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Finding the Right Auto Accessories

Hello, my name is Francis and this is my auto accessories blog. Last year, I purchased a vintage camper van. I had always dreamt of owning a camper van so I could drive around Australia, exploring the towns, cities and the countryside. However, when I finally took ownership of the van, I quickly realised why it had been for sale at such a low price. The van was missing a lot of accessories such as the original gear stick, the wing mirrors and the seat covers. Thankfully, my friend who is an auto expert, taught me how to find the perfect accessories for the van.

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Finding the Right Auto Accessories

Understanding Your Vehicle's Camshaft

by Roger Jackson

You might have heard people talk of getting camshaft kits and camshaft packages to improve their engine performance. For those who have no clue what a camshaft is, you are in the right place.

What Is an Engine Camshaft?

Your engine has multiple parts that help in its performance. The camshaft is one of these components. Other important components are the intake and exhaust valves. Intake valves open to allow a mixture of air and fuel into the engine for combustion. Exhaust valves open to let steam and gas out into the exhaust pipe. The camshaft has cams/lobes that help in the opening of these valves. It works together with the crankshaft through a belt or chain referred to as a timing chain or belt. As the camshaft rotates, the lobes push against the valves and they open. The valves close due to the presence of springs between the rocker arms and valves.

Understanding the Opening and Closing of the Intake and Exhaust Valves

Intake and exhaust valves do not open at the same time. Intake valves open during the intake stroke and exhaust valves open during the exhaust stroke. During the intake stroke, the piston starts its downward movement and the intake valve opens. This period is referred to as the top dead centre, abbreviated as TDC. The open valve lets in a mixture of air and fuel for combustion. Combustion produces power.

As the combustion stroke comes to an end, the intake valve closes and the exhaust valve starts opening to let exhaust out. This period is referred to as the bottom dead centre, which marks the beginning of the exhaust stroke. The exhaust valve closes at the end of the exhaust stroke, which is also the beginning of the intake stroke. This is the cycle an engine makes.

Performance

For your engine to perform efficiently, there needs to be accurate timing between the rotation of the camshaft and the crankshaft. If a fixed camshaft was used, it would mean that your engine would only run efficiently at one speed. This is the main reason why carmakers have developed different types of camshafts to cater for different engine speeds. These camshafts include single overhead cams, (abbreviated as SOHC), double-overhead cams (abbreviated as DOHC) and pushrods.

Camshaft packages are usually considered by drivers who have high-performance vehicles and want to get the most out of their engines. These can be drifters, drag racers, street monsters, circuits or even quarter miles. You should visit a performance parts specialist company to get fitted with the right camshaft and get to know more about the different camshafts and which one is suitable for your vehicle.

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