Have you ever wondered how camshaft lift and duration affect the performance of your engine?
As we all know, the camshaft is a critical component of any internal combustion engine, controlling the intake and exhaust valves opening and closing.
But how do you measure the lift and duration of your camshaft accurately?
In this blog, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty details of camshaft measurement and help you understand how these crucial parameters affect your engine’s performance.
How to measure camshaft lift and duration?
List of tools that you’ll need:
- Dial indicator
- Cam degree wheel
- Degree wheel pointer
- Piston stop tool
- Camshaft measuring kit
- Digital micrometer
- Feeler gauge
- Magnetic base
- Timing light
- Camshaft degreeing kit
- Engine assembly lubricant:
Measuring camshaft lift and duration is an important aspect of engine tuning and can have a significant impact on an engine’s performance.
Here are some points to keep in mind when measuring camshaft lift and duration:
1. Lift measurement:
Camshaft lift is the amount of movement that the camshaft moves the valve during operation.
To measure the camshaft lift, you will need a dial indicator gauge and a lifter.
The lifter should be placed on the cam lobe and the dial indicator gauge should be positioned so that it can read the amount of movement.
When the engine is turned over, the lifter will move up and down, and the dial indicator gauge will measure the maximum amount of lift.
2. Duration measurement:
Camshaft duration refers to the amount of time that the valve is open during the engine cycle.
To measure camshaft duration, you will need a degree wheel and a timing light.
The degree wheel should be attached to the front of the crankshaft, and the timing light should be used to monitor the valve opening and closing.
As the engine is turned over, the timing light will flash, indicating when the valve opens and closes.
The degree wheel can then be used to measure the duration of the valve opening and closing.
3. Degree wheel markings:
The degree wheel should be marked with degrees of rotation. Typically, it will be marked from 0 to 360 degrees.
Each degree of rotation represents a specific point in the engine cycle.
For example, the top dead center (TDC) is usually marked at 0 degrees, while the bottom dead center (BDC) is marked at 180 degrees.
4. Valve lift vs. crankshaft position:
Camshaft lift can be measured at different points in the engine cycle.
For example, the lift at TDC will be different than the lift at BDC.
It’s important to measure the camshaft lift at the same point in the engine cycle each time to ensure consistency.
5. Valve opening and closing:
Camshaft duration is measured by monitoring the valve opening and closing.
The timing light should be used to determine when the valve opens and closes, and the degree wheel should be used to measure the duration of the opening and closing.
6. Calculating duration:
Once you have measured the duration of the valve opening and closing, you can calculate the camshaft duration by adding the opening and closing times together.
For example, if the valve is open for 200 degrees of crankshaft rotation and closed for 160 degrees, the camshaft duration would be 360 degrees.
7. Comparison to manufacturer specs:
Once you have measured the camshaft lift and duration, you can compare your measurements to the manufacturer’s specifications.
If your measurements are significantly different, you may need to adjust your camshaft or other engine components to achieve optimal performance.
What is the Relationship Between Camshaft Lift and Duration?
Lift and duration are two important factors that affect the performance of the camshaft. Here’s a breakdown of the relationship between camshaft lift and duration:
1. Camshaft lift refers to the distance that the valve is lifted off its seat.
The greater the lift, the more air and fuel can enter the engine, which can increase horsepower and torque.
A high-lift camshaft can provide greater performance at higher RPMs.
2. Camshaft duration refers to the length of time that the valve is open.
The longer the duration, the more air, and fuel can enter the engine, which can also increase horsepower and torque.
However, a longer duration can also reduce low-end power and make the engine less drivable at lower RPMs.
3. Lift and duration are related in that a higher lift camshaft usually has a longer duration. This is because the valve needs more time to open and close at a higher lift.
A longer-duration camshaft may have a lower lift to prevent valve float (when the valve doesn’t fully close and the engine loses power).
4. The ideal lift and duration for a camshaft depends on the engine and its intended use.
A race engine, for example, may benefit from a high lift and long-duration camshaft to provide maximum performance at high RPMs.
On the other hand, a street engine may require a lower lift and shorter duration camshaft to provide better drivability at lower RPMs.
5. The design of the engine’s intake and exhaust systems can also affect the ideal lift and duration for a camshaft.
A high-flow exhaust system, for example, can allow for a higher lift camshaft without causing excessive back pressure.
Q: What Is Camshaft Lift, And Why Is It Important To Measure?
A: Camshaft lift refers to the distance that the camshaft moves the valve when it opens.
Measuring camshaft lift is important because it can affect the engine’s power and performance.
Q: What Is Camshaft Duration, And Why Is It Important To Measure?
A: Camshaft duration refers to the amount of time that the valve is open during a single camshaft revolution.
Measuring camshaft duration is important because it can affect the engine’s power and performance, particularly at higher RPMs.
By knowing the duration of your camshaft, you can ensure that it’s matched to the rest of your engine components for optimal performance.
Q: How Do You Measure Camshaft Duration?
A: To measure camshaft duration, you’ll need a degree wheel and a timing light.
First, set the degree wheel to TDC and mark the position of the timing pointer.
Then, start the engine and use the timing light to determine when the valve opens and closes.
The difference between these two points is the camshaft duration.
Q: Can The Camshaft Lift And Duration Be Adjusted?
A: Yes, camshaft lift and duration can be adjusted by changing the shape and size of the cam lobes.
This can be done by purchasing a new camshaft or by re-grinding an existing camshaft.
Q: What Are Some Common Mistakes To Avoid When Measuring Camshaft Lift And Duration?
A: Some common mistakes to avoid when measuring camshaft lift and duration include not setting the degree wheel to TDC, not using the correct tools, and not being consistent in your measurements.
It’s also important to ensure that your engine is properly timed and that your components are matched to your camshaft for optimal performance.
Measuring camshaft lift and duration is crucial for ensuring your engine performs optimally.
By understanding the process and using the right tools, you can accurately measure these important factors and make any necessary adjustments to improve your engine’s performance.
Whether you’re a seasoned mechanic or a DIY enthusiast, taking the time to measure camshaft lift and duration can make all the difference in the world.