How do Camshafts or Custom Cams Affect Engine Performance?

custom camshafts for a ferrari


I was recently on vacation in Hawaii and while sitting in my resort Hotel room I noticed a car with custom cams rev their engine.  Even though this blog is dedicated to travel and hotel news I also love cars and how they work, so I am going to do one blog post about camshafts.

If you are thinking about enhancing the performance of your vehicle, some people will encourage you to make it lighter. Others will push you to tinker with the air filter and intake system. A few might even advise you to upgrade the exhaust system. But few of them will remember to mention the impact custom cams can have on your vehicle’s performance.

A camshaft is an important tool that has a significant role to play in the operations of your car. This is what you should know:

1). First of all, if you know anything about cars, then you know that an engine works by blending fuel and air, using the resulting explosion to drive the car, and expelling the waste through the exhaust. The air/fuel mixture enters the engine through valves.

2). Where does the camshaft fit in? The device has lobes called cams. When the camshaft rotates, the cams open and close the intake and exhaust valves. They coordinate their actions to match the movements of the piston.

camshafts and engine performance

3). The camshaft’s ability to open and close the valves in tandem with the strokes of the piston matters. If the engine is running at a high RPM, the piston will move just as quickly which means that the valves must open and close with the same expediency to keep up with the speed at which the air/fuel mixture is rushing into the cylinder.

The valves cannot close too early. If they do, the mixture won’t enter the cylinder. If you are running the engine at a high RPM and high energy, the intake valves must remain open a little longer than normal to permit the mixture to reach its destination.

This is the work a camshaft does. It must keep the valve open for longer periods at high speeds. It must also open the valves wider. This is the only way to accommodate the demands of the engine.

4). If the camshaft does its work appropriately (opening the valves wider and keeping them open for longer), it will enhance the horsepower, giving your vehicle greater acceleration. This is why custom cams are so popular. They are expensive but they are capable of accommodating the demands of more powerful engines, allowing the vehicles in question to achieve their true potential on the road.

camshafts enhance muscle cars

5). You have to take the shape of the lobe into account. It will determine how quickly the valves open, the duration they remain open, and when they open and close. Mechanical experts can manipulate the shape and measurements of the lobe to squeeze the best performance out of your engine.

6). The lobes will eventually wear out. Once this happens, your engine’s performance will deteriorate because the valves do not open as wide or stay open as long as you need them to. You have to keep this in mind. Some people struggle to identify the source of the poor performance of their vehicles because they do not realize that the lobes can wear out. The camshaft, as a whole, can also break. Once this happens, your engine will stop working.