Welcome to the Original DIY alky page.
I hope you find information here to help you achieve the level of performance you're looking for with your forced induction vehicle.
What you'll find here is a step by step guide for building a very reliable water/alcohol injection system. I've used this system since 1996 and have installed it on more then 30 of my club members cars plus with close to 200,000 page views and being linked on more than 250 websites I'm sure many others have enjoyed building their own DIY Alky systems using some of the information shown here.
This page is ONLY here to provide information necessary for someone with a moderate amount of mechanical skills to build their own alcohol injection system. I don't sell parts or kits so that's up to you.
If you don't care to save a few bucks and build your own kit, you may wish to search for one on Ebay. I've seen some very good prices on there and hopefully the components are as good as what are listed here. I would especially look at the kits offered by Cooling Mist or my neighbor and friend Chance McClurkin who owns Devils Own.
Before you begin, it would be a good idea give some thought to the things that can happen should your car not be in sound mechanical condition and be capable to withstand the 5 to 10 additional pounds of boost. To avoid serious engine damage, I suggest you read through this page.
On average installation of this kit will take 4-5 hours and you'll spend around $170. If desired, it's easy to add on to the basic kit shown here to turn it into a multi-staged progressive controller style system without having to begin at square one. The Shurflo pump listed is capable of supplying over 130 psi via the small adjusting screw on the pressure switch. Or, by stepping the voltage down to 6V & raising the pressure, the pump will maintain a more constant pressure. I haven't found the pump surge to cause any effect on either of my cars but you may want to do this depending on your application.
To put it simply, if the car has no noticeable lag between 0 boost and full boost (a well balanced combo will spool the turbo in a second or less) a system like the one here should not cause the car to bog when the alky comes in. This is from my experience in installing many of these kits on Turbo Buicks. YMMV.
I've been using this system since 1996 and have installed or assisted in installing it on almost 30 local Buick Club cars with great results. It was my intention to overcome the drop in performance between race trim & street tune with my then mid-12 second 1986 GN. At the time this was done, the choices for A/I were few with one kit using a low quality windshield washer pump and another costing 3X what's shown here. With either of those systems the components were too conspicuous and looked as though they didn't belong under the hood. The DIY kit can be installed where most people would never even notice it.
The Shurflo pump I use is safe to use with denatured (ethanol) and isopropyl alcohol and the pressure can be adjusted above the preset 60 psi to more than double that amount. There's an issue with using the standard Shurflo pump with Methanol as the o-ring under the pressure switch isn't meth compatible. Ethanol works well for me and I have a source that sells it for $25 for a 5 gallon can.
Your nozzle choice will determine the amount of atomization the pump delivers but a standard NOS fanspray nozzle & jet works fine for most applications. If you desire optimum atomization, an oil burner nozzle like those sold by McMaster Carr or the Aquamist nozzles are good choices.
I've included some links to other alcohol systems and welcome contributions from others to manufacturers or other systems to add to this page. Anyone considering an alcohol system should seriously consider the types available. The intent of this page is to offer my experiences and to inform those interested in making their own kits of the safety precautions they should include in the system.
It's strongly advised that a knock detector and or a Scan Tool be used in conjunction with an Alcohol Injection system.
Fan spray body, from NOS, #13500 (Summit)
Jet, NOS, #13750-30, (.030") (Summit)
*Inline fuel filter
Pump, 12Volt, 7amp, 1.5gpm@60psi. #2687 Northern Tool
Pressure switch, NOS #15680 (15 psi Normally Open
Fuel hose, 1/4" X 8ft.
Fuel hose, short, 5/16" X 3"
Relay, 30A, 12Volt
Inline fuse holder
Electric wire & connectors
3/8" NPT to 1/4" hose adapters, 2ea
*One way check valve GM #14047619
#3 AN Fem. Hose end, Earls Perf. #600193
1/8"NPT X 1/4" dia brass hose barb to adapt short 5/16" hose to reservoir.
Float sending unit to mount in Radiator overflow tank, GM #1639226
In car LED for float unit, Radio Shack
In car switch for manually overriding pressure switch to disable the system.
LED for pump. Shows when the pump is activated.
* - I no longer use a check valve since the pump's built in CV has shown to be reliable but you may want an extra margin of safety if you're using a flammable mixture of alky. A C/V failure can cause your reservoir to become pressurized which could cause the the flammable liquid to be sprayed on the engine.
* - I've also quit using a fuel filter but it may be needed if you aren't starting out with a new alky storage container.
