By Steve Turner
Photos by Fastest Street Car and Aeromotive
As technology pushes engine performance into the stratosphere, the need to feed higher and higher levels of horsepower is omnipresent. For decades Aeromotive Inc. has created fuel system solutions for hi-po street cars and racing machines. Most recently, the company expanded into offering versions of its popular fuel pumps that use brushless electric motors offering a number of advantages over their brushed-motor cousins.
“The continuing evolution of high-horsepower engine technology, combined with the broader acceptance of alcohol-based fuels — including ethanol and methanol — have created significant market pressure for fuel delivery systems to rapidly advance in capability,” Jeff Stacy, Vice President of Aeromotive Inc., said. “Employing brushless motor technology is now justified in this market space and Aeromotive leads the industry in deployment of pump and motor combinations necessary to meet this demand.”
Taking its battle-tested pumping mechanisms and motivating them with brushless motors delivers superior performance in a number of ways. These motors draw less current and are lighter than brushed versions, which are both key upgrades for drag machines that often eschew alternators and are definitely weight conscious.
From a performance standpoint, these pumps have extended service life attributed to less wear, plus their processor-controlled electric motors deliver a more consistent fuel flow curve. That makes the car easier to tune and less likely to run rich or lean when it shouldn’t. Another nicety is the pump controller is stationed on the outlet side of the pump to reduce any heat transfer from the mechanism to the fuel.
Because the Aeromotive brushless pumps can be controlled electronically, they can easily support huge power while offering drivability and manageable low-speed fuel flow in the applications that need it.
“The chasm that separates the required fuel volume to feed and engine at idle versus that same engine at wide-open throttle/full load continues to expand, to the point where it is just not reasonable or sensible to put the full flow capacity of the pump through the system 100 percent of the time,” Jeff explained. “Even though the brushless motor technology significantly reduces heat introduction into the flowing fuel, the recycle path through the chassis and the engine bay is still laden with environment heat.”
In racing every degree can make a difference, while cars that pull double-duty just don’t need all that fuel flow in part-throttle situations, like a True Street cruise.
“In applications where large capacity tanks are involved, like in a marine environment with 50-100 gallon tanks, this is not as much a concern, but in automotive applications where 15-20 gallon tanks are normal, a 5-plus-gallon-per-minute recycle rate can work the tank pretty hard,” he added. “Reducing the speed of the pump at lower engine demand will reduce introduction of environmental heat into smaller tanks which in turn will extend drive time in challenging environments (hot climate and high altitude) while reducing the sound produced.”
Aeromotive offers brushless versions of its familiar A1000, Eliminator, 3.5 Gear, and 5.0 Gear fuel pumps to support anywhere from 1,000 to 3,600 horsepower depending on your application — from boosted to naturally aspirated and carbureted to fuel injected.