How Do I Know if My Camshaft is a Good Core?

The Camshaft Reconditioning Process | Highway & Heavy Parts

When purchasing a camshaft for your diesel engine, one question that often comes up is whether or not your old cam will be accepted as a core. The part can only be deemed an acceptable core if it can be rebuilt.

So how do you know if your camshaft will be taken as a core for rebuild? 

There are several things to look for, including the straightness of the camshaft, the wear on the lobes, and the case hardening depth. Regardless of whether you're looking for a new or remanufactured camshaft, it's always worthwhile to know so you can save money on your diesel repair.

For more information on core charges in general, read our blog, What Is a Core Charge and Why Do I Have to Pay It?

Have questions about core charges or looking for a specific part? Our ASE Certified Techs can help you with all of your technical questions!

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Signs Your Diesel Camshaft is a Good Core

As previously mentioned, a rebuilder will check for the following things before accepting a camshaft as a rebuildable core:

  • The straightness of the camshaft—a bent cam in your diesel engine cannot be rebuilt
  • Is the wear on the lobes excessive? Slight wear won't prevent a cam from being rebuilt, but extreme wear can. 
  • The case hardening depth—if there's not enough of the hard metal on the outside of the camshaft to be ground into, it wouldn't be able to withstand the friction on the lobes and would be rejected as a core.
The below graphic details how to tell if a camshaft can be rebuilt:


Is My Diesel Camshaft a Good Core Graphic | Highway & Heavy Parts
Click here to download a pdf version

Once a camshaft has been deemed safe to rebuild, it can go through the remanufacturing process. This process involves two main stages: welding and regrinding. To read about these in more detail, visit our earlier blog, The Camshaft Reconditioning Process.

If you'd like to know more about camshafts and how replacing a worn one can restore fuel economy in your diesel engine, check out HHP's video. You can also take a look at HHP's selection of camshafts to help keep your engine in prime condition.

To learn more, or to find the right camshaft for your engine, give us a call at 844-304-7688. Our techs would love to talk to you! Or, you can request a quote online.

Originally Posted October 2, 2018; Edited March 19, 2020