Water Injection Cooling #2

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Water Injection Cooling #2

Post by LaCabra3 » Mon May 25, 2020 9:52 pm

Water injected cooling #2

I read that during WWII, water was injected into plane engines to cool the engine and give them more power during takeoff. In a prior post on May 11, 2020, I asked if anyone had done this to a motorcycle. Some answers directed me to off the shelf systems that were expensive and for racing engines. The literature on injecting water/alcohol mixture into auto engines says it makes them run cooler and cleans carbon deposits inside the engine combustion chamber. Someone mentioned running E-15 fuel makes them run cooler but hurts fuel economy.

I found an article on internet from Mother Earth Magazine where someone had made a simple system for their car and had improved the gas mileage a little so I decided to see if I could adapt it to my Ural. Some sites discussed a 40/60 methanol water mixture, I used plain distilled water.

The system is simple and can be built for around $25.00. I fed distilled water from a bottle through plastic tubing, through a small orifice to restrict the amount of water, into a T-splitter under the tank, to the vacuum ports of the carburetors. The vacuum pulls the water into the carburetor along with the gasoline. I can’t explain the chemistry but two things happen. It runs cooler and “seems” to have more power for hills and acceleration.

The parts needed are about a foot of ¼” (ID) rubber tubing, 10 feet of ¼” (OD) flexible plastic line, water shut off valve for ¼” (OD) plastic line, some plastic connectors and a T-splitter and an orifice to constrict the water flow. Plastic line allows you to see the water flowing, does not transfer vibration like copper and fits inside the rubber tubing.

I experimented with different items for the orifice: basket ball inflation needles (too big) without crimping, insulin hypodermic needles (30 gage) and a used hypodermic needle (22 gage) a friend used for vitamin B shots.

Drug stores have the insulin hypodermic needles 10/$3.00, Ace Hardware had plastic tubing, shut off valve and the ball inflation needles 10/$3.00. (Don’t know size). I got the vacuum line connectors at an auto parts store. Distilled water at grocery store.

My first experiments used two insulin needles as an orifice (one for each carburetor). It worked, but the flow rate between the needles was not the same so I put the faster flowing needle on the side running the hottest. These needles are the size of a hair and very fragile so I mounted them inside the ball inflation needle for stability. With the extra connections I had difficulty sealing all the joints to prevent air from getting into the system.

I made a run of 70km on the interstate trying to maintain around 60mph. I would, stop after 10km to check temperature without water and running 10km with water and checking. I used a Harbor Freight remote temp gage focused at the base of the spark plugs and found that my best case with the water on, both sides ran cooler by 9 deg F (275 dry, 266 wet). There was a big intermittent headwind which made it difficult to maintain a constant speed so sometimes it only varied a couple of degrees. I could not tell much difference in the acceleration. Water use was about 2ml/km. Ambient temperature was around 95 degrees.

I simplified the system to use only one orifice, the 22 gage hypodermic needle, by injecting water into the T-splitter. I assumed it would disburse the same on each side.

I had a passenger ride in the sidecar and check the temperature at the base of the right spark plug while the rig was moving. Ambient temperature was about 89 degrees. We were running in semi-rural traffic with traffic lights about every mile or so in a 45mph zone. It was difficult to get up to 55mph and hold it so temperature varied even with the water off.

I traveled up a half-mile long hill twice at full acceleration in 4th gear, once dry and once wet. The wet test was about 14 degrees F below the dry run (276 vs 290 deg F) and it seemed to have more power wet. (It sounded more guttural). The water use with the larger orifice was about 10ml/km five times more than two 30G needles. Since I had a vacuum leak in the two needle system it is possible it wasn’t flowing at full capacity.

The ID of the needles is: 22G - .413 mm, 24G - .312mm, 30G - .159mm. The cross section ( A=(PI D^2)/4 ) of the 22G needle is 3.4 times larger than two 30G needles allowing more water to flow. My next trip to the drug store I may get a 24G needle which will supply about twice the water as two 30G needles to see how that affects the system.

Having the system wet affects the idling so one has to play with the throttle at stops; therefore, I cut the water off if riding slow. With the 22G orifice it uses 10ml/km. I haven’t run a tank of gas through it yet, so I don’t know how my mileage will be affected. I have been getting 50km/gal so that equates to about a pint of water/gallon of gas. Whether it gets higher MPG or not is immaterial to me as my goal is to run cooler at 65 mph on long trips in these 100+ degree summers.

