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Author Topic:   H2O in alky
bkap
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 32
posted September 10, 2001 03:59 PM
Is there any way to remove water from alcohol? Any one know the specific gravity of alky? Judging from the junk inside the float bowls, I think I've got a problem. I hate to throw out 25 gallons and I don't have any way to store it for use as a cleaner.

dirttrackracer
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 26
posted September 10, 2001 04:22 PM
Make sure you run a good top end lube,and it will eliminate a lot of the white powder that ends up in the system when running no lube or low quality lube.Alky does not make good cleaner,and is not very safe, either.

ZIGGY
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 6
posted September 10, 2001 09:50 PM
You have to factor the specific gravity reading with the alky's temperature to be accurate. I've been told that some drag racers looking for consistancy run their alky through a water filter/separator.
I'd be willing to bet the deal is expensive.

tmtrigg4
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 11
posted September 11, 2001 03:14 PM
Use a real felt hat. The alchohol will flow through but the water won't. It's slow but you can save your fuel.

bkap
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 32
posted September 11, 2001 04:06 PM
Thanks for everyone's response. I wonder if a sheet of felt would work? It's gotta' be cheaper than a real felt hat!

[This message has been edited by bkap (edited September 12, 2001).]

awkwardjeff
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 223
posted September 14, 2001 03:55 AM
I forget the number for specific gravity, but yes you do need to figure in the temp of the alky also.

What I did a few weeks ago when I thought I had water in the fuel system was this....go buy 5 fresh gallons at the fuel truck. take a cup full of fuel out of the tank and pour it on the ground in a SAFE place and light it on fire..........then pour a cup of the "GOOD" fuel on the ground and set it on fire...........because alky burns slow it will actually boil the water out when burning.
If the fuel has water the sound will be like frying bacon or welding with a wire feed welder.............there will be almost no noise with the fresh fuel........
this is a quick way a person can check at the track, then if the fuel is bad you can drain the cell and finish the night.

I personally would never try to seporate the water out of fuel and run the fuel again.
I know it can be expensive to pour it down the drain, but a lost night over the bad fuel will cost you more than that. It's still only one nights worth of fuel. weather you burn it out the header or flush it down the toilet.

bkap
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 32
posted September 14, 2001 05:30 PM
Thanks awkwardjeff. I'm pretty sure there's fuel in it because of the gray sludge left in the float bowls. Maybe I'll light off a little tonight for a goof.

I guess I'll just pour it on the ground and let it evorate. I've got a sceptic tank and don't think I want 25 gallons of alcohol sitting in it. I had an old friend years ago who was blown off an improperly vented toilet when he went to light a smoke. I don't smoke but the image of his story has stayed with me for years. Ouch!

awkwardjeff
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 223
posted September 15, 2001 08:09 AM
bkap, No problem for the thoughts, I have got some bad fuel every year. I pour mine on the ground around the sidewalks and places I want to kill the weeds. This stuff is good weed killer. I also used to lite the BBQ, but my wife didn't like the taste. Because the fuel is soo slow burning you could taste the fuel in the food..........
let us know how it sounded when you burn a little in the yard.
One week we had bad fuel, it was honestly bad, we bought a drum of fuel and the remaining fuel in the drum was tested at the supplier. The next week the car had the same miss in the motor. It ran good for one night then the miss came back.......we chased the fuel system all over again, then we changed the whole ingnition system. The motor still had the miss, for the feature I ran a wire from the battery to the ignition, by-passing the switch. Just like magic, the problem was gone. a $3 switch was the problem the next week, but because we had the fuel problem earlier thats what we went back after.
All i'm saying is burn some fuel and see if thats the problem.........if the car is running good you don't have water in the fuel. The white junk in the carb in from using industrial meth. and not using racing meth...............there are different grades of meth, and a racing grade makes a few more hp and won't hurt the carb and fuel filter like the cheap fuel. I run the industrial stuff myself, I have a local supplier for this, and the people selling fuel at the track get thier fuel there also.
But I have run the racing meth in the past, it's a lot better fuel if you can purchase it locally. But if you need to order it out of state and ship it in the cost factor is just too high for the average racer.

LAYNE_Trans
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 36
posted September 19, 2001 09:04 PM
ALKY has a bad habit of drawing moisture in a fuel system, regardless of the means one takes to avoid it. The white powdery residue is formed when the alky evaporates from the fuel bowls and allows the part to come into contact with air. This is also a problem with fuel pumps, lines, filters etc. Air is always going to get in the fuel system, so if you are leaving the car sit for very long either start it uponce in awhile.

Keeping the lid tight on the drum is essential too. The upper end lubes help but are not the solution. Typically, when we buy a drum of fuel we immediately transfer all the fuel into 5 gallon jugs we can seal up. The more times you open and close a drum the more humidity and moisture has a chance to get in. ALso, simple and silly as it seems, many guys leave the drums outside so if it rains, the top fills with water and can seep in. And metal drums sweat, period. Keeping the fuel in a reasonably constant temperature will help.

The bargain alcohol (commercial chemical grade stuff) usually has more trouble with moisture and is not nearly as pure as real Methanol (read your labels). There is a reason VP charges more for their stuff. When we used to use the cheap stuff we had to add stabilizers, lubricants and magic whiffle dust to get results so the price was not worth it. We could buy good fuel like VP and have a lot less troubles and about the same final cost.

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[img]http://www.laynemachine.com/S.jpg[/img]
Layne Direct Drive Transmissions

electricbill
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 6
posted September 21, 2001 10:07 AM
I'd like some of that magic whiffle dust!

mod_slider
Dirt Newbie

Total posts: 2
posted September 28, 2001 10:41 AM
I have seen funels that will seperate water from the alky. It really worked, I watched the guy pour water into the funel and none went through. Anyone else seen these?

eagleii
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 112
posted September 29, 2001 04:42 AM
You can also filter methanol through a chamois. It's better to throw out the bad fuel and get some new stuff.

Jerry

LAYNE_Trans
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 36
posted September 30, 2001 09:52 AM
I read your original post again, and assume you have the fuel in the cell, and don't generally keep a drum of it around ?

Watch where and who you buy from. Inspect the drum for signs it has been stored outside. You might watch too when you wash the car, as some water can get in the cell at that point via the vent(s).

If you use an open hose as a vent the alky will attract moisture right thru the hose.

If nothing else a PCV valve wire tied upright in the end of your vent hose will act as a pressure relief and seal to prevent moisture coming in. When the car sits, the PCV seals and no excess moisture.

bkap
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 32
posted October 02, 2001 04:00 PM
The problem with the water in the fuel came from getting moisture in the fuel cell. We had been buying fuel from whatever track we raced at, so some may have come contaminated. Probably the most likely source, however, was the PCV valve vent, which is on it's side. I finally just took the old fuel to our household hazardous waste drop off, along with about 20 gallons of used oil. Weren't they thrilled to see me!!!

I got a barrel of alky to refill everything and then we had to run the semi that night, so all that's left is the 20 gallons in the cell. I do practice good fuel handling and keep my barrels inside and closed.

The tell tale sign was the sludge in the float bowls, not the white powder.

Thanks for all in interest in this.

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