The Ford 302 is an amazing engine. Despite it being released more than half a decade ago, as of 2022, the engine could output some serious horsepower.
But, nowadays, it seems underpowered when compared to the newer gen ones. You can boost the horsepower using various methods, but I prefer getting a brand-new camshaft.
It is responsible for controlling the exhaust and fuel that is sprayed into the cylinders. Getting a good one can make a difference. This article will be focusing on some of the best cam for 302 Ford truck.
1. Comp Cams Hydraulic Flat Cam
There, I said it before we even properly started with the article. As expected, taking up the first spot is a Product from the Company Called Comp Cams.
The manufacturer has been taking the top position in all of my camshaft-related articles. This time is no different. This hydraulic flat cam is the best one money can buy. Regardless, let us look at what it offers.
As is customary for the company, it offers this product in three different variations. You can choose from a cam and lifter kit, get the camshaft only, and even buy a K-Kit. They have given you options which could save you quite some money. That’s not all.
The manufacturer has made different models of the same product, which operate between different RPM ranges. From 2000 to 6200, you have four different options to choose from.
Most of you will be getting a CL kit. It has the camshaft, the required lifters, and an assembly lubricant. There is an instruction manual too, but I doubt anyone will be using it.
The camshaft is a solid piece of hardware. You are getting a great boost in performance. You can expect a noticeable improvement in horsepower and torque.
It does not end there. Greater horsepower should always be included with a sound improvement. Well, this camshaft promises gains in that arena too. So, this is an all-in-one package.
The improved sound and the better performance will attract a crowd wherever you go. If you use your vehicle for racing, then there is no product better suited for the job than this camshaft.
- Improved horsepower and torque
- Gain in sound
- Available in different options
- Made in the USA
I suggest you go on ahead and get this camshaft as it should be on the top of your consideration list. It has no flaws and will provide your engine a lease on its life.
2. Comp Cams Xtreme Energy Hydraulic Flat Cam
If you loved the previous product but are looking for something similar on a budget, then I have got just the thing for you. Arriving in second place is a product from Comp Cams. Yes, that’s right, the company managed to earn the second spot on this article.
At this price range, I can guarantee you that you will not find anything better. The Comp Cams Xtreme Energy Hydraulic Flat Cam is quite similar to the previous one.
After all, both of them were designed under the same roof. The manufacturer offers this camshaft in three different options, similar to the first product. We will be focusing on the camshaft-only variant as it is the cheapest one.
Unlike the previous camshaft, this one can work and operate at much lower RPMs. Starting from 600 and maxing out at 7000, this camshaft can work easily at more extreme RPMs.
This camshaft is perfect for people looking to get a decent performance boost over the stock camshaft. If you did not know, factory cams would restrict the performance of the engine considerably. In layman’s terms, they don’t allow it to utilize its full potential. You will not have to worry about that anymore.
Whether you use your vehicle for racing or towing, the improvement in torque and HP will make your drives much more fun. When talking about racing, most people look for better throttle response.
Well, that is what this flat cam aims to deliver. The throttle response will be greatly reduced, and the acceleration delay will be non-existent.
- Improved sound
- Greater horsepower
- Improved throttle response
- Zero acceleration delay
- May get delivered late
Comp Cams is a company that never seizes to impress. This camshaft will keep you happy and satisfied for the years to come. It is quite similar to the first Comp Cam product, which is a good thing.
3. Lunati Voodoo Hydraulic Flat Cam
I think it is clear up until this point that owners of the Ford 302 engine prefer flat cams to roller ones. I would argue that roller ones are better, but the difference is not that huge.
Regardless, a new camshaft makes a huge difference, and something like the Lunati Voodoo Hydraulic Flat Cam is the one that you should get.
Lunati is a company that has been scoring one or more positions on my articles for some time now. Their products are rock solid. They have different line-ups, which target different consumers.
The Voodoo ones have been designed for people who look for no exceptions and want the best experience possible with their engines.
This manufacturer advertises this camshaft as a mild performance one. It is an accurate description. It is perfect for vehicles and engines that are used for heavy-duty purposes. Whether towing or marine applications, you will notice a considerable improvement in performance with this bad boy installed.
