What Does Tuning An Exhaust System Within Aircraft Consist of?

While tuning the aircraft exhaust system has only become commonplace in the last 30 years, it has quickly made the top of the list for aircraft maintenance. To ensure the optimal functionality of your aircraft engine and to extend its longevity, tuning the exhaust system is of the utmost importance. With this in mind, this blog will provide a brief overview of the steps required to tune your aircraft exhaust system.

Tuning your exhaust system begins with reducing the pressure at the exhaust port just as it starts to close so that it matches the pressure of the intake manifold. This action is referred to as the overlap phase wherein a fresh mixture is drawn into the cylinder and gasses are simultaneously removed from it. In an untuned exhaust system, the pressure is typically greater than that of the intake, and the spent gasses are not removed. Instead, the gasses remain in the cylinder or may even make their way back into the intake manifold. 

To understand the exhaust system, we must cover what is happening inside the cylinders of the engine. Engines are subjected to four “strokes” during the combustion process that include intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust.

During intake, the intake valve located at the top of the cylinder sucks in a new fuel-air mixture as the piston moves down the cylinder. As the intake valve closes, the piston moves back up, compressing the mixture and subsequently, the spark plug ignites and explodes the compressed mixture. This explosion drives the piston down the cylinder, generating ample power to turn the prop. At this point, the exhaust valve opens as the piston disperses the rest of the spent fuel-air mixture, and the cycle repeats itself.

It is important to note that as the spent fuel-air mixture exits the cylinder, it travels through a set of headers and out the tailpipe with the force of the remaining pressure. If too much pressure builds up in the exhaust system, the spent gas from the next cycle will have a hard time leaving. This results in the exhaust not flowing as freely, which may take up space within the system that is meant for clean fuel-air charge.

As exhaust systems have countless components, ensuring that they are all working optimally is critical. If you find yourself in need of replacement parts such as exhaust valves, collector tubes, carburetors, or specialized tools for tuning, rely on ASAP NSN Parts. ASAP NSN Parts is a one-stop shop for countless aircraft parts, all of which are vetted for quality, reliability, and authenticity. Our inventory is stocked with all that you need, ensuring you can complete your aircraft operations. Other items we currently have in stock and ready for purchase include airspeed indicators, muffler assemblies, temperature gauges, intake manifolds, collector assemblies, and so much more. At ASAP NSN Parts, we pride ourselves in having a little bit of everything so peruse our ever-expanding catalogs at your leisure. Kickoff the procurement process with a competitive quote and see how we can serve as your strategic sourcing partner.


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