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Running 100% Methanol

We hear various opinions on the subject on "if it is safe to run 100% methanol with Boost Cooler Systems". There will always be opinions but here are the facts related to the most common questions we get on this subject.

Q: Can I run 100% pure straight M100 methanol in my system?

Q: Will 100% methanol damage my Boost Cooler system?

Q: Should I run 100% methanol in my system?

Q: Why Not?

Q: Please explain....

Methanol has a boiling point of 148F (65C). What happens when a liquid boils? It changes from liquid state to vapor. If there is enough vapor present it can be ignited with a spark, open flame, or spontaneously combustion if it is hot enough. Now, what is the temperature in the typical automotive engine bay? Well because of SAE specs I design all our electronics for 221F (105C). But on an average hot day the typical engine bay temps might be in the range of 150F to 185F. So see the issue?

This would be a good point to note that if methanol is burning the flame is nearly invisible.
Ok, so the autoignition temperature of 100% methanol is 851F (455C) that is well above engine bay temps so no worries right? ... Wrong.

What was the temp reading on your EGT gauge last time you looked 800F, 1000F,....1600F? (note if you see 1600 while using a Boost Cooler call our tech line as something is not right)

So in short running 100% methanol in your engine bay you risk the chance of an invisible fire while refilling your methanol tank after that last 1/4 mile pass.

Q: Ok so I will install my Tank, pump and 100% methanol in the trunk.
A: Good idea, also would be safer to vent the tank to external of the vehicle. Use a SFI rated fuel cell or tank and proper venting install to prevent any fumes from accumulating in passenger area of the vehicle.

Q: So the only reason Snow does not recommend 100% methanol is just because of safety?
A: Well safety is a good reason, but at 100% methanol you are basically running a dual fuel engine. There are many benefits to mixing water with methanol besides safety. Injected in the right quantity water increases the detonation resistance of the air fuel charge (or octane rating if you want) and has a steam effect on the power stroke of the engine cycle leading to more torque. (Same principle that Steam engines were designed around)

Our research and testing has shown that a 50/50 mix of water and methanol produces the best combination of intake cooling and detonation control.

Winter Tips:

* 100% Methanol is good to -100 degrees F

* 50/50% of Water /Methanol is good to -68 degrees F

* 75/25% of Water/Methanol is good to -25 degrees F

* If you're running straight water DON'T forget to add some HEET or Methanol before the winter


* Nylon tubing is rated for -40 F (400psi working, 1200psi burst pressure) Another industry best


Nozzle Assembly/Install

Our nozzle tips are machined with the thread all the way across the surface which has lead to some people installing the tips in reverse. If the tip is installed backwards fluid will pour out of the nozzle and not be properly atomized.


Nozzle holder: Larger piece that the Nozzle tip screws into. Either a straight compression fitting or a 90deg quick connect fitting, depends on when your kit was purchased.

Nozzle tip: Is the smaller piece with the copper looking cylindrical screen at one end. Fluid flow direction is into filter and out orifice on opposite side of tip. Tip sizes are flow rated in ml/min at 60psi. A nozzle will flow about 50% more at 100% duty cycle from the Variable Controller and 150psi pump pressure. Available sizes are: 60, 100, 175, 225, 375 & 625.

Update: Nozzles are now numbered:
#1 - 60
#2 - 100
#3 - 175
#4 - 225
#5 - 375
#6 - 625

The nozzle assembly must be assembled such that the filter side of the tip is threaded into the nozzle holder. It will turn in about 2-2 1/2 hand tight. Torque 1/2 turn past hand tight and use some Loctite.
If it is installed backwards fluid will pour out the screen side when the pump runs and atomization will not occur.

The other side of the nozzle tip gets installed into the engine air intake using a 11/32 pre-drill and the supplied tap with the kit. The installation is done this way to prevent the nozzle tip from becoming loose into the engine intake.

Nozzle Location:
For a turbo or centrifugal blower the nozzle must be installed after the compressor. Failure to do so will result in a sandblasting effect on the compressor blades over time from the finely atomized injection particles.

For Roots or twin screw type blowers the nozzle can be installed before or after the blower based on intake design. On a roots blower locating the nozzle before the blower works will to help cool the heated pockets of air that can build between the rotors.

If you install the nozzle after the throttle plate, carb butterflies or anywhere that large amounts of engine vacuum can occur, a solenoid must be used to prevent fluid being siphoned out of the nozzle. Part # 40060. A solenoid also must be used if the fluid level in the tank is higher then the nozzle. Failure to do so can result in fluid gravity feeding out the nozzle when the system is off.


Injection fluids

Here are some guidelines on injection fluid:

Ideal mixture is 50/50 water to methanol. This will result in the best combination of intake cooling and fuel octane increase. 100% water will net you the best case for cooling and 100% Methanol will net you the best case for making HP.

We (Snow Performance) do not recommend using 100% methanol. Methanol has a low flash point and can ignite if it spills on the engine and can damage painted surfaces at 100%. At least 25% water by volume should be used to reduce the risk (75% methanol and 25% water)

If you have a local supply of methanol (VP racing fuel, etc) and want to mix your own injection fluid, use distilled water. Tap water has many minerals that can clog your injection system overtime (Remove the cold water line from the back of your washing machine for an example)

Window Washer Fluid:
Most window washer fluids of the -20F to -25F contain on average 30-36% methanol and can be used with your injection system. To increase the volume of methanol, mix 2-3 of the yellow 12oz bottles of HEET gas line antifreeze. HEET is about 98% methanol.

DO NOT use any window washer fluids of the -30F or -40F that are not blue as most contain propylene glycol (anti-freeze) that will be harmful to your engine. Also washer fluids with a freezing point greater then -20F will contain very little methanol.

Boost Juice: Sold by Snow Performance
It is a standardized mix of 50/50 water/methanol and can be poured right in, no mixing required.

Denatured Alcohol:
We have not done any testing with this, but it is available at most hardware stores and is a mixture of Methanol and Ethanol and can be mixed 50/50 by volume with water. Note that ethanol is more prone to evaporation then methanol so the octane benefit of this type of mixture will decrease over time.

How to tune your A/F ratio properly

Bad example: Tuner turns on water/methanol, increases timing and then removes fuel from excessively rich A/F.....THIS PROCEDURE IS NOT RECOMMENDED!!!!!!

If you remove the water/methanol what is your true A/F ratio? Alot of people don't know and this is the primary reason for poor results.

Depending on your ratio of water to methanol your A/F drop should be 1/2 to 1 full point drop.
50/50 mix: tune for 1/2 drop in A/F ratio.
75/25 methanol to water: tune for 1 point drop in A/F ratio.

Good example: You NEED to tune without water/methanol first. Then set your timing to something that is very CONSERVATIVE. An A/F ratio between 12-12.5:1 is ideal......THIS IS IMPORTANT. This is where your true A/F ratio is at.

Activate Water/Methanol mix. If your drop in A/F ratio is greater than what's listed above than you must either decrease pump pressure or use a smaller nozzle. Once desired drop in A/F ratio is achieved then you can start adding more timing, boost or both.

Once HP increases stop just set total timing to the timing that gave you the most HP. Back it down a degree or two for added safety.

Michael Plummer Performance