Water or water/methanol injection is a well established technique for reducing the knock sensitivity of an engine running on fuel with a low octane rating. This can allow additional power to be made through the ability to advance the ignition timing to MBT, increase boost, or both. In this webinar we will look at tuning an AEM water/methanol injection system on our turbocharged Toyota 86 running a Motec M150 ECU.

00:00 - Hey it's Andre from the High Performance Academy and in this webinar we're going to be looking at water methanol injection and specifically we're going to be looking at water methanol injection on our Toyota 86 fitted with a MoTeC M150 ECU.
00:16 As usual, the specifics of the vehicle and ECU aren't exactly critical and what we're going to look at today is more an overview of water methanol injection, how it works, how you can use it in your own tuning and how you can take advantage of it with the way the ECU functions.
00:36 Now this is an area that we always get questioned on, particularly when we present a public webinar and particularly in the southern hemisphere, New Zealand and Australia, I don't think there's been a huge uptake of water methanol injection kits, it's just not that popular in the southern hemisphere whereas particularly in North America, there's a huge range of manufacturers offering really high end plug and play kits for all manner of vehicles and ECUs.
01:09 It is a very popular option.
01:11 And I'm not really too sure why it hasn't been more widely accepted in the Southern Hemisphere but that's the situation we deal with.
01:19 So while I've spent some time over my career tuning, working with water methanol injection kits, generally the kits that we were seeing come through the door of our shop were what you'd call I guess home built and the results were a little bit variable and frankly I didn't see enough of the systems to really be able to give a firm conclusion as to whether they were really valuable or not.
01:47 Now let's start with a little bit of a lesson as to why water methanol injection works, what the principles behind the science of water methanol injection are.
02:00 And really it all comes down to controlling the heat in the combustion chamber.
02:05 Now water methanol injection in general is going to be beneficial when you've got an engine that is heavily knock limited.
02:13 And when we, we'll just go back a little bit and talk about knock or detonation.
02:17 That is a type of abnormal combustion that occurs when essentially the heat inside the combustion chamber gets so great that pockets of unburned fuel and air around the outside of the combustion chamber spontaneously combust.
02:32 There's a number of parameters that will affect the point where knock occurs.
02:38 One of the main ones is the octane rating of the fuel.
02:42 So particularly if we're limited to using a low octane pump fuel, then we're much more likely to have problems with knock occurring, Likewise it's much more prevalent on turbocharged engines and of course with a turbocharged engine it becomes more prevalent, again when we start increasing the boost.
03:03 So all of these things, the turbocharged engine, and increasing the boost simply add to the combustion temperature occurring and again that just makes the engine more prone to knock.
03:15 Now with these engines, I call them knock limited, I refer to them as being knock limited and what this means is that when we're on the dyno and we're optimising the ignition timing, we get to a point where the engine begins knocking or detonating while we're advancing the timing, while we're still seeing the torque increase.
03:37 So this becomes our limit, the detonation or knock becomes the limit for how much timing we can actually put into the engine safely.
03:47 Obviously we cannot tune our engine with knock occurring so that becomes the limit for how much timing we can put into the engine and generally when we've got an engine which I refer to as knock limited, if we had a better octane fuel, we could advance the timing further towards MBT, we're going to see a moderate through to really significant increase in power.
04:11 Of course when we're talking about turbocharged engines we have two parameters that are working together as well.
04:17 In order to make more power from the engine, if we're knock limited, we could advance the ignition timing and achieve MBT timing.
04:26 The other thing we can also do is increase the boost pressure, force more air into the engine and take advantage of the additional air by adding more fuel and getting a larger combustion charge occurring.
04:39 So all of these things, we're limited on what we can do if we're stuck on a low octane fuel such as pump gas.
04:48 Now the way we normally control the combustion temperature and try and keep ourselves away from knock is by using a richer air/fuel ratio when we're at wide open throttle under boost.
05:01 Now I'll stop there actually, I have been talking about turbocharged engines and really that is where I see the main benefit or advantage from water methanol injection.
05:12 Simply because on pump fuel particularly we're much more likely to be knock limited on a turbocharged engine than we are on a naturally aspirated engine.
05:22 However if you've got a naturally aspirated engine and particularly one with a very high compression ratio, you can get into exactly the same situation where the engine becomes knock limited.
05:35 In that case a naturally aspirated engine still can show improvements from water methanol injection as well.
05:43 Right I'll continue, so what I was saying is we use a richer air/fuel ratio under wide open throttle and one of the reasons we use a richer air/fuel ratio is we're adding some additional fuel to help cool the combustion charge temperature, remove some of that heat and hopefully drive our engine away from knock or detonation occurring.
06:02 If we look at a water injection system though, water or water and methanol, we'll talk about the two separately, the fluids both have a much higher latent heat of evaporation than fuel.
06:18 So the latent heat of evaporation, particularly let's talk about plain water, it's somewhere around about 6 times higher than pump fuel and what this means is that when we inject the water into the intake air and it goes through a phase change from a liquid to a vapour, as it goes through that phase change, it absorbs a huge amount of heat from the intake charge.
06:41 So it cools the intake charge and that in turn helps move the engine away from knock, it makes it less prone to knock because we haven't got such a high combustion temperature occurring.