Use 1 part denatured alc. to 2 parts distilled water. This concentration is not flammable. The approximate mixture of alc. to water of 50% or greater can ignite if the reservoir or a line developed a leak. Types of Alc. is up to the user. The system will also perform well on water alone though the cooling benefit that alcohol provides reduces the air charge temperature by a significant amount. I use Denatured (ethanol) Alc. which is available at hardware stores in the Paint Dept. A gallon lasts me for months.
Safety Notes: The pump manufacturer recommends a flashpoint of no less than 110 degrees with this pump (continuous use was implied by their engineer) knowing that it only takes about 12 seconds to roast a little horsemeat, continuous operation shouldn't be needed for your application.
Begin with a new or clean reservoir. A float sending unit is mounted in the top of mine. The float lights an LED mounted inside the car when the level is low. Slip the 5/16" short hose over the reservoir nipple and secure with a clamp. Insert the pipe threaded end of the brass 1/8"NPT X 1/4" hose barb into the end of the 5/16" hose and attach the 1/4" X 8' hose to the 1/4" hose barb end. Clamp securely.
Route the 1/4" hose to the radiator and install the *check valve. In the photo, the check valve can be seen next to the radiator cap. Install it so flow is allowed from the reservoir to the pump. Zip tie the 1/4" hose to the AC lines along the top of the radiator then run the line down behind the drivers side headlight area and install the *fuel filter. Cut another section of hose to route to the pump.
Install the hose adapter in the pump with teflon tape and install the hose with the clamp. Note: The inlet side of the pump is the side where the red wires connect at the top.
Mount the pump using 4 1.5"L screws through the holes in the rubber pads. You'll need to drill holes in the plastic inner fender and go underneath to attach the nuts. I chose the location where the charcoal can was located from the factory.
Install the outlet hose connector and enough fuel line to reach the point on the up pipe where the nozzle will be located. Avoid routing the hose near the idler or alternator pulleys.
Remove the nut & sleeve from the end of the #3AN hose end and discard them, then twist the threaded end into the end of the 1/4" hose. An easy way to do this is with a ratchet & deep socket with a spacer inside to get the depth just right, you want the socket to grip on the 2nd hex of the AN connector while leaving the threads exposed. Once you have it, secure with a clamp. An alternate method is to purchase a braided stainless #3 AN supply line from an industrial hose store to connect the fan spray nozzle to the pump. This item should cost about $25-$35 if kept to a length of 3 feet or less.
Choose a location for the nozzle and drill a 1/4" hole in the up-pipe. Make certain that the location you chose allows for clearance between the MAF tube and the alc nozzle. Next, tap the hole with a 1/16"-27 NPT tap. 1/16" pipe taps are available through McMaster-Carr (mcmaster.com).
Mark the NOS fan spray nozzle to indicate the spray direction & wrap teflon tape on the threads then screw into the up-pipe. You may want to experiment with the direction of the spray. I think it works better to spray away from the throttle body. This allows a greater distribution of the liquid into the airstream coming from the intercooler. Install the jet in the fan spray nozzle and connect the hose to it.
Relay pole # 85 - To pressure switch. (Other terminal on pressure switch to ground).
( If using a switch in the car, route to the switch first then to the pressure switch. )
Relay pole # 86 - To fuel pump jumper wire beneath alternator. This prevents the system from activating unless the fuel pump is running. If the pump were to activate with the engine not running, the liquid would be pumped into the intercooler and cause engine damage when the car is started.
* 6-19-05 - There's been an instance reported by a Buick GN owner who reported his alky pump dumped 2 quarts of liquid into his intercooler b/c he connected the FP aux wire to Relay Pole #86 and also had an aftermarket FP hotwire kit also connected to it. If you want to use this extra safeguard circuit I'd advise using some means of monitoring the pump such as installing the pump-on LED inside the car until you are sure the alky circuit isn't able to back-feed and energize unexpectedly.
Relay pole # 87 - To Alcohol pump (w/fused link inline).
Relay pole # 30/51 - To 12 volt post on rear of alternator (w/20Amp fuse inline).
Maintenance: (see link at bottom of page also)
Monthly - check hoses & check valve for leaks.
90 Days - Remove nozzle if using the more corrosive methanol alc & check for corrosion & clogging of the jet, etc. Remove the #3AN Fem Connector from supply line & check for clogging. A stainless steel fitting is available for this location.
6 months - All of the above plus:
Inspect the inside of the up pipe. Mild steel pipes will rust. Wire brush to remove.
Remove the Fanspray nozzle and inspect it for wind erosion. The air velocity through the up pipe will wear away the nozzle which is made of aluminum. If it's thinned down in the middle, replace with a new one. Remember it's hollow so don't let it get too thin or the tip may separate and be ingested by the engine. My experience is that they will last about 10,000 miles.
