For a while, water-methanol injection was a popular option for increasing effective octane without having to resort to expensive and scarce racing fuel. The idea behind water-meth injection is to inject a cooling liquid (a 50-50 mix of methanol and water) into the intake charge. This liquid mixture soaks up heat, allowing the use of higher boost pressure, more advanced ignition timing, and/or leaner fuel mixtures with less risk of detonation. The result is significantly higher horsepower. It really works!
The benefits of methanol injection are dramatic, but there are downsides. The system is somewhat complex, involving an entire auxiliary liquid handling system that must be installed in the car. The system includes a tank for the water-methanol mixture, a pump, one or more solenoids to meter the mixture, a level sensor for the tank, sometimes a flow meter, and maybe a gauge to monitor flow. More sophisticated systems include a fail-safe system that will reduced boost if low or no methanol flow is detected. These components are fairly time-consuming (and therefore expensive) to install. All of these items are subject to wear and tear, and any fluid-handling system is subject to leaks and/or clogs, especially one installed in a mobile environment. Our customers with methanol injection systems (of any brand) require fairly frequent maintenance of some sort of another, usually once a year or more.
Back when methanol injection was the only game in town, many customers would put up with the cost and the maintenance, but with the advent of true flex fuel systems, which are less costly to install and easier to maintain, methanol injection has become less popular with our customer base.
|Mach V Motorsports 45690 Elmwood Court, Suite 170
Sterling, Virginia, 20166
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