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EFIE versus Electronic Control Circuit

 

          During the first few years of Hydrogen Boost history we used the EFIE (electronic fuel injector enhancer) device (oxygen sensor voltage offset device) developed by Eagle Research, to lean out the air/fuel ratio of the fuel injected vehicles we worked with.  When we worked on a single wire oxygen sensor it was easy, and even with a three wire oxygen sensor it was okay, but once we saw four and five wire oxygen sensors we had trouble identifying the signal wire, and even determining if we had a lambda sensor or the newer wide band oxygen sensor (air fuel ratio sensor).  Continuing to use the EFIE was just too difficult and sometimes impossible.  Because of this we researched and developed our own circuit that so far has been usable on every vehicle with electronic fuel injection. 

 

          When we got around to emissions testing with a five gas emissions gas analyzer, we discovered other problems with the EFIE device.  To explain the problems with the EFIE we must first review the web page detailing Emissions Analysis with Hydrogen Boost at http://www.hydrogen-boost.com/August%202006.html where we see the graph below.

Notice the elevated NOx emissions (blue curve) caused by fuel ratios between 15:1 and 17:1.  This is unacceptable pollution caused by running the engine at a slightly lean fuel ratio.  It is only when you get to an ultra-lean fuel ratio of 18:1 and beyond, that the NOx emissions are acceptably low.  The reason for this is that the temperature of combustion is lower with an ultra-lean mixture.  This lower combustion temperature is insufficient to cause the excess oxygen in the combustion air in the combustion chamber to react with the nitrogen in the that same combustion air.   

 

        What has any of this got to do with the choice of electronic control circuits?  Well, if an EFIE is used to lean out the mixture, the ECU (engine control unit) can only lean the mixture to somewhere between 16:1 and 17:1 before the ECU goes into a perpetual too-rich signal that causes the ECU to continue to add negative fuel trim until the engine stalls.  There is no way to use the EFIE or other versions of the oxygen sensor voltage offset circuit, to run at 18:1 air to fuel ratio or leaner for more than a few seconds.  That means that any use of the EFIE device will only elevate the NOx emissions.  This is unacceptable.

 

        What other problems are there for the EFIE device?  It only works on Lambda sensors, oxygen sensors that have a signal voltage between zero and one volt, with high voltage indicating too-rich, and low voltage means too-lean.  It does not work on wide band oxygen sensors (sometimes called air-fuel ratio sensors) that have a higher voltage and opposite indications (low voltage meaning rich and high voltage meaning lean).

 

        The simple circuit developed by Hydrogen Boost and copied by many competitors works on every vehicle with fuel injection and is much more responsive that the EFIE.  When you turn the knob of our circuit you feel the change in engine performance immediately, not second to minutes later like with the EFIE.  Because of this immediate response you can tune your mixture to the feel of the engine response.

 

        There have been a number of ways introduced to address the common complaint that unplugging the oxygen sensor causes a “check engine” light to illuminate.  We instruct our customers to simply unplug the oxygen sensor to be able to change the air/fuel ratio.  Others suggest wrapping aluminum foil around the oxygen (lambda) sensor, and others have suggested installing a spacer behind the sensor to get it out of the exhaust flow and make it ineffective.  Some even suggest taking it right out and leave it dangling there.  These suggestions may work but a simple unplugging of the sensor is our choice.  It doesn’t matter which method you use to disable the oxygen sensor, they are all a violation of EPA rules against “tampering with the emissions control system of the vehicle.”  EPA forbids the use of a cleaner, ultra-lean air-fuel ratio, that in our case also happens to save fuel, and reduces all exhaust emissions. 

 

 

 

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