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'Racing' Fuel On Normal Cars  
User currently offlineCometII From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 302 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 11924 times:

The other day I stopped to get gas at this Sunoco gas station near my house. Well besides the reg 87, 89, 93 octane gas and Diesel pumps, I saw a separate 'racing' fuel pump of 100 octanes! My question is kinda silly but what would happen if you gas up a regular car with that gasoline? I know it won't do jack to make it go faster or anything, but on the other hand can it be actually bad for your car??

Also, which cars out in the general market require that type of fuel?

34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLY744 From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 5536 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 11921 times:

Quoting CometII (Thread starter):
Also, which cars out in the general market require that type of fuel?

Nothing any of us will ever be able to afford.


LY744.



Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
User currently onlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26536 posts, RR: 75
Reply 2, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 11921 times:

Quoting CometII (Thread starter):
I know it won't do jack to make it go faster or anything, but on the other hand can it be actually bad for your car??

On some higher-end cars, it can help performance. It should not be bad for most cars though it may be too rich for some models that are set up for 87

Quoting CometII (Thread starter):
Also, which cars out in the general market require that type of fuel

None. Only some that have been heavily modified will require it, and even those can do ok on 91/93



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineCometII From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 302 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 11917 times:

Not even exotics?



User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 11916 times:

100 octane gas is quite common here since a few years, it is ridiculous overpriced and I never bought it because it is useless according to the media and the German automobile clubs, just another way to rip-of customers.

Patrick


User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12192 posts, RR: 18
Reply 5, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 11903 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

If it was cheaper then yes it would be very popular

User currently offlineBill142 From Australia, joined Aug 2004, 8451 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 11888 times:

Only performace cars and highend cars need high octane fuel. The engine has been tuned to run on higher octane fuel and when running with the optimum amount of octane you will get good performance out if it.

When the Subaru Liberty (Legacy) B4 came out here from Japan the engine had to be retuned to suit 95RON (I think thats our highest) as we don't have 100RON in Australia.


User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 11885 times:

100LL, the one thing I DON'T miss about flying..

User currently offlineNWADC9 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4897 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 11876 times:

Quoting Bill142 (Reply 6):
Only performace cars and highend cars need high octane fuel.

Not to mention old cars.



Flying an aeroplane with only a single propeller to keep you in the air. Can you imagine that? -Capt. Picard
User currently offlineNKP S2 From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 1714 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 11872 times:

Unless it's an older high-compression musclecar ( or heavily modified modern car...and that doesn't mean a K&N cone filter and neon-pink spark plug wires, and carbon-fiber cam cover on your Civic ) don't waste your money. 100 octane is way beyond any requirement of a computer controlled EFI car.

[Edited 2005-05-07 03:25:47]

[Edited 2005-05-07 03:26:17]

User currently offlineBiggles From Canada, joined Dec 2004, 459 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 11868 times:

Modified turbo and supercharged cars would like it. I wish we had it here.I could bump up the timing in my supercharged Mustang for track events and make more power.

User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13120 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 11862 times:

I believe the 100 octane fuel at Sunoco is for racing, similar to the gasoline they provide to NASCAR. Sunoco is about the largest refiner of racing gasoline in the USA. Such gasoline would also be appropiate for drag racing vehicles, hot rods, muscle cars of the 60's, other high preformance cars until the late 1970's. In the late 1950's, my father was working the 4-12 midnight shift at a Curtiss-Wright plant in New Jersey, and since there wasn't any 24/7 gas stations open on the way home, he decided to use some 130 octane piston engine aircraft fuel in his then fairly new 1957 Dodge V-8 (not a hemi). Said it had quite a kick, did about 110 mph on a divide highway on the way home, no cops around. The next day, he topped of the tank with regular fuel so didn't burn the engine up. Even today, some piston aircraft engines use 'high-test' fuel, with 100 or more octane.

User currently offlineAsstChiefMark From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 11832 times:

Racing fuel will burn up the engine very quickly. There's a fuel station in Plymouth, Minnesota that is close to a race track. They sell racing fuel and regular fuel. Not only is the racing fuel about $6 a gallon, but it's something like 120 octane. The piston rings will become fried within a few seconds.

Mark


User currently offlineSaxdiva From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 2382 posts, RR: 42
Reply 13, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 11831 times:

Having once built a nitrous oxide-powered street racer with my similarly-insane big brother, I'll just stay out of this thread from here on out.  tapedshut 

User currently offlineMrChips From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 932 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 11822 times:

Quoting Saxdiva (Reply 13):
a nitrous oxide-powered street racer

You mean nitrous oxide BOOSTED street racer, right?

