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I love Corvettes and especially the z06. I hope to have one someday soon. I know a lot of members here have done mods to their cars, and I am familiar with many of them (CAGS defeat, cold air intakes, shorty shifters, chromies, etc...).

However, I have no idea what a cam is, what headers are, what an X-pipe means, etc...What do they do, and why would anyone want to replace them from stock? I know that by adding headers or a cam, it improves engine performance, but can someone explain to me how in simple english? Keep in mind that I am not mechanically inclined!

Thanks in advance for helping me!
 

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Lori....Is that you?

Sorry....I'm leaving for lunch now. If you don't have an anwser by the time I get back I'll do my best to explain it.
 

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A camshaft, or more commonly called CAM, is what allows the intake and exhaust valves to open. A cam is simply a metal shaft on wich are lobes (called camshaft lobes). As the cam spins, the lobes push pushrods (that is if we talk about a camshaft that is in the block as it is for the vette. but there are overhead cams that are in the head of the engine, those don't require pushrods...anyway..)

As I was saying, the cam lobes push on pushrods wich activates a rocker arm (if I'm not mistaken) that pushes on the intake valve/exhaut valve depending on the cycle of the cam...

It may seem complicated but it really isn't...

There, here is link you'll fin most useful, and not only for the cam, but for the entire way an engine produces power i.e. Transmission, LSD, rotaries etc etc, this site is incredible!!!

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/camshaft.htm
 

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It would probably be better if you did a little reading on this site first: Click Here See the table of contents at the bottom of the page.

Then you can ask us specific questions after that. We can help you more like that.

Basically though, an engine is an air pump. The cam directs all the events/actions of the motor, the exhaust/headers is what it exhales though. Changing to a larger cam will allow the motor to breath deeper and making the header larger would be like trying to blow through a coffee stirrer vs. a "super sized" soda straw; much improved. Over simplified, but it should get you in the right direction.
 

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The camshaft is the brain of the motor it mechanically tells the valves (intake and exhaust) when to open and close. The heads which contain the valves are like a set of lungs that allow the engine to breathe in air/fuel and exhale the exhaust gases based on what the valves are doing. The piston moves up and down from the crankshaft connection via the piston rod connection. As the piston travels up the fresh air and fuel mixture are being compressed in the cylinder, when the spark plug ignites the compressed mixture at near the TDC (top dead center of the piston travel) the explosion produces power that forces the piston back down forcing the crank to rotata and propel the car forward at the flywheel/clutch/drivetrain/back tires.
 

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Phaster said:
The camshaft is the brain of the motor it mechanically tells the valves (intake and exhaust) when to open and close. The heads which contain the valves are like a set of lungs that allow the engine to breathe in air/fuel and exhale the exhaust gases based on what the valves are doing. The piston moves up and down from the crankshaft connection via the piston rod connection. As the piston travels up the fresh air and fuel mixture are being compressed in the cylinder, when the spark plug ignites the compressed mixture at near the TDC (top dead center of the piston travel) the explosion produces power that forces the piston back down forcing the crank to rotata and propel the car forward at the flywheel/clutch/drivetrain/back tires.
Good analysis! Hell, if I'd known it was going to go thru that much, I'd kept my Schwinn and saved it all that work... :rofl: :rofl: . Now, you know I'm just kiddin'. :roll:

Bob :yeadog:
 
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