What Does Water Methanol Injection Do For A Diesel?

Snow Performance deserves full credit for this knowledge. We are delighted to carry the Snow Performance product line because of this level of intricacy and attention to detail!

  • Lowered EGTs – Using a 50/50 water/methanol solution, EGTs can be reduced by up to 250 degrees F. In today’s performance diesel environment, increased EGTs are an engine killer.
  • Power at a reasonable cost – Where else can you get 50-100 HP for $549? What other modification combines all of these features into a single package?
  • Increased air charge densities ranging from 3-5 psi boost are normal with liquid intercooling.
  • Increased combustion efficiency equals fewer particulate matter and NOX emissions, resulting in lower emissions.

In contrast to gasoline engines, the power of a turbo diesel is mostly determined by the fuel used. The trouble with constantly adding fuel is that you end up with an over-fueling situation and the exhaust gas temps rise to dangerous levels (over 1300 degrees F). A 50/50 water/methanol mixture reduces EGTs by about 200-300 degrees F while increasing power by 50-100 horsepower.

  • Air charge cooling – When the air charge temperature exceeds 200 degrees F, water/methanol is used to cool it down. Low air temperatures result in a denser air charge, which supplies more oxygen molecules for combustion.
  • Methanol works as a combustion catalyst as well as a cooling agent throughout the combustion process. Through the “steam” effect, water evaporation inside the combustion chamber enhances torque and power production.

Where else can you have this level of performance with lower EGTs, lower emissions, and better fuel economy?

For years, high-performance truck/tractor pullers have used water-methanol injection for diesel engines. Water/methanol is a standard way of cooling the intake charge and lowering exhaust gas temperatures at the high boost levels required for maximal power. Truckers have also utilized water injection to enhance fuel mileage for years.

To realize the benefits of water-methanol injection in diesel applications, no further adjustment is required.

  • The combustion chamber now receives a cooler, denser air charge, allowing for more diesel fuel to be burned than before.
  • The methanol in the injection fluid is used as a source of energy. This has a direct impact on power generation.
  • In the combustion chamber, water vaporizes, forming quickly expanding steam that pushes down on the piston, increasing torque.
  • The amount of extra power generated is highly dependent on the methanol concentration and volume injected. With a 50/50 blend of water/methanol, typical power improvements in 5.9L and bigger applications are 50-100 WHP and a 100-150ft lb-ft boost in torque.

Yes. That is exactly what the MPG-MAXTM systems are built to do. Under regular driving conditions, such as accelerating away from a stop light or driving up a slight grade, both the diesel and gasoline MPG-MAXTM systems are particularly designed to inject a very small and accurate amount of water/methanol.

Methanol directly benefits diesel MPG-MAX systems since it combusts like a fuel, lowering brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC). Fuel economy improvements of 10-15% or 1-3 MPG are typical. Diesel engines have shown increases of up to 30% in some circumstances and in independent testing.

  • Snow Performance’s 49 percent methanol, 51 percent water Boost Juice is the best fluid to use and may be mailed to your door or picked up at a local dealer. (Boost Juice is a terrific washer fluid that also works as a de-icer if you’re utilizing your washer reservoir as an injection tank!)
  • Only use windshield washer fluid that is blue in color and approved for -20 degrees Fahrenheit. This indicates that it is safe to use and is composed of around 30% methanol and 70% water. Do not use it if it is a different color or temperature rating. It should be devoid of any other additives or features. You are able to “Add 3 ea. 12oz yellow bottles of Heet gas-line-antifreeze to every gallon of Blue -20 washer fluid to make a 50 percent mixture.
  • Make your own: All you have to do is make sure the methanol is pure “There are no lubricants or other additives in this product. A 50/50 ratio is recommended.
  • Ethanol: While not as good as methanol, it can be used as a backup if methanol is unavailable. It can also be combined up to 50 percent with water. Do not use E85 or any other gasoline-based fluid. Your Boost Cooler’s fluid delivery system will be destroyed, voiding the warranty immediately.
  • Isopropyl/Denatured Alcohols: These can be utilized, however they don’t have the same properties as methanol. When compared to methanol, they have a lower BTU, or energy content, as well as a lower latent heat of vaporization (a fancy way of stating how much heat they absorb) and a lower octane rating.

