How to Cammed a Car: Master the Art of Performance Upgrades

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To cam a car, follow these steps: research and choose a camshaft, disassemble the engine, remove the old camshaft, install and accurately time the new camshaft, and reassemble the engine. Camming a car involves selecting and installing a new camshaft in the engine to optimize performance.

By carefully choosing a camshaft and following the correct procedures for installation, you can achieve increased power and improved engine efficiency. This process requires some mechanical knowledge and precision, but with the right tools and instructions, camming a car can be a rewarding project for car enthusiasts.

We will guide you through the steps involved in camming a car, helping you enhance your car’s performance and driving experience.

Understanding Performance Upgrades

When it comes to enhancing the performance of your car, performance upgrades play a crucial role. These upgrades can transform an average car into a high-performing machine, providing you with an exhilarating driving experience. Understanding the different factors that influence car performance and the various types of performance upgrades available is the key to unlocking the full potential of your vehicle.

Factors Influencing Car Performance

Several factors significantly impact the performance of a car. By recognizing these factors, you can make informed decisions about which upgrades are best suited for your needs. Here are some of the key factors to consider:

  • 1. Engine Power: The power output of the engine plays a crucial role in determining the overall performance of a car. Upgrading the engine can unleash additional horsepower and torque.
  • 2. Weight Reduction: The weight of the car directly affects its acceleration, handling, and fuel efficiency. By reducing the weight through strategic modifications, you can enhance the car’s performance.
  • 3. Aerodynamics: Improving the aerodynamic efficiency of a car can minimize drag and improve stability at high speeds, resulting in better performance.
  • 4. Suspension and Handling: Upgrading the suspension system can enhance cornering, stability, and overall handling characteristics of the car.
  • 5. Traction and Tires: The type and quality of tires greatly impact traction, grip, and acceleration, especially in high-performance cars.

Types of Performance Upgrades

Performance upgrades come in various forms, each catering to specific aspects of car performance. Depending on your requirements and budget, you can choose from the following types of upgrades:

  1. 1. Engine Modifications: Upgrading the engine components such as increasing the compression ratio, installing a turbocharger or supercharger, or optimizing the intake and exhaust systems can significantly boost engine performance.
  2. 2. Suspension Upgrades: Enhancing the suspension system by replacing stock components with performance-oriented ones, like sport-tuned springs or adjustable dampers, can improve handling and stability.
  3. 3. Brake System Upgrades: Upgrading the braking system with high-performance brake pads, rotors, and calipers can enhance stopping power and improve overall safety.
  4. 4. Exhaust System Upgrades: Installing a high-performance exhaust system not only improves engine efficiency but also enhances the car’s sound and aesthetics.
  5. 5. ECU Tuning: Electronic Control Unit (ECU) tuning involves optimizing the engine’s software to extract maximum performance while maintaining reliability.

By understanding these factors influencing car performance and the various types of upgrades available, you can make informed choices to enhance your car’s capabilities. Whether you’re seeking improved acceleration, better handling, or increased power output, performance upgrades can take your car to new heights.

Choosing The Right Camshaft

Choosing the right camshaft is crucial when it comes to maximizing performance and power in your car. The camshaft plays a vital role in determining the overall performance of your engine, making it a key component in any performance upgrade. In this section, we will explore the role of the camshaft in performance upgrades and discuss the factors you need to consider when selecting the right camshaft for your car.

Role of the Camshaft in Performance Upgrades

The camshaft is responsible for controlling the opening and closing of the engine’s intake and exhaust valves. It plays a critical role in determining the duration and timing of these valve events, which directly affects the engine’s power and torque output. By selecting the right camshaft, you can achieve improvements in horsepower, torque, and overall engine performance.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Camshaft

