The paper investigates two important aspects, friction and spring motion, of the dynamics of a spring-actuated cam system. The characteristics of the friction on the camshaft are analyzed using the nonlinear pendulum experiment, while the parameters of the friction model are estimated using the optimization technique. The analysis reveals that the friction of the camshaft depends on stick-slip, Stribeck effect and viscous damping. Spring elements are found to have much influence on the dynamic characteristics. Hence, they are modeled as four degrees-of-freedom lumped masses with equivalent springs. The lumped masses and equivalent springs are obtained to match the static stiffness and natural frequency of the actual spring. The appropriateness of the derived friction and spring model are verified by its application to a vacuum circuit-breaker mechanism of the cam-follower type.