The 5.7 HEMI Camshaft Upgrade Instructions. The 5.7 HEMI is a fantastic engine with a lot of potential in NA form. Its Hemi design provides for good airflow, which is amplified by a more aggressive camshaft. In our guide to the top 5.7L V8 mods, we talked briefly about cam upgrade kits. Now it’s time to go over cam improvements from top to bottom. This page goes through 5.7 HEMI camshaft improvements, including the benefits, cost, lifters, springs, and much more.
Upgrades to the 5.7 HEMI Camshaft
Camshafts are far more complicated than usual bolt-on modifications like as headers, intakes, and exhaust systems. Important subjects include duration, valve lift, and lobe separation. There are also variances in MDS vs non-MDS camshafts and VVT with the 5.7 HEMI camshafts.
In the following sections, we will go over all of the fundamentals you should know before purchasing a 5.7 HEMI camshaft kit. Following that, we’ll discuss the advantages of cam kits and recommend a few outstanding options for the 5.7L V8.
*Because VVT and non-VVT cams are not interchangeable, 2003-2008 and 2009+ have different fitting.
HEMI Cams with and without MDS
MDS technology is used in the majority of 345 HEMI engines built after 2006. MDS is not used in manual transmission cars or HD 2500 and 3500 trucks. There are some variances in the cams, and an MDS cam cannot be swapped into a non-MDS HEMI. Non-MDS cams can, however, be used in 5.7L V8s with MDS if the following conditions are met:
- MDS can be disabled using a custom tune.
- Non-MDS lifters should be used.
- Optional MDS solenoid remove plugs
In fact, most aftermarket camshafts necessitate the removal of the multi-displacement system. Texas Speed & Performance (TSP) sells a complete system for removing MDS from a 5.7 HEMI. This contains the MDS delete plugs, non-MDS lifters, and all necessary gaskets, seals, and bolts. You’ll still need to tune to account for the change, but that’s standard procedure for cam improvements.
There are a few cam alternatives that will keep MDS running, such as changing to a 392 HEMI camshaft. There are a couple aftermarket cam improvements that work with MDS as well. However, for the optimum performance and stability, it is generally advisable to erase the system.
5.7 HEMI Cam Upgrade Specifications
It’s usual to see cams referred to with a slew of incomprehensible numbers. The TSP Stage 3 NA cam, for example, has the following values: 223/232.582/.582 113+3. What are all these numbers supposed to mean? It’s a reasonable question, so don’t worry. Let’s go through all of the numbers and explain what they mean:
- valve duration @ 0.050′′ lift = 223/232
- .582/.582 equals valve lift
- 113 + 3 = lobe separation angle
*The spec sheet for the factory 5.7 Eagle VVT with an automatic transmission is 186/208.499/.493 115.
Duration of the 5.7 HEMI camshaft valve
The first two numbers represent the duration of the intake and exhaust valves. The industry standard for measuring duration is 0.050′′ of valve lift. In any case, this is the amount of time the valve is open, measured in degrees of crank rotation.
Finally, valve duration indicates the length of time the intake and exhaust valves are open. The longer the valves remain open, the more air and fuel may be injected into the cylinder. This is especially crucial at high rpm, when valves open and close rapidly. In general, longer duration improves top-end power and less duration improves low-end torque.
Smaller 5.7 HEMI camshaft improvements typically have a length of 214/222. More aggressive cams will be found in the 226/235 range. All else being equal, longer duration will result in greater peak power gains at the expense of minor torque gains down low (or even torque losses).
Valve Lift for the 5.7L V8
The 5.7 HEMI valve lift comes next. The lift of a valve is the distance it opens from its seat; the numbers represent the intake and exhaust valves, respectively. The greater the opening of the 5.7L V8 HEMI valves, the more air flows into and out of the cylinder.
Higher lift cams provide more power and torque over the whole powerband. As a result, unlike valve duration, there is no significant tradeoff for hp or tq. However, there are various elements that influence how much lift you should run.
For starters, 5.7 HEMI high lift cams necessitate valve spring adjustments. This is something we advocate for the HEMI regardless of lift, and we’ll return to it in a moment. There may also be further head work required, as well as difficulties with too much lift. Anything more than 0.650′′ of lift is normally only seen in racing.
Many 5.7 HEMI cams have intake and exhaust valve lifts in the.580 to.600 range. Some extremely high-lift choices, such as the Comp Cams Stage 3, have lift coefficients as high as.632/.619.
Angle of Separation of Dodge 5.7 Cam Lobes
The Lobe Separation Angle (LSA) is where things become a little more complicated. The LSA in the original case is 113+3. Let’s overlook the +3 for now and focus on the 113. LSA is the angle measured between the intake and exhaust lobes’ peak lift positions. This has an impact not just on the powerband, but also on idle quality, vacuum, and cam rpm range.
+3 indicates that the cam timing has been advanced 3 degrees, which is subsequently linked to the intake centerline (ICL). Let’s stop here since things are getting a little too technical.
