26 Oct 2014

Good news, mostly:

Filled up the water/meth tank and spent the day testing and tweaking the system. The water/meth flow gauge worked well, with user-defined thresholds for too-much and too-little flow from zero to max. Once that was set up and working, numerous runs were made while slowly increasing boost. The good news is that it’s currently at 19 lbs, with traction in third gear now getting a bit iffy.

Now the puzzle: Using a mixture of 50/50 water/methanol, the water handles most of the cooling while the meth serves as both coolant and high octane fuel (supposedly it makes 91 octane act like 110 octane). Because the methanol is consumed, the total fuel mixture becomes richer since both gas and meth are being burned, which typically requires leaning it out a bit. So it was surprising to find that the Air Fuel Ratio (AFR) was the same whether I enabled the water/meth or not…

– I know that the mixture is getting consumed, the AEM flow gauge and logger show 1000 cc/minute being delivered to the two 500 cc nozzles.

– I know that the water/meth mixture is 50/50 by volume (ignoring that it’s not 50/50 chemically, but this doesn’t matter much).

– The level in the water/meth tank level dropped, so the mixture is definitely being consumed.

– Thinking outside the box, I suppose that the water could have separated from the methanol, settling to the bottom of the tank and being consumed first, but I really really doubt that happens since methanol loves water. So I don’t get it. With the days getting short that’s where things stand now. I’ve got a couple posts on car forums asking what could be going on, so that might be interesting.

In other news, during testing I took the same road where I drove my brother’s car last week. In Midlana it was a completely different road, with none of the kidney-jarring bumps. I keep telling my brother to fix the rear axle travel so that quites bottoming out and he says it’s in the works.

As a last note, I took Midlana onto the freeway, tearing up the onramp just because I could. Cresting the top, off on the right was a motorcycle cop having a talk with someone who’d just spun his car off into the weeds. Unfortunately right when I crested the hill the cop happen to look my way. I think several factors played into me not getting a ticket today: he was off his bike, already busy with someone else, and there was a lot of traffic noise so I doubt he heard me directly. But, he obviously saw me moving rapidly along and started to make a gesture. It was as if he was going to flag me down but half way through it decided that I had just barely squeaked under the threshold by this much. I waved, acknowledging us seeing each other and that I understood I was cutting it really close. And yes, I did watch my mirror for a while…