Few topics can stir up an auto enthusiast’s emotions like camshafts. And while no other performance part is so closely associated with jaw-dropping power gains, they also have the distinction of being the least understood.
Depending on the type of engine you’re building, how you plan to use it, and the RPM range you expect to operate in, the right camshaft can give you a respectable power increase with few, if any, other engine mods. Choosing the wrong one however, especially one that’s too aggressive for a mostly stock powerplant, can leave you with an engine struggling to catch its own breath, and potentially prone to catastrophic parts failure.
The fact is, some camshafts are inherently better suited for certain applications than others. That’s why if you’re looking for a first-rate camshaft that doesn’t compromise on everyday drivability, you don’t need to look any further than Kelford Cams.
Australia’s Most Reliable Valvetrains Start with Kelford Camshafts
Since 1968, Kelford has been a global leader in high-performance car camshaft and valvetrain engineering, and they’ve forged their reputation on understanding that camshafts alone aren’t the end-all in the search for more power. The entire valvetrain needs to be balanced to get the most benefit from what an aftermarket camshaft has to offer, and Kelford’s specialty is ensuring that when you want more power, all the pieces are in a position to allow you to make it properly.
Make no mistake: precision is everything when it comes to valvetrain engineering, and Kelford offers a complete line of high-performance products to ensure that are manufactured to perform flawlessly together, including:
Ground billet steel camshafts for both turbocharged, and normally aspirated engines;
Nitrided single, dual, and beehive coil valve springs, and retainers;
Bushing and rocker arm trunnions;
Solid and hydraulic roller lifters, and pushrods; and,
Timing chain and engine cam pulley sets.
Kelford designs and manufactures everything you need to be sure that the engine’s valvetrain is as balanced, powerful, and ultimately as reliable as possible. That’s why when it comes to premium quality internals and camshafts, Australia trusts Kelford.
Big Output Engines Demand Kelford Quality Performance Parts
Kelford camshafts and valvetrain components are available for some of the most dominant, big output engines available in Australia, including:
Chevy LS Series V8s;
Toyota 1JZ and 2JZ DOHC 6-cylinders;
Nissan RB25 DOHC 6-cylinders;
Nissan RB30 SOHC 6-cylinders; and,
Ford 218-B and –C DOHC Barras.
Whether it’s on the street or strip, drifting or drag racing, each of these engines is capable of producing solid kW outputs on a balanced and blueprinted build-up on stock internals alone. However, by opting to replace the stock camshaft and valvetrain with high-performance Kelford components, a builder can instantly expect to see:
A significant increase in kW and torque outputs;
Improved idling, and off-idling characteristics;
Better high RPM performance; and,
Improved fuel economy.
In spite of the clear benefits that Kelford cams have to offer though, there’s no getting around the fact that even the smallest variations in cam profiles can make a dramatic difference in engine performance. Simply installing a bigger camshaft doesn’t mean that an engine is going to produce more power, and a mere variance of 0.050” in a cam grind can be the difference between an easy 30-40kW increase, and a shocking 30-40kW power loss.
The last thing anyone wants to jeopardize an otherwise stable build on is an unsuitable camshaft. That’s why when you’re looking at any type of high-performance camshaft for sale, you not only need to be sure about your expectations, but also have a good idea about the basics behind camshaft operating principles.
Understanding Which Cam Characteristics Make Your Engine Perform the Best
Let’s be honest: choosing the right camshaft can be a daunting job, and you only have to look at a camshaft and its myriad of variably-spaced lobes to understand why. Although camshafts only turn at ½ the speed of an engine’s crankshaft, they’re still responsible for every valve opening and closure that introduces fresh air / fuel mixtures into each cylinder, as well as expelling spent gases afterwards. This process is repeated on every second crankshaft revolution which, at 7000 RPMs is the equivalent of each cylinder’s valves opening and closing 120 times per second; and it’s a task that’s even more impressive on the likes of Toyota’s JZ and Nissan’s RB engines that boast 4 valves per cylinder. There’s no room for variation with the opening and closing intervals.
There’s no room for variation with these opening and closing intervals, and there are 3 principal camshaft operating characteristics that are responsible for this endless process:
Lobe lift. Expressed in inches, this is the distance that each lobe rises above the circumference of the camshaft which, when multiplied by the engine’s rocker ratio, determines the nett / gross lift of each valve.
Lobe duration. Expressed in degrees of crankshaft rotation, this is the distance (at .050” away from the camshaft’s circumference) when a valve opens (ascends the lobe) and when it closes (descends the lobe), and will vary between intake and exhaust valves. Top camshaft manufacturers like Kelford use the term Advertised Duration to describe the same distance, but from where the valve is seated in the cylinder head.
Camshaft timing. Also expressed in degrees, engine camshaft timing determines the opening and closing point of the lobe lift, and can be either advanced (to close the valves earlier) or retarded (to close the valves sooner) to improve either low or high-end power.
The fact is, not only are these engine camshaft characteristics dependent upon each other, but they’re also dependent on a wide range of external factors that can include everything from the performance of your intake and exhaust systems, to the type of fuel and compression ratio that you’re running. Regardless of what your engine’s specs are though, when you buy camshafts and valvetrains from Kelford, you can be sure that they have the parts that will match your setup perfectly.
The Final Word
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that a camshaft alone isn’t a magic wand for high performance. It can only deliver as much as your engine’s other components will allow it to, and fitting a camshaft that is inconsistent with your engine’s capabilities will very likely produce the exact opposite effect of what you’re looking to achieve.
Your camshaft and valvetrain combination has to match your engine’s output capacity, and Kelford high-performance camshaft setups are engineered to do just that. No matter what your performance goals and engine capabilities are, you can be sure that they have a camshaft that’s profiled to fit your build and expectations.