Since the birth of the Honda k-series engine platform, the k20a3 motor has always been overlooked by most aftermarket part companies. This was primarily due to the fact that it had a less advanced VTEC system than its more highly regarded sibling, the k20a2. However, I always felt that substantial power could be massaged out of the engine even without the more advanced VTEC system found in the k20a2. Sometime in early 2005, I began work on a custom camshaft project. During the development of the cams, I revealed for the first time, the true potential of the k20a3 motor. I titled the project RazCams after my own name. I considered my first work to be a stage II level camshaft because of its very aggressive lobe profile. Later, a stage I cam was developed for forced induction applications.

The project relied on regrinding stock cams to a more aggressive lobe spec. Shown below is the first set of reground cams for the k20a3.

When installed, these cams produced significant HP gains over the stock cams as shown in the dyno below. The purple plot reflects the stock camshafts and the blue reflects the RazCam stage II output.

The results presented here were not easy to come by. All testing was paid for out of my own pocket. As with any development project, problems were encountered along the way. The most significant problem was the VTC spike that occurred when using the Hondata K-Pro engine management. This caused valve to piston contact to suddenly occur for a brief moment as the ECU fully advanced the VTC gear regardless of what parameters were stored in the cam angle maps. Dealing with this problem became a significant setback in the development of the camshafts and spawned my custom VTC gear project to allow the maximum VTC advance to be limited mechanically instead of relying solely on the ECU.

In the end, the camshafts were never produced for retail sale, although that was one of the initial goals. The project is virtually complete and only needs long term road testing before they are deemed a saleable product.

In the time that has passed since I began this project, other aftermarket companies finally took notice of the k20a3. Perhaps they saw my results and the excitement generated in the tuner community for owners of k20a3 powered vehicles. Truthfully, I cannot compete with companies that do this work full time. I undertook this project not as a get rich quick scheme, but as a way to get the most power out of the engine platform I had at the time. The reward for me is in being able to truthfully claim that I put the first cammed k20a3 motor on the street. Of course, simply driving the beast that I created was a reward in and of itself.
copyright 2008