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Thread: SU Bridge Evolution: Round Top vs. Flat Top (Comments welcome)

  1. #1
    Nova Scotia,Canada,Earth Blue's Avatar
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    Default SU Bridge Evolution: Round Top vs. Flat Top (Comments welcome)

    Top view looking down piston bore (flat top is on right)


    Flat top:
    1. Bridge is wider (front to back).
    2. Jet sleeve is fixed and jet depth is set to correct height in factory (no choke up/down movement).
    3. Front and rear ramps are different geometry.
    4. Piston diameter is smaller
    5. Has 3 circuits
      1. Main (jet and needle like in a round top)
      2. Choke (see the small forward spraying nozzle upstream of main jet)
      3. Power Valve (off idle transient to WOT...see the hole on right side of ramp at back of bridge)
    6. Has air bypass around main jet for setting idle mixture.
    7. Has integrated fuel bowl below jet.

    Front view looking into throat (flat top is on right)



    Flat top:
    1. Bridge is lower in throat.
    2. No stepped edge on front of bridge. It blends into ramp.
    3. Choke nozzle is seen in foreground in front of main jet protruding from the floor.
    4. Floor of throat from front of carb blends into ramp.
    5. Choke valve (in open position) is seen in foreground near top.
    6. Tube bringing ambient air to push up on piston is seen in foreground on right.




    Rear view looking into carb (flat top is on right)


    Flat top:
    1. Bridge is lower in throat.
    2. Higher vertical dropping edge "cliff" at back of bridge
    3. Narrower vertical dropping edge
    4. Rear edge of bridge is further back in carb and closer to throttle valve
    5. Power valve fuel outlet is seen as hole on lower right of photo below the bridge level.
    6. Idle air outlet is as hole on middle right of photo above the PV fuel outlet.
    7. Bushing for throttle valve (removed) is seen on side wall of throat






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    Last edited by Blue; 09-05-2011 at 10:43 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Unfortunately, at the time I am viewing this, there are no pictures.
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    240Z Elec. Upgrade guy Zs-ondabrain's Avatar
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    I'll back that up Steve. No pic here either.
    Great info but pics would be awesome.
    Dave

    Also, the bottom pic links give me this........
    "Invalid Attachment specified. If you followed a valid link, please notify the administrator"
    Last edited by Zs-ondabrain; 09-05-2011 at 10:38 PM.
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    Weird, let me see if I can fix.

    How is that now?
    Last edited by Blue; 09-05-2011 at 10:42 PM.
    There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.
    The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey.


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    No more body roll! SteveJ's Avatar
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    Okay, I can see the pictures now. Of course, I need to get a lot smarter about carburetors to really understand the post.
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    240Z Elec. Upgrade guy Zs-ondabrain's Avatar
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    Totally makes sense now. I actually understand 90% of it. So does this mean the FT is a better flowing Carb with less intrusion of the center ramp? Does the smoother floor to ramp layout improve flow over the Round Top? Better power or MPG?

    Basically, what does each change do for the mixture and power from one carb to the next?
    Dave
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    Great information. Thanks for posting.
    Steve

    1973 240Z (daily driver)
    1971 240Z (track car)

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    Nova Scotia,Canada,Earth Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zs-ondabrain View Post
    Does the smoother floor to ramp layout improve flow over the Round Top? Better power or MPG?
    We will find out.... with data over the next month or two.... Tony D already knows.

    I presently am planning a "diluting circuit" for a round top to make it a 2 stage carb... an accelerator circuit would just be needed to make it 3....thinking on that now.

    The fact the 2nd gen also draws fuel lower in the throat (like a British racing mod), it has a narrower throat (like Mikuni bike CV ), a big fuel bowl sits right under the bridge, and the fact its bridge geometry is much different means that it was changed for either performance, fuel efficiency, emissions, reduced manufacturing costs, or a combination. As mentioned, exploration, data gathering and comparisons are needed. There are many other interesting differences that will be shared too.

    Remember that Nissan engineers seemed to always fight emissions performance losses that hurt the base L24 building block by increasing horse power (stroke & bore) so it is reasonable to assume they also looked elsewhere for improvements.

    Probably heard in the halls of Nissan HQ in the early 70's:

    Engineer "The !$^& US pollution and safety regulations are turning the car into a fat lazy pig."

    Bean Counter "If the power disappears, the customers will disappear and we will disappear."

