Kartbook

Australian Karting Forum

As a passionate Vintage Karter , you are always trying to polish something , grind something , make something lighter, or perhaps try that something new that might  make your perfect vintage machine a tenth faster or give you a thrill that makes you grin like a Cheshire Cat!

The Vintage faithful gather to tell stories of yesteryear and how they changed everything to stop the understeer , the oversteer, or changed the gearing, the pipe , the carburettor the seat position , the tire pressure, the timing etc.

Some Vintage Karter’s polish there machines to a blinding brilliance , some are happy to restore there karts to better than new condition and custom make parts to have it identical  to how it was originally manufactured , some leave old karts just  it as is, just happy to have it run put on the helmet and go for a fang , and others constantly look for the tiniest performance improvement even when it is just about as good as it can be.

What I love about this sport it is that no matter what drives your passion for Vintage karts  it brings together a group of passionate people / some champions / some legends together were tall stories, moments of brilliance, awesome driving displays , and engineering magnificence can all be put together in a days meeting, and no matter if things go to plan or not , there is always an allure that makes you want next time to hurry up and get here fast.

This week end we were at Grenfell NSW with our Vintage friends , more stories were heard and told, and I heard some karting guys that were new to Vintage Karting raving about how good it was to try something new , drive someone else’s kart and drive more laps in a relaxed atmosphere than they ever have done  before. Grenfell is a great facility with some really great passionate people behind it and a track that has a great layout, yes it is a little rough and I guess can be “not so Vintage kart friendly” , with long periods of Wide Open Throttle , a lot of grip , and a surface that is guaranteed to shake your teeth loose, but it is still Fantastic Fun,

What I want to share with you, is that I am one of the passionate guys that has a story or two to tell, done a little bit over the journey , that constantly looks for the elusive tenths, to beat no one else except your own last performance,  and at a young 52 years I still love driving the shit out of piece of bent pipe on wheels, running on methanol and going like a cut cat!, all whilst spending quality time with my family and karting friends.

Methanol,

Why Methanol.

Methanol burns at a lower temperature than petrol and is less volatile due to a higher octane rating of approximately 114.

Methanol is poisonous, corrosive, hydroscopic, hard to preserve and maintain, and can be  temperamental on your equipment, however if you can get all the balls up in the air at the same time it can offer good gains in engine power whilst operating at lower temperatures.

How hard can it be, well there are a lot of balls!

1: Todays methanol Blend is not like the blend methanol of yesteryear, and what might of worked years ago, just won’t work with today’s blends.

So before you take the plunge consider the changes you will need to make, Regardless of your selected blend with a possible mixes of nitro methane, benzene, toluene, acetone, oil.

Once you decide on your desired mix, you need to be very particular how you store your fuel, Methanol is extremely corrosive and hydroscopic and it will pull Moisture from air, so it is important to consider its environment, if you don’t your fuel with absorb water and you will experience phase separation, not only does this put water in the fuel and accelerate corrosion, but it also will pull octane out of the remaining fuel mix, and that means detonation!

Also you can not leave the fuel in the kart for storage, ideally you should drain the mix and run some petrol mix through before you store your kart , if you can’t do this , you need to wash the methanol out of your entire fuel system completely and either wash it in a petrol mix and / or storage oil, but you need to get it all out!

Methanol also may have an adverse effect your gaskets / diaphragms’ in your fuel system and even with maintenance they may become distorted / out of shape and may not be pumping as required and giving you the volume of fuel required to run your engine.

Methanol has a differing viscosity and burn rate to Petrol and has a different stoichiometric Air / fuel ratio to petrol, (petrol is 14.7 parts of air to 1 part of fuel, methanol is 6.4 parts of air to 1 part of fuel), this is a 57% increase in Volume of fuel so your carburation will need to be modified significantly to be able to pump the required amount of methanol for your engine. Your fuel pump diaphragms , all internal passages ,adjustment  needles, needle and seat volume and spring pressure and spray nozzles will all require modification.

Also methanol burns at a temperature cooler than petrol due to the slower burn rate and higher energy release, with this in mind your engines cylinder head design, compression ratio and Ignition Timing will also need to be changed for optimum engine performance.

With all this in mind, the potential power increase in your engine will also significantly change your power map of your engine, so engine gearing and pipe length may also differ from what your petrol engine liked.

In Short running Methanol can be rewarding for increased performance but only if you can keep all the balls up in the air.

So next time you see a 200 super screaming down the straight at warp speed with two magnificent streams of methanol charged smoke from the exhaust pipes, where the engines and carbs must also  be timed perfectly , consider the amount of balls they have up in the air!!

Just Awesome!!!!!

Views: 457

Replies to This Discussion

Absolute Writing Brilliance..

Awsome writings Leigh, had a grin from start to finish,  (are you sure you didn,t steal it).

I don't think I have ever heard it put better.

Right now we are hundreds of miles from home attending "The Big One" in Fremont Ohio USA, staying in shoebox sized motel room that now smells like 2 stroke fuel.

The guy in the room next door is preforming surgery on his motor , it lost compression .

Race weekends are what Black Dog lives for .

The cares of the rest of the world are left behind .

We would not have it any other way .



David O'Brien said:

Awsome writings Leigh, had a grin from start to finish,  (are you sure you didn,t steal it).

Hi Dave ,

Hope you are doing well, we missed your bling at Grenfell.

  At the moment I do wish this was someone elses story , but unfortunately I am living it as we cross over to methanol from petrol , we unfortunately had water in our methanol at Grenfell , and had a number of issues as a result , including a massive engine hemorage, however we did conquer  it in the end and had a very pleasing result , but there was a lot of pain to get there, so I thought by writing it down I might just help some one on the same journey.

Hope you make it to Numurkah, well have it mastered by then.

Leigh

Well put Brian, give it hell in Fremont!!
 
Brian Thomas said:

I don't think I have ever heard it put better.

Right now we are hundreds of miles from home attending "The Big One" in Fremont Ohio USA, staying in shoebox sized motel room that now smells like 2 stroke fuel.

The guy in the room next door is preforming surgery on his motor , it lost compression .

Race weekends are what Black Dog lives for .

The cares of the rest of the world are left behind .

We would not have it any other way .

Great Article Leigh

I have always wanted a motor 'on methanol'

Perhaps Noel Judd will see how it goes at Numurkah !!!!!!

Phil,

I am the same , always wanted to do it , and now I am .

I know it will be worth it long term, it is a bit more finicky  than I thought it would be , I can see the potential for  a real performance improvement  and we have had a good taste for it now . Still learning , but doing it quickly now!

Leigh

 

Nothing like running on methanol,  If anyone is interested I have for sale an IBEA 2-jet 29mm slide carb set-up to run on methanol,  double pump stack, milled fuel chamber, grose jet, etc.     I haven't used it since AIDKA banned methanol in the '90s.   Email:   kart37 at Hotmail.com

Hi Tom,

What number can I contact you on?

RSS

Photos

Loading…
  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2017   Created by Col Fink.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service