Servicing Mass Airflow Sensors

Servicing Mass Airflow Sensors

Ray Bohacz is a journalist in the automotive field and author of CarTech’s book “How to tune and win with Demon Carburetion”. He is also a monthly contributor to Hemming’s Muscle Machines magazine. Additionally, Ray writes short articles for the agriculture industry and is featured in a series of videos as the SF (Successful Farming) Engine Man. His videos introduce brief, informative features which apply to both farm and automotive equipment. Most modern fuel injection systems employ a mass air flow sensor (MAF) that is located between the air filter assembly and the throttle-body. The MAF measures the air flow into the engine. This data is mainly used by the engine controller (ECU) to determine fuel injector pulse width. The MAF output is also combined in an algorithm with the outputs from the crankshaft and throttle position sensors to determine engine load. This influences both fuel and ignition timing. The MAF output will skew when coated with air-borne contaminants. This is how to easily restore its accuracy. Watch the...
Helpful tips you need to know about racing oils

Helpful tips you need to know about racing oils

Meet specialist Len Groom. By Freddie Heaney: Between a crankshaft journal and a rod bearing a film of oil resides in a space approximately the thickness of a human hair. In last year’s Pro Stock 500cu in V8 racing engines, crankshafts were spinning near 11,500rpm. In 2006 the V8 Cosworth F1 racing engine reached an astonishing 20,000rpm. Oil film operating in passages the thickness of a piece of paper prevented their parts from touching—as it is in most racing engines. Oil film, which is also referred to as an oil wedge, can be better understood if you consider a piston ring moving down a cylinder. When in motion, the oil begins to accumulate before the ring and forms a wedge-like shape. If severe, the ring can hop on top of the oil wedge, which breaches the seal between the ring and cylinder wall, causing blow-by of combustion gases. Though more difficult to visualize, the wedge effect is also present in the lubrication space between the crankshaft journal and the rod bearing. Its depth measures approximately 0.003in. Recently, at the annual MPMC conference where 100 racing parts manufacturers met the media, AMSOIL’s Len Groom was on hand, as intelligent a man as ever discussed synthetic racing oils. High quality racing oils, he explains, demand attention in several key areas in order to provide protection. Two of the most important areas lie within their film strength and resistance to viscosity loss under high pressure. “In fact,” says Groom, “when racers using our 15w-50 tell me they are running oil temperatures of 260F, I don’t get too concerned so long as the...
FIRE and the poignant story of endurance road racer Stephen Cox

FIRE and the poignant story of endurance road racer Stephen Cox

He begins: It was the same sound you hear when you pour too much lighter fluid on the charcoal as you’re preparing a Fourth of July barbecue. A giant “whoosh” followed by a flash of flame. Except it was a thousand times louder. And it wasn’t charcoal that was on fire. It was me. Read the full article...
Update: EPA target is to defeat devices, not racers

Update: EPA target is to defeat devices, not racers

WASHINGTON: Alarm bells rang in the auto enthusiast community recently after a trade group [SEMA] warned that the EPA was threatening to ban the type of modified street cars that generations of amateur racers have taken to the track. “Relax,” said the EPA, “There’s no new ban being proposed. Fact is such modifications have always been banned under the Clean Air Act.” So what is going on? In our article of last month entitled “EPA threatens to ruin motorsports” we reported that SEMA delegates visited with EPA enforcement officers in Washington DC seeking clarification on the alleged banning of modified street cars.  Read Automotive News’ report below: By Ryan Beene, Automotive News, February 15, 2016 Call it a muddled exchange that nonetheless sheds light on one of the EPA’s enforcement priorities in the wake of Volkswagen’s diesel transgressions. In short, the EPA’s concern is not about the emissions of race cars but about keeping all road-going cars free of modifications that would neuter their emissions controls. Adam Kushner, a partner at the law firm Hogan Lovells and former enforcement official at the EPA, says it should be no surprise these days that regulators are scrutinizing how emissions-control systems are being modified in the new-vehicle and aftermarket sectors. “The regulated community is going to need to be watchful,” said Kushner, who was director of the EPA’s Air Enforcement Division from late 2003 to late 2008 and director of its Office of Civil Enforcement from late 2008 to late 2011. The EPA proposal that sparked the recent controversy seeks to add language to a “prohibited acts” section of existing light-vehicle regulations saying...
May The Force (Of Induction) Be With You!

May The Force (Of Induction) Be With You!

Since we’re always looking for smart ways to gain more horsepower, one of the best approaches is supercharging. It’s a device designed to grab Mother Nature by the scruff of the neck and shake her silly. Supercharging dramatically ups the ante on the pressure and quantity on your intake charge thereby making significantly more power for an internal combustion engine. Call it “unnatural aspiration”. The concept has been around for 131 years and even helped generate the power for some of history’s greatest prop-driven fighter planes. Lateral-g online magazine: Read the story of how a TorqStorm supercharger performed on Blueprint’s 383 SB...
How Renault F1 won a World championship by creating the tuned mass damper

How Renault F1 won a World championship by creating the tuned mass damper

By Fergus Ogilvy: At the end of the last century, probably the autumn of 1999, senior R&D man at Renault F1, Dave Hamer, was asked to investigate what could be done to stabilize their wind tunnel model. At that time it was a half-scale model, fifty percent the size of their current Formula One car, and it had a tendency to yaw (move laterally) during wind tunnel testing. Previous attempts at reinforcing the supporting strut had failed; to their dismay they had succeeded only in increasing its natural frequency of oscillation. “The supporting strut is particularly under-damped,” explains Hamer, “therefore, it was easily triggered into oscillation.” Could a mass damper stabilize the model in the wind tunnel? To oppose or eradicate the oscillating forces, he suggested the use of a tuneable mass damper, similar in concept of those placed at the top of some skyscrapers to protect them from the effects of earthquakes. The Taipei 101 skyscraper uses a tuned mass damper that weighs 800 tons. “We hired a specialist company to conduct a stability analysis of the model,” said Hamer, “and our drawing office designed some devices, but with negligible results. Confined space within the model was the chief impediment.” Then four and a half years later, in 2004, another attempt was made. By now the wind tunnel and the work performed within it was more refined. Significantly, the R&D department had access to a vibration specialist, who was on loan from Renault at the time, and between him and Benetton’s then Head of the race team’s R&D department, Robin Tuluie, they introduced a leaf spring to address the instability of...