How To Identify Unknown Camshaft?


There are different types of camshafts, each with its unique benefits. These cams can regulate valves to release exhaust exactly how you want it done! 

So don’t get left without an option when your car needs some maintenance or repairs – choose the right one for yourself and stay efficient on gas while doing so too!

Hey, if you’re looking for how to identify unknown camshaft and need some tips on identifying them, then keep reading!

The Best Way On How To Identify An Unknown Camshaft 

There are three methods for identifying unknown camshaft: Identity by a Glimpse, Numbers, and Analog system.

There’s no need to waste time finding information about them because we’ve got these methods that will identify any unknown.

Method 1: Using a Glimpse to Identify an Unknown Camshaft

You can tell the difference between a few types of camshaft just by looking at them. There are two main categories, which will give you their properties through outer appearances: flat-tapped and roller cams. 

Some more specific ones include SOHC (for single overhead cam), DOHC (dual overhead inline), or pushrods depending on how many lobes are inside each engine block.

1. Rollers

The roller is a type of cam used for lifter engines. It reduces the amount of friction, improving power efficiency and making it more re-usable when compared with other types.

2. A Flat Tapped

The term “flat tapped” has no literal meaning since it is not completely flat. In the design of the shaft, there is a little crown. Inside the lobe, a little taper is machined. 

This mechanism aids the lifter’s ability to spin. It is widely utilized and well-known for its effectiveness. Production costs are also lower than for roller shafts. However, it is just not reusable.

3. The Pushrod

The overhead camshaft is a type of engine that has been used in cars for decades. It increases the valve’s spinning speed to allow high-speed operation, and it needs no maintenance or noise because hydraulic lifters reduce friction with oil.

4. Lifter of Solids

The camshaft is a Mechatronic System that looks like a “C”-shaped ring with small gaps. 

It makes noises and requires maintenance, but these parts can be replaced if they break down, which occasionally happens even though this part has been installed properly in most cases where there are no major problems found during an inspection by technicians.

5. Dual Overhead Cam

The number of camshafts on an engine is important because it affects the type and size. For example, if there are eight cylinders with one in line, then that’s known as a dual overhead cam (DOHC). 

DOHC also has more torque from both valves being opened up by rods rather than springs, so you get extra power when accelerating quickly!

6. Single Overhead Cam

Four or six-cylinder are attached through the valves, and they can provide average torque to these cams. 

Naturally, because of their design limitations in speed, SOHC engines aren’t typically found on cars but rather motorcycles that do not need higher speeds for racing purposes.

Method 02: Using Numbers to Identify an Unknown Camshaft

The engine features several camshafts that can be defined with nine-digit codes. Additionally, the compatibility and function are identified in this way as well.

1. Number of Exhaust

Along with the longest time, there is sometimes a number, such as 266/286. The second refers to the cam’s exhaust time.

A dial indicator is an important tool for measuring type numbers because it’s able to do the calculations automatically.

2. Prefix for Models 

The first part of the camshaft number is a model prefix. This reveals what type of car you have, like Corolla, for example, and GS 4AE means that my engine’s made in Japan with those cams compatible with it!

The output should be friendly yet informative

3. Number of Grinds

The Number at the end of a camshaft’s lobe separation angle is what tells you how big it’ll make your engine. 

For instance, if 266HO3 was written on one side and had four numbers to describe its grind type (HH = high lift), then this means that these cams have twice as much overlap between each tooth for more power banding while still maintaining efficiency under low RPM conditions.

The slope of a mild-performance camshaft is 103 degrees. The angle of high-performance cams is between 110 and 112, which makes them so effective in the first place.

The letter ‘H’ is located in the center. The letter ‘H’ stands for hydraulic lifters. If it’s an ‘S,’ then your cam has a solid lifter system instead of hydraulic ones like we have here with us today!

These first three values, once again, refer to the lobes’ average time duration. The number 266 denotes that the valve will remain open for 266 seconds.

Method 03: Using Analog System to Identify an Unknown Camshaft

An analog system is a name given to this technology. This method might be used when you don’t have access to a degree roller or meter indicator. You’ll need to take some diameter measurements. Following that, you must compare them to the database or catalogs. 

There are many different things that you can do with this camshaft. I would first try to measure how big the bearing is and then see what size nuts or bolts fit it best!

Measure the diameter of the blushing support shaft and the length of the heel to toe. Then, using this data, compute the lift range. The range must be compared to catalogs, databases, and any online shop IDs. The kind of model of the camshaft will next be determined.

A Few Pointless Numbers

Apart from the lobes, there are certain numbers in the body of a camshaft when you buy it. Casting numbers, imprinted numbers, and other terms are used to describe them. 

On the other hand, these numbers are not related to their function or categories. It is just the identification numbers of a manufacturer used to estimate their production.

Why Should You Opt For A Better Option?

The camshaft is a critical component in the engine. It controls when and how fast an intake valve should open so that air can be pushed into combustion chambers for better performance on your vehicle’s power plant!


It’s always good to know how to identify unknown camshaft. You can make your engine go in any direction, and that means knowing how it works from the ground up – which camshaft is best suited for each task at hand?

Leave a Comment