Updated at: 12-08-2022 - By: Lucas

We’ve all been in a scenario where we wanted more power from the engine. Any additional displacement or power is always welcome, regardless of how much currently exists.

Camshaft replacement is a common topic of discussion in online forums and YouTube videos. In theory, it makes sense because installing a performance camshaft has been shown to boost output, but how much more output does it add?

While it is true that camshafts enhance horsepower, the gain is often less than 10% and is only 10-20 horsepower. It is impossible to get the 50 to 100 horsepower increase without other modifications, such as Stage 1 and Stage 2 changes.

We’ll go over how camshafts function, why upgrading to a high-performance model is beneficial, and how to get even more horsepower out of your car in this post. If you’d like to learn more, keep reading!

How Does The Camshaft Work?

How Much HP Does A Cam Add

Depending on your preference, the engine’s camshaft can be found at the top or bottom of the engine. The valves are opened and closed in perfect sync thanks to a series of highly machined cams.

A pushrod cam system consists of a camshaft placed near the bottom of the engine block. To operate the valves, a camshaft pulls a series of rods toward the engine’s intake and exhaust ports.

An overhead camshaft is one in which the camshaft is placed at the very top of the engine. A dual overhead camshaft is a system that has two camshafts, one for the exhaust valve and one for the intake valve, which is why you’ve heard of it before.

Four sets of four cams, one for each exhaust and intake valves, make up a 16-valve four-cylinder engine, which has four sets of four cams on its camshaft. In a dual cam design, there are two camshafts, each having eight cams, and each has eight cams.

Does The Camshaft Affect Power?

A mixture of air and gasoline is ignited in the engine once it has been combined and compressed. It is possible to increase the amount of oxygen in the combustion mixture by altering the camshaft, which is responsible for the opening and closing of the intake valve.

Camshaft longevity, power, and fuel economy are all guaranteed by the factory camshaft. Because a high-performance camshaft doesn’t impact the amount of gasoline injected into the cylinder, it only results in an increase of 10 to 20 horsepower.

It’s a never-ending cycle of modifications to get greater power from the engine. The fuel injectors will act as a stumbling block for the new camshaft. You’ll need better valves if you add better fuel injectors to your vehicle. In order to supply and exhaust all of the air, you’ll need a better intake and exhaust manifold when you swap them out. It’s possible to obtain a 50-to-100-horsepower bump after all of that, but it’s debatable whether or not the entire improvement was worthwhile.

How To Replace The Camshaft

How Much HP Does A Cam Add-2

A lot of what I’ve written about DIY maintenance and repairs may be found in my guides. It is also apparent that I don’t teach anything new, or at least something that I don’t know how to explain.

A bespoke camshaft necessitates a more complicated procedure than simply replacing the camshaft itself. A trustworthy mechanic can tell you if the camshaft you’ve found is suitable for your vehicle. Using this article, you will learn just how much work and skill is required to replace the camshaft.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace The Camshaft?

According to the make and model of the car, the price of an aftermarket camshaft varies. The typical price range is between $200 to $600, however the most expensive models can easily reach the thousands of dollars. In addition to the camshaft, you may get kits that include all the other parts that you can replace. Mechanics can charge $1000 2000 in labor fees because the task is extremely time-consuming and difficult.

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Should You Swap The Camshaft

How Much HP Does A Cam Add-3

If you’re driving an older vehicle, replacing the camshaft only for the purpose of increasing horsepower is an extremely expensive and wasteful solution.

The powertrain degrades over time as a result of wear and dirt/carbon buildup. Adding gasoline additives and cleaning the system manually will restore more power to the engine than installing a new camshaft.

If you must replace the camshaft, you might as well go with a high-performance aftermarket option rather than the more expensive factory option.

If you want to increase the engine’s output, you should consider upgrading various components, from the intake to the exhaust, all at once. First, you can remove the exhaust catalytic converter and replace it with an aftermarket exhaust manifold, if doing so is permitted under the laws of your home state.

So removing as much pollution as you can legally do will help the engine breathe better and produce more power. In this essay, we go into great detail on the subject.


How much HP does a Stage 2 camshaft add?

Update the camshaft, but you also need to upgrade the intake and exhaust systems and reprogram the ECU to complete Stage 1 before you can go to Stage 2. The engine’s output can be increased by 20 to 25 percent after both stages have been finished.

How much HP does a Stage 3 cam add?

You’ll need Stage 1 and Stage 2 modifications, as well as a minor big bore of the engine, in order to reach Stage 3 and gain up to 40% more power than the factory arrangement.

Does a camshaft increase horsepower?

Yes, depending on the engine configuration, a camshaft can provide 10 to 20 horsepower. Additional parts such as the air intake, exhaust manifold, injectors, and valve heads must be replaced in order to maximize the high-performance camshaft’s capability.


The cost of a new camshaft is prohibitive because it cannot be easily installed at home, and the resulting increase in power is negligible. Until you need to replace the factory one, I recommend waiting to change your camshaft. While you’re at it, you can also upgrade a few other components to acquire the extra power you desire. Even with a high-performance camshaft, you won’t get more than a 10% improvement in power.