06:55 So the two common types of injection we see are water injection where we are literally injecting just plain water or a water and methanol mix.
07:07 Now there's advantages and disadvantages in both, particularly when we look at water, one of the obvious advantages is water's free, it's easy to get hold of, although I will talk about some limitations on that a little bit further on.
07:22 I'll point out now as well, if you do have any questions that crop up and I kind of am expecting a fair few for this webinar, please put them into the comments and I'll deal with those at the end of the webinar.
07:33 So water is cheap, it's easy to get hold of so hence it becomes really simple for us to keep our water methanol injection or our water injection system topped up.
07:43 Also as I've said, it's got a high latent heat of evaporation so it's great at cooling the combustion charge temperature, however water understandably, it's not going to burn, it isn't a fuel so we're not really adding any power from the water itself.
08:00 If we look at adding some percentage of methanol, methanol again, exceptionally high latent heat of evaporation so it's also very very good at drawing temperature out of the intake charge.
08:13 It also has a much higher octane rating than normal pump gasoline.
08:17 So if we're using a 50/50 mix of water methanol then we're kind of getting the best of both worlds, we're getting the great cooling effect of injecting the water and methanol, plus we're actually injecting a combustable fuel that also has a higher octane rating than our petrol.
08:36 Now the common limitation on our water methanol injection, the percentage wise, generally you'll hear the term 50/50 water methanol.
08:47 Now that's not to say that this is specifically where we're going to see the best results from mixing water and methanol together, however if we go much above about a 50/50 mix, we do get into a situation where that liquid is flammable.
09:04 The last thing we really want is carrying around a flammable liquid in a container potentially in our boot or somewhere in the vehicle so that can be quite dangerous so that's why most manufacturers would recommend that you limit your water methanol ratio to 50/50.
09:22 OK the next question that we often get is when you're injecting water and methanol into the engine, what ratio, what percentage, how much of the water methanol do you inject and this is one of the areas I was really interested in testing with our Toyota 86.
09:40 Because the kit that we've installed which is an AEM water methanol injection kit actually gets supplied with 3 nozzles.
09:52 This is one of the nozzles here, it's quite a high quality product that uses a full stainless construction for the nozzle and it also has a built in filter around the nozzle as well as a non return valve so we get 3 nozzles with the kit, we get a 250 cc per minute, a 500 cc per minute and a 1000 cc per minute and I did try all of the nozzles to get a feel for what happens and what I quickly found is if you do inject too much water methanol you're going to see a significant drop off in the engine power and if you go too far the amount of water you're injecting literally blows out the combustion flame and you're likely to actually get a misfire.
10:38 To give you some indication, if we can just have a quick look on my laptop screen right now.
10:44 This is part of the instruction manual that come from AEM and this lists quite an easy way of deciding what jet to fit.
10:56 So you've got first of all on the left hand side here sort of an anticipated horsepower rating, from there the chart also lists fuel flow or estimated fuel flow in cc per minute for forced induction or naturally aspirated engines and then you can choose the likely area of your particular use of your engine.
11:20 And then it's going to give you a suggestion on what size jet you should be running and we opted for, or ended up running the 500 cc per minute jet as recommended by AEM.
11:33 To give you a little bit of insight into how this calculation works, generally the recommendation is a good ballpark is about a 25% water methanol flow compared to your overall fuel flow.
11:50 So if you want to do a quick calculation on that, let's say you had a 4 cylinder engine that was fitted with 550 cc injectors such as a Mitsubishi Evolution.
12:02 So your total injector flow there for all 4 cylinders would be 2200 cc per minute.
12:10 Now generally what we want to actually look at is the overall fuel flow that's occurring there at the point in the engine's operation.
12:20 So let's say we were seeing a maximum injector duty cycle of something like 85%.
12:25 In that case our overall fuel flow at that point would be something like about 1870 cc per minute.
12:36 Now what I'd suggest is we start with a little bit less water methanol flow.
12:41 I'd start with around about a 15% water methanol flow and then build up from there.
12:47 As you test on the dyno.
12:50 So if we calculate 15% of our value, you're going to get around about 280 cc per minute, if my maths is correct there.
13:02 So that's kind of going to give you a ballpark of what injector size you're going to be using to start with.
13:08 Alright I'll just jump back to my notes now.
13:11 Now what I found with my own testing is the only way to get the most out of one of these systems is really to test on the dyno, you really need to test and find out exactly what your engine needs and if you don't tune accordingly, you're very likely going to actually see power loss and that's exactly what we did the first run I did, we laid down a baseline run with around about 60 kPa of boost and our normal ignition timing.
13:40 We I think ended up with about 180, 181 kW at the back wheels.
13:45 I then simply added pure water injection and nothing else and the result was I lost about 5kW so you really do need to set this up on the dyno and make sure you're getting the most out of it.
14:00 So the actual mix you want to run is going to require some testing.
14:05 Now before I move on and we actually look at this whole system installed, I just want to talk a little bit more about the system we're using from AEM.
14:15 This uses a progressive controller so what we end up with on the controller is two knobs.