I turn water off a few minutes before I kill the engine. This prevents water from siphoning into the carburetors and dries out the exhaust pipes so they won’t rust out.

It looks like it does what I want but these are preliminary findings and I am continuing to evaluate the modification. As Urals are as individual as their owners, I can’t guarantee the same results should you build one for your rig.

However, this is an inexpensive simple system to build and does not require any permanent modification to the rig. It is easy to go back to where you started. So if any of you try it, I would like to hear of the results. Also I would like to hear from the gurus out there who might know if long term use of water injection might damage the motor. I don’t know how it would be installed on a fuel injection model so this is for carburetor models only.
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Re: Water Injection Cooling #2

Post by VWK75S » Tue May 26, 2020 5:15 am

:lurker: John
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Re: Water Injection Cooling #2

Post by n3303j » Tue May 26, 2020 9:19 am

I remember reading Mechanics Illustrated some 50+ years ago. That's back in the day when you had to de-carbon cylinder heads. One of the "old guys" said they used a perfume atomizer to spray water into the carb of an engine running around 3K rpm. The water flashed to steam at combustion and this blew the carbon loose and out the exhaust. He commented that too much water would over pressure the cylinder and cause significant damage. We are speaking '50s engines in this instance (sort of Ural tech).

Monitor how much steam is blowing by the rings and ending up in the oil as water. Be curious if steam cleaning the cylinder walls every cycle impairs proper oiling of rings and piston.

Good luck as a test pilot. Report back with your findings.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_i ... n_(engine)
This is kind of neat.
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Re: Water Injection Cooling #2

Post by Manscout » Tue May 26, 2020 10:46 am

This is very interesting. I might be willing to try this for my longer runs. It seems fairly straightforward. When I am in the mountains and climbing hard, I stop at any water source to slowly put water on the jugs to cool it down.
I do remember that several models of WWII aircraft had water injection. I believe is was called War Emergency Power, or "WEP" for short. The P-47 is one that comes to mind, but I could be wrong. It was typically used in 100% throttle situations when extra power was need; i.e. climbing in combat.
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Re: Water Injection Cooling #2

Post by LRP » Tue May 26, 2020 10:47 am

The use of water or water/alcohol to suppress detonation in aircraft engines goes back a long way. It is only used at wide open throttle for a
limited time. Your system will inject water any time that vacuum is present at the port. Check with a vacuum guage to see if vacuum exists
at the port you are using at wide open throttle. Manifold vacuum drops to zero at wide open throttle when the restriction of the partially closed
throttle butterfly is removed. If you are using manifold vacuum your system will stop working as you approach wide open throttle, just when
it would be beneficial. We used to run cars on the Clayton chassis dynos at 2500 rpm in high gear, WOT, and slowly pour a glass of water down
the carburetor to break down the carbon in the combustion chamber. Remember that the the combination of HC and O2 during combustion
results in H2O and CO2, so there is water (steam) present in the combustion chamber at all times. The engine makes nearly a gallon of water
for each gallon of gas consumed.

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Re: Water Injection Cooling #2

Post by n3303j » Tue May 26, 2020 11:09 am

56 definitions of acronym "LRP".
Hmmmm?
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Re: Water Injection Cooling #2

Post by Peter Pan » Tue May 26, 2020 2:52 pm

Ron and La cabra,
thank you for spending hours reading... Now I would love to see that 1917 Griffin 6 stroke Engine working.

Says someone who tinkers these days with a Lambach-pump for to get it down to only 80cm intake water height instead of the normal 2,5m....
Fascinating how theory and practice may clash. .... and get you frustrated.
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Re: Water Injection Cooling #2

Post by rougaroo » Tue May 26, 2020 5:21 pm

Ron said -
I remember reading Mechanics Illustrated some 50+ years ago. That's back in the day when you had to de-carbon cylinder heads. One of the "old guys" said they used a perfume atomizer to spray water into the carb of an engine running around 3K rpm. The water flashed to steam at combustion and this blew the carbon loose and out the exhaust. He commented that too much water would over pressure the cylinder and cause significant damage. We are speaking '50s engines in this instance (sort of Ural tech).
We used to call this "The Italian Valve job". It was often a lot of fun on a VW where you had to be sitting directly behind the engine compartment with the exhaust coming right at you.

