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How Much Horsepower Does a Camshaft Add?


We’ve all been in the position of desiring more power from our vehicle’s engine. No matter how much displacement or power it currently has, it’s always good to squeeze a little more out of it.

Forum posts and YouTube videos have most likely led you to conclude that your camshaft needs to be replaced. It has been shown that installing a performance camshaft increases horsepower, but the real question is: how much horsepower does a camshaft add?

Even though the camshaft does boost horsepower by 10 to 20 horsepower, this is a negligible gain. It is only feasible to get the 50-100 horsepower increase with a sequence of Stage 1 and Stage 2 improvements.

This blog will go over how camshafts function and why upgrading to a high-performance one is beneficial. Also, you can understand how to get even more hp out of your vehicle.


The camshaft is an essential part of an engine. It works with the crankshaft in a particular order to make the engine operate.

First, you must comprehend the camshaft. A camshaft controls valve timing, lift, intake, and exhaust in your car.


A camshaft is an engine’s heart. The higher the cam lift, the more horsepower! True, but the brain and lungs too! 

A camshaft governs how air and gasoline enter your engine, determining how much power it produces. Lousy cam timing might cost you up to 30% of your horsepower!

“If you are looking for the best camshaft in 2022, you can pick COMP Cams 12-602-4.”

Camshafts come in various shapes and sizes, depending on the engine. Our engines employ a solid or hydraulic camshaft with lobes (or cams) operated by the crankshaft. An overhead camshaft is another camshaft that we will not cover in this post.

In order to start the engine, a cam lobe sucks up the oil and gas combination, pressurizes it, and opens a valve stem.

The pressure formed by the combination is transmitted to various engine components and powers it.

What Is the Function of a Camshaft?

The camshaft determines when all of your car’s cylinders may ignite. It regulates the intake and exhaust valves so that your car’s pistons may move freely.

The camshaft is also responsible for controlling circulation into your engine (hence why it is so essential to get a high-quality performance cam). The quantity of air that the engine takes in is measured in cubic feet per minute (cfm).


The compression ratio of the cams can affect how much air your engine can pull in. This alters how many times the mixture is compressed before combustion. A more excellent compression ratio provides more horsepower!

Finally, the camshaft determines how much the engine’s valves open and close. The cams open the valve by rotating it or inserting a plunger inside. In general, the more cam lift signifies, the more horsepower there is.

How Much Horsepower Does a Camshaft Add?

Once you understand what a camshaft is and how it works, it’s time to determine how much horsepower a camshaft contributes.

If you get a camshaft installed, you may expect to see a 10-30 horsepower boost depending on the camshaft and the engine it is being used in.

More power, improved throttle response, and perhaps even lower fuel consumption benefit from a performance cam.

Your engine’s efficiency might be improved or harmed by a camshaft. For maximum horsepower, you need to locate a camshaft specifically tailored for your engine.

In searching for a high-performance camshaft, you should focus on lift and duration. The amount of horsepower and torque you’ll be able to obtain out of your engine will be determined by these two components of a camshaft.

Lift and duration may be shown on two separate axes to understand better how the camshaft operates.

The duration of an open valve is measured in degrees, whereas the lift of an open valve is measured in the distance from the base circle (or lobe).

These two metrics operate together because the lift causes the valve to raise, which opens the valve, and duration decides when the valve opens.

All engines have a “sweet spot” where they produce the most power, but finding it may take trial and error.

For example, if your engine is built for high-performance use but installs a cam with too low lift and duration, you will consume more gas since less air is entering your engine.

If you don’t know what you need or want to experiment with how much horsepower a camshaft adds, you may want to take your car to a mechanic.

What Role Does the Camshaft Play in the Engine?

There are two types of camshafts: those positioned at the bottom and those located at the top of the engine.

A pushrod cam system is comprised of a camshaft that is located towards the bottom of the engine block and is driven by a pushrod.

A camshaft pulls a series of rods toward the engine’s intake and exhaust ports to operate the valves.

Having the camshaft at the top is known as an overhead camshaft. One cams control the exhaust valve in a dual overhead camshaft engine while the other manages the intake.

Four sets of four cams on the camshaft are responsible for operating the two exhaust and two intake valves of a 16-valve four-cylinder engine. On the other hand, a dual-cam design utilizes two camshafts, each with eight cams.

Car’s with Powerful Horsepower

Vehicle NameYearHorsepower
Koenigsegg Agera20141,000 kW (1,341 hp; 1,360 PS)
NIO EP920161,000 kW (1,341 hp; 1,360 PS)
SSC Ultimate Aero TT2009960 kW (1,287 hp; 1,305 PS)
Drako GTE2020895 kW (1,200 hp; 1,217 PS)

Does a Bigger Camshaft Give More Power?

Yes, it is correct. The size of the cam can have a direct impact on the amount of power it can produce.

The shape and location of the lobes (or camshafts) will impact the engine’s compression, valve timing, and breathing. And the engine’s broad RPM range and performance also depend on it.

