Buyers Guide & Information

Best Cam for 4.8 Silverado Reviewed

We have reviewed and compared the best camshafts on the market for the 4.8 Silverado. Here are the highest-quality products for various Silverado year models.

What is a camshaft? It converts rotational motion to reciprocal motion that operates the exhaust and intake valves.

The best cam for 4.8 Silverado can be difficult to find if you don't know what to look for. That's why we put together these 4.8 Silverado cam kit reviews.

Why Upgrade A 4.8 Silverado's Camshaft

The next logical step after upgrading your cold air intake and exhaust is to add a new Silverado camshaft. It can increase the duration and timing of the valve opening during the engine stroke to change the performance of your motor.

In the end, you should gain more horsepower for better acceleration, more overall torque, and improved fuel economy.



4.8 Silverado Engine Basics

There are several 4.8 Silverado engines used in Chevy trucks. The LR4 (Gen III) engine fits the 1999-2006 Silverado and Sierra 1500 trucks, as well as 2007 "Classic" models. It provides between 255 and 280 horsepower.

There is also an LY2 (Gen IV) engine, used in 2007-2009 Silverado and Sierra trucks, with 260 to 295 horsepower. Finally, the L20 (Gen IV) engine is placed in the 2010-2013 Silverado and Sierra, with 260 to 302 horsepower.


4.8 Silverado Cam's Compared

Preview

Product

Compatible Trucks

RPM Range

Cam Style

Check Price

COMP Cams 54-458-11 LSR Cathedral Port...

COMP Cams

54-458-11 LSR

1999-2017
LS GEN III/IV

1,900 to 7,000

Roller cam/hydraulic

Texas Speed TSP Stage 2 Low Lift Truck...

Texas Speed

TSP Stage 2

1999-2013

1,200 to 5,800

Roller cam

Brian Tooley Racing BTR Truck Stage 3 Cam and...

Brian Tooley Stage 3 Cam & Beehive Spring Kit

1999-2013

2,600 to 6,200

Roller cam

HuthBrother Camshaft 585' Lift 286° Duration...

HuthBrother Camshaft 585"

1999-2007

2,200 to 5,400

Roller cam

Brian Tooley Racing BTR Truck Stage 3 Cam...

Brian Tooley Stage 3 V2 Cam

1999-2013

2,600 to 6,200

Roller cam

How To Choose The Right 4.8 Silverado Cam

Vehicle Compatibility & Intended Use

To find the best cam for a 4.8 Silverado, you need to think about your truck model and year. You won't purchase a 2002 Chevy Silverado 4.8 cam kit if you are driving a truck with a different motor. You also need to pay attention to the compression ratio, type of fuel delivery, other modifications you might have, cylinder heads, and gearing.

Cam Type & Profile

Decide whether you need the flat tappet vs. roller cams. Both have been around for some time, but the flat tappet has been around longer. It was meant to last for the engine's lifetime and is cheap to produce. However, as horsepower and fuel economy demands increased in the 1980s, the roller tappet camshaft became more popular in mass-production motors.

Valve Lift & Duration

You want a camshaft with more lift. The more lift offered, the more RPM power is received. It's also important to look at the duration time. As the valves stay open longer, you receive more consistent power overall.

Valve Overlap & Lobe Separation

Valve overlap defines when both the intake and exhaust valves are open simultaneously. If the camshaft has overlap, it occurs at the end of the exhaust stroke, beginning at the intake stroke. Additionally, the Lobe Separation Angle (LSA) highlights the distance between the centerline of the exhaust and intake lobes.

Camshaft Timing

Pay close attention to the camshaft timing because this dramatically changes the performance. Advancing or retarding the camshaft moves the torque curve, either higher or lower, adjusts the RPM range.

Price & Warranty

While you might want the cheapest 2008 Silverado 4.8 cam kit, you should never sacrifice quality for the price. Instead, read through customer reviews carefully and choose an option from a reputable brand. You also want to choose a camshaft that has a warranty for additional protection.


5 Best Cams For 4.8 Silverado Reviewed

1. COMP Cams 54-458-11 LSR

Our Top Pick

Compatible 4.8L Silverado Trucks

1999-2017 LS GEN III/IV

RPM Operating Range

1,900 to 7,000

Duration

227/235

Cam Style

Roller cam/hydraulic

Valve Lift

0.614/0.621

Camshaft Gear Attachment

3-bolt

You can choose this high-quality 2003 Silverado 4.8 cam kit from a reputable company. In fact, this model fits the 1999-2017 trucks with a 4.8-liter engine. This particular camshaft model features a 1,900 to 7,000 RPM range to provide plenty of versatility.

