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Old 09-19-2007, 11:44 PM
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Octane Booster Info

In the carb cleaner thread I started we started discussing octane boosters, I did some searching through the MSDS sheets for some octane boosters and I thought the subject deserved it's own thread so here we are . . .

Nitro Power Booster Fuel Treatment
1-Nitropropane 45-55%
Toluene 18-27
Methanol 13-23
Acetone 5-10

MMT+ Octane Booster Fuel Treatment (offroad)
Toluene 25-30%
Methanol 25-30
Hydrocarbon Solvent 20-30
Acetone 5-10
Octane Improver Concentrate 5-10
Hexanes <5

Wynn's Spitfire +Plus+ With Octane Booster
Petroleum Distillate 85-95%
Naptha 1- 5

Wynn's Spitfire Octane Booster
Petroleum Distillate 90-100%

Gunk Octane Performance Booster
Petroleum distillate, Aliphalic 60-100%
Hydrocarbon Solvent 1- 5
Polyether amine 1- 5
Naphthalene .1- 1
Petroleum naphtha .1- 1
Xylene .1- 1

MALCO OCTANE BOOSTER
Kerosine 86-96%
Trade Secret 1-10

Turbo Octane Boost 108
(No percentages given)
Methanol
t-Butyl alcohol

STP Octane Performance Booster
Kerosine, petroleum, hydrodesulfurized 60-80
Petroleum distillates (JP5 Jet fuel) 60-80
Solvent naphtha, petroleum, medium aliphatic 60-80
Stoddard solvent 60-80
Solvent naphtha, petroleum, light aromatic 15-40
Trade secret ingredients 10-30
Naphthalene 0- 2
1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene 1-10
Mesitylene (1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene) 1- 5
Xylene (mixed isomers) 1- 3
(This one doesn't seem to add up with all the 60-80% in there)

STP Octane Booster
Petroleum Distillates 90-100%
1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene 1- 3

NOS Octane Booster (Street Formula)
Kerosine >60%
Proprietary Polymer <5
Petroleum distillates, hydrocarbonated light <5
2-Propanol <5

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Old 09-19-2007, 11:48 PM
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Hi again Guys,

Here's an article on using Toluene as an octane booster that I found. The author says you can copy elsewhere as long as it's done in it's entirety so here it is! The original link is at:

http://www.elektro.com/~audi/audi/toluene.html

Here is an article on "Rocket fuel" for our cars.

Toulene
R+M/2...114
Cost...$2.50/gal
Mixtures with 92 Octane Premium
10%...94.2 Octane
20%...96.4 Octane
30%...98.6 Octane
Notes: Common ingredient in Octane Boosters in a can. 12-16 ounces will only raise octane 2-3 *points*, I.e. from 92 to 92.3. Often costs $3-5 for 12-16 ounces, when it can be purchased for less than $3/gal at chemical supply houses or paint stores.


Rocket fuel FAQ
Copyright 1999,2000 by Eliot Lim This paper may be freely distributed, provided it is distributed in its entirety
Last revised by Eliot Lim: February 8, 2000
Last augmented by Charles Smith: January 6, 2003


Background

In late 1997 I became the lucky owner of 1 out of 150 1998 Porsche 993 Targas, the very last of the air cooled classics. As I drove it through the winter of 1997 and into the spring of 1998 I noticed that the engine lost some of its sweetness. Since this behavior was strongly related to ambient and engine temperature I suspected that the engine electronics were retarding its ignition timing due to insufficient fuel octane.

I started experimenting with octane boosting by first adding small doses of over the counter octane boosters and noticed immediate improvement. The engine ran smoother and quieter, was more willing to rev and had noticeably sharper throttle response. The octane shortage was confirmed by the sticker on the filler cap that stated that 93 octane fuel was needed. Since the highest octane rated fuel that was commonly available in Washington state is 92, I decided to investigate long term cost effective octane boosting so that I could fully enjoy the performance that this car offered.

My other car at the time, a 1990 Audi V8 quattro had an even more dramatic response to octane boosting. I managed to convince a few good friends to try it and the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. When I attempted a broader based dissemination of this exciting find, I was greeted largely by broad unyielding skepticism and plenty of FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) regarding toxicity, safety and engine damage. There arose a need to more clearly explain the details of octane boosting, hence giving rise to this article.


Q: Will my car benefit from octane boosting?

A: Consumer organizations have effectively emphasized the larger markups that oil companies charge for high octane gasoline, implying that for most vehicles higher octane fuel is a complete waste of money. It has been quite a long time since the consumer alert was issued. Since then engine technology has evolved greatly, while people's perceptions generally have not.

