28 Feb 2024

The tools for the job

By Frank Massey

I gave this topic some considerable thought before choosing to discuss not just a selection of tools we use, but also some tools we have designed and modified.

I guess we all agree on one thing, the continuous demand on tools and technology in virtually every aspect of vehicle diagnosis, repair, and service.

I’m not sure of any other industry that places such demands on technical investment, yet it remains mainly unappreciated by the public. That’s our fault! I did spend several years in the aircraft industry on the Panavia Tornado, several years on I often refer to the very similar demands and skill sets required.

Gauge interest

Development came progressively over several years, the first to come was a vacuum and turbo boost pressure gauge. We have specialised in performance tuning for many years, assessing engine mechanical efficiency and turbo boost control.

Requirements were a range of -1+2 bar, a tell tail indicator and a non-damped, large clock face. Monitoring turbo pressure can be achieved serially, however unless you can confirm real time pressures against the map sensor, and equally important, the PCM control response in real time, discrete deviations may not be observed. It’s important that the gauge not be fluid damped as this reduces the response time of the indicator.

The gauge requirements were for a range of -1+10 bar, Perspex sight block minimum flow diameter 8mm, a ball valve tap to interrupt flow and to be undamped.

The obvious need is to monitor pressure in real time but also flow and the speed in flow response. Additional to this we wanted to restrict flow totally in suction systems, proving system seals integrity and pressure differential to a maximum of absolute zero. the tap also allows for increasing supply pressure whilst monitoring current flow through the low-pressure fuel pump electrical circuit. We call it proof test the increase in pressure and current is normally linear.

So, let’s reverse that logic, you should be able to prove the performance of any fluid system by monitoring rise time and current flow with a scope. this will confirm filtration restriction, cavitation and other issues. The gauge can be used for oil petrol or diesel systems.

Its requirements were a range of -1+1 bar, an 8mm/6mm tail hose, damped to smooth exhaust pressure pulse deviations.

It’s common to have DPF pressure transducer errors, and don’t forget to check adaption or sensor offset serially. the same comments apply to all pressure measurements as PCM control adaption is now pretty much common to all pump systems.

First check the static engine value which should be 1000mb, starting the engine should not produce any increase in pressure. The max pressure on load should not exceed 200-250mb with the ideal a little lower, at approx. 3psi.

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