14:20 We've got a knob where we can decide what boost pressure we want to start the water injection and we've got a second knob which defines at what boost pressure the water injection will reach maximum duty cycle.
14:33 So the water injection pump is actually pulse width modulated and the controller can vary the pump duty cycle anywhere from 0-100 so we actually get a progressive amount of water flow and the advantage with this is we can match quite accurately the water methanol injection flow to the fuel flow going through the engine so when we are at low boost we can use a minimal amount of water injection.
15:02 As the boost increases and naturally our airflow and our fuel flow increase, we can then increase the water methanol injection to keep track.
15:11 The last part about this though and this is really, in my opinion the critical aspect of water methanol injection, if you're going to use this sort of system, you're going to be trying to take advantage of it by achieving a more aggressive tune.
15:27 You're probably going to be adding ignition timing or boost pressure or potentially both and we're going to look at exactly that scenario on our 86 shortly.
15:36 The problem, and this is probably where most water injection systems come unstuck, is not the actual injection system itself, it's what happens if you've got a tune that is relying on a certain volume of water and methanol being injected into the engine and then all of a sudden for whatever reason, that water methanol injection spray stops occurring.
15:59 So this might be because you've literally just run out of water methanol or it could be because there's a blockage in your system.
16:07 If you're unaware of that situation and you've got that aggressive tune that's based on that water injection system operating, then it's very easy to result in detonation and that can quickly damage your engine.
16:22 So if you're going to go with a water injection system I'd strongly recommend you look at adding some fail safes and the water methanol system we've got from AEM has a couple.
16:33 First of all, the actual controller has a bunch of monitoring systems built into it so first of all it's going to look at water level.
16:45 So it's got a level sensor in the tank, the system won't activate if there isn't water in the tank so that's simple, that's nice and easy.
16:52 The other thing it'll look at is the actual pump circuit.
16:55 So if the pump circuit is either open circuit, so the pump's disconnected or it's shorted, again it will deactivate.
17:02 That covers the controller's output to actually make the water injection system run but of course we could get a situation where our water methanol injection system becomes blocked by debris or something of that nature.
17:19 In that case, it may, the pump may be doing everything it's supposed to do but we might not get any water flow into the actual engine.
17:28 Now in this system we've also added AEM's failsafe gauge which includes a water flow meter and this is a simple turbine flow meter that goes in the water line up to the engine and it can monitor the flow out of that jet, out of that nozzle and it will log that relative to the injection duty cycle being provided to the pump.
17:53 Let's have a quick look now, if we jump onto my laptop, I've currently got the AEM water methanol failsafe software set up on my laptop and hopefully, if I can just download this log file, we'll be able to see what we actually get out of the flow meter.
18:13 And we obviously can use this data, that's not actually going to be very helpful is it.
18:21 What I've ended up doing while I've been sitting here is it's cleared all of the data.
18:25 That's OK though, what we'll do is we'll just do a quick test, I'll just do a quick run on the dyno right now and you'll be able to see exactly what the flow out of the water injection system looks like.
18:43 So while I'm doing this run, what we actually want to do is just stay on my laptop screen and we'll be able to see the data being plotted as I do this run.
18:55 So I'll just get the car into 4th gear now.
18:59 And you'll be able to see data points being plotted in real time as I actually do this run on the dyno.
19:06 So I'm just going to full throttle now and we'll start the run.
19:23 It wasn't a complete run but there's enough information in there to explain exactly what's going on with this particular test.
19:33 Just stop our run there and get our fan switch back off.
19:37 OK so on the screen here we have a bunch of yellow dots, you can see that they move around the screen and on the X axis of this graph, what we have is our injection percentage.
19:49 So this is the duty cycle or pulse width modulated duty cycle being sent to the water methanol injection pump and on the vertical axis we have our actual flow in cc per minute.
20:02 So you can see that what happens is at very low duty cycle, somewhere around about 30%, we're seeing quite low flow through that sensor which is exactly what we'd expect.
20:12 As we increase the injection duty cycle, at the maximum duty cycle we're currently running which is around about 75%, you can see we're seeing around about 700 cc per minute flow out of that sensor.
20:27 Now there's two aspects to that, first of all we get to see exactly what the system is providing but more importantly you can see that we have two axes or two limits I should say here, there's a red one and we've got this green one and the way the failsafe gauge works is we can log some data from the water injection system which you've got exactly right here in front of us and then what we can do is we can simply grab and move around these limits so that the limits are quite tight to the actual flow values that we're seeing.
21:06 What's going to happen with that is if for any reason the flow goes outside of those limits, either below the limit, so that would be down in this area here, in which case this would indicate that the system is blocked somehow, the flow isn't occurring.
21:23 Or alternatively, if we ended up here with a lot more flow than we'd expect, that could indicate that the water injection system, maybe there's a cut in the line somewhere so it's working against less pressure so hence the flow increases.
21:40 So in both of those situations where we're outside of our expected flow, the system will trigger an alarm and that can be used to deactivate the water methanol injection system, bring up a visual indicator to the driver or various other aspects such as disabling a boost controller, basically a whole bunch of failsafes just to make sure that you're only running that aggressive tune when you really want to be.
22:07 OK so that covers the failsafe side.
