diesel fuel systems

Diesel Fuel Systems: Everything You Need To Know

You’ve always seen the option when you go to the gas station, but have never really paid much attention to it: diesel fuel. What makes it different from gasoline and why does it matter? Here’s everything you need to know about diesel fuel systems and their role in American society.

How it Differs

Both gasoline and diesel fuel systems are internal combustion engines, compressing fuel and then igniting it to convert chemical energy to mechanical energy. However, their methods of combustion are not the same: diesel engines compress air and then introduce the fuel (air heats up when it is compressed so contact with diesel fuel creates ignition), whereas gasoline engines mix gas and air from the get-go and compress them, then spark plugs create sparks that ignite the mixture.

Diesel fuel is heavier and more oily than gasoline, so it evaporates more slowly. Additionally, it is remarkably more efficient due to its combustion method: many diesel engines get around 45 miles to the gallon on the highway, which explains why most commercial trucks and freights employ the use of diesel fuel systems. As a result, a good chunk of American commerce relies on big rigs that run on diesel.

Understanding the Components

A diesel engine is made up of five essential parts: the tank, the diesel fuel pump, diesel fuel filters, the injection pump, and injection nozzles. The fuel reservoirs are specifically designed from aluminum alloys or sheet metals to withstand the corrosive effects of diesel fuel.

The fuel lift pump pulls diesel out of the reservoir and moves it into the injection pump, where it is pushed through the diesel filtration system to remove any contaminants that may have been picked up during its long journey from the refinery to the gas station — this is vital because dirt and debris could severely damage the injection system and, subsequently, the entire engine.

The injection pump then compresses the fuel in preparation for injection. Injection nozzles spray the compressed diesel into the combustion chambers, which fire (literally through miniature explosions) and turn the fuel into mechanical energy.

Understanding how your engine functions is a key part of responsible car ownership, even if you’re simply driving it as a result of your job.

diesel fuel pump

Know Your Vehicle: The 4 Types Of Diesel Fuel Pumps

For every 100 cars sold in the United States, one diesel engine car is sold. If you’re among this population of diesel-engine users, make sure that you know what type of diesel fuel pump you have.

 

    1. Common rail fuel injection pump. An electronically controlled diesel fuel supply system, this pump was developed to meet the strict 21st century exhaust gas regulations. It consists of a supply pump, common rail, electronically controlled injectors, a variety of sensors to detect the engine’s running condition, and a computer that controls all of these devices. The engine drives the supply pump, which produces high-pressure fuel. The common rail distributes the fuel to the injectors, which are mounted on each cylinder of the engine.
    2. Distributor (rotary) fuel injection pump. This diesel fuel pump is also controlled electronically by various sensors, an electronic control unit, and an actuator. Similar to the common rail pump, the sensors detect the engine’s running condition and send signals to the control unit. The actuator controls how much fuel is injected and its timing according to the signals it receives from the control unit. The control unit determines what signals it sends by calculating the optimum levels for the engine’s running condition.
    3. In-line fuel injection pump. One of two mechanically controlled diesel fuel systems, the in-line fuel injection pump matches the engine cylinders in their number of fuel pressure mechanisms. This pump is primarily used for medium to large trucks and construction machinery. A camshaft drives the fuel pressure and injection quantity control mechanisms within the pump body. The elements in that body follow an injection order to feed fuel to each engine cylinder.
    4. Distributor injection pump. Also a mechanically controlled diesel fuel pump, the distributor injection pump has just one fuel pressure mechanism, despite the number of engine cylinders the vehicle may have. The distributor is designed to follow the injection order to distribute pressurized fuel to each cylinder. The pump housing holds all of its components, including the governor, timer, and feed pump. As it is so compact, this pump is light and can operate at high speeds, making it perfect for small engines.

Knowing your vehicle’s exact type of diesel fuel pump is important in case it shows signs of needing replacement, which can include sudden surges in speed, rising car temperatures, decreased gas mileage, and more. If you experience any of these indicators, take a look at diesel pump manufacturers or fuel pump manufacturers to see if you need a replacement today.

lift pump

Why Your Diesel Engine Could Benefit From an Aftermarket Lift Pump

When it comes to your diesel application or any application for that matter, eventually stock just doesn’t cut it. Factory parts and mechanics can serve you well for many years but ultimately there is a need to upgrade the performance of your diesel engine. Upgrades can get tricky and most of them are contingent on completing prep-steps before any part swapping can be completed.

One of the parts that end up being replaced with a higher performing model is the diesel fuel lift pump.

What is a lift pump?

Basically, it’s a fuel supply pump that takes fuel from the tank and transfers it to the injection system. Typically, most diesel engines are equipped with some sort of fuel pump whether it’s a mechanical injection system found in older models or the new models where the pump is integrated into the engine itself.

Why would you need a new one?

Upgrading engines with aftermarket and performance parts isn’t a new concept and frankly transcends even the diesel world. Just about anyone and everyone wants to upgrade something about their engine, whether gas, diesel, or vegetable oil (not sure how many upgrades are available for a deep fryer, though). Despite the fact that a diesel engine holds the top spot for the most efficient internal combustion over all other engine types, adding a new pump to your diesel engine can vastly increase its performance well past the factory limits.

