High-performance is high-performance, but race teams seem to have an advantage over street enthusiasts when it comes to working with experts like engine builders. Organized race teams have engines rebuilt much more often than street rodders, so it is natural for the engine builders to have a closer bond with racers.
That doesn’t mean you can’t get the same technical advice when it comes to picking a new bumpstick for your latest engine build. Just submit your engine and vehicle specifics to the tech crew at Howards Cams on the Howards Cam Recommendation portal on their website.
It is a very easy procedure from start to finish and the instructions are pretty straightforward: “Be as complete as possible – don’t guess or “exaggerate” figures. Your cam will only be as good as the information you supply!”
The first series of questions is general contact information like your name, where you live, how to get ahold of you with any follow-up information or details, and the best time to contact you.
The next stage is a little more specific and you may want to gather this information before you log in to the site to begin the process. First detail questions involve the vehicle information. What type of vehicle (it doesn’t have to be a car), year, make, and model. What type of tire (as in radial, bias ply, slick, etc.), tire manufacturer, and tire size. They also ask what transmission, stall speed of the torque converter (if you know it), and what is the drive axle gear ratio.
The Engine Details
As with the torque converter stall speed and drive axle gear ratio, when it comes to the engine specifics, if you don’t know, then you don’t know. Chances are you will be doing a major engine rebuild if you are asking for cam recommendations, so you probably have the other parts picked out already. That makes this part of the process easier.
The Howards Cams Tech Pros want to know the details like the engine manufacturer, and what model engine. The number of cylinders, bore and stroke, connecting rod type, rod size, piston type, compression ratio, and even the firing order. On some engines (like the SBC 350 Gen I) it is sometimes desirable to change the factory firing order to one that suits your application.
Also helpful is the combustion chamber size, cylinder head runner size, and the size of the intake and exhaust valves.
Induction And Exhaust
Engine power is about getting more charged air in quicker and getting rid of the exhaust gasses fast. Think of it as a huge air pump. When you picture the combustion engine as a big air pump, you have to consider the carburetor or throttle body size. The intake type and manufacturer as well as any specifics on the intake.
If your engine is equipped with a turbocharger or other power adder, additional details will be required. Even the fuel type and octane are figured into the equation.
The exhaust details are a bit easier with tube diameter, muffler type and brand, and length making up the bulk of the questions.
Finally, like any good advisor, they will want to know detail about the existing camshaft, what you are looking for (i.e. Hydraulic flat tappet cam), and any other information you deem important to consider with the request. Then you hit the submit button and wait for a response from the tech team.
For more information about Howards Cams or the products they offer, visit them online at www.howardscams.com.