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What is a fuel cooler??

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  • What is a fuel cooler??

    Okay, since I'm inept at uploading images to this forum, I'll ask the question anyways. On our new Spartan Metro-Star Chassis, mounted "directly" behind the fuel tank, is a "radiator", in which the fuel runs through. We are told it is a "Fuel Cooler". Neither I or anyone I've talked to (as of yet) can tell me:
    1. What it is
    2. What is it for
    3. Why is it needed (if it is)

    We have never seen or heard of anything like this. I'd appreciate any info or input that some of you may have. We are a bit concerned because it looks like it will become a maintenance nightmare in the near future with the salt that is used on the roads.


    Thanks.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    I have never seen a set-up like that on a fire truck. A friend of mine back in our hot rodding days bought a fuel cooler for his 390 V-8 Mustang. It was essentially an ice bucket that the fuel lines were coiled inside of. He told me the idea was for the fuel to enter the cylinder cooled so when it was heated it vaporaized for a hotter and more complete combustion.

    Heck if I know if it was true or not.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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    • #3
      Looks like more crap due to the emissions BS. Found this on a diesel truck site.

      Recent reductions in emissions from High Speed diesel engines have created a new need to cool the diesel fuel. The extremely high injection pressure provide many benefits, but one side effect is a large increase in the fuel temperature when the fuel is depressurized and sent back to the tank via the return line. This can create extremely hot return fuel that exceeds the limitations of the fuel tank (often plastic) and the fuel injection equipment.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
        I have never seen a set-up like that on a fire truck. A friend of mine back in our hot rodding days bought a fuel cooler for his 390 V-8 Mustang. It was essentially an ice bucket that the fuel lines were coiled inside of. He told me the idea was for the fuel to enter the cylinder cooled so when it was heated it vaporaized for a hotter and more complete combustion.

        Heck if I know if it was true or not.
        That is "somewhat" true. Before going to a 10-71 super charger, I ran a sheet metal intake on my 496cid aluminum BB Chevy. I had fuel cooler can as you described. The intention, was to cool the fuel down so it was more condensed. Meaning the fuel molecules were smaller when it flowed through the carb. This would gain you a small hp increase, and more consistent ET's. As well, 5lb bags of ice were placed on each side of the runners to cool them down between runs. Heat is the enemy when drag racing. To be consistent running 8.90's, you took whatever advantage you could, to stay consistent.

        As for the OP, I've never seen one on a fire truck. But I have seen them on OTR trucks.

        FM1
        I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

        Originally posted by EastKyFF
        "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

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        • #5
          Your answer can be summed up in one aggravating word:

          E-M-I-S-S-I-O-N-S

          Yes they are required on some engines beginning with 2007 emissions standards.

          Your next new truck will have even more add-ons compliments of the 2010 tier.

          C6

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          • #6
            I have a slightly different take on this. The series 60 Detroit engines I am familiar with send the fuel from the tank through a low (around 100 psi) pressure fuel pump. The fuel is routed through the cylinder head to heat it before sending it to the injector pump. Any heated fuel that is not passed through the injector pump is then returned to the tank in the heated condition. The heated fuel from the injector pump passing into the cylinder is more easily vaporized due to its temperature, and gives a more uniform burn pattern. Meanwhile back at the tank the increasing fuel temperature in the tank tries to push out any light-ends in the fuel increasing the pollution problem, thus the fuel cooler. For the truck driving sector the heated fuel returning to the tank in the winter is a real advantage that keeps fuel from jelling. For stationary engines, with no air flow around the tank, it means that the fuel will become excessively warm.

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            • #7
              I had a feeling that it was associated with the new emissions stuff. Thanks for all your replies. I'll so some research on the Cummins site also.

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              • #8
                I have a slightly different take on this. The series 60 Detroit engines I am familiar with send the fuel from the tank through a low (around 100 psi) pressure fuel pump. The fuel is routed through the cylinder head to heat it before sending it to the injector pump. Any heated fuel that is not passed through the injector pump is then returned to the tank in the heated condition. The heated fuel from the injector pump passing into the cylinder is more easily vaporized due to its temperature, and gives a more uniform burn pattern. Meanwhile back at the tank the increasing fuel temperature in the tank tries to push out any light-ends in the fuel increasing the pollution problem, thus the fuel cooler. For the truck driving sector the heated fuel returning to the tank in the winter is a real advantage that keeps fuel from jelling. For stationary engines, with no air flow around the tank, it means that the fuel will become excessively warm.
                Close, but not quite correct....

                The fuel is not run through the heads to "heat it".

                Detroit has used fuel coolers for years, mostly in high horsepower marine applications. Detroits return a large volume of fuel back to the tank. As mentioned, the fuel runs through the heads where it feeds the injectors and is pressurized by the injectors. What isn't used is returned to the tank. Eventually the fuel in the tank becomes heated and you loose power. I would say that during extended pumping the fuel tanks would become heated as well. We've got fuel coolers on two of our Spartans, one Detroit Series 60 and one Cummins ISM.

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