As previously noted, you never did it full-time, just to clean out the carbon. I'd be scared to do it for more than a burst or two for fear of de-lubricating the pistons.

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Re: Water Injection Cooling #2

Post by windmill » Tue May 26, 2020 8:56 pm

Peter Pan wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 2:52 pm
Ron and La cabra,
thank you for spending hours reading... Now I would love to see that 1917 Griffin 6 stroke Engine working.

Says someone who tinkers these days with a Lambach-pump for to get it down to only 80cm intake water height instead of the normal 2,5m....
Fascinating how theory and practice may clash. .... and get you frustrated.
How about an Aermotor 8 stroke?
A normal 4 stroke cycle, then a 4 stroke cycle where the exhaust valve is held open so it draws in cooling air on the intake and power strokes, and expels it on the compression and exhaust strokes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3XqVz_-2vM
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Re: Water Injection Cooling #2

Post by jeffsaline » Wed May 27, 2020 1:06 am

In the early to mid 80s we use to pour automatic transmission fluid into the carb while keeping the engine running maybe around 2,000 rpm or so. Heck of a lot of smoke created. We always did it on a hot engine. Lots of times we could hear carbon deposits breaking loose and rattling around the exhausts. When in Florida if we did it with the wind blowing into the hangar we'd have all but two mechanics madder than heck at us. Of course the two guys doing the decarboning didn't mind as they were upwind of the exhaust.

On step vans that idled all day on the flight line while techs fixed planes we'd sometimes get a complaint of lack of power. Usually the fix was to send a technician out with the vehicle for about a 20 mile ride. They'd put it in 2nd gear and run wide open for about 10 miles. Then they'd turn around and return to base the same way. It was a pretty easy fix as long as you didn't get caught in a speed trap. I recall one of the guys telling me he'd start out lucky to do 30mph and on the return he'd often be doing 70mph.

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Re: Water Injection Cooling #2

Post by Peter Pan » Wed May 27, 2020 9:47 am

Barry, in the list Ron put, there was mentioned a 6 stroker with that function, but with way more mechanical "head complication".

Jeff, that is called "lack of use"... in this strange confinement millions of vehicles suffer even more "lack of use" then the owners "cabin fever".

One thing that came into my mind reading Ron's link is: the use of highly hydroscopic ethanol gasoline mix is nothing else but what La Cabra is experimenting with...
At least when they did experience in CR with 7% ethanol, the result was many broken engines and me pushing for miles due to a water flooded carburettor... as life wanted it so I had left the tool pouch home on the table.
Ethanol in desert climate is a whole different story then in tropical rainy season.
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With a DIY foam air filter the rig runs well even in tropical rain = :moto:
Final drives: 1. at 5000km, 2. at 34.000km(+friction plates) 3. at 42.386km
transmission: 1. 40.000km. 2. installed
Engine: 1. 43.388km crank replacement: Back on the road since 23.Okt.2019 :party:

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Re: Water Injection Cooling #2

Post by LRP » Wed May 27, 2020 7:39 pm

In the later part of WWII, the German fuel production was greatly reduced by allied bombing and the German aircraft had to make do with
90 octane av gas whereas the Allies had 150 octane. In order for FW 190's to perform at high altitude intercepts they used water/alcohol
injection plus nitrous oxide injection. Must have been murder on the engines.
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Re: Water Injection Cooling #2

Post by LaCabra3 » Thu May 28, 2020 2:09 am

Thanks for the input. I didn't know of the damage water injection could do to an engine.

Since posting, I have done more riding and used water injection under more controlled conditions. I drove to a 5 km hill on a secondary road with a 55 mph speed limit so I could chance winding it out without getting a ticket. Ambient temperature was around 92 degrees.

I can see the water going through the plastic tubes and as LRP indicated the flow rate decreases as the throttle is opened, but it continues to dribble some.

I did two runs up the hill with wide open throttle, once wet and once dry. My top speed was 65-67 mph on both runs. Maybe a little higher wet, but not enough to say for certain. The difference in head temperature between the two runs, measured at the spark plug, was 17 degrees F. On the dry run heads were average 288 degrees F, on the wet run the average was 271 degrees F. As more water was being introduced in the system while I was stopping, it is possible that the running temperature was higher than this, thus making the difference less. Coming back down wet, 68-70 mph, at the bottom the hill the head temperature was 230 deg F. Obviously the water cooling is not needed down hill.

