A big camshaft creates a symphony of sound and horsepower that every performance enthusiast and racer loves to hear. That chop and lope isn’t something that can be achieved without thought, though, as upgrading a cam requires other items to be addressed or disaster can strike. This video from COMP Cams covers 10 of the biggest reasons that awesome-sounding camshaft can fail you if you’re not careful.
In the valvetrain, the camshaft is the brains and backbone of the operation, ensuring everything opens and closes as it needs and is supposed to. So, not having control of the valvetrain can cause massive damage to its parts, including the cam. According to COMP, it’s critical to make sure you have the correct parts for your application and that they’re strong enough to take the abuse you plan on dealing out.
Another thing that can cause damage is ignition cut rev limiters. While hitting the rev limiter can sound really cool, it’s not great for the valvetrain. The added pressure from the extra fuel being burnt in the combustion chamber puts added stress on the valvetrain that it wasn’t designed for and will cause damage.
If the engine isn’t cleaned properly during assembly contaminants can be introduced into the oiling passages and cause wear on parts that will eventually lead to failure in the valvetrain. To keep the cam and lifters alive it’s also important to make sure they’re getting enough oil. If you get the oil too hot it will lose its ability to do its job and won’t provide enough lubrication to keep the cam and lifters happy.
Make sure you watch this entire video from COMP Cams that covers all 10 of the different items that can cause camshaft and valvetrain failure in your modified engine.