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Running on methanol

Michael Moore-3
A friend is thinking about building up an early 60s British four-
stroke 250 single for VMCC use and they allow methanol.  He's got
some methanol tuning experience from riding speedway many
years ago, but he asked me if I could put him in touch with
someone who is conversent with the excruciating details specific to
methanol of cam timing, porting (which he says does need to be
optimised for methanol vs gasoline) and the like so he could get
some tips to use to beat his pals who are also running methanol.

He's already looking into the flamethrower multispark ignitions.

He was thinking that there must be someone with experience in
building good engines for the dirt-track cars that run methanol, but I
don't have any contacts in that field.

Does anyone have a name (or any other info) I could pass along?

cheers,
Michael


 
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Re: Running on methanol

newboltz333
Offenhauser ?

Speedway JAPs (500s) will put out way more horsepower (x2) than any 60s
British 250 ever will ?  The 4 valve Rudge 250 from the 1930s is probably
still the engine to beat in the 250 class ?

Iknowthishelpsnotmuch....

----------
From: Michael Moore <[hidden email]>
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Running on methanol
Date: Sunday, October 22, 2006 7:38 AM

A friend is thinking about building up an early 60s British four-
stroke 250 single for VMCC use and they allow methanol.  He's got
some methanol tuning experience from riding speedway many
years ago, but he asked me if I could put him in touch with
someone who is conversent with the excruciating details specific to
methanol of cam timing, porting (which he says does need to be
optimised for methanol vs gasoline) and the like so he could get
some tips to use to beat his pals who are also running methanol.

He's already looking into the flamethrower multispark ignitions.

He was thinking that there must be someone with experience in
building good engines for the dirt-track cars that run methanol, but I
don't have any contacts in that field.

Does anyone have a name (or any other info) I could pass along?

cheers,
Michael


 
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Re: Running on methanol

Ian D-2
In reply to this post by Michael Moore-3

>He was thinking that there must be someone with experience in
>building good engines for the dirt-track cars that run methanol, but I
>don't have any contacts in that field.
>
>Does anyone have a name (or any other info) I could pass along?


I've only dabbled with methanol briefly, so take the following however
you like...........

Methanol has the major advantage that it cools the engine internally
as it requires more energy to change from liquid to gas, particularly
as you have to put 3 times as much thru an engine to get the same
power ( it has a lower calorific value ).  This means that engines with
scant finning or smallish radiators can still put out big hp and stay
cool.

I'm not sure about different ports, I've not heard that before, but
methanol does give plugs a hard time.  ( Maybe just my engine ? )
As long as he doesn't expect to get an instant 50% increase in
power, alcohol's advantages are better cooling and explosive ( fire )
safety.    ( Although you can't see the flame in daylight )

Once jetting / ignition is sorted, the other thing that must be
addressed is the oil - methanol is very hard on oils.  ( Breaking down
& thinning it out )   Change it often and/or use one of the specialist
products.



Cheers       IAN



See www.drysdalev8.com for :
- Drysdale 750-V8 Sports & 1000-V8 Cruiser
- DRYVTECH 2x2x2 Experimental
- Carberry Enfield 1000cc V-Twin
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Re: Running on methanol

newboltz333
In reply to this post by Michael Moore-3
P.S. its the changing of pistons to anything between 12:1 and 18:1 that
gives methanol burners some urge ?

Someone locally here was giving an old 650 Triumph some speedway miles -
simply fitting 12:1 pistons and some big carby jets and shielding the
airflow gave it some impressive go. At the end of some hard laps the iron
motor was so cool you could put your hand on it (hence the airflow
shielding).

hth ?


 
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Re: Running on methanol

David Kath
In reply to this post by Michael Moore-3
Hello Michael ... The Amal GP carb tuning and parts manual dedicates a
page to running alcohol fuels. It would be good if your friend had a
copy of this, but I will attempt to cover the high points. You mention
him racing VMCC events so he must be in the UK? This info is specific to
the GP carbs, but the percentages/values etc. will apply to most other
carbs I'm sure.
I'm no help with specific engine building info except knowing 13 1/2 to
14:1 compresh is commonly used to take advantage of the power increase
available with methanol.
You should caution him of  things that he's prolly aware of, but ....

Alky is a very strong solvent and is damaging to many plastic carb
parts, fuel lines and conventional fiber glass fuel tanks. The alky Must
be Drained completely from the fuel system after each day's riding
session because of the danger of corrosion to alu parts. Some riders
drain the alky  and then run their engines a bit on two stroke oil mix
gasoline following the races to flush the top end.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
GP carb tuning  for alcohol relative to running on gasoline per the Amal
manual:

The needle jet size must be increased to a .125" diameter vs the typical
.109" .
Using a conventional GP tapered needle is recommended.
The air correction jet used for gasoline will be OK.

