Methanol and Oil Changes

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TurboDiverArt
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Methanol and Oil Changes

Postby TurboDiverArt » Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:13 am

Hi,

I’ve got a question for you guys running methanol. My engine was originally built to run on methanol and the previous owner ran it 1/8th-mile on an expensive fuel injected methanol setup. Not being able to afford the injection setup at the time I had the previous owner put a 1050 gas dominator on it before selling it to me. The car runs good and will go 8’s in good weather and runs 9.2’s in the heat. The engine is a 468 BBC with 16-17:1 compression, light chassis Camaro, 2450 with me in it. Car runs great but I have always thought about converting it back to methanol to make it more consistent. My main question is, what’s the oil change and sparkplug interval? My understanding from the previous owner was that when he initially had an alcohol carb on the car it would milk the oil fairly quickly, after changing to the injection setup the interval became much longer. For you guys running ¼-mile, what oil change interval are you using and with what setup? I had been looking into a Toilet but I don’t know the real advantages of say a T2 setup.

Any help, advice or knowledge would be really helpful. I’m looking specifically for running ¼-mile.

Thanks,
Art.
Art Paltz
230" Undercover, 468ci stock block, 7.840@170.14

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Billy Mac
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Postby Billy Mac » Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:13 pm

Howdy Art...

I am by no means a Methanol guru, and only offer what I 'hear' and know from watching a couple of friends deal with their cars that ARE on the White Lightning.
One of them has two different cars; a 64 Chevy 2 with a Toilet topped 406 c.i. Small block Chevy and a 94 Mustang with a 421 inch sbf that is also Toilet equipped. He changes the oil about every third or fourth time out with the cars...(strictly 1/8th mile)

The other fella has a 94/2000 Camaro (newer front facia) with a twin turbo'd 447 ci sbc ....He changes HIS oil after every race outing....He also drains his fuel cell and lines and blows them out as soon as he gets back home, even if its 3 or 4 in the morning :shock:

Good Luck with the project 8)
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Eric David Bru
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Postby Eric David Bru » Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:20 pm

...He changes HIS oil after every race outing....He also drains his fuel cell and lines and blows them out as soon as he gets back home, even if its 3 or 4 in the morning :shock:

Good Luck with the project 8)
That's what I do with the Top Fuel car and the Hot Rod...

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TurboDiverArt
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Postby TurboDiverArt » Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:08 am

Man, if I gotta change oil all the time I'm sticking to gas. This is what I was afraid of with running methanol. I got rid of my Buick cause it was too much maintenance after every race.
Art.
Art Paltz
230" Undercover, 468ci stock block, 7.840@170.14

greenracing
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Postby greenracing » Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:24 am

I've found that the biggest thing the milks the oil is burbling around at idle - especially if you have the barrel valve set fairly rich at idle - and of course it's worse when the engine's cold. If you get the motor warmed up and don't drive it around too much, the oil will last longer. I don't run water, so I push mine to staging and back to the pits from the shutdown, so my idle time is limited to water box and staging - if you're running water and driving it everywhere you'll have a different story.

I've been changing my oil about every 10 passes (1/4 mi). I think it may last longer, but this season that's about when it turned out to be a good point between events.

As far as plugs - I've got a couple in there that have been in there all season. I throw new ones in for the holes that I'm tuning, but the holes that look good keep running the plugs.

Perry

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TurboDiverArt
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Postby TurboDiverArt » Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:53 am

I've found that the biggest thing the milks the oil is burbling around at idle - especially if you have the barrel valve set fairly rich at idle - and of course it's worse when the engine's cold. If you get the motor warmed up and don't drive it around too much, the oil will last longer. I don't run water, so I push mine to staging and back to the pits from the shutdown, so my idle time is limited to water box and staging - if you're running water and driving it everywhere you'll have a different story.

I've been changing my oil about every 10 passes (1/4 mi). I think it may last longer, but this season that's about when it turned out to be a good point between events.

As far as plugs - I've got a couple in there that have been in there all season. I throw new ones in for the holes that I'm tuning, but the holes that look good keep running the plugs.

Perry
Thanks Perry, that's good information. Being in the Northeast if I were to switch over to Methanol I would definitely get one of those gas primers where you can run it around on gas and only switch over to methanol prior to the burnout. I would like to get a little more than 2-3 outings between oil chanes, stuff to think about. Thanks for the info!

Art.
Art Paltz
230" Undercover, 468ci stock block, 7.840@170.14

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Weatherhound
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Milk Shakes in the Pan

Postby Weatherhound » Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:47 pm

Art,

I began playing around with MeOH back in 2001. Since an alky engine runs cooler than gasoline engines, they are hard to heat up. When I started I went thru as much fuel in the pits as I did going down the track. At idle, the crank case is basically a condensing exchanger for fuel and water after combustion. If you look at your oil right after a warm up you would feel sick. Don't worry about how it looks until after a pass or 2 is made. The crank case needs to be heated so MeOH and water can boil out and leave via the crank case evacs.

You can reduce the amount of malting by cracking open the shut off valve to lean the engine out. It will idle higher, elevate the EGT's and hence warm up much faster. Some milking will occur, but not nearly as much as before. Which makes it easier to clean it up after the engine soaks up some heat.

I used to change the oil after every event. Now I might change the oil around every 20 or 25 passes, and the oil looks as if it was ran in a gasoline engine for a couple of passes to make it slightly darker. I invested in a wide band O2 sensor and mapped the AFR going down the track. Several things that did for me is save a LOT of methanol. I got twice the runs from a drum than I did prior. By modifying the fuel curve with high speed poppet style valves, the engine has been running with the same set of plugs for almost 1.5 years. And I change the oil as frequently as I did my old gasoline engine. I don't use anything fancy...I use Valvoline VR1 20W-50. I don't think the expensive synthetics help much when you change the oil so often when compared to a road race engine.

I only dumped my fuel once back when I first started as the standard protocol called for. Too much of a pain for me. So I began using lab grade methanol (currently $185 per drum) which is cleaner than most or all fuel manufacturers, and never use additives that change the smell and lubricate at the same time. Those additives have some compounds that precipitate out after the lines dry (white waxy compound) and it won't go back into solution unless it is mixed with it's primary solvent which isn't methanol. VP makes an unscented top lube lead substitute that won't leave a residue. When I get home I top off the fuel cell to reduce the vapor space and close the inlet vent valve so no the methanol won't suck up moisture (unless nitro is blended, then I remove it and fill with fresh methanol).

Sometimes I purge a little air thru the crank case to sweep out the high moisture when the intake and valve covers cool.

Just be sure if you have an aluminum tank that it is anodized, and you have the correct flexible fuel lines type of rubber. Also, the O-rings in the injector unit stay swollen so they don't drip for 15 minutes after you start the engine.

Not saying this is the way to do things. Just this form of discipline has worked well for me since 2001.
Brian "Weatherhound"
1969 Z/28 Camaro
540 Injected Enderle Bird
Lake Jackson, TX

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TurboDiverArt
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Postby TurboDiverArt » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:01 pm

Thanks Brian, this is very helpful information!
Art Paltz
230" Undercover, 468ci stock block, 7.840@170.14

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Weatherhound
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Postby Weatherhound » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:44 pm

Thanks Brian, this is very helpful information!
You are very welcome Art. Anytime.
Brian "Weatherhound"
1969 Z/28 Camaro
540 Injected Enderle Bird
Lake Jackson, TX

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Postby draglist » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:51 pm

Thanks and welcome, Brian. bp
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