Three-Valve Water/Meth Injection - Blizzard Boost
The water/methanol-injection experts at Snow Performance definitely know a thing or two when it comes to pulling the end around on that timing-and-fuel catch-22
From the September, 2012 issue of 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
By KJ Jones
Photography by KJ Jones
This is the complete Snow...
This is the complete Snow Performance Stage 3 MPG-Max Boost Cooler water/methanol kit. The relatively simple system is all-inclusive and can be installed in home-project fashion using common tools.
Hopefully by now you've all had a chance to pick up a copy of '05-'13 Mustang Performance; our newsstand-only magazine dedicated to Three-Valve and Coyote 'Stangs. As usual, the latest single-issue is chock-full of detailed tech content for all ponies of the featured period. However, due to size limitations, we couldn't include all of the super-cool project ideas in that one, single mag.
Think of this month's Three-Valve experiment as an extension of the projects presented in '05-'13 Mustang Performance. Given the high level of excitement surrounding the Coyote 'Stangs, we believe giving the Three-Valves a little extra shine is worthwhile. The market for '05-'10s took a serious nosedive when the latest ponies were released. Affordable, ready-to-modify S197s are now as close as the classifieds.
One of the stories in the special issue involves installing a Roush Performance 2.3-liter supercharger on JC Cascio's '07 Mustang GT (Next Phase," p. 56). The project was quite successful, and its results clearly manifest the benefit of adding a supercharger to an otherwise stock Three-Valve 4.6. While the blower's power-enhancing properties may be enough for some enthusiasts, we're keenly aware that most hard-core 'Stangbangers have a need for more power.
With superchargers (centrifugal and positive displacement) and turbos commanding a lion's share of the S197 power-adder market these days, detonation is one of their negative byproducts when an engine's tune or fuel isn't up to par.
Of course, in such cases, conventional thought says just back the timing down and use higher-octane fuel, and everything will be OK. While that's certainly true in theory, the idea is moreso a high- performance irony, as most hopped-up Mustang engines thrive on both timing advance and high-octane fuel.
The water/methanol-injection experts at Snow Performance definitely know a thing or two when it comes to pulling the end around on that timing-and-fuel catch-22.
Our water/methanol mixture (a 49-percent/51-percent blend of each) basically functions as an intercooler for boosted applications," company-owner Matt Snow said. As a cooler and subsequently, a fuel-octane enhancer, water/meth allows users to go beyond the typical limits of 91-octane fuel when they want to increase timing and boost."
After discussing with Matt our interest in working with water/methanol injection on a supercharged Three-Valve 'Stang, Snow Performance sent us its Stage 3 MPG-Max Boost Cooler system (PN 20150; $795) to install on Grant Gross's 2008 Roush 428R Mustang. The Stage 3 water/meth strategy features a dual-nozzle injection scheme, which enhances both fuel mileage and power, by calculating load and delivering water/meth according to fuel-injector pulse width, the amount of boost, or a combination of both.
Our past efforts using water/methanol injection have yielded good results. For power gain, we've seen it increase power on factory-blown Cobras and GT500s by 20-40 horses. On the economy side, fuel-mileage results after injecting water/methanol in a naturally aspirated, Three-Valve '07 GT, showed that the mixture is conducive to mild fuel-mileage increases ... on local-roads and freeway driving.
Grant's Three-Valve Pony features a small, 1.9-liter Roush supercharger that's been treated to a Steigmeier port job, and throws down 408 rwhp (on 10 psi of boost) on the Dynojet chassis dyno at GTR High Performance. If you want to know how this setup responds to Snow's water/methanol injection, move along now through the photos and captions, which cover highlights of Ricardo Topete's installation of the Boost Cooler system, and results of our dyno testing.
Horse Sense: Are you a '11-'13 Mustang GT owner? Do you plan on being one at some point fairly soon? If you answered yes" to either of those questions, please visit one of our online communication vessels (www.50mustangandsuperfords.com, www.facebook.com/50mustangmag, www.twitter.com/@FiveOhMag) and let us know which mods you're considering for the new Pony, and how soon after acquiring the car will you begin making changes.
Since our test ride, Grant...
Since our test ride, Grant Gross’s ’08 428R Roush Mustang, sports a ported blower (but still uses OEM fuel injectors), we decided to play things safe and further-upgrade the Pony’s previously modified fuel system. Kenne Bell’s larger 20V Boost-a-Pump unit is installed as an upgrade to the 17.5V BAP that was added to support the setup after the supercharger was ported. The new boost-referenced unit increases fuel-pump flow up to 75 percent.
With the upgraded Boost-a-Pump...
With the upgraded Boost-a-Pump in place and trunk panels reinstalled, Ricardo Topete of GTR High Performance positions a 2.5-gallon Boost Juice reservoir in the driver-side corner of the trunk. The bigger tank is an optional upgrade for the Snow water/meth system, which comes with a 3⁄4-gallon container as standard equipment.
Snow Performance provides...
