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Cams or Long Tubes?

2914 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  jlee910
Hey guys I'm currently debating over long tubes or cams. I'm after an old school muscle car growl, and so far I just have the Flowmaster Outlaws. I think they sound great, but not as deep/rumble as I hoped for. However they're loud, and I'm worried they might be too loud if I got long tubes. Do you think they would be way to loud with high flow cats + kooks long tubes? I can keep the outlaws pretty mild as it is now.

I'm thinking if I get long tubes and they're too loud, I could get a less aggressive muffler and get some cut outs xD

Also would cams add a deeper rumble? I know they make it sound loopy, but It's hard to tell in videos if the sound is deeper or not.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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The cams shouldn't make any difference in tone or loudness but will add lope like you stated. The LT's w/ high flow cats or off-road mid pipe will give it a much different sound and will make it louder. I would do the LT's and then if it's too loud for your taste you can tone it down with a more mild muffler.
Cams will only make the engine sound more lopey at idle, but LT headers will make the exhaust sound more throaty especially under acceleration. LT's will also add torque across the rpm range, whereas cams will only improve performance above ~4500rpm and you'll lose some at lower rpm.
Answer: do BOTH!
As mentioned, cams will not affect the rumble/sound, just the lope at idle and power at higher rpms.
I loved the sound of my American Racing Headers (full-length long tubes; and they are for sale), along with an o/r x-pipe and borla mufflers. Was a little loud to some people, but sounded great when I got on it.
Then lopey cams with it, sweet!
I haven't done cams on my 06, but on my 88 5.0 302 I did cams. I already had Long Tubes, so the cam was the only change. It got noticeably louder with the cam - makes sense, more flow, more noise. Not sure on the 4.6, but in my mind if you increase flow (cams open up more) you get more noise.

Anyhow, I hope to get both done to my 06.
Answer: do BOTH!
LOL yeah, that would be great except that you'd need about $1000 for long tubes and about another $1000 for cams (with new phasers +/- cam followers). If you have $2000 burning a hole in your wallet go for it. :D
Headers would probably add more noticeable seat-of-the-pants power. Plus they sound awesome.

But, I have a feeling your suspicions of the outlaws being too loud is probably correct. The sound difference between stock cats and high flow cats is pretty big, and that's where most of the volume increase comes from.
I vote headers first. Generally, a good set of long tubes will add 15-20 hp and tq at the rear wheels throughout most of the power band and benefit any mod other than a turbo system. Cams are heavily benefited by being able to breathe and you won't see much gain over stock without at least a CAI and LTs.
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