Imperial Home Page -> Imperials by Year -> 1990 -> Modifications -> Alcohol/Water Injection
Alcohol/Water injection is a nice add on to most cars, be it in boost applications, a way to end engine knock, or a way of cooling an overheating cooling system.
Alcohol/Water injection is basically a system which sends little bursts or mists of an alcohol or water mixture out an injector. This can be used for several different purposes.
For cooling, the system can be used to spry WATER on intercoolers and radiators. This cools the outside temperature of these cooling system parts, allowing for more heat to leave the coolant or air which would enter the air being cooled by the water. This lowers the engine temp, input air temp, or the overall engine bay temp, depending on how it is used.
This concept has been used since at least WW2 era aircraft, and in today's world, are common among race cars and off road machines. The reason why this isn't yet common among typical auto extremists is the fact that professional kits run from $200 through 3,000 or more. Home made systems can be as good, yet cost typically less then $100. Additionally, if the car is made to be dependant on these systems, it is important that they not run out of water or alcohol/water mixture when the engine is being used!
Here's how the system works.
A tank of some kind sends water or a water/alcohol mixture through a filter and into a pump which pumps the liquid into any number of injectors. This injectors fire when 12 volts hit them as a trigger. The water or water/alcohol mixture then goes either into the engine's air intake, or onto something that needs to be cooled (such as a radiator or intercooler).
When injected into the air intake, the alcohol/water mixture will have several results. First, it will cool the air. This will lead to slightly higher power. Second, the mixture will cool the combustion camber. This is good for anyone with a slightly lean or slightly off compression ratio. Third, the mixture will "steam clean" the engine and exhaust system. Fourth, the injection of the mixture actually increases the octane of the fuel, which helps prevent engine knock.
What triggers the system is up to its designer. The system can be turned on by a toggle switch, a relay, a boost controlled pressure switch, a specific O2 sensor output, whatever.
But the important thing is that the system must work correctly. Although water is typically found in an engine (after all, it is a product of combustion), too much water getting into an engine can be quite bad, and having a whole tank of water going straight into the air intake will hydrolock the engine. Also, anything going into the engine must be clean. No dirt, or unwanted minerals. Distilled water is required.
This modification can add anywhere from 0-12 HP, depending on how it is used.
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