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Inline Fuel Injection Pumps

In 1927 Robert Bosch produced the first practical diesel pump.

This design enabled the newly developed diesel engine to
become a viable engine for many applications. The method of
fuel metering on this initial pump was port and helix, (high-
pressure metering). This method of metering was still being
used on most modern injection pumps into l990's. Bosch has
licensed many companies to build these pumps but they all
retain the basic Bosch design principles. Bosch designed
pumps are used on many manufacturers’ engines. One of the
larger pumps in the Bosch line, the PE/S series has many
heavy-duty features, making it suitable for high-output engines
These pumps have been used on Mack, Navistar and Cummins
and countless others throughout the world. Larger camshafts,
plungers, and non-adjustable roller tappets enable this pump to be used with nozzle opening
pressures of 1,350 Bar, (10,000 to 20,000 psi). The hydro-mechanical versions of these pumps had
many add on features and controls such as a fuel lift pump, smoke limiter, (aneroid), injection
advance unit, and several different governors. The P size pump is generally used on engines having
more than 200 hp (149 Kwh). To meet increasingly stringent emissions requirements, manufacturers
of injection equipment are using much higher nozzle opening pressures than previously. Important
information about the pump is stamped on a plate mounted to the side of the pump. This plate will list
among other items, pump serial
number, pump model, and part
Component Parts and their Function
The pump shown at right is typical of
most inline pumps. The pump housing
has a low-pressure fuel gallery
surrounding the pumping elements.
This gallery is sealed from the rest of
the pump housing so fuel is available
only to the inlet/spill ports of the pump
barrels. An excess supply of fuel is
supplied to the gallery by the transfer
pump in most applications and a return
line returns unused fuel to the tank.
This excess flow removes any bubbles
that form in the fuel caused by
vibration or aeration and also keeps
the pump cool. The camshaft, (14), is
coupled to the engine drive train
through various methods but most
commonly a gear train arrangement is
used. The camshaft causes
reciprocating movement of the pumping plungers. The pumping
plunger and barrel assembly, (8+4) performs two functions. It forces
fuel past the delivery valve, into the injection line, and to the nozzle
by way of its reciprocating action, it also controls the quantity of fuel
by rotating action. The roller tappets, (13), ride directly on the
camshaft and transmit its motion to the pumping plungers. The plunger springs, (11), keep the roller
tappets in contact with the camshaft. The control rack or rod, (15), transmits the action of the
governor to the pumping plunger through the control sleeves, (9).
The delivery valve, (5), seals off the high pressure line from the barrel during the plunger’s downward
stroke and also reduces pressure in the line to a predetermined level to prevent secondary injections
in the combustion chamber.