In any case, greater LSA is good for a wider powerband and improves top-end power. A lower 5.7 HEMI LSA provides more low-end torque but narrows the powerband significantly. Finally, LSA on 5.7L V8 cams normally ranges between 112-116, which is a decent range to stick with. If you absolutely want to deviate from that, we recommend working with a knowledgeable shop or conducting extensive research.
Other 5.7 HEMI Cam Factors to Consider
Unfortunately, the information about 5.7 HEMI camshaft upgrades does not end there. It’s one of the main reasons why it’s critical to work with a respected HEMI store or do extensive research before purchasing cam kits. This isn’t the upgrade you want to try to put together with your bare hands. Anyway, before we go into some of the greatest 345 HEMI cams on the market, let’s go over a few more 345 HEMI cam subjects.
Valve Spring Upgrades for the Dodge 5.7L V8
Remember how we briefly mentioned 5.7 HEMI valve spring modifications while discussing valve lift? Higher lift puts more strain on the valve springs. As a result, valve springs are an important component to consider with high lift cams, particularly cams pushing above 0.550 lift. Most aftermarket cams will provide more lift than that.
A maximum recommended lift should be advertised on valve spring improvements. Furthermore, valve spring upgrades or the option to upgrade to appropriate springs should be included with cam kits. Comp Cams and Texas Speed kits, for example, both include the appropriate valve springs for the cam profile.
HEMI Phaser Limiter or Lock Kits 5.7
One subject that has yet to be addressed is piston to valve clearance. Because the 5.7 HEMI is an interference engine, there is some overlap in the area where the pistons and valves travel. This can cause problems when adjusting the valve lift and duration. If this is not addressed, the pistons and valves may collide and cause catastrophic damage.
The engine employs cam phasers, which may modify camshaft position on the fly. It improves fuel efficiency while simultaneously providing a wider powerband. Everything is fantastic. However, because the phasers have such a wide range of motion, larger, more aggressive cams can cause the pistons and valves to clash.
345 HEMI phaser limiters and lock kits are available. To attain the required clearance, a limiter, such as this one from Comp Cams, will limit the cam phasing to 14 crank degrees (7 cam degrees). There are also lock kits, which, as the name implies, fully prevent the cam phasers from moving. Limiter kits are usually the best choice because some cam phaser movement helps maximize power.
*Because only 2009+ VVT HEMI engines use cam phasers, this isn’t an issue with previous non-VVT engines.
Camshaft Upgrade Kits in Their Entirety
Last but not least, there are other things you may want to replace while installing the cam. Many shops offer a variety of cam alternatives. One alternative is to simply get a 5.7 HEMI camshaft without any other parts. If you just want the fundamentals with a modest cam, you’d only need an MDS deletion kit with non-MDS lifters. Again, more aggressive cams will necessitate the use of additional parts such as valve springs and phaser limiter/lock kits.
However, we strongly advise doing things correctly and purchasing a complete 5.7 HEMI camshaft kit – especially on older HEMIs. The Comp Cams Master Cam Kit comes with the cam, lifters, phaser limiter, pushrods, valve springs, spring seats, valve seals, and other components. This is all excellent replacement/upgrade material for when installing a cam.
It’s also a good idea to replace simple and inexpensive items like head gaskets and valve cover gaskets. These elements should not increase labor costs and should provide a long-term stable setup.
Full kits aren’t typically required, but cams are a pricey and complex upgrade to begin with. If you’re going to spend all of your time and money, you might as well do it correctly. On lesser upgrades, it may be acceptable to cut corners, save money, and so on. However, 5.7 HEMI cameras are not. Cams might cost $2,500-4,000+ all in if installed by a shop. It’s not something you want to get wrong and have to redo it all over again. Do it correctly the first time.
The Advantages of 345 HEMI Cam Mods
The following are some advantages of upgrading the 5.7 HEMI camshaft:
- 30-70 horsepower and above
- 10-30% torsion
- improved powerband
All of the advantages of upgrading the 5.7 HEMI camshaft revolve around performance. Cams optimized for top-end power can produce improvements of 70+ peak horsepower. However, a camshaft that is overly large can result in less daily drivability due to poor low-end performance.
Fortunately, the correct HEMI cams can provide significant peak power improvements while also enhancing the overall power curve. It’s not impossible to gain 30-50whp on top while simultaneously improving on the low-end and mid-range. These cam options provide an excellent balance and a broad powerband for street use and regular driving.
Cams also provide some fantastic sounds. It’s difficult not to enjoy the sound of a cammed 5.7 HEMI. Cams are pricey, so we wouldn’t recommend them just for the sound, but it’s a pleasant bonus on top of the performance advantages.
The Very Best 5.7 HEMI Camshaft Kits
Phew. That was a lot of information to cover, and it might have been even more if we got into all the nitty gritty technical aspects. Hopefully, it conveys the message that a 5.7 HEMI camshaft change is a major mod that may not be suitable for everyone. Fortunately, we’ve done all of the legwork for you and compiled a list of the top 5.7 HEMI cam kits and upgrades.
