How to Maintain the Carburetor and Fuel System (3)
So what happens if fuel delivery is weak? Your engine may miss or "burn-up" parts. It may just not perform to expectations. The new camshaft, racing-carburetor, or flowed-heads that didn't pick-you-up may have overstressed an already taxed fuel delivery system.
So what happens if fuel delivery is weak? Your engine may miss or "burn-up" parts. It may just not perform to expectations. The new camshaft, racing-carburetor, or flowed-heads that didn't pick-you-up may have overstressed an already taxed fuel delivery system. Carburetors cannot disperse the optimum air/fuel mixture unless the fuel system has the ability to maintain correct float bowl levels. Fuel levels that are two low may not cause the motor to miss or "burn" a piston, but they will reduce fuel flow and performance will suffer. It is not uncommon after upgrading a fuel system with a single four-barrel carburetor to pick up 1- to 4-tenths of a second. In extreme cases, E.T.s have been known to decrease by as much as 1 second!
Can a fuel system that is too large hurt performance? No, it assures your combination will reach its full potential: the needles and seats will shut when the float bowls are full. Conversely, if your fuel system is marginal, fluctuations in battery voltage will cause fuel flow changes from run-to-run which affects the float levels in the carburetors and out-the-window goes your consistency! So how do you know if your volume is adequate?
Test your fuel system by obtaining a 1-gallon gas-can (do not use a moulded-plactic gas container, or marked super-jug, or antifreeze-jug as you will not get accurate readings). Open up the top of the tin-can and insert the two or four carburetor fuel lines from your regulator, switch on the system and carefully measure the time it takes to fill it. High 10-second cars will need to pump 1-gallon in 25-seconds or less. A 9-second car should fill the can in 20-seconds or less, 15-seconds is all it takes for an 8-second car and under 12-seconds for 7-second vehicles. Important Note: It's essential to observe two strict rules during the test. One, keep a fire extinguisher handy and two, do not carry-out the test by yourself.
How do you know you're getting all of the performance from your car? Perform the gas-can test even if your car is running well - you have nothing to lose and everything to gain: including the prospects of improving your E.T. and gaining increased consistency. When your car isn't performing, always carry out the gas-can test first - it's one of the least-expensive diagnostic aids you'll encounter. Keep in mind that valve springs, ignitions systems, torque converters, even engines have been changed, when all the time the fuel system was at fault.
For the same reason, only fuel filters specifically designed for racing, such as the BG5000 or BG Inline filter, should be installed. Use of a fuel filter is strongly advised as long as it doesn't restrict fuel flow. The fuel filter should be installed in the line before the fuel pump. This filters the fuel, preventing any damaging material from entering the fuel pump or the rest of the system
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