Pump Operation
The heart of the inline injection pump is the plunger and barrel
assembly, (at left). This is where fuel at supply pump pressure
is pressurized to injection levels ranging from 140 to 1,350 Bar,
(2,000 to 20,000 PSI) and the precise control of fuel delivery is
accomplished by changing the point of register of the helical
control edge of the plunger, (the helix), with the spill/fill port.
Because the plunger fits so precisely in the barrel (approximate
clearance is only 2 to 4 microns), there are no sealing rings to
retain the injection pressure as the plunger pumps fuel they
seal by the viscosity of the fuel only. Pumping plungers and
barrels are lapped together to provide this seal. Never
interchange a plunger from one barrel to another. Even the warmth caused by holding a plunger in
your hand can cause it not to fit in its barrel. Plunger and barrels
are sold as a matched set. The pump camshaft lobe provides a
constant mechanical stroke length of the pumping plunger. The
plunger is rotated indirectly by the governor to provide changes
in fuel delivery. The upper edge of the pumping plunger has a
vertical groove which connects the hydraulic pressure above the
plunger to the milled recesses below. Near the top is a helix (or
control edge) this edge provides precise control of fuel delivery
by covering and uncovering the fill/spill ports as the plunger is
driven upwards in the barrel. The barrel may have either one or
two control ports, also called fill/spill ports. Any fuel that does
leak by the plunger is usually collected in an annular groove cut
into the barrel or the plunger and a corresponding duct in the
barrel provides a means of returning this leakage fuel to the
charging gallery. Without this method of returning to the charging
gallery, any fuel that leaks by the plunger would end up in the
engines oil supply and cause it to dilute and lead to engine
damage. The design of these pumps is
so precise that fuel leakage by the
plungers is very rarely the cause of
diluted engine oil and if this occurs all
other leakage possibilities should be
eliminated before suspecting the pump
as the cause.
When the pumping plunger is at its
bottom position, fuel from the pump
gallery enters through the fill/spill port/s
and floods the area above the plunger
and down the vertical groove to the
milled recesses. The plunger is now
forced upward by the camshaft. Initially
this upward motion merely displaces
fuel back to the charging gallery
because the fill/spill ports/s is/are still
After a short period of upward travel, the plunger
leading edge covers the inlet or fill/spill port/s. This is
known as port closure and is critical to the timing of
the injection event. Continued upward movement will
raise the pressure and then force fuel past the
delivery valve into the high pressure line, open the
injection nozzle, and inject fuel into the combustion
chamber. Injection will continue until the plunger has
risen far enough to enable the lower control edge of
the helix to uncover the inlet or fill/spill port/s. At this
time, pressurized fuel will rush down the vertical
groove on the plunger and exit through the now open
port/s. This is known as spill and is the end of
pressurization; the pressure will collapse back from
the nozzle through the open port in the barrel and will
continue to drop until the delivery valve closing
pressure is reached, typically 2/3 of nozzle opening
pressure, (NOP). The delivery valve will then close
sealing the barrel chamber from the high pressure
line. This closing maintains a residual pressure in the
high pressure line so the system is ready for the next
injection to that cylinder. After the end of fuel
delivery, the plunger will continue to be forced
upward by the camshaft, but this movement will not
cause any further injection it merely displaces fuel
through the open fill/spill port/s back to the charging

The plunger stroke can be

divided into four stages.
Pre-stroke; this is the
movement of the plunger
from its bottom dead centre
position to the point of port
closure fuel is merely
displaced back to the
charging gallery during this
portion of the stroke.
Retraction stroke; this is
the small portion of the
stroke required to raise the
fuel pressure to nozzle
opening pressure or NOP.
Effective stroke; this is the
plunger stroke while fuel is
actually being delivered to
the injector nozzle.
Residual stroke; this is the remaining upward travel of the plunger after the spill port has been
uncovered by the helix until the plunger reaches its top dead centre position.
The effective stroke of the pumping plunger
is the time when fuel is being sent to the
injector. The plungers are milled with a
vertical groove, or it may have cross and
centre drillings, and helical recesses. The
function of the vertical groove or cross and
centre drillings is to maintain a constant
connection between the pumping chamber
above the plunger and the helical recesses
so that when the helix uncovers the spill port
pressure above the plunger can escape
through the drillings or the vertical groove.
The length of plunger effective stroke will
depend on where the plunger helix registers
(vertically aligns) with the spill port. Control
sleeves lugged to the plunger permit the
plunger to be rotated while reciprocating. Rotating the plunger in the bore of the barrel will change the
point of register of the spill port with the helix. Therefore, plunger effective stroke and injected fuel
quantity depends entirely on the rotational position of the plunger. This rotation is controlled by the
requirement of more or less fuel and has no connection to engine speed or plunger reciprocation. The
plungers rotational position when an engine is in a steady load condition will not change it will only
adjust by operator demand or load change.
In multiple cylinder engines, the plungers must be synchronised to move
in unison to ensure balanced fuelling at any given engine load. The
control sleeves are tooth meshed or mechanically connected to a
governor control rod or rack, which when moved linearly, rotates the
plungers in unison. This is important. It means that in any position of the
rack, all of the plungers will have identical points of register with their spill
ports, resulting in identical pump effective strokes. The consequence of
not doing this would be to unbalance the fuelling of the engine that is,
deliver different quantities of fuel to each cylinder causing rough running
or even engine damage.
Engine shutdown is achieved by moving the control rack to the no-fuel
position. The plungers are rotated to a point where the vertical groove will
be in register with the spill port for the entire plunger stroke. The plunger
will merely displace fuel as it travels upward, with no pressurization
possible. In other words as the plunger is driven into the pump chamber,
the fuel in the chamber will be squeezed back down the vertical groove to
exit through the spill port and return to the charging gallery.
Most port helix metering injection pumps use delivery valves to reduce the amount of work required of
each pump element per cycle. Most delivery valves will have a conical seat, a retraction piston or
collar and flutes to guide it in its bore while allowing unrestricted
fuel flow, without the flutes the delivery valve could stick open.
Delivery valves reduce the amount of work the pump has to do on
the next fuel injection cycle by isolating the high pressure circuit
that extends from the injection pump chamber to the seat of the
nozzle valve and holding it a pressure somewhat below NOP. Fuel
retained in the high pressure pipes to the injectors between
pumping pulses is known as dead volume fuel. Dead volume fuel is
held at a residual pressure below NOP usually 2/3 of NOP.
Delivery valves also help to stop secondary injections. When the
spill port opens in the pumping chamber the pressure collapses
very quickly, the injector nozzle will close first when its differential
pressure is reached, usually 65 to 75% of NOP. Immediately
following nozzle closure the delivery valve retracts into its
holder. As soon as the retraction piston enters the delivery
valve holder the high pressure fuel in the line is cut off from
the open spill port.

