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Old 07-09-07, 07:16 PM   #1
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How To Make Your Own Race Fuel...

Anyone ever use toluene or xylene to make your own home brew race fuel? I did a lot of research online


Toulene
are+M/2...114
Cost...$4.50/gal
Mixtures with 92 Octane Premium
10%...94.2 Octane
20%...96.4 Octane
30%...98.6 Octane
Notes: Common ingredient in Octane Boosters in a can. 12-16 ounces will only raise octane 2-3 *points*, I.e. from 92 to 92.3. Often costs $3-5 for 12-16 ounces, when it can be purchased for less than $5/gal at chemical supply houses or paint stores.


FORMULA 2
Xylene
are+M/2...117
Cost...$2.75/gal
Mixtures with 92 Octane Premium
10%...94.5 Octane
20%...97.0 Octane
30%...99.5 Octane
Notes: Similar to Toulene. 12-16 ounces will only raise octane 2-3 *points*, I.e. from 92 to 92.3. Usually mixed with Toulene and advertised as *race formula*.



NOTE: PLEASE READ THIS
I get a lot of emailed questions about Toluene.

First, Toluene is Toluene - that is not a brand name. There is no other name.

Second, If you write and tell me all about your engine, and then just ask
how much Toluene you should use - I AM NOT EVEN GOING TO ANSWER.

* You need to figure out what octane your engine needs.
* Then you need to figure out the octane of gasoline you can purchase.
* Then READ BELOW, use the formula below to figure out how much Toluene
you need to add to whatever octane gas you can purchase so that you end up
with the octane your engine needs.

Make sure the Toluene is well mixed with your gasoline.




Now - what you want to know:


Q: How much toluene should I use per tank of gas?


A: Octane ratings can be very easily calculated by simple averaging.

Toluene is 114 octane. So use this formula to figure what octane you get:

( Gallons_of_gas * Octane_of_gas ) + ( Gallons_of_toluene * 114 )
__________________________________________________ _
Total Gallons

This gives the octane of the mixture after you add toluene.


For example, the tank of an Audi A4 1.8TQ is 15.6 gallons. Filling it with 14.6 gallons of 92 octane
and 1 gallon of toluene (114 octane) will yield a fuel mix of:

(14.6 * 92) + (1 * 114)
----------------- = 93.4
15.6

The Audi A4 1.8T is a good example of a car that has very high octane needs if it has been modified to produce more turbo boost. The base compression ratio of this car is a very high 9.5:1 and when an additional 1 bar (14.7 psi) of turbo boost is applied on top of it, the resulting effective compression ratio is way beyond what 92 or 93 octane fuel can ever hope to cope with. Most modified 1.8Ts running without octane enhancement are running with severely retarded ignition timing and boost.


Q: How much does toluene cost, and where can I buy some?

A: $10/gallon in a one gallon can at a hardware store, about $6/gallon in a 5 gallon can from a chemical supply or paint store, or $3/gallon in a 55 gallon drum from a chemical supply warehouse.

A2: Experience of Charlie Smith in 2002. Sherwin Williams paint stores have it for $5.00 in a gallon can. They can order it in a 5 gallon can at $4.00 / gallon. They can order 55 gallon drums for about the same cost per gallon, but you have to have a dock unloading facility or a fork lift to get the drum(s) off of the delivery truck.

Q: But, where can I find it?

A: Toluene is a paint thing. You should be able to find it in the better auto-body supply stores and the better paint stores. It is a paint reducer - thinner - {I don't know what}. Here in the US I can find it at Sherwin Williams paint stores. Paint stores that sell to the auto repair shops should be able to get it.

I've had a lot of people say they can't find it. Try both paint supply shops and chemical supply houses. It should be easier to find than Moonshine Liquor ... and you certainly can find that :-) So get creative folks, keep looking. And, if you had a difficult time finding it in your area, please drop me a note and tell me where you found it. I'll add that to this web page!