The camshaft will provide the engine with better throttle response, improved acceleration, and more vacuum. Some of you may be wondering what does vacuum has to do anything with this.
You should refer to the buying guide following this article, which will clarify this confusion. The camshaft is compatible with all Ford 302 engines that were released from 1969 to 1996.
This makes its compatibility list quite large. If you have the 302 engine, there is a very high probability that this camshaft will be compatible with it.
And, it is also made in the USA. You do not have to worry about poor quality control or shipping issues. You can rest assured that top-of-the-line materials will be used to manufacture the product.
- Improved throttle response
- Better acceleration
- Made in the USA
- More vacuum
- Fewer ratings
Unless more users buy and test this camshaft, there is a little risk of getting one. The chances are that you will get a product that performs in a stellar fashion.
4. Edelbrock 2122 Performer-Plus Cam And Lifter Kit
Want to try out a brand that is under the radar? There have been instances that such companies make very high-quality products. Well, this is one of those products. Arriving in fourth place is the Edelbrock 2122 Performance-Plus Cam An Lifter Kit.
Just like the previous three, this camshaft is also a flat one. This one has been specially designed for Ford small block engines. So, you should run into any compatibility issues with it. Unlike previous cams, which have been designed for power users, this one has been made for light usage.
There is no camshaft better than this one for the job for people who want to install a new cam and use their vehicles for daily driving. This camshaft has been designed for working with idle and up to 550 RPM.
This is plenty for most people. If you are a performance enthusiast, then this cam is not for you. You can check out the other products on this list.
These cams do require new valve springs. As it operates at a high RPM, the stock ones may float. So, why risk that? You should get and install new ones when you are replacing the cam.
The manufacturer even recommends the proper springs for the job. Their Sure Seat valves are the ones you should get if you decide to buy this camshaft.
The manufacturer has even warned users against some things that they should not do. The engine must be kept above the 2000 RPM limit for the first thirty minutes after installing this new camshaft.
This gives it sufficient time to adjust. If this is not done, then the camshaft may be exposed to some serious wear and tear. You must basically bring it to break-in RPM.
- Perfect for daily usage
- Manufacturer issues warnings after installation
- The company also recommends proper valve springs
- Better performance
- Fewer ratings
Edelbrock has created a pretty solid product. This camshaft will surely provide you with a memorable experience if you choose to install it.
5. Ford Racing M6250X303 Roller Camshaft
One thing that the majority of vehicle enthusiasts agree with is the fact that OEM parts are superior to ones that are made by aftermarket brands.
I don’t have the same opinion but what I agree with is that OEM offerings don’t have any compatibility issues, and they always have superior performance. So, let’s see what this Ford Racing M6250X303 Rolloer Camshaft has to offer.
As I said before, roller camshafts are better than flat ones. It looks like Ford has the same point of view. This camshaft is a roller one. Now, you may be asking, why roller cams?
Well, the main difference between them and flat ones is that they have less friction. This helps boost efficiency. If you want to know more, you should definitely take a look at the buying guide, a few pages down.
Ford advises that this camshaft be used with five transmission vehicles only. They also state that you may need to modify the pistons. But requiring such modifications is quite rare, so you should not worry about that just yet.
The modification may be needed to improve the piston to valve clearance. The clearance should always be checked, regardless of the cam, you install in your vehicle. The idle quality of this camshaft is good.
It is nothing out of the ordinary, but it will please most people. The thing that many people care most about is the gain in performance. When it comes to Ford, this is something that should never concern you.
The manufacturer guarantees a better improvement in horsepower and torque. So, all your performance needs and requirements will be satisfied with this camshaft installed under the hood.
- Decent idle quality
- Improved HP and torque
- Has reduced friction
- OEM quality
- May need to get new valve springs
- Piston modification may be required
If you want a product that will blow you away, there are some extra steps you have to follow. I can guarantee that this Ford camshaft will exceed your expectations. The fact that it requires some adjustments is the only reason for it scoring a lower position than the competition’s offerings.
