A method to study parametric stability of flexible cam-follower systems is developed. This method is applied to an automotive valve train which is modeled as a single-degree-of-freedom vibration system. The inclusion of the transverse and rotational flexibilities of the camshaft results in a system governed by a second-order, linear, ordinary differential equation with time-dependent coefficients. This class of equations, known as Hill’s equations, merits special notice in determination of the system response and stability. The analysis includes development of the equivalent model of the system, derivation of its equation of motion, and a method to evaluate its parametric stability based on Floquet theory. A closed-form numerical algorithm, developed to compute the periodic response of systems governed by second-order, linear, ordinary differential equations of motion with time-dependent coefficients, is utilized. The results of this study are presented in a companion paper in the forms of parametric stability charts and three-dimensional stability and response charts.

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