Q: Can I just dump in 100% toluene into the tank like the F1 racers?
vroom vroom vroom

A: First of all, the F1 racers did not use 100% toluene, but 84%. The other 16% in their brew is n-heptane, which has an octane rating of zero. The reason for this strange combination is because the F1 rocket fuel was limited to the rules to being of 102 RON octane. The n-heptane is "filler" to make the fuel comply with the rules.

Because toluene is such an effective anti knock fuel it also means that it is more difficult to ignite at low temperatures. The Formula 1 cars that ran on 84% toluene needed to have hot radiator air diverted to heat its fuel tank to 70C to assist its vaporization. Thus too strong a concentration of toluene will lead to poor cold start and running characteristics. I recommend that the concentration of toluene used to not exceed what the engine is capable of utilizing. I.e. Experiment with small increases in concentration until you can no longer detect an improvement.


Q: Ok, what is the catch?

A: It should be mentioned that in the US, efforts are underway to reduce the aromatic content of gasolines in general as a higher aromatic content leads to higher benzene emissions. Benzene is an extremely toxic substance. However it should also be noted that the proportions that is being discussed in this FAQ is relatively small and in the grand scheme of things is probably insignificant. Moreover, the industrial standard for defining gasoline composition allows plenty of leeway in aromatic content and the proportions present in US gas is already lower than most other countries. I therefore feel that the information provided here is useful to a performance minded car enthusiast while not being significantly detrimental to the environment.
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Old 07-09-07, 08:05 PM   #2
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Why not just find a place that sells E85 and figure out what overall mixture you need? It's a crap load cheaper and is like 102 octane...
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Old 07-09-07, 08:40 PM   #3
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acetone and pump gas baby.......dont remember the ratio but it works nice
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Old 07-09-07, 08:42 PM   #4
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Seen this posted more than a time or two. I've actually got my own theory on a race fuel for NA useage that, if I'm understanding the rules right, *should* pass SCCA fuel tech. But needs dyno work to prove it one way or the other.
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Old 07-10-07, 01:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lassen118 View Post
Anyone ever use toluene or xylene to make your own home brew race fuel?
No, it's not worth the risk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lassen118 View Post
it can be purchased for less than $5/gal at chemical supply houses or paint stores.
Paint grade hydrocarbons are usually full of impurities. I'm not sure if a fuel filter is able to protect against all of the impurities, so shellack the internals of your engine and fuel delivery system at your own risk.

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Originally Posted by lassen118 View Post
First, Toluene is Toluene - that is not a brand name. There is no other name.
Toluol
Tolu-sol
Tolueen
Toluen
Tolueno
Toluolo
Methly benzene
Monomethyl benzene
Phenyl methane
Phenylmethylbenzene
Methacide
Antisal 1A
CP 25
NCI-C07272
C6 H5 CH3
C7 H8

Wow, the author of that article is certainly a rocket scientist... not so much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lassen118 View Post
Make sure the Toluene is well mixed with your gasoline
Willing to bet a $2,000-3,000 engine rebuild that you mixed it properly? Also keep in mind that this stuff causes brain damage if you inhale it too much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lassen118 View Post
Q: Ok, what is the catch?
The real catch is that if you get caught using it in the USA, you could face a serious amount of fines and jail time for tax evasion and pollution. Also, toluene is more dense than pump gas, which will require some re-tuning with a fuel computer or standalone EMS.
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Old 07-10-07, 10:09 AM   #6
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ive only seen people use it in quads and motorcycles i was just informing some people might just think its cool just to know how to do it . not actually use it in their rex
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Old 07-10-07, 11:03 AM   #7
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Willing to bet a $2,000-3,000 engine rebuild that you mixed it properly?
Everyone running pre-mix does. Same with the guys who bet their engines tuning past the saftey margin with AI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil Aviator
The real catch is that if you get caught using it in the USA, you could face a serious amount of fines and jail time for tax evasion and pollution.
You could get jailed for gasoline additives? If I'm not mistaken, can't you buy "octane booster" at retail stores? Sure, it says "off-road use only" on the can, but you SERIOUSLY believe you'll go to jail for mixing some junk with your gasoline? Glad I don't live in U-****-SA