Methanol is a very clean fuel with a good price-to-benefit ratio. Because of its high latent heat of vaporization, it is a good air charge cooler, resulting in a denser mixture and higher horsepower. It is a superior fuel than ethanol because of these properties, yet ethanol will suffice in a pinch. Isopropanol has a different flammability profile and should not be utilized. Methanol is extremely hazardous and should only be handled in well-ventilated environments with rubber gloves. Skin contact should be avoided at all costs.

Methanol is a great fuel to use as a supplement. It produces safe power without spiking cylinder pressures because it has a cetane number of 4CN.

“When plain methanol is burned alone, it has a cetane number of 4CN and produces less PM (smoke) and NOx.” “Combustion and Emissions Characteristics of Minimally Processed Methanol in a Diesel Engine,” SAE Technical Paper #940326.

Snow Performance’s Boost JuiceTM is a 51/49 water/methanol mixture. If this is the only method utilized, Snow Performance can provide a lifetime warranty if the free registration card is returned promptly after purchase.

Methanol is commonly seen where racing fuels are sold. In addition, most gas line dryers, such as the “Heet,” use only methanol. Methanol can be purchased for a very low price from industrial chemical suppliers. VP Racing Fuels sells methanol on the internet.

Blue windshield washer fluid designated for -20 degrees F is also appropriate for usage and is available at most service stations. Despite the presence of glycol and other copolymers in some fluids rated below -20 degrees F, most windshield washer fluids contain up to 40% methanol. Look for one that says “contains methanol” on the label, is good to -20°F, has no additives or special ingredients, and is blue in color.

Methanol is also used as a primary fuel by many sprint car drivers, circle track racers, and drag racers. They frequently have methanol on hand and would even sell methanol that has been sitting unopened for a long time for a very low price. Just make sure there are no additives or lubricants in the methanol (such as top lube), as they aren’t necessary and can harm the pump.

Although all Snow Performance components are designed to handle pure methanol, it is not recommended for a variety of reasons.

Pure methanol has a low flash point of 140 degrees Fahrenheit and burns with an invisible flame.

Water absorbs more heat than methanol at the intake and inside the combustion chamber, therefore it performs better. Water, on the other hand, cannot be flash-ignited, hence it is more likely to produce combustion quench on a volume-for-volume basis. SAE tests on the effect of methanol as a diesel fuel reveal a cetane of 4CN (increased ignition delay) and increased area under the torque curve during the power stroke (as the piston descends after TDC), resulting in safe power (not from greatly increased cylinder pressure).

Diesel engines require more fluid than gasoline engines and are frequently in higher load states.

The factory washer fluid tank on a pickup vehicle (typically 1-1.5 gallons) will last a tank of gas on a Stage 1 or 2 system. This is for normal mixed driving with no towing and a little bit of forceful acceleration.

A 7 gallon reservoir on a Stage 3 towing system normally lasts 1-2 diesel fuel tanks. The 7 gallon reservoir will provide roughly 1000 miles of range when empty. The 7 gallon normally lasts roughly 500 miles while towing.

For every 75 miles of towing, a conventional Stage 3 system will utilize around 1 gallon of liquid. Many Stage 3 users replace their factory washer tank with a bespoke big capacity tank using the special universal fitting provided in Stage 3 Snow Performance diesel kits. Any reservoir situated in the back of the vehicle should have a solenoid upgrade installed.

The pump must be within 24″ (hose length) of the reservoir and must be as low as or lower than the reservoir’s base. It’s a “pusher” pump rather than a “puller.”

Engine bay: The reservoir and pump can be placed virtually anywhere in the engine bay, as long as they are not too close to the exhaust heat or in the path of road debris. Just make sure the pump is at or below the reservoir’s level, and that the reservoir isn’t higher than the nozzle. To avoid gravity-feed, a solenoid upgrade (part number 40060) is required if the reservoir must be higher than the nozzle.

Mounting the pump in a trunk or a bed is good, but it must be close to the reservoir and gravity fed. Tubing lengths of 20-25 feet to the nozzle are acceptable. For rear-reservoir attachment, we always recommend a #40060 solenoid. The #40016 7 gallon reservoir comes with a solenoid.

