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When it comes to your vehicle, a camshaft is a necessary part. In cars, cams play an essential role. That is also applicable to other machinery. Camshaft helps to increase smoothness in machinery. It regulates the valves to release the exhaust correctly.
Sometimes you would find it challenging to choose the camshaft ideal for your engine. Well, how to identify unknown camshaft? Let us discuss some tricks to identify. Then it will give you an idea to pick the correct one. Go through the article below!
How To Identify Unknown Camshaft?
There are 3 methods of identifying unknown camshafts: Identify by a Glimpse, by Numbers, and Analog System. So you don’t need to waste your time for searching information about a camshaft, you can use these methods to identify an unknown camshaft.
Method 01: Identify Unknown Camshaft by a Glimpse
You can identify some of them just by looking at them. Two types of these cams will show you their properties by outer look. They are known as flat tapped and roller camshaft. There are also some categories depends on the number of cams you would see in the body. SOHC, DOHC, and pushrods are the classified ones.
1. Flat Tapped
The flat tapped does not carry any literal meaning. They are not flat. There is a slight crown in the design of the shaft. A slight taper is machined inside the lobe. This system helps the lifter to spin. It is commonly used and known well for its performance. The cost of production is also less than roller shafts. But it is not re-usable.
Rollers contain a wheel attached to the lifter body. A needle bearing and an axle support the wheel. This type of cams reduces friction and improves power efficiency. It is also re-usable.
If four or six-cylinder are attached through the valves, the number of the cam is one. That is called a single overhead cam (SOHC). They can provide average torque to the valves. Naturally, these cams cannot handle higher speeds. In racing cars, they are not an option.
If eight-cylinder is attached inline, the number of the cam is two. That is called a dual overhead cam (DOHC). Due to two shafts, they can provide more torque to the valves than SOHC. DOHC can handle high speed and increases the engine’s power.
It looks like a rock arm that is very small in diameter. The pushrod cam is stated above the cylinder. That is also known as an overhead camshaft. It increases the valve’s spinning speed and makes it possible to go at high speed.
6. Hydraulic lifter
The hydraulic lifter looks like a spring-plunger-based machine. It has a hollow cylindrical shape. The spring and the oil reduce the friction and help to lift the body. It needs zero maintenance and makes no noise.
6. Solid lifter
This type of cam looks like ‘C’ shaped snap rings which make noises. It is because there are some small pieces between the lobe and pushrod. Maintenance is also required.
Method 02: Identify Unknown Camshaft by Numbers
Some numbers appeared in between the lobes or the box. In this way, you can define the camshafts. These numbers are of eight or nine digits that also describe the specific functions. Their model number also shows their compatibility.
1. Model Prefix
When you see any camshaft number, the first part is the model prefix. It shows which type of model you are using. Suppose a number is written like GS 4AE. That means you have a Corolla car of model 4AE. In this way, you would which cams are compatible with your vehicle.
2. Grind Number
A grind number makes more sense than any other number in the identification of a camshaft. Suppose a newly bought cam has the numbers like 266HO3. The last two digits are the measurement of lobe separation angle.
It means this lobe has a slope of 103 degrees. High-performance camshafts have a narrow-angle like 110-112 degrees. Then the listed 103 degrees will be confirmed as a mild performance cam.
There is the letter ‘H’ in the middle. Hydraulic lifters are defined as ‘H.’ If the letter is ‘S,’ it would mean the cam is a solid lifter.
Again, these first three numbers describe the average duration time of the lobes. Then 266 means the valve will remain open at 266 degrees as its time length.
3. Exhaust Number
Sometimes there is also a number alongside the duration time, like 266/286. The second one means the exhaust time of the cam.
These type numbers can also be calculated through a dial indicator. It is a digital measurement machine that is capable of doing such jobs.
Method 03: Identify Unknown Camshaft By Analog System
This method is known as an analog system. It is applicable when you do not have any access to a degree wheel or dial indicator. You have to measure some diameter. Then you have to compare them with the database or catalogs.
Imagine you are given a camshaft to identify. What will do you? First, you have to measure the diameter of the bearing. It is situated directly under the cam, which is also known as a spider journal.
In addition, measure the support blushing journal diameter and the length of the toe to heel. Then calculate the lift range through this information. You have to compare the range value into the catalogs or database or any online store IDs. After that, the type or model of the camshaft will be confirmed.
Some Useless Numbers
When you buy a camshaft, there are some numbers in the body apart from the lobes. They are called Casting numbers, stamped numbers, or so on. But these kinds of numbers have nothing to do with their function or their types. It is just a manufacturer’s identification digits that are used to estimate their production.
Why choose a better one?
It is now clear that camshaft affects engine performance. The camshaft controls the intake valves to the combustion chamber. Better combustion and exhaust system puts a great performance on the engine and lengthens the engine’s lifetime. It is the cams that make it possible for vehicles to go at an incredible speed.
It should be clear to you that how to identify unknown camshaft. A better camshaft is one of the main factors to a well-performed engine. We wish you good luck with your next camshaft.