Annually; Replace Fuel Filter if equipped
Update Feb 2002 My pump quit after 6 years of use due to a clogged filter. The motor still worked great so I contacted Shurflo and they provided me with the name of a local dealer who had a rebuild kit in stock $20 later I was back in business.
You'll either need a Mity-Vac hand operated vacuum/pressure pump or if you have their vacuum version of the pump, you can convert it to pressure as I did by using another 0-30 psi gage T'ee'd between 2 pieces of 1/4" hose and attach it to the pumps outlet port. Clamp the new gage & hose onto the outlet port of the pump and it will pump about 14 psi which is good enough for setting the Hobbs switch or testing the system. To test without a MityVac, you'll need to make some test runs with the hose out of the pipe & secured inside some type of container. For just testing the pump, remove the nozzle and the #30/51 relay lead from the relay & connect to a 12V source.
Remove nozzle from up-pipe & start the car, with the nozzle secured in a container, apply pressure to the switch with the Mityvac pump. You can now watch the spray pattern & strength. With the test-run method you'll only be able to note the volume of fluid sprayed.
A .030" NOS jet works good with smaller turbos. I'd recommended that you use no smaller than a .028" jet as the smaller ones don't spray a full pattern. A .032" jet works good with a TA49.
Once the installation is complete and tested, begin increasing the boost. The amount each car will tolerate will vary depending on turbo, intercooler, timing in the chip, ambient air temperature & etc. My car usually can handle 24 psi with 93 octane without more than a degree or two of knock retard occurring and that's usually due to a slight lag in the time the car goes to 24psi & the time it takes for the alcohol to start spraying. This is mostly a situation where there isn't much load on the motor due to the low MPH where it happens and it also could be from the transmission downshifting. In the Summer, I run about about 20-21 psi and tune for even less or no knock.
Using the System:
Street use - After the car reaches normal operating temperature, find a safe area & bring the boost up to 15lbs. This will start the pump (you may feel the car become a little boggy, like it's flooding). This is normal until the boost rises or some seconds elapse & the computer starts making adjustments for the fuel change. If the car hasn't been driven in several days, this 15 psi run-up will recharge the system. Once the pump starts, it just takes a second to charge the hoses and begin spraying. Once charged, it should stay that way all day.
Track use - Race gas is my 1st choice but occasionally I use the in car switch and start the alcohol after going into 3rd gear.
I use the radiator overflow for the alcohol reservoir. It's capacity is 1 gal. and gives the look of an unmodified engine compartment which appeals to me. For the burp tank, I've connected an aftermarket bottle in front of the battery mounted to the core support.
You'll need a Mity Vac pressure pump and an ohm meter or test light to change the pressure switch setting. If using the older GM pressure switch, unscrew the nut while holding the stem stationary then turning the stem to change the pressure. The GM switch comes with Locktite on the adjuster screw and nut which can be dissolved by nail polish remover or lacquer thinner on a Q-Tip. The adjustment screw for the NOS Hobbs switch is beneath the rubber plug on the back side.
Hot wired intank fuel pump
Interesting Experience( posted on turbobuicks.com 2.22-2007 )Took the GN out and stopped by the auto parts store on the way home. Came out & the car started then died. Looked at the KB hood mount FP gauge and saw I had no fuel. Checked fuse, hotwire relay, weatherpack connector at the rear bumper then beat the heck out of the bottom of the tank to try to jar the pump back into operation. No go.
Went back under the hood and jumpered the wires on the alky Hobbs switch and got in, hit the key. It started up on the alky from the reservoir but wouldn't idle. I had to keep the RPMs up to prevent the motor from bogging down so off I went riding the brake and weaving through traffic to avoid any stops. Made the two lights on the way to the house but the alky ran out at the end of my street. I got the PU & towed the GN the last 2 blocks to the house. If the alky tank had been full I'd have made it the whole three miles.>Are you saying you drove it home on only alchy?>Thats amazing. Some Mr.Bond stuff right there.Well actually I was thinking about McGyver when I was jury-rigging the Hobbs switch now that I think about it...>How far was the trip back? Did you just idle home or could you drive it normal. This would be a good thing to remember in a situation like yours.>Steve thinks his Buick has a reserve tank like a motorcycle. Quick thinkingScott, it was 3 miles to my house. I made it about 2 3/4 miles on 1/3 gal of denatured. It helped that I did a pretty good job of weaving through the slowpokes and caught both traffic lights on green.
RIP Chance McClurkin_
Condolences to his family. My friend and neighbor Chance McClurkin, owner of Devils Own Alcohol Injection passed away after a sudden illness last month.
Please feel free to contact me at the following address: E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
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Highly Recommended Reading!
DIY Alky Page Links
Here's some further reading on Alky Injection
These car forum threads & personal web pages have linked to the my DIY Alky Page