How to Choose a Performance Camshaft

Many things will affect how a camshaft works in your engine. First, you need to understand how camshafts work at a basic level before you can compare numbers. With more knowledge, choosing the right camshaft is less like a guessing game and more like making a smart choice based on what you know about your engine.

How to Choose a Performance Camshaft. It’s important to choose the right camshaft.

They want their cars to look and sound good, no matter if they drive them every day or only on the street and the track. A choppy idle is the best thing to listen to when you’re pulling up to a stop sign. Race engines sound like this because they need to run at high RPMs. There must be more lift and more time on their camshafts so they can go faster. On a streetcar, one of the most common mistakes is to choose a camshaft that isn’t right for the engine. More valve lift and duration will, of course, raise the rpm. Getting the right camshaft for your car may get easier with practice, but it all comes down to finding the right balance between performance and how well your car runs.

When Choosing a Camshaft, think about these things:

Most high-performance cams for street use will have a lift between.450 and.550 inches, which is about right for most cars. But as you move up to more radical profiles, like.460-inches and up, you should also think about how much money you have for the project. To avoid coil bind, changes in clearance, or parts breaking down, high lift camshafts will need new valve springs, rocker arms, and pushrods. People with power brakes that need vacuum at idle or a stock transmission and converter likely don’t need a high lift cam. An engine with a camshaft that has.450 inches of lift, 110 degrees of lobe separation, and 218 duration at the.050-inch lift setting should still have an idle that is choppy and strong.

To choose the right camshaft, you need to think about more than just matching valvetrain parts and other parts in your car. The whole thing about the car is just as important. Most camshaft manufacturers will write down the best rpm range for each camshaft on the side of the camshaft. But you should also think about what you want to do with the car when you match the rpm range. People who drive cars have to think about things like what kind of transmission they have, how heavy their cars are, what kind of compression ratio they have, how big their tires are, and how much their rear-end gears are. So, it’s important to know what kind of car you want to build right away.

They told us what they thought about a ’32 Ford street rod and a ’55 Chevy. Somewhere around 2800 pounds, the 32 Ford had a 350 cubic-inch engine with 9:1 compression, and it was hooked up to a transmission with a 2200rpm stall and 3.50:1 gears. Street cams like the Comp 260H grind are good for mild cars. They have.440 inches of lift, 212 degrees of duration at.050-inch lift, and 110 degrees of lobe separation. There were 3,350 pounds on the ’55 Chevy. It had a 383 engine that had 10.5:1 compression. In this case, they said to use a Comp 292H grind with a lift of 0.501 inches. This grind has 244 duration at.50 inches lift, 110 degrees of lobe separation, and 244 duration at.50 inches lift.