5.0 Mustang & Super FordsHow To Engine
Unlocking The Mysteries Of Your Engine's Mechanical Brain--The Camshaft
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Back in the day, there were only a few different cam-shaft designs available to hot rodders, and they were commonly known as either 3/4-race or full-race cams. The potential user really had nothing more to go on than the word of his buddies or the cam grinder as to how the new 'stick would work in his engine. A horrible idle or the total loss of low-speed performance were often the unfortunate results.
Today, all that has changed. Cam manufacturers offer hundreds of profiles to choose from, and they go to great lengths to take the mystery out of their products. Some will even work with you to custom-grind a cam to your specific needs.
The following is a primer course in the world of camshafts. It's designed to decipher camshaft lingo and give you a better understanding of how bumpsticks work. When it comes time to make your choice, however, there's no substitute for calling a manufacturer's camshaft hotline and talking with a tech who will help you choose the right cam the first time.