    Boss "Work the problem and give me solutions."
    Last edited by Blue; 09-06-2011 at 05:30 AM.
    There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.
    The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey.


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  9. #9
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    Nice documentation. Thanks for taking the time to put that together!

    Couple small corrections...

    The tube seen on the right side foreground of the flat top in this pic is the ambient pressure vent to the float bowl, not the high pressure side of the suction piston:



    There are two holes down inside the flat top throat that vent to the bottom of the suction piston, but you cannot see them in any of the pics. We didn't talk about them, but they are above the choke plate.

    Also, I'm really not sure about the "off idle transient" effectiveness of the power valve. Unless there's some sort of transient second order transient "uber reduction" in manifold vacuum when you change the position of the throttle plate angle, it appears like the power valve does not act like an old school "accelerator pump". It simply has a vacuum threshold above which it starts to supply additional fuel.

    I know I've heard that belief before and I'm no expert, but my analysis of the power valve operation does not support that concept.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Obvious View Post
    Nice documentation. Thanks for taking the time to put that together!

    Couple small corrections...

    The tube seen on the right side foreground of the flat top in this pic is the ambient pressure vent to the float bowl, not the high pressure side of the suction piston:


    Philip: Argggh sorry. I tried to figure that out at the last minute last night when posting. I was squinting at the FSM drawing to chase and it looked like it simply went under the piston. I assumed it replaced the two holes in the round top front flange.




    There are two holes down inside the flat top throat that vent to the bottom of the suction piston, but you cannot see them in any of the pics. We didn't talk about them, but they are above the choke plate.



    Philip: I'll put the FSM drawing up on this thread and eventually try to add colour to it for better clarity


    Also, I'm really not sure about the "off idle transient" effectiveness of the power valve. Unless there's some sort of transient second order transient "uber reduction" in manifold vacuum when you change the position of the throttle plate angle, it appears like the power valve does not act like an old school "accelerator pump". It simply has a vacuum threshold above which it starts to supply additional fuel.

    I know I've heard that belief before and I'm no expert, but my analysis of the power valve operation does not support that concept.


    Philip: I was scouring the net at 2 am reading about it and trying to get more details of it's design and function. When we investigate further, we can put a web cam window in the carb and watch it as well as run a tube from its output out of the carb to capture fuel and see when it operates. When we do the O2 runs we can compare two runs with it inservice and out of service to see when and where it kicks in



    Dang that fuel bowl reminds me of a weber! Could you do me a favour and post the volume/capacity of the flat top and round top carbs if you have a chance? That would be good info to float (pun) on the net for racers.
    There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.
    The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey.


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    If I get the chance, I'll take some pics of the vent holes leading to the suction piston. Being as how they are hidden up on the roof of the flat top bore above the choke plate, you don't normally see them unless you're specifically looking for them. Speaking of those vent holes... At the risk of getting kicked out of the SU section for heresy, I consider this another improvement with the flat top design.

    You see... On the round tops that vent hole is completely on the other side of the intake horn in the air cleaner, while on the flat tops, it is a true differential pressure right across the suction piston. Probably doesn't matter, but it's just "purer" with the flat tops.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue View Post
    Could you do me a favour and post the volume/capacity of the flat top and round top carbs if you have a chance? That would be good info to float (pun) on the net for racers.
    You mean the volumes of the respective float bowls, right? If that's the case, then yes, I should be able to measure that (crudely) and let you know what I find out.

  12. #12
    Nova Scotia,Canada,Earth Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Obvious View Post
    Nice documentation.
    Also, I'm really not sure about the "off idle transient" effectiveness of the power valve. Unless there's some sort of transient second order transient "uber reduction" in manifold vacuum when you change the position of the throttle plate angle, it appears like the power valve does not act like an old school "accelerator pump". It simply has a vacuum threshold above which it starts to supply additional fuel.

    I know I've heard that belief before and I'm no expert, but my analysis of the power valve operation does not support that concept.

    I found this on Zcar.com. It matched my interpretation of the drawing of the power valve on paper but exploration of the air and fuel lines is critical to understanding its function. My thinking is that during a throttle-up transient, the spring unloads and squirts fuel into the air stream as opposed to being to be sucked into it.... but I have no details of the control circuit yet....but I bet you are correct with the vacuum threshold I should have brought my mighty vac yesterday.


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    Al 260Z
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    Flat-top Owners Unite!
    Reply #2 on: September 14, 2001, 09:52:17 pm
    Regarding the notorious powerjet.

