The concept of alcohol injection has been around for some time. It was pioneered on Buick Grand Nationals and has been employed in a number of different applications. Injecting alcohol or a water/alcohol mixture into the intake tract serves to lower the detonation threshold of the engine by cooling the charge air and raising the effective octane value of the gasoline. It is the octane impact of this clever tuning strategy that makes alcohol injection a great mod for pump-gas powered street cars, especially those of the boosted variety.
"Alcohol injection is the most exciting development on Evo modifications since I started working on Evos two years ago," says Al Friedman of DynoFlash. "Of course, it's been around for a long time on other cars but it took David Buschur to open my eyes to the amazing effect it has on Evos and to package it in a simple, reliable and cost effective kit. I believe that the alcohol kit will be a very popular Evo mod. Trust me when I tell you that it's a night-and-day improvement."
"It's a really amazing kit and its super stealth. It is all pre-installed into the intercooler spray tank bottle. It's a progressive controller and fully adjustable and it can use every day windshield wiper fluid. This microprocessor-based unit will automatically increase spray pressure as boost rises. It allows you to set the boost level you want to begin spraying and will indicate when spray is at max pressure. A bonus with this controller is its small size--it measures only 2.75-inches wide by 0.9-inches high by 4.6-inches deep. The control unit fits inside the change holder in the left hand dash of the Evo."
The BR alcohol kit comes with a low fluid level warning indicator, an empty indicator and a test button. It is critical to make sure that the alcohol NEVER runs out. If you run the car on pump gas with high boost and an aggressive re-flash tune and your alcohol runs out you risk some serious engine damage. Al highly recommends that the "test" button be depressed each and every time the car is driven to verify that the system is operational. The procedure is simple as you hold the car at a steady 3000 rpm and hit the test button. If the system is operational the spray light will illuminate and the spray will cause the car to bog down slightly. Al also says that the kit usually needs to be refilled with every third fill up of gas.
Al and Dan Cokic at Pruven Performance were working on a car that was to get one of the first BR alcohol kits and a DynoFlash ECU tune combination. We decided to follow the build up and showcase the initial pump gas tuning sessions to see the alcohol injection kit in action.
Roger Clark's Evo engine is a beefed up second-generation DSM motor with an upgraded oiling system and main bearing caps, which reduce the infamous crankwalk issues of the second-gen DSM. The rotating assembly consists of Pauter rods and special Pruven Performance Evo pistons, which have shown to be very reliable. ARP main cap, head and rod bolts were used to keep it all together.
Pruven used a stainless steel O-ring in the block and a stock Evo VIII head gasket. When properly torqued down Pruven reports no issues with head sealing. As far as the head goes, Pruven relates that the Evo has a slightly different, more advanced, design than the old school DSMs which require slightly less fuel and are slightly less detonation prone. Pruven has developed some good head porting schemes but says caution is in order as the coolant jackets are much closer to the exhaust ports in the Evo and there is not a lot of material in the exhaust ports. The valve train consists of 1mm oversize Ferrea valves, Ferrea valve springs and Ferrea retainers, which deliver a very reliable 9500-rpm rev limit.
On the induction side the Evo runs a Buschur Racing Stage 4 kit featuring a GT 3037R turbo, three-inch downpipe, high flow air filter, cat-back exhaust, an off-road pipe and FMIC kit. In the world of turbo upgrades this setup is considered mild. A BR Stage 4 injector/pump package fuels the beast with a Walbro pump and 680cc squirters. The Evo engine was also fitted with HKS 264-degree bumpsticks and the driveline was fortified with an Exedy Hyper Series twin-carbon clutch and Quaife front differential.
Initial testing had the car boosted to 23 psi on 100 percent pure 93-octane pump gas. This would be a "mission impossible" without the benefit of alcohol injection which in this case consists of straight denatured alcohol available at local home improvement or hardware stores. The 4G63 willingly pumped out 443.2 whp and the powercurve shows a great deal of mid-range power.
Al relates that the AFRs of this tune are quite conservative and that the car can be driven like it was stolen all day long. He also added that you would expect about 390 whp with this combination without the alcohol injection and beyond the power the 390 rating would involve more reliability issues. To illustrate the conservative nature of this "executive tune" Al has made 622 whp on his own Evo, running straight pump gas and a BR kit.
The owner of this Sliver Streak Evo is Roger Clark, an avid pilot, who has had a hard time getting satisfaction with his mode of ground transportation. "The big problem with flying is how boring it can be driving home afterwards," says Clark. "The Evo caught my attention two years ago, but I wanted to let the tuning industry work out the kinks on what mods would work together. I bought mine last July and was happy with it stock for about a week. Then I saw Turbo Magazine with Big Al on the cover and my dream car started to come together. Al lived in the next town to me so I gave him a call. At first I just wanted a little more power and torque. Al and Pruven gave me just what I wanted.
"Al urged caution in not modifying too many things too quickly. Al was always urging caution and held me back more times than I can remember. Then Al called me and told me about this alcohol kit and what it could deliver. I was hooked so we planned the install to include a fully built engine to handle the extra power. This Evo is the perfect daily driver setup, delivering more horsepower per pound of vehicle than any plane I fly. It really does feel like flying on the ground!"
Buschur Racing Alcohol Injection Kit
In Car Control Unit
Adjustable Spray On
Point Test/Prime Button
"Low Alcohol" Warning Light
"Spray On" Light (pressure based)
Braided Steel Alcohol Line
Drop-in Design Evo Tank w/ Pump Attached
90-psi Spray Pressure On-Tank Pressure Guage and Switch
Brass Fine Spray Nozzle
Here we see a Buschur Racing...
Here we see a Buschur Racing alcohol injection kit as delivered, assembled and ready to drop-in and go.
The build-up on Roger Clark's...
The build-up on Roger Clark's Evo included head work by Pruven Performance. Pruven has developed some good head porting schemes but says caution is in order as the coolant jackets are much closer to the exhaust ports in the Evo and there is not a lot of material in the exhaust ports.
Here we see the stock rod...
Here we see the stock rod and piston tag team compared to the Pauter/Pruven upgrade.
The Evo runs a Buschur Racing...
The Evo runs a Buschur Racing Stage 4 turbo upgrade which is certainly well within the definition of a street system. The system features a GT 3037 turbo.
Here we see the buildup with...
Here we see the buildup with the fortified bottom end in place.
This is the stock intercooler...
This is the stock intercooler sprayer setup.
Here we see the Buschur Racing...
Here we see the Buschur Racing alcohol injection setup in place and ready to rumble.
The GT turbo is installed...
The GT turbo is installed and the finished engine compartment looks tidy and low-key. With boost set to 23 psi on 100 percent pure 93-octane pump gas the 4G63 willingly pumped out 443.2 whp and the powercurve shows a great deal of mid-range power and good spool-up characteristics.
Al relates that you would...
Al relates that you would expect about 390 whp from this combination without the alcohol injection. He added that beyond the power output, the 390 rating would involve more reliability issues.