Software Newsletter #7 - May 10, 2000
The Facts About Running Methanol Fuel
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3. REAL World Technical Support
-- Should I Run Methanol Fuel? --
Question: Hi, Mr. Kodadek, I'm considering switching
my car to alcohol. The problem is I don't know anything about it. Could
you recommend anything or steer me to some more information please?
Any help at all would be appreciated. I run a Dodge Dart, 440CI, 3500
stall, 4.57 gear. We run 11.60 at 113.5 mph, with a 1.54 sixty foot.
Answer: Everyone seems to have their own ideas about running methanol.
I have a lot of experience with methanol, build my own methanol carburetors,
and probably run as good, or better, than anyone else in Super Comp
running methanol or gasoline. My opinions are probably very different
than what you'll hear from the various experts out there, but facts
are facts. So, here is the TRUTH about methanol versus racing gasoline.
1. Methanol makes more BTU's than gasoline and therefore more horsepower
and torque is produced. One reason is that the chemical structure of
methanol contains oxygen molecules. Depending on the volumetric efficiency
of your engine, you'll pickup anywhere from .3 to .7 of a second in
ET just by switching to methanol.
2. Overall, methanol is cheaper to run than racing gasoline. Methanol
needs to run at a mixture of about 6.7 to 1, so you will burn about
2 to 2.7 times the volume of fuel. So, you must have a fuel system capable
of flowing high volume. However, it costs much less than racing gasoline
and has a higher octane rating.
3. Methanol is not effected as greatly by changes in atmospheric conditions
as with gasoline. It is only effected about half as much as gasoline.
So, if the air changes and your opponent running gasoline slows by .01
of a second, you will only slow about .005 of a second running methanol.
Think about this the next time you are sitting in the staging lanes
waiting to run!
4. Methanol runs much cooler than gasoline, so if you have overheating
problems, running methanol can cure them very quickly.
1. Methanol is highly corrosive and has no lubricating qualities. So,
you must use an additive that will protect your fuel system and cylinders
from being eaten up. The best fuel I have ever found is the 'ALKY' Brand
of methanol. The blue additive in ALKY fuel will almost eliminate any
maintenance normally required when running methanol.
2. The increase in horsepower comes low in the RPM range, so your low
end torque is increased dramatically. Over 7,000 RPM the effect wears
off. If your car is having traction problems now, you'll have twice
the problem when you switch to methanol. This is why most of the Super
racers run gasoline. In Super racing, if you turn a tire, you will lose.
A gasoline dragster with a heavy big block over the rear tires is less
likely to spin a tire in high gear or coming off the throttle stop,
than a methanol burning, light weight small block. But there are ways
to eliminate this problem. And, if you can, you will be twice as consistent
as the other combination.
Okay, the Pros out weigh the Cons. But, please don't go out and spend
too much money on parts you don't need. DO NOT buy a belt driven mechanical
fuel pump. I don't care what you read in advertisements, you do not
need or even want a gear pump of any kind, unless you are running fuel
injection. I use a BG 280 electric fuel pump and two Holley blue regulators,
one for each bowl on the carburetor. You'll also want to add bowl extensions
to increase the fuel capacity of the bowls. You DO NOT need to buy bowls
with more than one needle and seat! One needle and seat with an orifice
of .150 per bowl is more than adequate. If your fuel cell is not located
in the front of the car, you'll want to step up to a BG 400 pump (or
equivalent) to compensate for the G force when leaving the starting
line. Do the math. Based on your estimated horsepower output, figure
out how many pounds of fuel you are going to use on the run, then convert
that to gallons per hour, and then fractional gallons per second. Then
do a fuel volume flow test to insure that your system will flow that
The Holley carburetors are getting much better out of the box, are still
not perfect, but the best deal on the planet. Don't waste your money
on some exotic highly modified carburetor. You don't need it. Most of
what you are paying for is all cosmetic. Get a Holley HP 950 alcohol
carb, add bowl extensions, secondary jet extensions, remove the power
valves (install power valve plugs), and start with a primary and secondary
jet size of about .172. You may have to go leaner, but it is better
to start rich than lean. Buy an EGT kit and use it every run that you
make. Look for an EGT of about 1250 degrees. If you do it right, you'll
never look back. I guarantee it!
-- FREE Software Download --
Our DataMaster Analyzer software, Version 2.0, is available to you as
a FREE download on our web site. You don't need a data recorder to test
the software and see exactly what a DataMaster Sportsman Computer does
better than any other data logger system in the world! If you have any
older version of this software, download this as a FREE update.
-- REAL World Technical Support --
With Family Software, you'll get better technical support than anywhere
on the planet. Why? Because, I design and program all of Family Software's
products and I use them all on my own very competitive SuperComp dragster.
All of my 30+ years of experience and knowledge is available to you
and our other customers. Try to find that kind of information at any
one of our competitors. You won't be able to, I guarantee it! Family
Software cares about the racer and his/her success as a racer. The other
companies just want your money!
-- Toll Free Ordering --
We also have a new Toll Free Order line to save you even more money!
If you're placing an order by phone, call 877-497-0992. If you need
information or technical help, call 610-497-5561.
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have questions or topics that you would like to see covered in this
newsletter, please Email them to me. Or,
start a new topic on the bulletin board located on our web site. I'll
be glad to join in.
Family Software - Drag Racing Computers and Software
http://www.iFamilySoftware.com - 610.497.5561(Voice/Fax)
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