The delivery valve continues to retract however until the conical

seat contacts the matching cup in the holder this extra movement
allows a minute amount of extra space for the fuel to occupy
thereby lowering its pressure to residual line pressure. This extra
space is known as the swept volume of the delivery valves
retraction piston or collar. Retraction collar swept volume is
matched to the length of the high pressure pipe to achieve a
precise residual line pressure. If the pressure was retained at
close to NOP the rushing fuel slamming into the closed delivery
valve would cause a reflected pressure wave or surge back
toward the nozzle and in certain conditions this could cause the
nozzle to reopen and dribble some fuel into the combustion
chamber which in turn would cause poor fuel economy and HC
emissions. Some delivery valves will have a return flow restriction
valve to further reduce pressure wave reflections or oscillations in
systems where cavitation is an issue.
The delivery valve is held in its closed position on its seat by a spring
and by the residual line pressure. If, for whatever reason, the residual
line pressure value was zero, hydraulic pressure of around 20 atms,
(300 psi), would have to be developed in the pump element to overcome
the mechanical force of the spring. This mechanical force is
compounded when the residual line pressure is pushing on the delivery
valve and establishes the pressure that must be developed in the pump
chamber before it is unseated.

When the delivery valve is first

unseated, it is driven upward
in its bore by rising pressure
in the pump chamber and it
acts as a plunger being driven
upward into the dead volume
fuel retained in the high
pressure pipe. By the time the
fuel in the chamber and the
pipe unite the pressure will be
close to NOP then the injector
nozzle valve (NOP) opens
and forces atomised fuel into
the engine cylinder.

