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Old 09-24-2004, 08:34 AM
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Methanol race fuel - pros and cons

Hope I have this in the right place.

Title pretty well says it all. What are the pros and cons of using methanol as a race fuel?

Thanks!

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Old 09-24-2004, 10:54 AM
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the biggest con and about the only one i, worlds worsest mech. know about is CORROSION of everything it touches
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Old 09-24-2004, 08:25 PM
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We ran methanol in our racing go-karts with 5 HP Briggs. The modifications to burn it was that we had to drill out the carbs to allow more fuel, about double. There were obviously more modifications done, but they were mainly for power gains. As was stated, it is highly corrosive, and will corrode anything, including aluminum. The amount of fuel used caused considerable flooding of the oil, and very frequent oil changes with special, compatible oils. The whole fuel system and motor will need to be flushed after everytime it is run, and diaphrams replaced regularly.

Note that it has been about 2 years since we raced. We were paying about $3.50/ gal for the methanol. The oils we used ranged from $5.50 to $10.50 per quart.
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Old 09-25-2004, 12:58 AM
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When I go see a C.A.R.T. race I always spend time in the pits, the crews have told me several problems with methanol based fuels. As stated above the corrosion factor is VERY high, they must "pickle" the engines after every race with gasoline to help minimize the corrosion, It very odd to hear that engine revving at one note and when the gas gets to the engine the tone drops to a much lover note. The oil is changed after most practice runs and after the race it's changed before the car goes back in the trailer. The other problem is the toxic nature of methanol, exhaust fumes contain formaldehyde and methanol can get into your skin very rapidly causing you to get sick. Nothing to joke around with. Fire is another issue, while easy to put out it very hard to see. I was at a race in Long Beach where the fuel man sprayed a small amount of fuel over the driver and it lit. He came out of the car jumping and rolling on the ground, you couldn't see a thing. They put him out very quickly with the water hose that they spray the cars with during refueling. He jumped back in the car wet driving suite and all. Yes he did finish the race...

Regards
Mark
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Old 09-27-2004, 08:27 AM
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Pro's:

30-40 horse throughout the mid range.

Weigh's slightly less than gasoline per gallon.

High octane.

Neat race car smell.

Cons:

Hydroscopic.

Rust's everything it looks at.

More frequent oil changes.

Static Mixtures are 2.5 times the amount of gasoline.

Loss or rear weight in circle tracking.

Can't see fire.

Expensive, 4.75 a gallon in 55 gallon drums.

Can't buy it just anywhere.
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