and lower lift.
  4. Take into account the reputation of the camshaft brand. Choose a reputable brand with a good track record of producing high-quality camshafts.
  5. Remember that quality comes at a price. It is better to invest in a high-quality camshaft that will last longer and provide better performance than to opt for a cheaper option that may fail prematurely.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Best Cam for SBC 406

How much HP can a 406 SBC handle?

A well-built 406 SBC can handle up to 600-700 horsepower reliably with the right components and tuning.

How much HP can you get out of a 400 SBC?

A 400 SBC can make anywhere from 300 to over 500 horsepower depending on the components used and how it’s built.

What are the specs on a 406 SBC?

A 406 SBC typically has a bore of 4.155 inches and a stroke of 3.75 inches, resulting in a displacement of 406 cubic inches. The camshaft, cylinder heads, intake manifold, and carburetor must be selected to match the desired power range. If you are rebuilding your 406, check out our guide on how to properly break in a SBC 406 engine.

Which is better a 383 or 406?

Both a 383 and 406 SBC can make great power, but the 406 has a larger displacement and can potentially make more power with the right components. However, a 383 can be a more affordable option and still make impressive horsepower. You can also check out our guide on the best cams for 383.

How much hp can a cam add to a 406 SBC?

The amount of horsepower a cam can add to a 406 SBC depends on several factors, including the specific camshaft chosen and the other components in the engine. A high-performance camshaft can add anywhere from 20 to 100+ horsepower to a 406 SBC, but the exact amount will vary based on the engine’s build and how well it’s tuned. It’s essential to choose a camshaft that’s matched to the engine’s other components and intended use to achieve the desired power gains.

What is the difference between 406 sbc vs 383?

The main difference between a 406 SBC and a 383 SBC is the size of the engine’s displacement. A 406 has a larger bore and stroke than a 383, resulting in a larger displacement and potentially more power

How to make a 406 SBC?

To make a 406 SBC, you’ll need to start with a 400 small block Chevy engine and add a stroker kit that includes a longer stroke crankshaft, and possibly new pistons and connecting rods. You’ll also need to select the right camshaft, cylinder heads, intake manifold, and carburetor to match the desired power range. Proper tuning is also critical for making the most power from your 406 SBC.

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