All engines that burn fuel have a camshaft. But a lot of people replace them with models that were made by someone else.
By replacing them with parts made by a third party, you can make your engine run faster.
But will a new camshaft give you more horsepower? How much, if so?
The size of the boost depends on how much power your engine already has. Most of the time, a camshaft will add 10 to 20 HP. You can give the car even more power by also upgrading its intake and exhaust.
Most of the time, a stage 2 cam will add about 25% more power to your engine. And a stage 3 model can add up to 40% more to it. Each model comes with its own pros and cons.
So, each person has to decide for themselves whether or not the upgrade is worth it.
What Does A Camshaft Do?
When you put a camshaft in your engine, what does it do?
If you know how engines work in general, it’s not hard to figure out how cams work. When fuel is injected into the pistons, they have to make sure the valves stay open.
Keeping them open longer lets more fuel into the chamber where the fuel is burned.
The camshaft of your engine is connected to something called the crankshaft. When your engine is running, these two parts work together. They are both important parts of the timing chain in the engine.
The cam works by changing the energy of rotation into energy that moves along a line. To do this, it rests on a piece of metal that moves.
As this metal turns in a circle, it lifts the cam. The cam opens a valve when the metal is at the top of its rotation.
This is the intake stage, which is when fuel goes into the engine. After fuel and air are mixed, they are pushed together in the pistons.
At the top of each piston are several cams.
When they’re at the top of their circle, they’ll open them. At the same time, they work against the crankshafts of the engine.
For the engine to work, the crankshaft and camshaft must work together. If you don’t, you’ll mess up its timing chain, which will make it stop working.
Your engine could have two or four camshafts for each piston. Most of the time, each of them will have the same number of cams.
So, if you want to improve the engine, you’d have to replace all of them.
Why a Camshaft Can Increase Horse Power
Now we know how the cam in the engine works. Still, that doesn’t explain why upgrading them can make an engine run faster.
Because of how the fuel and cam are mixed, the power of an engine goes up after the cam is changed. When the engine’s valves are opened, bigger cams keep them open longer.
The more fuel can get into the combustion chamber, the longer your valves stay open.
Adding more fuel makes the combustion stronger, which makes your engine’s HP go up.
One great thing about new cams is that they don’t mess up the timing of your engine. A well-made one keeps the valves open longer without changing anything else.
That’s how they can make your engine run better and have more power.
Changes to the camshaft can only add so much power, though. Once you put in new ones, they won’t make much of a difference in power.
Because the fuel injectors in the engine limit how fast they can go.
Your cams can keep the valves open longer, but the injectors will still be needed to supply fuel. You can add even more power to your engine by getting new injectors.
You might as well get new valves if you’re going to do that.
Adding new injectors to a new cam could make a big difference. The cams would keep the valves open longer.
Also, with new injectors, more fuel would be pushed into the chamber while it’s open.
Adding a new cam isn’t usually the best way to boost an engine’s power for the least amount of money. To really notice a difference, you’ll have to replace more than just that part.
Does the Camshaft Stage Affect Power Changes?
There are different stages of camshafts. How they work in the engine is shown by where they are placed. Most of them are in stage 1, but not all.
A stage 1 cam will only give your engine about 10 more horsepower. At best, adding a stage 1 cam will give you an extra nearly 20 HP.
By adding a stage 2 cam, you can get a much bigger boost.
These also need a new intake and exhaust system. After you put them in, you’ll have to reprogram the ECU. If you’ve done all of those things, your HP might go up by 25%.
Even more horsepower can be added with a stage 3 cam than with a stage 2 cam.
To add a new one, you have to make all of the changes from stages 1 and 2. Then you’ll have to finish the engine’s big bore. At that point, you can finish adding a stage 3 cam.
You can also change the timing of the cam to see how that changes how well your car runs.
When the RPMs are low, if you speed them up, the power usually goes up. When you’re going fast, slower cams tend to give you more power.
Camshaft Replacement Cost
How much it costs to replace a cam depends on what kind of car you have. You can expect to pay between $200 and $500 per cam.
If you want to improve the whole engine, you’ll have to replace more than one part.
You can save some money by doing the upgrades yourself. But you have to make sure you have enough time to get everything done. It’s not a hard project, but it does take some time.
We suggest that you call a few nearby shops and ask them how much it would cost to upgrade yours.
When you upgrade all the cams at once, many of them will give you a discount. So, if you do them all at once, you might not have to spend as much.
Is It Worth Upgrading the Camshaft?
Upgrading your cams will cost you more money than other projects. But the power of your engine will only get a small boost.
So, if you only want power, we think you should work on something else. Even changing the fuel injectors could make a bigger difference.
There are, however, a few reasons why it might be a good idea to replace the cams. It would be worth it if you like how engines sound when they have big cams.
Having a set of big cams lowers the pitch of the engine, making it sound deeper. We’ve always loved how big cams in a truck’s engine make it sound.
So, if you are also a fan, you would love this project.