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The camshaft is a mechanical component of an internal combustion engine. It opens and closes the inlet and exhaust valves of the engine at the right time, with the exact stroke and in a precisely defined sequence. The camshaft is driven by the crankshaft by way of gearwheels, a toothed belt or a timing chain.
Double overhead cams control the opening and closing of a cylinder’s valves. Valve timing gears on a Ford Taunus four-cylinder engine — the small gear is on the crankshaft, the larger gear is on the camshaft. The gear ratio causes the camshaft to run at half the RPM of the crankshaft.