Owning a flow bench has become easier, cheaper and a lot more versatile with kits that are available from Flow Performance. This micro flow bench is the most basic, easiest to build flow bench using the Flow Performance kit FP2.0BS.
With high tech electronic sensors and a patented state-of-the-art air flow metering element, effective flow rate measurements can now be made with nothing more than an average shop vac for an air source.
The small size of this flow bench takes up little space in your shop or garage.The "open" design of the bench surface makes it easy to securely mount cylinder heads with just a couple of C clamps. The design also allows the easy fabrication of different cylinder head design adapters and smaller size cylinder adapters for smaller bore cylinder heads.
Build a Micro Flow Bench
Photo courtesy Flow Performance
Shelf standards and brackets can be used to mount the flow bench parts. These double locking units from KV are highly recommended. The standards are 36", and the brackets for the bench are 14.5" long.
The Flow Performance FR4 flow receptacle (left) measures the test pressure, commonly known as the "depression", and channels the air into or out of the FE2.0 flow element (right).
The FR4 is mounted under a 4.5" hole in the bench surface. Adapter plates. , available from Flow Performance, adapts cylinder heads to the receptacle. The adapter plates have a cylinder bore attached and come in a variety of bore sizes from 4.385" for your big-block heads, down to 2" for your chain saw, or even smaller for your model airplane or race car!
The Flow Performance FP1 electronic flow processor connects to the FR4 receptacle and to the FE2 flow element to measure flow rates using the latest in high tech sensors and powerful electronics. The FP1 does all the calculations and conversions required and displays your flow rates instantly, as you flow test. It will even convert the flow rates to any test pressure you want, automatically.
A desk top or lap top computer displays the data from the FP1 flow processor. Or, a Pocket PC can be used for instant-on space saving portable operation.
Photo courtesy Flow Performance
The adapter plates locate the heads by using dowel pins in the head bolt holes. You can easily drill the adapter plates for your particular head. The plate is located on the head and clamped in place while the head bolt holes provide a drilling guide.
With the dowel pin holes drilled into the adapter plate, some dowel pins are placed into the holes to precisely locate the head on the adapter. The shanks of M10 bolts make perfect dowel pins for 7/16" head bolt holes. Several head bolt patterns can be drilled on one adapter plate.
This adapter plate has a 4.0" plastic bore. Like all the Flow Performance adapter bores, it has plenty of wall thickness to be honed out to larger sizes
Head adapter plates...
Here are some flow test results from the micro flow bench (Flow Perf) compared to some published flow data. The first test is taken from a stock Ford E7TE casting. The other test data was taken from Super Ford magazine, issues March, 1991 and also September, 1991. I did not control the test pressure (depression) on the micro bench and used no extension on the exhaust port.
The next test is from a Trick Flow Specialties Kenny Dutweiller Signature Series aluminum casting PN 30400001. The published flow data for the Chevy TFS head was obtained from The Trick Flow Specialties web page, and another set of numbers was obtained from HP Books: Small-Block Chevy Engine Building (c) 2003 (Berkley Publishing Group). The TFS web site does not mention the use of any exhaust port extension tube. The HP Books article mentions the use of a extension tube, but does not mention the size or shape. I did not use an exhaust extension.
But wait! There's more....
You don't need a flow bench to flow test manifods and such things. Flow Performance Mini Receptacles allow you to perform effective flow testing in a "hand-held" configuration.
This is the Flow Performance FR2, and 2" mini receptacle that fits onto the end of the FE2 flow element. You open up the end of the receptacle to just slightly larger than the size of the port you want to measure. This oval I cut into this FR2 fits the Ford SB upper and lower intake manifold.
By connecting the FE2 flow element to a shop vac hose, you can flow test manifolds in this hand held configuration. This is the setup I used in this intake artical
The mini receptacles come in 2", 2.5" and 3" sizes.
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See this Micro Bench in action on a Ford E7TE cylinder head in this artical
Ford E7TE Part 3
Sharp edge orifice flow rates calculated using the orifice flow rate calculator at www.Efunda.com using a standard air density of .075 lb/ft^3 and a Cf of .62.
Calibration is done with a sharp edge orifice. Sharp edge orifice flow rates are predictable and easy to calculate. This is my master calibration orifice plate with a diameter of 1.500"
By making a set of different sized sharp edge orifices, I can check the range of flow on the micro bench. The chart on the right shows the orifice size, the calculated flow rate at 28"wc pressure differential, and the rate of flow indicated by the micro bench. The test pressure was not regulated on the micro bench and the FP1 flow processor converted the flow rates to an equivalent flow rate for 28"wc.