Modern vehicles now use computerized engine management systems that can react to engine knock and retard ignition timing if low octane fuel is being used. Consequently cars are now being manufactured with very high compression ratios that appear to give good fuel economy and at the same time good performance. This combination does assume that fuel of adequate octane is being used.


Q: Why bother to boost octane at all since my engine can run just fine on lower octane fuel?

A: For a high compression engine to run on low octane fuel, the engine management system will need to retard the ignition timing to prevent preignition or pinging. Retarding the ignition timing means that the firing of the spark plug is delayed until a later moment in the compression stroke. It does not take much to see that a later onset of combustion means that the combustion is less complete, which in turn mean less power and poorer fuel economy. It is possible that the casual driver will still come out ahead in terms of saving money by using low octane fuel, but the retarded ignition advance also means a rougher running engine and a much duller throttle response. Thus octane boosting is not necessarily of interest to all motorists but rather the enthusiasts.

For turbocharged or supercharged engines, insufficient octane will also lead the engine management system to curtail the amount of boost which in turn defeats the purpose of these engines.


Q: How did you discover using toluene?

A: Someone came across a web page that described various DIY home brew octane booster formulas. One of which used toluene as its main ingredient. As a Formula 1 racing fan of many years, I recalled that toluene was used extensively in the turbo era in the 1980s by all the Formula 1 teams. The 1.5 liter turbocharged engines ran as much as 5 bars of boost (73 psi) in qualifying and 4 bars (59 psi) in the actual race. Power output exceeded 1500bhp, which translates into 1000bhp/liter, an astronomical figure.

A motorsports journalist, Ian Bamsey, was able to obtain Honda's cooperation for his book "McLaren Honda Turbo, a Technical Appraisal". The book documents the key role that the toluene fuel played in allowing these tiny engines to run so much turbo boost without detonation. The term "rocket fuel" originated from the Formula 1 fraternity as an affectionate nickname to describe its devastating potency. Thus I concluded that I should focus my research on using toluene for my octane boosting project.

Individuals with good long term memory will recall that when unleaded gasoline was first introduced, only low octane grades were available. While it is not entirely clear that high octane super unleaded gas came about as a result of the advances in fuel technology in Formula 1, there is every reason to suspect that this is indeed the case, since many of the major oil companies were involved in the escalating race to develop increasingly potent racing fuel during this era.


Q: Why do you think toluene is better than other types of octane boosters?

A: Several reasons:

Mindful of the evil reputation of octane boosters in general, toluene is a very safe choice because it is one of the main octane boosters used by oil companies in producing ordinary gasoline of all grades. Thus if toluene is indeed harmful to your engine as feared, your engine would have disintegrated long, long ago since ordinary pump gasoline can contain as much as 50% aromatic hydrocarbons.

Toluene is a pure hydrocarbon (C7H8). i.e. it contains only hydrogen and carbon atoms. It belongs to a particular category of hydrocarbons called aromatic hydrocarbons. Complete combustion of toluene yields CO2 and H2O. This fact ensures that the entire emission control system such as the catalyst and oxygen sensor of your car is unaffected. There are no metallic compounds (lead, magnesium etc), no nitro compounds and no oxygen atoms in toluene. It is made up of exactly the same ingredients as ordinary gasoline. In fact it is one of the main ingredients of gasoline.

Toluene has a RON octane rating of 121 and a MON rating of 107, leading to a (R+M)/2 rating of 114. (R+M)/2 is how ordinary fuels are rated in the US. Note that toluene has a sensitivity rating of 121-107=14. This compares favorably with alcohols which have sensitivities in the 20-30 range. The more sensitive a fuel is the more its performance degrades under load. Toluene's low sensitivity means that it is an excellent fuel for a heavily loaded engine.

Toluene is denser than ordinary gasoline (0.87 g/mL vs. 0.72-0.74) and contains more energy per unit volume. Thus combustion of toluene leads to more energy being liberated and thus more power generated. This is in contrast to oxygenated octane boosters like ethanol or MTBE which contain less energy per unit volume compared to gasoline. The higher heating value of toluene also means that the exhaust gases contain more kinetic energy, which in turn means that there is more energy to drive turbocharger vanes. In practical terms this is experienced as a faster onset of turbo boost.

Chevron's published composition of 100 octane aviation fuel shows that toluene comprises up to 14% alone and is the predominant aromatic hydrocarbon. Unfortunately composition specifications for automotive gasoline is harder to pin down due to constantly changing requirements.

Chevron's web site also describes the problems of ethanol being used in gasoline.

