Camshafts Explained

Camshaft and valve timing events must surely seem like a bunch of monkey motion on the surface. However, there is a motive and madness to how camshafts are engineered and, more specifically, how camshaft companies design and engineer them. Then, you as the enthusiast have to decide how to choose the right cam for your application.

The camshaft is a shaft with a series of eccentrics (lobes) along its centerline in various positions designed to open intake and exhaust valves in time with crankshaft and piston timing events. Springs are there to close the valves. Older engines with distributors will also have a distributor/oil pump drive gear along the camshaft at one end or the other. When the camshaft opens valves and for how long in time with piston timing events determines how the engine will behave and how much power it will make. Nothing affects an engine’s attitude more than camshaft profile and timing… read more >

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