22:11 Obviously this is an add on but it's certainly something that if you are interested in water methanol injection, I would strongly recommend that you consider at least some failsafe to give you some warning if there is a problem with your injection system.
22:25 If you are relying on that water injection system to make sure your engine is running safe and not suffering from knock, then you really need some indicator if something goes wrong.
22:38 Right let's jump into our software now.
22:41 As I said, this demonstration is being run on the MoTeC M1 ECU but what we're going to look at in a lot of ways will be comparable to other platforms as well.
22:53 Now first of all let's just jump back into our tuning.
22:56 Remember there's two things that we're really going to mainly want to do to take advantage of our water injection.
23:06 The first thing we're going to want to do is we're going to want to increase or advance the ignition timing and the other thing we're quite likely going to do on a turbocharged car is also increase the boost pressure to take advantage of that cooler combustion charge and hopefully that's going to allow us to make more power.
23:26 This is actually a little bit of a challenge on the MoTeC M1 ECU because the current GPR package that's available doesn't allow us to easily make adjustments for our fuel volume injection.
23:41 And if you are injecting water with a methanol mix, remember the methanol is a combustable fuel, so if we're doing that and we're not allowing for it, or accounting for it in the ECU, we should expect to see our air/fuel ratio go rich because we're adding more fuel and we're not accounting for that in the tune.
24:04 So it's a little bit tricky with the M1 to deal with that.
24:09 I'm going to show you how I have dealt with this in this particular example and then we'll talk about a longer term solution that's a slightly more complete solution.
24:21 Let's first of all look at our ignition timing and what we've got here is our main ignition table.
24:27 So this is our ignition advance table here, nothing particularly special, manifold pressure versus RPM.
24:33 We do however with the M1 ECU, we have an A and a B map.
24:40 So what we're doing here is we're using the A map for the normal ignition timing when the water injection system is disabled.
24:49 So this is our normal ignition advance table.
24:52 What I'm doing is I'm using an output from the water methanol injection controller to tell the MoTeC M1 ECU that the water is being injected and then it's going to switch to our B map and with our B map, all I've done is I've added 4° of ignition advance in the higher RPM and higher boost areas of the map just to take advantage of the cooler combustion charge.
25:16 So that takes care of our ignition timing.
25:21 The other thing we want to do is potentially add some boost pressure.
25:26 We don't have to but obviously if we've got the ability to do that, we're still working inside the turbocharger's peak efficiency, then there's no reason why we wouldn't want to add a little bit of boost pressure.
25:39 This here is our main boost aim table and our main boost aim table there I'm targeting 70 kPa.
25:47 What I'm doing is I'm using the same trim factor, so same input from the water methanol injection controller to change where the ECU's operating.
26:00 So this is in the engine boost limit table.
26:04 And what I've done here is under normal conditions, we're operating in this zero point here which is trimming out 20% of the boost.
26:13 When the water methanol injection system is activated, we'll move up to this position one in which case we're demanding our full boost pressure.
26:23 Now I'll just have a quick look and show you through how I've set that function up and that's under the vehicle workbook in the driver switch worksheet.
26:34 So what I've done here is I've set up driver switch two and this is going to be triggered by our water methanol injection system and it's set up to be using universal digital input 7.
26:48 So this is an output coming from the AEM water methanol injection controller and what it does is when the water methanol injection controller triggers and is injecting water methanol, what it does is it grounds that output.
27:02 So you can see this setup that I'm using here, we've got the pull up control first of all turned on, that's essential if we're working with an input that goes to ground when it becomes active and the rest of the setup is relatively straightforward.
27:18 So what's going to happen is this switch input, this driver switch two will go to ground and turn on when the water methanol injection is active then on the driver linked functions here on the right hand side, you can see first of all we've got our ignition main setup and at the moment you can see that it's saying we're on switch A or position A.
27:43 When this system goes from off to on, what it'll do is it'll switch from A to B.
27:50 So just jumping back again to our tuning screen on our ignition table, that will take us from our A table to our B table and just so you can see what's going on here, let's look at this point here.
28:03 So 7000 RPM and 160 kPa so this is exactly the area we're going to be using in the table.
28:09 On our A table, our normal ignition timing we've got 16° in there and on our B table so when our water methanol injection is active, we've got 20° in there so we've added 4°.
28:21 OK let's jump back to our driver linked functions.
28:26 So the other aspect there which we looked at already briefly is our boost limit switch.
28:32 So this is the boost limit table that I just showed you and that's going to be switched as well off our driver switch 2.
28:41 OK so that takes care of our boost, it takes care of our ignition timing.
28:45 One thing as I mentioned is a little bit more complex to do in the M1 is we don't have any way of controlling a fuel volume trim based on an input such as this driver switch.
29:00 What I've done though is I've simply allowed the closed loop fuel control system to take care of that for me and we'll have a look at exactly how that works.
29:10 So what I'm going to do first of all, I'm just going to unplug our water injection system so that it's not operating.
29:19 And we're going to do two runs on the dyno just to show you how this all works.
29:24 So our first run here, this is with no water methanol injection active.
29:31 So I'll just get the car into 4th gear now and we'll do a run and we'll have a look at the results of that.
29:44 OK so we're ready to do our first run now.