When calculating the main jet size the percent increase must be added to
the original jet size.
In the case of using pure methanol, the main jet size should be
increased 150%.
Example:
If a #300 main jet was used with gasoline and running on methanol
requires a 150% increase added to the original jet size of #300, the
main jet required would be a #750.
(I can post the formula given if it is needed )

Tuning cautions: An overly rich mixture can be used with very little
loss in power. However a mixture only slightly lean can cause engine
trouble. (detonation) Always err to a overly rich mixture when doing
initial tuning.
Any sign of grey on the spark plug electrode following a 'clean cut'
will indicate a too lean mixture. A  black to a harsh brown color is
suggested.

With a GP carb, closing the air control  causing an increase in
speed/revs indicates a  richer main jet is needed.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A visit with any friendly speedway shop or rider would be a worthwhile
source of info. More specific info on setting up 250 would be available
from those builders with kids racing 'junior speedway', using a variety
of 250 engines. BTW, there are some near new 1 5/32" GP carbs around
that were removed from Brit twins years ago that would be about the
right size for a 250 and will flow enough fuel unlike some other carbs  
Dellorto carbs are popular with the speedway racers, so tuning parts and
info should be available.
The speedway shops will also be a good supplier for alky fuel and bean
oil. Many US speedway riders use VP brand methanol and Blendzall #465
castor bean oil.
Blendzall also makes #469 'conversion fluid' to change an engine over
from petro to bean oil. But it would seem to me that building up the
engine clean using bean oil as prelube would be much better. The two
certainly don't mix!

western US speedway dealers:
Cody Racing
Garden Grove, CA
North America Jawa distributor.
http://www.speedwaybikes.com/cody/cody04.htm

Brant Engineering
Costa Mesa, CA
US GM engine dealer.
http://www.speedwaybikes.com/sponsors/brant.htm

GM speedway engines
Italy
http://www.gmspeed.net/

UK speedway dealer:
Vega Racing
http://www.vegaracing.co.uk/

dave - NV


Michael Moore wrote:

>A friend is thinking about building up an early 60s British four-
>stroke 250 single for VMCC use and they allow methanol.  He's got
>some methanol tuning experience from riding speedway many
>years ago, but he asked me if I could put him in touch
>  
>



 
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Re: Running on methanol

Ian D-2
In reply to this post by newboltz333

>P.S. its the changing of pistons to anything between 12:1 and 18:1 that
>gives methanol burners some urge ?


Of course, that is one thing I didn't mention, methanol can
handle much higher comp ratios as it won't ping - that's
where potential power increases come from.

There is a very funny chapter in Harry Richaro's autobio on
the subject of methanol.  He was contracted by Shell to
develop a racing fuel ( circa 1920 ) and ended up with pure
methanol, which Shell weren't happy about as it couldn't be
patented.  They requested that he put an additive into it that
couldn't be analyzed - his solution was to add powdered
animal bone.

It made the exhaust smell foul, and confused the opposition
for  2 or 3 years until they worked out it was a ruse, Shell
were selling "enhanced" methanol racing fuel for twice what
they could have got for "pure" methanol.



Cheers     IAN




See www.drysdalev8.com for :
- Drysdale 750-V8 Sports & 1000-V8 Cruiser
- DRYVTECH 2x2x2 Experimental
- Carberry Enfield 1000cc V-Twin
- Drysdale Hillclimb Open Wheeler


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Re: Running on methanol

djtcz2001
In reply to this post by Michael Moore-3
Theoretical power increase from compression ratio is here.
http://www.tprmag.com/issue/6/images/graph.jpg

But existing engines make more power when jetted and timed for alcohol.
I believe the 2 volume set from MIT press credits alcohol with something like 10% more torque to better cylinder filling as a result of charge cooling

--
Dan Timberlake

-------------- Original message --------------
From: "RohanB" <[hidden email]>
P.S. its the changing of pistons to anything between 12:1 and 18:1 that
gives methanol burners some urge ?

Someone locally here was giving an old 650 Triumph some speedway miles -
simply fitting 12:1 pistons and some big carby jets and shielding the
airflow gave it some impressive go. At the end of some hard laps the iron
motor was so cool you could put your hand on it (hence the airflow
shielding).

hth ?

 
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Re: Running on methanol

David Kath
In reply to this post by newboltz333
As Rohan describes the engine running  cool on methanol, this is the
reason speedway engines have such short and minimal cooling fins. This
is also the reason so many racing associations allow alcohol fuel which
allows using the older Brit 'iron motors' which I understand are
commonly raced in Oz and NZ but sadly not in the US. hmmm
dave - NV

RohanB wrote:

>Someone locally here was giving an old 650 Triumph some speedway miles -
>simply fitting 12:1 pistons and some big carby jets and shielding the
>airflow gave it some impressive go. At the end of some hard laps the iron
>motor was so cool you could put your hand on it (hence the airflow
>shielding).
>
>hth ?
>
>
>
>Yahoo! Groups Links
>
>
>
>
>
>  
>



 
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