How Much HP Does A Cam Add?

Most petrolheads, spirited drivers, and car enthusiasts love squeezing out a little bit of power from the machine underneath their bonnet. While this may sound pretty cool to most people, it isn’t my thing, as it could cost me extra cash from my wallet.

You can modify several things to drag out extra power from your car. Does camming a car make it faster? The simple answer is yes. But the real question is, how much HP does a cam add?

how much hp does a stage 2 cam add

Camshaft Working Principle

A camshaft is a rod with cam lobes that spins and slides upon valves in order to convert its rotational motion into linear motion. The change of motion happens as the camshaft moves closer and further from the axis of the rotation as the cam pushes the valves.

In an internal combustion engine, a camshaft is a mechanical device that controls air-fuel input and the expulsion of exhaust gasses. A camshaft consists of several radial cams, also known as cam loads. Each of the lobes is designed to displace intake or exhaust valves. But how does the camshaft work?

The camshaft is synchronized (timed) with the crankshaft via a timing chain, timing belt, or gears. The synchronization of the camshaft and crankshaft ensures consistent timing of the pistons and valves. Simply put, synchronizing the camshaft and crankshaft tells the intake and exhaust valves the right time to open and close as the pistons make their up-and-down movement.

Camshafts, whether performance or not, control the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves. The lobes on the shafts depress the valves, allowing air to come in and exhaust gases to exit the combustion chamber.

Some older engines use a single camshaft. This is referred to as a single overhead cam (SOHC). On the other hand, newer engines use two camshafts, referred to as dual overhead cam (DOHC). A camshaft, whether a SOHC or DOHC, performs the same function ㅡ allowing the intake and exhaust valves to be opened and closed.

Read Also: How Many Camshafts Does A V8 Have?

How much hp does a cam add?

Installing a performance camshaft will give you a gain of 10% horsepower. For instance, if your car already has 200 horsepower, installing a performance camshaft will raise it to 220 horsepower. But for excellent results, accompany the performance cam with other modifications in stage 1 and 2 tunning.

To ensure we are on the same page, the increase in horsepower when installing a performance camshaft is between 10 to 20 horsepower and not more than a 10% increase. This means that if your car engine has 300 horsepower, do not expect up to a 10% increase, which is 30 horsepower. Performance camshaft can only add 10 to 20 horsepower.

If you want to gain more horsepower, say 50 to 100 horsepower, then you have to do other modifications in stage 1 and 2 tuning.

If you want to gain an insane increase in horsepower, you must do other modifications like installing performance exhaust systems, cold air intake, and throttle bodies, remapping your car’s ECU, using high-octane fuel, and implementing tire tricks and forced induction.

If you were asking, what does a performance camshaft do? Now you know. With all these said, how much hp does a cam add to a 5 7 Hemi? Let’s find out in the next few paragraphs.

how much hp does a cam add

How much HP can a cam add to a 5.7 Hemi?

Performance camshafts increase engine horsepower by increasing the valve timing, which increases the engine acceleration. In a 5.7 Hemi engine, the performance camshaft does the same thing. But how much horsepower it adds depends on other modifications you do on the vehicle.

Generally, installing a performance camshaft on a 5.7 Hemi engine along with stage 1 and 2 modifications will add 70 to 150 extra horsepower.

Cam and spring upgrades on a junkyard 5.7 Hemi engine can add up to 70 horsepower. On a sound Hemi 5.7 engine, you can gain 80 to 150 additional horsepower, depending on other modifications done on the engine.

How much HP does a stage 1 cam add?

I have mentioned stage 1 and stage 2 repeatedly in this article. But how much HP does a stage 1 cam add, anyway? In stage 1 modification, the performance camshaft will squeeze out an extra 10 to 20 horsepower on average without any other modifications. It is one of the affordable options to gain additional power without feeling it in your pocket.

How much hp does a stage 2 cam add?

The next question on your mind is, how much HP does a stage 2 cam add? Stage 2 requires upgrading the camshaft and the intake system and remapping the ECU. When this is complete, you will gain an average of 20 to 25% increase in horsepower.

How much HP does a stage 3 cam add?

For the love of speed, stage 3 is the real deal. Stage 3 will add a whopping 40% increase in horsepower compared to the stock setup, but you must have finished stage 1 and 2 setups before getting here.

How much HP does a stage 4 cam add?

Stage 4 performance camshaft installation will give you a peak power output of about 568 horsepower. However, stage 4 will drop the peak torque to 510 lb-ft.

How much HP does a cam add to a Camaro SS?

Installing a performance cam on a Camaro SS will yield 50 to 75 horsepower. If you install a performance intake and exhaust system for better air in and air out, the modification will increase the horsepower up to 100 HP.

How much HP does a cam add Mustang?

Installing a performance cam on a Mustang, like every other car, will add 10 to 20 horsepower. You can drag out more power by installing a cold air intake and performance exhaust system. Stage 2 will gain a 20 to 25% increase, and stage 3 will hike the horsepower to 40% additional horsepower.

Upgraded Camshaft pros and cons

While upgrading your stock camshaft to a performance camshaft has many benefits, it also has pitfalls. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before swapping your camshaft to be sure it is worth it.


Increased power and efficiency

The lobes on a performance camshaft typically come in different shapes, allowing the intake valves to stay open for an extended period before closing. This ensures that a high volume of air and fuel enters the combustion chamber, invariably increasing the engine horsepower and efficiency.

Increase engine sound

Cars make different sounds, especially performance and sports cars. If you love the adoring loud sound of a racing car, you can achieve it on your current car by modifying the camshaft. If you want a low or deep growling sound when you rev your engine, swapping your stock cams with performance cams will be a game changer.


It may be illegal.

Unless your car has a vehicle certification number, investing in a performance camshaft can be illegal in the States.

Delay vehicle resale

When selling or insuring your vehicle, you’ll list all the modifications done on it. So, if you decide to insure the car, the price will increase. Similarly, if you want to sell the car, the car price may tend to go a bit up. This will discourage people from buying the car.

It can be expensive.

All modifications done in a car, including swapping in performance camshafts, call for extra cash. However, the extra cash can be worthwhile in the long term.

How much does Camshaft Upgrade Cost?

Factors like your location, vehicle make and model, and the mechanic shop doing the upgrade help determine the cost of upgrading your camshaft.

New performance camshaft cost between $1,300 and $1,500. This excludes taxes, labor costs, and other fees. Assuming you come with the new camshafts, most mechanic shops will charge you from $600 to $1,000 to swap the cams.

Keep in mind, the total price will hike over $2,500 if you want to include other stage modifications to gain more horsepower.

Final Words

Upgrading your camshaft can be quite expensive, and it’s not something you can tweak at home. The power outcome you’ll achieve is very small compared to the amount spent. You won’t gain more than a 10% increase. Hence, it’s not worth it unless you want to go through various stages and do other modifications to squeeze out all the horsepower you possibly can.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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