Wes Duenkel
January 30, 2018

The old adage, “There’s no free lunch,” implies that everything in life is a compromise. That’s often true, especially with camshaft specifications. Low-end grunt sacrificed top-end power, and big high-rpm gains came at the expense of drivability and torque down low. Finding the right camshaft involved putting the cam’s “sweet spot” where you wanted it, and dealing with the consequences elsewhere.

For automobile manufacturers, another aspect besides a cam’s “sweet spot” is engine emissions. Sure, that lumpity-lump camshaft sounds great and makes big power at full-song, but all those misfires from the valve overlap send emissions sky-high. Combine this concern with the trend toward more efficient, smaller-displacement engines, and the problem becomes more complex. But what if you could combine the torque, response, and cleanliness of a smooth-running, low-overlap camshaft with the top-end power of a high-overlap camshaft? That’s what Ti-VCT control does.

Ti-VCT uses engine oil as a hydraulic fluid to independently advance or retard the intake and exhaust camshafts up to 50 degrees of crankshaft angle. The system is controlled by a hydraulic pulse-width-modulated (PWM) actuator on each camshaft, and receives feedback on camshaft position via sensors.

But if you’re installing a Ti-VCT-equipped engine in your hot rod, you were limited to either forgoing the benefits of variable cam timing by “locking out” the cams, installing an expensive EFI system with Ti-VCT control, or using Ford’s OEM-derived “controls pack.”

Not any longer, as Holley’s popular EFI systems now support variable camshaft timing via Holley’s new Ti-VCT controller. The system includes a control unit and harness that connects directly into the Ford Ti-VCT actuators.

We sampled Holley EFI’s new Ti-VCT control in their Coyote-swapped 2003 Mustang. Not only did the Mustang feature Ford’s latest quad-cam 5.0 powerplant, it was backed up by a 4R70W automatic trans that’s also completely controlled by the Holley EFI system. The Ti-VCT control dovetails beautifully with Holley’s Dominator system that manages the aforementioned computer-controlled automatic transmissions, drive-by-wire throttles, boost and nitrous control, dual wide-band oxygen sensor feedback, and much more.

1. Under PN 554-145, the Holley Ti-VCT Controller adjusts the valve timing of 2011-2014 Ford Coyote camshafts to maximize power and economy in custom installations.

2. The Holley Ti-VCT Controller works with Holley’s complete Dominator EFI system for 2011-2014 Ford Coyote engines that include electronic automatic transmission control, drive-by-wire throttle, and other features including boost and nitrous control.

3. LED lights on the side of the Holley Ti-VCT controller provide diagnostic analysis without needing a laptop computer.

4. A specific wiring harness is included to interface the Holley Ti-VCT controller with Holley EFI systems.

5. The harness features factory-style connectors for the camshaft phaser connection.

6. Holley’s in-house Coyote-swapped 2003 Mustang GT test mule was used to develop the Ti-VCT controller.

7. The Holley Ti-VCT controller on Holley’s heavily used 2003 Mustang mule helped Holley’s engineering team pick up significant horsepower, torque, and improved drivability.

8. The Holley Ti-VCT controller’s harness plugs into the factory camshaft phasers.

9. The Holley Ti-VCT controller integrates seamlessly into Holley’s EFI systems.

10. Besides offering massive low-end torque and additional horsepower, the Holley Dominator EFI system with Ti-VCT controller drives like a dream on the street. Holley nailed the 4R70W’s shift strategy perfectly with the Dominator EFI’s electronic transmission control.