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Electronic Unit Injectors & Unit Pumps (EUIs & EUPs)

Above: Types of high-pressure fuel systems

Unit Injectors are less commonly also called Combined Pump and Nozzle
Acronyms are: MUI, (Mechanical Unit Injectors) EUI, (Electronic Unit Injectors) and HEUI. (Hydraulically actuated Electronic Unit Injector) The pumping plunger and nozzle are located in the same body and a camshaft actuates the injector. A common fuel manifold will supply all the injectors.

Functions Electronic unit injectors are mechanically pressurized and electronically controlled. This means injection timing, duration, and metering are controlled by the ECM or electronic governor. Unit injection systems functions are incorporated into one unit the following functions: Time fuel delivery Pressurize the fuel for combustion Atomize and distribute fuel in the combustion chamber

Unit injection high-pressure fuel systems are capable of the highest spray in pressures because of the mechanism responsible for pressurizing fuel. Currently, spray-in pressures are approximately 30,000 psi or 2000 bar. This compares with 17,000 for the very best PLN and 8,000 for the best distributor type fuel system. (1-bar + 14.7psi = 1atmosphere).

Generally, an engine-mounted camshaft is used to pressure fuel. Due to the camshafts size and the surface area of the injector lobe usually the widest lobe on the camshaft, the greatest mechanical forces are transmitted to pressurize fuel. This contrast sharply with the size limitations of PLN pumps camshafts.

Injection delay Some injection delay can take place when pushrods transmit force to the injectors since pushrods may bend, flex or compress. However, overhead cam engines can transmit mechanical forces without any injection delay. Furthermore, since fewer parts are involved in the injector-train mechanism other benefits include: simplifying engine construction, minimizing wear surfaces and clearance requirements to compensate fort thermal expansion of parts. Electronic Unit Pumps (EUPs) Unit injection pumps use separate pumping elements to pressurize fuel. Pressurization is accomplished using an enginemounted camshaft that provides for high pressurization of fuel. The pump is connected to the fuel nozzle through a high-pressure fuel line. While this system features of higher spray-in pressures than a few other fuel systems, though not as high as unit

injectors, the use of the high-pressure fuel line and delivery valves in the pump incorporates injection delay to the design. These system feature spray-in pressures of 26,500psi. EUPs are adapted to engines formerly using PLN fuel systems because they require minimal amounts of engine modification. Currently, the electronically controlled EUPs are used on several on highway engines Mack E-7 E-tech/ASSET, Series 55 Detroit Diesel, MBE 400 & 900 engines.

Operation When considering EUI operation, two major designs are used. The most common one used by most manufacturers includes a solenoid operated spill or poppet valve. This valve allows fuel below the injector plunger to spill to the low-pressure fuel return when current is not supplied to the solenoid. By energizing the solenoid, the spill valve closes, fuel is trapped below an injector plunger, pressurized and delivered to a conventional type of nozzle valve. Metering and timing of fuel is controlled by solenoid on-off times and the duration of injection. To control both the start of injection timing and the quantity of fuel metered, the ECM sends out a PWM (pulse-width-modulated) electrical signal to each injector. The initial PWM signal determines the start of the injection, while the duration of this signal determines how long the injector can effectively spray fuel into the combustion chamber as the plunger is forced down by the rocker lever assembly Caterpillar, Detroit Diesel, Volvo and United technologies use this style of injector. The operation of the spill valve is similar to the Unit pump operation. Cummins uses a different type of unit injector which utilizing two plungers one for timing and another for metering. See information on Cummins Electronically controlled Injector (ECI).

