Methanol Injection...Another project perhaps?

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Re: Methanol Injection...Another project perhaps?

Postby J44EAG » Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:28 pm

I suppose this must now be near the end of the story.

So it now all works...and very well indeed. The hardest part of the job was grabbing an ignition controlled +Ve feed for the cabin signal cable. Nothing available under the dash and that included the ignition switch which isn`t anything like the old type Lucas unit. What to to do? The cabin fuse box confounded me, so I had to look elsewhere. Thank goodness for cigarette lighter sockets. Not discrete but they do the job. An old fag lighter plug taken from my tangled box of defunct cable scrap got me out of trouble. I capped off the neg cable on the plug and just made use of the +Ve. Cable fed up under the side of the transmission tunnel trim to emerge conveniently at the dual outlet sockets at the rear seats, leaving the front socket free for other driver gizmo apps.

With the +Ve feed present, I tricked the pressure controller switch to pump fluid from the pump and a full tank of meth/water mix present. You would not believe how quickly the pump got the fluid from the boot mounted tank to the open pipe just before the non return valve. No more than a couple of seconds. After that I linked the open pipe to the nozzle and away I went for a trial.

Initially, I set the regulator for about 10psi cut in. That was rather too high and a load of throttle had to be used to activate the meth/water system. The cut-in switch also fired my tell tale LED circuit to visually let me know the pump had cut in. 8psi then proved better but I thought I could do better. I dropped the cut in pressure to 6psi and instantly things became dramatically improved. Now the injection comes in at around 2000rpm. I`m tempted to try to get the system working at around 4psi and cut in even earlier. I`ll talk to Bruce Morris, the supplier of the kit about that.

Now the cruncher question. Does it work and what are the effects? Yes it does work and quite nicely too. The torque curve is stronger and reminds me of the long elevated pull that my friends 5 litre XFR produces. Boot the throttle and instant response occurs. The charger whines like a banshee being chased by a lunatic with a sharp spear. Believe me when I say that there is now only about four or five seconds between upward gear changes. This car now just rockets! The increase in grunt is spectacular. Stamp on the throttle, the red LED illuminates adding drama to the situation, the tail of the car drops and the front comes up! It is a bit like a TR6!! Hang onto the steering wheel because it feels as if the front wheels are parting contact with the ground. The steering certainly gets much lighter and the back end of the car becomes very lively. PTJS1 needs to drive this car again. He won`t believe the change. Even with traction control still on, IT IS POSSIBLE to spin the back wheels! The grunt now available exceeds the traction controls ability to keep things under control!! By heck, this car is super fast!!!

I'll calm down a little....the excitement has got to me. Perhaps not surprising as the car feels like it has had an extra cylinder bolted to it. The only issue I have to try to resolve is when you lift the throttle. The cut out is a bit rough. (Late edit. The cut out improved after a couple of weeks use. I suspect that the cleaning effects of the installation perhaps hit the EGR valve and the well buried IAT2 sensor on the O/S cylinder head) I wonder if a slow closing check valve is available or perhaps a weaker internal spring can be fitted. That is another question for Bruce Morris.

Also needing some further identification on a rolling road is the Air/Fuel ratio which will change with the methanol now being present. This is quite important as too much extra fuel (methanol) can mess up ideal mixture. Bruce considers I am only likely to find a small enrichment of about 0.2 which is quite acceptable. Over leanness or over enrichment can cause power loss or damage if to the lean side of the correct stochiometric mixture ideal. Turbo cars are more likely to find in excess of five times the value, either rich or lean when compared to supercharged cars which are much less likely to have significant fueling offset issues. It is all fascinating stuff.

Bruce suggested a rolling road session and prints and figures of all AFR readings, IAT readings and Lambda outputs be taken. Most rolling road guys will also be able to advise on the need for any corrections required. Leanness is the major issue but supercharged cars are far less likely to encounter destructive fueling problems.

Well what do I think? Was it worth the expense and the effort? I have no doubts. It is a simple, cheap and effective system that certainly does make a significant mark on performance. It is very noticeable indeed. The good thing is it is a positive process that is completely non destructive. Had I installed Nitrous Oxide, I`d have been worried about melting pistons, too tightly gapped rings and overly elevated cylinder pressures. Suffice to say that many Nitrous guys also install water injection to combat those effects.