MTBE was heavily touted as a clean additive several years ago, and became a key ingredient in reformulated gasoline that is sold in California. But recently new studies arose that showed that MTBE was far more toxic than previously imagined. Organizations such as oxybusters have formed around the country to eliminate the use of MTBE in gasoline and several states, including California have passed new laws to eventually outlaw MTBE.


Q: How much toluene should I use per tank of gas?

A: Octane ratings can be very easily calculated by simple averaging. For example, the tank of an Audi A4 1.8TQ is 15.6 gallons. Filling it with 14.6 gallons of 92 octane and 1 gallon of toluene (114 octane) will yield a fuel mix of:

(14.6 * 92) + (1 * 114) / 15.6 = 93.4

The Audi A4 1.8T is a good example of a car that has very high octane needs if it has been modified to produce more turbo boost. The base compression ratio of this car is a very high 9.5:1 and when an additional 1 bar (14.7 psi) of turbo boost is applied on top of it, the resulting effective compression ratio is way beyond what 92 or 93 octane fuel can ever hope to cope with. Most modified 1.8Ts running without octane enhancement are running with severely retarded ignition timing and boost.


Q: Will toluene damage my engine or other parts of my car?

A: A 5 or 10% increase in the aromatic content of gas will most likely be well within the refining specifications of gasoline defined by ASTM D4814, which specify an aromatic content of between 20% and 45%. What this means is that if the 92 octane gas that you started off with had an aromatic content of say 30% and you increased it by 10% to 40% you would still be left with a mix that meets the industry definition of gasoline. So the above question would amount to: "Will gasoline damage my engine or other parts of my car?"

Even in the unlikely event that the 92 octane gas has a aromatic content of 45% the resulting mix would still be within the bounds of gasoline sold in other countries.


Q: Isn't toluene an extremely toxic substance?

A: The common perception of toluene's toxicity far exceeds reality. Fortunately there is an ample body of information available that specifically addresses this question. Toluene is more toxic than gasoline but it is certainly not agent orange or cyanide. See the Agency for Toxic Substances link below in the reference section.

US Environmental Protection Agency Chemical Summary

US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)

National priority list of toxic substances
Note that the ATSDR also rates gasoline as a hazardous substance.

Mobil's spec sheet for toluene even goes as far as saying that "Based on available toxicological information, it has been determined that this product poses no significant health risk when used and handled properly."


Q: Isn't toluene an active ingredient of TNT (trinitrotoluene) and is thus deadly?

A: In the same way that cotton wool is the base ingredient of nitrocellulose (guncotton) which in turn is the main ingredient in modern smokeless gunpowder. Using this reasoning one could conclude that cotton wool is a deadly substance. This question reflects a poor understanding of basic chemistry but unfortunately it has been asked often enough.


Q: How much does toluene cost, and where can I buy some?

A: $10/gallon in a one gallon can at a hardware store, about $6/gallon in a 5 gallon can from a chemical supply or paint store, or $3/gallon in a 55 gallon drum from a chemical supply warehouse.

A2: Experience of Charlie Smith in 2002. Sherwin Williams paint stores have it for $5.00 in a gallon can. They can order it in a 5 gallon can at $4.00 / gallon. They can order 55 gallon drums for about the same cost per gallon, but you have to have a dock unloading facility to get the drum(s) off of the delivery truck.


Q: Can I just dump in 100% toluene into the tank like the F1 racers? vroom vroom vroom

A: First of all, the F1 racers did not use 100% toluene, but 84%. The other 16% in their brew is n-heptane, which has an octane rating of zero. The reason for this strange combination is because the F1 rocket fuel was limited to the rules to being of 102 RON octane. The n-heptane is "filler" to make the fuel comply with the rules.

Because toluene is such an effective anti knock fuel it also means that it is more difficult to ignite at low temperatures. The Formula 1 cars that ran on 84% toluene needed to have hot radiator air diverted to heat its fuel tank to 70C to assist its vaporization. Thus too strong a concentration of toluene will lead to poor cold start and running characteristics. I recommend that the concentration of toluene used to not exceed what the engine is capable of utilizing. i.e. Experiment with small increases in concentration until you can no longer detect an improvement.


Q: Why not simply use racing gasoline or aviation fuel?

A1: Most types of aviation fuel have very high lead content, which would rule out cars equipped with catalytic converters. Most piston engined aircraft burn leaded fuel. Also aviation fuel has a very different hydrocarbon mix to optimize volatility properties at high altitude.

A2: Racing gasoline could be a much more convenient way to run high octane fuel compared to having to constantly mix in toluene with each fill up. There are, however a few caveats:


You don't know for sure if you are really getting what is being advertised. You should find out if the fuel inspectors verify the actual octane of the racing gasoline in addition to ordinary gasoline. If you paid $3/gallon and only got 94 or 95 octane instead of 100 octane you may conclude erroneously that your car does not benefit from octane boosting.

