Water injection for fuel economy

daox's picture

If any of you have looked into water injection systems you know that there are no systems out there currently made for enhancing fuel economy. Everything out there is built to cool down the intake air charge so the engine can suck in cooler/denser air which creates more horsepower. This is not really what we want our system to do. I'd like to throw out my ideas on water injection and see what everyone thinks. Please comment if you feel anything I say is incorrect or you wish to clarify anything.

Lets start out with what we want the water injection to do and why. For us, we want water injection to replace the large droplets of fuel that will not aid in generating power. Fuel vapors are what create most of the power. These large droplets of fuel burn too slowly to produce (much) power and are still burning by the time the exhaust valve opens. The burning droplets exit the combustion chamber and continue to burn through the exhaust system. This is simply wasted fuel. If we can replace the large droplets of fuel with water we eliminate the waste. But, if these large droplets contribute so little to power output, why do we need them at all? Well, these large droplets of fuel absorb the heat created when the air/fuel mixture explodes. Without them the explosion releases too much heat for the surrounding metal to absorb and eventually something fails and you throw a rod, crack a piston, etc. This is what happens when a fuel mixture leans out too much. So, we inject water (in some form) to absorb this heat.

Now, onto the actual water injection system, and the problems with the commercially avaliable units. The commercially avaliable units made today are, as I mentioned before, made to cool down the air intake charge (for the most part). The better units meter the amount of water injected based on engine load. This is a necessity for our own application. The problem I see in most commercial units is that they inject water before or at the throttle body. Most modern intake manifolds are not designed to flow airborn liquids through them as previous carburated or throttle body injected manifolds were. This ends in unequal water distribution between cylinders. The result is that some cylinders will run hotter than others due to lack of water. Another problem is that they are not meant to be run constantly. They turn on during high engine loads and then turn back off when engine loads are light. This would not be the case in our situation. We would want the water to always be being injected, but as mentioned before it would be metered by engine load. This brings up the duribility of the components of the commercial units. Will it hold up under constant use? There is also the question of how well the water is metered for injection. A lot of commercial units use the map sensor and adjust water injection based off it's signal. That again is not enough for us. I don't believe this is a very accurate way of metering water injection. Water injection for fuel economy must be treated as precisely as fuel injection if we are to attain good effeciency and results from the system.

Now for my ideas:

Injection location - I think a properly designed system will inject water in the same general location of the fuel injectors. In most cases this is the area where the intake manifold and head meet. This ensures proper water delivery to each cylinder in modern engines not designed with a 'wet' intake manifold. This of course presents problems like complexity and increase price.

Constant use - I'm not sure where you can find a water pump designed to run constantly that will give you the pressure needed, work off 12V, and be inexpensive.

Water metering - This is where I really think improvments can be made. In order to maintain peak thermal effeciency of the engine we would want to control the water injection while referencing exhaust gas temperature. As far as I know, no commercial system does this. However, it makes perfect sense to me.

So, thats basically my very complicated setup ideas...

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Water injection for fuel economy

iburnh2o's picture

I'm currently researching this very subject. There is one water injection system marketed for mileage. That is the Aquatune.

They are currently running a special of buy two get one free. But at $600 plus shipping are still spendy.
Perhaps if three members would be interested they could save some $$ in a small group buy? Their aquathrust system is set up for multipoint injection and can flow higher rates but it still dependant on vacuum to pull the water in and is thus inversely proportionate to load.

At any rate. I'd like to take things a step further.

In the past I was quite fond of the system patented buy Goodman that used an air pump to spray a fog into the carb/throttle body that was actually proportionate to the load. Of course this doesn't lend itself to new multipoint injected systems as you've said.

I'm currently brainstorming to develope a system that would do as you suggest and control it in the same way that fuel injection is. Since my primary test vehicle at this time is a throttle body injected suburban I'm considering getting an EBL from dynamicefi.com that is set up to handle 4 injectors. The two extra being for water. The same unit can fire 8 port style injectors instead.

We have an article on fueleconomytips.com about a 100 mpg car that did just what we are talking about. Running a seperate 'fuel system' to control the water. I dont expect it will be difficult to control it with available electronic but don't know which direction to take with a pump or injectors.
One thought is injectors off an FFV (flexible fuel vehicle) as I'm told they are stainless steel to handle the ethanol.

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Water injection for fuel economy

bemet's picture

The Neburator post in Vapor Boost section says it is also used with water to counter act predetination of fuel from the other Neburators using fuel. It is already electronic based and might be simplier to hook into an electronic fuel control system.

