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Old 01-21-2003, 06:39 PM   #1
industrial
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Default Octane Boosters Revisited

I've done alot of searching here, on other forums and on the web in general. I would like to hear from people who use octane boosters. I'm not talking about the stuff that comes in 12oz cans either. Here in California we are limited to 91 octane so octane boosters have significant relavance.

A quick breakdown of what I'm talking about:
Toulene
114 Octane, ~$8 / gallon

Xylene
117 Octane, ~$8.50 / gallon

Methanol or Ethanol
101 Octane, ~$4 / gallon (??) Everclear?

Typical T&X content of 92 octane pump gas. _
Toluene 9% by vol. _________________________________________________
Xylene 8% by vol. __________________________________________________
Total T&X 17%

Typical T&X content of race gas.
Toluene 27% by vol.
Xylene 1% by vol.
Total T&X 28%

Link for a general overview of gas additives. Seems outdated.
http://www.apba.org/Forms/Fuel/OTHER%20ADDITIVES.pdf

Specific Mixes between regular gas and above mentioned chemicals
http://www.vtr.org/maintain/gasoline-octane.html

A pessimistic view of DIY race gas
http://www.idavette.net/hib/fuel/page2.htm

I'm sure I missed a few things. I would like to hear from people that have tried diy race gas and your general advice. I can't seem to find to many theoritical negatives other than the possible degradation of all the rubber parts in your fuel system. Anyone with long term experience here? Doesn't really seem to make sence considering regular pump gas contains many of the chemicals mentioned above.

Regards,
Bernard
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Old 01-21-2003, 07:10 PM   #2
IA Performance
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I used to run tolulene in my S4 when I was out of VP 103 octane fuel. Runs fine, just be SURE not to get ANY on your paint. That is the only part that scared me. I believe Xylene and rubber hoses/gaskets don't do well. That is what I kind of remember from some readings a year or so ago.

Go to a paint store and get the tolulent in 5 gal for really cheap. Or a case, same deal. $4.50 a gal is what I paid.
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Old 01-21-2003, 08:05 PM   #3
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I had this bookmarked and figured I would throw it into this thread: http://elektro.cmhnet.org/~charlie/p...i/toluene.html
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Old 01-21-2003, 09:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Octane Boosters Revisited

Quote:
Originally posted by industrial

Methanol or Ethanol
101 Octane, ~$4 / gallon (??) Everclear?
I know you were just kidding, but Everclear is not 100% alcohol. It has about 3-4% water, which I wouldn't want to be going through my engine.
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Old 01-21-2003, 09:19 PM   #5
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I've burned a total of ~20 gallons of toluene in my wagon.

I haven't done too much shopping around, but I've been paying $38 for a 5 gallon can at Sherwin-Williams.

I can say this:
- It's a LOT smoother during WOT accelleration/partial throttle.
- It seems to pull harder thru all gears as well.
- A switch to 93 octane makes the car feel sluggish after running a ~20% mixture of toluene/93.

I don't have any hard evidence to show, but I do feel it makes a difference. I don't run it all the time for fear unknown long-term damage, but she definitely likes to drink toluene..

Engine mods: K&N, resonator removal, Samco IC hoses, [email protected]
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Old 01-22-2003, 03:34 PM   #6
industrial
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Default

Thanks for all the responses. Good info in the links posted. I'm having a hard time trying to figure out the exact differneces between toluene and xylene. The only reason this is an issue to me is the price difference at my local paint store is ~.25Ę/gallon so I'm considering using xylene as it's a tad more potent. Toluene seems to work fine thus far and I doubt I'd see a real difference but I suppose every little bit helps.

Anyone have experience with using alcohols to boost octane?

Regards,
Bernard
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Old 01-22-2003, 07:55 PM   #7
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I got a tank of bad 91 octane running advanced timing with my UTEC. Toluene to the rescue. 0 detonation events after adding. I haven't started playing with seeing how far I can advance my timing on a Toluene mix yet as I don't have a remote switch for my UTEC yet, but will do soon.
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Old 01-29-2003, 11:15 AM   #8
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How bout lubrication? I did a basic search through here and found lots mentioned about xylene and toulene, but no mention of adding lube. These websites say to add about a few ounces of tranny fluid to lube stuff up. Anyone doing this? anyone not doing this and finding no harm done after extended use of toulene/xylene?