6. Falcon Performance Cam And Lifter Kit
Finally, arriving in the sixth and final place is this Camshaft from the Brand Falcon Performance. Chances are you have never heard of the brand before.
But this does not mean that it is a bad company. You will be surprised by what it has to offer. So, let’s dive into its details. This camshaft has been designed for light usage.
Unlike the first few camshafts, which have been designed for power users, this one is suitable for people who don’t push the engines to their absolute limits.
With improved fuel economy and a decent improvement in HP, you will definitely find this camshaft enough for the power you want. This camshaft has been designed for Mustangs equipped with 302 engines only.
This means that there is no other vehicle it will work will. As Ford customized the engine for use with the Mustang, the camshaft will not be compatible with other vehicles running the same engine.
The camshaft, as expected, includes the lifters which are needed. Elgin lifters are used, which are the ones with the highest quality. So, there is very little chance of you running into issues if you choose to buy this camshaft.
The camshaft will not work at all RPMs. It will work at RPMs that are between the 1200 and 4700 range. This is quite low and may not meet many people’s requirements. This is the reason it is has been awarded the last place on this article.
I must clarify that although this product earned the final spot, it is far from being the least. It performs in a decent manner, and people were satisfied with it.
- Elgin lifter included
- Decent performance improvement
- Better fuel economy
- Only for mustangs
- Fewer ratings
- Less RPM range
Although the product is decent, it has been made for Mustangs only. So, there are very few buyers out there for this camshaft. It will provide you with a satisfactory experience.
How Much HP Can The Small Block Produce With A Camshaft?
I have got some good news for you. There have been reports of the 302-engine pushing the 400 HP mark with a brand-new camshaft.
Of course, there may have been more modifications done to the engine, but the fact that it can reach and sustain this level of power is something that you 302 owners must be proud of. The engine also outputted an excellent 370 pounds of torque, which is a lot, even by today’s standards.
When Did Ford Go To The Roller Cam?
If you did not know, Ford does not always use a roller cam in their engines. They used flat ones for quite some time until they transitioned to this less friction model. 1985 was the year the company decided to make the change.
Why they did that, you may ask. This is because a roller cam offers better durability and has much less friction than flat cams. In layman terms, they perform better in almost every scenario. Roller cams can also work at higher RPMs than flat ones, making them suitable for more people than ever before.
You Mentioned Vacuum In The Article Above. What Does That Have To Do With A Camshaft?
This is a tricky question to answer. I will be breaking down the answer so you have a better understanding of this. When the engine works consistently, it starts to create a vacuum. The larger the vacuum, the better the efficiency of the engine.
A camshaft normally reduces the vacuum, which in turn affects the engine’s ability to work at full capacity. This is why Lunati mentioned the working vacuum in the product description. It is a complicated thing to answer, but I hope you understand.
Why Does My New Cam Give Me A Rough Idle On The 302 Engine?
If you didn’t know that this would happen, then you did not do enough research. Well, the reason for the rough idle is that these cams are designed to be used on higher RPMs. At RPMs lower than their designated range, you are bound to get a rough idle.
Most people like the sound and the added vibration but the fact that you are asking it means that it does not suit you. Regardless, this is the reason for the engine having a rough idle.
Does A Cam Make A Car Louder?
Let’s end this article with a question that many of you readers will be asking. Yes, a new camshaft will provide you with improved sound. It will be aggressive, and there will be a rough idle too. In other words, the idle will be choppy, which will tell anyone and everyone that you are rocking a beast under the hood.
The loudness of the sound solely depends on how much lope the camshaft has. The more lope there is, the better sound output there will be. Your neighbors may not like it, but that is something most of us don’t have to worry about.
Choosing the correct camshaft is not a difficult task. It’s not like that you can pick up the wrong one, and it can adversely affect the engine. The challenge is when you have to choose one that wins against all others.
The clear winner, and the best cam for 302 Ford truck, is the Comp Cams Hydraulic Flat Cam, which also earned the first spot on this article.
It is great at everything and, as I said before, really is an all-in-one package. The HP improvement and better fuel efficiency are something that will make the aging 302 engine last a few years more. If you have some questions, the above guide is just for you.