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    Some Interesting & Useful Knowledge About Alcohol vs. Gasoline

    1.  Methanol makes less BTU’s than gasoline per gallon but because you need to burn almost twice as much 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 6.5  to 1 so you will burn about 2 to 2.7 times the volume of fuel. You must have a fuel system capable of flowing high volume. Methanol costs much less than racing gasoline and has a higher octane rating.

    3.  Methanol is not affected as greatly by changes in atmospheric conditions as with gasoline. It is only affected about half as much as gasoline. 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’re sitting in the staging lanes waiting to run.

    4.  Methanol runs much cooler than gasoline so if you have overheating problems, converting to methanol can cure them very quickly. Most racers will not require any cooling system when running methanol unless they plan on doing “hot laps”  ( running and coming back to the line again and again ) –  Most engines carry water in the heads or block or both, but do not need to circulate it when using methanol.

    Potential negatives and useful facts

    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. There are many additives more commonly preferred to as top lube. They also come in different scents so your exhaust can smell like cherry, Strawberry, Vanilla etc.. . Castor oil is the primary ingredient in top end lube, if you can’t obtain  top lube, use  12 oz of Castor Oil in a drum of methanol.

    2.  The increase in horsepower comes low in the rpm range so your low end torque is increased dramatically. Over 7000 rpm the effect wears off. If your car is having traction problems with gasoline, you will have twice the problem when you switch to methanol. This is why most Super class racers run gasoline. If you spin a tire, you lose. A gasoline dragster with a heavy big block over the rear wheels is less likely to spin a tire in high gear or coming off the throttle stop than a methanol burning lightweight small block. There are ways to eliminate this problem and if you can, you will be twice as consistent as the other combination.

    3.  Increased maintenance of the fuel system. Usually at the end of the race day you should lean out the engine and get it hot before shutting it down. This will help burn off any moisture in the crankcase. Then spray the intake area with WD-40 or similar briefly while the engine is winding down to a stop. If the car is going to sit for longer than a couple of weeks, flush out the fuel system with gasoline.

    4.  Consistency is easier to achieve with methanol than any other commonly available fuel due to less impact from the atmospheric changes.  Methanol is, as a result much easier to tune.

    5. If you intend to run methanol, get your mindset changed about temperature. You can affect the HP output by + 10%-20% by simply bringing the engine to an optimum temperature. Generally the hotter the combustion chamber, the more power you will see, thus better ET or Lap time. Combustion temperatures of 500-750 degrees are good for complete combustion and thermal efficiency. Max EGT  of 1100-1150  is about as much as you will see at the end of a run with methanol, and about 1300  with gasoline. At 3000 rpm you should see 550-650 F near the head area of the header, if not, you should consider leaning it out some to try and achieve that temp. At this point you can almost be assured that the combustion chamber is hot enough to produce maximum  HP  for your setup. If you insist on making the run with an engine temp of 120-140 F , you are wasting  a run. WARM UP your engine before you get to the starting line, or suffer a substantial  loss of  ET. A popular water temperature for Sprint Car racers is  210 F .  A lot of drag racers seem to be scared of 180 degrees F, but at that point the oil is just barely warm.