I want to know what type of camshaft location is most common in most vehicles? Is it an OHV/DOHV or OHC/DOHC/SOHC

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    I'm enjoying the questions you're asking. As as suggestion you might consider thinking of your questions in terms of, for example, the benefits and costs of different camshaft locations vs. which is most common. I think that could lead us to better answers and will probably get you closer to the information your really want.
    – dlu
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 18:06

2 Answers 2


They are all common in different configurations.

OHV is most common in V style engines, since you can have a single cam in the middle of the block. This weighs less than having a cam over each head, plus the belt/chain to drive it. This is most common in large 'truck' engines that need power at low RPM.

SOHC is common on all engines. SOHC is used typically on "low end" economy engines, or engines that need to make max power at lower RPM.

DOHC is also common on all engines. These engines tend to produce power at higher RPM as most DOHC engines have 4 valves per cylinder.


First of all DOHV is not in production period.

Most cheap engines especially ones with lower capacity and power outputs use SOHC configuration like the suzuki 1.2L engine or G13B which are all sub 1.8L engines.

Also, if you take the raw count, then I would say, yes the SOHC is the most produced configuration since 90% of motorcycles in developing countries like India and Vietnam have a huge number of single cylinder SOHC configured bikes and mopeds.

The Second most Common configuration is the DOHC setup which almost all of the modern cars use and is pretty much the standard for automotive engines apart from some chevy engines.

The third popular alternative , which is dying and is in its final stages is the OHV configuration which only a few Chevy and GM engines use now a days.Needless to say that some shipping engines and electricity generators use OHV today due to its advantages and since the generators run at a constant speed OHVs do the job best.

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    @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 How can they tell?? I'd love to see that A/B/X double blind. Got a reference please?
    – SteveRacer
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 17:13
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    @SteveRacer - I read an article about what GM did (it was written by R&T or the like). I didn't say it was a double blind, but just a blind study. They had two Corvettes which they put a DOHC engine into one and a OHV engine in the other (same basic power levels). Everyone who drove both preferred the OHV configuration. This and the OHV having the lower center of gravity lends to it in their performance cars. The fact the OHV has better low end torque shows why it's in the trucks. This decision was made around the time for the LS1 design considerations. (I haven't found the article again.) Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 17:25
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    @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 If the torque curve was different it wasn't apples-apples, so I can imagine a perceptible difference. But camshaft location doesn't change torque. Lift, duration, number of valves, intake runner length... sure. But I get it now-- thanks
    – SteveRacer
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 17:34
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    @SteveRacer You can actually tell the difference between a OHV and an SOHC and a DOHC motor , OHV and SOHC will behave similarly where you will have tons of torque in the low to mid range but DOHC on the other hand will usually Generate peak HP and Torque and much higher RPMs and are generally not practically useful on city roads.
    – Shobin P
    Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 9:18
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    @Anarach - You really aren't thinking much of the newer generations of sports cars, including Mustangs, Camaros, and Corvettes. The Corvette with the Z06/Z07 packages out corners any of those you are talking about (1.20G on the skid pad) right off the showroom floor. Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 10:02

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