By Cindy Bullion
Lunati, long referred to as the racer’s company, has gone public. No, we’re not talking in terms of trading and the stock market. Rather, it has turned once private-labeled camshafts into numbered, off-the-shelf parts for dirt racers.
“Our new Oval Track LLH and LHS camshafts evolved from years of race-winning custom grinds,” Lunati’s Kirk Peters says. “Since those racers have moved on and retired, or up to other classes, and no longer are using them, the cams are no longer proprietary. Lunati has issued them part numbers.”
For current racers, that means access to track-proven camshafts, dialed in by racers and engineers, for a variety of small-block Chevrolet dirt racing engines and tracks. Available as either flat tappet (LHS) or solid roller (LLH), the newly numbered camshafts with custom ramp designs make the power and torque of other very aggressive profiles with similar specs, but with less impact on valve springs.
“The ramps are designed for quicker acceleration and deceleration, more torque, and smoother transitions,” Peters says.
He explains dirt racing engines undergo abrupt drops in rpm as the driver enters a corner and then high revving upon exit, creating intense valvetrain motion that can lead to valves slamming and bouncing on the valve seat. So, Lunati engineers designed these cams with lobes that provide for more controlled valve motion.
LHS cam part number 30120903, for example, is designed for 350c.i. restricted engines with a four-barrel carb and higher compression on larger tracks with higher rpm corners. Its description highlights it as a “great solid lifter cam for less restricted engines.”
A reduction in harmful harmonics in the engine also leads to more power production throughout the entire rpm range and less breakage.
“They are as close as possible, engineering wise, to the max ramps and lift without crossing the line of negative harmonics,” Peters says, referring to the camshafts’ ability to maximize area under the curve.
In hobby stock or entry-level classes, where there are restrictions to limit speed and costs but keep the competition level high, he says one of Lunati’s three LHS solid flat tappet cams would be ideal. They are available for both two- and four-barrel carbureted Chevrolet engines from 327c.i. to more than 350c.i. Picking the right one should be easy, as other racers have already put the different lift, duration, and lsa combinations to the test. Lunati has it all spelled out.
The same applies for the LLH solid roller camshafts, which are available in standard or .900-inch base circle for 355c.i to more than 415c.i. small-block Chevrolet engines.
“The solid rollers are designed for short track, IMCA, or small-motor Late Model and Modifieds, as well as for higher rpm racetracks consistently running over 7,800 rpm,” Peters says, noting the small base circle part numbers are on the opposite end of the spectrum from the LHS flat tappet options — for big engines and those in open classes.
For example, the description for LLH cam part number 40121113 reads: “Great torque off the corners for larger engines on tacky tracks, while still providing excellent high end power and control.”
If you’re thinking that kind of sounds like something an engine builder or racer would write in his log, remember this cam was once a custom grind held in trust for one racer. Its specs and description have just been pulled from the vault.
“Racing is easy, but winning is hard,” Peters says. “So, for the racer who’s not sure what camshaft to use, Lunati, with the help of some of the top racers and our own engineers, have made the choices easy. We also have the option to tweak our camshafts for the more advanced engine builders, when needed.”
Spanning rpm ranges from 2,500-6,200 to 4,000-8,200, Lunati’s latest LHS and LLH cams do well to cover the needs of most any dirt racer. While custom grinds are available, there’s likely no need to tailor your own camshaft. Lunati and previous racers have already done that for you.
Source: Lunati LLC, lunatipower.com