Cam phasers are specially designed, computer-controlled cam gears that automatically optimize camshaft timing based on the current engine rpm. Engine oil is pressure fed to the cam phasers through a series of passageways in the cylinder heads and camshafts. The engine computers control solenoids that adjust this oil flow into and out of the phaser’s control chambers, giving the ability to retard the cams up to 60 crank degrees.
While this technology provides tremendous efficiency benefits, such as fuel efficiency and the ability to always be in the best position for maximum power, regardless of engine rpm, it does present some limitations when it comes to performance camshafts. With such a wide range of valve timing movement, there is very little piston to valve clearance, which limits you to small cam profiles with little overlap.
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