I try to keep up with the happenings on this forum and I see a lot of questions come up on water meth injection. There is a lot of half knowledge being pushed around, some misconceptions, and just some issues. So I'm going to do another in-depth thread to go over everything.
I'll be filling this in over the next few days or so as I pull all my info together.
Read if you are thinking of trying water/methanol injection... Cliff Note questions have been added at Post #175.... Please read those if you don't want to sit through all this. But if you just read the C/N then whats the point anyway. http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...=937176&page=7 Bottom of the page.
What is Water/Methanol Injection?
Water Injection or Water Methanol Injection, is a process by which a mixture or water and Methanol are injected into the fuel/air mixture on the way to the combustion chamber. Water/Methanol Injection provides "Chemical Intercooling" inside the cylinder. By injecting water and methanol in a finely atomized spray, the water is able to evaporate under the high temps of a firing cylinder, and when the water evaporates, it takes heat with it. The methanol also has a cooling and octane boosting effect as it burns.
How does water/methanol injection allow your engine to produce more power?
The production of more power by a water/meth injected engine is not a by-product of the water/meth mixture alone. You must tune for it to get the most out of it. The evaporative effects of the water/meth mixture, plus the octane boost, allows you to run more advanced timing, and boost, thus increasing power. Methanol having the octane boosting effect, you can adjust your AFR's with tuning, and be able to run the same AFR as a pump gas tune with less fuel added to the fuel map of your engine managment. When the system is spraying, methanol is making up for the fuel that gets taken away during the tuning process. You end up with about same 12.5:1 or so AFR with less pump gas added, you also increase knock resistance, and due to the octane boosting effect, you can add timing and boost to make more power safely.
What is Methanol?
Methanol is the simplest alcohol compound, comprised of one carbon atom, one oxygen atom and four hydrogen atoms (CH3OH). It is also referred to as wood alcohol, carbinol and methyl alcohol. It is poisonous, flammable and relatively volatile. It has no taste or color, but it does have a slight scent.
Methanol is used as a fuel and an antifreeze, and to make formaldehyde. It is also added to ethanol to make it unpalatable so that it avoids taxes on drinkable alcohol, as ethanol without a denaturant of some sort is consumable by humans. Methanol was first discovered in 1661, though it had been used without isolation by peoples as far back as the Egyptians in their embalming processes. The name comes from methy, meaning wine, and hyle, meaning trees.
Methanol is used as a fuel source by some, though its use is limited by its volatility. The main area in which one sees methanol being used is in many top-end racing engines. The vehicles in the Indy 500, for example, are all run on methanol. This methanol is usually produced using a fossil fuel as the synthesis gas, either natural gas or petroleum.
Many renewable energy advocates see methanol as an ideal fuel source, with distinct advantages over hydrogen. When methanol is made from materials such as wood, it is often called bioalcohol. The theoretical use of methanol as a widespread fuel source has given rise to a theory describing what is known as the methanol economy.
In the methanol economy, the common fuel is methanol, with non-renewable fuels having a minority share or being entirely unused. George Olah, a winner of the Nobel Prize, is a strong advocate of this path. Advocates point out that in contrast to hydrogen, methanol is relatively cheap to produce, can be manufactured with little or no waste, is efficient to store and can be made from sources other than fossil fuels. Also, while conversion to a hydrogen economy would require major changes in infrastructure, methanol could be phased in relatively easily because of its interoperability with fossil fuels. One can mix methanol with gasoline to produce hybrid fuels while making the shift in economy.
Unfortunately, methanol is very toxic and contains a number of hazards. It is less volatile than hydrogen, but also much heavier, which could allow contamination in the case of spills or tank leaks. A wide range of groups are constantly looking for new and innovative uses for methanol, and it seems apparent that it will have a role in the energy economy of the future. Whether that role is as the key player or a supporter to hydrogen or some other fuel source remains to be seen.
Can you run just water injection without methanol?
Yes, you can run straight water. The common misconception is that without the methanol you will gain only lower intake temperatures but lose all of your effective higher octane (which in turn is knock prevention).
What the real story is is that tuning with a ~50/50 mix water alcohol makes tuning the car much easier. Tuning pure water is a trickier process. Pure water is commonly sprayed in Rally cars with excellent success. However, they have very skilled tuners and larger budgets than most of us.
