600hp Camshaft Shootout! Hydraulic vs. Solid

Choosing a camshaft for an engine can be a complicated process. There are a multitude ...

Choosing a camshaft for an engine can be a complicated process. There are a multitude of factors that go into the decision, and many times even a combination that works for one setup may react totally differently in a similar build. Besides the obvious lift and duration specification that most gear heads have a pretty good grasp on, there is overlap and lobe separation angle to consider. Then of course you have to consider gear ratio and converter stall when choosing a cam too, as well as the intended RPM range.

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There is more to consider that is honestly too technical to dive into here, but one factor a lot of hotrodders don’t really grasp is choosing a hydraulic roller camshaft vs a solid roller camshaft. Put simply, this doesn’t actually apply to the cam itself, but to the type of lifters used with them. The type of lifters you choose does effect the specs of the cam, but only because of what the lifters can physically withstand. A hydraulic lifter offers less noise in the drivetrain and better manners on the street, but is not quite as physically durable as a solid lifter. At lower RPM’s, there ins’t a major difference in the two, but as the revs climb, the solid lifter is better able to handle the rigors of high engine speeds, proving better power up top while the hydraulic lifter tends to fall off after a certain RPM.

Just sit back and let David Freiburger and the Engine Masters team bring you the info as they walk through the differences in the cam types and where each application is better suited. They just might help you make one of the most important decisions when it comes to building an engine, and help you extract as much power as possible from your combination.

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