How to make a camshaft last longer

Federal-Mogul Engine Expertise explains the causes of premature camshaft wear and how to avoid it.

Camshaft wear is often caused by cylindrical cam followers, tappets or lifters that create a load at one edge of the cam.

Avoid mixing old and new components

The followers’ dome contact face, and cam’s slight taper are all designed to distribute the load over a wide area. However, if a new camshaft is fitted with worn followers left in place, or vice versa, it will affect the contact surface’s geometry and premature wear will occur.

Always use lubrication

The camshaft and followers need to be lubricated with clean engine oil during assembly. If the engine is not going to be used for some time, it is advised to use an “extreme pressure” lubricant like the AE Cam Pre-Lube to adhere to the surfaces until the engine is started.

Otherwise, always use the engine manufacturer’s recommended oil. Ensure that the oil sump, filters and galleries are filled before starting the engine for the first time, either by:

  • taking out spark plugs or injectors and cranking the engine until the low-pressure warning light goes out, or
  • removing the oil pressure detector and turning the engine until oil leaks from the hole

Finally, always follow the detailed assembly instructions from the engine manufacturer.

Find more information

More advice about avoiding premature wear to new camshafts and cylindrical cam followers can be found in the Federal-Mogul Engine Service Engineering Bulletin SB2147. For more information about this, please speak to your local FPS representative.




FPS is one of the UK’s leading providers of service-led supply chain solutions. Founded in 1934, and employing over 1,200 people, it operates from 23 sites in the UK. Acting as a distribution partner for a number of major brands, its core business is providing automotive parts, car accessories and consumables to the reseller network. Through recent expansion FPS now successfully provides wholesale distribution services in the Maintenance & Accessories sector, serving a number of blue-chip companies. Dedicated to service excellence and innovation, the company offers a wide range of services meeting the varying needs of manufacturers, suppliers, resellers and business consumers across the supply chain. For further details go to or contact

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