Current ramping and injector response time. A peak and hold current strategy is used to operate the solenoid. This means a high voltage is applied initially to the injector solenoid to ensure rapid poppet valve response time. The higher voltage will shorten injector response time by minimizing the effect of reactive inductance of the injector solenoid. Reactive inductance refers to the high electrical resistance of a coiled wire when current is initially applied. This high resistance causes slower injector response to the electric signal resulting in injection delay and injection timing variations between cylinders and shot-to-shot variations. The expanding magnetic field induces current flow in the opposite direction of current producing the magnetic field. Until the magnetic field is stationary, the coil will have significant resistance. After the magnetic field has stabilized less current is required to overcome injector coil resistance and keep the poppet valve closed. Maintaining the current at high levels would only overheat the coil. The ECM will drop the current flow to the injector. Manufacturers monitor response time to injectors in order to make adjustments to timing for each cylinder. To accomplish this, the ECM will measure the time it takes for current to rise to its desired value which closes the poppett valve. The voltage drop across the injector is measured and timed. The delay factor between the time the electrical signal is applied to the injector coil and the time it takes to rise to the required value is applied to the next injection signal to correct the delay factor. So if the response time is 5milliseconds, the ECM will send the electrical signal 5-milli seconds sooner for the next injection.

Some manufacturers use 70 - 110-volts DC PWM current to operate the injector. This can reduce response time. Detroit Diesel uses 12-volts to operate their injectors so injector response time is longer. Injector response time is an important piece of diagnostic information. If injectors have different resistances, bad connectors or become hot, their

response time will change. Monitoring response time indicates whether there may be a problem with an injector circuit.

Newer unit injector technology. Rate shaping is accomplished electronically in the newest injectors. The problem with doing this using older injector technology was the size, weight and inertia of older poppet valve cartridges. Newer injectors such as Detroits N3 use smaller cartridges valves containing the solenoid and poppet valve which operate faster to achieve electronic control of rate shaping. Caterpillar EUIs using ACERT injectors use 5 separate injection events all controlled electronically. 1. Pilot Injection 2. Main Injection Step One 3. Main Injection Step Two 4. Main Injection Step Three 5. Post Injection Rate shaped unit injectors can be adapted to use three different injection rate profiles to achieve either good fuel economy (lean), good emissions (clean), or optimum power (mean).

Injector cup with coolant circulating around injector remoeves heat.

Trim Codes Since variations between flow rates of injectors can occur due to manufacturing tolerances, identical injectors can deliver different quantities of fuel despite the using the same length of PWM signal. This produces emission problems and cylinder imbalance conditions. To correct this condition, manufacturers will flow test all injectors and compare them against a nominal standard value. Depending on whether the injector flows more or less fuel, a numerical value is applied to the injector. This trim code or E trim value is entered into ECM injector data where adjustments to fuel flow can be made electronically. A CD accompanies Cat ACERT service injectors. Injector data is entered into ECM computer memory when the injector is replaced. Injector failures Water contamination is the greatest concern because it is the most common form of contaminant. Water may be introduced into the fuel supply during fuelling when warm, moisture laden air condenses on the cold metal walls of fuel storage tanks or dissolve into the cooler fuel. The effects of water in diesel fuel can be serious. Since water cannot pass easily through nozzle orifices, water can accumulate, vaporize and then cause a tip to blow off an injector. Water causes galling and seizure of injector plungers since it disrupts the lubricating film strength of fuel. Water can combine with sulphur in the fuel to form corrosive acids. Dirt can cause premature wear and shortened injector life. The cartridge valve or poppett valve is easily damaged by the continuous abrasive action of dirt. While most filters can remove particles down to 10 microns in size, the most damaging dirt particles are between 6-8 microns in size according to SWR lab. Micro-glass filters are the preferred filter medium for EUIs. These filters have a nominal rating of 2

microns meaning 90% of particles 2 microns or larger are removed. Fuel Pro can remove particles down to 5-microns.

Above: Injector seized and one with tip blown-off

Fuel temperature Diesel fuel provides cooling of the injection system. However, the temperature of the fuel may vary considerably due to engine operating temperature. As fuel temperature increases, fuel viscosity decreases, along with the lubrication capabilities of the fuel. When the system is operated with elevated fuel temperatures, the injectors will operate at reduced internal clearances. As a result, dirt and smaller particulate material may cause injection durability concerns. Installing a fuel cooler or operating with fuel tanks above half-full may also help eliminate concern. Maintaining proper fuel temperatures will help provide proper fuel injection system functioning.

Testing EUIs Bench testing of EUI injectors is not practical in the field. If an injector is suspected defective, a cylinder cut-out test can be performed to identify the bad injector. An injector swap can be done between a suspected injector and a good injector to differentiate between a defective injector or some other cylinder condition.