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Water injection for fuel economy

iburnh2o's picture

bemet wrote:

The Neburator post in Vapor Boost section says it is also used with water to counter act predetination of fuel from the other Neburators using fuel. It is already electronic based and might be simplier to hook into an electronic fuel control system.

Thats an idea worth pursuing. Thanks!

Another thought... I'm looking at an electronic fuel heater/vaporzer that could be 'detuned' for water / steam as well.

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Water injection for fuel economy

E=mc2's picture

Can't say for sure but I'd say that STEAM is about the only water injection that will likely show an mpg gain.

Simply route a tube around the exhaust and regulate the flow using a valve? Since the manifold is pulling steam...the actual flow might be fairly low? Use distilled water?

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Water injection for fuel economy

daox's picture

Very interesting information iburnh20. I'll definitly be bouncing some ideas off you as my development progresses.

First off, can flex fuel injectors really carry pure water (distilled)? I know if you use run of the mill injectors they will eventually corrode and fail. I would LOVE to find an injector that could run with just water in it. I even thought about using normal injectors and sending them out for plating or something to prevent corrosion.

I'll have to look at that aquatune system. I did see it once before, but didn't do too much reading as it didn't look like that little purple box was worth $600!

This is the next logical progression for my Matrix really. The fuel heater should increase the amount of fuel vapor created when the fuel injectors inject fuel. This should allow me to trim back the injectors, but doing so will detract from the cooling ability that the larger fuel droplets provided. Water injection would be put in place to retain the cooling.

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Water injection for fuel economy

RoadWarrior's picture

Some people might have a better setup by mixing and matching stock intakes. For instance, older chrysler/mitsu 3.0 applications, the PCV line goes into the TB or plenum and as you can guess, gunks up the intake a bit and distribution is poor. Whereas later intake manifolds have a PCV fitting and distribution to each cylinder near the injector. Ergo, injecting water would probably work better on a later intake through the PCV nipple. So, could be an idea to see what induction changes have been made to your motor between years and applications, and see if there's a part with better possibilities, either from PCV relocation, or otherwise. For instance, going older on some vehicles may be more desireable. If they used to have heavier cast intake manifolds, and now they have lighter, thinner ones, then the heavier one might be a more favourable piece to tap holes into, more meat, provided the flow wasn't so darn awful that that was half the reason for the change.

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Water injection for fuel economy

iburnh2o's picture

Here is some water injection stuff for BMW motorcycles. They use a 'fuel/water' rail with nozzles. I don't know if it is precise enough for what you have in mind as it doesn't pulse each nozzle. My biggest concern is finding a pump that can run hours upon hours without fail. Once set up and optimized for water injection it could cause problems if it fails on the road and we no longer have the water system.

Lawbright has an ultrasonic water injection system as well as vapor systems.

With the auxilary systems I'm looking at fuel / water / air ratios become less critical. If running a true vapor temps should not be a problem and the lean/rich burn limits are extended. Combine that with an ignition system that will instantly fire a horribly flooded engine and burn all the fuel or fire ultra lean mixtures of 25:1 or beyond.

One fuel system I'm looking at is a fixed rate of output. Super heated fuel that is supposedly able to vaporize without buildup problems of dead gas/sludge that the others I've seen have. With such a system speed becomes THE factor in mileage. The system uses 1/2 gallon of fuel an hour (for example), regardless of load. I'm told engine uses vapor well enough that it doesn't load up at idle yet has enough to cruise at speed.
With such a system you get twice teh gas mileage at 80 then you do at 40 as fuel useage is at a fixed rate. This setup should also work well for steam injection.

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Water injection for fuel economy

daox's picture

Why do you want to run water vapor?

In the mean time it looks like a big hang up for us will be pumps. I'll start looking into it.

Also, you didn't mention if flex fuel injectors can handle just water in them or not.

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Water injection for fuel economy

iburnh2o's picture

I've run vapor in past and have seen benifits. Steam has great promise as well.

Ideally I hope to inject atomized water with (or without) gas/fuel. Oh, running Browns Gas could allow higher % of water to be run as well.

I'm not sure if FFV injectors will work. MPGMike suggested they might as they are designed to handle ethanol and might stand up to water better.
I'm not sure if I can find injectors that are FFV and small enough to use as supplementary water injectors and keep the pulse width within normal operating parameters.

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Water injection for fuel economy

iburnh2o's picture

daox

Where in WI are you?
I'm heading down next month. Entering the state from the west and head down through Madison to Brodhead/Janesville area.

