Cylinder air/fuel ratio distribution is an important factor affecting the economy, power, vibration, and emissions of an internal combustion engine. Currently, production automobiles utilize an exhaust gas sensor located in the main exhaust stream in order to regulate air/fuel mixtures. By measuring the oxygen content of the exhaust gas for each cylinder independently, the degree of air/fuel variation between cylinders can be determined. This information can be used to determine the mixture quality of specific cylinders. Knowing these variances can lead to design changes in the intake and exhaust manifolds as well as better control of fuel metering which will improve the output of the engine.
This study was carried out using a 1991 3.8L Buick V-6 engine with customized exhaust manifolds utilizing exhaust gas oxygen sensors for each cylinder in addition to the sensor located in the main combined exhaust gas stream. Production level, ZrO2 sensors were used for this experimental study.
This paper details the experimental setup, and the results of this study. It demonstrates an effective and economical means of determining cylinder variations in air/fuel mixture.