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The History of Cams (Camshafts)

Performance Parts for Gas and Diesel Engines

While sitting in church my mind went to a love of mine. The automobile and engine performance. Now I know this blog is dedicated to church news and events, but I thought there are other people who love GOD and car engines so I thought why not?

Not everyone knows their way around an engine, but when you talk to people about different parts of different engines you notice that they know even less. If you are one of those people who think that they know less about engines or motors in general you are in luck. Today we will guide you through the history of camshafts. Here are the main points that we will touch upon today:

1 Camshaft Basics

2 The Genesis of Camshafts

3 Towards The Modern Camshaft

Let us take a closer look

1 Camshaft Basics

The lobes on the cam are the most important factor that determines how well it works. Based on their design, it will help introduce air in and exhaust out. The faster it rotates, the faster it exchanges the air for the exhaust. And it does so at amazing speeds, On average when the shaft starts to rotate at around 400 revolutions per minute the valves will open and close over 2000 times every minute. This is all due to the air requirements of the engine. Namely, the faster an engine goes, the more air it needs, and a shaft with well-designed lobes will give your engine all the air it needs to go as fast as you desire.

2 The Genesis of Camshafts

Engine and car engineers have been fascinated with this part of the engine and its lobes ever since the beginnings. There are studies done by various car companies that date back to pre World War 1 times. The most famous example of such an archaic study is one done by Ford in 1908, where they compared the lobe shapes and sizes. In the end, they concluded that the lobes with higher duration of rotation will produce more horsepower, while cams with shorter duration will help your car drive much easier.

Ed Winfield
Ed Winfield

Ed Winfield is one person who got interested in the camshafts with longer lobes. A lot of people today call him the father of high-speed racing. He was fascinated with the potential speed of a car. Throughout his working life, he tried to create a car and a shaft that would help him generate as much horsepower as possible.

3 Towards The Modern Camshaft

In the 1940s and 1950s, there was a large boom of shaft creation in Southern California. A lot of racetrack historians track the beginning of modern racing to these times. Some of the most famous ones include:

1. Cam Dynamics

2 Cam Techniques

3 Cam Lunati

4 General Kinetics

5 Sig Erson

Harvey J. Crane Jr.
Harvey J. Crane Jr.

The most notable figures in cam creation on the east side of the United were: Harvey J. Crane Jr. and John Schooler. Thanks to all those pioneers, today we have a large selection and many different types of this engine piece. If we were to separate it in different types we would separate them in

1 Flat Tappet – use lifters with flat faces

2 Rollers – that use lifters that serve as rollers for the tips

One can also separate them into those that work on mechanical principals and those that work on hydraulic ones.