100 octane fuel will do precisely nothing to the performance of your average car over regular 87 octane gasoline.

Furthermore, if you put that stuff in your tank and your car is under warranty still, well....it isn't under warranty anymore.



Time...to un-pimp...ze auto!
User currently offlineSaxdiva From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 2382 posts, RR: 42
Reply 15, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 11821 times:

Quoting MrChips (Reply 14):

You mean nitrous oxide BOOSTED street racer, right?

Right... it had a bottle in the trunk. My bad--I'm still pretty buzzed from some tropical thing I concocted an hour or so ago.

Funny, whenever I think about those days, I mostly remember the smell of solvent. Guess what my job usually was? Seems like I spent an entire summer hunched over a bucket, cleaning stuff.


User currently offlineGo3Team From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3267 posts, RR: 16
Reply 16, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 11788 times:

Be careful when deciding to purchase "racing fuel". Most of the time it is of the leaded variety, and will cause premature engine failure, along with damaging emission control items. 2-3 gallons added to an almost full tank should be ok, but never fill up with the stuff.


Yay Pudding!
User currently offlineFokker Lover From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 11778 times:

If they are selling racing fuel at the pump, I'll guarantee that there is some sort of a race track nearby. I live between two quarter mile dragstrips and most of the stations around here sell "CAM 2" racing fuel. It was 4 dollars a gallon when we were paying 1 dollar for 87 octane. That's one of those things where if the demand is there, they will supply it. If you don't have a 10 second car, you don't need it.

User currently offlineUSAir_757 From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 996 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 11741 times:

A Sunoco near where I live sells unleaded 100 octane "race gas." It's not true race gas because it's unleaded and it's 100 octane, but it's a considerable improvement over 93 octane. Some sunocos sell 110 octane, which is true race gas and IS leaded and WILL damage your catalytic converter. The 100 octane is street legal and will NOT damage your catalytic converter.

Quoting Fokker Lover (Reply 17):
If you don't have a 10 second car, you don't need it.

Not true. High-boost turbo cars such as the WRX STi will actually pick up some horsepower when running race gas - the reason is the higher the octane, the less likely the engine is to ping - all modern gasoline engines have knock sensors which detect ping and tell the computer to pull the ignition timing back, which prevents pinging, but reduces power as well.



-Cullen Wassell @ MLI | Pentax K5 + DA18-55WR + Sigma 70-300 DL Macro Super
User currently offlineUSAir_757 From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 996 posts, RR: 8
Reply 19, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 11727 times:

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 12):
Racing fuel will burn up the engine very quickly. There's a fuel station in Plymouth, Minnesota that is close to a race track. They sell racing fuel and regular fuel. Not only is the racing fuel about $6 a gallon, but it's something like 120 octane. The piston rings will become fried within a few seconds.

Uh, where did you come up with that? You're either misunderstanding a description, or you've been misled...

Race gas is very high octane. The higher the octane of the fuel, the less likely the engine is to ping(detonate) while running that fuel. Detonation is what will burn up the engine in a few seconds if severe enough. Since racing fuel greatly reduces or prevents detonation, it will protect the engine.

I know a guy with a modded turbo car who ran 15psi boost on 87 regular, and it wasn't long before he'd melted 2 of his pistons.

The leaded variety of race gas can burn up your catalytic converter, but that is easily replacable and universal replacements are available for around $40-70 depending on the application.

and true race gas is either 110oct or 112oct, not 120oct.

not to be rude, but please research this stuff before you post.

[Edited 2005-05-08 08:34:00]


-Cullen Wassell @ MLI | Pentax K5 + DA18-55WR + Sigma 70-300 DL Macro Super
User currently offlineNKP S2 From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 1714 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 11705 times:

Quoting Fokker Lover (Reply 17):

all modern gasoline engines have knock sensors which detect ping and tell the computer to pull the ignition timing back, which prevents pinging, but reduces power as well.

"Relatively" modern. Computer controlled timing, utilizing knock sensors were common from the mid-80's on. Higher octane will allow more timing, and more power....to a point. Engines with high cylinder pressures ( high compression ratio, cam timing, or forced induction ) will be more susceptable to detonation and can benefit from more octane ( to a point, other dynamics make themselves known ), but these cars are an exception and therefore beyond the scope of the basic question of this thread.

FokkerLover's "10 second" comment is likely more true than false. There are 10 second cars running these times on pump gas ( 93 ) and cast-iron heads. Lots of factors.............