Before going any further, the rolling road session is needed. I must find out what this car is now pulling. Tom Lenthall advised that to ensure reliability and avoid engine blow ups, the 4.2 needs to be kept down to below 630bhp. Nasty occurrences have resulted if this engine is made to produce any more. Tom now only takes his engines to this limit and no more. After that he moves onto the later 5 litre lump with the Twin Vortex Screw supercharger and increased robustness offered by that later motor and just as importantly, the strength of the transmission.

Water/meth injection harnesses natural science to achieve its results. Obviously it is early days with my installation but the system has been tried and proven previously. Remember, that it first saw light of day in the Foch Wolf 190 at 30,000ft altitude in 1944 without issue. What I have is a much less stressed situation and one that I see being able to be further refined and adjusted in the future.

A great result for not much money. It is amusing to consider that had I not joined the JEC, I would never have gained the friends, contacts and expertise to have allowed me to have developed the car and my own engineering and analytical skills to have been able to have embarked on this level of engine tuning.

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Re: Methanol Injection...Another project perhaps?

Postby PPV » Mon Dec 12, 2016 12:22 pm

Great article. Very interesting and informative. Being a bit of a petrol head will be interested to see rolling road figures.
Keep up the good work.
Paul V
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Re: Methanol Injection...Another project perhaps?

Postby J44EAG » Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:25 pm

Thanks, Paul.

It was worth the effort. It has been a most absorbing project with a result that appears to be totally trouble free.

I`ve just completed and sent the copy article to Nigel. It contains just over 4,000 words on 7, 12 font, spaced pages, has eighteen photographs and has taken twenty one editing sessions to get right....That will take a fair bit of column space and might take a while to get to press.

Special thanks to PTJS1 for his valued input. Always a good bloke to rationalise difficult ideas.

I`m bored. I wonder if I can get a larger crank pulley made to fit the crankshaft. Space is a bit tight down there so might have to move the oil filter........

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Re: Methanol Injection...Another project perhaps?

Postby davidr » Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:08 pm

Well done Mike. Enjoyed the write up.
If you're wondering what to do next my bet is on a diff rebuild!
Have fun!

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Re: Methanol Injection...Another project perhaps?

Postby J44EAG » Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:31 pm

No way, David! A removed diff sticks itself to the floor. I had one out of an XJ40 and couldn`t move the thing by myself. Supercharger pressure is easily handled!!

May the force of hot air be with you all for Christmas.

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Re: Methanol Injection...Another project perhaps?

Postby ptjs1 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:42 pm

Mike,

As always, I've really enjoyed this article and the technical descriptions of both the science and your own practical approach to the difficulties encountered.

I'm just guessing that you'll see an intercooler upgrade as the only practical way to now take the performance any further (unless you really fancy the big, big expense of a better-performing blower!).

With the number of owners running supercharged cars, I wonder if there would be a good mag article, and BB thread, which gives your view as to the relative performance gain and costs of each of the various upgrades and enhancements that you've done. I appreciate that many of them are not necessariy about an estimated bhp gain at max revs (which I presume is largely irrelevant for many drivers). It's often about the low to mid-range punch, or driveability, or even economy. And I also recognise that some of the gains come from compound or incremenetal changes where one enhancement builds on another. But maybe you could give us your view of each item, its cost, how and where it improved things and maybe even a logical order or bang-for-your-buck order that owners might consider. Having lived some of this journey with you, I'd certainly be interested in your review and comments on the whole set.

When you've done that, perhaps there could be a JEC sweepstake or equivalent of "guess the sweeties in the jar" as to what your final rolling road figures might be, with the monies going to the JEC charity?! Just a thought! I'll have a £1 ticket!

Well done.

Paul
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1980 XJ-S Pre-HE
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Re: Methanol Injection...Another project perhaps?

Postby J44EAG » Tue Dec 13, 2016 2:06 am

Impeccable logic from our Paul as always.

Its all about IAT going into the engine. Provided that those hot temps are brought down to acceptable levels, there would be little point in adding even more coolant dispersal units, I would have thought. Typically in the UK climate the addition of a Bosch high flow pump and the meth kit would probably be enough cooling even in our summer conditions . Compare temps of the day with possibly that found in the Arizona Desert and that is another conundrum altogether and one the Americans have solved by installing a larger cooler rad. My aim was to drop IAT from perhaps 160 degrees, ex supercharger "cowhorn", to a more acceptable 90 degrees. If I have achieved that, then doing more, ie installing the modded three row XKR inter-cooler rad that I still have in stock, would probably achieve little more for a road car which would not be used like a track or race car where coolant control needs become far more critical than mine would ever be.