Use the washer-fluid tank from the factory. The OEM washer fluid tank can be used as a reservoir thanks to a bulkhead fitting. A washer fluid made of 50/50 water and methanol works well. This is a common tactic used in stage one and two kits.

Reservoir in the bed. The reservoir and pump can be installed in the vehicle’s back. Extra tubing, a solenoid upgrade, and mounting brackets for bed attachment are included with the 7 gallon reservoir upgrade. With any reservoir/vehicle, we always recommend a #40060 solenoid for rear mounting.

The nozzles should be placed around the intake manifold’s inlet or nearly anyplace on the pipe running from the intercooler to the intake manifold. The nozzles can be put anywhere along the tube as long as they are oriented in the same direction as the airflow. The nozzles can be arranged in a row or adjacent to one another. Regardless of the nozzle positions relative to each other, there is enough heat, velocity, and flow in the pipe under boost to absorb the water/methanol.

Snow Performance nozzles are pre-drilled in some intakes. Even distribution and cooling will ensue if all of the airflow into the engine passes through all of the nozzles in the system.

It’s not a good idea to put it before the intercooler or turbo(s). The cooling isn’t any better. An injector nozzle should never be installed before a turbocharger compressor. Fluid flowing through the compressor wheel at speeds ranging from 50,000 to 250,000 rpm can corrode the fine aluminum’s leading edges. According to SAAB research, pre-turbo injection causes cavitation on the turbo wheel leading edges over time.

Should the water/methanol solution be injected before or after the Turbo? Where should a few specific trucks be parked? (Duramax, Power Stroke, Cummins CR 5.9L/6.7L)

Pre-turbo injection has been the subject of more recent debate (particularly on the internet). The majority of the discussion revolves around growing atomization. If you inject a small amount of finely atomized fluid (less than 10 micron droplet) with a very low injection duty cycle, you can probably get away with it in the short run. Also, if you don’t care about turbo longevity (like some competitive diesels, where the turbo is replaced frequently) or if you have a system that doesn’t atomize properly and needs the turbulence to aid (low injection pressure and nozzles that aren’t built to atomize appropriately),

It becomes a question of when compressor wheel damage becomes too severe in diesels, especially where injection quantities are large in relation to fuel and where there is benefit to injecting at low/mid engine load states on up, as pre-turbo injection has been proven to cause compressor wheel erosion. The amount of erosion is determined by the volume injected, the size of the droplet injected, the compressor wheel speed, and the injection duty cycle (what percent of total engine operation is water-methanol injected).

Also, in an appropriately sized modernturbo, the notion of reduced compressor work per unit flow and increased mass flow rate doesn’t hold water.

What are the benefits of water/methanol injection?

Water has a stronger capacity to cool intake charges than methanol alone, despite the fact that it is non-combustible. This is why most manufacturers advocate injecting your engine with a 1:1 mixture of meth and water. Methanol also enhances the octane rating of gasoline, allowing for higher octane levels to be used. With proper tune, the evaporative effects of the water, along with the octane increase of methanol, allows your engine to run more advanced ignition timing and/or boost to generate greater horsepower. A typical rule of thumb is that for every 10 degrees lower in intake temperature, an engine will produce one percent greater horsepower. Many enthusiasts have discovered that employing water/methanol injection provides benefits similar to using race gas without the $12 per gallon price tag.

Does water injection increase horsepower?

Injecting water into your engine may sound strange, but it’s a turbo tuner trick that can help you get a lot of horsepower. The water evaporates quickly into the manifold’s air, lowering intake air temperature and boosting air density.

How much HP does water/methanol add?

So you’ve got a turbocharged car that’s been well-modified and makes plenty of power, but you’re seeking for more. Well, I’m here to tell you about a little-known technique known as methanol injection and how it can make you happy.

Here’s all you need to know about injecting methanol. It is by far the cheapest and most effective means of improving octane and detonation resistance in your fuel. It’s similar to race gas, but at a fraction of the price.

As I’ll show you, water/meth injection can result in significant horsepower gains, with the added benefit of cooling the intake charge, which aids power generation and knock management.

There are a lot of kits on the market, but AEM Electronics and Snow Performance are two of my favorites. Both firms provide high-quality components and fail-safe circuitry in their products.