When choosing a camshaft for your car, there are several factors you need to consider to ensure optimal performance. These factors include:
  1. Intended Use: Consider how you intend to use your car. Are you looking for better low-end torque for street driving, or do you want high-end power for racing? Determining your car’s primary use will help you select a camshaft that is suitable for your specific needs.
  2. Camshaft Profile: The camshaft profile refers to the duration and lift of the cam lobes. A cam with a longer duration and higher lift will typically provide more power at higher RPMs but may sacrifice low-end torque. On the other hand, a cam with a shorter duration and lower lift will provide better low-end torque but may limit high-end power. Consider your engine’s compression ratio and the RPM range you want to optimize when selecting the camshaft profile.
  3. Valve Springs: Upgrading your valve springs is often necessary when installing a performance camshaft. The increased lift and duration of the camshaft can put added stress on the valve springs, so it’s important to ensure they are up to the task. Consult with a knowledgeable engine builder or camshaft manufacturer to determine the appropriate valve springs for your camshaft.
  4. Fuel Injection and Engine Management: If your car is equipped with a fuel-injected engine, you’ll need to consider how the camshaft will affect fuel delivery and engine management. A more aggressive camshaft may require tuning adjustments or the installation of aftermarket fuel injectors or engine management systems.
  5. Compatibility: Lastly, it’s essential to ensure that the camshaft you choose is compatible with the rest of your engine components. Factors such as piston-to-valve clearance, cylinder head compatibility, and valvetrain components should all be considered to ensure a proper fit and reliable operation.
By carefully considering these factors and consulting with experts or camshaft manufacturers, you can choose a camshaft that is tailored to your car’s specific needs. Remember, selecting the right camshaft allows you to unleash the full potential of your engine and enjoy improved performance and power on the road or track.

Preparing For Camshaft Installation

Camshaft installation is a crucial step in optimizing the performance of your car’s engine. To ensure a successful camshaft installation, it is essential to properly prepare your car’s engine and gather the necessary tools and equipment. In this section, we will walk you through the steps of preparing for camshaft installation.

Gathering necessary tools and equipment

Before you start the camshaft installation process, it is crucial to have all the necessary tools and equipment at hand. This ensures a smooth and uninterrupted installation process. Here are the tools and equipment you will need:

Tools Equipment
  • Socket wrench set
  • Torque wrench
  • Screwdriver set
  • Camshaft installation tool
  • Camshaft locking tool
  • Feeler gauges
  • Camshaft break-in lube
  • Engine hoist
  • Engine stand
  • New camshaft
  • New lifters
  • New valve springs
  • New pushrods
  • New gaskets
  • New camshaft retaining plate

Preparing the car’s engine for installation

Once you have gathered all the necessary tools and equipment, it is time to prepare your car’s engine for camshaft installation. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth installation:

  1. Disconnect the battery to prevent any electrical accidents during the installation process.
  2. Secure the car’s engine onto an engine stand using an engine hoist.
  3. Remove the valve covers, intake manifold, and any other components obstructing access to the camshaft.
  4. Remove the old camshaft, lifters, valve springs, pushrods, and other components that need to be replaced.
  5. Thoroughly clean the engine block, cylinder heads, and other mating surfaces to ensure a clean and smooth installation.
  6. Apply a thin layer of camshaft break-in lube to the lobes and journals of the new camshaft.
  7. Install the new camshaft, ensuring it aligns with the camshaft retaining plate.
  8. Install the new lifters, valve springs, pushrods, and other components according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  9. Reinstall the valve covers, intake manifold, and any other components that were removed.

By following these steps and properly preparing for camshaft installation, you can ensure that your car’s engine performs optimally and delivers the power and torque it is capable of.

Installing The Camshaft

One of the essential steps in camming a car is installing the camshaft. The camshaft plays a crucial role in controlling the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves, ultimately determining the engine’s performance. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of camshaft installation, along with some common challenges you may encounter and how to overcome them.

Step-by-step guide to camshaft installation

Follow these steps to successfully install a camshaft in your car:

  1. Prepare the necessary tools and equipment: Before you begin, make sure you have the required tools such as a socket set, wrenches, torque wrench, and camshaft installation kit.
  2. Remove the old camshaft: Start by disconnecting the battery and draining the coolant. Then, remove the necessary components such as the valve covers, rocker arms, and timing chain or belt.
  3. Clean the engine parts: Thoroughly clean the engine components where the camshaft will be installed. Removing any dirt or debris is crucial to ensure a smooth and precise installation.
  4. Inspect the new camshaft: Before installing the new camshaft, carefully inspect it for any damage or defects. Check for proper timing marks and ensure it matches the specifications of your vehicle.
  5. Apply assembly lubricant: Apply a thin layer of assembly lubricant to the camshaft lobes, journals, and bearings. This will help reduce friction during the initial startup of the engine.
  6. Install the camshaft: Carefully slide the camshaft into the engine block, ensuring that it aligns with the timing marks and properly engages with the camshaft bearings.
  7. Reassemble the engine: In the reverse order of disassembly, reattach the valve covers, rocker arms, timing chain or belt, and other components that were previously removed.
  8. Check and adjust valve clearances: Once the camshaft is installed, it is crucial to check and adjust the valve clearances to ensure proper operation and prevent any valve-to-piston interference.
  9. Reconnect the battery and refill fluids: Finally, reconnect the battery and refill any fluids that were drained, such as coolant and engine oil. Double-check for any leaks and ensure everything is properly tightened.

Common challenges and how to overcome them

While installing a camshaft, you may face some challenges. Here are a few common ones and how you can overcome them:

Challenge Solution
Tight valve clearances Double-check the specifications for valve clearances and adjust them accordingly. If necessary, use shims or adjustable rocker arms to achieve the correct clearance.
Misalignment of timing marks Carefully align the timing marks on the camshaft and crankshaft gears. Use a timing light to ensure precise alignment, and refer to the vehicle’s service manual for the correct procedures.
Insufficient lubrication Ensure that you use the proper assembly lubricant during installation. Additionally, make sure the engine has adequate oil pressure before starting it to prevent damage to the camshaft and other engine components.

By following this step-by-step guide and being aware of potential challenges, you can successfully install a camshaft in your car. Remember to always refer to your vehicle’s service manual and consult with a professional if needed. With the right tools, knowledge, and attention to detail, you can enhance your car’s performance through camming.

Tuning And Calibration

When it comes to camming a car, tuning and calibration are essential steps that cannot be overlooked. After installing a new camshaft, optimizing the engine’s performance is crucial to ensure its power potential is fully realized. Tuning involves adjusting various parameters of the engine to enhance its efficiency and output, while calibration fine-tunes these adjustments to achieve an optimal balance.

Importance of tuning after camshaft installation

Tuning after installing a new camshaft is vital for several reasons. Firstly, the new camshaft alters the engine’s timing, which affects the combustion process. Without proper tuning, this change in timing may lead to poor engine performance, decreased power, and even engine damage. Secondly, tuning ensures that the fuel and air mixture is properly optimized to match the new camshaft’s characteristics. A well-calibrated fuel and air mixture allows for efficient combustion, which translates into improved power and overall performance.

Different tuning methods and techniques

There are various methods and techniques used for tuning a car after camshaft installation. Let’s explore some of these:

  1. Dyno tuning: Dyno tuning involves running the vehicle on a dynamometer, which allows for precise measurement and adjustment of engine parameters. By analyzing real-time data, the tuner can make tailored adjustments to optimize performance.
  2. Chip tuning: Chip tuning, also known as remapping, involves modifying the vehicle’s engine control unit (ECU) software to adjust fuel delivery, ignition timing, and other parameters. This method allows for significant flexibility in customizing the engine performance.
  3. Custom tuning: Custom tuning is a highly personalized approach where a professional tuner uses specialized software to make specific adjustments based on the vehicle’s unique setup and the owner’s preferences. This method ensures precise optimization for maximum performance.
  4. Baseline tuning: Baseline tuning involves establishing a starting point for the engine’s parameters. This typically involves adjusting air-fuel mixture, ignition timing, and other settings to achieve a conservative yet reliable setup. From there, further fine-tuning can be done to achieve the desired level of performance.

It is worth noting that tuning a car after camshaft installation requires expertise and specialized tools. Consulting with a professional tuner or mechanic is recommended to ensure the best results and avoid potential engine issues.

How to Cammed a Car: Master the Art of Performance Upgrades


Performance Testing

How to Cam a Car – Performance Testing

Performance testing is a crucial step when it comes to camming a car. It allows you to accurately measure and analyze the performance improvements made to your vehicle. By understanding the significance of car dyno testing and how to measure and analyze performance improvements, you can ensure that your cammed car is maximizing its potential on the road.

