If you're embarking on a custom build or extreme end racing engine, throttle body selection can be a dimly calculated stab in the dark. Take a seat and absorb some words of wisdom from the team at Jenvey.
Which type of throttle body ?
- Twin bodies are the most straightforward solution for production engines, direct-to-head where available, or via a suitable manifold.
- Direct-to-head-bodies represent the simplest and neatest solution. They are harder to match to the inlet ports if this is required for the engine in question but have the advantage of being angled for best results, unlike a carburettor manifold.
- Single bodies represent the no compromise solution, particularly for competition use. The seperate manifold is easily matched to the inlet ports and the best mixture path is guaranteed. They are also available in fully tapered bore and twin injector types. Mounting, balance and maintenance are naturally more involved.
What is the best throttle body diameter ?
There are several factors to consider when selecting throttle body diameter, power output, RPM, cylinder head design, engine capacity, injector position and throttle body position along the inlet path.
Choice of bore size is a balanced compromise resulting from the following;
1) A larger bore leads to lower flow resistance, but obeying the laws of diminishing returns.
2) A smaller bore leads to better throttle control and response (never underestimate) and improved fuel mixing.
3) The system should be considered in total - from (at least) trumpet flange to cylinder and proportioned accordingly.
Basic references for BHP per cylinder, assuming about 120mm from butterfly to valve head and a max of 9,000 rpm are;
- Up to 30 BHP - 30mm
- Up to 33 - 32mm
- Up to 39 - 35mm
- Up to 46 - 38mm
- Up to 51 - 40mm
- Up to 56 - 42mm
Up to 65 - 45mm
- Up to 74 - 48mm
- Up to 80 - 50mm
- Up to 87 - 52mm
- Up to 93 - 54mm
We tend to go one size up from an associated carb size to ensure no restriction. Precise mapping and correct throttle synchronisation is the key to avoiding drivability issues.
These power figures may be increased by up to 10% in a purpose designed and well proportioned system. As butterfly to valve distance increases, butterfly size will need to increase in proportion to system taper and vice versa. Lower revving engines and those with injectors placed before the butterfly will generally accept a larger body.
What is the correct overall system length?
Induction length is one of the most important aspects of fuelling performance engines.
In our experience an under-length system is the greatest cause of disapointment, with loss of up to 1/3 of power potential. There are a number of good books on the subject and the serious developer is referred to these and, in particular, dyno trials. A guide figure, from the face of the trumpet to the centre of the valve head is 350mm for a 9,000 RPM engine. Other RPM are proportional i.e. for 18,000 RPM the figure is approximately 175mm.
Any air feed system to an airbox or filter can have a large effect on the power curve and must be considered carefully particularly if the airbox is small.
The induction system is part of a resonant whole from air inlet or trumpet to exhaust outlet and the ideal length is heavily influenced by the other components.
What is the best position for the butterfly?
The butterfly is an important aid to fuel mixing. When positioned too close to the valve this advantage will be lost whilst positioning far away may lead to a loss of response.
As with the injector position (see below), higher RPM demands a larger butterfly to valve distance. A practical minimum figure for a 7 - 9,000 RPM engine is 200mm, whilst the maximum is dictated by the need to fit an air horn of reasonable length to achieve a good overall tract shape. One solution to this apparent compromise is the use of bodies with fully tapered bores which, in effect, extend the trumpet distance beyond the butterfly and into the manifold. For very high speeds above approximately 15,000 RPM, the ideal butterfly position is only just inside, or even outside the trumpet and a point is reached where a taper is no longer sufficient for good tract shape. For these circumstances we can supply bodies with the exponential trumpet shape machined into them as a special service, or barrel bodies which, by their nature, must be purpose designed in conjunction with the cylinder head.
Where is the best place for the injectors?
Where one injector is to be used per cylinder the best compromise position is immediately downstream of the butterfly. This gains maximum advantage from local turbulence and gives results surprisingly close to the optimum at both ends of the rev-range. This is the recommended position for most applications.
For performance at low RPM, economy and emissions the injector needs to be close to the valve and firing at the back of the valve head. This is the favoured position for production vehicles.
For higher RPM (very approximately 8,000+) the injector needs to be near the intake end of the induction tract to give adequate mixing time and opportunity. The higher the RPM, the further upstream the injector needs to be. As a result, use of speeds above approximately 11,000 RPM may give best results with the injector mounted outside the inlet tract altogether (see our remote injector mounting). It is common to fit both lower and upper injectors in such a system to cover starting and low RPM, as well as high speeds.
Beware of "performance" intakes that mount the injector very close to the cylinder head face. This position is used by OEM's for ease of emissions compiance and cold starting but is generally awful for performance applications, especially when using E85.