Pump Housing
The pump housing is the frame that
encases all the injection pump
components and is a cast aluminium,
cast iron, or forged steel enclosure The
pump housing is usually flange mounted
by bolts to the engine cylinder block to be
driven by an accessory drive on the
engine gear train. In some offshore
applications of inline, port helix metering
injection pumps, the pump assembly is
cradle mounted on its base, in which
case, it is driven by means of an external
shaft from the timing gear train.
Cam Box
The cam box is the lower
portion of the pump housing
incorporating the lubricating oil
sump and main mounting
bores for the pump camshaft.
Camshaft main bearings are
usually pressure lubricated by
engine oil supplied from the
engine crankcase and the
cam-box sump level is
determined by the positioning
of a return port. In older
injection pumps, the pump oil
was isolated from the main
engine lubricant and the oil
was subject to periodic checks
and servicing.
The camshaft is designed
with a cam profile for each
engine cylinder and supported
by main bearings at the base
of the pump housing. It is
driven at 1/2 engine rotational
speed in a four-stroke cycle engine by the pump drive plate, which is itself, either coupled directly to
the pump drive gear or to a variable timing device. Camshaft actuating profiles are usually
symmetrical, that is, geometrically similar on both
sides of the toe, and mostly inner base circle (IBC
the smallest radial dimension of an eccentric).
However asymmetrical (the geometry of each cam
ramp or flank differs) and mostly outer base circle
(OBC: the largest radial dimension of an
eccentric) designs are used.
Tappets are arranged to ride the cam profile and
convert the rotary motion of the camshaft to the
reciprocating action required of the plunger.
A retraction spring is integral with the tappet
assembly. This is required to load the tappet and
plunger bases to ride the cam profile and it is
necessarily large enough to overcome the low
pressure (vacuum) established in the pump
chamber on the plunger return stroke. This low
pressure can be considerable when plunger
effective strokes are long but it does enable a
rapid recharge of the pump chamber with fuel
from the charging gallery. The time dimension
within which the pump element must be
recharged decreases proportionately with pump
rpm increase.
The Barrel
The barrel is the stationary member of the
pumping element; it is located in the pump
housing so its upper portion is exposed to
the charging gallery. This upper portion of
the barrel is usually drilled with diametrically
opposed ports known as fill and spill ports
that permit through flow of fuel to the barrel
chamber to be charged. Some older
systems had only one port this was changed
as pump pressures became higher in order
to provide a hydraulic balance at the spill
point to prevent the plunger from being
hammered against on side of the barrel as
pressure collapse occurs. Because it
contains the spill ports, both its height and
rotational position in relation to the plunger
is critical. Barrels are often manufactured
with upper flanges so that their relative heights
can be adjusted by means of shims and fastener
slots permit radial movement for purposes of
calibration and phasing.
Plungers are the reciprocating (something that
reciprocates, moves backward and forward such
as in the action of a piston in an engine cylinder)
members of the pump elements and they are
spring loaded to ride their actuating cam's
profile. Plungers are lapped to the barrel in
manufacture, to a clearance close to 2µ,
ensuring controlled back leakage directed
toward a viscous seal consisting of an annular
groove and return duct in the barrel. Each
plunger is milled with a vertical slot, helical
recess/es, and an annular groove. In current
truck engine applications, a lower helix design is
generally used but both upper helix and dual
helix designs are sometimes observed. The
positioning and shape of the helices (plural of
helix) on a plunger are often described as the
plunger geometry.
Plunger geometry describes the physical shape
of the metering recesses machined into the
plunger and this defines the injection timing
characteristics. The function of the vertical slot is
to ensure a constant hydraulic connection
between the pump chamber above the plunger
and the plunger helical recess/es. A plunger with
a lower helix will have a constant beginning,
variable ending of delivery timing characteristic
because the fill/spill port will always close at the
same amount of plunger upward travel and will
open depending on its rotational position.
Upper helix designs will be of the variable beginning, constant ending type. Double helix designs are
designed with both an upper and a lower helix. Double helix designs will have a variable beginning
and variable ending of delivery; this geometric design tends not to be often used in highway diesel