You don't know what octane boosters are used in the racing gasoline. The worst case scenario is buying leaded racing gasoline without knowing it. Unleaded racing gasoline may still contain damaging octane boosters like MMT or methanol. A very high alcohol content will lead to fuel line erosion, accelerated fuel pump wear, very poor fuel economy and possibly lower performance, as alcohols have a less impressive MON rating than aromatics.

It takes smaller quantities of toluene to achieve the same octane boost compared to 100 octane racing gas. I have not seen unleaded racing gas for sale that exceeds the octane rating of toluene.

Since toluene is not officially sold as a fuel, gas taxes do not apply. Also racing gasoline tend to have higher markups being of interest to the performance minded enthusiast and thus is very likely to be more expensive to buy and use long term than toluene, which is typically used in more mundane applications like paint thinner.

Q: Ok, what is the catch?

A: It should be mentioned that in the US, efforts are underway to reduce the aromatic content of gasolines in general as a higher aromatic content leads to higher benzene emissions. Benzene is an extremely toxic substance. However it should also be noted that the proportions that is being discussed in this FAQ is relatively small and in the grand scheme of things is probably insignificant. Moreover, the industrial standard for defining gasoline composition allows plenty of leeway in aromatic content and the proportions present in US gas is already lower than most other countries. I therefore feel that the information provided here is useful to a performance minded car enthusiast while not being significantly detrimental to the environment.


Q: What safety measures can you recommend in handling toluene?

A: The following is a good reference guide:


Q: Do you have testimonies of others who have tried this?

A: Some samples of feedback is reprinted with the names removed below. You may contact me if you wish to contact the respondents directly.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Since I didn't have any reference point for how much to use, I dumped about a half gallon of this mix into a mostly empty tank (the GT has a 16 gallon tank) and then filled up with Chevron 92 octane.
I didn't get to drive the car until PIR the next morning, (my GF doesn't like the 200; it's too big) but the report was that there was no change for a mile or so, and then all of a sudden, the engine seemed to smooth out and became quite eager to rev and run.
Well, by that calculation, I only managed to bump the octane to just shy of 93, but it seemed to make a big difference. I ran the car hard all day, (for reference, it's got an '87 MC turbo motor, K26, 12psi boost, and currently no intercooler) and even at 12 pounds of boost, I never once felt the ECU backing the timing off. Granted, the ambient temps never got above 50, and my water and oil temps were rock solid. (Oil just pushing above 100C)

The only cars that I had to get out of the way for was an Integra Type R and a couple of race-prepped P-cars. I even managed to lap the NSX once! It was a really good day!


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Okay, kids, gather round. This is important: we spend lots of money for our car, lot of money modifying and taking care of it, lots of effort and pride in owning it. So if someone comes along and proposes to give you something that would increase your enjoyment in driving by exponential measures and it would only cost you two or three bucks per tank of gas, would you be suspicious like the 100MPG carburetors? Would you listen long enough to real-life testimonies to consider this improvement for yourself?
Well, this is the case for Toluene and what it can do for your V8Q if you been using anything less than 92+ octane. Get some.Try it. No harm, no risk. Use about 24-32 ounces per 1/2 to full tank. You will not look debonair. You will have to suspend your "cool" look. You may want to try this alone. YOU WILL HAVE THE ****TEST, MOST PLASTER, GRIN ON YOUR FACE YOU HAVE EVER HAD! It won't come off. You'll tell the kids, daddy has his own "transformer". It will be like a new car...no, better than new!
I took my family out to dinner tonight and could hardly keep from dropping it into manual and showing off like some teenager (I don't think my 17 year old daughter was inpressed). I wanna see some posts here with personal experiences by you guys using this stuff - I wanna know that my car is normal and hasn't been deprived ever since I've owned it.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I did the Rocket Fuel thing tonight on my Extremely Modified 5KCSTQ that runs 24 PSI of boost... And I can tell you not only does my ears and my butt say that the Rocket fuel is doing it's job but My ECU Data logger that gives me the timing value for all 5 cyls says it's working too.
Before Rocket Fuel I was running full retard (14 Deg of timing) on boost and would still on occasion get some knock, now I'm getting timing numbers around 22 Deg's with ZERO knock ever. I'm running 2 Gallons of Toluene 7oz of ATF and 17.5 gals of 93 oct gas for a net octane of 95.15. I'm next going to try 3 Gallons of Toluene (96.23 Octane) to see what timing numbers I get.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After being convinced that my car was running below it potential - Owners manual recommends octane rating between 95 and 99, although it_will_run on octane as low as 91 - I stopped by Sherwin Williams and picked up a gallon. It was on sale for $5.85! Anyway, head to the chevron and pour a half gallon into the tank before pumping in the premium. The car took 16 gallons so there was still 4 gallons in the tank. I take off....nothing (obviously burning the fuel still in the lines). About 10 miles later, HOLY SH*****T!!!!!!!!!! It really does everything advertised by the list. It is so much more responsive from a stop and low speed, it really is impressive. I would agree with the sentiment that it feels like a totally different car.
For the non believers, you really should try to get some higher octane fuel in your tank, whether through the use of Toluene or not. The owners manual recommends 95 to 99 octane** for optimal performance. With the half gallon of Toluene I added to the 92 octane, I was only running at approximately 92.6 octane and the difference was simply amazing!