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Water injection for fuel economy

daox's picture

Funny you should ask... I was just looking up what vehicles use flex fuel and I found what I think would be a great source should the injectors work with water. The 2002 GMC Sonoma / Chevy S10 with 2.2L engine was about the smallest (and oldest) I could find. As a bonus the injectors can be had quite inexpensively (http://www.car-part.com). I stopped after I found that one, there may be a better vehicle to choose from, but that should work nicely. Looks like I'll be sending out some emails to inquire about these new FF injectors though to see if they can handle just water.

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/byfueltype.htm

I live in West Bend, its north of Milwaukee.

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Water injection for fuel economy

iburnh2o's picture

12v continuous duty pump

I'd like to see higher pressure though... but its a start.

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Water injection for fuel economy

RoadWarrior's picture

Overclockers using water cooling were using pond pumps before the advent of purpose designed ones. Check fish and aquarium places for local sources.

There's positive displacement "drill pumps" available for under $20 you could drive off the accessory belt. Wolfcraft made one.

You could just use generic oil pumps and injectors etc for experimental purposes, if you used deionised or distilled water, they'd hold up long enough. Once you're settled on size/output/lb per hour etc then go for the spendier stuff to run tap water.

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Water injection for fuel economy

daox's picture

http://www.gripumps.com/pdfs/GEAR_3.pdf

I've sent out a request for quote from a local distributor, and am inquiring about its longevity and ability to run at 100% duty cycle.

There is also the Shurflo pumps that the commercial water injection kits use. I should probably inquire how long they would last in such a situation because they do provide everything else we are looking for.

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Water injection for fuel economy

iburnh2o's picture

Off the top of my head I think the Shurflo was rated at 10,000 hours, but I don't know if it will handle continious running as the average water injection system is probably running 14 seconds or less in the quarter mileage

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Water injection for fuel economy

iburnh2o's picture

waterfuel blog says :

"The guy at the injector shop told me he couldn't find anything that says water DOESN'T work in injectors. He said it should work just like gasoline if I have enough pressure behind it."

I don't think its that simple, at least for long term use.

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Water injection for fuel economy

RoadWarrior's picture

By the way, you should be able to convert feet of head to max available output pressure simply by converting the units. Height of column in feet x 0.433 = Pressure in pounds per square inch.

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Water injection for fuel economy

daox's picture

I've messaged cruzing performance (http://www.cruzinperformance.com/)which rebuilds and services injectors. The guy there said that injectors will corrode eventually due to water. He said it was a common problem with regular injectors... Lemme just paste the email:

Hi Tim,
Fuel injectors were not designed nor manufactured to flow water. Yes, they can rust and very often do due to moisture condensing in the fuel system.

They would not work well for a water injection system.

Rich J.

--------------------------

Tim . wrote:

Hello,

I was referred to your site via one of your previous customers. I was wondering if you could help me with a question I have had. This comming spring I'll be putting new injectors into my car (cleaned by yourself hopefully). With the old injectors I was thinking about making a water injection system. I've heard that fuel injectors and water don't mix well and that the injector can actually rust? Is this true? I find it hard to believe that they would make injectors out of anything that isn't corrosion resistant.

Thank you,

Tim

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Water injection for fuel economy

daox's picture

Here is the reply I got from customer service at Shurflo:

"... The pumps have brush motors and wear after approximately
2000 hours. Continuous duty might be an issue and more suited for a
brushless motor..."

I had inquired about their 8000 series pumps. For some reason their data sheets are not working on their website. I inquired if they had something that would be more suited for longer life. I'll update as I get info.

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Water injection for fuel economy

daox's picture

I contacted a distributor about the GRI pump. It costs just under $400. Scratch that! I'm still looking though. That Shurflo doesn't look too bad but still a bit more than I would like to see (around $100 I'm thinking).

Anyone else have HORRIBLE times getting quotes/replies to emails and/or phone inquiries? I swear to God these companies just don't want my money... Its really quite annoying.

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Water injection for fuel economy

daox's picture

Well, I think its back to Shurflo. I checked out a few other places and their pumps are all VERY expensive. For kicks I went out and googled that part number you posted for the Shurflo. It can be had for $75 at this link, although its a slightly different version and would need cooling fins added or find a way to keep it cool.

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_527_527

Still looking into alternatives...

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Water injection for fuel economy

qsiguy's picture

I have a small pump that puts out about 3 GPH (not GPM) at up to 90 PSI. The pressure is what you'll need to vaporize the water not flow. Some of the pumps listed up there put out up to about 3 GPM (minute) but at most 40 PSI. I think you'll want to have at least 50-60 PSI or more to vaporize the water better. This little pump I have I found on Ebay through a surplus dealer. It's 12-14 VDC and is a fuel/oil pump. I was going to use it for my oil scavenge pump for my rear mount turbo setup but it doesn't flow enough. It's the opposite for that job, I want more flow and less pressure. I have a SHURflo 8000-643-236 pump (pictured below) that I'll be using for that application. Cost me about $130

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Water injection for fuel economy

daox's picture

I agree high pressure is great. But, if we are using fuel injectors to inject the water the pressure can not be too high or they will not operate properly. Most injectors operate in the 30-40psi range.