30:09 OK so that's our first run complte, we'll have a look at it as an overlay shortly but the aspects that we have to look at here, first of all we have our power at the bottom and we were around about 180 kW at the back wheels.
30:25 I'm also logging exhaust gas temperature which we'll talk about shortly as well and then we have our air/fuel ratio or lambda at the top of this plot.
30:36 So what I'm going to do is I'll save this run and I will call it test one and we'll call it no water methanol injection.
30:46 So we'll be able to overlay these together with the water methanol injection run and see how the power and the tuning variables vary so I'll just plug back in my water methanol controller.
31:03 And before we do our second run though, let's just have a look at our tuning data.
31:10 So actually we'll go to our fuel page and we will just go full screen on our time graph.
31:21 Now this is showing all of the relevant parameters at the same time, we've got our engine RPM at the top, we have our boost pressure shown here, we've got our lambda versus our lambda target so this shows how, excuse me, how well we're matching our target and you can see that through that run it's very very close to the target as we'd expect or as we'd hope.
31:49 Now what I'll show you as well if we just close this down a little bit, you can see at the same time, during this run, here is the result of our closed loop fuel trim.
31:59 So during this no water methanol injection run, if we just look at how the closed loop fuel trim varies as I move through the run in the data log, you can see that for the most part it's pulling a little bit of fuel out, I think the maximum we saw was around about a -2.5% trim but generally we're pretty close to target which obviously indicates the engine is pretty well tuned.
32:24 Now what we're going to do, let's just have a quick look at our knock data as well.
32:29 So this here shows the feedback from our knock sensor or our two knock sensors.
32:38 The lines you can see, the data you can see down here is the noise signal from the individual cylinders and the blue line that you can see here is our knock threshold.
32:49 So essentially any time, all of the engine, background engine noise is below our threshold, this indicates that no knock is occurring.
32:58 If we start seeing the noise threshold spike up above our threshold, our noise threshold, that means that we have got knock occurring.
33:07 Sorry if we see any of the noise profile exceed the noise threshold, that will mean that we've got knock occurring.
33:15 OK let's now do our second run and I'll just get our data logger running again.
33:21 And we've now got our water injection system active and this is going to mean that remember we're going to be now targeting a little bit more boost and we're going to be adding 4° ignition timing and we're going to be able to see the result of those changes.
33:59 OK so that's our second run complete there.
34:03 And you can see that it's basically done everything we would hope for.
34:08 Our power this time was 198.8 kW or 266.6 horsepower at the wheels.
34:17 Let's just save this run now and we will have a look at the two runs overlaid with each other so we can see everything in a little bit more detail.
34:30 OK so first of all at the top of our screen, we can see we have our two power graphs.
34:37 So obviously our purple graph we are making a lot more power everywhere right from the start of the run.
34:45 So our peak power there we saw was 198.8 kW at the wheels versus 183.
34:54 So it's a good gain.
34:56 Below that we have our lambda for the two runs and you can see again that they overlay directly over the top of each other so we actually haven't seen any difference in our air/fuel ratio measured despite the fact we're now injecting about 700 cc per minute of 50/50 water methanol mix.
35:15 Our boost pressure on the right hand side of our screen, you can see that our boost did increase for our second run, we reached 170 kPa which was our target versus around about 158 kPa on our first run so it's not a large increase in boost but it is obviously showing a significant improvement.
35:36 The other aspect that is interesting as well is we've got our exhaust gas temperatures being displayed and the water methanol injection system should function to reduce our combustion temperature, remember that's one of our key advantages with the water methanol injection system, cooling the combustion charge so we can get more timing into the engine, move the engine away from knock, allowing us to put more timing or more boost or both into the engine so a cooler combustion charge, all things being equal we would also tend to see a drop in our exhaust gas temperature.
36:17 We have seen this right at the top of the run there we're seeing 700° for our water methanol injection run versus 715° for our run with no water methanol injection.
36:30 Now that doesn't sound like a huge or really significant difference and you'd be right in thinking it isn't however the key there as well is remember we also increase the boost pressure so increasing the boost pressure means we will actually be creating more combustion temperature as well.
36:48 Now let's have a look at our data from that second run on my laptop screen.
36:55 Now if we look again I'll just zoom in on our time graph for the moment and you can see that our lambda target in particular, our lambda or air/fuel ratio in particular, again tracked really nicely along our target.
37:12 However this time if we close that back down and I move through the run, you can see that rather than sort of 1-2% trim, you can see that now the closed loop trim is removing as much as 7%, 12% in this particular instance, 13% as we obviously increase the injection percentage, the injection from the water methanol system, we're obviously injecting more methanol which is combusting which is giving a richer air/fuel ratio so as we move through the run...
37:48 ...ECU removing more fuel.
37:52 So in this case it's actually doing an exceptionally good job of controlling the air/fuel ratio and getting us back on target.
37:57 At this point here, at 6700 RPM, it's removing 14% fuel versus the 1.5 or whatever percent that you saw with no water methanol injection.
38:10 So this is what I would call a workaround.
38:14 But it is a limitation based on the way the GPR MoTeC M1 package is currently written.