    I believe how this works is as follows:
    The chamber under the outer cover is ported to the downstream (intake manifold) side of the throttle butterfly. This chamber is sealed by a flexible diaphram so that it should normally be free of liquid gas. A spring under the outer cover pushes the diaphram towards the carb body and is counteracted by engine vacuum when intake vacuum is high.

    On the other side of the diaphram is the 'pump' chamber with one port to the upstream (air cleaner) side of the butterfly. This chamber is normally filled with liquid gasoline which enters via a weird valve arrangement from the fuel float bowl. On high manifold vacuum, the diaphram is sucked against the spring and gasoline is drawn from the float bowl into the 'pump' chamber. When manifold vacuum decreases on throttle-on, the spring pushes the diaphram and injects fuel via the upstream port.

    I think that if the diaphram were ruptured, the symptom would be excessive rich mixture at idle and at part throttle operation due to gas sucked through the diaphram and into the manifold via the downstream port.

    Should the power jet diaphram fail, I believe it's possible to defeat the whole power jet by taking it off and either rotate the whole assembly or else disassemble the jet and rotate the inner gasket so that the ports no longer line up and are plugged off. The '75 FS Bulletin has some obscure comments on this.

    Remember, Adam, carbs are the LAST thing to tweek on. You gotta have good settings on your valves, proper ignition timing and advance, and NO VACUUM LEAKS before you begin thinking about final settings on carbs. Get that Mighty-Vac and test ALL your vacuum auxiliaries. Plug any that are in question. Start the engine and thoroughly test for vacuum leaks all around the manifolds and balance tube. You may be able to hear some by probing around with a hose with the other end stuck in your ear (hisssssss!). Some suggest spraying carb cleaner on suspect joints or searching for leaks using unlit propane torch... Leak will be indicated by change in engine speed due to change in mixture when you get fuel source close to leak.

    By the way, just heard that SCCA 'C-Stock' Auto-X national championship was taken a couple of years by stock 260 w/ Flat-tops! Could he a done that w/ some really f-d up carbs, d'ya suppose??

    Good luck!
    -------- Al
    Last edited by Blue; 09-06-2011 at 07:32 AM.
    There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.
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    Nova Scotia,Canada,Earth Blue's Avatar
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    Interesting read on popular hotrodding.com:

    source:http://www.popularhotrodding.com/tec...ors/index.html



    The Accelerator Pump
    Under idle and cruise, a considerable amount of vacuum exists in the intake. This vacuum reduces the boiling point of the fuel, causing it to vaporize much easier under the prevailing high vacuum conditions than under low vacuum. This useful characteristic helps fuel distribution considerably during idle and cruise. When running down the freeway at 2,000 to 3,000 rpm with 15 inches of vacuum, a lot of fuel being drawn into the engine is vaporized well before it reaches the cylinders. Standing on the gas pedal completely changes the situation. When the vacuum transitions rapidly from a high value to near zero, fuel held in vapor form now condenses into liquid onto the manifold walls. Although a fresh charge of air is entering the engine and carrying its associated fuel, the engine, for a moment, still goes very lean. This is due to the fuel that was contained in the air suddenly clinging to the manifold walls, and for a moment at least, going nowhere. This causes an enormous flat spot that the engine simply will not drive through. To offset fuel condensing on the walls, an accelerator pump system is added. This squirts additional fuel into the intake to cover the would-be hole. A basic schematic of a typical pump system is shown in Fig 11 (see p. 91). In this example, a piston is shown injecting the fuel, but most often, the function of the piston is carried out by a spring-loaded diaphragm such as in a typical Holley carburetor. Calibration of the accelerator pump system is carried out by jets to control the rate at which it goes in; various springs, cams, and diaphragm sizes are used to control the amount that is injected and the duration of the injection phase.
    There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.
    The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey.


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  14. #14
    Nova Scotia,Canada,Earth Blue's Avatar
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    Here is a shot of the roof with your jet depth tool:

    It looks like a screw stop for the choke valve in centre.

    I also see two drilled passages (with light from above) on each side of the walls that seem to go up to the piston area .... but what is the hole in the front upper left? Is that associated with the vacuum break?