If you haven't tried it, do yourself a favor and give it a whirl - I swear you'll be impressed.

(**note: this person confused RON octane mentioned in the owners manual with R+M/2 octane that is sold in the pump. 95-99 RON is roughly equivalent to 91-94 R+M/2)


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After trying rocket fuel for two weeks, I can only say I love it.
The first tank, however, was a disappointment. I think I did not add enough of rocket fuel for the first tank. So I added a little more for my second tank, it ran better but not too much improvement. Then on my 3rd tank, what a difference, the car feels like a "Rocket" now, even though it is an "Auto". I always feel there is more power available for me.

I think for my 1st and 2nd tank, I did not have enough rocket fuel in it, even though I added one gallon per tank. Then, on my 3rd tank, I had enough because of the left overs from my 1st and 2nd tank. (I fill up my tank at about the 1/4 mark). Now I only have about 2 gallons of rocket fuel left, I better get more now!!! :-)


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Reference materials:


1. Gasoline FAQ

2. McLaren Honda Turbo - a technical appraisal
Ian Bamsey
ISBN 0-85429-840-1, published 1990

3. Chevron's excellent Motor Gasolines Technical Review

4. Agency for Toxic Substances FAQ on Toluene
In summary:
Use in a well ventilated area, don't drink even a little of it, and
report spills of more than 1000 pounds to the National Response Center

5. Toxic Chemicals in your Environment (Australia) FAQ on Toluene
In summary:
this "Total Environment Center" likes a totally chemical free environment,
and even at that they can't find fault about much more than acute exposure
cases, and they also say not to drink any of it.

6. Exxon Chemical Americas - Toluene, Technical Material Safety Data Sheet

7. Recicladora Temarry de Mexico - Recycling Processor
Recycling information and Material Safety Data Sheets on numerous chemicals including Toluene.
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Old 09-19-2007, 11:53 PM
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From the article above it appears that Toluene is available at paint stores. I dunno, I've never looked for it.

Klean Strip Lacquer Thinner is available at your local Walmart though (I dunno the price, haven't looked yet!) and according to it's MSDS sheet it has 70 to 80% Toluene in it.

Klean Strip Lacquer Thinner
Toluene .......................................70-80%
Isopropyl alcohol ............................10-15
Methyl ethyl ketone ........................ 5-10
Methanol ....................................... 1- 5
Acetone ........................................ 1- 5
Propylene glycol methyl ether acetate . 1- 5

I dunno what the other ingredients would do in an engine, they may wreak havoc with sensors, etc. . . . try at your own risk! (and post back what you find out!)
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Old 09-20-2007, 12:08 AM
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Homebrew Gasoline Octane Boosters

Homebrew Gasoline Octane Boosters

Editor's note: I would NOT suggest that a person use the following fuel mixtures without considering the detrimental effects on your engine, vital engine components (O2 sensor, etc), and other potential damage. That said, the information is interesting.
Original published in:

GS-Xtra
1213 Gornto Road
Valdosta, GA 31602
(912) 244-0577

Editor: Richard Lasetter, president Gran Sport Club of America (GSCA)

Formula #1 - Toluene
R+M/2.........114
Cost...........$2.50/gal
Mixtures with 92 Octane Premium
10%...........94.2 Octane
20%...........96.4 Octane
30%...........98.6 Octane
Notes: Common ingredient in Octane Boosters in a can. 12-16 ounces will only raise octane 2-3 *points*, i.e. from 92 to 92.3. Often costs $3-5 for 12-16 ounces, when it can be purchased for less than $3/gal at chemical supply houses or paint stores.

Formula #2 - Xylene
R+M/2.........117
Cost...........$2.75/gal
Mixtures with 92 Octane Premium
10%...........94.5 Octane
20%...........97.0 Octane
30%...........99.5 Octane
Notes: Similar to Toluene. 12-16 ounces will only raise octane 2-3 *points*, i.e. from 92 to 92.3. Usually mixed with Toluene and advertised as *race formula*.

