Why would I need a new camshaft? Well, that's a difficult question to answer. Typically this isn't a part that simply wears out like brake pads or timing belts. This is an engine timing component that is responsible for actuating the intake and exhaust valves in synchrony so that the engine's four-stroke cycle is optimized for fuel efficiency and power. It does spin inside either the engine block or the cylinder head, lubricated by the engine oil, and protected from damage by a set of bushings. If the cam oil seals crack or tear, then these bushings may wear down and foul the camshaft; requiring its replacement. Another reason to replace the shaft is in order to get a bit more performance out of the engine. The cam lobes on the shaft can be made slightly sharper or with a different profile in order to influence the motion of the valves. This is more common in older engines, as newer engines use electronic variable valve timing to affect timing rather than mechanical changes.
Camshafts are found in every automobile's internal combustion engine (except rotary Wankel engines). They draw power from the crankshaft through a belt or chain that connects gears on both shafts to spin them in perfect time. The crank spins twice as fast as the cam, so the gears on the cam are much larger than that on the crank. Modern engines house their camshaft (or shafts) inside the cylinder head above the block. This is done to reduce the number of moving parts, as the cam lobes actuate the valves directly rather than rely on pushrods and rocker arms to do it. Modern engines also have variable valve timing equipped to their intake camshaft. It will employ lobes with slightly different profiles that actuate the same valve. The VVT solenoid will move the shaft forward or backward; selecting the appropriately shaped lobe for the operating conditions so that fuel economy and power are optimized.
Replacing your camshaft is serious business. On modern engines it isn't something any DIY-er can do themselves. If you are working on a project car and are ready to encounter obstacles and unforeseen delays, then feel free to do this yourself. Older pushrod (over-head valve) engines are much easier to work on, and camshaft replacement can be done fairly quickly as long as proper procedures are followed. Still, the engine has to be removed from the engine bay, the cam gear has to be clocked with absolute precision, timing order must be adhered to, and all parts must be handled with care.
Performance or reproduction camshafts are only as good as the factory that makes them. That's why Car Parts Discount carries nothing but the best engine internals... because we know that your demands for a quality part at a low price are not only reasonable, but achievable. Our engine parts are made by brands and manufacturers that know the needs of knowledgeable mechanics that work within tight precise tolerances. Rest easy when buying and installing a camshaft from CPD.