In a nutshell:
-Water sprayed early porvides the best IAT heat exchange(chemical cooling) as long as you get good vaporization.
-Late water injection(direct injection or post TB injection) provide amazing in-cylinder cooling as well as detonation resistance.
- Leaner mixture is important(leaner than a typical water/meth mix is required)
- A strong ignition is also required because the highr water content has a tendency to slow down flame propagation and also quench the ignition.
Here is a personal testament to running pure water...
What supporting upgrades are required for water/methanol injection?Originally Posted by madmax199
At minimum you should have some sort of engine management that can be tuned, I.E. able to adjust timing, boost, and fuel curves, to compensate for the octane boost, and cooling effects, and be able to take advantage of them to make power. Otherwise you can run water/meth injection on a stock car with tunable engine management. You do not have to have after-market intakes, exhausts, intercoolers, or strengthened internals. Although with more supporting mods that already increase the volumetric efficiency of the engine, the more power that can be had.
Who makes Water/Methanol injection systems?
There are many manufactures of water/injection systems:
These are some of the more popular and most inclusive kits for the money
Here is a link to Richard L's Sticky with details on companies:
Who is the best manufacture to go with?
That is up to debate, but when you choose a kit, look at all the components that come with the kit, or if you can buy extra pieces that you may need, or think you need I.E. Level switches, fail safes, extra nozzles, varible controllers.
Also consider what type of reservoir you are going to have to use, or does the kit include one?
Most companies have some sort of reservoir, some make you use the existing windshield wiper tank, or make you supply your own.
Also read other peoples experiences with different kits as far as setup, price, inclusiveness of kit (does it satisfy all your requirements part-wise), power gains, etc.
How do I know how big a nozzle to run?
There are calculators linked below, but here is a rule for choosing injector size, as promoted by user velocity196
Here is a water injection calculator to assist in thisUse 1cc nozzle size per total HP output. If you're looking for 400whp use either a single 380cc injector, or 2 x 180cc, or a 250cc and a 180cc injector, ect.
Another injection calculator
Calculating how much methanol to inject[*]Converting flow (GPH to CC/M, etc)
It is at the bottom of the page...
Here is a volume converter also, to cross reference nozzles. Some companies list volumes of their nozzle in metric, some in standard units of measure.
How can I mix my own Water/Meth
it works out to be a 1.3 : 1 (meth:water by volume) for a true 50/50 mix.
A 1:1 (again by volume) mix yields around a 56% water to 44% meth.
It all really depends on what you are injecting meth mainly for, latent heat removal or knock suppression.
methyl alcohol = 0.791g/cc
water = 1.0g/cc
using measuring cup - 1000cc basis:
750ccMeOH + 250ccH2O = 1000cc
750/1000 = 75 v/v% methanol in the methanol/water mix
density = mass/volume
0.791 = mass/750
mass = 593.25gms methanol in the above 75 v/v% methanol/water mix
593.25gms methanol + 250gms water (water = 1.0gm/cc) = 843.25gms
593.25/843.25 = 70 w/w% methanol
therefore, 75 volume percent methanol in water = 70 weight percent methanol in water
Where can I get methanol?
One of the best sources that some probably don't realize is from wal-mart or anywhere that sells basic windshield wiper fluid. Just make sure you don't get the stuff with Glycol in it...this is the same stuff used in engine anti-freeze. It won't work well, or could damage you engine.
What kind of fluids you can inject
This one has a comprihensive list of suppliers all over the USA
You can buy on-line from these guys:
Those are just some.
Are there any water injection forums I can learn more from?
Yes, here are a few:
Aquamist's, probably has the most info and activity
How do I know what mixture to inject?
THe best rule of thumb is a 50/50 mix of methnol and distilled water
Some use more meth, some use less. But windshield wiper fluid is commonly between 35-42% methanol, which will usually work fine. The best mixture is proportionate to your particular state of tune. A little less methanol could possibly cause detonation. Mixing it yourself maybe the best way to know what is right for you.
Great link to the heat capacity of various concentrations of fuel/meth/water
Here is a freeze table for methanol also:
Just be careful with methanol as it is corrosive, toxic, and a carcinogen. Please be careful if you decide to mix your own brew.
Here is a link to a methanol hydrogemeter:
Here is a great how to page:
Can you build your own kit, and how?