I filled the tank and my mileage was 50.6 km/gal. I normally get around 50 km/gal so I don't consider this difference significant since I don't know how many kilometres I ran with water on this tank of gas, my guess would be around 20-25%. I drove the last 20 km dry to clear the moisture out of the system. This was in stop and go traffic and the head temperature at the plugs was 283 degrees F when I got home.

Since running the water through the system, it seems to run better when dry than it did before starting the experiment.In the past it would would take longer to accelerate from 60 to 65 mph and sometimes diesel when I shut it off. I haven't noticed the dieseling since the water injection experiment started. It could be the results of an "Italian valve job" referred to above.

Based on my findings and the informative advice you have given, I will won't use the system for short trips. If I am going to take a longer trip on fast roads or in the mountains, I'll use it briefly at speeds above 50 mph if I think the engine needs cooling or I'm trying to pass a truck on a hill.

Thanks to all of you for your input.
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Re: Water Injection Cooling #2

Post by LaCabra3 » Thu May 28, 2020 2:09 am

Thanks for the input. I didn't know of the damage water injection could do to an engine.

Since posting, I have done more riding and used water injection under more controlled conditions. I drove to a 5 km hill on a secondary road with a 55 mph speed limit so I could chance winding it out without getting a ticket. Ambient temperature was around 92 degrees.

I can see the water going through the plastic tubes and as LRP indicated the flow rate decreases as the throttle is opened, but it continues to dribble some.

I did two runs up the hill with wide open throttle, once wet and once dry. My top speed was 65-67 mph on both runs. Maybe a little higher wet, but not enough to say for certain. The difference in head temperature between the two runs, measured at the spark plug, was 17 degrees F. On the dry run heads were average 288 degrees F, on the wet run the average was 271 degrees F. As more water was being introduced in the system while I was stopping, it is possible that the running temperature was higher than this, thus making the difference less. Coming back down wet, 68-70 mph, at the bottom the hill the head temperature was 230 deg F. Obviously the water cooling is not needed down hill.

I filled the tank and my mileage was 50.6 km/gal. I normally get around 50 km/gal so I don't consider this difference significant since I don't know how many kilometres I ran with water on this tank of gas, my guess would be around 20-25%. I drove the last 20 km dry to clear the moisture out of the system. This was in stop and go traffic and the head temperature at the plugs was 283 degrees F when I got home.

Since running the water through the system, it seems to run better when dry than it did before starting the experiment.In the past it would would take longer to accelerate from 60 to 65 mph and sometimes diesel when I shut it off. I haven't noticed the dieseling since the water injection experiment started. It could be the results of an "Italian valve job" referred to above.

Based on my findings and the informative advice you have given, I will won't use the system for short trips. If I am going to take a longer trip on fast roads or in the mountains, I'll use it briefly at speeds above 50 mph if I think the engine needs cooling or I'm trying to pass a truck on a hill.

Thanks to all of you for your input.
LaCabra3
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Re: Water Injection Cooling #2

Post by Peter Pan » Thu May 28, 2020 1:53 pm

Good point La Cabra,
dieseling indicates carbon deposits. By the way, those carbon deposits will interfere with valve gap adjusting and can cause serious blow by on the valve seats.
So my "italian valve job" and "internal engine clean out" before each oil change consists in running some Marvel Mistery oil for the last 300-500km in gasoline tank and a 1/3rd of the recommended amount in the engine oil.

The water injection only cleans out the valves and head. The Marvel Mystery oil will clean out sediments and gunk on the internals of the engine too. (specially useful when you frequently cook your engine in "down town stop and cook" traffic, like we have here in our capital. )
Sophie Travelair = Patrol 2013
8 weeks 12.000km Oregon-Alaska-Oregon
With a DIY foam air filter the rig runs well even in tropical rain = :moto:
Final drives: 1. at 5000km, 2. at 34.000km(+friction plates) 3. at 42.386km
transmission: 1. 40.000km. 2. installed
Engine: 1. 43.388km crank replacement: Back on the road since 23.Okt.2019 :party:

The Avatar are 2 rice grains stating life's essence:
"The most important you cannot see!"
=> Attitude makes the difference!

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