I wouldn't use that anyways, my lawn mower hated running on a reducer/gasoline mix when I was almost finished and out of other combustables, so I doubt I'd run my 7 on it. But seriously..................
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Old 07-10-07, 11:22 AM   #8
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if you where to use .75 n-heptane per 10-gal of 89 octane you would end up with 82 octane woot 82 octane any1 zoom zoom early 80's mazdas race gas!!! good for NA cars
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Old 07-10-07, 04:12 PM   #9
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This post, is an informative post, if im not mistaken thats the precise reason in which the "forum" was created. I am not trying to persuade any individual to pour toulene into their fuel tank, just sharing the knowledge. There is by no means any reason what so ever that you should be knocking me for posting this, its not like I am holding a knife to your throat and making you do it. I just thought that it would be pretty cool to actually know how, infact, to create your own "race fuel". Go ahead do some more research to inturn discourage more people about being creative. By the way, you sound fully matured by the means of your rocket scientist comment.
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Old 07-10-07, 06:58 PM   #10
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Search: Key Word(s): toluene Showing results 1 to 50 of 134.

It's a great idea for people who are willing to risk their motors or do a lot of testing, but I'd wager that's not all that many. And it's been around the internet 2 or 3 times already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 81gsl12a View Post
if you where to use .75 n-heptane per 10-gal of 89 octane you would end up with 82 octane woot 82 octane any1 zoom zoom early 80's mazdas race gas!!! good for NA cars
... not really. Given that n-heptane has a lower heat of combustion than octane... just lowering octane isn't going to do much useful.
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Old 07-10-07, 08:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classicauto View Post
Everyone running pre-mix does.
An enormous error would be required to affect the octane rating by a significant amount.

Quote:
Originally Posted by classicauto View Post
Same with the guys who bet their engines tuning past the saftey margin with AI.
True, but experienced tuners will control the tuning event, the injection rate is well controlled, and a good AI system will include a fail-safe function. Although it is purely my opinion, I find it highly unlikely that the type of person who would pour paint thinner in a street car's gas tank would employ the care and equipment required to ensure a homogenous mixture.

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Glad I don't live in U-****-SA
I thought that the USA was the biggest polluter on the planet, the cause of "global warming", and the root of all environmental evil? LOL

Yes, Americans do get fines and jail time for violations, but usually only the really big cases are prosecuted. To make it worse, the EPA, IRS, and API are still arguing about what is an additive and what is a fuel, what is an alternative fuel, what is considered acceptable for pollution, and what should be taxed. That is why it is not very prudent for one to use any fuel that is not legally purchased from a legitimate fuel vendor.

Funny example:
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007...ois_man_fi.php
"Via Daily Kos Diary, "...David Wetzel, a 79 yr old retired chemist from Decatur IL had been using recycled vegetable oil in his 1985 Volkswagen Golf diesel car for 7 years. This January, " the State of Illinois Dept. of Revenue sent 2 "special agents," Gary May and John Egan to his house. The two agents threatened the couple with felony charges and asked them to post a $2,500 bond!" According to the Herald & Review, where the full story is explained, a Republican State Senator has introduced a State bill "...which would curtail government interference regarding alternative fuels, such as vegetable oil..."I would agree that the bond is not acceptable, $2,500 bond," Watson said, adding that David Wetzel should be commended for his innovative efforts." (His car) gets 46 miles per gallon running on vegetable oil. We all should be thinking about doing without gasoline if we're trying to end foreign dependency."

Quote:
Originally Posted by lassen118 View Post
This post, is an informative post, if im not mistaken
You are not mistaken. However, you may be mistaken in thinking that my post was not also informative.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lassen118 View Post
By the way, you sound fully matured by the means of your rocket scientist comment.
Thank you. When I grow up I want to work for NASA.
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Old 07-10-07, 11:48 PM   #12
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I ran a gallon or two of xylene at times just as a safety margin since I was running at the limit of the stock fuel system. I had an AFR gauge to monitor and log data as well. I never had any problems. Oh, I also premixed when I ran the xylene even though I still have the OMP. I only ran this fuel when I was running the car hard at 1 bar of boost.

