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Old 03-06-2015, 02:34 PM   #1
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I'm an old school guy. Lift, duration, and overlap mean something to me. I never see those numbers anymore. Instead people refer to various stages (Stage 1, 2, or 3). How do these compare and what do they actually mean? Not looking for advice but more just understanding.
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Old 03-06-2015, 02:36 PM   #2
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1- meh, just for cam sound
2- ok, performance with stock heads
3-good, require ported heads 99% of the time
4 and up- now we're talking...


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Old 03-06-2015, 03:16 PM   #3
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If you look at the specifications for each of the manufacturers various "stages" of cams, they are indeed listed just like the old days.

Ed Winfield is considered to be the "father" of high performance camshafts (And Hot Rodding in general!), and he was the one who first started "naming" them. Early on (The 1920's), he sold three different cam grinds... A street cam, a race cam, and a cam that was in between a street and race cam which he called a 3/4 race cam. He named them then, for the same reason that manufacturers name them today. Because the great majority of people will have a difficult time deciphering what cam specifications mean, and how they affect the performance of the engine.
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Old 03-06-2015, 03:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by straybullitt View Post
...between a street and race cam which he called a 3/4 race cam...
OK, 3/4 and full race I'm familiar with, but even those were really slang terms and didn't tell us much. So street, 3/4, and full are the equivalent of today's Stage 1, 2 & 3? So in the end, the actual spec numbers are what we still need when specifying a cam, right? I think I've got it. I spent way too many years out of the hotrod hobby and now I'm trying to catch up.

Thanks for your lesson.
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Old 03-06-2015, 04:30 PM   #5
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Usually also the "stage" is referred to with a specific brand. It's people just being lazy. If you look up the comp cam "stage 2" it's the 268ah and all the specs are on the site. Ect......

The lift and duration do still mean something.


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Old 03-06-2015, 04:49 PM   #6
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Basically.
When Ed came up with those names, he was the only one grinding performance cams so whatever the specs were for "street" or "full"... That was it! It is when the other manufacturers came into play, then the terms became more of a slang term.
Each manufacturer has it's own variations of the "stages". And looking through the specs will reveal small changes in the cam profiles. Cushmans "stages"are probably the most aggressive that I have seen for the modulars.
I generally compare the RPM range of the cam to the projected RPM range that is planned for the engine, when deciding on which cam to use.
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Old 03-07-2015, 01:08 AM   #7
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There are no real standards. One companys stage 2 is the next company's stage 3 or maybe 1.. overlap and duration? ha, that's almost as dumb as voting for a politician based on what his policies are! Just pick one that has the coolest box and also based on what somebody tells you they heard from somebody else who knows a guy that read about it one time.
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Old 03-07-2015, 06:17 AM   #8
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^LOL. Thanks guys for clearing this all up.
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