Question about alcohol

Old 01-11-2008, 02:23 AM
  #11  
hammertime
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Originally Posted by davis419b
" and IF you don't mind freshening the motor every 100-200 passes, then no. It doesn't effect the "life of the motor". The power is awesome "

Johnracer, Evidently you have never ran alcohol and beleived every horror story you were ever told from someone that didnt know what they were doing. That is not the way it is. If you run the right rings and have a quality fuel system it is not a problem milking the oil.
Dead on with the 2nd part of this !! I've ran alky for years and rebuild my motors yearly but that because I puts 250-350 passes a year on them and its 1/4. Alky alone doesnt cause motors to blow up or need to be freshened more. My oil looks the same with gas and alky .. all depends on the setup.
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Old 01-11-2008, 02:28 AM
  #12  
johnracer
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Actually I have, and you made my point exactly. I ran a Terminator on a small block and, once I figured out what I was doing, milking the oil wasn't a significant problem. However, during the "learning process" stage, it very definately was. During this stage, I pulled the pan regularly to inspect bearings and they were always scuffed. Would the engine have come apart because of it? Probably not. Was the overall life of the engine shortened? Probably so, at least at first.
I ran Total Seal rings, quality oil, etc. The other maintenance issues are still there, even with a quality toplube. Race gas is just easier.
I'm certainly no expert. I just want to bring to light that running alcohol isn't all roses.....
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Old 01-11-2008, 06:18 AM
  #13  
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its more work to run alcohol than gas i will agree to that..i do not neccessarly agree with all your opinions. John but thats what opinions are for..
the extra work ( maintenance i have to do on my alcohol carb car) is well worth the benefits i get from the alcohol.....about a 3 tenth advantage on the et..and close to 3 mph increase over gas.....to have this type increase on gas..i would have to go to minimum of a 150 shot of NOS...which means i would have to place a higher gear in the car,take out converter tighten it up and change the cam to NOS cam specs..( to do it right)...and AFTER ALL THIS...you only gonna make the good power when your pulling the trigger..the car will become a SLUG on MOTOR PASSES....

not to feasible to me for a round robin racer..

i would not recommend alcohol for street use ..but i am a racer and when i go to the track and back home i expect to perform a certain level of maintenance irregardless of what type fuel the car is on...

My opinion is that if you have the carb or injection tuned right A GOOD VACCUM SYSTEM IN PLACE...and keep a close eye on the oil...you will not have CRAZY UNREAL PROBLEMS..

i do agree if you take the car on alcohol,Run the hound out of it,then take it home and let it sit with little to NO maintenance then you stand a chance it will have the locked up fuel pumps,corrosive fittings,powerded up carb bowls etc...

the newer top lube out these days really cuts down on this issues anyhow

plus i do not think you can take any real high performance race car and run it and just let it sit afterward with little to no maintenance..CAN YOU ?


my two cents here.

Brian
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Old 01-11-2008, 08:33 AM
  #14  
OneBadGMC
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Originally Posted by johnracer
Actually I have, and you made my point exactly. I ran a Terminator on a small block and, once I figured out what I was doing, milking the oil wasn't a significant problem. However, during the "learning process" stage, it very definately was. During this stage, I pulled the pan regularly to inspect bearings and they were always scuffed. Would the engine have come apart because of it? Probably not. Was the overall life of the engine shortened? Probably so, at least at first.
I ran Total Seal rings, quality oil, etc. The other maintenance issues are still there, even with a quality toplube. Race gas is just easier.
I'm certainly no expert. I just want to bring to light that running alcohol isn't all roses.....
For the labor and cost of bearings, and your learning curve, you could have sent the system off to Ralph Gorr or another well known company who flows fuel systems for a living.

For less than what your labor cost and the price of bearings/gaskets, the system could have been flowed and calibrated right out of the box. The motor would have fired and idled properly without milking the oil.

The learning curve is only as tough as you make it.
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Old 01-11-2008, 01:36 PM
  #15  
davis419b
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X2.... Sometimes you just need help!!! Suck it up and ask for it rather than trashing an engine by [email protected]@king with!!!!
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Old 01-11-2008, 04:49 PM
  #16  
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EASY there big fella!! I asked for help, not a problem with me. Just from the wrong people. I didn't trash the engine. 3 years later it's still alive and well thanks. I've run the last 2 on gas.
I'm not trying to say that alcohol is the devil's elixer or anything like that. I agree with most of what you and the other's have to say. It's what you don't say that is my point. Brian is the only one who evens comes close (thanks). THERE ARE ISSUES. Most if not all can be dealt with in an acceptable manner, but to answer the question of someone who is contemplating switching to alcohol with a blanket "no problems at all, ever" is in my mind irresponsible. WE should be informing newbies about the pitfals and how to avoid them or deal with them as they occur instead of blowing smoke about how perfect it is.
As I stated in my original post, IF the system is set up correctly out of the box, you won't have as many issues......thanks,
Johnny
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Old 01-11-2008, 08:36 PM
  #17  
davis419b
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Johnracer ...... My last post did not have your name on it. It was for those that choose to run alcohol and does not call for help from the word go. Instead they fight it and cant make it work. Then they pull it off and badmouth it from then on. Thats were the horror stories come from. I started my racing career on alcohol 15 years ago and have never ran anything else. I helped a friend for 10 years before that as crew at a outlaw track we raced at. He was a very good friend but what i never could understand when it seemed to be working ok, they just wouldnt leave it alone. They kept changing the barrel valve and the pills all the time. On Saturday night the more beer they drank the more they changed it. Hell by the next day they couldnt figure out why it didnt run like it did the day before. But them guys had alot of fun and so did I. When I first started racing I bought a complete Barry Grant carb, belt driven and bypass from them, put on my 377 Front Engine Dragster and went racing. It puked the oil everytime i went to the track. Bary Grants guys, everybody at the track, my engine builder nor my self could ever fix it. That winter when we freshened it, we put it on the dyno and had the same problem. The guy who put the engine together was stumped. He started looking at the bypass, they had taken a holley bypass and drilled and tapped one end to regulate the fuel pressure at the bowls by screwing different jets in. The jet was drilled into the wrong end of the bypass so i was regulating pressure to the pressure gauge only, but nobody ever knew it. We turned it around and it worked from then on, but i never gave up. Three years later i went to a terminator and it was easy from then on with absolutely no problems. Only when the weather is cold did you need to use a little gas to start first thing of the day. Thats the only draw back. Don
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Old 01-11-2008, 11:03 PM
  #18  
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Alcohol is a learning curve, plain and simple, i've been doing it for 25 plus yrs. from blown,injected to regular injected, never carburated, Get it right and it's the best thing that will ever happen to your race car. Will it wear a motor out, i doubt it, will it eat bearing, yes if it's not tuned right, will it milk up the oil, yes if it's not tuned right. To me it's easier than tripping over your feet, but not at first, i too had to learn how to run it. I personally donot run top oil lubs, but that's my preference. I do however keep the system clean by useing mineral spirits to flush the system and pump after racing.
These are my opinions only.

Zip.
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Old 01-12-2008, 04:31 AM
  #19  
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Agreed. That is my point, thank you. The terminator was great once I figured out how lean to set the barrle valve and quit chasing after theoretical egt numbers and searching for et that wasn't there. But it took time, and it takes time to properly maintain an alcohol fuel system.
That's the biggest reason I went back to gas. At that time, the regular every day maintenance of a racecar was enough for me....
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