On the other hand, if we are not using fuel injectors the higher the pressure the better!

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Water injection for fuel economy

daox's picture

I have contacted George Wiseman on the whole idea of using a fuel injector for water injection (and my HyZor CAL question). He does mention using fuel injectors in his manual so I emailed him with my concerns with corrosion. For a man who has written quite a few manuals he responds with as few words as humanly possible haha. He just said 'I prefer the solenoid/nozzle option.' So, I can only assume that he did this for reliability purposes. I have inquired further. We'll see what comes of that.

In the mean time I have been thinking of another idea (taken from the ER manual, not my idea). If getting a continuous duty pump is going to be as much trouble as it is being, what can be done to make the pump not run continuously? One idea is to use a post pump tank filled with air and water. It is a sealed tank and when the water pressure builds up it compresses the air. This allows a bit of cushion and we can pressurize the tank to say 60 psi. When the pressure drops to maybe 57 psi the pump kicks back in and brings it back to 60 psi. This is obviously not the ideal solution. It brings added complexity and cost. Although, it is an option.

Another idea I've been kicking around is using a Shurflo pump, but having it cooled in some manner. Heat seems to be these thing's main enemy. My first thought was to put the pump's motor into the water tank thus keeping the motor housing cool. However, the idea of low water levels leaves the pump exposed to air instead of water lessening the cooling capacity. So, my next idea was to use a bypass made of copper or aluminum tubing that tees off the pump's water outlet and comes back and wraps around the motor housing and ends up pumping back into the water tank. This would need to be regulated of course. It'll take some of the pump's capacity away from fueling the water injection, but it would keep the motor nice and cool. The final idea (1st to be mentioned as it is Shurflo's way of doing it) is to use a heatsink and place the pump somewhere where it would get airflow.

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Water injection for fuel economy

daox's picture

Here is George's response to my email:

"Could you elaborate on why you prefer the solenoid/nozel method?

Because I use it."

Thanks George...

I did ask him about the reliability of the solenoid/nozel setup and he said that he has yet to see one fail. I really like the sound of this... Looks like its time to start gathering parts and prices together. The setup is just about done.

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Water injection for fuel economy

BMac's picture

daox wrote:

Heat seems to be these thing's main enemy.

That's how EFI fuel pumps go out. People run their tanks too low and the pump overheats too often, then, one time the try to start the vehicle and... nothing!

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Water injection for fuel economy

xenocron's picture

Anyone look into something like this...

http://www.prvperformance.com/html/prv_concept.html

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Water injection for fuel economy

iburnh2o's picture

Simple and easy but I wouldn't use copper for any long term running on the exhaust like that.

Steam is a big plus but the flow is inversely proportionate to load.

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Water injection for fuel economy

Pinhead's picture

Has anyone done their Better Mileage Mixture Control circuit? How well does it work?

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Water injection for fuel economy

E=mc2's picture

iburnh2o wrote:

Simple and easy but I wouldn't use copper for any long term running on the exhaust like that.

Steam is a big plus but the flow is inversely proportionate to load.

For gas mileage purposes...flow at cruise is what's most important?

Water injection...IMO...is for turbos and power because it allows upping the boost...with steam and a non-turbo...you have a chance of some mpg gain. The tests I've done and what I've read make me believe this.

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Water injection for fuel economy

xenocron's picture

iburnh2o wrote:

Simple and easy but I wouldn't use copper for any long term running on the exhaust like that.

Steam is a big plus but the flow is inversely proportionate to load.

Use a low duty pump to push the water then instead of engine vacuum to pull it in.

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Water injection for fuel economy

gkcooper's picture

How about introducing a small-engine carburetor in front of the throttle body for water?

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Water injection for fuel economy

daox's picture

Newer intake manifolds are not designed to flow liquids evenly to each runner. Therefore water distribution would differ per cylinder.

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Water injection for fuel economy

gkcooper's picture

My TBI is.

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Water injection for fuel economy

BLSTIC's picture

Ok here area a couple of options for you guys.

Control for load based extra injector control:
http://autospeed.drive.com.au/cms/A_2471/article.html
That generates a PWM signal, which is completely adjustable. The input is another PWM signal. You can say that at 5% input, you want 40% output, and at 6% input, you want 80% output, and so on. As a bonus it runs at the same frequency as the input, even if the input frequency changes.