You need some basics to build your own system.
You need a pump with adequate pressure, most people use some type of diaphram pump, from ShurFlo for example.
You need nozzles
You need tubing
You need a trigger to turn on the system at the right time, some type of pressure switch...Some engine management such as TurboXS UTEC has a spare solenoid that can be setup to run your water injection system.
Many of the things needed for setting up a system can be found at these suppliers
And here is a great how to page on building your own...
Can water/meth injection cause damage to my engine?
As with any aftermarket part, yes it can.
If you are running water/meth injection, you are risking detonation and catostrophic engine failure shoud you system fail or not run at optimum efficiency. This is due to the fact that when tuned you will be running advanced timing, boost and leaner fuel trims that would normally not be possible without water/meth injection. Loss of the system while under heavy load may not be able to be compensated for in time, and could cause detonation at best case, and engine failure at worst case. Be careful, and make sure you use a failsafe, or a tune that retards timing at the onset of knock, and some sort of level indicatior for the reservior, to ensure you know when the tank is getting empty. Nozzle clog indicators are not a bad idea either. They are especially important if using tap water, or not using a filter in the system, to catch impuritiies. This is why distilled water is best for this application.
Can I run without a external intercooler?
Yes, but your tune has to be setup to compesate for it. Advantages to running without a TMIC or FMIC are better spool of turbo and response, due to less volume to fill up. But again, you must make sure your system is working properly all the time, some have experimented with not using an external intercooler with success.
What gains can be made from water/meth injection?
This all depends on the current setup of your car, type of car, and your tuners ablilty. All your supporting mods such as exhaust, intakes, turbos gains are best realized with some sort of aftermarket tuning. The same it true with water/meth injection. But generally gains of 20-30 Hp and 20-30 ft/lbs of tq are common, making this one of the best bang for the buck power upgrades for your car. Your gains of course depend on supporting mods you already have in place, that will let you take advantage of the tuning to a higher degree.
Is Methanol Flammable?
Yes, it's flammable. The flammability depends on what ratio meth/water you run though.
Other NASIOC threads concerning water/meth injection:Originally Posted by Badger5
Aquamist (Water injection) questions and answers
Call us believers (alky injection)!
Solo2 and Alchy Injection?
which alky injection system
New Water Injection Dyno Results
Water Vs. Alky VS. Meth...
- Tips & Tricks - Many thanks to DMVDUB
- Ethanol makes a great replacement for Methanol when you're making your own mix. I've been buying the Ethanol from HD or Lowes for a while and at ~$10usGal you can't beat the price. (or if you live in an area where moonshine is prevalent, Free jugs of runoff work great!)
- Not everyone has the same optimal mix.
Mine is certainly not 50/50 it's more in the neighborhood of 70/30 CH3OH or C2H3OH / H20 in the summer months and I'm running almost pure H20 now in the winter. (with just H20 I've added 3.75* timing with no pull, but with any other mix I can't go over a degree or 2 (maybe) without it being pulled.
So try different mixes until you find the right one for you.
- Also H2O2 is a fun idea... Just make sure you have the fuel to back it up
- DO NOT USE HOBBY NITRO! It will gunk up the tubes and gunk up the Low level sensor. It is full of oils that also clog the screen on the nozzle. Don't use it unless you're prepared to clean the whole system after, and it's not really worth it.
- Alcohol can do wonders for fixing a lean situation (I would only do it temporarily). Before I picked up the 4bar FPR I was running lean once in a while (so it said) and the add / multi trims were adding around 7-12%, which is no good. With PURE ethanol on the bottle I got them under the curve to -1to-3%
- Don't assume you will be able to up your timing by 7* or something of that nature... you probably won't. Do a test / Log and up the timing a little at a time, and check fuel while you're doing that. Give it a good 20mi+ to really adapt before going further with adding more timing / removing fuel.
- Don't think you're buying a nitrous kit made of water and alcohol...IT IS NOT. You can gain some power in certain situations. But more than anything you're really just adding extra protection to the engine. (so you can run NO2 ). If you don't have a FMIC , bigger SMIC or AWIC, you will probably see a decent gain. If your IAT's are already low your only going to get so much benefit from the cooling. Gains from cooling don't seem infinite, they do seem to level off when you're down in the single digit C's . (at least in my case this is true)
Octane info and such...UPDATED