Camshaft vs. crankshaft: What's the difference?

The camshaft and crankshaft perform different functions, but must work together in a carefully designed sequence to keep your engine running smoothly.

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Camshafts use egg-shaped "cams" to open and close engine valves (one CAM per valve), while crankshafts convert the "crank" (up and down motion of the piston) into rotary motion.

What is a camshaft?

●The camshaft, located at the "top" of the engine, is a key part of the valve mechanism that allows air and fuel to enter the combustion chamber (the space above the piston) and exhaust after combustion.

●Modern internal combustion engines (ics) can have up to four camshafts - or twin cams - with four valves per cylinder (two intake and two exhaust). Single CAM setting only one per valve.

How does the camshaft work?

●Driven by the crankshaft, the camshaft transmits motion from the CAM to the various parts of the valve mechanism to open and close the engine valve.

●CAM angles come in different shapes and sizes to control how much and when the valve opens. The four-camshaft configuration adds power. With more valves, more intake and exhaust air can be moved more easily because they have more room to flow through.

What is a crankshaft?

●The crankshaft is located at the "bottom end" of the engine and uses the great burning force by pushing the piston down, which causes the crankshaft to spin. This rotation is the power source of the engine.

How does the crankshaft work?

●The connecting rod connects the piston to the crankshaft. Combustion, precisely controlled by ignition and valve timing, exerts tremendous downward pressure on the piston, allowing the crankshaft to maintain its rotational momentum.

How do the camshaft and crankshaft work together?

●The camshaft and crankshaft gears are connected to an engine by a timing chain (similar to a bicycle chain) or a timing belt (similar to a drive belt, but toothed) or a meshing gear set (two interlocking gears) located at the "front end". To control combustion, they must be indexed (in line with the manufacturer's specifications) to work in perfect harmony. This is called valve timing.

●During the four-stroke combustion cycle (intake, compression, power, and exhaust), the crankshaft turns twice - moving each piston up and down twice - while the camshaft turns once. This causes each valve to open once every two turns of the crankshaft relative to the piston. In this way, only the intake valve will open during the intake stroke.

●Both valves remain closed during the compression and combustion strokes, with only the exhaust valve open during the exhaust stroke.

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