Check this out for a pump
http://autospeed.drive.com.au/cms/article.html?&A=2720
360psi closed pipe, 116psi @300cc/min, 650cc/min open pipe. Designed for water, runs off mains though so you need an inverter.

And did anyone think of running methanol injectors? Get ones designed for a 250cc 4cyl and they should be the right size for our water injection requirements.

cya
Ben

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Water injection for fuel economy

the cryptic one's picture

i dont really believe that waterinjection would increase the mpg, but i read through this thread and have a decent idea for you guys.

make a round boiler on the exhaust manifold that has a tube going up to the throttle body. add a second tube to the boiler for water inlet, and position the tube low enough that it only adds water when the level drops below a certain ammount, like the same way a 5 gallon water cooler operates.

this way, as water boils in the boiler, its under vacuum from the intake, which lowers the boiling point. water slowly boils and flashes to steam and flows into the intake manifold. since steam is a gas it should distrubute relatively evenly to all the cylinders.
as the level of water in the boiler drops it should uncover the inlet tube letting air go up the tube and water go back down (water cooler princible).

this way you have a self regulating and automatic feeding steam based system that needs no fine tuning, no electronics, and no injectors or user invervention. it is also load dependant since the exhaust manifold heats up more as the engine goes under heavier load, it should boil water harder the more load you apply to the engine.

seems to me this would make more sence than using injectors and whatnot. but i still dont believe it would increase fuel economy.

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Water injection for fuel economy

smitty's picture

I just read all the posts here (but will have to go back and try all of the links), and have some general impressions:

1) You are asking which of the water injection specialty companies build systems designed to improve fuel-efficiency. Answer: they all do; any decent water injection system can be used to do this. Many or most of you seem to want to use water injection to turn your factory compression gasoline engines into, to some extent, steam engines, but that isn't what water injection is about. Water injection is for detonation control. In airplanes, since it was first widely used in WW2, it is called ADI for Anti-Detonation Injection. If your engine does not detonate, if you can tune out the pinging you get going up hills with a load by a minor adjustment of ignition timing or mixture or cooling, you will probably get no benefit from water injection, as various testing agencies (CARB, EPA, etc.) have reported. Water injection WILL help old high-compression muscle cars run on pump gas without octane boosters.

If you want to increase fuel-efficiency (and low-to-midrange torque), ANY functional water injection system will enable you to make the change that accomplishes that, BY ALLOWING YOU TO BUILD YOUR ENGINE WITH HIGHER COMPRESSION. It's not about steam-engines. It's about more efficient gasoline engines. If you rebuild your 8.6 to 1 engine as a 9.8 to 1 engine, you will go farther between fill-ups. You might make a SMALLER ENGINE(!!) do the same job your big engine did. I know of a guy who was running an L-20B (2-liter) smogger in his old Datsun 510, decided he wanted an econo-motor, and build a closed-chamber, high-squish, high compression, water-injected L-16 (1.6 liter) with ceramic top pistons, and he has plenty of power and far better fuel economy (I wish I could be specific, but the guy has disappeared).

2) I guess you don't do machine work. The answer to your worries about corrosion or lack of lubrication to the nozzles and other parts of the water system is to go to a machinists' supply and buy a gallon of water-soluable cutting-oil concentrate. This is a dark brown, creamy oil; mix a very small amount into the distilled water you pour into your supply tank. (And of course you can also use it in your shop for thread tapping, drilling, etc.).

3) Once you have built your raised-compression economotor, and are using the water injection to keep it from knocking holes in the pistons when climbing hills or passing traffic, why not turn it on and off with a knock-sensor? These have been built by MSD, Jacobs, and other ignition companies for some years. You could also have a vacuum-switch (manifold vacuum) wired in parallel, and see which switch worked out better. In case of malfunction, you would want a manual over-ride (a push-button or switch on the dash).

4) In acting as an anti-detonant, water cools the combustion chamber, costing some of the power that the high compression added. Again, it was discovered in WW2 that this power could be restored by mixing the water with methyl alcohol up to about 50%. Methanol is currently expensive, and most of us wouldn't bother with it.

But as a public policy matter, imagine that 35 years ago the goverment, during the OPEC oil crisis, had ordered that, a) Detroit design and build high-compression, water/alky injected engines and vehicles, and, b) that the oil companies were required to equip all their gas stations with water/alky pumps, and, c) that landfills and dumps be required to produce methanol from garbage . . . all of which would have addressed the problems of our national dependence on foreign oil AND reduced the volume of garbage in our landfills (and the amount of methane escaping into the atmosphere, where it acts as a greenhouse gas 23 times more potent than CO2). How much better off we would be now!!!