Why is methanol combined with water? Simply explained, it’s less expensive while yet providing many of the same benefits as straight methanol. It’s also non-flammable, which is crucial because you’ll be transporting a large volume of it in a plastic tank in your trunk. Because pure methanol (without additives) is only available at race shops, firms such as Snow Performance offer a premixed version that can be obtained online. Windshield washer fluid (just the winter season sort that’s devoid of any additives) can also be used if you’re searching for a more cost-effective alternative, however it’s 30 percent methanol and 70 percent water. A 50/50 blend is ideal because it has been demonstrated to provide the best cooling effect while maintaining excellent detonation resistance.

Are there any disadvantages? I wouldn’t say so; most kits on the market come with 1-gallon or comparable sized tanks, and unless you’re willing to install a larger unit, refilling the meth/water mix may be more often than filling your gas tank if you’re a heavy user. However, if you keep it low on the throttle and stay out of boost during regular, the meth can last a long time.

Previously, running out of fluid was a worry, but practically every kit on the market now has a failsafe trigger. If your tank runs dry, either a warning light will illuminate or the system will switch to a more secure map.

Your automobile will also need to be retuned since the colder, denser charge richens the engine’s air fuel ratio, which must be adjusted properly. Many meth injection users have a switch fitted that allows them to switch between two maps, letting them to run a gasoline-only map (typically for street and everyday use) and then switch to a water/meth map for racing or when they need more power.

And how much power can you get from injecting water or methanol? It all depends on your engine, turbo, and the sort of gas you use, but a forced induction engine can gain up to 20% horsepower. Years ago, I put a Snow Performance Stage 3 Gasoline MPG MAX Boost Cooler kit on a 2010 Mitsubishi Evolution X, and the results were rather encouraging.

With an RRE tune and all the common bolt-ons, it made 348whp and 353ft-lbs tq on California 91 pump gas (intake, full exhaust). Mike Welch of RRE was able to extract another 20whp and 36ft-lbs tq from the stock turbo powered 2.0L engine after adding the water/meth mixture to the equation, resulting in a total of 368whp and a mind-boggling 389 ft-lbs of torque. For an AWD, 4-cylinder, stock turbo car, those are some very outstanding numbers.

Because of the cooling effect of the water and the high octane level of the methanol, more timing and boost pressure may be added while still keeping a safe knock threshold. Of course, tuning plays a significant role, so make sure you employ an experienced tuner.

As previously stated, the most significant risk associated with water/meth injection is running out of fluid, thus always invest in a fail-safe arrangement. The Snow Performance Controller and Safe Injection Unit were added on this Evo so it could swiftly switch between maps and cut boost and timing if the tank ran dry.

Choosing a gauge like this one from Snow Performance is also a wonderful method to add another layer of security because you’ll be able to monitor the water/meth flow rate in real time.

Water/meth injection is an excellent technique to not only boost power but also ensure reliability on a forced induction engine for a relatively minimal investment, according to the dyno chart. I’ll be installing an AEM Water/Methanol Injection System on Project GripS14 soon, and I’ll have even more data to back up my claim that this upgrade is one of the best bang for the buck mods available.

  • Meth injection kits cost between $500 and 750 dollars. The gains we saw (574 rwhp on 93 octane pump gas versus 616 rwhp with methanol injection) are significant. Adding a good aftermarket camshaft to a normal LS engine to gain 42 rwhp for $500-$750 is as cost-effective as adding a good aftermarket camshaft to a typical LS engine.
  • Boost Juice is an excellent choice because of its safety margin and 34 rwhp gains (6% power gain on 574 rwhp), which is 82 percent of the improvements generated by straight methanol.
  • Because of its overall highest power improvements of 42 rwhp, straight methanol is the overall injections winner (7.3-percent power gain on 574 rwhp).
  • Water injection is the least efficient because it lacks the energy boost provided by a fuel like methanol.
  • Cheap meth injection kits should be avoided since they can harm your engine and your cash.
  • The majority of customers/enthusiasts realize that the extra power comes from the methanol, Boost Juice, or water in the reservoir tank, but a small few may ignore the low level alerts, causing engine damage.
  • Before offering a methanol injection kit, conduct a proper customer screening.

The difficulty of tuning straight methanol is a 6 out of 10 – “Difficult.”