-IggDawg
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Old 01-29-2003, 02:31 PM   #9
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Default I have noticed

I had to order a gallon of Toluene at my local ACE hardware store. The Police told the store to stop carrying it because the local looser/burnout crowds in Baltimore MD were destroying there brain cells (like we really care). Anyway they charged me a ridicules $20 for the stuff.
After I wasnít mad about the $20 anymore I added it to my tank that had about 4 gallons of 93 octanes in it, and went to the track. I donít think the toluene helped me out at all. I was running TurboXS stage II and really thought Iíd do better. Car actually felt like it lost power with the stuff. Do I need a special map for the fuel?
For now on I have been driving an extra 5 miles out of the way to fill up with Sunocoís 94 octane and added a fuel enhancer called
GTA FUEL ENHANCER. I have been using this for a while now and I can tell the difference on my ass when I use it and when I don't. If you buy it just make sure you don't leave it in your car. I did and the bottle broke open. Left an ungodly mess that YOU CAN NOT clean up. I called the GTA company and they told me to use Toluene to clean it out of my carpet. LOL the irony

MY WAGON
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Old 01-29-2003, 02:57 PM   #10
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Default

THis is a great little thread. We only have 91 octane here in Phoenix also. Do you run the toulene or zylene in every tank or only when you think you got some bad gas? I might go buy some and start running it. Thanks for the info

Eric
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Old 01-29-2003, 03:07 PM   #11
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Default Re: I have noticed

Quote:
Originally posted by fatray

After I wasnít mad about the $20 anymore I added it to my tank that had about 4 gallons of 93 octanes in it, and went to the track. I donít think the toluene helped me out at all. I was running TurboXS stage II and really thought Iíd do better. Car actually felt like it lost power with the stuff. Do I need a special map for the fuel?
All else being equal (including boost, and timing maps), the higher the octane, the slower your car will be so it is very possible that it felt slower.

Eric
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Old 01-29-2003, 03:16 PM   #12
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I could have sworn I read on audiworld forums that xylene was bad news to rubber hosing.

Every post on tolulene has been positive. I'd go with what is proven. $.25 difference a gal is not worth the risk.

Last edited by East Coast Scooby; 01-29-2003 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 01-29-2003, 03:20 PM   #13
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I think most poeple run it for events, or when they want to have a little extra fun on the weekends. I think it'd be bad to run it constantly. not to mention pricey. xylene especially is a little hard on the plastic components sucha s seals and lines and whatnot. toulene less so.

-IggDawg
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Old 01-29-2003, 03:23 PM   #14
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Default

Quote:
Originally posted by IggDawg
I think most poeple run it for events, or when they want to have a little extra fun on the weekends. I think it'd be bad to run it constantly. not to mention pricey. xylene especially is a little hard on the plastic components sucha s seals and lines and whatnot. toulene less so.

-IggDawg
Thanks for the info. I guess you are good for something outside of OT here!

Eric
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Old 01-29-2003, 03:25 PM   #15
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I've been accused of being useful from time to time .

-IggDawg
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Old 01-29-2003, 03:25 PM   #16
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you can get higher octane gas in California. Unocal 76 has a bunch of stations in the LA area that sell 100 octane race gas at the pumps. Do a search on their website www.76.com. Also, one of my friends gets 107 octane race gas by the barrel through a local mechanic's shop. Not bad for $5/gallon!

Hoss
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Old 01-29-2003, 04:12 PM   #17
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Are you really adding toluen into your fuel tanks?Toluen?
I don't know if toluen is the same chemistry in my country as yours.Toluen is a liquid that painters uses to make the paint thinner? If yes I wanna try it
Howmuch do i need to add toluen for to increase 95 octane to 98 for 60 LT tank

Do you ever see a black smoke out of your muffler?
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Old 01-29-2003, 04:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by industrial
Thanks for all the responses. Good info in the links posted. I'm having a hard time trying to figure out the exact differneces between toluene and xylene. The only reason this is an issue to me is the price difference at my local paint store is ~.25Ę/gallon so I'm considering using xylene as it's a tad more potent. Toluene seems to work fine thus far and I doubt I'd see a real difference but I suppose every little bit helps.

Anyone have experience with using alcohols to boost octane?

Regards,
Bernard
I have used both Methanol and toulene separtely and in a mix. IMHO It takes about twice as much methanol to get the same feel as toulene. The problem with methanol is that it will eat rubber in high enough concentrations >10%. The toulene is not as harsh on the rubber and can be used up to ~35%. I like ie I use it for weekend fun or to fix the bad tank of fuel syndrome. For me the toulene is easier to get.
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Old 01-29-2003, 04:45 PM   #19
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I'm gonna try somewhere between an 8:1 to a 10:1 of xylene tonight. I'll let you all know how it goes.

