Family Software Newsletter #7 - May 10, 2000

 

Topics

1. The Facts About Running Methanol Fuel
2. FREE Software Download
3. REAL World Technical Support


-- Should I Run Methanol Fuel? --

Question: Hi, Mr. Kodadek, I'm considering switching my car to alcohol. The problem is I don't know anything about it. Could you recommend anything or steer me to some more information please? Any help at all would be appreciated. I run a Dodge Dart, 440CI, 3500 stall, 4.57 gear. We run 11.60 at 113.5 mph, with a 1.54 sixty foot.

Answer:
Everyone seems to have their own ideas about running methanol. I have a lot of experience with methanol, build my own methanol carburetors, and probably run as good, or better, than anyone else in Super Comp running methanol or gasoline. My opinions are probably very different than what you'll hear from the various experts out there, but facts are facts. So, here is the TRUTH about methanol versus racing gasoline.

Pros:
1. Methanol makes more BTU's than gasoline and therefore more horsepower and torque is produced. One reason is that the chemical structure of methanol contains oxygen molecules. Depending on the volumetric efficiency of your engine, you'll pickup anywhere from .3 to .7 of a second in ET just by switching to methanol.

2. Overall, methanol is cheaper to run than racing gasoline. Methanol needs to run at a mixture of about 6.7 to 1, so you will burn about 2 to 2.7 times the volume of fuel. So, you must have a fuel system capable of flowing high volume. However, it costs much less than racing gasoline and has a higher octane rating.

3. Methanol is not effected as greatly by changes in atmospheric conditions as with gasoline. It is only effected about half as much as gasoline. So, if the air changes and your opponent running gasoline slows by .01 of a second, you will only slow about .005 of a second running methanol. Think about this the next time you are sitting in the staging lanes waiting to run!

4. Methanol runs much cooler than gasoline, so if you have overheating problems, running methanol can cure them very quickly.

Cons:
1. Methanol is highly corrosive and has no lubricating qualities. So, you must use an additive that will protect your fuel system and cylinders from being eaten up. The best fuel I have ever found is the 'ALKY' Brand of methanol. The blue additive in ALKY fuel will almost eliminate any maintenance normally required when running methanol.

2. The increase in horsepower comes low in the RPM range, so your low end torque is increased dramatically. Over 7,000 RPM the effect wears off. If your car is having traction problems now, you'll have twice the problem when you switch to methanol. This is why most of the Super racers run gasoline. In Super racing, if you turn a tire, you will lose. A gasoline dragster with a heavy big block over the rear tires is less likely to spin a tire in high gear or coming off the throttle stop, than a methanol burning, light weight small block. But there are ways to eliminate this problem. And, if you can, you will be twice as consistent as the other combination.

Okay, the Pros out weigh the Cons. But, please don't go out and spend too much money on parts you don't need. DO NOT buy a belt driven mechanical fuel pump. I don't care what you read in advertisements, you do not need or even want a gear pump of any kind, unless you are running fuel injection. I use a BG 280 electric fuel pump and two Holley blue regulators, one for each bowl on the carburetor. You'll also want to add bowl extensions to increase the fuel capacity of the bowls. You DO NOT need to buy bowls with more than one needle and seat! One needle and seat with an orifice of .150 per bowl is more than adequate. If your fuel cell is not located in the front of the car, you'll want to step up to a BG 400 pump (or equivalent) to compensate for the G force when leaving the starting line. Do the math. Based on your estimated horsepower output, figure out how many pounds of fuel you are going to use on the run, then convert that to gallons per hour, and then fractional gallons per second. Then do a fuel volume flow test to insure that your system will flow that much fuel.

The Holley carburetors are getting much better out of the box, are still not perfect, but the best deal on the planet. Don't waste your money on some exotic highly modified carburetor. You don't need it. Most of what you are paying for is all cosmetic. Get a Holley HP 950 alcohol carb, add bowl extensions, secondary jet extensions, remove the power valves (install power valve plugs), and start with a primary and secondary jet size of about .172. You may have to go leaner, but it is better to start rich than lean. Buy an EGT kit and use it every run that you make. Look for an EGT of about 1250 degrees. If you do it right, you'll never look back. I guarantee it!

-- FREE Software Download --
Our DataMaster Analyzer software, Version 2.0, is available to you as a FREE download on our web site. You don't need a data recorder to test the software and see exactly what a DataMaster Sportsman Computer does better than any other data logger system in the world! If you have any older version of this software, download this as a FREE update.

-- REAL World Technical Support --
With Family Software, you'll get better technical support than anywhere on the planet. Why? Because, I design and program all of Family Software's products and I use them all on my own very competitive SuperComp dragster. All of my 30+ years of experience and knowledge is available to you and our other customers. Try to find that kind of information at any one of our competitors. You won't be able to, I guarantee it! Family Software cares about the racer and his/her success as a racer. The other companies just want your money!

-- Toll Free Ordering --
We also have a new Toll Free Order line to save you even more money! If you're placing an order by phone, call 877-497-0992. If you need information or technical help, call 610-497-5561.

-- Secure Ordering --
You can safely order directly from our web site. All of your information is handled on our Secure Server. We have established a privacy policy and it is posted on the web site. Our company has now been registered with the Public Eye. You can check our ratings by clicking on the Public Eye link on our Home Page or Order Form.

If you have questions or topics that you would like to see covered in this newsletter, please Email them to me. Or, start a new topic on the bulletin board located on our web site. I'll be glad to join in.

Bob Kodadek
SC 1596
Family Software - Drag Racing Computers and Software
http://www.iFamilySoftware.com - 610.497.5561(Voice/Fax)


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