In the most common helix designs, plungers have identical

helices milled on both sides of the plunger. These are used
in many modern high pressure injection pumps to provide
hydraulic balance to the pump element at the spill point.
This design prevents the side loading of the plunger into the
barrel wall from the high pressure fuel being suddenly
released. A further feature of some plungers is a start retard
notch, or starting groove. Start retard notches are milled
recesses in the leading edge of plungers with lower helix
geometry. The start retard notch is usually on the opposite
side of the vertical slot from the helix and in a position that
would correlate close to a full-fuel effective stroke. The
governor of the injection pump is designed to permit the
start retard notch to register with the spill port only at
cranking speeds (under 300 rpm) and usually with the
accelerator fully depressed. The objective of the start retard
notch on a lower helix design plunger is to retard the
injection pulse until there is a maximum amount of heat in
the engine cylinder, usually when the piston is close to TDC. The instant the engine exceeds 300
rpm; it becomes no longer possible for the start retard notch to register with the spill port.
Rack and Control Sleeves
The rack and control sleeves allow the plungers in a multi-cylinder engine
to be rotated in unison to ensure balanced fuel delivery to each cylinder.
Plungers must therefore be timed either directly or indirectly to the control
rack. The rack is a toothed rod or a notched bar that extends into the
governor or rack actuator housing. The rack teeth or notches mesh with
teeth or levers on plunger control sleeves, which are either lugged or
clamped to the plunger. It must be possible to rotate the plungers while
they reciprocate to permit changes in fuel requirements while the engine
is running. Linear movement of the rack will rotate the plungers in unison,
alter the point of register of the helices with their respective spill ports, and
thereby control engine fuelling.

Comparator bench testing

Pump Calibration
Because the plunger and barrel assemblies are matched lapped sets
small differences in delivery volumes occur. Pump calibration is a test
stand procedure in which the plunger helix point of register with the
spill port is incrementally adjusted either by rotating the barrels
slightly or rotating the individual plungers to alter there position
relative to the rack. This ensures the delivery from each pump
element is exactly equal.
Pump Phasing
Pump phasing involves setting the port closure dimension of each
pump element so it occurs exactly 120 crankshaft degrees apart, (for
a six cylinder engine). It is performed only on the comparator bench
and can be adjusted by shimming the pump barrels or the plunger
Charging Pumps
The terms charging pump, transfer pump and supply
pump tend to be used interchangeably, depending on the
OEM. The charging pump is responsible for all fuel
movement in the fuel subsystem. In truck applications
using port helix metering injection, the charging pump is
normally a single or double acting plunger pump, flange
mounted to the fuel injection pump and actuated by a
dedicated eccentric on the injection pump camshaft.

