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The Sulzer RTA Fuel Pump

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Engine Operation
The Sulzer RTA Fuel Pump

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The Sulzer RTA fuel and exhaust valve pump block. The two outside pumps with the
pipes coming out of the top are the exhaust valve hydraulic pumps; the centre section
contains the pair of fuel pumps. The rusty coloured block on the top is the valve
Simplified animation of the Sulzer pump, although
it is in proportion. The return springs have been
omitted for clarity.

The pumps are arranged in pairs, one for each cylinder. This is because
the two operating cams are mounted on a common hydraulic servomotor
which in turn is mounted on the camshaft.

The pump plunger is raised and lowered by a follower. When the

follower is on the base circle of the cam, the suction valve, shown on the
LHS of the animation, is held open by a push rod which in turn is
moved by a lever operated from the plunger drive.

As the pump plunger moves up the barrel, the suction valve lever moves
about the adjustable pivot point, the push rod moves downwards, the
suction valve closes and injection begins.

From this point oil pressure is raised and injection continues as the
plunger continues its up stroke. The spill valve pushrod shown on the
RHS is moved upwards by the spill valve lever until it forces the spill
valve off its seat, releasing the oil pressure and ending injection. A
non-return valve prevents loss of oil from the discharge.

The pivots of the suction and spill valve levers are eccentric and by
rotating these the timing can be altered.

By rotating the suction valve eccentric clockwise as seen on the

drawing, the suction valve will close earlier, and injection timing will be

By rotating the spill valve eccentric anti-clockwise the spill valve will
open later in the plunger stroke and more fuel will be injected.

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The Sulzer RTA Fuel Pump

As the load on the engine increases the fuel control shaft will
alter the position of the spill control. Through a linkage the
suction control position will also be altered, adjusting the
timing of the suction valve. This is known as variable
injection timing (VIT). VIT allows the max cylinder pressure
to be achieved at about 85%MCR and improves fuel
efficiency. The position of the suction valve control linkage
can also be altered by hand, thus advancing or retarding the
timing. This is so that the engine can operate efficiently with
fuels of various ignition quality.

The photograph opposite shows the fuel pump shaft (with

the red stripes) and the VIT shaft and hand fuel quality

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