Methanol and pump facts

Razor

Forum tech Advisor
Staff member
Jul 31, 2001
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Tampa,Fl
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Got a call this morning and was asked if I could put up a thread on do's and dont's with the pumps.

First. The diaphram inside the pump is made out of a material called Santoprene. Santoprene has an excellent rating with methanol. But has a poor rating with Gasoline or petroleum products. What this means... if your methanol gets contaminated with gasoline, oil, lube, etc that is petroleum based.. it can/will damage your pumps diaphram. This includes handling issues on containers like gasoline cans, oil jugs, etc that have had petroleum products in them. The diaphram reacts by shrinking of its original size and then creating a leak. Over time, this condition will eventually happen with... years.. By using petroleum based liquids.. it happens in a few weeks. And.. the greater the concentration of methanol in the tank, the sooner it happens. If you ran straight water, the pumps diaphram should last 15 years. Straight methanol 3-4 is average. 50/50 double that time. Its just a cost of running a system.

Material handling at the source where you buy your methanol from is a big deal. If you purchase your methanol by the gallon and they use the pump for other uses.. like race fuel.. it will contaminate the alcohol. This is the unseen one.. that owners of systems use isolated containers to store their liquid, use funnels labeled for methanol.. then the source steps on it and damages the liquid. Speed Shops are notorious for this problem. If you buy your methanol in sealed 5 gallon cans like VP-M1 no worries.

Lubes... this includes Marvel Mystery Oil, Klotz, WD40, CRC, etc.. are "not needed" for any reason with a diaphram style pump. Any kits MFG. All pumps on the market use santoprene currently. There is no other polymer except Geolast which is weaker. Guys that bought the SMC kits 10 years ago with the EFI pump inside the tank.. need the lube. Everyone else.. dont or else ;)

The subject of Denatured is a touchy one. In the years selling these kits I have some customers that have used denatured successfully and I also have some customers who have not gotten good results with pump life(leaks). I dont know if the formulation changes from one part of the country to another one.. So its use I would say is speculative as to life from pump. Cutting it down with water would probably help. But the use of water is a case by case basis, expectations on performance, boost levels, etc.

On the Denatured alcohol, Isopropyl alcohol, methanol alcohol... I have noticed that customers who mix match.. one time fill with denatured.. then fill with methanol.. then use Iso.. flip flop between the chemicals do not get the same life from the seals. Those that stay the course and use the same liquid.. have the best results.

One of my greatest problems is that everytime there is a change or speculation as to whether a particular chemical does XYZ.. it takes years to figure out if yes or no on that particular chemical. Then we have the changes in handling, outside temps, storage, use, etc.

This also has to do with vehicle storgare and draining of systems. Theory says that draining and storing pumps with a less aggressive chemical should extend its life. Time will tell.

If the damage to the pump is seal related, it is repairable not necessitating a replacement. Average rebuild costs currently as of Nov 2011 range 65-80.00 on my pumps. I cant speak of other kit mfg's.

How can you tell if the seal has been compromised on the pump.. it will leak from its pressure switch area or from around the perimeter of the head. The system needs to be tested under pressure and then leaks can be determined. Example garden hose in your home.. how can you tell if it leaks.. turn on the faucet :D There are testers for sale as well as transducers for those wanting to measure system pressure. Any degredation in pressure typically means leak present. Using the "Test" button on the kit is sometimes a simple way to inspect. Increase in consumption is typically another way. As well as disappearing methanol. Whereas you fill tank and few days latter its level has changed.

Understand that a leaky pump will still move liquid through it. Its not like there is a leak started and all of a sudden there is a catastrophe. What happens is that a percentage getting into the motor is reduced. Example small leak 95% into engine, 5% into atmosphere. Overtime leak gets worse.. 90.. 80.. 70.. 60.. consumption goes up.. little knock starts to happen, etc.. I get the phone call... Gain knob is cranked to 8 and still get knock..

Easy way around all of this, when system is new.. detail how things work and write them down. Any degredation of the system start to look for an issue. Use your Test button on the controllers and watch the Turnon LED change colors. These are your gate keepers to prevent problems. Get into the habit of using them, you'll know IF there ever is an issue and go from there.