User currently offlineGo3Team From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3267 posts, RR: 16
Reply 21, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 11698 times:

Quoting USAir_757 (Reply 19):
The leaded variety of race gas can burn up your catalytic converter

Not only that, but -can- cause damage to the valves. Something about hardened valves or something like that. Its been awhile since I've messed around in racing.



Yay Pudding!
User currently offlineCptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 22, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 11687 times:

The last several posters, US, NKP and Go3, have a pretty good handle on the perspective. Remember, lead is the cheapest way to increase octane and it is also a natural valve lubricant. Before "exotic" valve metallurgy, valves and their seats would wear prematurely without lead additives, especially with higher compression ratios. (What in the world are we operators of warbirds going to de when lead *100LL* is totally outlawed?)

In modern automotive engines, the introduction of computerised spark advance/retard ignition will generally allow the use of any non-leaded fuel in particular situations, but be aware that some performance vehicles have specific requirements. For example, our owner's manual on the 300C specifies mid-grade only; "regular" or "premium" not recommended. Other cars (I think Corvette) specifies premium grade only. Leaded fuel, as mentioned before, will contaminate catalytic converters and should be avoided.

One thing that the manufacturers have done admirably (Because of government prodding?) is to mass-produce powerplants that perform pretty well and last pretty long with modern lower octain fuels. BTW, I have a '95 Chev S-10 with 148,000 miles on it with original catalytic converter and I just passed emissions test. I know they are only "guaranteed" for 50,000 miles, but wonder if I am setting some kind of record. Regards...Jack



all best; jack
User currently offlineUSAir_757 From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 996 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 11685 times:

Quoting Go3Team (Reply 21):
Not only that, but -can- cause damage to the valves. Something about hardened valves or something like that. Its been awhile since I've messed around in racing.

Ah yes, I'd forgotten about the problems with valves, though that is actually less likely to happen than is the catalytic converter being burned up. Oh well, it was 3am, and the post I quoted kinda annoyed me.

And yes, I know some cars actually recommend a lower octane. My dad's new Accord's manual recommends 87 regular and advises against 93 premium.

The comment stating that the very high octane fuel will "burn up your engine in a few seconds" is what I was aiming to address. If that were true, my engine would've burned up long ago.



-Cullen Wassell @ MLI | Pentax K5 + DA18-55WR + Sigma 70-300 DL Macro Super
User currently offlineGo3Team From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3267 posts, RR: 16
Reply 24, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 11672 times:

Quoting USAir_757 (Reply 23):
though that is actually less likely to happen than is the catalytic converter being burned up

I've heard plugged up, rather than burned up, checkeredflag  which could be the same thing to some people, either way they should to be replaced. O2 sensors also take a beating, as leaded fuel leaves a coating on them, and causes them to give false readings. Don't ask me how I know this, putting leaded fuel into any car that has the ole' Unleaded Fuel Only warning is against the law.

FYI: Racing fuels are exempt from fuel taxes in most localities. Using them on road could be construed as tax evasion, as the fuel is for off road purposes only. Paying 4-5x the cost of regular fuel to avoid the fuel tax, is complete lunacy anyway. It is doubtful they would ever check cars, but in my occupation, I get checked all the time.  Angry



Yay Pudding!
25 Post contains images USAir_757 : yeah, same difference to me. either way, plugged up or burned up, it's still trashed and has to be replaced
26 Post contains links T prop : The 100 octane Sunoco sells at the pump is unleaded. The Dodge Neon SRT 4 stage 3 would need it. On this car there is an octane switch. set the switch
27 AsstChiefMark : From a race car driver. It's been three years since I was at that station, so I couldn't remember the exact octane. Mark
28 Superfly : Saxdiva: A buddy of mine down in Pasadena also had a 'big brother' that had a nitrous oxide boosted street racer. He had a 1971 Pontiac LeMans. That t
29 Biggles : There are loads of four banger engines running nitrous.The engines just have to be set up and tuned properly.
30 USAir_757 : Mark, I'm willing to bet he was talking about detonation. What you were takling about sounds consistant with detonation. Superfly, that's caused by to
31 Superfly : USAir_757: My friend who did this wasn't that car savy. He learned that the hard way. Anyhow it was a good reason to get rid of that Escort. It was a
32 USAir_757 : Ah, probably put a dry kit in without adding extra fuel...couldn't say for sure though without knowing how quickly it happened
33 Post contains images UTA_flyinghigh : Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! When I was in group N, our "race fuel" was regular off-the-mill 95 unleaded ! (lowest that you can get in Europe) UTA
34 L-188 : My old station manager one time got his hands on some Purple Avgas and ran it through the 350 Chevy that powered his truck.
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