I have many friends that have run toluene in their cars for years with no ill effects (mostly modded DSM's & EVO's).
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Old 07-11-07, 11:21 AM   #13
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An enormous error would be required to affect the octane rating by a significant amount.
Its not about octane, its about apex seal lubrication. I run OEM housing rebuilds at 300:1 for the first 20 minutes to seat the seals. An error of that nature could quickly cost you an engine, how is that different from whats being discussed other then it being octane rating vs. lube?


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Originally Posted by Evil Aviator View Post
True, but experienced tuners will control the tuning event,
WTF?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil Aviator View Post
the injection rate is well controlled,
WTF?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil Aviator View Post
and a good AI system will include a fail-safe function.
I see you've never blown an engine due to a "fail-safe" failure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil Aviator View Post
Although it is purely my opinion, I find it highly unlikely that the type of person who would pour paint thinner in a street car's gas tank would employ the care and equipment required to ensure a homogenous mixture.
Fair enough. But you know the extents people who run pre-mix (and "bet their engines on it") go to? Pour in the premix before the gas so the gas will slosh around the oil and mix. Not very freakin' technical is it.

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It is a funny example because its an extreme case. The fact that you read about it on the internet/in the news is testiment to that.

Are they going to jail me for running pre-mix? Because *technically* its not taxed as gasoline? Give me a break.

You're over analysing this simple backyard process. Get over it.
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Old 07-11-07, 06:55 PM   #14
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Exactlly, my precise reason for posting this article was to inform, not to get into squabbaling arguments.
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Old 07-12-07, 05:24 PM   #15
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Exactlly, my precise reason for posting this article was to inform, not to get into squabbaling arguments.
In other words, you wish to crush any technical discussion of the article. No problem. I have already spent enough of my time to give you guys free information that you obviously do not appreciate. I wish you the best of luck with your paint thinner.
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Old 07-13-07, 12:17 AM   #16
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Ok, so this isn't really making "race fuel", but there's an old trick that a buddy of mine used on his dirttrack racer to raise the octane. Just take a couple of mothballs and crush them up, mix with a little gas and put in your tank. 3 or 4should do. I would try it out on an engine you dont care about first, though.
Don't hold me to this, as I have never personally tried this, but still its a cool idea from the old school!!
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Old 07-15-07, 02:29 PM   #17
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Ok, so this isn't really making "race fuel", but there's an old trick that a buddy of mine used on his dirttrack racer to raise the octane. Just take a couple of mothballs and crush them up, mix with a little gas and put in your tank. 3 or 4should do. I would try it out on an engine you dont care about first, though.
Don't hold me to this, as I have never personally tried this, but still its a cool idea from the old school!!
I have hearrd of this too it does work according to some old racers........i also learnt the accetone trick from them too.........I tried it once and it made my car run but i may have run a rich mix and it was pufing black and fire .....but that was the accetone mix
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Old 07-15-07, 07:55 PM   #18
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Good info..
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Old 08-07-07, 03:11 AM   #19
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I see no one mentioned running "race gas" on the street is illegal. If it's not taxed (highway tax) it's not legal unless it's an "alternate fuel" such as methanol, ethanol, vegatable oil, etc. The people that get in trouble with the law are usually the folks running "red diesel" (dyed diesel for farm equipment) or home heating oil in their trucks. The same laws apply to Trick, Sunoco, etc since they make race gas for "off road use only" and you don't pay highway tax on it.

If you dump other stuff in it (That's not wise in my oppinion since you folks quite obviously aren't chemists and mixing in the ratios suggested won't get you the results suggested. I'm not willing to teach chem class so please just trust me on this.) you can call it an additive instead of fuel which may get you in trouble with the EPA, but not the tax folks. It's your call as to which is more likely to care...

Option B is to mix race gas with pump gas. You can't find it anymore, but mixing 91 unleaded 50/50 with leaded 104 will get you around 108 octane! Another "off road" gas you can mix is aviation 100 low lead, yes still leaded, (fed taxed but not highway tax so they COULD still get after you using it on the street) and mix it 50/50 with 91 pump gas for 104 octane. Either way, lead in your cat will kill it and can get you in trouble with the EPA and the city/state if you have to pass smog. One thing about avgas is it's VERY clean even compared to race gas. This tends to wash out oil and cause problems in engines not designed for it, so running extra premix is required.