Please keep in mind that this is far from an exhaustive list of the top 5.7L V8 cams. There are numerous alternatives available, and some cameras may be superior or worse depending on individual aims and needs. We’re merely focusing on a few popular cams that have been well tested and proved, deliver excellent quality and performance, and are manufactured by respected names in the HEMI cam market.
*We’re looking at cams for NA HEMI engines. For supercharged or turbocharged applications, different cam profiles are preferable. Most of the manufacturers we mention feature boost cams as well. If you know you’ll be adding boost, those cams are probably a better choice.
1) Comp Cams Stage 2 Master Cam Kit for the 5.7L V8
Gains in power: 30-50whp
Comp Cams is first up with their 5.7 HEMI stage 2 master cam set. We’ve previously mentioned them a few times for good reason. Comp Cams is the real deal; they invest much in R&D and testing for all of their products, and they’re a go-to for cams on a wide range of American vehicles.
This master kit has pretty much everything you could possibly need for a 5.7 HEMI camshaft upgrade. The cam, lifters, phaser limiter, pushrods, valve springs, retainers, locks, spring seats, and valve seals are all included.
It comes with their 222/230.59/.604 115LSA stage 2 cam. Although Comp Cams offers a more aggressive stage 3 camshaft, the stage 2 is about the largest we recommend in a streetable HEMI. On the top end, peak power improvements should be in the 30-50whp range. The Comp Cams package also provides excellent performance across the whole powerband, so you won’t be sacrificing any low-end torque. Motortrend has an excellent story on the Comp Cams findings.
If you’re looking for a more modest upgrade, Comp also sells a stage 1 cam for the 5.7L HEMI. Another option is their NSR (no spring required) camshaft, which does not require valve spring modifications as the name implies. However, if you want a huge cam that’s still street and daily driving friendly, we believe the stage 2 master kit is the finest all-around alternative.
2) 5.7 HEMI Camshaft Upgrade Package from Texas Speed
Gains in power: 20-60+whp
Texas Speed Performance is next, and they are another highly renowned and well-respected manufacturer when it comes to 5.7 HEMI camshaft kits. The TSP kit isn’t as comprehensive as the Comp Cams Master Kit, but it’s still a fantastic option. Texas Speed cam packages contain a cam selection ranging from stage 1 to stage 4, as well as valve springs, a comp cam phaser lock kit, and pushrods. It’s preferable to buy the cam bundle coupled with the TSP MDS deletion kit (which includes lifters as an optional extra).
All of their cams provide the same.582/.582 valve lift, with each higher level providing more LSA and duration. The Comp Cams stage 2 has comparable characteristics to the stage 3 TSP kit (223/232.582/.582 113+3 LSA). Again, this is about as harsh a cam as we would recommend for a street-oriented vehicle. If you want a smaller, more modest upgrade, stage 1 or 2 TSP cams are an excellent choice.
Finally, Texas Speed provides a high-quality 5.7 HEMI camshaft upgrade. Remember that the non-MDS lifters (sold separately or as part of the MDS deletion kit) are required because the cam package does not contain them. In any case, it’s difficult to go wrong with a TSP cam update.
3) Greene Racing Cam Kits for 345 HEMI
HP Increases: 20-50+whp
We strive not to get involved in company squabbles or forum threads criticizing vendors. Greene Racing has a solid reputation in the Mopar community and is well-known for their tuning and camshaft packages. However, near the end of our study and writing this paper, we came across several troubling linkages. Take it for what it is.
Regardless, despite some recent customer service concerns, Greene Racing is still well-known in the HEMI community. Because they don’t have an official website, the above “info” link takes you to a pricing/information post on Facebook. Greene offers a variety of 5.7 HEMI camshaft sets and specifications.
The thread simply offers duration and options for high or low lift cams, with no particular lift or LSA information. Greene Racing should have all the facts and information you need to get you set up with the correct cam profile for your unique goals.
Summary of the 5.7 HEMI Cam Upgrade
The 5.7L HEMI is a powerful performance engine with plenty of airflow thanks to the HEMI architecture. With excellent power and torque increases, a more aggressive camshaft can truly wake up the 5.7L V8. However, cams are a complicated and serious improvement, so be sure you grasp the fundamentals before proceeding (or deal with a skilled shop).
Before selecting a camshaft, consider the following:
MDS vs. non-MDS (including deletion kits)
Valve spring replacement
Kits for phaser limiter/lock
Other components to update or replace
It may appear intimidating at first, but with some reading, 5.7 HEMI camshaft changes are simple to understand. Hopefully, the majority of the information in this article was helpful in getting you started on a cam upgrade.
By far the most popular 5.7 HEMI cam kits are Texas Speed and Comp Cams. Both are high-quality, outstanding kits with numerous phases to fit a variety of goals and demands. Comp Cams stage 2 or TSP stage 3 are excellent choices for aggressive cams that keep low-end performance while delivering excellent peak gains. Larger cams are often better suited for racing applications when daily driving is not a major consideration.