Formula #3 - Methyl-tertiary-butyl-ether (MTBE)
R+M/2.........118
Cost...........$3.50/gal
Mixtures with 92 Octane Premium
10%...........94.6 Octane
20%...........97.2 Octane
30%...........99.8 Octane
Notes: Oxygenate. Very common in octane booster products. Has lower BTU content than toluene or xylene, but oxygenate effect makes the gasoline burn better and produce more energy.

Formula #4 - Methanol or Ethanol
R+M/2.........101
Cost...........$0.60 - $1.75/gal
Mixtures with 92 Octane Premium
10%...........94.3 Octane (Methanol)
10%...........94.7 Octane (Ethanol)
20%...........Not Recommended
Notes: Methanol is wood alcohol. Ethanol is grain alcohol and found in Gasohol in 10% ratios. Both alcohols are mildly corrosive and will eat gas tank linings, rubber and aluminum if used in excessive ratios. Main ingredient in "Gas Dryers", combine with water.

Formula #5 - Isopropyl Alcohol and Tertiary Butyl Alcohol
R+M/2.........101
Cost...........$0.60-$1.50/gal
Mixtures with 92 Octane Premium
10%...........94.5 Octane
20%...........Not Recommended
30%...........Not Recommended

Notes: Similar to Methanol/Ethanol. Isopropyl Alcohol is simply rubbing alcohol.

Sample Mixture
To make your own octane booster, it is easiest to make up a large batch, and then bottle it up in "dosage-size" uses.
Below is the basic formula of one of the popular octane booster products. To make eight 16 ounce bottles (128 oz = 1 gal):

100 oz of toluene for octane boost
25 oz of mineral spirits (cleaning agent)
3 oz of transmission fluid (lubricating agent)
This product is advertised as "octane booster with cleaning agent *and* lubricating agent!". Diesel fuel or kerosene can be substituted for mineral spirits and light turbine oil can be substituted for transmission fluid. Color can be added with petroleum dyes.
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Old 09-20-2007, 12:14 AM
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Here's an interesting article that compares many of the various brands of octane boosters and includes Toluene in the tests:

http://www.sportscarforums.com/f13/t...oice-3257.html
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Old 09-20-2007, 12:24 AM
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Another interesting read on using toluene . . . note the following excerpt:

"The toluene mix was composed of 12.5 oz of toluene and 3.125 oz of mineral spirits, treating the same 15-gal. fuel tank. As there was too little to make a difference in our 1-gal. test samples, 0.375 oz of transmission fluid (claimed to act as a lubricant) was left out. According to Tim Wusz, the mineral spirits and motor oil would only lower the octane rating if added in sufficient amounts. The results are shown in the tables below."

http://www.europeancarweb.com/tech/0...ted/index.html
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Old 09-20-2007, 01:48 AM
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as mentioned in the other thread, your long article in the first post IS the one i read about toluene last year. great find SLR-i printed out that article last year and have it in a folder. my question is that strip-kleen laquer thinner is 70-80% toluene, could that be used as an octane booster??? maybe a moderator could merge these 2 threads and we could discuss the toluene, strip-kleen octane booster deal. i have built a 383 SBC for a car i am putting together and i am looking at cyl. heads, im looking at 64CC alum heads and know the compression will be kind of high, instead of going with a cam that will drop low RPM cyl. pressure i would like to know if i could go with a milder cam to gain back torque at low revs and control detonation with an octane booster???

sorry: second post, the article after "background"

Last edited by techron; 09-20-2007 at 02:01 AM.
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Old 09-20-2007, 02:36 AM
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Techron wrote:
> as mentioned in the other thread, your long article in
> the first post IS the one i read about toluene last
> year. great find SLR-i printed out that article last
> year and have it in a folder.

Hey GREAT! It is a pretty interesting article!

> my question is that strip-kleen laquer thinner is
> 70-80% toluene, could that be used as an octane
> booster???

I'll bet it could, but I'm not a chemist so I can't say for sure.

Augusto commented that for go kart racing he used to make his own fuel from gasoline, MEK, acetone, toluene and methanol. Since the lacquer thinner has MEK, acetone, toluene and mehanol in it I'm sure it would burn just fine. The lacquer thinner has a couple additional constituants though - Isopropyl alcohol and Propylene glycol methyl ether acetate. I would imagine the isopropyl alcohol wouldn't be an issue, but I dunno about the PGMEA (it's late and I'm tired of typing!), especially in a car with sensors. In an uncomputerized, carbureted engine though I'd guess it would be fine. They do mention in the article though that the straight toluene is available from Sherwin Williams and other paint stores, it might be worth poking around and seeing if you can't find a local source for the straight toluene.

