An air injection system forces fresh air into the exhaust ports of the engine to reduce HC and CO emissions. The exhaust gases leaving an engine can contain unburned and partially burned fuel. Oxygen from the air injection system causes this fuel to continue to burn. The major parts of the system are the air pump, the diverter valve, the air distribution manifold, and the air check valve.
During the early days of emission control, it was an easy task to meet the required emission standards through air injection. Air injection, also known as the air pump system (Fig. 17.28), was one of the first add-on devices to oxidise HC and CO in the exhaust. By 1966 Chrysler, the only domestic manufacturer, was not using an air pump system on at least some cars. Early air injection systems used many hoses and tubes placed across the engine so that it became inconvenient to work on the engine, and hose failure due to engine heat also became common.
When the engine is running, the spinning vanes of the air pump force air into the diverter valve. If not decelerating, the air is forced through the diverter valve, the check valve, the air injection manifold, and into the engine. The fresh air blows on the exhaust valves.
During periods of deceleration, the diverter valve blocks airflow into the engine exhaust manifold. This prevents a possible backfire that could damage the exhaust system of the vehicle. When needed, the diverter valve will release excess pressure in the system.
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