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Methabol Versus Alcohol........Please help

Old 11-28-2007, 08:03 PM
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Location: Orient, OH
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Default Methabol Versus Alcohol........Please help

I recently bought a roller dragster that was set up for methanol, and we just picked up another with hilborn (stacks) mechanical injection set up for alcohol. They are both small block chevys 421 and a 377

I am trying to figure out what the difference between alcohol and methanol is.

and which fuel to run in both.

Typically I would run a dominatoR with gasoline on my 421, But on Methanol / Alcohol would i want that big of a carb?

Is one easier on the motor than the other?

do you have to change the oil alot?

do i need to use additives or special oil?

do you have to change timing to run these versus where it would be on race fuel?

Where could i buy this around central Ohio?

I know this is alot of questions, but any help will be greatly appreciated!!!

Thank you for any help,
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:33 PM
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Methanol is an alcohol, and the primary alcohol used for racing. The only other one used is ethanol, and it is rarely used but gaining popularity as E85 is becoming available. I would almost be certain methanol is what your engine is set up for.
Methanol is much cheaper than race gas, but you burn about twice as much or more. Straight methanol does reqire a top oil be added to the fuel much like a 2 cycle engine as methanol tends to wash the cylinder walls down. It does require changing the oil more frequent. The timing varies but usually wil tolerate a little more than gas. Methanol is more corrosive to fuel system components, so you have to make sure your tank and lines will handle it. It is also a good idea to flush the system with gas if it will set for a while. Methanol runs the engine much cooler, great in the summer, but hard to get the engine warm during the winter. Most engines will run 1 to 3 tenths quicker with methanol as methanol is an oxygen bearing fuel. Because you run twice as much fuel, carbs tend to be smaller to get the correct metering, but you can get Dominators to run alcohol. Any speed shop that carries fuel should have methanol, and shoould be available at drag or circle tracks. Be ready to find someone to help you with the Hilborns that are familiar with them. For an alcohol carb, I'm sure most carb companies can help, even if the carb is not exactly right alcohol is more forgiving if it is a little over rich. BLP carbs here in Orlando is a good place if you don't know anyone else. Tell them your car and engine specs and go with their recommendation, you won't find much better.
Now have I scared you enough to go back to gas?
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Old 11-29-2007, 04:32 AM
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same thing.people just use the word defferently.

also its 2007..they make an addictive now that cuts the corrosion way down if not stops it the horror stories you hear of the corrosion etc...its not what it used to be...but always a good idea to flush with gas as insurance (extra precaution)...just did mine as a matter of fact for the winter...took 45 minutes tops.

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Old 11-29-2007, 06:16 AM
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If the gas clean out is a bother, drain the fuel, remove the hose to the BV, spark plugs and blow out the lines. Disable the ignition, spin the engine over to get any excess fuel out.
Squirt some Marvel mystery oil in the lines and give it a little shove with the air gun. A little marvel in the cylinders won't hurt either. Squirt it and spin over. Squirt some Marvel into the fuel pump also.

Now, all this corrosion stuff does take some time to happen so you can wait until you get home to do this. It's also a good idea to remove and inspect the nozzles/jets for alkysand or "stuff" if you will. Alkysand happens when you don't do maintenance. Do the above and you will never have an issue. Oh, and filter the fuel going into the tank. All the above is not a big deal, really. It's just something that has to be done.

I will be a little more blunt here. If you can't be bothered to do 10 minutes of maintenance you will have problems down the road, guaranteed. If so then perhaps alcohol of any kind is not in your best interest.

Dave Koehler
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