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Xenocron's Fuel Test Results - VP M5 versus FTW Black (methanol fuels)

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Old 10-30-2014, 06:01 AM   #1
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Icon6 Xenocron's Fuel Test Results - VP M5 versus FTW Black (methanol fuels)

Let me first disclose that I DO NOT sell fuel, I tune engines and I sell parts. All of the parts mentioned in this tech post can be purchased from Xenocron, and we do ship worldwide and sell wholesale. I am a paying sponsor on this site, and I love doing tech posts like this, but the only real way to justify the time and expense is through marketing, so if Admin's feel this post is against TOS, then that's unfortunate.

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So I had some time today to do a little test that I have been wanting to do for a while. Last week while I was out in Long Island helping my friend/colleague Ed Woolsey (FFE) with his car, I got to speak with Chris Miller about the fuel, and discuss some helpful information on where to begin tuning with it. I took two cans and told him I was doing this test good, bad or ugly and he said he looked forward to it.

Now what is M5? Its MOSTLY methanol, with a proprietary blend of additives that help it light off easier in colder weather, combust faster, and usually make more power than straight methanol (m1) in most applications. I have been tuning a LOT of it in the past year or so and I have become pretty comfortable with it. I have a lot of dyno data, I have a lot of track data...but I inched my way there over the last year or so, and everything I have seen about this fuel I LOVE. Super stable, super consistent and damn its CHEAP ($55-75 per 5 gallon drum).

You MUST have the proper fuel system for Methanol, meaning all of your components should be compatible with it, you must figure in at least DOUBLE the capacity of a typical Gasoline based fuel system when you design your system around it as well, and it is HIGHLY corrosive so in my opinion, it should NEVER sit in your fuel system, EVER for any length of time (hours)!

This goes for FTW Black as well, but it wants about 20% more volume/mass than M5 as far as fuel system capacity goes, so if you are near the edge on M5 already, step up your game if you want to try this stuff. FTW Black is $130 a can for 5 Gallons, so its a touch more expensive. What you have to remember when figuring cost on Methanol though, is that you use DOUBLE, so figure your fuel costs are DOUBLE as well ($110-150 per 5 gallon drum for M5, or $260 per 5 gallons for FTW Black) versus say a gas based fuel like Q16 or VP Import for comparisons sake.

For starter tips, if you have a good M5 tune already, add 20-24% to the overall trim, and remove 6 degrees from your timing maps...I'm talking globally. This is SAFE, and you can inch your way back in increments on the dyno. On my K-Series engine I played with cam angles, and didnt find that there was any difference between these two fuels, nor did I expect to find any differences.

For M5, I usually target .72 Lambda on all the cars I tune...you need a GOOD WIDEBAND to do this. AEM, Innovate, PLX...these are not going to cut it for M5/FTW Black tuning. You can get CLOSE...but they dont work well or accurately at such rich mixtures. The NGK AFX with NTK Sensor is a good unit for the budget guys, a Motec PLM is a more professional choice if you are going to tune a lot of these setups. Once I get everything as close as I can to my targets, I will do one pull 5% richer, and one pull 5% leaner, and see if this moves the power drastically up or down. Usually it does not, but every once in a while I get an engine that likes to be leaner. Keep your run conditions similar (same ECT and IAT start temps). Generally with methanol, if your ignition system can support it, you can go heavily rich and suffer no losses in power, which means SAFE, and running COOL. I use Iridium NGK8 spark plugs on almost EVERY all motor car I tune on this stuff, and they have worked wonderfully. On a typical honda (B, K, H) I usually start about 8-10 degrees lower than a typical Q16 tune, and work my way up from there.

My fuel system is the following:
- Weldon 2015A Pump (good for ~500hp on methanol, 1000 on gas, and made for High Pressure)
-8an feed lines, -6an return. Injector Dynamics 1300cc injectors (the only injectors I would use on such corrosive fuels if I were you). I run a 40 micron pre-pump filter, and a 25 micron pump filter (critical to have both filters on fuels like this unless you want to constantly deal with issues). I run 5 bar of fuel pressure (about 75 psi), but you could easily run more on this pump...it will go 110-120 psi easy and so will the injectors. When looking at your fuel filter, you need to make sure it has LOTS of surface area internally and that the filter element is compatible with the fuel you are using, stainless steel is the usual choice.

If I have missed any details, if you want to know anything else, please dont private message me, ask it here on the post...this is an open book, and my main motivation was to learn, and share the knowledge so no SECRETS here.

