Marketing is a critical component of car sales. Whether it’s branding a big-block Chevrolet V8 as a “rat engine,” or the infamous “Hemi six-pack,” consumers are generally drawn to automotive products or components that have a creative branding moniker rather than the perks. specific to the product. One of the most commonly misunderstood nicknames is the “dual cam” engine setup. Although they are becoming more common in modern cars and trucks, there are many consumers who have no idea what this actually means and why it is used.
Listed below are some of the facts about what a dual cam engine is, how it works, and the benefits of using it in modern car, truck, and SUV engines.
Defining a Twin-Cam configuration
In the traditional piston-driven combustion engine, there is a crankshaft that operates the pistons and connecting rods, connected by a chain to a single camshaft that opens and closes the intake and exhaust valves during the four-stroke process. The camshaft is not necessarily located above the cylinders or near the valves, and it uses pushrods to open and close the valves.
A “twin cam” engine has two camshafts, specifically a double overhead camshaft or DOHC, that define the valve train layout. While saying you have a dual-chamber motor sounds nice, it’s not always an accurate term.
In a dual overhead camshaft engine, there are two camshafts inside the cylinder head, positioned over the cylinders. One camshaft is responsible for operating the intake valves and the other operates the exhaust valves. The DOHC engine has several unique design features. For example, rocker arms are smaller or may not even be present. You see a wider angle between the two valve types than you would on a single overhead camshaft or SOHC.
Many DOHC engines have multiple valves on each cylinder, although the engine does not need to run. In theory, more valves per cylinder improves engine power without increasing airflow volume. In practice, this is not always true. It really depends on the engine configuration if this type of cylinder head configuration will be beneficial.
Benefits of a Twin-Cam
Professional mechanics agree that the best way to improve engine performance is through good airflow through the cylinder heads. While most high-performance engine shops achieve this by enlarging the intake and exhaust valves, manifolds and fittings and polishing the chambers for smooth flow, automakers have adopted the multiple valves per cylinder configuration. . The design of a DOHC allows for less restricted airflow at higher speeds. If the engine is also a multi-valve design, it also experiences improved combustion for greater efficiency due to the location of the spark plug.
Since DOHC or dual-cam engines have improved airflow through the cylinders, they are often comparatively more powerful and offer better acceleration. They can also improve efficiency, which translates to money saved at the gas station. Also, DOHC engines generally run quieter and smoother. Today, dual-chamber engines are available across the spectrum, from entry-level hatchbacks to high-performance sports cars.