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How to Identify a Camshaft by Number

by Neal Litherland

The camshaft is an important part of your vehicle; it helps certain elements of your car run smoothly, from regulating the timing of your valves to bringing in fresh air to kick out exhaust. If you need a new camshaft, it can be a bit confusing to put together the identification number of the camshaft you need for your car. However, if you break the number down one piece at a time, it becomes easier to identify.

Find the model prefix. The model prefix is the first part of the camshaft number, and it describes the vehicle that the camshaft is meant for. For instance, the number for a Toyota 3SGE would be CS 3SGE.

Find the profile or grind number. This number should be on your camshaft, followed by a number of degrees. For example, you might have a camshaft stamped with the numbers 899C, followed by various numbers with degrees. Take the 899C and add it to the model prefix.

Find the exhaust number and add it to the end of the list of numbers. Depending on the model of vehicle, you may also need an exhaust grind number, which will be stamped onto your car's exhaust inlet, and it will follow the same form as the numbers on the camshaft.


  • If your camshaft is for a custom vehicle or alteration, you may need to get even more specific. Optional camshaft number requirements are listed at the link in Resources.

About the Author

Neal Litherland is an author, blogger and occasional ghostwriter. His experience includes comics, role playing games and a variety of other projects as well. He holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Indiana University, and resides in Northwest Indiana.

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