To use this, you want to have substantial airflow upgrades of both the inlet and exhaust. It features a 227/235 duration at .050" and 113 Degree Lobe Separation Angle with a 0.614/0.621 valve lift, which is exceptional.

This Silverado camshaft features a broad powerband with high exhaust duration and more valve lift. Because of this design, you can receive the maximum benefits from the LS high flow cylinder heads. It also features a three-bolt configuration and is made in the United States, unlike some other options.

While there haven't been a lot of customer reviews, what is available is favorable. Plus, this company is reputable, ensuring that you get a reliable product. To make this purchase an even better value, the company offers a one-year warranty. While that might not be as long as you would hope for, it's enough to provide peace of mind. Plus, there's nothing that should go wrong, thanks to the exceptional craftsmanship and durability.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • High-performance
  • Wide RPM range
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Not many customer reviews

2. Texas Speed TSP Stage 2

Runner Up

Compatible 4.8L Silverado Trucks

1999-2013

RPM Operating Range

1,200 to 5,800

Duration

212/218

Cam Style

Roller cam

Valve Lift

0.50/0.55

Camshaft Gear Attachment

3-bolt

If you are planning a Silverado 4.8 cam swap, this Texas Speed State option is a good fit. It features a 1200 to 5800 RPM range, which is a reasonable range. It also features a 212/218 duration at .050"/0.55" and 112 Degree Lobe Separation Angle.

It's an ideal option for your 1999-2013 Chevy Silverado truck model. The company claims that it produced a 51.4 horsepower gain with some other upgrades, which is just mind-blowing. It's difficult to find gains like that from other products.

This camshaft uses TSP lobe profiles from the factory single beehive valve springs and the pushrods. Because of this, it's slightly more affordable than some other options. If you are looking for a smooth idle, this camshaft will surely provide the best results. You can even keep your factory torque converter intact, which keeps the price to a minimum.

Installation shouldn't be too difficult if you have some mechanical knowledge and time on your hands. However, we can't seem to find warranty information from the manufacturer. If you don't mind rolling the dice, you can save money with this option. Based on the customer reviews alone, there's no reason to think that that aftermarket camshaft should fail you.

Pros

  • High gains
  • Reputable company
  • Sufficient RPM range
  • Low cost

Cons

  • No warranty information

3. Brian Tooley Stage 3 Cam and Beehive Spring Kit

Best Cam Kit for 4.8 Silverado

Compatible 4.8L Silverado Trucks

1999-2013

RPM Operating Range

2,600 to 6,200

Duration

218/224

Cam Style

Roller cam

Valve Lift

0.553/0.553

Camshaft Gear Attachment

3-bolt

Another 2006 Silverado 4.8 cam kit is this high-performance option. It features a 2600 to 6200 RPM range. It also features a 218/224 duration at .0553"/0.553" and 113 Degree Lobe Separation Angle. As with the last cam model, you can use this with your 1999-2013 Chevy Silverado truck to increase performance. Not only does this set come with your Stage 3 truck cam, but also beehive racing springs and a complete set of VS LS hat seals.

It will require a three-bolt timing gear, allowing you to also use your GM LS2, LS3, and LS6 pushrods and springs. After installation, you will notice a unique cam sound that helps you feel like you have a powerful truck and is sure to turn heads. Plus, it creates more torque than a Stage 2 cam but could sacrifice some low-end torque and fuel economy. You can use this with your stock converter with some truck models.

Again, you can expect a fairly standard installation with this kit, but you will need to set aside some time. Still, the company doesn't offer any warranty information, which leaves you vulnerable once again. If you go strictly by the customer reviews, you should feel confident about your purchase.

Pros

  • Upgraded performance
  • Reliable brand
  • Sufficient RPM range
  • Affordable

Cons

  • No warranty information

4. HuthBrother Camshaft 585"

Best 06 Silverado 4.8 Cam

Compatible 4.8L Silverado Trucks

1999-2007

RPM Operating Range

2,200 to 5,400

Duration

228/230

Cam Style

Roller cam

Valve Lift

0.50/0.50

Camshaft Gear Attachment

3-bolt

You can get another high-performance option for your 1997-2007 Chevy Silverado truck. It features a 2200 to 5400 RPM range. It also features a 228/230 duration at .050"/0.50" and 112 Degree Lobe Separation Angle. This durable Stage 2 camshaft kit can increase horsepower, upgrade torque, and save more fuel. It's also simple to install, as far as camshafts are concerned.