What is required for a complete fuel injection system?
Besides throttle bodies, linkage and manifold (if required) typical components are;
Engine management system
We recommend Emtron SL or KV series ecu's for best results, or Magneti Marelli for premium performance, although may others can be used with success.
We have an off the shelf range of classic and pro spec engine harnesses. If you don't see your engine in this section, please contact us as we've probably done one over the last 20 odd years.
This is a case of too much can be a bad thing. Excessive amounts of fuel flow can result in erratic off throttle behaviour. Too little and your engine can lean out at heavy loads and be hard to tune.
Fuel pressure regulator
The same can be said of fuel pressure regulators. We've quite often found systems with FPR's that didn't have enough reflow rate to cope with the pump they were tring to control. Fuel pressure spikes causing unintended rich conditionss and erratic behaviour are the general signs.
Sizing fuel injectors is fairly straightforward, but often overlooked or misunderstood.
We recommend Speedflow fittings and hose for ultimate reliability.
Ducting / filtration system for the incoming air
What type of injector?
Dimensions: All Jenvey injector mountings and fuel rails will accept either the standard 'O' ring mounted injectors for 14mm bores as supplied by Bosch, Weber, Lucas, etc (64mm between 'O' ring centres) or the shorter 'Pico' style injectors (38mm between 'O' ring centres).
There are a number of other injector types, using the same 'O' rings but with different lengths. These can be used on our twin throttle bodies with ease, but may require different fuel rail mountings on individual bodies. Please specify which you are using when ordering throttle bodies and fuel rails.
Flow-rate: When fitting our throttle bodies to an otherwise standard engine bear in mind that increased power means increased fuel demand and the original equipment injectors are therefore usually inadequate.
Can you use DBW (Drive By Wire) with Jenvey Throttle Bodies
Yes, you can! Using the ETA2 electronic actuator and a compatible ECU, any Jenvey throttle body kit can be turned into DBW operation. This has considerable advantages with gear shift ccontrol, speed limiting, rev limiting and idle control.
The ETA2 installation has been successfully used in both competitive motorsport and road going applications.
What manifold to use?
When injecting into the throttle body (e.g. our types TB, TH, TF, TA, direct-to-head and SF, SS or ST//1), most of the mixing occurs within the manifold section. It is therefore important that the manifold is suitably proportioned to evenly accelerate gas speed and thus help fuel mixing and distribution. The straighter the run in to the ports the better. A manifold which curves in the same direction as the valve throats is preferred to one which causes the flow to pass through an "S" bend.
What throttle potentiometers will fit Jenvey bodies ?
We use relatively popular mechanical interfaces for the throttle potentiometer. Popular types are; Colvern CP17 series (as supplied by Jenvey), Wabash 971-0002 and (via fitting kits) throttle pots from Variohm/Novotechnik and Marelli. A number of production car throttle pots (e.g. Rover K series) will also fit directly to the bodies.
The Colvern CP17 throttle potentiometer may be mounted to either end of most installations and spindle rotation is typically 82o.
Can Jenvey bodies be pressure charged?
Jenvey bodies can generally be used with boosts up to 6 bar, although we recommend that you contact our technical department if boost of more than 2.5 bar or temperatures above 150ºC are expected. Some models require special treatment for high pressures and/or temperatures.
Can Jenvey bodies be connected to an Air Bypass valve?
Components and complete kits are available to connect the output from an ABV to throttle bodies. More information is available on a specific instruction sheet.
What is the best Air horn ( Trumpet / Stack / Bellmouth)?
The air horn serves three main purposes;
1) To convert the pressure difference between bore and entrance into air velocity with the minimum of energy loss.
2) To act as the interface between the induction system and the atmosphere, i.e. the point at which pressure waves change sign and direction.
3) To complete the system to the required overall length.
For ease of description the air horn may be considered in two parts; the 'flare' and the 'tube'.
The main job of the flare is to spread the low pressure zone over the largest possible area, to reduce local pressure reduction, whilst guiding incoming air into the tube with minimum disruption or induced vortices. The flare should be shaped to encourage air to enter from the sides but not from the rear of the mouth. This is achieved by either finishing the mouth with a sharp edge when the arc is a little beyond 90o from the air horn axis or by folding material back, parallel to the axis, when the arc is at, or just below, 90o to the axis.
The main job of the tube is to accelerate the airflow smoothly and progressively. This is best achieved by an exponential shape, i.e. one where the radius of curvature is increasing constantly until the angle of the sides matches the next part of the system, usually the throttle body.
It should be noted that the requirements for fuel injection and carburation do not always coincide and the best horns for one may not suit the other.