> maybe a moderator could merge these 2 threads and
> we could discuss the toluene, strip-kleen octane
> booster deal.

I don't really want to see that. I think the carburetor cleaner question is one thread and octane booster discussions are another so I'd like to keep them separate. I did leave a note in the other thread though so in the future if someone reads it and wonders how it turned out they can search for this thread and see where the discussion ended up.

> i have built a 383 SBC for a car i am putting together
> and i am looking at cyl. heads, im looking at 64CC alum
> heads and know the compression will be kind of high,
> instead of going with a cam that will drop low RPM
> cyl. pressure i would like to know if i could go with a
> milder cam to gain back torque at low revs and control
> detonation with an octane booster???

I'm sure you can as long as you are content on running an engine that you will have to modify the fuel for with every tank (probably not a big deal if you don't mind the cost - just toss some in the trunk and pop container in with every fill up, not too big of a deal in my opinion . . . especially for the fun that 383 will be!)

> sorry: second post, the article after "background"

??? I'm not following this . ..

G'night!

Steve
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Old 09-20-2007, 07:45 AM
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SLR,
great to know whats in the different boosters....but.....octane requirements are "motor design specific" and altitude/humidity/temp/driving style/carbon build up/vehicle weight/gears ratio/timing curve/etc/etc/etc/etc specific....

the motor examples cited are "apples to oranges"....EX:an "air" cooled racing go cart motor at a very rich A/F ratio is not a airplane motor leaned to the max which is how AV octane is rated.....

if higher than normal octane is required on a street car.....as a "crutch".....it is indicating that something is wrong in the motor (such as not enough cooling).....until the CR is way high (and more important the dynamic Cr is way high)

here's some general reference material for CR's and timings.....note the only 1% "power gain" between 9.0 and 10.0 CR which is measured at the hp peak (you don't drive at 5500 rpms on the street)

http://www.faqs.org/faqs/autos/gasol...section-1.html

using a octane booster "fix in a can" is engineering your way around a motor problem....example that comes to mind is the new vette motor....500HP and no octane boost required

Last edited by red65mustang; 09-20-2007 at 07:56 AM.
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Old 09-20-2007, 12:15 PM
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> great to know whats in the different boosters....but.....octane
> requirements are "motor design specific" and
> altitude/humidity/temp/driving style/carbon build up/vehicle
> weight/gears ratio/timing curve/etc/etc/etc/etc specific....

I agree they are, to an extent. I think that overall it's pretty easy to predict if you're building yourself into some trouble or not - 12:1 compression usually aint gonna run on today's fuel!

> the motor examples cited are "apples to oranges"....EX:an
> "air" cooled racing go cart motor at a very rich A/F ratio is
> not a airplane motor leaned to the max which is how AV
> octane is rated.....

I agree and I wouldn't run go cart gas in another vehicle, but then again most vehicles and small engines are pretty much intended for the same fuel - gasoline so if an additive runs in one I'd suspect it would run in another. Again though, I dunno if it would be a good idea or not - especially with a computer controlled vehicle and it's related sensors, the additive may have detrimental effects on them. Most of the constituants listed though were in the additives so they are "probably" safe.

> if higher than normal octane is required on a street car.....as
> a "crutch".....it is indicating that something is wrong in the
> motor (such as not enough cooling).....until the CR is way
> high (and more important the dynamic Cr is way high)

I dunno if something is "wrong" with it - it just means it's not built correctly for the fuel that's commonly available now. If I recall correctly many 11:1 or even higher compression ratio street engines were made by the auto manufacturers in the 50s and 60s -> which is where "fill her up with eythle" came from. Now that high octane eythle is no longer available those engines probably have a hard time running modern gas . . . nothing is "wrong" with them, I don't think their cooling system suddenly shot craps or anything, they were just designed to run on something that is no longer commonly available.

> using a octane booster "fix in a can" is engineering
> your way around a motor problem....

I agree, but if you're aware of that when you start then I don't see the problem. If someone has an older car that that is expecting high octane fuel to run correctly I don't think expecting them to tear the engine down and rebuild it to run on modern fuels when they could just dump in a can of "stuff" and the engine would run fine is realistic. Or if for some reason you do decide to build a high compression engine today and you know it will take an additive to make it run correctly then I figure that's your own business. It'll cost you more to fuel the vehicle, but maybe if it's one you drive only on special occasions, etc. then maybe lots of hp with little engineering (i.e. just bump up the compression ratio) and using a crutch to make it run makes some sense for you.

