Torture Testing
I used the Racing Instrumentation Progressive Controller that you
read about last month to see how bad I could wear the nitrous plunger.
I set it to pulse the NS500 single Airnoid for the full 10 seconds and just
continued to run bench pass after bench pass after bench pass. I have
to say that this was one of the more boring things I have ever done.

I started with a fresh plunger and made 200 passes. With the pulse rate
speeding things up this amounted to 4000 hits on the plunger. The end
result was that the center bubble of the plunger material moved .004
which still left me with .074 of effective lift capacity. Since I only
need .055 plunger of lift to fully utilize the orifice size I am in good
shape. Pretty outstanding I think. I will trim the bubble off in the lathe
and run this test later when time permits to see if it takes a set or at
least slows down the bubble growth. That would be cool.
I was curious about the clear top on the 400 and 450 series. Granted
you could break it with a hammer, or if you roll the car, but I think it
would hold up just fine to normal use. I sprayed it down with gasoline,
methanol, shop solvent, acetone, brake fluid and a couple of other
mystery chemicals and none of these bothered the finish. I was out of
nitro or I would have tried that particularly interesting cleaning solvent.

The only thing I found so far that could attack it was CRC non
chlorinated Brake Cleaner. Most of us that use brake cleaner know it to
be some good stuff but nasty on many things like paint, powder coating
and anodized components so don't use it to clean the Airnoids. You have
been warned.
Piston Wear
Clear Top
Curious about just how much air is needed to open these Airnoids I hooked up 2 of the gold ones with the appropriate line lengths to simulate a V8 nozzle system. I put a manual shutoff valve at the bottle. The line length from the bottle to the actuator was 8 feet. I gave it a couple of hits normally and then shut off the flow to the actuator. I then bumped the button on and off to see how many times I could open the Airnoids with just the co2 stored in the line between the actuator and the Airnoids. I got 2 shots out of the air stored in the line. I should probably figure out the cubic inches stored there but suffice to say these things need very little volume to open. This means you don't need a big capacity bottle.
CO2 Supply Requirements
I have burned up my share of coils by leaving them on too long when
testing. I decided to try to burn one up on purpose. I wanted to see
what the life of the actuator might be since it only draws 0.6 amp. I
turned it on with 15 volts going to it and walked away. I checked on it
45 minutes later. It was up to 160 degrees surface temperature but it
kept on ticking.

Considering that I have melted coils in ten minutes or less I felt this was
a good thing and did not feel the need to go on to the inevitable end.
This almost no amp, long life means that my Bonneville clients can quit
worrying about carrying spare coils.

Another area that has always needed help in this area is boating
enthusiasts. With big enough bottles on board they can now race shore
to shore. They may kill everything else on a long distance "Brag Race"
but this time the actuator and Airnoids will be intact.
Actuator LIfe
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A Review of Combo-Flo  Air Operated Solenoids
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Combo-Flo 500 plate air operted solenoid
By David Koehler
copyright 11-30-05