What Is a Camshaft and How Does It Work? When it comes to building a high-performance car with a powerful engine, one topic that car enthusiasts will argue over until the end of time is the customization of performance camshafts.

The truth is, it would take years of engineering schooling to understand all the details of how camshaft performance works.

Because of the popularization of JDM cars, you might be wondering how to choose a performance camshaft that will work best in your engine.

In this article, we’ll give you a beginner’s guide on how camshafts work, how to choose the best camshaft for your JDM engine, and how Kelford Cams can help you make an informed decision.

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If you’re a car enthusiast, no doubt you’ve heard the term JDM – Japanese Domestic Market. Used by Japan to refer to goods produced in their local market.

In car culture, this refers to Japanese cars and parts that are designed and constructed to Japanese vehicle regulations

In the 1970s and 1980s, Japanese car companies produced some of the most popular performance cars in the world but never exported them outside of Asia until the 80s and 90s.

They became incredibly popular for several reasons:

• Low cost of importing cars

• Interchangeability of their parts

• Popularization of e-commerce

Due to these factors, the practice of customizing and modifying low-cost cars became popular. The wide variety and availability of tuning equipment, car enthusiasts could build incredibly high-performance cars that rivaled expensive sports cars – at a fraction of the price

Some examples of JDM engines include: Kelford Cams have a large catalogue range in all brands – Search SHOP

Nissan – SR20det, RB20-RB25, RB30, SR16/20VE, VK56DE – Kelford Cams have a large catalogue range

Subaru WRX Sti – EJ20, EJ25, EJ257, FA20

Honda K Series & B16A-B18C

Mazda 323, Miata

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution & VR4 Galant – 4G63 & 4B11T

Toyota Supra, Corolla, Lexus – 1JZ, 2 JZ, A90/B58 Supra, 4AGE

To this day, JDM cars remain popular in markets around the world, making them somewhat collector’s items in many places.

It really depends on what you’re looking for and expectations:

For example, if you’re upgrading a street car, you want something that has a broad powerband, is easy on other parts of the engine, has long durability, and is economical.

For something like this, you might want a camshaft that has wider lobe separation (112 to 118 degrees), a lower lift (under .550″), and duration under 230 degrees.

On the other hand, if you’re getting a camshaft for drag racing, you’re looking for something in a specific RPM operating range that pushes the limits of durability that is designed for an engine that creates high power.

For that, you might want something that has a tighter lobe separation (106 to 110 degrees), lifts up to .900″ or more, and a duration of 280 degrees to maximize power output.

This article is a  simple introduction to performance camshafts for Japanese Domestic Market engines. If you have any more questions, you should work with a professional engine builder to help you decide on what cam to use in your car. You can fill out a simple questionnaire about your car and now to find the perfect camshaft for your needs. Contact Kelford Cams for Free Camshaft Selection Advice

How Important is a Camshaft?

A camshaft is one of the most important component of the engine. Simply put, it consists of a metal rod that controls the opening and closing of the valves. When the shaft rotates, it allows it to open or switch on valves to a degree depending on its speed and shape. This controls the flow of air and fuel in and out of the engine chamber. This affects how efficiently the engine exhausts gas, which directly affects engine performance, fuel economy, and emissions.

How Do Aftermarket Camshafts Improve Performance?

What results are you trying to achieve?

For fans of car modification, camshafts are often replaced to increase engine power and performance, but selecting a high performance aftermarket camshaft isn’t as easy as it sounds. There are several factors that go into choosing the perfect camshaft for your engine including:

• Engine and vehicle application
• Cylinder heads
• Transmission and differential gearing
• Intake and exhaust manifolds
• Engine’s compression ratio
• Exhaust systems
• Size of tires
• Type of fuel delivery system
• Vehicle weight
• Type of transmission

Not all camshafts are created equal. You need to be very careful when choosing a new camshaft for your car, as choosing the wrong one can significantly drop your engine’s power.

Upgrading a camshaft is a very technical and complicated subject. but here are a few different factors of a car’s performance that a Kelford camshaft can upgrade, put simply:

• Increased engine torque
• Improved RPM performance
• Enhanced horsepower
• Higher engine speed performance

Again, it’s not as simple as dropping a Lego block into your car. Several factors change depending on your car and what you need. Kelford Cams have an indepth video discussing these issues and why certain questions are required to be asked & answered to select the correct camshaft. Watch Cam Selection Video 

kelford cams aftermarket perfomance camshafts