116+ Octane With Water Injection!
For many of you reading this, you may already be familiar with the substantial octane increases possible with a simple water methanol injection system (methanol can be substituted for other forms of alcohols such as ethanol, isopropanol, etc.). While for many others, you are just becoming aware of water injection for the first time and what it has to offer.
Water injection isn't new. It actually dates far back to the 1930’s where it was extensively used for the first time in WWII on supercharged and turbocharged fighter aircraft to increase power on take off and increasing the altitude for which a plane could climb. In 1942, the German Luftwaffe increased the horsepower of the Focke-Wulf 190D-9 fighter aircraft from 1776HP to 2240HP using 50/50% water methanol injection. Likewise, the turbocharged Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engine picked increased it horsepower output from 2000 horsepower to 3800 horsepower with the use of water injection. Manufactures such as Chrysler, Saab, Porsche and GM also used water injection on various large displacement, high compression or turbo charged motors such as the Saab 99 Turb. As well as 1962 and 1963 GM Oldsmobile Jetfire with it's turbocharged 10.25:1 compression aluminum V8. To keep detonation under control Oldsmobile used water injection and a fluid called "Olds Turbo Rocket Fluid" which was nothing more then a blend of water and methanol and a corrosion inhibitor. It was also used in Formula 1 racing for a short period of time before being banned for adding too much horsepower.
In recent years, water methanol injection has become ever more popular and recognized as an invaluable tool for both gasoline and diesel forced induction engines. As well as normally naturally aspirated applications. While often times referred to as a “chemical intercooler” it is more commonly used in forced induction applications due to it’s substantial cooling effects and added octane increase it adds to pump gas. Reducing air intake charge temperatures by 50-200+ degrees F almost instantly. Providing a substantially cooler denser intake air charge for a greater expansion of power within the combustion chamber. While also largely eliminating the problem of engine “knocking” and allowing user to run higher levels of boost, compression and increased timing.
As previouisly mentioned already, water methanol injection has become a tried-and-true proven way for users to effectively increase their 87-93 octane pump gas. Depending on the amount injected and the type of mix used (pure water, pure methanol or a mix of the two), gains up to 10-25+ points in octane can be achieved. Thus making 91 octane pump gas act like 105-116 octane racing fuel in their engines. Thereby eliminating our dependency for notoriously expensive racing fuels, which can cost upwards of $8.00-$12.00 per gallon as so many of us have reluctantly had to use in the past. Costing only pennies to operate when using 100% water, its also a far more effective, affordable and convenient to those expensive octane booster fuel additives as well.
While once believed impossible several years ago. It is now possible and becoming quite common to find individuals using 91-93 octane combined with water methanol injection to support engines well over 1000+ horsepower. One top engine builder, Steve Morris of New Era Performance, has already made upwards of 1700+ horsepower with a non-intercooled carbureted big block Chevy ProCharged engine on 93-pump gas using only 100% water injection .
Below is a brief summery of the various types of fluids you can use with our water methanol injection systems.
What types of fluids can I use?
Water and various grains of alcohol, methanol, ethanol and isopropanol, are the primary fluids which are commonly used in a water methanol injection systems. Unlike most other competitors systems on the market, who still continue to use the "silver" agricultural pumps which can only tolerate mixtures up to 50/50 mix of methanol, our pumps are specifically designed for 100% use of methanol, ethanol, isopropanol and other similar forms of alcohol. Depending on the application, we have found mixtures of 40/60 water and methanol to perform the best without the risk of being a flammable fluid. We do not recommend using mixtures greater then 40/60 water methanol as it will become a flammable liquid with added risks and hazards associated with it.
This surprises many the first time they hear it. When injected properly into the air charge of an engine, water and water alone, is a remarkable detonation suppressant. The most notable advantages of using water injection is it's inability to detonate as well as it's substantial cooling effect it has on air charge temperatures, combustion temperatures and exhaust gas temperatures. Best of all...it's basically free. Water has a high latent heat of vaporization. Approximately, 8 times that of gasoline and can reduce intake charge temperatures by 50-150+ degrees F on supercharged and turbocharged engines almost instantly when sprayed properly. It’s also an extremely effective octane booster. As you may have already read in our article, “Knock Knock…Who’s There?”. Since water does not burn “per‘ say, when atomized properly with pump gas, it will effectively increase the fuels octane. Doing so, by improving the fuels ability to resist self-ignition under higher cylinder pressures and hotter cylinder temperatures thus suppressing detonation.
Through testing and research, comparing high-octane fuels vs. 87-93 octane pump gas combined with 100% water injection (no alcohol mix added). Depending on the build of the motor and volume injected, we estimate octane increases of 10-20+ points can be achieved by using 100% water injection with 87-93 octane gas. This is after evaluating maximum allowable total timing advance and maximum attainable boost levels with out detonation or pre-ignition.
Methanol, ethanol and isopropanol, all forms of alcohol, are commonly mixed with water or used pure with our water methanol injection systems. With octane ratings from 105-130+, depending on the form of alcohol used, 10-20+ points in octane can be achieved when combined properly with 87-93 octane pump gas.
The most common types of alcohol used in water methanol injection systems are methanol grains. Methanol is produced primarily from natural gas, wood or coal. While ethanol is produced from sugarcane or corn. Methanol is far cheaper to produce than ethanol, thereby making it the more desirable between the two to use. Water injection is also often known as water methanol injection, owing to the fact that the alcohol mixed into the injection solution is often methanol and not ethanol or isopropanol.
The main distinction between methanol and ethanol is that methanol has a lower caloric weight (or the amount of energy available to burn when combusted), higher specific heat (takes more heat to burn the mixture) and a high heat of vaporization (when vaporized can cool down intake air temps dramatically). Ethanol is generally the same characteristics and properties as methanol, but does not cool down the intake charge as well and as mentioned above costs substantially more then methanol.
For engines that are fueled solely by methanol, such as race engines, it’s quite common to see ice form on the outside of the intake manifolds during operation. Methanol is able to cool down the intake air temperatures entering the cylinder head so well, that when used as the primary fuel on a forced induction engines, an intercooler is not needed no matter what the boost levels are. Most surprisingly, engines can also be ran without a radiator. This being a true testament to the cooling effects offered by methanol when.
It should be noted that while water methanol injection can be extremely beneficial to both naturally aspirated and forced induction applications, proper installation, delivery, control and tuning are imperative. Not all water methanol injection systems are the same. AlcoholInjectionSystems.com brings you the best quality and most advance systems in the industry. Along with the easiest to install systems on the market.
We recommend a maximum mixture of 50/50 mixed of water and alcohol, as it will not be a flammable liquid in this state. Using mixtures with greater percentages of alcohol will become a flammable liquid and use of stainless steel lines should be used.
**Tuning Tip** Since alcohol is a fuel, when using mixes with higher percentages of alcohol, expect air/fuel ratio to richen up more then when used with mixes containing lesser percentages of alcohol with greater percentages of water. For this reason, many user’s will actually prefer using a much lower percentage of water/alcohol or 100% water. Depending on the application this can be just as effective while not affecting the air/fuel ratio as greatly as does mixes with greater percentages of alcohol. We highly recommend the use of a wide band o2 system to monitor air/fuel ratio and aid in tuning your engine.