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Old 02-24-2008, 07:45 AM   #1
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Default Do It Yourself Water/Alcohol Injection

Hello All,

Since my turbo Miata is resting for the winter, I've finally had some time to work on updating my DIY water/alcohol injection website. I've been using this setup in my turbo cars over the last 7 years with excellent results and thought that this might be a good option for some of you as well. It's inexpensive, extremely reliable and is a fun project to take from start to finish.

Click here to check it out!

Thanks for reading and let me know what you think. I'm always looking for ways to improve the site.

-Tom

Last edited by underdog; 02-24-2008 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 02-24-2008, 10:03 AM   #2
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Congrats on building a kit yourself but Devil's Own sells a complete kit for right inside your price range so I'll go that route. I have just started looking into this for my next turbo Miata and I've asked a few questions. I see you say to use denatured from Home Depot. I was told to use windshield washer fluid as it is mostly methanol. It's cheaper and more readily available. thoughts?
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:04 AM   #3
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Really nice write up. Congratulations on a good job and thanks for sharing it!

I would suggest you read Joe Perez' thread on his own install. I'm sure you'll find interesting tidbits to improve your own project.

Now on to my stupid question; you suggest one should install the nozzle in the bottom of the pipe so it sprays up; why is that? what would be the benefits?

FWIW, I'm mechanically challenged and non DIYer so I will buy WOT's (Kelly) system when I finally get to that part but I do thank you for providing us with additional info to learn.

Regards,

Rafa
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:54 AM   #4
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Underdog, kudos on a very thorough writeup and some good ingenuity. That's some nice looking work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul View Post
I was told to use windshield washer fluid as it is mostly methanol. It's cheaper and more readily available. thoughts?
It's not cheaper, and availability varies. Depends on where you live, as that determines the temperature rating of the washer fluid that available at the store. Colder rated fluid has more methanol. Here are the percentages of methanol (by weight) of some different mixtures, derived from the published MSDS sheet of a common manufacturer:
+32F = <1%
+22F = <8%
-20F = 31%
-25F = 34%

(Source data here: http://www.superclean.com/pdf/Splash_Wash_4.pdf)

So if you can find low temp fluid where you live, it would work. In a lot of places it's not available, or only seasonally available. And here in CA, washer fluid with a concentration of greater than 1% VOC is banned outright except in a few specially designated "Type A" areas- Tahoe and the other mountain towns. So our washer fluid is basically colored water. (ACE Hardware got nailed with an $850,000 fine recently for selling banned washer fluid.)

And have you priced washer fluid lately? Looks like it's >$4 / gal right now for the good stuff, if you can get it. By comparison, my local speed shop (VW Paradise in San Marcos) sells VP M1 racing fuel, which is 100% Methanol, for ~$5 / gallon, and I assume it's cheaper outside CA. Go to http://www.vpracingfuels.com and find a distributor local to you. If you cant find one, pay a visit to your local dragstrip on a saturday night and ask around.

With a gallon of distilled water costing < $0.99 at the grocery store, you can mix your own for half the cost of washer fluid, and not have to worry about whether the fluid contains glycol, soap, or other nastiness. Add 2-3 drops of blue food coloring per gallon and you're all set.
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:59 AM   #5
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thanks for the info Joe. and is that safe to spray on my windshield?

i can always just use straight distilled water too right?
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Old 02-24-2008, 12:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul View Post
thanks for the info Joe. and is that safe to spray on my windshield?
Assuming you use the pure stuff (M1, in the case of VP) and cut it with water, then yes, it's no different from using ultra low-temp washer fluid. I've been running a 50% mix for about a year with no damage to my windshield, its gasket, the surrounding paint, or the stock 17 year old windshield washer pump and hoses.

Just be sure that the fuel you are buying is straight Methanol. M1 is rated at > 99.95% pure, however the other methanol fuels that VP makes, M3 and M5, contain an unspecified amount and composition of additives such as lubricants and "combustion enhancers" (whatever those are.)

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i can always just use straight distilled water too right?
Yup. Lots of folks doing that.
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Old 02-24-2008, 04:04 PM   #7
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Thanks for checking it out guys and for the kind words!

paul: As for the cost, you could actually build this kit for $150 if you went with a check valve (like Devils Own). I choose to use an electric solenoid ($35.00) which I've found to be very effective, reliable and free flowing. Either way you go, you won't go wrong. Kits from Devils Own, CoolingMist, Snow, etc. are all very good.

Thanks to Joe for posting the windshield washer fluid vs. methanol info. It widely varies based on time of year and where you live. Actually, I've had excellent results with distilled water only. If you're really going low buck, you'll be impressed with how well it works by itself.

Rafa: I'll definitely take a look at Joe's install. As long as he doesn't mind, I'll try to improve on a few items in my DIY setup. Regarding the nozzle spraying up, I think I need to change the wording on that. If you're going to use brass fittings and hose, mounting the assembly on the side or top of the intercooler pipe could put stress on the assembly where the nozzle goes into the brass fitting due to vibrations, engine movement, etc.

Joe: Thank you! And thanks for posting all of the great info about washer fluid and methanol.

-Tom
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Old 02-24-2008, 07:45 PM   #8
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Thats a great page! An off the shelf ShurFlo pump from Northern tool won't tolerate a very high methanol content mixture. The viton seals don't like it. Devils Own and most the other companys have the pumps shipped with EPDM seals to handle the methanol.
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:11 PM   #9
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Pure methanol is the way to go and buying by the barrel just made sense to me. As much as i use, it I still have plenty to spare. 30% is a nice mix for most apps. Nice job dog.
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Old 02-26-2008, 02:56 AM   #10
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Great post! Really nice write up and thanks for sharing.

Just another data point, I was at walmart and they have -20* windshield fluid for $0.94 a gallon. according to the msds info its ~30% meth. not a bad deal if its available in your area.
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Old 02-26-2008, 03:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tann3r View Post
Great post! Really nice write up and thanks for sharing.

Just another data point, I was at walmart and they have -20* windshield fluid for $0.94 a gallon. according to the msds info its ~30% meth. not a bad deal if its available in your area.
That's what I was referring to when I was talking to paul about it. Not a horrible deal.
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Old 02-26-2008, 11:05 AM   #12
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$0.94? Wow. Clear the shelf, man.
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:46 PM   #13
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Won't the soap in the washer fluid plug up your nozzle? Every windshield washer fluid I've come across here in Canada has soap in it. You can tell if you shake the bottle, you get suds. I was lucky and found a local Esso fuels dist. that carries various sizes of pure methanol.
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Old 02-27-2008, 11:53 AM   #14
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Many washer fluids do contain soap, hence my position in favor of mixing your own. I believe that most of the fluids which are pale blue in color tend not to contain soap (or much else, for that matter) so I'd certain look towards those and as MiataNuTca suggests, shake 'em. Or, just buy pure methanol and do it properly.
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:09 AM   #15
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i use Boost juice
http://www.strippermotorsports.com/snpebojuwame.html
49% methanol i just like the fact that it is formulated to keep the nozzle clear, for Snow performance to offer lifetime warranty it must be good right?
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Old 03-03-2008, 01:49 AM   #16
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