PRI 2012: Comps’ 4-Pattern Cams Good For Drag & Circle Track Racing

While Comp Cams’ new 4-Pattern hydraulic roller camshaft will work on high-end street machines, it’s designed to help racers with premium engines reclaim power robbed by intake manifolds with unequal-length runners.

“It’s for the builder with a finely tuned engine,” notes Comp’s James Fry. “They’ve got the best cylinder heads and taken care of all the details. Now they want to get that last bit of horsepower.”

Note how the inboard runners are shorter than the outboard.

The 4-Pattern cam is based on the concept of equalizing airflow on a V8 engine equipped with a 4-barrel or single-throttle-body intake manifold that has unequal-length runners. Typically, the runners serving the four outboard cylinders are about 10 percent longer than the runners serving the inboard cylinders. 

Drawing from years of NASCAR experience, the 4-Pattern cam has four different lobe patterns, with separate intake and exhaust profiles for the inboard and outboard cylinders.

“You’ll get a broader power curve with the 4-Pattern,” says Fry. “The engine should be easier to jet with more equal distribution across the board.”

4-Pattern cams are available for the small-block Chevy and Ford and big-block Chevys. Applications include drag racing, road racing and circle track as well as street performance. The 4-Pattern technology is not intended for engines with tunnel-ram or box-style intake manifolds that don’t have unequal-length runners. It will work on both single and dual-plane 4-barrel intakes.

The 4-Pattern cams are CNC-ground from steel billets and come with a cast-iron distributor gear.

About the author

Mike Magda

Mike Magda is a veteran automotive writer with credits in publications such as Racecar Engineering, Hot Rod, Engine Technology International, Motor Trend, Automobile, Automotive Testing Technology and Professional Motorsport World.
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