Q: I have a 1976 Toyota FJ-40 with a 350 small block from a 1973 Camaro. The engine has been rebuilt and is stock internally. The heads have a fresh valve job, and the engine features a Holley 650 cfm carburetor on an Edelbrock Torker II intake. I am using the stock four-speed transmission and stock axles with 4.11 gears and 33 x 12.15 tires.

I want to install a mild performance cam. COMP Cams recommended a hydraulic grind with 203/212-degree duration and .421/.451-inch lift, and I really don’t know how much this cam will affect my vehicle. I want to have plenty of bottom end, but I also want enough cam so people will be able to hear it.

Will this camshaft give me the sound and performance I’m looking for? Will I need to change valve springs? I am also considering the use of 1.6-ratio rocker arms. I have heard that overhead valve engines respond well to short-duration, high-lift cams with wide lobe centers (the COMP cam has a 110-degree lobe center). I have also heard that 1.6 rockers by themselves will give my engine the rough idle like a mild cam would. Should I use both the cam and the rockers, just the cam, or the just the rockers?

Toyota FJ Cruiser Scottsdale
(Image/OnAllCylinders – Gioia Kurpik)

A: The COMP Cams grind is a good choice for your Toyota. It has an operating range of 1,200-5,500 rpm and offers excellent bottom-end torque. Matching valve springs to the cam is very important. If the spring pressure is not right, you can severely damage the cam and lifters. COMP Cams recommends its 1.230-inch single-with-damper springs (980-16). These springs have an open load rating of 230 pounds @ 1.250-inch and a seat load rating of 85 pounds @ 1.700 inches.

As for the 1.6 rockers, they don’t always produce the instant power they are known for. The added lift creates a bigger “hole” in the powerband that the engine has to compensate for. That hurts bottom-end torque. Any power gains you get from 1.6 rockers will be in the higher rpm range.

You may want to reconsider your Torker II intake manifold. It’s designed for engines operating from 2,500 to 6,500 rpm; since the Torker is a single plane design, it also offers limited off-idle response. Something like an Edelbrock Performer dual plane manifold, which makes power from just off-idle to 5,000 rpm, would be a much better choice.

This is another in a series of weekly Q&A Mailbag sessions with Summit Racing‘s tech department, in which there are hundreds more. Click here to see them all.

Share this Article