38:22 As I said there's no way of controlling or asking for a fuel volume trim based on an input such as the one we're using a driver switch.
38:33 Now I said I'd talk about a better solution and I will just briefly mention that right now.
38:38 I did discuss this with MoTeC today to make sure I was giving you the most up to date information and while it's in beta at the moment, there will be a new package, GPR package coming out very shortly which includes a staged nitrous control system.
38:53 Now sometimes what we have to do, and this isn't limited to MoTeC, it's common across a range of ECUs, is we need to look at how that ECU operates and decide how we can use some of the functionality in the ECU to achieve what we want.
39:08 In this case what we really want to do is base some tuning changes, some tuning parameter changes on a switched input.
39:16 So the water methanol system telling the ECU it's active.
39:20 In this case, we want to trim the fuel, in this case remove some fuel, we also want to trim the ignition timing and potentially the boost and the new beta nitrous functionality will allow you to do that so that's not far away from what I understand and that would be the way I'd suggest dealing with water methanol injection on a MoTeC M1.
39:46 Let's have a look now as well at our knock data.
39:49 So remember this time we were running more boost pressure, our boost pressure's actually shown up here.
39:56 So we're running 168, 169 kPa so really close to our target.
40:03 Despite that you can see that our engine noise is still below that knock threshold so we're still not having the engine suffer from any knock.
40:15 So in this case, we gained around about 15 kW at the wheels and power and torque right through the entire rev range by using that water methanol injection and advancing the timing 4° and also adding 10 kPa of additional boost.
40:33 Now before we move into some questions and answers, I do want to just mention that I don't believe that our Toyota 86 is the best test bed for water methanol injection.
40:47 The reason for that is we've obviously got a naturally aspirated engine that has been turbocharged.
40:55 So because of our desired to keep the engine intact, we're running incredibly low boost pressure so 0.6 kPa we're around about 8.5, 9 psi of boost pressure so we're really low in the actual boost pressure stakes.
41:10 Now what we find is that as we increase the boost pressure, naturally as we compress air its temperature increases so if we're running a lot more boost, perhaps 20, 25, 30 psi of boost pressure, we're putting a lot more heat into that intake charge air and hence the water methanol injection system has the potential to do a better job of removing some of that temperature.
41:37 So we've seen a gain, it's not an insignificant gain but it's also probably fair to say that this particular test hasn't been the best vehicle to showcase what water methanol injection is capable of.
41:53 Alright we'll stop there and I'll move into some questions.
41:56 As usual, if you do have any more questions that have cropped up while I've been talking, please feel free to ask them now and I'll do my best to answer them.
42:07 OK our first question comes from Rotate86, if you're not buying this progressive system as a standalone, do you think you could get a better more comprehensive system by using the pump and then just a standard solenoid and then creating a table on the ECU itself? Look I mean absolutely there's no reason why you can't create your own water methanol injection system and have it work very successfully.
42:35 One of the nice functions with the AEM kit, and really this goes for a range of the professional ready to go kits that are available from a few manufacturers, is everything you need to do the job and do it with a quality product is there.
42:54 And as I've mentioned a couple of times now, most of the issues with water methanol injection systems are not from the water methanol injection system itself, it's from when the system fails.
43:07 So you've got, with the AEM system a quality pump, of course they are easy to get hold of outside of AEM.
43:15 You've also got a quality stainless steel constructed nozzle so it's a good quality product that is going to be as reliable as any water methanol injection system can be.
43:27 The other aspect or part of this system that can be a little bit harder to replicate with an aftermarket ECU is that the AEM system actually controls the pump duty cycle.
43:42 That's a little bit harder to do directly with the ECU, the pump can draw up to 10 amps and you'd need to do that with a solid state relay or something like MoTeC's dual half bridge controller to be able to control the fuel pump duty cycle based off a pulse width modulated output from your ECU.
44:03 Another common approach, the way the UK system from Aqua Mist works is they use a constant duty pump and then they use a, I think they call it a fast acting value which is a high speed solenoid valve up in the engine bay and that's actually controlling the flow.
44:20 Because of the current draw with that fast acting valve then you could control that directly from the ECU.
44:27 I understand they sell their parts separately so yeah you could put a system together for yourself.
44:34 So hopefully that's a comprehensive answer to your question.
44:36 Yes it is possible to do, there are some considerations to make but by far and away the most important part is to make sure you're using quality products with the system you're creating.
44:50 Janoo has asked, can the failsafe be used with OEM reflash ECUs or it only works with a standalone? The failsafe really is nothing specifically to do with the aftermarket ECU at all.
45:02 The failsafe is just a standalone gauge that can be fitted alongside AEM's water methanol injection system.
45:09 It can have absolutely no output at all and visually it's just a warning indicator.
45:15 You can set it up so that if your flow exceeds those preset limits that we looked at it will actually flash the gauge to bring your attention to that.
45:25 Likewise another aspect that you could use that failsafe system, outside of the ECU completely would be to disable the wastegate solenoid for the turbocharger to bring you back to wastegate boost pressure so then again of course it depends on the particular OE ECU you're reflashing.
45:46 There's a number of systems where there are patches available for the factory code in the ECU that would allow you to use a valet mode or dual maps or some other functionality to swap back to a low octane map if something goes wrong.
