Here is a discussion of camshaft terminology, camshaft performance, lobe design methods and valve train dynamics. The first several of these pages are in order of increasing technical difficulty.  Each page builds on the previous one.  If you are just learning about camshafts, you should generally follow the buttons from top to bottom.  Once you understand Camshaft Basics and Cam Performance, you will know more than most of your car buddies.  If you add to that, the Cam Design page and some of the Tips and Short Takes, your buddies will consider you a Cam Guru.  The Design History describes how cams evolved from the early 1900's to the 1950's.  It has some details on Ford cam designs that has not previously been available outside the Ford Archives.  Valve Springs shows how to calculate the valve train forces for a stiff system.  This analysis shows the relative importance of the weight of various valve train components.  Valve Train Dynamics describes calculations for a flexible valve train with and without the effects of spring surge.  Flathead Cams and Triumph Cams discuss the cams available for some of our favorite engines, including the cams we have designed.

Be sure to check out the Downloads for spreadsheets used in the discussions. 

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since March 21, 2011