The idea of changing engine performance by changing the timing of valve-train components and how they interact has been around since the first hot-rodders started modifying their internal combustion engines. Opening intake or exhaust valves a little sooner or a little later, or changing their orientation to the piston position or their overlap and duration have been staples of adding power to cars for decades. For conventional V configuration engines; this was most often done by changing the actual camshaft profile, putting in a “performance” camshaft or possibly switching to different ratio rocker arms. Controlling the valve-train timing means controlling how the air and fuel move through the engine and to an extent, how efficiently the mixture is burned/used to make power.
With the advent of overhead cam engines and movement to external mounted cam gears to provide the location for a timing belt or chain to connect and coordinate the timing between the crankshaft and camshaft(s), engine builders and tuners found another spot that would allow them to more easily adjust valve-train timing, without needing to change the actual camshaft(s); the cam gears. These cam gears could most often be easily accessed and did not require actually opening up the engine, and since they were bolt-on external parts, they were much easier to adjust and less expensive to modify than a hardened camshaft. The first “cam gear pioneers” simply modified their stock cam gears to try and get a few degrees of adjustment and improve performance, but with mixed results, as modified cam gears were often not accurate enough to provide precise timing or would sometimes break when not machined correctly. As this practice gained popularity, manufacturers like Fidanza saw the potential for specially designed “adjustable cam gears” that were stronger, lighter, looked better and had a greater / more precise range of adjustment to allow tuners to eek out the optimum in power and performance from the engines they worked on. The easy adjustability also meant that as other items were added or subtracted from the vehicle; headers, nitrous, turbo, etc. the timing could be easily re-adjusted to get the most out of the new configuration.
Some of the effects of altering camshaft timing include being able to increase overall horsepower and even adjust the engine’s torque curve and power band. So if you’re looking for an easy and economical way to get some additional power out of your car’s engine, try some Fidanza Performance adjustable cam gears!
NOTE: For optimum performance gains and to protect your engine, we recommend having your cam gear timing professionally set by a reputable tuner / dyno facility.