Snow Performance provides 20 feet of 1/4-inch tubing that is used to route water/methanol from the trunk to the spray nozzles. Once the Boost Juice container and pump are final installed, Ricardo lifts Grant’s Pony and runs the line against the chassis.
Here are the 2.5-gallon Boost...
Here are the 2.5-gallon Boost Juice reservoir and Snow Performance’s Ultra High Output fluid pump. The 225-psi pump can send 1,000 ml/min to the nozzles in an instant. The red high-pressure tubing and all quick-connect fittings that are needed to plumb the setup are included.
Similar to nitrous-oxide injection,...
Similar to nitrous-oxide injection, water/meth is actually sprayed when a solenoid is activated. This small ’noid is the conduit for fluid to reach each nozzle (Power and MPG).
Ricardo positions the Stage...
Ricardo positions the Stage 3 system’s variable controller on the dashboard, just to the left of the steering wheel in the driver’s clear view. The controller features an integrated wiring harness…
…which is pulled through an...
…which is pulled through an opening in the Mustang’s firewall, and mated with a 12V (red/hot-with-the-key-on) power source, a good ground (black), the injection solenoid (green), and two wires on one fuel injector (blue). The unit’s white wire actually links with the fluid pump’s red wire, which is snaked through the interior to the front of the ’Stang.
After drilling two 11⁄32-inch...
After drilling two 11⁄32-inch holes in the Roush air-inlet tube, Ricardo cuts each opening with a 1⁄8-inch -27 NPT tap. Snow’s water/meth injection nozzles are then fitted into each hole using nozzle-mounting adapters that are included with the set.
Here is a close-up of the...
Here is a close-up of the nozzle installed in the inlet tube. Snow recommends using E6000 sealant to ensure there are no leaks at either nozzle. Notice the screen at the end of the nozzle, which serves as a protective filter in the unlikely event the fluid becomes contaminated with dirt or small debris.
Each water/meth system includes...
Each water/meth system includes a variety of spray nozzles that delivers two mists of fluid into the intake-air stream when used in a dual-nozzle setup like ours. The system’s 375-ml/mn (left) and 100-ml/mn (right) nozzles are recommended for Power and MPG-Max respectively, in 10- to 12-psi boosted applications making 400-600 horsepower. Combos with higher boost will require a 625-ml/mn nozzle.
For the Melvins reading this,...
For the Melvins reading this, Snow Performance’s Boost Juice (water/meth mixture) breaks down thusly: The 49-percent methanol is a relatively inexpensive, high-octane fuel that is extremely resistant to detonation. Meth’s high-heat threshold makes it an excellent air-charge cooler, as well. Water (51-percent) on the other hand, has a high-heat threshold as well, and cools both the intake-air charge and combustion. As we’ve detailed in many a tech report dealing with boosted air, cool, dense mixtures yield increased horsepower, so Boost Juice—or a mixture of windshield-washer fluid (30 percent) and water (70 percent)—is the only elixir that can be used with Snow Performance systems.
One definite about Snow Performance’s...
One definite about Snow Performance’s water/meth injection system is that it’s super-stealthy. The kit includes enough wire loom to cover the entire setup, leaving only the nozzles exposed for inspection by sharp eyes.
As per usual when we perform dyno evaluations at GTR High Performance, Grant Gross's '08 Roush 428R Mustang was baseline tested on the Dynojet chassis dyno prior to installing the Snow Performance MPG-Max Stage 3 Boost Cooler system.
With 91-octane fuel, the supercharged Pony maxed out at just over 400 horses at the feet using 21 degrees of timing advance at the top of the run. As you see in the dyno hit labeled Snow (91-octane fuel and water/meth), Chris Jones of Blow-By Racing was able to add a considerable amount of timing advance, yet still maintain a safe air/fuel ratio of 11.1 and increase power, largely in the midrange section of the rpm band (3,500-5,000 rpm).
Once the kit is installed,...
Once the kit is installed, the Variable Controller is programmed to inject water/methanol based only on the boost signal for our dyno testing and tuning purposes. The unit’s instruction manual details how to calibrate when and how the mixture begins and stops flowing (through boost signal, injector pulse width, or both), as well as the amount of water/meth that is delivered during an injection sequence.
In most instances, power gains with water/meth are seen at the upper portion of the dyno run. With the assistance of Matt Snow, our final test (Snow 2) was made after making additional timing adjustments, leaning the fuel mixture, and trying a larger injection nozzle. As the data shows, an additional power gain resulted from the changes; once again in the midrange.
While we're pleased to see water/methanol do its thing with boost and making horsepower, we're more impressed by the blower and Three-Valve engine's response to the mixture on the torque side of the equation. A larger supercharger, such as the aforementioned 2.3-liter Roush TVS that we installed on JC Cascio's S197, certainly will benefit from water/meth in the high-rpm/high-boost area. However, for our exercise, the dynamic gain is marked torque increase--low-end grunt, which is exactly what Grant will experience every time he punches the pedal to the mat.