If you are planning to replace your stock Chevy Silverado cam, this will take the place of Chevy GM LS V8 engine part number E-1840-P. Sure, you could put the stock option back in, but why not take advantage of some upgraded performance for a minimal amount of money. Additionally, the durable construction ensures that you won't have to replace this camshaft anytime soon, making it an even better value.

As with many of the options, there aren't a lot of customer reviews. You will have to take the word of the few that have reviewed it to determine if this works for you. However, we aren't thrilled with the lack of warranty information. If something goes wrong, there's no guarantee that you have coverage. For the price, this is something that might be worth taking a risk on.

Pros

  • Upgrade over stock
  • Reputable manufacturer
  • Durable materials
  • Affordable

Cons

  • No warranty information

5. Brian Tooley Stage 3 V2 Cam

Most Versatile Silverado 4.8 Cam Swap

Compatible 4.8L Silverado Trucks

1999-2013

RPM Operating Range

2,600 to 6,200

Duration

218/224

Cam Style

Roller cam

Valve Lift

0.553/0.553

Camshaft Gear Attachment

3-bolt

Brian Tooley makes another Stage 3 cam for your 4.8 Silverado. It features a 2600 to 6200 RPM range. It also features a 218/224 duration at .0553"/0.553" and 110 Degree Lobe Separation Angle.

As with the other option from this company, you can use this with your 1999-2013 Chevy Silverado truck to increase performance. This set comes with your Stage 3 truck cam, but also beehive racing springs and a complete set of VS LS hat seals, plus 7.400 Chromoly pushrods.

You need a three-bolt timing gear, plus this complete kit includes your pushrods and springs too. Once the installation is complete, you will notice a unique sound that draws more attention. Plus, it creates more torque than a typical Stage 2 cam, but you sacrifice some low-end torque and fuel economy. Use this with your stock converter on some truck models to make things even easier.

Once again, the warranty information is strangely absent. This leads us to believe that you won't have any protection from the manufacturer. On the bright side, there are more reviews with this camshaft, so there is more peace of mind knowing that customers are enjoying the kit and find it to be worth the money.

Pros

  • Increased performance
  • Reliable brand
  • More customer reviews
  • Durable construction

Cons

  • No warranty information

Common Signs of a Failing Camshaft

Your camshaft is an integral part of the mechanical operation of your Chevy engine. Some symptoms that it is going bad include:

  • Popping
  • Backfiring
  • Cylinder misfire at very low or high RPMs
  • Tapping noise happening at the valves

What causes a camshaft position sensor to go bad? It might be due to worn lobes, bad bearings, a broken camshaft, or worn lifters.

The broken camshaft will impact the top end of the motor, leading to serious damage to your crankshaft, valves, pistons, connecting rods, plus cylinder block and head. If you have signs that the camshaft is going bad, don't hesitate to replace it.


Quick Guide: Installing Cams on a 4.8 Silverado Engine

You need to have some mechanical knowledge to change your 4.8 Silverado cams. Here are some basic steps to follow.

  1. 1
    Remove the old camshaft. You may need to pull the entire engine.
  2. 2
    Remove the timing cover.
  3. 3
    Rotate the cam and mark Top Dead Center (TDC).
  4. 4
    Wash all of the new parts in the solvent.
  5. 5
    Lubricate the cam and set the timing chain.
  6. 6
    Lubricate and install the lifters.
  7. 7
    Reassemble the rest of the assembly.
  8. 8
    Test timing and make adjustments.
  9. 9
    Start the car and watch the oil pressure.

You can get more in-depth instruction with this YouTube video.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

What oil does a 4.8 Silverado take?

You need six quarts of SAE 5W-30 oil to do a complete replacement during a tune-up. Don't forget to install a new oil filter too.

How much does it cost to replace a 4.8 Silverado camshaft?

RepairPal suggests that the average cost to replace a Silverado 1500 camshaft is between $2,189 and $2,618. That includes labor costs between $1,642 and $2,071, which can be saved if you do the job yourself.

How do I degree a camshaft?

To degree a camshaft, you must do a lot more than simply line up dots on the cam and crank the gears. While you aren't going to notice a lot of power from this task, it should be done with high-performance engines. Thankfully, Hot Rod provides comprehensive instructions on how to get it done.

Do these aftermarket cams increase horsepower? If so, by how much?

By changing the cams and headers on your Silverado, you could gain between 15 and 50 horsepower.

Can camshafts be repaired?

If the camshaft just has some lobe wear, it's possible to recondition it. However, if the wear is excessive, you won't be able to rebuild it.


Conclusion

What is the best cam for a 4.8 Silverado? We recommend the COMP Cams 54-458-11 LSR, which is perfect with the GM LS GEN III/IV engine.

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