As far as longevity or safety...I do not know yet. I haven't had luck in the past with other FTW fuels, but in most of those cases I was rushed and didn't have the necessary info I now have. Remember this fuel isnt really legal for any classes, unless you have a class with no fuel rules. It's a fuel that gives you the most power I have seen or tested, pre-mixed and ready for you in a can. I'm not endorsing the fuel, I have no pony in this race, I'm not a dealer so take this info for what it's worth...and I will report back if I get a chance to make it to the track with this setup before they close for the year, still have a couple busy weeks left.
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Old 10-30-2014, 06:15 AM   #2
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Default Re: Xenocron's Fuel Test Results - VP M5 versus FTW Black (methanol fuels)

Great post.
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Old 10-30-2014, 06:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: Xenocron's Fuel Test Results - VP M5 versus FTW Black (methanol fuels)

how does the black compare to the other ftw fuels?

say black vs red?
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Old 10-30-2014, 06:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: Xenocron's Fuel Test Results - VP M5 versus FTW Black (methanol fuels)

Nice, great to always see concrete data.

I'd also add that if you're going the methanol route, to never let it sit in the motor either. It will rust the cylinder bores if you don't "fog" them down with gasoline or gas with a little oil in it.

Alcohol is very hygroscopic and loves to collect water . . . same deal in your oil as well.
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Old 10-30-2014, 06:28 AM   #5
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Default Re: Xenocron's Fuel Test Results - VP M5 versus FTW Black (methanol fuels)

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how does the black compare to the other ftw fuels?

say black vs red?
I dont know why you would compare them?

(Red) Gas vs (Black) Methanol

(RED) Fuel Blend specifically to meet a specific class rule vs (Black) Fuel that isnt allowed in any class really
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Old 10-30-2014, 06:38 AM   #6
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Default Re: Xenocron's Fuel Test Results - VP M5 versus FTW Black (methanol fuels)

I just drain the methanol out and pour in 87 from the generator and fire it up and let it idle a few minutes to get it all out of the injectors. Just don't hit the gas LOL. Your fuel system will last longer if you drain your race E85, Q16, FTW of any type and any other fuels as well.
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Old 10-30-2014, 06:44 AM   #7
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Default Re: Xenocron's Fuel Test Results - VP M5 versus FTW Black (methanol fuels)

great post. Your post is fine Chris

Last edited by crazes; 05-31-2015 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 10-30-2014, 09:28 AM   #8
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Default Re: Xenocron's Fuel Test Results - VP M5 versus FTW Black (methanol fuels)

Bosch 044 would have got the job done? For under 300 whp applications

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Old 10-30-2014, 10:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: Xenocron's Fuel Test Results - VP M5 versus FTW Black (methanol fuels)

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Bosch 044 would have got the job done? For under 300 whp applications
Yes, I have a few cars on single Bosch 044s making over 300 using M5. Again, I would suggest ID 1300s with a single bosch as 1000s would be near max duty cycle, and the pump is higher up in its usage as well.
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Old 10-30-2014, 10:25 AM   #10
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Default Re: Xenocron's Fuel Test Results - VP M5 versus FTW Black (methanol fuels)

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I just drain the methanol out and pour in 87 from the generator and fire it up and let it idle a few minutes to get it all out of the injectors. Just don't hit the gas LOL. Your fuel system will last longer if you drain your race E85, Q16, FTW of any type and any other fuels as well.
100% agree, this is what I do and ridiculously urge my customers to do as well.

At a 2 day race, it runs on pump when I put it in the trailer at night, and then gets swapped back to M5 first thing in the AM. then before I load to go home after the race, it gets switched again.

the very next day after a race, I am changing the oil, and running it on pump gas, checking the plugs (anti-seize), doing a compression test and a leak down before it sits ANY length of time.

maintenance is KEY to running these types of fuels.
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Old 10-30-2014, 11:38 AM   #11
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Default Re: Xenocron's Fuel Test Results - VP M5 versus FTW Black (methanol fuels)

So when are you going to start tipping the can and running 20%+ nitro?!?
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Old 10-30-2014, 12:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: Xenocron's Fuel Test Results - VP M5 versus FTW Black (methanol fuels)

Great post.. In for results..
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Old 10-30-2014, 06:41 PM   #13
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Default Re: Xenocron's Fuel Test Results - VP M5 versus FTW Black (methanol fuels)

great post thanks for sharing!
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Old 10-31-2014, 08:22 AM   #14
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Default Re: Xenocron's Fuel Test Results - VP M5 versus FTW Black (methanol fuels)

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I just drain the methanol out and pour in 87 from the generator and fire it up and let it idle a few minutes to get it all out of the injectors. Just don't hit the gas LOL. Your fuel system will last longer if you drain your race E85, Q16, FTW of any type and any other fuels as well.
Do you guys think this is necessary to do as well with Pump E85? to drain and run 87 after race days or sitting? i usually start my car once maybe twice a week to not let the E85 sit to long?
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Old 10-31-2014, 09:00 AM   #15
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Default Re: Xenocron's Fuel Test Results - VP M5 versus FTW Black (methanol fuels)