IAT figures are probably best captured on a good rolling road with technicians who have the equipment and experience to record critical points. What I now might have now needs to be verified and recorded before going further.

Tom Lenthall goes one stage further on race machinery. He markets and fits the Chiller Killer units. These are proper refrigeration coolers that parallel T-piece into the feed and return on an air con system on a car. I recall the cost was about £2200 fitted with VAT. I`ve seen the units in action on You tube on the hills and streets of San Francisco. The guy demonstrating showed how the cooler operated with temperatures plummeting in seconds after the car had been given a good thrashing. Most impressive but goodness knows where it would now be possible to install such a unit in my X350R. I can`t get something the size of a Chiller Killer in the car unless the pollen filter came out!

Then there are ice box installations which are about the size of a Chiller Killer. That`s OK if you have another tank somewhere in the car and pass the intercooler coolant through the ice tank, heat exchanger style and don`t mind lugging a sack of ice around with you! It all seems a bit extreme for a road going car....

For our type of road going use, the standard inter-cooler rad works reasonably well in anything other than scorching weather. Heat soak in heavy stop start traffic is where the main cause for my concern emanates from. The car would going a bit flat after sitting in traffic followed by a sharp burst of acceleration away from the lights. In such instances, the standard system was exhibiting signs of an inability to disperse heat. Not surprising really. Internet advice suggested that in normal situations, with the system working in high ambient temps, that it would be said to be working well if the bottom of the inter-cooler rad still felt cold to the touch whilst the inter-cooler bricks were at rather a higher temperature.

It is worth noting that a radiator is at its most efficient when there are extremes of temperature found are at diverse levels, ie a hot rad and cold ambient temperatures. It follows that as there is less difference in air and rad surface temperature, the efficiency of such a system becomes less efficient in operation. This next snippet is an extract from my latest article which would perhaps sit well here as this subject seems to be provoking a bit of interest. It defines the issues in a large nut shell and might be of interest to those reading this thread. Welcome to the School of the Laws of Latent Heat of Vaporisation!

"Stepping out of the XJR on a summer day last year with ambient temperatures at 29 degrees C, a blast of scorchingly hot air rocketed from under the car, shot up my trouser leg and had me jump away from the car like a scalded cat. It's alright if you like that sort of thing, but personally, I don't.

I'd just completed an eighty five mile trip from Portsmouth to see my parents in South London. Traffic on the M25 had been slow and road works a mile or so from my destination, seriously elevated under-bonnet temperatures during the last part of the trip. Opening the bonnet to check that all was well, met with another irritating and blisteringly uncomfortable blast of searingly hot, super heated air from the engine bay. This time, my eye-balls boiled as well as my patience. It served to remind me that the many rubber tubes, pipes and plastic components endure exceptionally high working temperatures and given long term exposure to intense heat, it can only but reek havoc upon durability and reliability. It is perhaps no wonder the rubber coolant, vacuum and pressure pipes built onto these engines have such a nasty habit of disintegrating. I resolved to somehow attempt to generally lower those destructive high temperatures over the coming winter period.

Many ideas and solutions to problems arrive with me whilst sleeping. I had earlier been mulling over the “Laws of Latent Heat of Vaporization” and how I could usefully utilize the phenomenon. A few hours later I`d suddenly awoken from sleep with a jolt having unconsciously recalled an incident that occurred years ago at my parents Golden Wedding luncheon party. Guests gathered on the flat concrete roof of a golf club first story patio. Set high on the Surrey Downs on a blazingly hot day, the mid-day sun generated searing heat which radiated up from the patio and made occupation near impossible. A quarter of a mile distant, stood a small lake. A gentle wind blew over it but with little cooling effect. Suddenly, a one hundred foot high water fountain shot from the lake into the sky. Misted water vapour blew down on the wind and within seconds the veranda became chilled and tenable with the intense heat of the day having been rapidly absorbed and dispersed by the evaporating water spray. The solution to my heat control and dispersal issue was instantly realised, formulated and confirmed. Here was the answer I had been seeking. From that point, there was no turning back with such a promising project. Dreams can indeed be very productive"! Here endeth the first lesson. I shall issue test papers later!!

