The new SS Camaro’s LS3 powerhouse ships from GM already putting out a stout 436 hp. As impressive as that is, the engine is just dying to make more and given the Camaro’s hefty curb weight of over 3,800 pounds, those extra horses make a great car even better.
One popular way to quickly up the power is by bolting on a power adder, which can easily bring an additional 150 hp to the party. But for those willing to dive into the LS3 there’s even more power to be had by changing out the camshaft.
The fact is that GM, in a never-ending dance to meet EPA and CAFE standards, tends to error on the side of caution when dolling out camshafts. As such, they leave a lot of potential power on the table—power that we want spinning our rear wheels.
Anyone who has swapped a cam on a traditional small-block Chevy will find doing the same procedure on an LS a piece of cake. For one, GM’s use of reusable gaskets means gobs of RTV sealant is a thing of the past. The cam just slides in place and is retained by a plate while the rockers are even easier to install, no cam buttons, no setting lash. We’re not sure a caveman could pull it off, but for most of us it’s an easy way to pick up quite a bit more power for a relatively small amount of effort.
To see what’s involved we went over to Total Performance Engineering in Las Vegas, where Jeff Gooss was getting ready to upgrade the bumpstick on this supercharged ’10 Camaro.