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Stairway to heaven

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It always surprises me how often people approach a recognised expert in a particular subject and yet fail to act on their advice. We can all think of occasions when say, consulting a solicitor or lawyer, since theirs is a world of uncertainty and risk, it might be reasonable to seek alternate council. But in seeking advice from a reputable camshaft supplier it seems silly to ignore their advice and go for a completely different cam to that suggested. And yet, I am told, it still happens....

Timing the piston

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In a good camshaft design the cam profile is but one half of the story. Lifting the valve off its seat and then opening fully before closing it again and dropping it gently back onto its seat requires a lot of careful mathematics and, executed well, should give the maximum valve area opening period for the minimum of forces involved. But just as much as efficient inlet and exhaust cam profiles are critical to any high performance engine, the timing of their opening and closing in relation...

Lift versus Duration

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So the next generation of British Touring Cars (BTCC) as far as we know at the moment will be 2.0 litre and turbocharged. Starting in 2011, the engines according to the initial press release, will need to be based on 4-cylinder production units and give something like 300 bhp with a 7000 rpm limit and 0.8 bar boost. Running through an inlet restrictor however, for the first time since 1999, camshafts will we were told, be totally unregulated. Way back then there were no restrictions on the...

A Material World

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If you were to compare an engine of today with one built, say for instance 50 years ago, no doubt much will have changed. Cylinder head layout, block construction, pistons, rods and cranks have all changed in their various ways. But the one component that is outwardly very similar, having changed very little in that time, is the camshaft. That is not to say there has been little development over the years. Hollow cams, smaller cams, bigger cams, even multiple cams per valve have all been...

You’ve never had it so good!

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I think it was British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan who is claimed to have first coined the phase, “You’ve never had it so good.” In a speech at a Conservative party rally the phrase referred to the fact that after 15 years of shortages and rationing, the post war economy was now looking rosy again. But for anyone involved in cam design the phrase may be as true in 2009 for him/her, as it was back in 1957 for the people of Britain. Today, with powerful user-friendly...