Paul asks about compiling a list of mods and costs that I have to date included on the XJR. I composed a locked thread recently on the subject. Some will have already read it. Others, perhaps not. Intended as a reference only article, this monster thread exceeded the site 60,000 word limit and I find myself unable to add any more wordage! You will need half an hour to read the copy, so grab a brandy and begin the read. I need to re-edit the thread and now add this thread here as a link and also the thread about the Sprint Booster. I`ll take a look at that tomorrow if I may. Here is the link.http://www.jec.org.uk/forums/viewtopic. ... 81&t=10761

I`ve been out in the XJR a fair bit today. A couple of further observations. The engine is becoming deliciously smooth, not only on the meth but also whilst operating just on 95RON petrol and sub 6psi boost pressure. The recent Terraclean process obviously helped loosen up carbon, but I`m finding that using the meth has also been further adding to a cleaner and more responsive engine. It is becoming a very sweet nut indeed which I am putting down to the steam cleaning effect and internally really does appear to be getting to grips with carbon removal. The oil is blacker today than it was yesterday. That is very good news indeed.

That is enough for tonight.

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Re: Methanol Injection...Another project perhaps?

Postby PPV » Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:09 pm

I have an Mercedes A45 AMG and it runs in standard form 382bhp from 2 litres. Under bonnet temperatures are cooler than my 3.8 Jag and the space around the engine is much smaller on the Merc. Perhaps some lessons to be learnt from other makes?
Regards,
Paul V
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Re: Methanol Injection...Another project perhaps?

Postby J44EAG » Tue Dec 13, 2016 2:08 pm

Agreed.

I imagine you Merc is rather newer than the 2004 model V8R Jaguar series. Technology does indeed progress very rapidly.

Even in 2004, Merc had the march on Jaguar. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsGPE-5MVWc

Things are perhaps a bit different following the Tata purchase of Jaguar. The 550hp seen in the new V8 TVS Jaguars possibly now levels the playing field.

Paul asked me to summarise my methodology and application of works carried out over the last year. Here it is in another newly created thread.....oh, to have had the resources of Merc or Jaguar! I just have a bucket of spanners and a bit of determination!
http://www.jec.org.uk/forums/viewtopic. ... 81&t=10945

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Re: Methanol Injection...Another project perhaps?

Postby PPV » Tue Dec 13, 2016 2:31 pm

Yes, I had a CLS some years ago and my current car is much quicker, 0-62mph in <4.2 secs and 0-100 in 10 sec so some improvement and the car weighs almost the same! So some areas improved but some modern cars are heavy. Good thing the brakes/handling are much improved and of course my little car has active 4wheel drive moving power from front to back as needed.
A little too complicated to play with so hence my use of the Jaguar which I can work on!
Regards,
Paul V
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Re: Methanol Injection...Another project perhaps?

Postby J44EAG » Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:07 pm

Mike H raised an interesting question about methanol use for road going vehicles and whether duty was payable.

I took the question to Bruce Morris and he states that because the vehicle is not able to run on straight methanol or the typical 50/50 water/meth mix, it is exempt excise duty and is not classed as a "fuel".

Looking more deeply into methanol use as a primary fuel by vehicles that are capable on running on it, the Gov. site defines 95%methanol/5%water as propulsion fuel and that does attract duty.

Early 50/50 mix consumption figures appear to be that I have used around six litres of 50/50 mix over 120 miles of road use. Yes, I`ve had my foot on the loud pedal a bit just playing with the system. You really notice the extra grunt hill climbing. Less throttle is needed than just on petrol and you just don`t have to try so hard keeping power up. Loads of torque which seems un-stoppable. As previously said, on or off meth, the engine appears to be much sweeter running. Good bye to the carbon and hello to a nice internally clean engine. It is quite amazing how quickly the improvement has occurred.

BMW are launching water injection on there new M-sport cars. However, I can find no mention that meth will not also possibly be used in their system. The concept has been around for years and I wonder just why it has taken so long to become more prominent. One more extra maintenance item I suppose with many disinterested motorists perhaps being unwilling to top a tank up on a regular basis. I`m just glad I installed a two and a half gallon tank which should give an effective range of around 400 miles.

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Re: Methanol Injection...Another project perhaps?

Postby PTR200Jag » Thu Dec 15, 2016 5:38 pm


I`m just glad I installed a two and a half gallon tank which should give an effective range of around 400 miles.

Mike

What is the procedure should you run out of the meth? does it require the system to be shut down manually? or does it just shut down automatically ?
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Re: Methanol Injection...Another project perhaps?