Car Dyno Testing and Its Significance

Car dyno testing is an essential part of performance testing. It involves placing your cammed car on a dynamometer, which measures the engine’s power, torque, and other relevant parameters. This testing allows you to quantify the improvements made through camming and get an accurate representation of your car’s performance.

Measuring and Analyzing Performance Improvements

Once you have conducted the car dyno testing, it’s important to measure and analyze the performance improvements in a systematic manner. This helps you determine the effectiveness of the camming modifications and make any necessary adjustments.

Significant Metrics to Measure

When measuring performance improvements, there are several significant metrics to consider:

  • Power Output: Measure the increase in horsepower and torque achieved through camming.
  • Acceleration: Analyze the improvements in acceleration times, such as 0-60 mph or quarter-mile time.
  • Top Speed: Determine the increase in the car’s maximum achievable speed.
  • Fuel Efficiency: Assess if there are any changes in fuel consumption, considering the modifications made.
  • Engine Response: Evaluate how camming affects the car’s throttle response and overall drivability.
  • Exhaust Emissions: Measure if there are any changes in emissions, ensuring compliance with regulations.

Interpreting the Results

To derive meaningful insights from the measured metrics, it’s essential to compare them against baseline data taken before camming. This allows you to gauge the actual improvements achieved. Keep in mind that different modifications may have varying impacts on performance, so thorough analysis is required.

Making Adjustments if Necessary

If the performance improvements do not meet your expectations, it may be necessary to make further modifications or adjustments to your camming setup. Consult with experts or experienced car enthusiasts to ensure you’re optimizing your car’s performance.

In conclusion, performance testing, including car dyno testing and analyzing the measured metrics, is crucial when camming a car. It provides you with the necessary information to determine the effectiveness of your modifications and make any adjustments for optimal performance. Take the time to understand these processes, and you’ll be able to unleash the full potential of your cammed car on the road.

Maintenance And Upkeep

Maintenance and upkeep are crucial when it comes to cammed cars. Proper maintenance ensures that your car runs smoothly and maximizes its performance. In this section, we will discuss some key tips for properly maintaining a cammed car and preventing common issues that may arise.

Proper maintenance of a cammed car

1. Regular oil changes: Regular oil changes are essential for all vehicles, especially cammed cars. The camshaft and related components rely on a constant supply of clean oil for proper lubrication. Changing the oil at recommended intervals helps prevent premature wear and damage to these vital parts.

2. Monitoring fluid levels: In addition to oil changes, it is crucial to monitor other fluid levels in your cammed car. This includes transmission fluid, coolant, brake fluid, and power steering fluid. Keeping these fluids at the recommended levels will help ensure proper functionality and prevent potential problems.

3. Inspecting belts and hoses: Belts and hoses play a significant role in the operation of a cammed car. Regularly inspecting them for signs of wear, cracks, or leaks is essential. Replace any worn-out belts or hoses promptly to prevent more extensive damage and potential breakdowns.

4. Checking spark plugs: Spark plugs are vital for the ignition process in an engine. Inspecting and replacing them at recommended intervals will help maintain optimal engine performance. Clean and properly functioning spark plugs contribute to better fuel efficiency and power.

5. Regularly inspecting and cleaning the air filter: A clean air filter is essential for proper airflow and optimal engine performance. Regularly inspecting and cleaning or replacing the air filter will help prevent damage to the engine and improve fuel efficiency.

Tips for preventing common issues and maximizing performance

1. Avoid excessive idling: Excessive idling can lead to overheating and increase wear and tear on engine components. Minimize idling periods and give your car a chance to cool down after long periods of driving.

2. Warm-up and cool-down periods: When starting your cammed car, allow it to warm up for a few minutes before driving. Similarly, let it cool down for a few minutes before shutting off the engine. This practice helps maintain proper oil circulation and extends the life of engine components.

3. Regularly monitor and adjust the tune: A cammed car often requires a custom tune to optimize performance. Regularly monitoring and adjusting the tune, if needed, will help ensure the engine is running at its best.

4. Be mindful of the operating temperature: Cammed cars may run at higher temperatures due to the increased performance demands. Keep an eye on the temperature gauge and promptly address any overheating issues to prevent engine damage.

