Records come and go, but one that’s generating a lot of buzz for the LS crowd is the hydraulic roller cam record? You might be wondering why is this record is such a big deal. It all comes down to power, maintenance, and drivability.
When people refer to a solid and hydraulic camshaft, it has less to do with the cam and more to do with the design of the lifters. Don’t get us wrong; there are differences between the two cam types, but solid and hydraulic lifters are more the area of interest. In the past hydraulic cams were used for mild performance with excellent street drivability. Without getting into too much detail, a hydraulic lifter works in conjunction with the engine’s oiling system. These lifters have internal moving parts that rely on hydraulics to function correctly. This type of setup is virtually maintenance-free with little valvetrain noise, which is why most engines use this design from the factory, including the LS.
If you wanted to make some serious power back in the day, a solid camshaft was required. However, these solid units need a lot of maintenance and offer abundant valvetrain noise. While you can make more power with a solid lifter design, you sacrifice the ease of maintenance. And trust us when we say, you will spend a lot of time adjusting the valve lash as it changes depending on the circumstances.
The guys over at TKM Performance and John Doc, the owner of the G-body, teamed up on a 427 LS to see what their new hydraulic camshaft, dubbed the Black Sheep, can do on the dyno. The engine in Doc’s G-body is a 427 Dart Block with MGP rods, Dart cylinder heads, Johnson hydraulic lifters, and the Black Sheep cam.
Evidently, companies have made some serious advancements with hydraulic cam and lifter technology in the past few years. With the Black Sheep hydraulic cam in place, the guys made 2112 at 30lb of boost with the 98mm turbo on methanol with a rich air/fuel ratio. For the last dyno pull, the guys decided to pull some full out of the combination. This move netted the guys 2238 horsepower and the new LS hydraulic dyno record.
For more information on the Black Sheep cam, shoot TKM a message on Facebook or give them a call.