Installing a new camshaft is one of the most well-liked and efficient upgrades you can make to your car to increase horsepower. But how precisely does a camshaft increase horsepower, and how much benefit can you anticipate from this change? The function of camshafts in engines and the elements affecting the horsepower gains you can anticipate from a camshaft upgrade will both be thoroughly examined in this article.
What is a Camshaft and How Does it Work?
An internal combustion engine’s camshaft is a shaft that regulates the timing and length of the engine’s valves’ opening and closing. The engine’s crankshaft powers the camshaft, which regulates the timing of the intake and exhaust valves using a set of gears and timing belts.
Overhead camshafts (OHC) and pushrod camshafts are the two primary types of camshafts. Pushrod camshafts are located in the engine block and use pushrods to actuate the valves, as opposed to OHC camshafts, which are placed directly above the valves.
When and how long the engine’s valves are open depends on the size and duration of the camshaft’s lobes, which are the raised portions of the camshaft that make contact with the valves. This in turn has an impact on the volume of fuel and air injected into the engine as well as the volume of exhaust gases released.
How Camshafts Affect Horsepower
The engine’s camshaft is a key factor in determining the engine’s output of power. By allowing more fuel and air into the engine, as well as by increasing compression, a high-performance camshaft can increase horsepower. As a result, the engine produces more power and the combustion process is more effective.
The effects of various camshaft types on horsepower will vary. For instance, racing camshafts are made to maximize the engine’s airflow and compression in order to produce more horsepower. Contrarily, street camshafts are made to produce more horsepower while still retaining good low-end torque and maneuverability.
Factors That Determine How Much Horsepower a Camshaft Adds
While an upgraded camshaft can increase horsepower, the precise gains you can anticipate will depend on a number of variables. Among the most crucial factors to take into account are:
Engine size and compression ratio: The potential for horsepower gains from a camshaft upgrade increases with engine size and compression ratio.
Other engine modifications: Other engine modifications, such as exhaust systems and carburetors, can influence the horsepower gains from a camshaft upgrade.
Driving technique and vehicle use: The horsepower gains from a camshaft upgrade will also depend on how you drive and use your car. For instance, if you mostly drive on the highway rather than the racetrack, a high-performance camshaft might not be as useful to you.
Camshaft Upgrades and Installation
The cylinder head of the engine must typically be removed in order to complete the fairly complicated process of installing a new camshaft. This indicates that most people cannot complete the task themselves and must hire a mechanic or engine builder.
The kind of camshaft you select and the cost of labor will affect the price of a camshaft upgrade. For instance, street camshafts are less expensive than racing camshafts, which can be quite pricey. It’s also important to keep in mind that a camshaft upgrade might necessitate additional engine changes, such as upgrading the valve springs, in order to properly support the new camshaft’s increased lift and duration. The price of the installation may increase as a result of these extra upgrades.
Although a camshaft upgrade can increase horsepower, there may also be some negative effects to take into account. The possibility of a high-performance camshaft lowering fuel efficiency is one of the most important. A high-performance camshaft can also put the engine under additional stress, which over time may result in increased wear and tear.
A new camshaft installation is a great way to increase your car’s horsepower. However, a number of variables, such as engine size, compression ratio, and other engine modifications, will affect the actual gains you can anticipate. Additionally, changing to a new camshaft can be expensive and have an adverse effect on fuel economy and engine longevity.
To ascertain whether this modification is appropriate for you, do your research and speak with professionals before deciding to upgrade to a new camshaft. Before deciding on a camshaft, it’s important to weigh the potential advantages against the potential disadvantages. With the right camshaft, you can anticipate seeing significant horsepower gains.