5) Now as to actual gasoline/steam hybrid engines, Bruce Crower, one of the sharpest minds in hot-rodding over the last four decades, is among the people working on this. But note that the test-mule engine he chose is NOT a standard car motor with its thin-wall cast iron head that cracks, or aluminum head that warps, but a DIESEL engine that SHOULD (Crower is a little worried about this) be able to stand the strain of water expanding 800 times as it turns to steam.

This is a great subject at a time of $3.25 a gallon regular . . . .

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Re: Water injection for fuel economy

ford L6 fan's picture

Gonna throw out my ideas. Please feel free to point out the shortcomings, as I'm looking for crytical analyses. Firstly I'm working with old Ford inline 6's; a 223 and a 262.ICE's have H2O in the exhaust, normally, and it seems logical that a H2O injected one would have even more. Would it be practical to capture and recycle this H2o? Perhaps having an exhaust that, like a semi, turns and runs straight up? So that as the exhaust gasses cooled, the H2O would condense, and run to the lowest point, where there could be some kind of a H2o trap, that would run the H2o thru a filter, (fuel filter?) and back to the holding tank.Would this H2o pick up minerals, from contact with the metals in the engine? Would it pick up contaminates from the exhaust? How much filtering would be necessary to get it to the "distilled H2o" point?
Secondly, the holding tank could be pressurised using compressed air.Some of the old "self contained" travel trailers used this system for potable H2o.Run a compressed air line in the top of the tank, tap the H20 off the bottom.Of coarse, the pump which would run the aforementioned recaptured H20 from the exhaust to the holding tank would have to be strong enough to overcome the pressure in the tank, but it could run intermitant rather than constant.
Now, the h2o runs from the tank, in a line, up to and into the valve cover.Mounted over the rocker for the intake valve on each cylinder is a small valve, push open, let-off close.Like the h20 hose at the gas station, or the water outlet on a drinking fountain.1 for each cylinder. Its mounted so when the poshrod side of the rocker raises, it (briefly) opens the valve.The h20 then runs thru a small length of tubing, with a simple mister type nozzle on the end. Ideally, this could be positioned where it squirts on the back of the intake valve.That way you've only got 1 water line going into the valve cover.Otherwise, each cylinder would have to have a line exiting the valve cover, and feeding a nozzle located in the intake runner, as close as possible to the cylinder; lots of extra plumbing to be running in and out of the valve cover!To some degree this would "meter" the water flow to the engine load, as it would only squirt when the valve was being opened.Any thoughts??? Jim

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Re: Water injection for fuel economy

crgintx's picture

The old 223/262 L6 (and their V-8 brethren Y-blocks) of the '50's are near perfect candidate for adding a smaller sized turbo charger to build low-end boost at it's normal operating rpm's. Depending on the version, some came with forged cranks and their cast pistons have very thick decks and their rings that are lower on the piston. I saw a very neat job the used an Offy 2-1v intake with a home-made adapter and a Holley 2300 carburetor mounted in front of the turbos compressor. The vehicle was a 2wd 1959 F-100 The owner used a water/alcohol injection system and said he ran about 9 lbs boost on pump gas. He had a 3-speed with overdrive and said he could get well over 20 miles per gallon doing 60mph. The added power let him pull a full loaded 16' travel trailer without breathing hard. The truck was sharp and he'd added front disc power brakes to it. I remember seeing a later model Duraspark box on the fender. He said that it was one of the best mods he'd ever made. He said he'd gone the naturally aspirated route hop-up route with unsatisfactory results. RV Cam, 2-1v carbs, intake, headers on a shaved and ported head. He returned to a unshaved but ported head with a stock exhaust manifold and his home brew turbo system. He said the turbo was off a 79 Ford 2.3l Turbo and boost started at 1700-1800 rpm and full boost was on by 3000 rpm.

I'm sure with a modern 5 speed tranny behind the big six that you could probably get 22-23 mpg out of a 50's or early 60's Ford short bed and still be able to out pull any of these late model SUV's with their high winding multivalve V6's. Plus you'd look stylish as hell if it were a stepside.