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    Last edited by Blue; 09-06-2011 at 06:31 PM.
    There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.
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    Boat Anchor Repairman Captain Obvious's Avatar
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    Yes, I found that post over on zcar.com, and I disagree with his analysis. He got the first part right about how the vacuum actuation works, but I contest the rest of it. I will point you back again to that interesting read on popular hotrodding.com:

    Mixture Requirements
    .
    .
    .
    When the vehicle is cruising, the mixture needs to lean out considerably if good mileage is to be achieved. With most carbs, we are likely to be dealing with a power-enrichment circuit, activated by a vacuum-sensitive power valve. This usually takes the form of a vacuum diaphragm, which senses how much intake manifold vacuum is present. Opening the throttle causes the intake manifold vacuum to decrease to near zero. This allows the power valve to open what can best be described as an additional main jet that supplies the extra enriching fuel. This additional main jet in any Holley-style carb is commonly known as the power valve restriction channel, or PVRC for short.


    This description above is exactly what my analysis led me to understand as to the operation of the flat top power valve.

    If you take a look at the pictures from that article of a typical "accelerator pump", and a typical "power valve", the biggest stand-out difference to me is the check valves in the accelerator pump. The power valve has no check valves in it which means it cannot "pump". There is nothing to prevent it from simply pushing a diaphragm load of fuel back down into the float bowl.

    Here's an accelerator pump:


    And here's what the power valve looks like (functionally):


    The fuel is pulled through by vacuum, not pushed through by the diaphragm.

    I'll take some detailed pics of the device when I get the chance and I'll try to show you why I don't think it has any transient function, but I didn't get to that today.

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    Nova Scotia,Canada,Earth Blue's Avatar
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    Here is a flat-top/round-top-ish manual for a Hitachi carb HJL38W:

    http://www.ratdat.com/images/posts03/HJL38W.pdf
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue View Post
    I also see two drilled passages (with light from above) on each side of the walls that seem to go up to the piston area .... but what is the hole in the front upper left? Is that associated with the vacuum break?
    Yes, the two holes in the upper left and upper right are the high pressure side of the suction piston.



    The two smaller holes closer to the square mouth (one in the center and another on the upper left) are mounting screws for the vacuum break actuator. I took the actuators off and just reinstalled the screws into the holes so I wouldn't lose them. One of them was a little longer than the other and sticks down into the carb throat. It does interfere with the choke plate, but it's not supposed to. With the vacuum break device installed, those screws aren't long enough to stick down that far.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Obvious View Post
    Yes, I found that post over on zcar.com, and I disagree with his analysis. He got the first part right about how the vacuum actuation works, but I contest the rest of it.

    snip

    The power valve has no check valves in it which means it cannot "pump".


    But what if Nissan engineers designed a "leaky" check valve using pressure differentials and orifices to get the job done...we need to go exploring
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue View Post
    But what if Nissan engineers designed a "leaky" valve
    Haha! From all of them I've dissected... They did!

    Seriously though, the sealing between the inlet and outlet on that power valve is this goofy flat rubber washer and every one I've opened up, that washer is either brittle hard and dried out or gooey and partially dissolved. I don't know what those washers are made out of, but I suspect it's a poor choice of material for today's fuels with ethanol included. Datsun even mentioned the possibility of leaky power valves in their documentation a couple of times.

    That document on the HJL38W was interesting. Very much halfway between the round tops and the flat tops in operation. One of the most interesting things is the idle air adjustment control just like on the HMB46W. They don't reference it anywhere in the text that I could find, but on the parts breakdown, it's #12. They meter and split the air at the rear carb and pipe to the front carb (which is the opposite to what they did on the 260Z), but the concept is identical.

  20. #20
    Nova Scotia,Canada,Earth Blue's Avatar
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    Another fun day Bruce!

    FYI: We took apart a power valve and looked it over closely (Thanks SteveJ that carb is finally under the knife). The power valve it is just a valve that opens off throttle when the manifold vacuum drops. It allows additional fuel from the bowl to be drawn through a small jet by vacuum. The nozzle is low just after the bridge so it will most likely spray fuel when the throttle opens quickly just before the piston starts to rise and possibly after the piston rises (IF there is sufficient vaccumto draw the fuel).We will have to measure when the weather is good.


    We also noticed a circular step in the back of the throat of the flat top (but not in the round). It looks like a weber choke is in there:


    Last edited by Blue; 12-03-2011 at 05:48 PM.
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    The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey.


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  21. #21
    No more body roll! SteveJ's Avatar
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    I'm glad I could contribute to the cause. One man's trash is another man's treasure.
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    Steve, It's definitely treasure. Thanks for helping the cause.

    I haven't measured needle profiles yet, but I will post results as soon as I get the chance.

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