46:01 Boostin has asked, have you noticed any correlation between a reduction in EGT and power output once the optimum amount of water methanol injection has been exceeded? Look I'll be completely honest at this point in our testing, I really haven't had enough data to really confirm exactly where things are headed in terms of a correlation with EGT and power.
46:26 I definitely exceeded or added too much water methanol injection and we saw the power fall off quite sharply.
46:35 Because I was adjusting a number of parameters it's hard to strictly see a correlation with our EGT.
46:42 Now remember I've already said, I've already made mention that while we did see a drop off in our EGT, remember we've added some boost and we've also advanced the ignition timing as well.
46:53 So we're not making one single change so we've got to take that into account when you look at the resulting exhaust gas temperature.
47:03 Boostin has also asked, have you tested the difference between pre and post turbo water methanol injection? No I haven't.
47:11 The water methanol injection kit from AEM, they specifically recommend that it is installed post turbcocharger and also post intercooler.
47:24 Now there is a lot of data out there and I've looked at myself about some potential advantages with injecting water methnol or water pre turbocharger can improve the efficiency of the turbocharger.
47:39 You do also need to be incredibly careful with that because if the atomisation of your water methanol mixture is not incredibly fine, you will over time end up damaging the compressor wheel.
47:52 The other aspect, it's not recommended to inject water methanol pre intercooler.
47:59 Now that's because the water can tend to pool out inside the intercooler so generally it's recommended and accepted that post intercooler and post turbocharger obviously, injection is preferable.
48:17 Boostin's also asked, is the 86 using a CDI ignition? No absolutely not, this is 100% factory in the ignition system.
48:27 Barry G has asked, is the ignition A map a knock limited map? Would there be any gains by adding water injection on a motor that isn't knock limited? OK yeah the injection ignition A map is definitely knock limited, 100% we can still see really good gains in power with this engine but because it's a 12.5:1 compression engine running 8 or 9 pound of boost, it's understandable on pump gas it is knock limited.
48:57 In fact the only way we can get away with what we are doing right here is because the engine also uses direct injection.
49:04 So in terms of gains by adding water injection on an engine that isn't knock limited.
49:09 Remember the main advantage or main key to water injection is to reduce that combustion charge temperature.
49:18 There is the potential by reducing that combustion charge temperature that you can actually see a very small improvement in engine volumetric efficiency simply because you've got a denser intake charge, takes up less room.
49:31 My gut personal feeling based on the testing I've done is if your engine wasn't knock limited in the first place, you're very unlikely to see gains with going to water injection.
49:44 Janoo has asked, does water methanol injection work better than E85 and are you able to reach MBT with a 50/50 mix? OK so on this particular engine, in our particular example, no E85 is head and shoulders above water methanol injection.
50:02 And again in the limited amount of testing that I've had, it is still easily able to make the engine knock while we're still seeing significant improvements in torque as we advance the timing.
50:17 On E85 at this boost level, I was able to tune the engine to MBT so no at the moment, my own testing, E85 still trumps water methanol injection.
50:27 Barry G's asked, at what boost level does the water injection activate? And if bigger jets are being used for greater horsepower targets, how do you determine what boost level to activate the water injection? So in other words, do you start the water injection only where the engine's knock limited? OK so your first question, we've got the water injection activating at the moment at 2 pound of boost.
50:52 Now remember our situation is a little bit unique in that we've got this naturally aspirated engine that we've turbocharged.
50:59 It is running relatively low boost pressure and I can make the engine knock very easily just about at any point in the positive boost pressure area so I wanted to make sure that the water injection was getting activated as quickly as possible.
51:15 The correct approach really is going to just come down to dyno testing and finding out what your particular engine wants.
51:24 I would certainly be trying to activate the water injection prior to any point where your engine is knock limited.
51:31 So if you're suffering from knock from very low boost pressure, I would be starting the water injection prior to that point.
51:40 Scott at Link has asked, I may have missed this, how was the knock sensor feedback with water methanol injection active? OK I probably didn't cover that particularly well, so the feedback from the knock control system that we looked at, that is just the built in knock control strategy in the MoTeC M1.
52:02 So what I was looking at with the two examples, both without water injection and then with water injection active, was just confirming and showing that we hadn't registered any knock with either of those two runs so the knock control strategy I've previously tuned and set up that system so it is very very accurate at picking up knock and that was just a simple parameter to show us that yes the engine is in fact still safe, it isn't knocking.
52:34 Janoo has asked, does water methanol work best in drag applications only since the run is short? Is this something that can be used reliably for a daily driver and how long can they last on a full tank? Look I don't think that it is limited to drag racing and in fact, probably its better use would be for a daily driven application.
52:57 With drag racing, if we're serious about drag racing, then it's pretty easy to run a special fuel when the car's at the track, something like E85 or perhaps Q16 or similar.
53:08 That's a little bit more difficult and a lot more expensive to do for a daily driver and water methanol injection is a really cost effective way of giving you some of the benefits of a better fuel without any of the cost or hassle, much less cost and hassle.
53:30 How much you're going to use is really simply going to depend on how much you're injecting.