I'm not really advocating octane boosters . . . I was looking for a good carb cleaner! In another thread I started on carb cleaners we got to discussing how toluene was a good octane booster, one of the posters asked if I could lookup what's in octane booster when I had time. I did and I felt it deserved it's own topic, which is how we got here. I'm not really advocating anything, I'm just presenting info that I ran across.

I think for the vast majority of us that octane booster would probably be a wash - our engines were designed to run on the currently available fuel so any extra octane probably wouldn't be required by the engine. We might be able to bump up our timing a bit or something but the performance gained versus the cost of the additive probably wouldn't work out very well.

It was interesting though that in the article posted that the author did see a pretty good improvement and felt it was worth the cost. He commented that some of today's vehicles run higher compression or forced induction and that the computers adjust things to run them just on the edge of what the fuel can provide and that by including octane booster that upper ceiling is moved and a net gain is realized. It's an interesting thought, they very well may have built the engines this way but my feeling is that the manufacturers know what the upper limits of todays octane ratings are so I doubt they built an engine that can move that upper ceiling up drastically. It'd be interesting to see if it does though . . . if anyone comes across a report where they measure net gains please post a link.

> example that comes to mind is the new
> vette motor....500HP and no octane
> boost required

Yes, but they've engineered their way around that problem! I'm sure lots of R&D went into that engine and that the computer has a lot to do with keeping it happy. All very expensive. If some guy wants a fun weekend car and doesn't mind paying a little at a time (versus a LOT at once to buy a new 'vette or 'vette motor) for the octane booster then I don't see a problem with him building it "old school" and crutching the octane problem if the end result gets him what he wants (and if he understands what he's doing when he goes into it).

Interesting stuff! Especially since I was just looking for some good carb cleaner!

TTYL,

Steve
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Old 09-20-2007, 02:57 PM
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Hi Steve,

very nice of you starting this thread, as I mentioned before laquer thinner has the ingredients of my old race fuel mix, I'm gonna print this info and read it slowly.

BTW, did you clean the carb yet? how did it work?

Augusto.
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Old 09-20-2007, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Augusto
Hi Steve,

very nice of you starting this thread, as I mentioned before laquer thinner has the ingredients of my old race fuel mix, I'm gonna print this info and read it slowly.

BTW, did you clean the carb yet? how did it work?

Augusto.
Augusto,

Yes, it is an interesting thread! What's even more interesting is that I wasn't even concerned with octane booster, I was just looking for a good carb cleaner! It's always nice to have a lot of info on a wide variety of subjects though.

No, I haven't cleaned the carb yet. In fact I probably wont for a few days now. We're short at work so my schedule is crazy and now one of the guys injured his kneed and is off so things are even crazier. I think I may have next Tuesday off so I'll slate carb cleaning for then.

TTYL,

Steve
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Old 09-20-2007, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red65mustang
SLR,
great to know whats in the different boosters....but.....octane requirements are "motor design specific" and altitude/humidity/temp/driving style/carbon build up/vehicle weight/gears ratio/timing curve/etc/etc/etc/etc specific....

the motor examples cited are "apples to oranges"....EX:an "air" cooled racing go cart motor at a very rich A/F ratio is not a airplane motor leaned to the max which is how AV octane is rated.....

if higher than normal octane is required on a street car.....as a "crutch".....it is indicating that something is wrong in the motor (such as not enough cooling).....until the CR is way high (and more important the dynamic Cr is way high)

here's some general reference material for CR's and timings.....note the only 1% "power gain" between 9.0 and 10.0 CR which is measured at the hp peak (you don't drive at 5500 rpms on the street)

http://www.faqs.org/faqs/autos/gasol...section-1.html

using a octane booster "fix in a can" is engineering your way around a motor problem....example that comes to mind is the new vette motor....500HP and no octane boost required
Very true. I run 11:1 on a built street engine with no problems and no need for anything higher than 93 octane premium. It's an electronic engine and registers no unusual knock counts. Octane alone does not make additional power. In fact, running more octane than your engine requires will actually hurt your power output, as well as mileage. Building an engine with good combustion efficiency characteristics should allow you to make more power on the street than any sane man needs, w/o the need for boosters or racing gas.
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Old 09-20-2007, 04:54 PM
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Steve This should be a wiki
Shane
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Old 09-20-2007, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevrolet4x4s
Steve This should be a wiki
Shane
Sure, make me lookup what a "wiki" is! I'm old, I'm not up on such things . . . I dunno how to text message on a cell phone either!

For the other old geezers out there . . . a wiki is basically an information page that is editable by anyone.

TTYL,

Steve
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