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Methanol tips wanted!

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I'have to built an 2JZ for tractor pulling. So quite similary use as drag racing. The customer want use methanol as fuel regardless of the low power level target of 600hp first, later arround 1000hp. I have tune alot engines on E85, but never Methanol. The main reason for methanol is, we don't need an intercooler which saves us some weight and space. Both is quite critical.

- First what are the downsides of using Methanol except the bigger fuel consumption and bigger fuel system?

- What other things should I know and pay attention if we use ethanol.

- We are going to use an mechanical fuel pump, because there is no more alternator attached.

- I want use ethanol injection after the turbo to cool down the charge temperatur. What kind of injector should I use. How should I control this Charge injection? I suppose I have to use ignition cut rev limiter to prevent lean burns during fuel cut.

- I want to use a LINK Furry ECU which has only 8 Injection outputs. We need 12 injectors if we go over 1000hp. Means I can controll the stagged injectors only simitanilius or in two groups. Could that be a problem? Is it worth to spend another 2k on an MoTec M150 Ecu which has 12 injection outputs?

- how much is oil dilution a problem on methanol? I want use an oil preheater, that should help.

Thanky in advance for every input.

Hi Adrian, I've had quote a lot of experience on methanol so I'll add my tips. In many ways it's quite similar.

- The biggest downside is that you'll need to supply around 2-2.5 times more fuel than if you were using pump gas. This effects the requirements for fuel system size. Since the fuel is corrosive, you'll also want to flush the fuel system and run the engine on pump gas after each race.

- Where E85 will run quite happily with lambda values similar to what we would use on pump gas, methanol needs to be much richer. For a moderate 2JZ making around 1000 whp I'd suggest starting in the 0.65 lambda range at full boost. You'll find that leaning the mixture out has little effect on power and methanol has a very defined 'edge' where if you continue to lean it out and go past this edge you'll quickly do damage. On the other hand there are few downsides to tuning richer provided the ignition system can ignite the charge.

- You'll need a very powerful ignition system to light off the rich mixtures we run on methanol.

- Did you mean methanol injection after the turbo? Methanol has a much higher latent heat of evaporation than ethanol so you wouldn't want to use ethanol for this. I've used a couple of 1000 cc injectors in the turbo outlet on a couple of the drag engines I've tuned, as well as the twin turbo jet sprint boat I tune.

- While 12 injector drives would be ideal, group fire is still quite workable. Depending on your injector size, you may find that running two injectors paralleled off each drive actually still allows good control of the AFR at idle. This would still allow full sequential control.

- You'll end up with methanol in the oil quite quickly. The oil ends up looking like a caramel milkshake. I was doing an oil change after each race meeting in my own car.

Let me know if you have more questions.

Hi Andre

Many Thanks, thats a solid answer! You already answered most of my questions. A few more came up.

- if so much methanol goes into the oil, can I tune part load on the dyno for several hours or should you spent es less time in part throttle to prevent oil dilusion

- Sorry, yes I meant methanol injection after the turbo. I'm not sure if i understand it right. Have you used just one 1000cc injector? how would you control it with a Link ECU? GP PWM AUX or is there a possibility to run it over an Injection output, so i turns of during a fuel cut?

- what spark plugs should i use on a very stron CDI? just usuall iridium or even std. cooper ones? heat range?

- If the mechanical pump supply to less fuel during cranking. How can a electric pumpe be connected to the system without hindering flow at higher loads?

In generell it shoulnd be problematic to make 1000hp with e85 on an 2JZ. What's your oppinion, is it really worth to take all of the dissadvantages of methanol at this power level?

- I suppose a dry ice intercooler is needed. And ethanol injection after the turbo alone doesn't cool well enough to cool down the charge air, isn't it

- How well does dry ice intercooler work? In drag race a pull usually takes 6-10 sec. We will see pulls of 20-25 sec at tractor pulling. Is an dry ice cooler effectiv over this time?

Thank you!

- The oil dilution isn't as big of a concern as you may think. Tune the engine as you normally would. You just need to be more regular with oil changes.

- There's a variety of ways of controlling aux injectors. In the past I've run them off a separate PWM table or I've run them paralleled with an existing injector drive and controlled the power feed to them through a relay so that they only switch on above say 4000 rpm and 5 psi boost. This ensures they aren't operating when you don't want them. The nice aspect of doing it this way is that the flow is tied quite well to air flow.

- I personally used an NGK BR10EG in my 4G63 drag engine, but I've also used an NGK R5671A-10 in an RB26 drag engine I tuned. These engines were both running 50+ psi boost so you possibly could potentially move to a 9 instead of a 10.

- For cranking you can either spray engine start into the turbo if you're using no intercooler, or hook up a small electric primer pump that feeds the fuel system after the mechanical pump. If you do this then you'll need to add a one way valve so that the mechanical pump doesn't back feed through the electric pump. You can operate the electric pump off the ECU and turn it on above say 50 rpm, and then switch it off above 5000 rpm.

Whether or not methanol is worth it is hard for me to answer. Certainly 1000 whp from a 2JZ is not a big ask for E85. The only real advantage you give yourself is the weight saving from removing the intercooler and only you can decide if this is worth the effort. I can say from experience that methanol is a lot of work in terms of maintenance.

I've never used a dry ice intercooler - In my own drag car I ran a water/air intercooler with an ice water slurry. Dry ice has the potential to be much colder than ice water alone though and hence could provide a benefit. Again I'd suggest that dry ice might not be necessary given your pretty modest power aims. Dry ice is a hassle to get in some places and will add to your running costs for a meeting.

Hi Andre

Thank you for the answer.

Allright, to be honest i haven't thought about ice cooling. What intercooler where used for that. Can you name a few or even recommend one? The question for us is how heavy it will end. Class is limited to 600kg incl. Driver.

- Another possibility could be to use an seperat methanol injection system to cool down the charge air and run the engine with ethanol.

- Something other. I like to use ignition cut launch controll for the show effect at the starting line. I'm well aware that some engines like the SR20 or ej20 with shim adjuster for valve clearance are problematic.

How robust and tolerant is the stock valve train on the 2jz? Is it likely for These engines to pop out an shim?

It's likely that we will change the valve spring from the beginnig. But is it necessary to use shimless lifters with a stock or mild cam if we use ignition cut? Does anybody have expierience?

We will start with around 600hp on the stock longblock and built it when we move into higher power levels. How much torque (or power) can a stock 2jz longblock handle?

We've run my business partners old 2jz engine (stock block) at around 700whp on pump gas for quite some time on the streets with occasional 1/4m abuse.

It sure can handle a dyno pull or two at a 1000whp, but I certainly wouldn't tractor pull with these figures. :)

E85 may change the equation, but back then, that fuel wasn't available where I live.