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o Engine Speed control

This presentation is from Virginia Tech and has not been edited by
Georgia Curriculum Office.
Performance Objectives
o Students will be able to list and
describe the purpose and types of
governors found on small gasoline
Enabling Objectives
o Given the instruction in class the
student will be able to list,
describe, and define the purpose of
the following small engine
governors with 80% accuracy.
o Pneumatic
o Centrifugal
o Vacuum

Interest Approach
o What purpose does the governor
serve on a small engine?
o Have any of you ever unhooked the
governor on a small engine such as
on you go-cart?
o What affect did it have?
o Governors serve three basic
o Maintain a speed selected by the
operator which is within the range
of the governor.
o Prevent over-speed which may cause
engine damage.
o Limit both high and low speeds.
o Generally governors are used to
maintain a fixed speed not readily
adjustable by the operator or to
maintain a speed selected by
means of a throttle control lever.
o In either case, the governor protects
against overspeeding.
How does it work?
o If the load is removed on an
operating engine, the governor
immediately closes the throttle.
o If the engine load is increased, the
throttle will be opened to prevent
engine speed form being reduced.
o The governor on
your lawnmower
maintains the
selected engine
speed even
when you mow
through a clump
of high grass or
when you mow
over no grass at
Pneumatic Governors
o Sometimes called
governors, they
are operated by
the stream of air
flow created by
the cooling fins
of the flywheel.
Air-Vane Governor
o When the engine experiences sudden
increases in load, the flywheel
slows causing the governor to open
the throttle to maintain the desired
o The same is true when the engine
experiences a decrease in load.
The governor compensates and
closes the throttle to prevent
Centrifugal Governor
o Sometimes
referred to as a
governor, it
uses pivoted
flyweights that
are attached to
a revolving shaft
or gear driven
by the engine.
Mechanical Governor
o With this system, governor rpm is always
directly proportional to engine rpm.
Mechanical Governor
o If the engine is subjected to a sudden
load that reduces rpm, the
reduction in speed lessens
centrifugal force on the flyweights.
o The weights move inward and lower
the spool and governor lever, thus
opening the throttle to maintain
engine speed.
Vacuum Governors
o Located between the carburetor and the
intake manifold.
o It senses changes in intake manifold
pressure (vacuum).

Vacuum Governors
o As engine speed increases or decreases the
governor closes or opens the throttle
respectively to control engine speed.
o Hunting is a condition whereby the
engine speed fluctuate or is erratic
usually when first started.
o The engine speeds up and slows
down over and over as the
governor tries to regulate the
engine speed.
o This is usually caused by an
improperly adjusted carburetor.
o Stability is the ability to maintain a
desired engine speed without
o Instability results in hunting or
oscillating due to over correction.
o Excessive stability results in a dead-
beat governor or one that does not
correct sufficiently for load
o Sensitivity is the percent of speed
change required to produce a
corrective movement of the fuel
control mechanism.
o High governor sensitivity will help
keep the engine operating at a
constant speed.
o Small engine governors are used to:

n Maintain selected engine speed.

n Prevent over-speeding.
n Limit high and low speeds.

o Governors are usually of the following
n Air-vane (pneumatic)
n Mechanical (centrifugal)
n Vacuum
o The governor must have stability and
sensitivity in order to regulate
speeds properly. This will prevent
hunting or erratic engine speed
changes depending upon load