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Re: Water injection for fuel economy

ford L6 fan's picture

Thanks for the reply. Mine is in a 1965 Divco milktruck. I've replaced the stock straightaxle with 1 out of a winnebago. (Disk brakes, and a 8 on 6.5 bolt pattern, to match the GM 14 bolt rear 4:10 gear ratio rear I replaced the stock 6:1 20" 5 hole budd splitrim rear axle.I've put a gearvendors unit behind the granny 4 speed. I've put a duraspark electronic dizzy on it.I've got barker Hi-lift rockers, to put on it.Want to put omni-valves on it, and gapless rings. Primarily to increase vacuum, as I'm hoping to run it on vapor, and if I'm successful, will need all the vacuum I can get. The gearvendors will also help, by having a gear between each gear, to keep it in the sweetspot.The omni-valves should also, it seems to me, prevent backfire, as they eliminate the possibility of valve overlap. Essential to preventing a possibly catastrophic backfire, as I plan on "making" the vapor in the intake manifold.What I'm thinking is an aftermarket aluminum intake. Right where each leg branches off from the log, an injector. Inside the manifold, corresponding to each injector, is a "cage", tubular in shape,made out of steel rod.Its purpose is to support a "sock"; terricloth tube. The cage holds it open, say 1 1/2" diameter, and the injector sprays gas on the inside of it.As the air is drawn past and into the intake runner, it picks up vapor.The fuel line that feeds the injectors would be wrapped around the exhaust manifold, for heat.At the bottom of the "cage", would be an upside down cap, or catchbasin, which the bottom of the sock would go into. I.e. any excess gas not vaporised would collect there.It could either drain back to the fuel tank, or be "wicked up"as needed. It has a 223 in it, but I've got a 262, with a forged crank, sitting on an engine stand. I've airbagged the front axle,am wrestling with the pitman arm draglink set-up, as I've put power steering on it. Once thats done, I move to the back, to put a disc brake conversion on there, airbag and sway bar and shocks. Then I'll put the body back on the frame, chopping and dropping it slightly, and then replace the front sheetmetal, with some minor mods there, as well.Once I've got it all back together and the engine running again, I'll be ready for these mods.Oh, I'm figuring to run it on Coleman fuel, to eliminate the residue problem.After all, its really not about mpg, its about $ per mile.I've got the 223 to work out all the bugs with, and then I can switch to the 262.And yeah, if the vapor is still not wanting to go in the cylinder, at wide open throttle, I have considered a turbo, or Negative Pressure Supercharging. If my problem involves the equivalent of "Carb Icing" i.e. the socks get covered in ice, a turbo. If not, Maybe the negative pressure thing.If your not familiar, its http://www.impulseengine.com, I think. Basically, a megaphone exhaust, after the header, to create a vacuum in the cylinder. Think scavenging on steroids.Thanks again for the input, very encouraging. But, still like to hear comments on my H2o injection ideas. Jim

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Re: Water injection for fuel economy

crgintx's picture

Cheapest gas mileage mod's I can think of would be some used aluminum wheels and a 2.5 inch exhaust system. My dad has a stock 223/3 speed in his 62 Unicab F100. As far as keep it cheap, a Ford 300L6 or351W/AOD or Chevy 350w/700R4 would deliver the most bang for the buck. Those old milktrucks are heavy as sin and require a lot of grunt to get them going. Too heavy for the smaller engines' limited torque to run in their sweet spot. I'd check out Bruce Crower's cams and pick something close to his cams specs even if you stick with the old 223/262 combo. Adapting a Holley Weber 5200/Ford 6510 progressive 2bbl would also improve your your mileage especially in stop and go driving.

I've never heard of headers hurting gas mileage negatively. Street Rod Magazine did an engine build of Y-block a few years ago and used 2.3L Ford SOHC piston on bushed rods. They used thin low tension rings gapless on that build I believe. I'm fairly sure the rods from the 223L6 are the same ones used in the Y-block but don't quote me on that.

You'll need some serious heat to create enough vapor to seriously offset any fuel consumption. Every thing I've seen positive displacement supercharging is the way to go for making the best torque across the broadest rpm range.

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Re: Water injection for fuel economy

ford L6 fan's picture

As far as the weight, I am putting mine on a serious diet; The fiberglas box is lighter than "stock", airbags much lighter than original leaf springs. (Had 22 helper springs, per SIDE, on the rear, and 11 on the front.)New rear axle is lighter than original stock, etc. Regarding tranny, the serious pulling power is why I'm sticking with the granny 4 speed, but hoping the Gearvendor unit will both give me an overdrive, and give me a gear between each of the stock gears, to keep it in lower rpm's.At least, thats the theory. The theory of the vapor is the heated fuel is just to assist. The vapor is mainly being created by "wicking" and vacuum.Using terricloth because 1 square inch has like...8-12 square inches of surface area. Don't remember the #'s, but you get the idea.As I said, I am considering a small turbo, particularly if I have a problem with the wicks icing up. (Vaporising gasoline gets REAL cold!)If not, the idea these guys in OZ are doing, (Negative pressure supercharging) really intrigues me.Like the original premis of this post; i.e. using H20 injection to use water droplets to replace the gas droplets that normally burn too late to contribute usable energy, and simply dissipate heat, and then run the engine much leaner.Am wondering if some of the problems/issues discussed in the first post could be resolved as I described in my first post. i.e., recycle the water by capturing it from the exhaust.Using compressed air in the h2O tank to eliminate having a continuos duty 12v. pump, and using the rockers to trigger a valve, feeding an ordinary nozzzle instead of an injector.Jim

