Review & Install Video
Hey, what's going, on guys? Adam here with AmericanMuscle.com and today I'm bringing you a detailed review of the Comp Cams Stage 2, Xtreme Energy, XE268H Camshafts fitting all '96 to '04 GT Mustangs. So the Stage 2 XE268H Camshaft from Comp should be on the build list of all '96 to '04 GT owners out there looking to get a good gain in the low to mid-range in both horsepower and torque and also want to pick up a noticeable lope at idle.
Now, we all know that Comp is one of the most trusted names and really is the industry leader in valve train technology. So it's a no-brainer to look in their direction when shopping for camshafts. And when you're out there shopping, you're really looking to give your single overhead cam two valve motor and improve performance while giving it a nice sound at idle. So this particular Stage 2 cam from Comp is going to offer just that. With this Comp lets us know that you can expect performance gains all across the power band, starting from about 1600 RPMs all the way to about 5600, but you can expect the bulk of that performance gain to be somewhere in the mid to low range, like I said earlier.
Now looking at the details and specs of this, you can expect it to be a mild street performance cam giving you good power and a noticeable lope at idle without being overbearing with the rough idle you can expect from a Stage 4. Now, this particular cam will be for the 4.6 liter modified SN95s and will require a few extra parts for proper fitment and maximum performance. Now, Comp recommends picking up a set of Comp Cams Beehive valve springs to make sure you're not running in any clearance-related issues. And in addition to that, you should pick up a set of the valve spring retainers from them as well, just to make sure you're handling the high-pressure springs very properly, to handle all the pressure from the cams.
Now with that said, you want to factor all these extra parts into the price tag. So when you're shopping for cams, you can really almost double the price, which I'll talk about just a bit when shopping for these extra parts. Now, it's also a good idea to pick up a set of adjustable cam gears to really maximize the performance of your aftermarket camshafts in addition to all the stuff I just mentioned. Adjustable cam gears will allow you the ability to fine-tune your camshaft's timing, which is definitely beneficial when going with mods that alter or change your camshaft to crankshaft center line position.
Now, with all these parts together, you can really maximize the low to mid-range power. And to give you an idea of the power potential of the aftermarket cams, we have customer testimonials claiming 30 horsepower engaged to the wheels and 34 pounds of torque, with the rides pulling noticeably harder. And with that said, these gains are varying user to user, but those are the absolute maximum potential of the aftermarket cams I have here today.
Now, let me throw some numbers at you with the specs of these cams here I have today. Now, the Stage 2 cams, you can expect the duration at 50,000s of 230 on the intake side, and 236 on the exhaust side. Now, to compare these numbers to the stock numbers on the 4.6s, the non-PI head guys are looking at about 200 on the intake and 209 on the exhaust. For PI head guys, you're looking at about 201 on the intake, 210 on the exhaust. So you can definitely see the difference with the Stage 2 cams I have here in comparison to the 4.6-liter stock cams.
Now, the valve lift for the aftermarket cams on the intake and the exhaust side, you're looking at about 0.5 and a load lift at 0.274. Now, when looking at these numbers and specs, you can definitely see where the improvement comes from when comparing your stock cams to the Stage 2 XE268H Camshafts from Comp. And looking at these numbers, you can see where the power band improvements come from and the noticeable lope at idle. But you can also see that your pony will be a street-drivable car. Now, like I said earlier, just to reiterate, this is a mild street performance cam. Now, that's definitely one of the good things about it because you're definitely picking up a lot of decent power, you're picking up a noticeable classic muscle car sound, while at the same time keeping it street-drivable without having any issues. Now, with that said, it is geared for the guys, like I said earlier, for the 4.6s that are modified, something long tube headers, 323 to 355 gears. But I will say it doesn't require a computer retune. It is completely stock tune compatible, which is definitely one of the better things about this upgrade. Price-wise, it can get a little tricky depending on which route you take, but just for the cams alone, what you see on the table here with me today will cost you just about $600, which is pretty average when comparing it to all the other cam options on the market and the others from Comp.
Now, it ultimately comes down to what do you expect out of your cam. Now, first off you could be looking for a heavy maximization of power, a lot of gains to the wheels. On the other hand, you could just be looking for a heavy lopey rough idle. Now, in this case, you're really getting the best of both worlds. You're not going over-dramatic with the idle, but it's definitely noticeable, definitely there and you're picking up the gains at the low to mid-range power, which can benefit your power band and also to your wheels.
Now, if you factor into the price all the recommendations I mentioned earlier, you're looking at spending about $1,000, maybe even a little more, with the valve spring retainers, the valve springs themselves, and the adjustable cam gears. But that's really all to maximize the potential out of the Stage 2 cam that I have here today. Now, keep in mind you can do without the adjustable cam gears, but I will say it is highly recommended to maximize the performance. I know I keep saying that over and over, but with that in mind, that's where you really get the full potential out of the cams, but if you are trying to save some money, cut back on that $1,000 price, you could probably drop the adjustable cam gears and do just fine.
The installation is something you want to take into consideration when shopping for aftermarket cams because it will be labor-intensive and will require mechanical expertise. You have to remove the intake manifold, the valve covers, spark plugs, and crankshaft fully and really get into digging in. Now, with that said, if it's not something you feel comfortable doing yourself, there's definitely no shame in handing over to professionals to get done properly, but that will also tack into your cost and what you're spending for the cam shafts. The install can run somewhere between $500 to $1,000 in some cases, which gets pretty pricey.
Now, this is one of those jobs that will take a full day in the shop or in the driveway if you are doing yourself. I would absolutely give this a three out of three wrenches on the difficulty scale, making it something for the more experienced enthusiast. All right, guys, just to quickly wrap things up. If you're the owner of a '96 to '04 4.6 liter GT Mustang and you're looking for a way to maximize your low to mid-range power while also getting a noticeable idle and keeping your car street-friendly, then you might want to check out the Comp Cams Stage 2 Xtreme Energy XE268H Camshafts and all the maximizing components, all available right here at AmericanMuscle.com.