Fuel is pulled under suction from the fuel tank through hydraulic
hose by the transfer pump. A primary fuel filter and or water
separator may also be in series with the pump and tank; or a
more rudimentary pre-cleaner can be integral with the charging
pump. The charging or transfer pump is responsible for
producing charging pressure. It discharges to a secondary
filter(s) and then to the charging gallery in the upper housing of
the injection pump. Charging pressures range from 1 to 5 atms
(15-75 psi) depending on the system. In some cases, a hand
primer is fitted to the transfer pump assembly. Its only function
is to prime the system manually after it has been opened or run
dry. Transfer pumps are capable of delivering far more fuel the
engine requires so there is usually a return line from the
charging gallery to return excess fuel to the tank. This helps to
remove any bubbles that form due to aeration and to keep the
fuel cool.
Governor or Rack Actuator Housing
Either a governor or rack actuator
housing must be incorporated to a
port helix metering injection pump.
This acts as the control mechanism
for managing fuelling. A Diesel
engine must use a governor to
control the amount of fuel injected
because unlike a gasoline engine
there is no throttle to control the
amount of air ingested. Gasoline
engines are managed to run on a
stoichiometric fuel ratio of 14.7: 1,
but diesels run with an excess of
air at all times. A diesel can have
as much as 1000 times the air
required to burn the fuel inside the
cylinder under certain operating
conditions. Therefore we must
precisely control the fuel quantity or
the engine would quickly
accelerate to self destruction,
(1000 RPM per sec). Consider an
engine fuel system that is designed to deliver 185 mm3. of fuel for each injection pulse at peak
torque. While this engine is idling, (no load), it may need only 18.5 mm3. per pulse, just to keep the
engine running while it is cold (enough to overcome the friction and inertia of the pistons and
crankshaft etc.). As the engine warms these factors will reduce (less friction etc.), if we supply the
same amount of fuel the engine will run faster and faster until it disintegrates. A governor’s job is to
sense engine speed and limit it by cutting the fuel delivery to the amount necessary to maintain its
speed. To run the above engine at 1200 RPM under no load may require only 20 mm3 of fuel but as
load is applied the requirement will increase perhaps as high as full fuel or 185 mm3. per cycle. The
governor can precisely control fuelling to accommodate this. The governor will control low idle, (the
slowest speed that the engine will run), high idle, (the maximum engine speed), and will manage
fuelling in between these points based on driver input and load conditions.
Mechanical governors were originally designed by James Watt in 1788 to control the steam engine of
his day. Mechanical governors use a set of flyweights that spin in relation to engine RPM. The
flyweights always try to reduce engine fuelling and by that engine speed. Governors match adjustable
spring tension against the centrifugal force generated by the governor weights. The governor will
have a main spring and an idle spring and in most cases a torque control spring it may also have a
starting spring. The combined effort of these springs is to push the engine fuel control rack towards
full fuel. The main governor spring tension is affected by the throttle position under all operating
conditions the governor will find a balance between spring force and weight force to control engine
fuelling and therefore engine speed. Mechanical Governors are set so that at maximum engine speed
the governor weights can overcome the combined tension of all the spring and hold fuelling to a level
that the engine will not exceed its maximum speed. Mechanical Governors such as the one above
have not been used on highway applications since the 1990s.
Crude attempts were made to control engine emissions on turbocharged versions of these
mechanically controlled inline pump engines, their prime purpose was to reduce visible smoke
emissions. When a turbocharged engine is accelerated there is always a period of “lag” before the
exhausted heat energy can spin up the turbo to increase engine breathing, however on acceleration
the rack would move to full fuel and the available air could not combust the entire fuel load this would
result in a puff of black smoke on acceleration.
These systems were variably called a puff limiter or smoke
limiter or an aneroid. These devices functioned to delay
the fuel racks travel to full fuel until there was sufficient air
to combust the large fuel load. They consisted of a simple
device that physically limited the racks travel until boost
pressure acting on a diaphragm could overcome spring
pressure holding the device restricting the racks travel.
Most of these were on off devices if boost was below a
certain level say 5PSI they held the rack at a proportion of
full travel approximately 60 to 80%. Once boost pressure
exceeded the 5PSI the rack would be allowed full travel.
These aneroids were commonly tampered with by drivers
thinking they could get better fuel economy and
performance but remember that any fuel that exits an
engine as black smoke is wasted fuel so the tell tale signs
that an aneroid has been tampered with, that is a puff of
black smoke on acceleration indicates a loss of efficiency
rather than a gain.

A second device was introduced to control rack maximum

travel based on barometric pressure. At higher altitudes
the available air contains less oxygen and therefore
cannot oxidize the same amount of fuel so a barometric
capsule limits rack travel in much the same way as an
aneroid however based only on barometric pressure.


Hydro mechanical inline pumps could also be

fitted with crude mechanical timing advance
systems that were capable of advancing or
retarding engine timing, (depending on the
engine), by 8 to ten degrees but stricter emission
controls spelled the end for these systems.
The only way that manufacturers could meet the ever stricter emission control legislation was to
devise methods to get greater control over fuelling and injection timing throughout the operating
range of the engine this was not
achievable with mechanical
Inline pump systems were adapted
so that they could be controlled by
computer this makes them partial
authority managed engines. The
amount of control varied by
manufacturer but most inline
pumps were fitted with electronic
timing control and electronic fuel
rack position control these changes
allowed these pumps to be used
well into the 1990s.
One of the most popular adapted
systems was designed by Bosch
using PE-7100 and PE-8500

These pumps featured electronic rack

actuators in place of mechanical
governors and timing control devices
capable of 20 degrees of timing
change also controlled by computer.