5. Follow recommended maintenance intervals: Each cammed car may have specific maintenance requirements. Refer to your car’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance intervals to keep your vehicle in optimal condition.

By following these maintenance tips and guidelines, you can keep your cammed car running smoothly, prevent common issues, and maximize its performance. Remember, regular maintenance is the key to a happy and healthy cammed car!

Troubleshooting And Faqs

Camming a car can be an exciting and rewarding upgrade for car enthusiasts. However, it is not uncommon to encounter a few hiccups along the way. In this section, we will address some common troubleshooting problems that can arise when camming a car and answer frequently asked questions to help you tackle these issues head-on.

Troubleshooting common problems

Camming a car involves making modifications to the engine’s camshaft, which can impact performance and may result in certain challenges. Here are a few common problems you might encounter:

1. Engine misfire or rough idle

If you notice that your engine is misfiring or idling roughly after camming, this could be a sign of improper camshaft installation or timing. Double-check the camshaft timing marks and make sure they align correctly with the manufacturer’s specifications. Additionally, it’s crucial to ensure that any air or vacuum leaks are properly sealed to prevent issues with idle quality.

2. Loss of low-end torque

Some camshaft upgrades are designed to enhance high-rpm performance, but they can result in a loss of low-end torque. If you experience a reduction in low-end power, consider choosing a camshaft with a wider powerband or modifying other components such as intake and exhaust systems to optimize low-end performance.

3. Overheating

An aftermarket camshaft may influence the engine’s cooling system and lead to increased temperatures. To mitigate overheating issues, ensure that the cooling system is functioning properly, including the radiator, water pump, and thermostat. Upgrading to a larger radiator or adding an aftermarket cooling fan can also help dissipate the extra heat generated by the camshaft upgrade.

Frequently asked questions about camming a car

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding camming a car:

  1. Q: How can I determine the right camshaft for my car?
    A: The right camshaft depends on your car’s specific needs and intended usage. Factors such as the engine type, intended power range, and driving conditions should be considered. Consulting with an experienced mechanic or engine tuner can help you identify the ideal camshaft for your car.
  2. Q: Do I need to upgrade other components when installing a performance camshaft?
    A: Upgrading other components, such as the valve springs, lifters, pushrods, and exhaust system, is often recommended to ensure optimal performance and reliability. These components work in synergy with the camshaft and help maximize its potential.
  3. Q: Can camming a car negatively affect fuel efficiency?
    A: Yes, depending on the specific camshaft profile and the modifications made, fuel efficiency may be slightly reduced. It’s important to strike a balance between performance gains and fuel economy by choosing a camshaft that suits your driving preferences.
  4. Q: Do I need to reprogram the engine’s computer (ECU) after a camshaft upgrade?
    A: In many cases, it is advisable to recalibrate the engine’s computer to optimize performance and ensure proper engine management. This can be done by reflashing the ECU or using aftermarket tuning solutions.

By troubleshooting common problems and addressing frequently asked questions, you can navigate the world of camming a car with confidence. Remember to consult with professionals in the field to ensure a successful and satisfying camshaft upgrade experience.

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Cammed A Car

What Does Camming Do To A Car?

Camming, or installing a performance camshaft, can improve a car’s engine performance by altering the timing of the valves. This modification increases power and torque throughout the RPM range, resulting in better acceleration and overall performance.

How Much Does It Cost To Cammed A Car?

Cammed car costs vary based on factors like car model and engine. Expect to spend around $500-$2000 for the camshaft and additional expenses for professional installation and tuning.

Can You Daily Drive A Cammed Car?

Yes, you can daily drive a cammed car. However, be aware that it may affect fuel efficiency and create a more aggressive driving experience. Regular maintenance and careful driving are important to ensure the car’s longevity and reliability.

Is It Hard To Cam An Engine?

Caming an engine might be challenging, but not impossible. It requires expertise and precision in adjusting the camshaft’s timing and profile to enhance performance.


To sum up, camming a car is a technical process that can greatly enhance its performance. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can ensure that your car runs smoothly and efficiently. Regular maintenance and proper installation of the camshaft are vital for achieving optimal results.

So, get ready to experience a whole new level of driving satisfaction with a cammed car!

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