How would you go about it?

The goal of the modification is to increase the amount of fuel that’s being injected into the engine. You would need to start this process by increasing fuel flow with computer programming (newer models) or by installing high-flow injectors. With the engine demanding more fuel, you’ll inevitably need to upgrade your pump. Bad fuel pressure means less horsepower and, in some cases, damage to the injection pump.

When deciding which lift diesel lift pump to purchase, it’s important to remember that first word: diesel. There are gasoline pumps that can be retrofitted for a diesel application but will ultimately fail, sometimes immediately. Consider opting for a pump and filter combination which offer performance as well as better and higher capacity filtration.

If you’re looking to increase your diesel performance, check us out today for Fass fuel filters, pumps, and more.

fuel air separation system

Tips for Changing Your Diesel Air and Fuel Filters

In every engine type, changing the fuel and air filters is a must. Filters that are in poor condition can severely hinder an engine’s ability to perform and cause major issues down the road. While there are similarities between gas engine filters and diesel engine filters, changing the filters on a diesel engine is a bit different.

Before you take a crack at it, here are a few tips to changing your diesel air and fuel filters.

Air Filters

Air filters are typically located in the same area in which you’d find them in a gas engine. Typically, the filter is located in the cold air collector box in a diesel engine. There is a major precaution that you should take when changing the air filter on a diesel engine and that is to ensure that the engine is off. Diesel engines have very powerful suction and if you were to drop anything in the intake, which leads directly to the engine, you can cause some serious damage. When you locate the filter, simply replace it with a correctly fitting new one.

Fuel Filters

Diesel fuel systems are inherently different than gas engines and so it’s important to know what you’re looking at before you get started. Fuel filters are essential to diesel engines and keep out four main impurities: water, scale, rust, and dirt. A diesel filtration system consists of two fuel filters, the primary and the secondary diesel fuel filters. The first filter is located between the tank and the engine, with the secondary filter closer to the engine. Most filters are easy to change and simply require you to unscrew the old one and screw the new one into place. Just be sure to moisten the new gasket with fuel first. One thing to note with diesel fuel systems, when you change the filters you need to bleed the air bubbles from the system. Air is the enemy of diesel engines and you can purchase diesel fuel air separation systems to help while the engine runs.

You can always refer to your owner’s manual to figure out exactly how to change your filters and bleed the system of air. If you choose to use a fuel air separation system, you may not hear any difference in a six-liter but it is definitely working. If you run into any trouble, contact your local diesel mechanic to provide assistance.

If you’re looking for fuel air separation systems or universal fuel pumps, check us out today.

diesel filtration system

Diesel Filtration Systems 101

The diesel filtration system is essential to the proper functioning and operation of a diesel fuel system. Without the fuel filters, the fuel can become loaded with particulates that can damage or corrode the engine and/or other various components of the diesel fuel system. Read more

universal diesel fuel pump

A Brief and Basic Breakdown of Diesel Fuel Systems

There are significant differences between gas and diesel fuels, besides the fact that one will do significant damage to the opposite’s engine. Diesel fuel systems, while they produce a similar output compared to traditional gasoline systems, are inherently different. Diesel fuel systems function in a specific manner, across multiple applications. The system is made up of the following parts. Read more

Priming Your FASS

Are you having issues getting your FASS to prime? Josh walks us through some of the most common causes, how to troubleshoot and how to identify what is causing the priming failure.

Coolant Feed Installation

An extremely effective cold weather option for our Titanium Series Fuel Air Separation System, there are 2 extra ports that allow coolant to be fed through the system. This will aid during cold weather starts and prevent fuel from gelling inside your lift pump.

“Electric Heater Kit Installation”

Drivers that find themselves in the coldest of conditions will be happy to know that our FASS Titanium Series diesel fuel pumps offer two optional electric heater ports. A FASS Electric Heater Kit can be utilized in one or both of these available ports. An accessory option for our Titanium Series Fuel Air Separation System, our Electric Heater Kit will begin warming your diesel fuel once the key is in the “ON” position and will automatically shut off once the fuel is at its optimum temperature. This will aid during a cold weather start and prevent fuel from gelling inside your lift pump. Buy Now: https://www.fassride.com/shop/product-category/accessories/electric-heater-kits/

v12 Detroit two stroke

When it comes to engines, there are so many different combinations that have a certain mystique that goes alongside them. For some, they enjoy the way that an engine looks when it comes together and sits in the engine bay, others might focus on the power and torque that an engine is able to efficiently make and sometimes, well, I think that many of us can’t help but be incredibly impressed by the sound that comes from certain engine combinations. There’s just something about these aspects that could come together to make an all too appealing machine come to life. This time, we check out the likes of a v12 Detroit two stroke that might be one of the most massive engines that you’ll come across on the web today as it towers over anything you’d find in your standard car or truck. To get straight to the point, this diesel engine is an absolute beast. If the size alert doesn’t impress you as this diesel engine fires up, the sound coming from within will surely make you curious enough to look a little bit deeper into what exactly this thing is capable of as its presence is something that is truly impressive and imposing alike.