I really dunno exactly how much it'll be tho . my gauge is at "E", and from "E" it takes ~13 gallons to fill up. my tank is a 14.6 gallon tank. so it seems to me that I've still got around 2 gallons of gas left. I don't wanna run her dry. lean out = bad. so I can only assume.

Anyways, I'll put 8 gallons in and dump in a gallon of xylene. I'll let you all know how it goes.

-IggDawg

PS - if anyone has any info on how much tranny fluid to add, plz lemme know.
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Old 01-29-2003, 04:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by 555

Howmuch do i need to add toluen for to increase 95 octane to 98 for 60 LT tank

Follow the above links and they say how many parts to mix per gas to get what rating

Eric
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Old 01-29-2003, 06:15 PM   #21
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what can you get toulene for if you buy it in bulk quantities? (or say, if you buy by the barrel)

maybe i'm going nowhere with this idea, but maybe if we did a group buy for toulene, taht would really lower the cost, making it fairly cheap to put addititves in your car
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Old 01-29-2003, 11:20 PM   #22
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For those of you mixing, you really should mix your fuel and additive first then fill the tank.
But..
One thing that is really handy is to take a 1, 2.5 or 5 gallon container lid(take the lid off one you already used) put a hole in it, and stick a flange and tube through the hole. The kind that won't dissolve in paint thinner.
Now you have a quick fill can you can take with you to the pump. The tube has to be small enough to fit in your tank with a pump nozzle in there as well or fit down the reserve/gas-out drain at the bottom of the filler hole.
So you get to the pump, pay, pull the nozzle, select 91 or whatever, stick nozzle and your tube in your filler pipe(or stick the little toluene tube in the little hole under the filler pipe) and pump and open the vent hole on the can of toluene.
Now you are filling and mixing at the same time, which is good, and you don't have to pour through a funnel into your car, slosh a bunch on the paint, forget to clean it up, and find a strange lightness to the color around your tank.

Otherwise you shouuld probably put a little gas in then a little toluene, then a little gas, etc.
When done, close cap and shake the car vigorously.

You can also, mix xylene and toluene for your needs, stick them in your filler can and you are ready to pump.

As for a group buy, that is pretty funny.
55 Gallon drums are the cheap way to go and you can get them cheap at chemical supply houses. Most people don't have room in their garages for that kind of thing. In some neighborhoods it is illegal to store more than a small amount in your house too.
Now if you have a nice vented, fireproof chemical shed out back, well buy a bunch and sell it to your local subie friends.
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Old 01-29-2003, 11:45 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by mikkyo

As for a group buy, that is pretty funny.
55 Gallon drums are the cheap way to go and you can get them cheap at chemical supply houses. Most people don't have room in their garages for that kind of thing. In some neighborhoods it is illegal to store more than a small amount in your house too.
Now if you have a nice vented, fireproof chemical shed out back, well buy a bunch and sell it to your local subie friends.
hehe, ok. but thanks for all the other helpful advice!

(i know the barrel drums are the cheapest, i was just wondering if there might be something even cheaper )
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Old 01-30-2003, 08:49 AM   #24
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Guide for adhesives(Subaru Impreza Repair Manual)
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Old 01-30-2003, 09:54 AM   #25
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Well, I threw some xylene in the tank yesterday. It was somewhat of an adventure actually. The problem was: I needed a funnel. My tank was near the E mark, and I estimate I had as much as 3 gallons left. It takes 12 gallons to fill from E, and I have a 14.X gallon tank. I wanted to pour in the xylene and then fill up so the turbulence mixes the stuff up nicely. well, the gas station had no funnels. nor did home depot. or sears. I ended up getting a bottle of drygas, pouring out the contents (Sorry, nature !), and cutting a hole in the bottom so I could pour through the bottle. worked great .

Anyways, by my calculations I was running between 95 and 96 octane. I was boosting from 93 octane. The car didn't have much more pull off stock boost. 8.7 PSi non-intercooled just isn't pushing things enough for higher octane to really help. I did notice better throttle response though. and best of all, ZERO hesitation at part throttle. Even with the boost controller on, running 11-12 PSi non-intercooled, I got ZERO hesitation at part throttle/full boost.

Speaking of the boost controller, that's where this stuff made the most difference. She pulled harder than she ever has before under higher boost. I set the MBC (bleed type ) to around 11-12 lbs as I mentioned. usually this gives me a decent performance increase. It's not usually very consistant though. if I get timing pulled because of part throttle hesitations it usually takes a while for it to advance the timing again. The intake charge is just too damn hot since I have no IC. This xylene made all teh difference in the world. It drove hard, consistant, and very willing. I'm very happy with this stuff.

-IggDawg
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