Postby J44EAG » Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:07 pm

The pump is a diaphragm unit so it can be run dry without damage. It would I imagine the motor might get a little hot if run for any length of time continuously without fluid in the pump head. Remember that the pump in road going use only cuts in for a few seconds at a time as you accelerate and hit the 6psi or above boost levels. Lifting the throttle having got to your desired speed immediately shuts the system down as the micro switch drops out below 6psi. In normal town and cruise driving, you don`t hit the 6psi level very often. Out on the motorway or dual carriageway, well that`s another matter!

If you run out of mix, then the pump would have difficultly compressing a fuel line full of air to any real pressure and would fail to open the check valve to push air into the fine mist injector. I can`t even blow that valve open with my compressor! Essentially with a dry tank, the whole system would just become completely ineffective but the pump would still kick in each time you hit 6psi boost and the micro switch contacts closed. Bruce sells a low fluid level float switch which can be connected so that a low level light came on in the cabin. It could also be used to disable the micro switch if desired.

I have a simple way of disabling the system. I just pull a cig lighter plug (+Ve supply) out of the rear cig lighter socket! I think most running a system like this will tend to manually keep an eye open for low fluid levels. Now I have a rough idea of system consumption, I will be looking at a top up every 300 miles or so. Consumption is of course dependent of how hard you drive the car and for how often and how long you stay above the 6psi cut in level.

I have a spare gallon of mix in a plastic fuel can alongside the tank module unit. If the system runs out of squirty go-go mixture, a quick top up is available. The whole system feels a bit eccentric, but it is quite good fun! People think the car is running on rocket fuel!! They are quite amazed when you pour a couple of litres of de-ionised water into the system from a bottle marked as Whites Lemonade. Yes, a meth sticker is on the bottle but I don`t let them see that!!!

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Re: Methanol Injection...Another project perhaps?

Postby J44EAG » Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:00 pm

I haven`t mentioned the cost of methanol or de-ironised water.

Bruce at Devilsown sells 25 litres of methanol for £35 but you have to collect it from him at Romsey.

The local motor factor sells de-ironised water, 25 litre barrel for £14.00. My pub gives it to me for nothing out of the air-con plant as do a couple of friends around the corner who have three de-humidifiers working...must be a damp house or they boil a lot of spuds!

Chemiphase in Lancashire sell both water and methanol in 20 litre barrels from their site. Prices include delivery.

Methanol is £23.99 and water is £11.99 per 20 litre barrel. They also sell in a 205 litre barrel of meth at £149.99 (oil drum size) which is rather too much for me to handle or store!......at least on my pontoon finger in the Marina. I`ve already had to justify two 25 litre barrels stored there for immediate use. A packet of fags to the right man killed the issue dead. Then there is the 1000 litre caged tank which is priced at £618.99! That wouln`t `arf go up with a bang if something went disastrously wrong!! Fortunately, I now have a 25 litre barrel full of diluted mix concocted, so my current fire risk is now totally zeroed.

Remember that diluted 50/50 with water, the mix is non-imflamable.

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Re: Methanol Injection...Another project perhaps?

Postby J44EAG » Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:03 pm

And if you buy methanol from Chemiphase via Amazon, its even cheaper. £1 per litre delivered!

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j ... 44jCaBaK4w

Methanol is going to be the fuel of the future. Batteries, bio-fuels and replacement fuels for heavy industrial plant.

Stenna have already converted one of their ferries in a 45 day refit. Cheaper running costs, less maintenance, environmentally friendly in the event of a bunker being punctured, vastly less S0 and NOX pollution from exhaust gas. That is just the beginning.

The biggest user of methanol is China. Weston Europe lags behind Eastern Europe. The market is massive.

Originally made from wood distillate but its base chemical is methane. Local Councils can extract the gas from rubbish dumps and then refine to make methanol. Without doubt a most definitely sustainable fuel which dare I say it could well replace petrol as a prime propulsion fuel within the next one hundred years.

Latest update on this injection installation. 100 miles covered on a fast dash up the A3 and around the M25 to Kenley. Managed to guzzle nearly eight mixed litres on that trip. Less than two gallons, then on this fast drive. Quite enjoyed myself using the performance enhancement offered by the injection kit. Quite, quite effortless with loads of grunt left under the throttle pedal. Enjoyed seeing the look of surprise on my nephews face as I tipped a top up mix from four, two litre milk containers into the tank and told him it was lemonade! This XJR runs on alcho-pops!!

Mike
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