53:36 Remember we're looking at somewhere around about a 25% ratio of fuel flow to water methanol flow so simply as the power that your engine makes increases, so too does your water methanol injection flow and hence you're simply going to be going through it a lot quicker.
53:53 To give you some indication, I did probably half a day of dyno testing at the end of last week and we ended up going through probably about a 1/3 of our 1 gallon tank or 3.8 litre tank of water methanol.
54:09 We're going to be doing some more testing at the racetrack which will give us a better indication of how long it actually lasts under race use and I'll be happy to report back.
54:24 Turnem has asked, would you bother running water methanol injection on a turbo car running E85? Again this is something I want to do some testing on personally so I can give some first hand feedback.
54:37 We are actually going to be putting the 86 back into E85 shortly so I'll be able to tell you exactly what the results are.
54:45 My gut feeling is probably with the fuel properties of E85 and particularly if you are up at a true 85% ethanol content, chances are that the water methanol probably isn't going to be adding very much value so I don't believe it's going to be effective but stay tuned, I'll report back and let you know what I actually do find.
55:12 Janoo's asked, if you install the wrong jet size can you hydro lock the engine? Look really no there's almost no chance of that occurring and there's several reasons for that.
55:22 Even with the largest jet that this kit comes with, it's 1000 cc per minute, the actual volume of fuel flow 1000 cc per minute is still incredibly low.
55:35 The other thing that would make it impossible is the activation point is only going to actually be injecting water and methanol once you're actually up in the fuel flow, sorry up in the boost pressure and hence you've got a lot more air moving through the engine, the engine RPM's obviously going to be higher as well so even if the water methanol injection system had a large jet in it and it was flowing 100% duty cycle through the pump, you're going to be nowhere near doing any damage to your engine.
56:06 The only issue would be if for some reason when the engine was stalled the water injection system was pulsing and injecting water, in that case you could potentially get yourself into some trouble.
56:19 MCR's said, years ago I had a diesel truck that had a crack in the head, we didn't know but topped up the radiator every 6 months.
56:26 When we pulled the head off, that cylinder was worn out, how does water meth contribute to excessive wear? Well the general theory is because of the relatively low amount of water and methanol that we're injecting, what it actually does is it tends to have a steam cleaning effect on the inside of the engine.
56:47 So it supposedly and I can't really report here, I haven't pulled down an engine that's been running on water methanol injection.
56:54 It supposedly is going to result in an engine that's much cleaner inside with no carbon deposits etc.
57:01 I would say with your diesel truck example, there's probably a little bit more going on behind the scenes and it's probably a little bit difficult to compare a finely atomised water spray from a water injection system to what you're likely to be getting from a cracked head.
57:20 Niv1812 has said, can I run any kind of water rather than distilled water? It's a great question that you've asked, that you for asking that because it has reminded me, I mentioned right at the start of this that I was going to talk about the water.
57:35 So it is recommended that you use distilled water with any water methanol injection system.
57:41 And one of the reasons for this is it helps, with distilled water you've got less impurities in the water, less chemicals in the water and quite often it's that build up of chemicals from normal tap water than is going to end up blocking your system.
58:01 So distilled water, it's not a case of adding any more power, it's about keeping the water methanol injection system cleaner and functioning for longer.
58:10 So you can use regular tap water but it's certainly not recommended for long term use because you may see deterioration of your water methanol injection system.
58:20 Janoo has asked, why must we inject water methanol mix and not just pure water? If we can use the injector to supply the fuel.
58:28 I've covered this at the start, I'll just go over it again.
58:33 The water on its own will provide a great cooling effect due to its latent heat of evaporation.
58:44 Remember it's got around about 6 times the latent heat of evaporation of fuel.
58:47 However water in its own right obviously isn't a fuel, it doesn't combust so it's not going to be adding power to the engine from that aspect.
58:58 Methanol on the other hand, it is a combustible fuel.
59:01 It also has a high latent heat of evaporation and it also is going to help cool the combustion charge, it has a much higher octane rating that our pump fuel.
59:13 So by running a mixture, 50/50 water methanol, you kind of get a benefit from the methanol as well as the cooling properties of the water.
59:24 Janoo has asked, do we need to run a colder spark plug for this? Really it's going to come down to how far you're pushing the engine.
59:32 I wouldn't base my decision on a colder spark plug simply on the fact we're running water injection.
59:39 On our 86 I haven't changed anything.
59:42 Mainly because it's about a 3 hour job to change the spark plugs on an 86 but that's beside the point.
59:48 If you were going to be going from let's say 15 or 16 psi up to 20, 25 psi, like a much larger increase in boost and then hence horsepower than what we've seen here then yeah just as we'd do with any engine it would be sensible to add, to go to a colder heat range plug to deal with the higher inevitable combustion temperatures we're likely to see.
01:00:14 Alright that brings us to the end of our webinar.
01:00:17 Hopefully that's been some insight into how water methanol injection works and how we can make use of it.
01:00:25 As usual if you aren't following us already on our social media channels, please get involved, we're on Instagram at hpa101, and also Snapchat at hpacademy101.
01:00:41 Thanks for joining us, if you do have any other questions, ask them in the forum and I'll deal with them there and otherwise we'll see you all next week, thanks.