Have you ever wished that you understood how carburetors work better than you do? Destin, the engineer behind the Smarter Every Day YouTube channel, created a slow-motion video that will, quite possibly, (suck, squeeze, bang) blow your mind. Instead of sticking with the everyday carb that you might find in your lawnmower or an older motorcycle, he went the extra step and made his own.
You get to see the little venturi, the float bowl, the main jet, choke, and throttle all doing their thing during each stroke of a four-stroke sequence. The intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust steps are each as clear and easy to see as they’ve probably ever been, so you can finally wrap your brain around these concepts just a little better. This, folks, is why YouTube exists (well, that and cat videos).
What sparked the idea for this video? Destin asked his dad to explain carburetors to him, since he felt like he didn’t have as good a grasp on how they work as he wanted. His dad is apparently very good with small engines, so he sat his son down and explained it to him. Thanks, Destin's dad!
From there, Destin got the great idea to source a clear carburetor so he could shoot it with a slow-motion camera, capture footage, and really break it down for his YouTube audience. When he couldn’t find exactly what he wanted as a readily available thing, he ended up 3D printing exactly what he needed to make this video. (Don’t worry, his dad had a fire extinguisher standing by during the whole shoot—as every workspace should probably have.)
What's also extremely cool about this video is that seeing the process slowed down to a rate of speed our brains can take in, the fluid dynamics are astonishingly beautiful. We probably don’t think of fuel dancing as it goes from liquid to vapor, combusts, and then exhausts—but it totally does.
If you have 25 minutes to spare, take some time to really watch this video. Don’t watch it while you’re doing something else, either, or you might miss seeing something incredibly cool. If you ride a carbureted bike, just think about what’s going on every time you go out for a ride. I know I will be.