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Has anyone here used water methanol injection without a supercharger? I used to see my father filling up a tank in his old pickup with washer fluid and I never even thought about it back then. It had a line that ran to a solenoid and then to a fitting on the intake manifold. He used it on a non turbo engine and did so for many years!? I think he used it because he always pulled heavy loads uphill on cheap gas.
I want to use it to supplement the crappy fuel here on the Oregon Coast. I hear it works by lowering the volatility and the temperature of the fuel. It also works by absorbing heat in the combustion chamber and thus preventing the possibility of the deadly engine knock!! Fuel that's harder to burn is better and is not as susceptible to pinging. It give a better esplosive burst of energy when it does explode. Several vehicles used water injection during and before the war so I guess it can be done? But to what benefit?
Tell me I'm right or wrong in this? I am looking for opinions.
 

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There are a bazillion opinions, and then there are huge reams of scientific info about it that will make your head spin. Water injection is simple, but the effects are very complicated. The result is that it may hardly help at all, or be amazing - depending on the set of circumstances. It's not so much a power adder, as it is a way to avoid certain situations that would cost power. Water injection modifies the burning (actually certain phases of burning called recombination) in the chamber. Just because it changes the burn doesn't mean it necessarily helps in every case. In your Dad's case, he used it for one of it's qualities that was originally used in aircraft engines - to keep chamber temps down on extended power applications, therefore avoiding detonation or pre-ignition. A pilot who needs full power to get out of a situation cannot afford to get detonation, pre-ignition, or throttle back to avoid overheating. WI can allow engines to produce more power than they otherwise could handle for longer periods of time. That is just one quality of WI.

Note that while it keeps general chamber temps down, the exhaust valve, port and header/manifold actually see higher than normal temps, so it's not all win-win. While I will use WI when appropriate, I view it as a helpful 'crutch' to make-up for deficiencies in a particular setup. I am assembling one such setup now for a turbo street engine. In my case, I'm using it to compensate for the det-limited pump gas at higher boost levels, where retarding the ignition timing (or worse - richening the AFR) to avoid det would cost more power than adding a consistent percentage of well-distributed and atomized water. If I did not need it for that (or some other deficiency like heat-limited aircraft engines or your Dad had), I likely wouldn't see enough improvement to make the exercise worthwhile. Improvement, yes - enough, no.

David
 

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I've sold and installed many of these kits. You can use them on any engine, just requires tuning like everything else. The blue washerfluid, 20/20 I think (we call it smurf pee), works VERY well.
 

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Be careful with some brands of blue fluid, as some use a powder dye that clings to stuff. Nasty. It slowly clogs nozzles and makes valves and injectors stick. I can't tell you which ones, but it seems the darker blue are worst. The easy test is to use a white terry cloth towel or coffee filter and pour the whole gallon through it. If any dye is left in the rag or filter - do not use that brand. Someone suggested simply looking in the bottom of an undisturbed jug for settled dye before you buy and test. In any case, this issue has caused horrendous damage in some engines.

Unless the alcohol is required for antifreeze (why it was originally added - for aircraft at altitude), enrichment (yikes I hope not!), or certain vaporization or condensation issues (ex: manifold blending with N2O, or restricted intake tracts with icing issues), straight distilled water generally performs the best in the engine. Having said that, it is common to run a standardized water/alky blend to account for any weather conditions, and just tune for that in the first place. While that will cost some benefit, it's better than having unexpected issues due to something easily avoided - like carb ice.

David
 
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