How do aftermarket cams work?
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How do aftermarket cams work?

This is a discussion on How do aftermarket cams work? within the Grom Performance forums, part of the Honda Grom Garage category; Perhaps this is a dumb question, but I'm new at this, and couldn't really find anything conclusive. I know what the camshaft does; it controls ...

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Thread: How do aftermarket cams work?

  1. #1
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    How do aftermarket cams work?

    Perhaps this is a dumb question, but I'm new at this, and couldn't really find anything conclusive.

    I know what the camshaft does; it controls the opening and closing of the valves that allow ingress of air/fuel and egress of exhaust. (Though I'm certainly open to being corrected on that front!)

    So what does an aftermarket cam do differently/better that allows it to give a motor more power?

    Thanks for your patience!

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    Typically an aftermarket cam will have more lift and duration... that is, it opens the valves more, and keeps them open longer.... allowing the motor to breathe better and thus perform better. That stated, depending on your riding you will want to get a cam that suits your needs. I run a Kitaco type 2 cam, its relatively mild (not tons more lift and duration than stock), I tried a TB cam (which is a copy of the DCR cam) which is pretty aggressive, and made the motor loose bottom end power and torque in favor for high rpm riding. For my needs i much preferred the Type 2 cam behavior.

    There is much more to it but thats the general gist of it.

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    As it was explained to me recently: think of an after-market cam NOT so much as simply “making more power,” but rather as TRADING (losing) power in one part of the RPM range in exchange for GAINING power in a different part of the RPM range. The stock cam is designed to make the engine work fairly well across a wide range of RPMs. For someone really pushing their engine to go faster, however, they might be willing to sacrifice losing power at the lower RPM range in order to optimize the valve timing for maximal (more) power at the higher RPM range......enter the after-market cam.
    tooter and Leo310 like this.

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    Yes. It's a trade off of giving up one thing to get another.
    2018 GROM: Modified for reliability longevity gas mileage... and fun.

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    Thanks all for the replies!

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    An engine is much like an air pump. A hotter cam opens the intake valve a little sooner and closes the exhaust valve a little later resulting in more air flow. At peak rpms more flow is more power. At mid to low rpms max air flow may not better. There is some optimal flow that is best. All the auto manufactures now have some type of variable valve timing, like a Honda Civic vtec.

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    Are there any aftermarket cams that don’t tick? I’ve read about the DCR and TB cams causing a ticking sound. Does the Kitaco Type 2 tick? Can they not make a high performance cam that doesn’t tick or is that characteristic inherent in all of them?

    From what I’ve read in other threads, it has something to do with the base circle diameter being smaller than stock, the lobes are steeper, etc.

    I admit I don’t fully understand the mechanics of this ticking sound, but would like to learn more.

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    My TB cam doesn't tick. I expect it depends on how you set your valve clearances.
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