I have been watching all the questions on gasoline for our cars. Which octane should I use, what engines use what rating. I have also had a lot of phone calls asking the same question. So I felt it was time to put this out so that people had a better understanding.
Frankly, many people on this forum are looking for more power without spending a lot more for fuel. Sometimes using a lower octane fuel is preferred as long as you don't get detonation.
What is necessary is an appropriate understanding of "a few things" which determine what gives power in all engines :
We have to begin by understanding that all the horsepower our engines are ever going to produce
is stored in the fuel that you use to produce it. All other components including intakes, cams, valves, compression ratios, computer tunes etc all are dependent on appropriate fuel(and lubrication).
Itís really that simple. The specific energy content of the air/fuel mixture and the length it burns is the key to power output.
The more fuel energy your engine can EFFICIENTLY burn (read that utilize), the more power it will produce per given fuel charge. This is correct regardless of whether you are normally aspirated, turbocharged, or supercharged.
However, a lot of factors influence this fuel energy:
Gross volume, air/fuel ratio, density of the fuel mixture, completeness of vaporization as opposed to atomization, initial flame speed and WHERE the burn originates how it swirls and when peak heat release is achieved.
Youíll notice I didnít mention the octane rating
initially. The reason is that in and of itself, octane rating does nothing
to improve power output!
All octane rating does is measure the ability of a fuel to resist pre-ignition in a higher compression engine.
Higher octane fuels allow the use of higher compression ratios, and THAT does produce more power. This is where the Diablo can pick up some power because the engine can be tuned much closer to the compression ratio and it's utilization factor. However, it is important to realize that certain tunes do not produce much more power and yet uses more fuel as coolant for the heads. Using ACES IV can advance the power even more while using a Diablo as the fuel will reach longer power peaks as long as it isn't hampered by too much fuel. While an octane rating does influence flame speed, so do some other factors.
Two of these other factors are:
Vaporization...this is just what it sounds like: how well is the fuel/air mixture dispersed at the point of ignition. (As ACES IV promotes molecular fuel balancing, a much more vaporized dispersed pattern emerges) Incompletely atomized fuel burns more slowly and mostly will not burn completely. (This is another the reason for 2 plugs in the Hemi) It is important to look at your exhaust tips to see the condition of them internally. If they have a dusting of black that is fine. Solid black...too much fuel!
It doesnít do you any good if it isnít completely consumed by the time the exhaust port opens.....(this is why ACES IV releases oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen at exactly peak heat release for a much more complete burn before the exhaust stroke commenses while releasing lubricity to cool the cylinder down and lubricate cylinders, stems, guides etc.)
The better job you can do in getting a uniform dispersion of fuel in the incoming air, the more completely it will burn and the more power you will create up to a limit. This is also where ACES IV promotes ignition from the inside out which produces more power release than an outside in configuration (typical gasoline burn w/o ACES IV).
Many people try to use oil based fuel additives to accomplish a better burn because they believe that it will reduce surface tension of gasoline. Unfortunately petroleum oils commonly used in most all fuel additives have relatively high surface tension in solution with gasoline and so it actually inhibits the vaporization process hampering combustion. (Typically this is why people call most fuel additives "snake oil" with good reason!)
Oil is the operative word here and why. Remember that if it is distilled out of crude oil and not included in either gasoline, diesel fuel, or jet kerosine, then it isn't good for the fuels in general and should not be added.
Gasoline, diesel fuel, and jet kerosine are the most expensive components and any refinery would love to make full barrels of these three with nothing left over. If the item is distilled out then it is not good for any of them. However, there are bottles of "petroleum distillate" additives available to put in fuels because essentially they have to get rid of them somewhere! Go to any Walmart or auto parts store and you will have shelves and shelves of them! One day I counted over 600 types.
Flame speed is also pretty self-explanatory, but there are two sides to this coin. On one hand, the faster the fuel/air mixture burns, the higher expanding gas pressure will be and the longer the pressure wave will have to work on the piston before the exhaust port opens.
However, since the ignition system is timed to fire before the piston reaches top-dead-center, some of that gas pressure will actually work AGAINST the piston as it completes the compression stroke. It is called ďknock" in your regular car, but it's really pre-ignition and it can be really very destructive.
It can literally chew the top of a piston away a little bit at a time. In less then a minute, at the RPMs that most street/strip engines run the top of the piston is gone and you're done. In extreme cases, pre-ignition can break pistons, and the damage that it can do is expensive. It is our contention that cooling the cylinder down with lubricity from ACES IV would keep pieces of valve guide from coming apart due to temps and lubricity cushioning them. Cracks occur from repeated pounding and over heating of the chamber.
The density of the fuel/air mixture is the subject of a great deal of interest throughout the racing world. The cooler the charge of fuel and air going into the engine, the denser it will be. And the denser it is, the more potential energy there is in each incoming charge. Introducing more available oxygen and hydrogen with the fuel creates more power yet in the given space. Have a 6 cylinder breath as deeply as a V8, and it will produce the power of a V8. Have a smaller V8 breath deeper like a big V8 and it will produce the same power etc.
Remember that all the horsepower youíre going to get is stored in that fuel and air (especially with ACES IV), so the denser a charge you can get into the engine, the better. Superchargers and turbochargers increase the charge density mechanically by compressing it, but that generates a lot of heat in the mixture before it ever gets into the cylinder.
This is why lubricity is so important in post combustion to exhaust phase. It creates even more heat if nitrous oxide is used as an accelerant. Remember that nitrous has no lubricity at all and is very dry like alcohol. (ACES IV makes nitrous about 7% more powerful.)
With ACES IV, lengthing the flame front and retarding peak heat release the fuel will resist pre-ignition better and allow you to lean the engine out more without damage. The heat reactive lubricity produced by the ACES IV will reduce ring and bore wear by some 600% while reducing stem and guide wear by some 360%. It also cushions intake and exhaust valve seats!
Use of ACES IV in 87 Octane fuel has an ignition improver to help increase the octane effect (for low performance applications only, and not for high performance R/T and SRT8 use) smoother running and more mpg and less heat are produced.
Using it in 89 octane (for R/T and stock SRT8 applications) produces a higher octane effect, and in 93 Octane fuel, effects of up to 102 Octane can
be attained. Any base fuel, when treated, will help eliminate cylinder detonation and produce added power.
I use 89 Shell or Marathon fuels and ACES IV at 1 oz per 6 gallons to use the 98 octane effect with smooth power and no detonation in HP applications in my 06 SRT8.
This is what we used when we went to Akron Horsepower along with the 12.5w40 QuantumBlue Custom Blended Lubricants.
Understanding the dynamics of how fuels work will help many people determine what is the next move, and how to get more power from your fuel effectively and why we designed the ACES IV. Over 2700 people now who own LX, LC, LD and WK bodies depend on ACES IV for power and protection in their cars.
BND Automotive LLC