Friday, July 20, 2007

Pumping Ethyl

Most basic auto repair manuals describes the typical automobile fuel system as a basically simple affair. It starts with a fuel pump and some hose that pumps fuel to the carburetor and that's about it. Well, there is nothing "typical" about Lucky's fuel system. Here is just some of the plumbing required to wet Lucky's appetite.

As you can see from the above photo fuel systems and delivery are something to be taken very seriously on high performance race cars. (Picture courtesy of Bret Haller and TheUnlimitedClass) One of the major problems that La Carrera Panamericana competitors running at the various altitudes that range from 11,000 to sea level is how they manage air/fuel mixture, pressure, temperature and so on. Common problems are too rich/lean, flooding, bogging down and so on. There is a heartbreaking video of a beautiful Daytona Coupe that literly burnt to the ground as a result of a flooded carburetor during the La Carrera Panamericana just a couple years ago. Yes, the same one as in the above photo. Those and a few other good reasons are exactly why I brought in one of the leading carburetor experts in the United States to handle our carburetor needs. Bobby Oliver of Competition Carburetion in Sparks Nevada is a very exciting guy to talk to and one who really knows what he is talking about. In fact he builds the restrictor carburetors for the NASCAR teams that run the two barrel carbs like the one we will be using. And it gets even better, Bobby is an expert in high altitude fuel management and in fact his facility is in Sparks Nevada where everything is built and flow tested on a carb dyno of sorts which is at high alltitude.

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