We gave them all a hard rating because dialing in the tune calibration required not only compensating gasoline for methanol, which was simple, but also switching from our favorite MAF tune to Speed Density. This was necessary because, unlike prior generations, Gen V vehicles (such as our test car, the C7 Corvette) have an extremely sensitive MAF sensor that would not tolerate any of the above injections being transmitted across its element. This caused us to start again and create a completely VVE (Virtual VE) tune, which we accomplished using HP Tuners.

We could have avoided this by fabricating the MAF sensor tube and placing the nozzles further upstream from the MAF sensor, but owing to schedule constraints, we were unable to do so in the time we had. Also, in the interest of fairness to all the other fuels, we conducted this test as we would expect an ordinary shop to do it, and because we knew they were least likely to construct a new MAF tube, we went that route with the requisite Speed Density (Virtual VE) tuning.

The driveability is excellent (no cold start issues, like you see when running ethanol based fuels, for example).

When tuning an automobile for meth injection, we usually recommend that the tuner first establish the car’s limits without the meth injection. If the car can handle 8 psi of boost on the gasoline you want to use but knocks at 9 psi, you’ve found the limits without the meth infusion. We set it 2-3 psi before that point and let the progressive ramp-up work in our favor. There’s no need to start the injection as soon as boost arrives, but you’ll need it in sufficient quantity by the time 9 psi arrives; so we set it 2-3 psi before that point and let the progressive ramp-up work in our favor. If boost is difficult to modify (as it was in our case with a fixed boost system from the Vortech supercharger – unless we were changing pulleys), the same procedure is used to adjust spark advance upward until knock is identified, which is exactly how we conducted our testing for this series.

It should be noted that when tuning with Boost Juice and straight methanol, the car’s fueling behavior changes dramatically. Because methanol is also a fuel, the amount of gasoline injected must be reduced to compensate in order to produce the greatest performance results. If you don’t do this, the engine will often become richer by one full point or more in AFR. If you don’t compensate by requesting less gasoline in the tune, if the engine was running 12.0:1 AFR at full throttle before adding meth, it will run 11.0:1 or richer. We need less gasoline to allow the methanol to accomplish its job of cooling and increasing octane, allowing us to run higher boost or timing. Some tuners don’t do this, and instead run very rich (with no power gains, just cooler intake air temperatures), but we don’t recommend it.

Keeping in mind that direct injection cars like, power was kept at a safe 12.0 -12.5:1.

Cars with port fuel injection are 5 AFR leaner.

What comes next? Following our experiments, we moved on to race fuels (non-ethanol-based). VP Racing’s C9, MS103, MS109, and C16 are among these fuels. Will these race fuels be enough to dethrone methanol injection, our newest champion? Can they beat the best of 616 rwhp from 93 octane pump gas and methanol injection? Keep an eye out for the next story to find out more!

Do you need to tune for water/methanol injection?

It’s all right. Re-tuning is done to take advantage of the meth’s potential to advance time further. Because it cools the intake charge, it’s really just another level of safety.

Does water/methanol injection increase mpg?

Matt and the Snow Performance engineers created a water-meth kit for naturally aspirated and boosted gas engines that uses an all-new fuel-injector-referenced injection-management controller to spray a modest, continuous spray of water-methanol throughout the whole power curve. The regulated water-meth shot improves combustion efficiency, resulting in increased power without the use of additional fuel that would normally be used as a cooling agent. Improved fuel economy is a result of higher efficiency. On the other hand, the MPG-MAX G system features a second stage of water-meth injection that is independently mapped and totally customizable. To inject more fluid and generate more power, the second hit employs a larger (orifice size) nozzle.

What does water injection do to an engine?

Water injection, also known as anti-detonant injection (ADI) in internal combustion engines, sprays water into the incoming air or fuel-air combination, or straight into the combustion chamber, to cool sections of the induction system where “hot spots” could cause premature ignition. It boosts engine thrust at low speeds and during takeoff in jet engines.

In the past, water injection was utilized to boost the power output of military aviation engines for short periods of time, such as dogfights or takeoff. It has, however, been employed in motorsports, most notably drag racing. The cooling properties of water injection in Otto cycle engines also allow for higher compression ratios by decreasing engine banging (detonation). Alternatively, the reduction in engine knocking in Otto cycle engines implies that when water injection is combined with a supercharger, turbocharger, or adjustments such as aggressive ignition timing, some applications gain significant performance.

