Your ride's cam follower must be maintained well to ensure a smooth and even contact with the cam, or else, it won't be capable of controlling the opening and closing of the inlet and exhaust valves. The follower system needs a stabilizing force so it won't shake or jitter, which can cause premature wear on the cam follower itself or damage the device moved by the follower. If any of these happens and you need to replace your stock cam follower, there are different cam follower types to consider:
Types according to mounting applications
Check out your owner's manual or your stock cam follower to know the right replacement. You see, some followers work only for certain types of mounting, so it's important to purchase one that matches the specifications of your ride.
Stud-style followers. These followers are great for DIYers because they can be installed quickly and effortlessly. Stud-style followers, which can be purchased with outer crowned outer rings and with or without seals, are further classified into:
- Heavy-stud cam followers
- Standard-stud cam followers
Built-in stud cam followers. This type is convenient to install, but its capacity and strength is restricted by the amount of load the built-in stud is able to support.
Yoke-type cam follower. If your ride's loading conditions normally exceed the capacity of your existing cam follower, use a yoke-type unit. It provides support on each side of the follower and it accommodates a heavy-duty pin. This is ideal for drivers who want clevis mounting. You can purchase this type of follower with seals, without seals, or with crowned outer rings. Because of its hole in the middle, such follower is less convenient to install.
Types according to head designs
Cam followers also come in different head designs, which include:
Pointed head. This type of follower holds and replicates the cam's movement more accurately. However, it wears out more quickly compared to other cam follower types.
Broader head. While cam followers with broader heads don't wear down easily, precision is usually compromised.
Roller head. Some cam followers have heads with a roller, which allows them to function smoothly.
Types according to the cam's force and speed
Other cam follower classifications are based on the amount of force and speed applied by the cam.
Needle roller. Inside this cam follower are bearings and anti-friction elements, which allow it to work smoothly and carry heavy loads.
Caged roller. The needles in this type of follower are separated by a cage for better lubrication and operation in higher speed, but it cannot support heavy loads.