PRI 2016: Howards Cams New Forced Induction Series

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If you’ve ever built a forced induction engine, and you did your homework,  you’ve encountered some pretty high level engine theory when it comes to valvetrain behavior, specifically camshaft profiles.

Cam profiles vary greatly between engines both on and off the racetrack for a number of reasons, firstly a camshaft sound suit the desired operating goals of the engine such as power delivery at peak as well as under the curve(s).

When it comes to force-fed engines, things get a little more complicated, typical fluid dynamics of scavenging and overlap change greatly and the cam needs to follow suit. The folks at Howard’s Cams have released a new line of forced induction cams for the street market and we followed up to see what’s new.

“Forced induction cams are nothing terribly special, the common grind is designed to cut down on the overlap because we’re trying to get people away from the idea of putting a turbo or blower on an end engine and expecting it to sound nasty and go ‘rumpity-rump.’ You can have one or the other,” explained Eric Bolander of Howard’s.

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Getting a grind that’s just right can be a tough task, especially of your engine sees double duty on and off the track. While this line of cams is aimed toward street peroformance Howard’s can make you whatever you need.

“We have applications for our flat tappet and hydraulic roller stuff, hot rod stuff. When we get into the racing grinds then it gets serious. Street car applications are still rather forgiving. If we don’t make exactly what you want, we can fall back on the custom program and grind you exactly what we think you need,” Bolander concluded.

We plan to go into further detail on the dynamics of lobe centers, scavenging and forced induction in a future feature article. Check back for an in-depth look at this important theoretical topic.

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About the author

Trevor Anderson

Trevor Anderson comes from an eclectic background of technical and creative disciplines. His first racing love can be found in the deserts of Baja California. In 2012 he won the SCORE Baja 1000 driving solo from Ensenada to La Paz in an aircooled VW. Trevor is engaged with hands-on skill sets such as fabrication and engine building, but also the theoretical discussion of design and technology. Trevor has a private pilot's license and is pursuing an MFA in fine art - specifically researching the aesthetics of machines, high performance materials and their social importance to enthusiast culture.
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