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The Fuel Rail

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It seems strange to think that 30 years ago electronic fuel injection systems as we know and understand them now were really only in their infancy. Computers of course were really only for the ‘nerds’ in our midst, and anyway were generally too large, not sophisticated enough or too slow to handle the information needed to process them. If you can remember back that far, the carburettor was king, and some pretty sophisticated versions were available. But the theory was simple....

Fuel delivery

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As a development engineer for more than 30 years, and an enthusiast for a lot longer, I have seen many fuel systems installed in race and rally cars across the land. Some of them are very good, some not so. Most will obviously work sufficiently well 95% or even 99% of the time or else the owners would presumably modify them to suit, but there may be times when ambient temperatures are high or fuel levels very low when they can be caught out. The enemy of any fuel system for the...

The carburettor

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Any engine man these days, no matter how young or old, will have at least a pretty good idea of how electronic fuel injection works. With its speed, temperature and pressure sensors, maps and ECUs, the digital nature of the technology is well understood by many. Go back though say, 40 years and although a good many so-called engine tuners will have thought they knew about fuelling systems, when it came down to it, the complexities of the carburettor required a very special kind of...

Directly so

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It has often been said that 'racing improves the breed'. While this may have been true half-a-century ago - the development of the disc brake perhaps being one example - these days the thrust of new technology is definitely the other way around, and there's no finer example of this than the growing use of direct injection in the gasoline engine. But while the roadcar boys need it for the extra control it affords - primarily in the operational areas of 'cold start', fuel...

Fuel filters

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Anyone who has ever dismantled the carburettor (remember them?) of their beloved classic is likely to have noticed, hiding somewhere in the corner at the bottom of the float chamber, a small amount of sediment. Consisting sometimes of quite large granular particles - bits of rust, dirt, sealant or other contaminants - these will have travelled from the fuel tank through some kind of coarse mesh filter past the fuel pump and into the carburettor. Finding their way past the float chamber...