How to Degree a Cam

Fitting a performance camshaft to your engine can be one of the quickest and easiest options when it comes to unlocking large increases in power and torque, however getting the most out of a cam upgrade, as well as simply ensuring your engine is going to run without the valves contacting the piston, requires that the camshaft is degreed correctly. The process of degreeing, or dialling in the camshaft is one that many novice and experienced engine builders alike, struggle with and this course is designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills to do the job right the first time.  

Particularly when faced with the task of installing a new camshaft, it can be tricky to know where to start and what steps need to be completed. We address this with the HPA 6 step process which breaks the process of cam degreeing down into 6 bite sized tasks which individually are relatively easy to complete. This will let you quickly and accurately degree your cam or cams, but most importantly it will ensure you don’t miss out any critical steps. Once you’ve learned the 6 step process, you’ll be able to watch it being performed in real time in our library of worked examples where you can watch the cam degreeing process from start to finish on a range of different engines.

This course is applicable to any engine, regardless whether you’re running a single cam pushrod V8, or a quad cam V12. Camshaft degreeing does require some specific tools as well as a particular set of skills and in this course you will learn both. You will learn what tools you’ll need, as well as tips on what to look for when purchasing. You’ll also see all of the practical skills required to degree a cam demonstrated for you.

This course is designed equally for the home enthusiast who wants to learn how to degree cams for their own engine for a project car, as well as the industry professional who wants to bring their engine building in house and take more control over the process to provide a better product for their customers.

Degreeing a camshaft does require a basic familiarity with the fundamentals of engine building and if you’re new to engine building we would suggest you start with our Engine Building Fundamentals and Practical Engine Building courses first.

What you will learn
  • Camshaft fundamentals and terminology
  • Techniques for finding true TDC
  • How to fit and use a dial gauge
  • What the numbers on a cam spec card mean
  • How to measure and adjust valve timing events
  • How to measure piston to valve clearance

Common Questions

Will this work for any Engine / Cam?

Yes, in this course you will learn the fundamentals and a step by step process that you can apply to ANY engine and cam package.

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Course Curriculum

  • Introduction 01.27
  • How To Use This Course 01.26
  • Disclaimer 00.49
  • Basic Camshaft Operation 04.44
  • What is Degreeing a Camshaft? 01.56
  • Terminology 04.08
  • Camshaft Specification Sheets 07.54
  • Mechanical vs Hydraulic Lifters 03.49
  • Adjusting Camshaft Timing 01.52
  • Fixed vs Continuously Variable Cam Timing 03.05
  • What Tools You Will Need 03.43
  • How to Fit a Degree Wheel 06.11
  • Finding True TDC 18.16
  • How to Fit and Use a Dial Gauge 10.02
  • Reading a Degree Wheel 07.13
  • Making Cam Timing Adjustments 10.37
  • Measuring Piston To Valve Clearance 08.31
  • Degreeing Techniques 01.53
  • The 6 Step Process 05.33
  • Considerations for Hydraulic Lifters 03.00
  • Considerations for Pushrod Engines 03.24
  • Considerations for Vee or Horizontally Opposed Overhead Cam Engines 01.31
  • Considerations for VTEC Mechanisms 01.58
  • Optimising Cam Timing on the Dyno 03.27
  • Conclusion 00.57
  • Introduction 02.11
  • Step 1: Set Base Cam Timing 04.53
  • Step 2: Find True TDC 05.37
  • Step 3: Fit Dial Gauge 04.14
  • Step 4: Measure and Adjust Intake Cam Timing 10.09
  • Step 5: Measure and Adjust Exhaust Cam Timing 08.40
  • Step 6: Lock Up Cam Wheel 02.17
  • Introduction 02.43
  • Step 1: Set Base Cam Timing 10.52
  • Step 2: Find True TDC 05.12
  • Step 3: Fit Dial Gauge 04.35
  • Step 4: Measure and Adjust Exhaust Cam Timing 06.41
  • Step 5: Measure and Adjust Intake Cam Timing 05.12
  • Step 6: Lock Up Cam Wheel 04.30
  • Introduction 12.13
  • Step 1: Set Base Cam Timing 04.43
  • Step 2: Find True TDC 04.13
  • Step 3: Fit Dial Gauge 02.02
  • Steps 4 & 5: Measure and Adjust Cam Timing 04.29
  • Step 6: Lock Up Cam Wheel 01.19
  • Request Certificate 00.06

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