Written By Steve Turner
Photography courtesy of Kinsler Fuel Injection
Auto manufacturers transitioned from cable-actuated throttle bodies to drive-by-wire units to reduce weight and complexity while providing more accurate throttle control. While improved fuel economy and reduced maintenance drove the change in the production world, being light and simple can lead to higher performance as well.
As such, many aftermarket fuel-injection systems now incorporate drive-by-wire control. This not only allows for easy adaptation of modern engines in performance environments, but it can contribute to lower elapsed times by shedding unnecessary weight and offering more control when needed.
Kinsler pioneered the four-barrel, Dominator 4500-series throttle body back in 1991 and these days the company offers a drive-by-wire version that is just 2.55 inches tall and flows air at the rate of 1900 cubic feet per minute. Its 4.775-inch throttle bores are evenly spaced and fitted with throttle plates that counter-rotate at a 1:1 ratio on .500-inch shafts that are contoured at the bore for improved airflow.
It is pretty common to see factory-style oval- and round-bore mono throttle bodies under the sway of drive-by-wire controls, but the storied fuel-injection experts at Kinsler Fuel Injection also offer it in their line of carb-style throttle bodies. Notably, the company says its 4500 Series Four-Barrel Throttle Body with Optional Drive-By-Wire Package is the only such four-barrel offering to date in the racing industry.
"The decision to add a drive-by-wire option and larger throttles (up to 2 ¼-inch with increased flow), option allowed for lighter weight, and computer control," Brad Cauzillo, Marketing Manager at Kinsler Fuel Injection, said. "This provides additional controls of the throttle that could not be achieved using mechanical linkage."
Depending on the capabilities of your engine-control system, the fast-reacting, drive-by-wire Kinsler throttle body enables a host of useful functions like cruise control, idle control, and stall recovery. In performance applications, it can enable speed limiters, traction control, launch control, matched-rev shifting, and rev limiters.
The body is machined with a Kinsler Drive-By-Wire motor isolation mounting bracket, which allows adding the drive-by-wire motor. This four-barrel unit features equidistant bore spacing with edge-to-edge bore openings measuring 4.7775 inches. Its throttle plates counter-rotate in a 1:1 ratio on .500-inch-diameter throttle shafts contoured at the throttle bores for maximum airflow.
"These were developed for the harsh racing environments needing a more robust architecture to be extremely reliable," Cauzillo said.
While Kinsler's drive-by-wire 4500 Series Four-Barrel Throttle Body was born and bred for the unforgiving environs of off-road racing, it is happily at home in other disciplines, like drag racing.
"We have successfully run our drive-by-wire motors on drag-race applications," Cauzillo said. "This allowed racers in the limited-tire classes to control their launches."
With a compact linkage from the drive motor to the throttle shafts, the changes of mechanical failure are reduced with this unit. Not only will the drive-by-wire arrangement allow for tweaking the throttle response to the driver's like, but it can facilitate calibrating the engine by allowing rpm speeds or holding the throttle position at a precise rpm.
Making use of an optional six-wire throttle-position sensor, the Kinsler drive-by-wire motors require a programmable Proportional Integral Derivative. Using a control algorithm with three coefficients these motors achieve a control-loop feedback mechanism for modulated throttle control. Thus far the Kinsler units are compatible with Motec, Holley, Bosch, and AEM electronic control units.
"The Drive-By-Wire can change the resolution of the throttle movement and speed thanks drive-by-wire to programmable pedal control with large throttles," Cauzillo said. "During the staging and launch, this provides more accuracy and consistency."
So if you run or want to run a carb-style throttle body with the latest technology that will look great and help your car run faster, Kinsler's 4500 Series Four-Barrel Throttle Body with Optional Drive-By-Wire Package retails for $3,792.70.
Kinsler Fuel Injection