In order for the computer to

successfully manage these pumps a
variety of sensors were required to
relay to the computer details about
engine speed and position, temp, air
intake temperature and boost, throttle
position, road speed etc.
These signals and more were input to
a computer which then processed the
information and made changes to
fuelling amount and injection timing
based on internal fuel and timing
algorithms or “maps”. These “maps”
are basically a set of pre-programmed
instructions in the computers memory
that drive its decision making
The control over fuelling and timing had to be extremely accurate in order to maintain minimum
emissions while not sacrificing maximum engine performance.
The rack actuators that Bosch
used the RE-24 and RE-30 were
quite sophisticated they were
equipped with a linear
proportional solenoid that was
computer controlled with a pulse
width modulated signal that
precisely controlled the current
flow to the solenoids magnet. By
increasing the magnetic field the
solenoid could overcome return
spring tension and drive the
control rack towards a full fuel
position. The stronger the current
flow through the solenoids coil the
stronger the magnetic force would
It’s all very fine to be able to
control the racks position by this
linear proportional solenoid however the computer needs verification the desired position is obtained
this was accomplished with a rack position sensor.

The sensor consisted of a measuring coil as seen

above and left in the low idle fuel position. The coil
is energized by the ECM at 5 volts. The coil
surrounds a laminate iron core that has a moveable
short circuit ring that travels along the core but
does not contact it. This short circuit ring is
attached to the rack so as the rack is moved by the proportional solenoid the ring moves along the
iron core of the sensor. This varies the strength of the magnetic field produced by the coil and
therefore the induced signal returned to the ECM. This signal is very precise and is referenced by the
computer control up to 60 times per second so the exact position of the rack is known at all times.
The rack actuator is by necessity mounted at the rear of the pump which in turn is attached to the
engine and therefore is subject to large amounts of temperature change. These temperature swings
cause changes in resistance in the position sensor coils winding and could lead to inaccurate position
To combat this problem a reference coil is used that has
the identical sensing coil as the position sensor and a
fixed position short circuit ring. This sends a signal back
to the ECM that only changes with temperature change.
This allows the ECM to correct position data from the
position sensor as temperature changes.

The second control item needed to control

emissions is timing with mechanical control of timing
very little adjustment could be made and it was
usually up to 8 degrees advance based on speed or
6 to 8 degrees retard based on load depending on
engine vocation. Some systems were slightly more
sophisticated but computer control was needed to
ensure compliance.
The first thing that was needed was precise
engine speed and position data. Inside the
rack actuator housing a tone or pulse wheel
was attached to the back of the pump
camshaft. This is a toothed wheel that turns at
camshaft speed. A speed sensor, (an
induction pulse generator), sensor was
installed referencing these teeth and its output
frequency would vary with changing camshaft
speed. A second induction pulse generator
sensor called a timing event marker was
installed and this sensor referenced a single
notch on the tone wheel marking top dead
centre number 1 cylinder.
The second requirement is a physical way to
change timing different methods were used
but one popular method used by MACK was
called Econovance. This system allowed
computer controlled changes to engine timing
of up to 20 crankshaft degrees. An initial or
static timing set at 4 degrees BTDC could be
limitlessly varied between 4 and 24 degrees
BTDC this gave the ECM great control in
terms of managing cylinder pressure and
temperature and therefore emissions.
The Econovance operated as an intermediary device between the engines pump drive gear and the
pump camshaft. It
consisted of high lead
screw assembly; this
is basically a helically
splined sleeve that
was forced along a
helical spline that
actually drove the
pump camshaft. The
sleeve was moved by
hydraulic pressure.
The ECM controls a
proportional solenoid
that in turn controls a
hydraulic spool valve.
By precisely
controlling the spool
through a pulse width
modulated signal the
timing could be
manipulated by the
ECM to any position
within the operating
range limits.
Eventually even these
advances were not
enough to meet the
emission standards
and in the mid to late
1990s inline pumps
were dropped from the
on highway market.
Two main problems
associated with these
pumps led to their
demise. They could
not develop the
pressures required
typical pressures developed ranged from 16,000 to 20,000 PSI or 1,100 to 1,400 Bar whereas EUI
systems develop up to 30,000 PSI or 2,000 Bar. The second shortcoming stems from the fact that as
pump line nozzle systems the are subject to injection lag and nozzle closure lag to a much greater
extent than an EUI system leading to fuel droplet sizing and other issues.