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Do you guys think this is necessary to do as well with Pump E85? to drain and run 87 after race days or sitting? i usually start my car once maybe twice a week to not let the E85 sit to long?
It wouldnt hurt, and depends on the environment you store the car in.
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:54 PM   #16
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Default Re: Xenocron's Fuel Test Results - VP M5 versus FTW Black (methanol fuels)

Great post! Thanks for sharing
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Old 10-31-2014, 09:59 PM   #17
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It wouldnt hurt, and depends on the environment you store the car in.
what if u are running a q16 mixture that brings octane to 98-100, do u still need to drain? This **** have me concerned
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Old 11-01-2014, 12:10 PM   #18
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Default Re: Xenocron's Fuel Test Results - VP M5 versus FTW Black (methanol fuels)

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what if u are running a q16 mixture that brings octane to 98-100, do u still need to drain? This **** have me concerned
When using a oxygenated fuel (which Q16 is) it's a good idea to drain the fuel and run regular gas through your lines to clear them out.
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Old 11-01-2014, 02:34 PM   #19
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Default Re: Xenocron's Fuel Test Results - VP M5 versus FTW Black (methanol fuels)

Should all the ethanol fuels be drained after each race day also Chris or leaving it over a race weekend will be fine? Talking E85 or E98.
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Old 11-01-2014, 02:44 PM   #20
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Default Re: Xenocron's Fuel Test Results - VP M5 versus FTW Black (methanol fuels)

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Should all the ethanol fuels be drained after each race day also Chris or leaving it over a race weekend will be fine? Talking E85 or E98.
Mine's been sitting in the car for two weeks....lol
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:49 AM   #21
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Should all the ethanol fuels be drained after each race day also Chris or leaving it over a race weekend will be fine? Talking E85 or E98.
It certainly would be a good idea
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Old 05-31-2015, 08:29 AM   #22
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Default Re: Xenocron's Fuel Test Results - VP M5 versus FTW Black (methanol fuels)

I know this is an old thread but wondering about possibly switching to M5 fuel as well. Had been running C85 fuel but upped the compression and found that we could only go up to about 26 degrees of timing vs last year when we were at 30. Compression last year was at 11.5 and now it's at 13.5 or so. We put some E98 in as it was available and were able to go back up to 30 degrees without losing torque.....did we reach the limit of the C85 or maybe something else going on? Back to the M5 switch, I searched on the flow rates of pumps and the Bosch 044 seems to be similar to the Walbro 255 in flow at stock psi 40-45, would a fuel pump upgrade be necessary as well, I have ID725s and a 255 pump running on the ethanol, Methanol should be about 30 percent more but I'd rather find a different solution other than sumping the tank and redoing the entire fuel system just to pick up 10hp or so. My setup is a b-series and making just under 260, would an in-tank pump and maybe going to ID1000s do the trick for M5?
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Old 06-01-2015, 04:46 AM   #23
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I know this is an old thread but wondering about possibly switching to M5 fuel as well. Had been running C85 fuel but upped the compression and found that we could only go up to about 26 degrees of timing vs last year when we were at 30. Compression last year was at 11.5 and now it's at 13.5 or so. We put some E98 in as it was available and were able to go back up to 30 degrees without losing torque.....did we reach the limit of the C85 or maybe something else going on? Back to the M5 switch, I searched on the flow rates of pumps and the Bosch 044 seems to be similar to the Walbro 255 in flow at stock psi 40-45, would a fuel pump upgrade be necessary as well, I have ID725s and a 255 pump running on the ethanol, Methanol should be about 30 percent more but I'd rather find a different solution other than sumping the tank and redoing the entire fuel system just to pick up 10hp or so. My setup is a b-series and making just under 260, would an in-tank pump and maybe going to ID1000s do the trick for M5?
A single Bosch 044 pump willl be good for around 360-390 hp give or take, you will need at least ID1000s here, and those will be close...Id recommend the ID1300s as a better choice.
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Old 06-01-2015, 02:53 PM   #24
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Default Re: Xenocron's Fuel Test Results - VP M5 versus FTW Black (methanol fuels)

Iv been thinking of using M5 as well. However, I've read that their were serious health risks involved with running meth and not wearing proper safety gear (eg. Gas mask) any truth to this? I know this seems like a petty question. However, I'd hate to be starting my car in the driveway with my daughter/wife around if it's harmful!
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Old 06-02-2015, 05:01 AM   #25
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Iv been thinking of using M5 as well. However, I've read that their were serious health risks involved with running meth and not wearing proper safety gear (eg. Gas mask) any truth to this? I know this seems like a petty question. However, I'd hate to be starting my car in the driveway with my daughter/wife around if it's harmful!
methanol is poisonous and can cause blindness.

its a race only situation for me, or in my air flow controlled dyno room, and yes I wear a gas mask when tuning with it
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