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Adding methanol to your current fuel in a road car 

 

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 Post subject: Adding methanol to your current fuel in a road car
Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:50 pm 
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What are people's thoughts on adding a very small amount of methanol to the fuel in your road car, to bump up the octane level a little bit. Has anybody tried this before, and if so did they find any gains?
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 Post subject: Re: Adding methanol to your current fuel in a road car
Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:26 am 
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Using methanol in a car not designed for it is a risky proposition. Methanol can be very corrosive to some components. In very small amounts, it might not be a problem. I wouldn't take the chance, even with small amounts.

Having said that, on occasion I have used about 250mls of methylated spirits per tank of fuel to absorb condensation that tends to collect in the fuel tank. Meths is about 90% ethanol and 10% methanol (added just to keep people from drinking it). So that would have put about 25mls of methanol in the fuel, and caused no problems.

You can use ethanol instead. Ethanol has the same octane rating as methanol, and is safe to use in just about any car built since the early 90s in concentrations up to 10%. Any petrol labelled "bio-fuel" is 5-10% ethanol. Ethanol is about 108.6 octane. So, if you start with 98-octane (non-ethanol) petrol and mix 9:1 with pure ethanol, you will get just over 99 octane. That's about as far as you can safely go with ethanol, is a hassle to do, and gains you only 1 point of octane.

You would be better off blending in some race gas that is safe for production engines. For example, 5 US gals (19L) of VP Motorsport 109 in a 68-litre tank and topped up with 98-octane will give you 101 octane - a 3 point gain. Be aware that it is not normally legal to use race gas on the road.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Adding methanol to your current fuel in a road car
Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:59 pm 
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Don't mix it with your fuel. Use a Snow Products dedicated water/meth injection system activated off (low) manifold vacuum.

But what advantage do you actually expect to get? Higher octane = slower burn rate. So unless you are unable to run an optimised spark advance curve with your current engine combination, you will actually be making less power AND spending more on fuel. A real loose-loose situation.

The reason an engine needs a higher octane fuel, is because ignition timing cannot be optimised with existing fuel. Like when compresssion is increased, forced induction is used, operating temp is significantly increased

Using high octane fuel and advancing the timing does not make as much power as a lower octane fuel running an optimised spark advance curve.

If your engine is stock or near-stock, stay with the fuel grade specified by the manufacturer. They spent alot of time and money optimising ........

 

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 Post subject: Re: Adding methanol to your current fuel in a road car
Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 5:11 pm 
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xafalcon wrote:
Higher octane = slower burn rate. So unless you are unable to run an optimised spark advance curve with your current engine combination, you will actually be making less power AND spending more on fuel. A real loose-loose situation.


That's absolutely correct....with one exception. Race gas is not just higher-octane pump gas. It is formulated quite differently (part of why it is much more expensive) and usually has both higher octane and FASTER burn rate.

Unless your engine is knock-limited, you will not gain more power simply by increasing the octane. But you might still want to run high-octane pump gas, as it usually has more detergents in it and keeps your engine cleaner, which gives more performance long-term.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Adding methanol to your current fuel in a road car
Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:01 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Hmmm ok, all of this helps, cause I work in a oil refinery I can get both ethanol and methanol very easy, and I was thinking of adding a little bit to my car to clean up the injectors and head with a little bit of a more efficient burn by upping then octane level a touch
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