Last one.. little data on this.. Cars that sit for many months without use.. This is a big issue now days especially with fuel that contains ethanol. Please start your cars to keep fluids moving. Once warmed up... use the TEST button to move liquid out of the pump. It can do no good to have anything sit in methanol for an extended period of time. Pro cars that race using methanol as a fuel flush their fuel systems after a weekend of use. At least once/twice a month move the liquid through the pump. My own car sits on a trailer and gets driven a few times a month. Pump has now been in it 2.5 years currently.

Any questions, please ask. I'll do my best to answer this subject.

Julio
 

kman71

Member
Mar 26, 2011
122
2
18
Can the basic blue window washer fluid be used for meth? It was suggested to me by someone familiar with Turbo Buicks and he said it is the same ingredients that are in the methanol sold at race shops, just has a blue die in it for coloring. What are your thoughts?
 

Razor

Forum tech Advisor
Staff member
Jul 31, 2001
13,080
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Tampa,Fl
www.alkycontrol.com
Can the basic blue window washer fluid be used for meth? It was suggested to me by someone familiar with Turbo Buicks and he said it is the same ingredients that are in the methanol sold at race shops, just has a blue die in it for coloring. What are your thoughts?
Yes you can use the fluid. The pumps used in most injection kits wont care. Now.. Your motor wont like it. Washer fluid is a "mix" of water, alcohol, and dye. The lower its temperature rating the higher its concentration of methanol.

Methanol=alcohol. Not water or dye.

The chips when made for alcohol injection anticipate straight alcohol not a mix of alcohol and ??

Water leans out. Alcohol richens. Depending on concentration will vary this amount.. if you like tuning and constantly messing with the syste,, you can use washer fluid. Just be forwarned its a bumpier road to get things sorted out.

Julio
 

grey racer

livin the dream
Mar 27, 2011
161
28
28
Martin County, Florida
Yes you can use the fluid. The pumps used in most injection kits wont care. Now.. Your motor wont like it. Washer fluid is a "mix" of water, alcohol, and dye. The lower its temperature rating the higher its concentration of methanol.

Methanol=alcohol. Not water or dye.

The chips when made for alcohol injection anticipate straight alcohol not a mix of alcohol and ??

Water leans out. Alcohol richens. Depending on concentration will vary this amount.. if you like tuning and constantly messing with the syste,, you can use washer fluid. Just be forwarned its a bumpier road to get things sorted out.

Julio
 

grey racer

livin the dream
Mar 27, 2011
161
28
28
Martin County, Florida
Thanks for the info Julio....you mentioned storage temps but didn't elaborate. I've been storing my 5 gal container in the garage and it gets pretty hot during the summer.
maybe 110 deg. or even hotter in mid day....I'm realizing I need to move it to room temp I'm assuming, true ?
 
Jul 27, 2007
188
3
18
how much is a new pump. and are you going to be at bowling green? i might have you bring me one so i can swap it out there
 

87sleeper

New Member
Apr 24, 2006
14
2
3
Cincinnati, Ohio
would meth injection be hard on a stock daily driver? will a dual nozzle be too much also? did some reading but still in the dark a lil bit, would distilled water be a better choice? sorry for all the questions but im just wondering, thanks.
 

Razor

Forum tech Advisor
Staff member
Jul 31, 2001
13,080
162
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Tampa,Fl
www.alkycontrol.com
would meth injection be hard on a stock daily driver? will a dual nozzle be too much also? did some reading but still in the dark a lil bit, would distilled water be a better choice? sorry for all the questions but im just wondering, thanks.
Methanol adds octane. Only sprays when under boost/load. So has nothing to do with daily driver, no more than racing your car daily be hard on it. If you get spark knock.. that is 1000X times worse than methanol. Start with a scanmaster and learn to use it.. go from there. That is the first mod.
Dual nozzle is for volume reasons. Meaning your moving substantial amount of air and boost. Typically below the 11 sec 1/4 mile range. Sounds like your very far from that target.
Distilled water will lean out the car, and requires a lot of temperature to work. So typically no.
Keep reading.. there are tons of threads.
 

bttwracing86T

YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE 6!
Jun 20, 2001
468
8
18
34
atlanta,ga
I have your kit and works well but at night I noticed that just driving around I hear a clicking from the control boz under dash as well as my light flickers with the noise what do I need to do
 
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