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Re: Water injection for fuel economy

carwaterguide's picture

I think this information may help you out

Have you ever heard of HHO fuel that has got to be the best way to save on gas prices.?
Imagine the savings. It will cost you about $160, or two tanks of gas to install an HHO
conversion kit

Hydrogen Car Kit - Save Money and Improve MPG Massively
Hydrogen car kit empowers your car to run on water and avoid oil as fuel. A vehicle however
will not be able to run on water alone. There needs to be a mixture of gasoline and water to
enable it to run smoothly.

Even the Water Fuel Conversion Kits - How Using Water As Fuel Helps Cut Your Gas Consumption
Recently,there is increased awareness among many drivers of a technology that uses plain
water tosupplement the cars' gasoline consumption. Called a water fuel conversion kit, it is
a simpleadd-on to your current car engine that uses your car battery to carry out an
electrolysis on water to produce Hydroxy gas (HHO). This Hydroxy gas is used to supplement
the burning ofgasoline in the car's engine.

Hydrogen generator kit for car can be better than gasoline or oil additives to raise gas
mileage. When you make or do it on your own, you can save money on gas but will save lots
of dollars on the kit and reproduce the system for other automobiles on your own.

saving money should be what everyonr thinks off and I have done this by using all ideas from

my sites - http://carwaterguide.blogspot.com

I purchased the available eBooks that teach me how to run your car on water and installed
one on my "chevy 350 small block," it's pretty easy.

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Re: Water injection for fuel economy

sweethe's picture

carwaterguide wrote:

I think this information may help you out

Have you ever heard of HHO fuel that has got to be the best way to save on gas prices.?
Imagine the savings. It will cost you about $160, or two tanks of gas to install an HHO
conversion kit

Hydrogen Car Kit - Save Money and Improve MPG Massively
Hydrogen car kit empowers your car to run on water and avoid oil as fuel. A vehicle however
will not be able to run on water alone. There needs to be a mixture of gasoline and water to
enable it to run smoothly.

Even the Water Fuel Conversion Kits - How Using Water As Fuel Helps Cut Your Gas Consumption
Recently,there is increased awareness among many drivers of a technology that uses plain
water tosupplement the cars' gasoline consumption. Called a water fuel conversion kit, it is
a simpleadd-on to your current car engine that uses your car battery to carry out an
electrolysis on water to produce Hydroxy gas (HHO). This Hydroxy gas is used to supplement
the burning ofgasoline in the car's engine.

Hydrogen generator kit for car can be better than gasoline or oil additives to raise gas
mileage. When you make or do it on your own, you can save money on gas but will save lots
of dollars on the kit and reproduce the system for other automobiles on your own.

saving money should be what everyonr thinks off and I have done this by using all ideas from

my sites - http://carwaterguide.blogspot.com

I purchased the available eBooks that teach me how to run your car on water and installed
one on my "chevy 350 small block," it's pretty easy.

Hi guys, I recently visited your site.I'm doing a Chemistry project and was wondering if HHO is a viable source of energy? Does it waste more energy than it uses?

Thanks.

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Re: Water injection for fuel economy

Pinhead's picture

There is a specific section of the forum dedicated to HHO injection. This thread is about water mist injection. You will probably get more responses in a new thread. ;)

Having said that, my answer is "Yes and No." The added fuel efficiency that is seen with HHO injection is NOT due to the added energy resulting from the combustion of hydrogen. Mileage goes up with HHO because the hydrogen catalyzes the break down of the hydrocarbons. A faster burn makes the engine more mechanically efficient. The added bonus is that more of the fuel is burned as well.

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Re: Water injection for fuel economy

abyssin3's picture

I'm trying a water injection system using a pump (100Psi) to inject water through a nozzle (0.5GPH).
The motor is 1.9L Diesel. Up to now, I don't obtain an increase of the mileage. Neither with water, nor with 30% of ethanol / 70% water.
Has someone ever tested such system? If yes, with what results?

P.S : I use ~1L of water for 62 miles (100Km)

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Re: Water injection for fuel economy

ssheen's picture

I used a water vapor system. I did nothing to tune for it....

What have you do to cut back on fuel? Do you have an EGT gauge or Wideband? How is the power?

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