How To Degree Your Camshaft
Degreeing a camshaft enables you to locate the valve motion in relation to the piston movement or, stated
another way, to identify cam rotation relative to the rotation of the crankshaft. In short, it is an important step in
maximizing engine performance.
We recommend using the “lobe center line” method - the easiest and most accurate
process - to degree your cam:
Step 1: Find top-dead-center on the #1 piston.
Step 2: Locate the maximum lift point on the #1 intake lobe. This can be done by placing a dial indicator on
the lifter and rotating the engine until maximum lobe lift is achieved. Note: You’ll notice the crankshaft
will rotate 2 to 3 degrees in either direction without registering on the indicator. To accurately locate
maximum lift point, rotate the engine and allow the lifter to drop 0.050” on either side of maximum lift.
Then count the number of degrees between these two points and mark the point halfway between the
two outer marks. This is the “theoretical intake center line,” or maximum lift point.
Step 3: Locate this center line in the proper position in relation to top-dead-center. For example, if your
cam is ground with 106-degree lobe separation and you want to install it straight-up, simply locate the
“intake center line” at 106 degrees from the TDC mark. If you want to advance it 2 degrees, locate the
intake center line at 104 degrees from TDC. (The valve timing diagram above will help you understand
how cam location modifications affect an engine’s torque characteristics.)