Your car's performance will always be determined by your engine's capabilities. So if you're not satisfied with what your engine can do, why not upgrade your car's engine? One way to do this is by modifying the camshaft with a cam and lifter kit.The kit contains an aftermarket camshaft and valve lifters. The camshaft, as part of the valve train, plays a big role in controlling the engine's air-fuel intake. It handles the release of exhaust gases from the engine's combustion cylinders.And because your car's engine functions like a big pump, optimizing air intake and exhaust flow through the camshaft can improve fuel combustion, thus boosting engine performance and horsepower output.Make sure the cam and lifter kit you purchase matches your car's specifications, though. Bigger camshaft profiles need a more aggressive valve train operation, and you might need more durable valve springs as well. You'll find everything you need at Carparts.
• Improves intake and exhaust flow in the engine
• Comes with all the parts needed for easy installation
• Increases the engine's horsepower output
How to Choose the Right Cam and Lifter Kit
The camshaft of your vehicle is one of the most important components of your engine system. The cam and lifter, specifically, perform a tandem function in order to provide the appropriate mixture of air and fuel into the internal combustion engine. Although you may not know the technical significance of high-performing cams and lifters, you have to make sure that your car has the right type of these components. There is no need to be shy to ask your mechanic about what these parts do. Read on and find out for yourself.
Types of cam according to shape
- Roller cam ? this type has a more efficient design. A roller cam has a round lobe that is almost similar at the top and base, and this rounder lobe reduces friction against the cam lobe and the follower. As a result, a roller cam increases rpm potential and produces higher valve spring pressures. This type is used in cars manufactured from the mid-1980s onwards.
- Flat tappet cam - this type looks like an egg with a flatter flank on each side and a round base. This type can only withstand a certain amount of valve spring pressure, so excess pressure causes damage to the cam lobe and the face of the follower. The flat tappet cam is less expensive and simpler when it comes to operation, but it may not be able to adapt to various oil compositions.
Types of lifter according to performance
- Solid ? this type allows the engine to produce more rpm, the reason it is used in race cars. Also called a mechanical lifter, this type has a stationary plunger where the push rod sits in. The only downside is maintenance requirements, because you have to lash the valves, which means that you must put clearance between the cam lobe and valve stem. A solid lifter must experience short idle time because it needs high oiling at all times.
- Hydraulic ? this type has a movable plunger controlled by internal valves where pressurized oil flows through. It requires a preload when the valve is closed; preload is the distance between the retaining snap ring and the plunger seat. The problem with a hydraulic lifter is that valve train and lifter timing is less efficient at higher rpm. If you are a common driver, you may opt for this type because it only needs less maintenance.
- Make sure that you buy your cam and lifter from the same auto parts store. The cam and lifter are made from solid metal that has a specific strength; if the metal strength of the two parts is not identical, one will put dent or eat up the metal surface of the other.
- Make sure that you choose a cam with a smaller grind and smaller size for better performance. Do not forget to ask your professional engine builder about the type applicable to your driving needs.
Quick Cam and Lifter Replacement
Your car's cam and lifter, which are parts of the camshaft, are responsible for providing excellent engine efficiency. The cams rotate in a shaft's perpendicular axis, thereby causing the lifter (or cam follower) to push the valves and compress the air-fuel mixture inside the cylinder. When the lifter retracts and the valve opens, spent gas exits the cylinder. This mechanized motion continues as long as the car needs power to operate. But the problem starts when you hear a tick-tick-tick noise during an idle motor. This noise indicates that the cam and lifter, or other parts of the camshaft, need to be adjusted or fixed.
Cam and lifter replacement only takes half to an hour of mechanical work. By preparing these tools and following these steps, success is highly achievable.
Difficulty level: Moderate
- Cam and lifter kit
- Flathead screwdriver
- Wrenches and sockets (U.S. metric)
- Jack and jack stands
- Multipurpose grease
Step 1: Rest the car on jack and jack stands. Disconnect the cable from the negative battery terminal. Disconnect the wires connected to the spark plugs.
Step 2: Remove the valve cover, timing belt covers, timing belt, and idler pulley.
Step 3: Position the exhaust camshaft in a way that the knock pin is slightly above the cylinder head. Remove the two bolts and the front bearing cap of the intake camshaft. Remove the four bearing caps and remove the intake camshaft.
Step 4: Turn the exhaust camshaft to 105-degrees; the guide pin must be past the 5-o'clock position. Remove the No.1 bearing cap and oil seal. Remove the bearing caps, the exhaust camshaft, the valve lifter shims, and the hydraulic lifters.
Step 5: Install the valve lifters and the shims. Make sure that proper valve clearance is provided. Adjust as necessary. Keep the camshaft level and straight at all times.
Step 6: Apply multipurpose grease to the camshaft. Place the exhaust camshaft on the cylinder head. The cam lobes must press on the lifters for cylinders 1 and 3. Install the camshaft bearing caps according to the number on the cap.
Step 7: Tighten the bearing caps to 9-feet-pound. Install the oil seal, making sure that it does not slant or tilt.
Step 8: Install the exhaust camshaft in a way that the guide pin is partly above the cylinder head. Grease a portion of the intake camshaft. Connect the intake and exhaust camshafts, and make sure that the alignment marks on the gears match.
Step 9: Turn the exhaust camshaft clockwise. The guide pin must face upward, and the installation marks must be in 12-o'clock position.
Step 10: Install the timing belt pulley and tighten the bolt to 43-feet-pound. Adjust valve clearance. Install the timing belt, belt covers, valve covers, and spark plug wires. Connect the negative battery cable. Start the engine, check for leaks, and check the ignition timing.