Improvements in power and fuel efficiency can also be produced just by injecting water, depending on the engine. It’s also possible to employ water injection to lower NOx and carbon monoxide emissions.

Water injection is also utilized in some turbine and turboshaft engines, usually when a high-thrust setting is required for a short period of time to boost power and fuel efficiency.

What happens if water gets into a diesel engine?

Both gasoline tanks and engine equipment are harmed by water. Rust and corrosion in the tank produce hard particulate, which is carried by the fuel and causes engine wear. Water etching, erosion, cavitation, and spalling, for example, reduce component life.

Water forms iron oxide when it comes into touch with iron and steel surfaces (rust). Rust particles, like other hard particulates, will cause abrasive wear on parts if they get into the gasoline. Part failures can occur as a result of premature wear.

Does water/methanol injection work naturally aspirated?

Spraying the water/Methanol fluid into the airstream, upstream of the carburetor(s), or via an injection plate between the carburetor(s) and the intake, is all that is required to inject the fluid into a carbureted engine. Because the Road Runner we’re testing has numerous two-barrel carbs, multiple nozzles are employed to ensure that the water/Methanol mist is distributed evenly. The mist cools the induction charge as it enters the system through the carb(s), allowing for more ignition timing advance without risking detonation. The blend lowers intake air charge temperatures while also lowering cylinder temperatures and increasing pump gas octane by 10-15 points, allowing lower-grade fuels to be used.

Does methanol injection clean valves?

Many individuals associate the words “water/meth injection” with peril. There are numerous horror stories floating around about people who have blown their motors while using meth and how deadly it may be. Many of the tales and fears concerning water/meth injection, on the other hand, are just unfounded.

There are numerous advantages to using a water/meth injection configuration on your high-performance vehicle, especially with the new direct-injected vehicles that are becoming more common. Valve cleaning, charge air cooling, expanding your limited DI fuelling window, and, most importantly, it can provide significant performance gains are all potential benefits.

So, even if you don’t care about the power gains from a good water/meth kit, the valve cleaning alone is worth it for most people who own a Mazdaspeed, a Focus ST, a WRX powered by the FA20DIT, a BMW N54 or N55, or any other direct-injected vehicle. With direct injection, no fuel is sprayed on the rear of the valves, but when you add EGR and an insane amount of oil from the PCV System, you quickly get gunked up valves that will affect performance and fuel mileage over time. Methanol is a powerful cleaning chemical that will remove the crud that accumulates on the valves and keep your engine running smoothly.

In comparison to gasoline, methanol has a very high latent heat of vaporization for charge air cooling. The meth will remove heat from the intake tract, the piston crown, and the valves because it vaporizes at a much lower temperature than water. The intake manifold’s cooling of the boosted air provides for a colder, denser charge as it enters the cylinders. Cooling the piston crown and valves helps to prevent hot patches in the cylinders from causing an uneven burn (detonation).

We’ve shown a back-to-back datalog comparison of an automobile before and after methanol injection in the graph below.

The same care was taken with the same turbo and performance items, first without and then with the methanol kit. The post-intercooler air temperatures drop dramatically.

I could stop typing right now and give you plenty of reasons to start looking for meth labs, but I can’t because… “But hold on! “There’s still more!”

When it comes to the original fuel system, direct injected cars like the Ecoboost Focus ST and Mustang, the Mazdaspeed 3, and the FA20DIT WRX have plenty of room. When the injectors in most port-injected cars run empty, the DI systems will usually keep going. However, once you’ve reached your limit, there’s not much you can do. There are a few aftermarket injector alternatives for Ford Ecoboosts that will give you a little more headroom, but the DI cars we deal with are all going to be limited to approximately 400whp. For some, this is an excellent stopping place, but for others, there is no such thing as a stopping point. So one of your possibilities is to operate a methanol arrangement as a fuel supplement. A proper meth setup might give you an extra 100whp, and in some cases even more.

Overall, water/meth injection opens up a whole new universe of possibilities. By keeping everything cool and clean on the inside, you can not only create more power and make it more reliable, but you can also extend the life of your engine. In terms of risk vs. profit, The reward comes from a high-quality Water/Meth setup that helps to reduce risk and maximize the chances of a successful setup.