Dual pattern Cam vs. Single pattern Cam
I've just been wondering recently about these two style camshafts. I know what they are (single cam being like mine 224/224 @ 0.050, dual pattern 222/234 @ 0.050).
What is the advantage of one over the other and how would you know if you needed one over the other. Aren't dual patterns for weak exhaust valves or something?
The dual pattern cam mentioned works well with a street exhaust system. Holding the exhaust valve open longer evacuates the cylinder better. Also does not effect idle quality and retains good intake vac.
This is Isky's view:
Tech Tip - 2003
Longer Exhaust Duration: Is this really necessary?
Most stock camshafts from American production V8, V6 and 4 cylinder engines manufactured today are ground with the longer exhaust lobe duration. Or, another way of looking at this is that they are ground with shorter intake durations! The former embraces the viewpoint that either the Exhaust Ports or Exhaust Pipe system is somewhat restrictive, and is in need of an assist. The latter suggests that the intake system is rather efficient and cam timing can be trimmed back a bit with out much sacrifice in power, in order to maximize throttle response and cruising efficiency.
Take your pick here. There is no absolutely correct viewpoint - because both are probably true! In a stock engine running at conservative RPM levels, for the sake of overall efficiency, fuel economy and a quiet smooth running engine, this staggering of intake and exhaust duration is quite common and appropriate.
However, High Performance is another thing entirely. Change one factor, let's say in this case, the exhaust system (installing headers and larger pipes) and you have just negated in most cases, the need for that longer exhaust lobe. Now couple this change with a different intake system and camshaft and you have really scrambled the equation. But, wait just a moment. Why is it that so many people (racers & cam grinders alike) insist on running a cam with longer exhaust duration regardless of what equipment is employed? The answer is "habit". Most of them have been somewhat successful in doing it their way and will probably never change unless virtually forced by circumstances to do so.
Before we go any further however let's review what it actually is we are trying to do with an engine when we attempt to make more power. Our best result comes when we are cognizant of the fact that an engine is basically an air pump. We pump it in and out (although in a different form) and we have problems when one side or the other is restricted. Balance or the equilibrium or flow should be our objective, unless of course we are not trying to make more horsepower!
Example #1 (Oval track racing) Here, I have often observed that the most experienced drivers are those who are most likely to run a single pattern (equal on intake and exhaust duration) cam. Why? Because such cams always, I repeat always make more torque! These veterans have a more educated foot and greater experience in feathering the throttle in the corners. They can therefore, utilize the benefit of added torque, in the lower to mid RPM range, to their advantage.
Their counterparts, the younger drivers on the circuit, generally are not as experienced and may at times actually get "crossed up" in the corners especially with a lighter car or when they are learning the ropes. In their case, a longer exhaust duration is often the more appropriate choice. It will often help them to drive better, more "flat footed" if you will, without consequence. But please for the sake of accuracy, let us be truthful. The benefit comes from an actual bleeding off of low to mid range torque, which is always what happens when Exh. Duration is lengthened, not from any improvement. The improvement, (if any) would come because of an improvement in scavenging at the extreme upper end of the power curve and would usually be marginal at best. Yet the so-called "extra power" potential of a longer Exh. Duration cam is most often why they are touted - power most people are backing away from at the end of the strait away!
Example #2 (Drag Racing) At the drag strip it's a little different and I feel more honest. Here, racers have long enjoyed longer exhaust and longer durations across the board (If I may add specifically for the purpose of "killing" low-end torque) to keep the tires from too easily breaking lose. This has been successful and sometimes actually results in a slight increase in top end power - something you can actually use in drag racing since it is a full throttle endeavor through the lights. Keep in mind here though, it's quite possible that a longer duration cam overall would have done just as well or better. In other words if you needed that longer exhaust for top end, perhaps the intake could have benefited from such a lengthening as well.
One of my favorite expressions is how "The Drag Racing mentality has infiltrated the ranks of Oval Track". Many have crossed over and made the switch in the past 10-15 years and some have brought their preconceived notions about how to cam an engine with them. A few may actually read these concepts and if they do so will at least come away with a better understanding of what they are doing. On the other hand they also could find that this information might actually help their cars to run just a bit faster!
Note: Readers may find Camfather Ed Iskenderian's Top Tuners Tip #33 "Can an Exhaust System Over-Scavenge the Combustion Chambers" to be a relevant precursor.
I still think it`s funny about this debate. I`m not one to say dual pattern cams don`t work, they do and they do well as do single pattern grinds. However, When a exhaust system has headers, ample sized pipe, low restriction mufflers, why is the need there for more on the exhaust side?
Every chevy head I`ve ever looked at has a good exhaust port, it`s the intake side that`s not that great, when you look at a ford small block windsor head it`s just the opposite, the exhaust port is small, kinked, and looks like a nightmare, you wonder how the engine breathes at all, the intake port is big and with some work flows nicely, in some cases the port is too big like on the boss heads. But as for a example on a sbc, my opinion is simple, a dual pattern cam is needed when the exhaust system is not altered from stock or when nitrous is used, when the exhaust is free flowing a single pattern fills the bill, when the exhaust is already free flowing and a dual pattern grind is used I agree with Johnsongrass, over scavaging the exhaust kills the torque.
I have read the following "general guide lines" about what more exhaust duration is good for:
1) weak flowing exhaust port (less than 70% of intake port)
2) stock exhaust manifolds and/or restrictive exhaust system
3) heavy car with a small engine, like 4500 lb truck with a 350.
4) cars with automatic transmissions
5) N20 or supercharger equipped engines
A cam with more exhaust duration with have a rougher idle than a cam with less exhaust duration as long as the cams are ground with the same lobe separation. The longer duration exhaust cam will have more overlap, and the amount of overlap effects the idle more than anything.
i see a dual pattern cam being the most benificial when a power adder is used.
454C10 is spot on. Exact. There may be other factors involved, but in general a dual pattern cam is used where the exhaust/intake flow ratio is in need of help.
All things being equal, its better (in terms of torque curve production) to port for better E/I ratio and run a single pattern cam. For instance, if you have a poor E/I ratio and run a 214/224 cam, then you port the exhaust for an optimum E/I ratio and switch to a 214/214 cam, the torque curve will be generally flatter, peak hp will be higher, and the RPM at which the torque peaks will be a tiny bit lower... but in this example, only by about 50 rpms.
To determine whether or not you need or should use a dual pattern or single pattern cam for your setup, find the flow rates for your heads and use them to determine if you need a dual pattern for your application. All engines are different... BBCs optimum E/I ratio is different from a Ford Windsor.
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