Seeing that you are pumping twice as much fuel through the motor as with gas,
if you aren't careful, the oil will easily get polluted with fuel and
water. To cure this, if you race with a carburetor, use a 2" spacer between
the intake and the carburetor with a 1/2" NPT hole in the front of it with a
8-AN fitting. Run a 8-AN hose to the driver's compartment with a ball valve at
the end that is easily accessed by the driver. Install a pyrometer in the car
with an EGT sensor in a header 1" from the exhaust flange of a front cylinder.
Whenever you are idling, open the ball valve just enough to lean the engine so
that your EGT is 500°. The only time the ball valve should be closed is
between the time when you pull out of staging until you enter the return road
racing with a mechanical fuel injection system, such as a toilet, you simply
close the fuel shut off enough so that your idling EGT is 500°.
According to both
do not use fully synthetic oil if you race with methanol. They both recommend
20W-50 petroleum based racing oil and they both also recommend for the oil to
be changed every 30 runs as a maximum. We have since switched to Joe Gibbs
Driven XP-5 semi-synthetic which is specially formulated for methanol burning
motors. We have been very satisfied with how this oil has performed.
Click the images for full size
7.) Methanol burns a little slower than gasoline which
means that a little more advance timing is needed for optimum performance.
Start out on the rich side with less advance. Sneak up on it until the car
slows down, then back up slightly. Each motor is different. Some smaller cubic
inch small blocks can run 36-38°, bigger cubic inch small blocks and big
blocks 32-36° and blown or turbo charged cars in the 28-32° range. There are a
lot of variables such as compression, heads etc.
8.) Methanol as a fuel, responds very well to
compression. 14.0:1 - 17.0:1 vs 12.5 - 13.0 on gas.
9) Methanol requires colder plugs. Typically two steps
colder than what you would run on gas. My small block did use a NGK R5671A-9
plug. After doing some spark plug testing at Atlanta Dragway, we have switched
to the Pulstar BE-1I Iridium pulse plug with very, very good results. They were slightly quicker.
10.) To read spark plugs when using methanol, a proper
tune up will show heat discoloration three threads down from the top of the
electrode end of the plug. You should also see the heat mark on the ground
strap just past the top of the bend and a slight coloring of the porcelain on
the electrode side near the tip.
11.) A dead cold motor will not start on Methanol. Don't
even try it as you will kill a starter in the process. You must prime the
makes a primer kit that contains a 1 quart fuel bottle, a small
hose with fittings and a push
button for your dash. The kit also includes a jet to install in your
intake but for my car I opted to use an
nitrous spray bar so that when you prime the motor the fuel is
atomized. You just need to cap one end of the spay bar. Once the motor starts
and runs, the latent heat from the block will sometimes allow the motor to
then restart without having to re-prime it.
12.) Caution...prolonged breathing of methanol fumes or prolonged exposure
to the skin can cause blindness. Methanol burns with a clear ever so
slightly blue flame that is very hard to see. Handle methanol with caution
and common sense just like you would with gasoline. Happy