Let me first disclose that I DO NOT sell fuel, I tune engines and I sell parts. All of the parts mentioned in this tech post can be purchased from Xenocron, and we do ship worldwide and sell wholesale. I am a paying sponsor on this site, and I love doing tech posts like this, but the only real way to justify the time and expense is through marketing, so if Admin's feel this post is against TOS, then that's unfortunate.
So I had some time today to do a little test that I have been wanting to do for a while. Last week while I was out in Long Island helping my friend/colleague Ed Woolsey (FFE) with his car, I got to speak with Chris Miller about the fuel, and discuss some helpful information on where to begin tuning with it. I took two cans and told him I was doing this test good, bad or ugly and he said he looked forward to it.
Now what is M5? Its MOSTLY methanol, with a proprietary blend of additives that help it light off easier in colder weather, combust faster, and usually make more power than straight methanol (m1) in most applications. I have been tuning a LOT of it in the past year or so and I have become pretty comfortable with it. I have a lot of dyno data, I have a lot of track data...but I inched my way there over the last year or so, and everything I have seen about this fuel I LOVE. Super stable, super consistent and damn its CHEAP ($55-75 per 5 gallon drum).
You MUST have the proper fuel system for Methanol, meaning all of your components should be compatible with it, you must figure in at least DOUBLE the capacity of a typical Gasoline based fuel system when you design your system around it as well, and it is HIGHLY corrosive so in my opinion, it should NEVER sit in your fuel system, EVER for any length of time (hours)!
This goes for FTW Black as well, but it wants about 20% more volume/mass than M5 as far as fuel system capacity goes, so if you are near the edge on M5 already, step up your game if you want to try this stuff. FTW Black is $130 a can for 5 Gallons, so its a touch more expensive. What you have to remember when figuring cost on Methanol though, is that you use DOUBLE, so figure your fuel costs are DOUBLE as well ($110-150 per 5 gallon drum for M5, or $260 per 5 gallons for FTW Black) versus say a gas based fuel like Q16 or VP Import for comparisons sake.
For starter tips, if you have a good M5 tune already, add 20-24% to the overall trim, and remove 6 degrees from your timing maps...I'm talking globally. This is SAFE, and you can inch your way back in increments on the dyno. On my K-Series engine I played with cam angles, and didnt find that there was any difference between these two fuels, nor did I expect to find any differences.
For M5, I usually target .72 Lambda on all the cars I tune...you need a GOOD WIDEBAND to do this. AEM, Innovate, PLX...these are not going to cut it for M5/FTW Black tuning. You can get CLOSE...but they dont work well or accurately at such rich mixtures. The NGK AFX with NTK Sensor is a good unit for the budget guys, a Motec PLM is a more professional choice if you are going to tune a lot of these setups. Once I get everything as close as I can to my targets, I will do one pull 5% richer, and one pull 5% leaner, and see if this moves the power drastically up or down. Usually it does not, but every once in a while I get an engine that likes to be leaner. Keep your run conditions similar (same ECT and IAT start temps). Generally with methanol, if your ignition system can support it, you can go heavily rich and suffer no losses in power, which means SAFE, and running COOL. I use Iridium NGK8 spark plugs on almost EVERY all motor car I tune on this stuff, and they have worked wonderfully. On a typical honda (B, K, H) I usually start about 8-10 degrees lower than a typical Q16 tune, and work my way up from there.
My fuel system is the following:
- Weldon 2015A Pump (good for ~500hp on methanol, 1000 on gas, and made for High Pressure)
-8an feed lines, -6an return. Injector Dynamics 1300cc injectors (the only injectors I would use on such corrosive fuels if I were you). I run a 40 micron pre-pump filter, and a 25 micron pump filter (critical to have both filters on fuels like this unless you want to constantly deal with issues). I run 5 bar of fuel pressure (about 75 psi), but you could easily run more on this pump...it will go 110-120 psi easy and so will the injectors. When looking at your fuel filter, you need to make sure it has LOTS of surface area internally and that the filter element is compatible with the fuel you are using, stainless steel is the usual choice.
If I have missed any details, if you want to know anything else, please dont private message me, ask it here on the post...this is an open book, and my main motivation was to learn, and share the knowledge so no SECRETS here.
As far as longevity or safety...I do not know yet. I haven't had luck in the past with other FTW fuels, but in most of those cases I was rushed and didn't have the necessary info I now have. Remember this fuel isnt really legal for any classes, unless you have a class with no fuel rules. It's a fuel that gives you the most power I have seen or tested, pre-mixed and ready for you in a can. I'm not endorsing the fuel, I have no pony in this race, I'm not a dealer so take this info for what it's worth...and I will report back if I get a chance to make it to the track with this setup before they close for the year, still have a couple of busy weeks left.