Furthermore, it is said that a larger camshaft that is stock to a specified degree will result in more outstanding horsepower production.

This cam may have a considerable impact on all other components that must be selected to build a high-performance engine.

What Are the Most Reliable Camshaft Manufacturers?

It is possible to find many camshaft manufacturers in the industry, but only a few stick out from the crowd due to their outstanding performance and distinctive characteristics.

We have brands that will meet your needs, whether searching for something high-end or something more cost-effective.

Competition Cams Inc., often known as Comp Cam, manufactures high-quality camshafts with a broad range of operating temperatures.

Many people have confidence in this brand, and it has consistently rated in the top three of most camshaft polls.

Especially impressive is their Competition Cams, which are available for purchase separately.

Elgin Industries is another excellent brand that ought to be considered.

Even though they cost a few dollars more, they are well worth the extra money because of their superb valve lift and length.

If you’re looking for a more inexpensive choice, several companies are available on the market that provides budget-friendly camshaft options to choose from.

Even though brands such as Hot Cams and GELOUXI sell camshafts at a lower price, they maintain a high level of quality and performance.

WMPHE is also a fantastic brand to work with because it is broadly compatible and quite robust.

Even though its goods offer a plethora of valuable features, you’ll be able to locate reasonable options to suit your budget. Melling and Edelbrock are two more excellent brands.

Is There a Way to Replace the Camshaft?

You may have learned a great deal about DIY maintenance and repairs in the guides I’ve published. It is also apparent that I don’t teach anything new or something that I don’t know how to explain.

camshaft replacment

A bespoke camshaft necessitates a more complicated procedure than simply replacing the camshaft itself. A good technician can tell you if a certain camshaft you’ve identified will work well if you wish to return it.

Using this article, you’ll learn how much labor and skill is required to replace the camshaft.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace The Camshaft?

An aftermarket camshaft can cost anywhere from $200 to $600 depending on the make and model of the car, but the most excellent alternatives can easily cost thousands of dollars.

The camshaft can also be purchased as part of a kit that includes all of the other parts that can be replaced. Since this is a time-consuming and challenging procedure, mechanics can charge $1000 and-2000 for their services.

Is It Necessary To Replace The Camshaft?

Replacement of the camshaft only to boost horsepower is a costly and ineffective method of increasing the horsepower of an older car.

The power train gradually loses power over time due to wear and the accumulation of dirt and carbon deposits. More energy can be recovered from the engine by physically cleaning up the system and adding fuel additives than can be gained by installing a new camshaft.

When the time comes to replace the camshaft, an aftermarket choice over the more expensive OEM camshaft is not a terrible idea.

To boost your engine’s performance, you may consider replacing several components, from the intake to the exhaust. Depending on your state’s regulations, start by removing the catalytic converter and installing a new exhaust manifold.

Deleting as much as you legally can from your car’s emissions system will allow it to run more efficiently and provide more power. In this essay, we go into great detail about it, so be sure to read everything.

Camshafts and Crankshafts In a Vehicle

In the engine’s “front end,” the camshaft and crankshaft gears (or two interlocking gears) are linked together by a timing chain or timing belt.


It’s essential for valve timing to be referenced (in line with the manufacturer’s specifications) regarding combustion control.

In overhead valve engines, a direct gear drive can connect the camshaft and crankshaft. Despite its durability, this connection method is rarely used due to the near closeness of the camshaft and crankshaft.

Even engines with pushrods, which often use a timing chain, fall under this classification. There are many types of timing belts, but the most common is a toothed rubber composite.

On the other hand, Rubber timing belts are the lightest of the options. Typical timing chains are roller chains, like those used on bicycles.

Like bicycle chains, Timing chains must be lubricated to perform correctly; otherwise, they can cause damage and be more violent than necessary.

Timing chains will inevitably stretch and wear out over time, like your bicycle chain. Regardless of the type, you’ll eventually need a new timing device.


How much HP does a Stage 2 camshaft add?

Update the camshaft, but you also need to upgrade the intake and exhaust systems and reprogram the ECU to complete Stage 1 before proceeding to Stage 2. The engine’s output can be increased by 20-25 percent when both steps have been finished.

How much more power can you get out of a Stage 3 cam?

For a 40 percent increase in power, you’ll need to finish Stages 1 and 2 and do a modest big engine bore before moving on to Stage 3.

Is a camshaft better for the engine?

A camshaft boosts horsepower. Aside from the high-performance camshaft, other parts such as the air intake, exhaust manifold, injectors, and valve heads will need to be replaced to maximize their performance.


The cost of replacing the camshaft is prohibitive, and the benefits in power are negligible.

For this reason, we advise against improving your camshaft until you need to replace the factory one, and while you’re there, you may change a few other parts and obtain the power bump you desire.

Even with a high-performance camshaft, you won’t get more than a 10% improvement in power.

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