You now have the option to save $.50/gal on high octane fuel. Is it worth it? Did I tell you how MUCH more premix you'll need? Just finding that out can cost you thousands...the hard way.

Option C is to just use octane boost (104 has good numbers). It works fairly well and while it won't get you numbers quite as high as some options, it's easy to find and likely will cost you less than any of these "home brews."
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Old 08-12-07, 11:55 PM   #20
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last year I used a 50/50 mix of toluene and shell 91.

seemed to work pretty well. I've never used real racegas before but I am going to be this year.
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Old 08-13-07, 01:24 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Fair enough. But you know the extents people who run pre-mix (and "bet their engines on it") go to? Pour in the premix before the gas so the gas will slosh around the oil and mix. Not very freakin' technical is it.
Actually, some people mix 5 gallons with enough premix for 15. Then you mix that, add it first, and then fill.

1)This isn't rocket science either.

2)If we're talking about actually mixing things to get to an exact point it actually gets very difficult. Mixing close to that point may not be hard at all, but to test if you have a homogenous mixture (let alone to generate one) you need some pretty fancy equipment.

I don't hear of motors blowing from getting a very high/low concentration of any additive at all.

I've heard of motors running 10-20k+ without an OMP. Sure they don't seal as well. Sure they're harder to start. Sure it's eventually going to kill it. Sure nothing on that motor is going to be reusable when it comes apart, but that isn't going to be the case because for 300 revolutions last thursday your car saw less premix than it usually does because of the way your tank sloshed.

All that said... no way am I running toluene in my car.

I'm no chemist, and I have no clue what the widget that I'm about to talk about is... but my sister is in fact a chemist. She once ran through a massive amount of different pump, race, jet, etc fuels putting them through some goofy spiral deal that showed all of the sediment. Even the cleanest, highest filtered fuels that she put through were amazingly "dirty." The expected "dirty" fuels though, were absolutely horrible. Having seen that... the dirt in my pump gas is enough for my engine, thanks.
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Old 07-04-11, 11:52 AM   #22
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Some interesting findings about Xylol here discuss varying octane levels between the different isomers. Also PDF specs the energy content. How do their energy contents compare to gasoline as a %: http://www.sbioinformatics.com/desig...rties&uses.pdf

"Because of their similar structure, the three xylenes and the isomeric ethyl
benzene exhibit similar properties. The distillation characteristics of the C8
aromatic compounds are of considerable importance.
o-xylene is more readily separated from m-xylene because of a 5C difference in
boiling point. The difference in freezing point between the p-xylene and other C8
aromatic compounds is utilized for p-xylene separation. The critical compression
ratios are 14.2, 13.6, and 9.6 for p-xylene, m-xylene and o-xylene respectively.
The research octane values are 113, 116.4, 117.5 and 107.4 for Ethyl benzene, pxylene,
m-xylene and o-xylene respectively."
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Old 07-04-11, 07:34 PM   #23
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MSDS for Xylene sold at home depot states "Xylene (mixed isomers) {Benzene, dimethyl-}" I guess do your tuning and calculations conservatively based on the varying octane levels. o-xylene is only 107.
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Old 07-04-11, 07:49 PM   #24
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Assuming equal proportions of the varying isomers, this is ~113.8 octane. At 1 part xylene and 2 parts 93 octane pump, you get to 100 octane.
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Old 07-09-11, 01:38 AM   #25
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this is an old thread mate, not sure what you are up to but i will add my bit
- was doing acetone and zylene additives back in the 90's for street drags meets,, on 98 RON petrol

these things can be very hit and miss in terms of overall octane and i suggest its not all that legal,, or healthy for you to do at home
( yes i was dumb also once ,, until my dad go luki )

also to consider is tolulene,,
and perhaps several of these additives are very effective at breaking down the shear point of the lube oils
,, and excessive washdown and heavy wear is common on engines that use high proportions of toluene in the fuel
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Old 07-09-11, 01:38 AM
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