What is in race gas?


15 replies to this topic
  • rebelventurer

Posted April 07, 2007 - 11:16 PM

#1

What chemicals are in race gas, the 108 octane VP four stroke stuff? I think I am addicted to it :worthy: :thumbsup: I love the way it smells, but the price rediculous! $26 a gallon. Anyone have a link that shows the properties and such? Another thread a guy says add up 30% xylene to regular gasoline Sorry but I am no guinea pig, would spend the $26 a gallon before trusting someones undocumented reccomendations!

  • CTXr650L

Posted April 08, 2007 - 03:07 AM

#2

that race gas smell is great isnt it :thumbsup: i used to mix a few gallons in on my car all the time just to get the smell of it. would keep doing it now but like you said $26/gallon is a little steep :worthy: i remember the the good ol days when i could actually buy sunoco 104 right at the gas station by my house, was ONLY $4.27/gallon which was still alot considering regular was $0.89 at the time... hmmm, now i might have to get some to spike the fuel in the pig just to relive some of those memorys.

  • motopsycho650

Posted April 08, 2007 - 05:59 AM

#3

We have a station in Boulder that sells 111 Octane Chevron fuel for 7.99/Gal

  • cleonard

Posted April 08, 2007 - 09:12 AM

#4

The main thing about race gas that makes it useful for racing is the consistency. Pump gas changes from brand to brand. Here in California we get two different formulations, winter and summer. That means the precise jetting changes between fillups. This isn't too much of an issue for stock machines, but it can be critical for a full on race engine. It can make the difference between finishing a race or having a engine failure.

As far as how it's made, an example would be motor oil. There is standard dino oil and there is synthetic. The race gas is more like synthetic. It's almost a blend of pure chemicals. They have less of the lower octane components that make up the majority of pump gas and more of the high octane components. Gasoline is made up of a whole range of hydrocarbons. Two of the big groups are alkanes and aromatics. The alkanes are linear (or branching) chain hydrocarbons and the aromatics are based on 6 carbon rings. Octane is a 8 carbon linear chain and we give it a rating of 100. Heptane is a 7 carbon chain and is zero on that scale. Aromatics like toluene and xylene have higher octane ratings. Toluene cames in at 114 and xylene depending on isomers is 117.

That's why people add tolulene (or xylene) to pump gas. If you have problems running pump gas, it is an easy way to boost the octane. Just buy it in bulk. Most auto parts store octane boosters are nothing but toluene or xylene. It's just a very expensive source of it. Just remember that DIY race gas is not really race gas. It does not have the same consistency as true race gas since you are starting with the ever changing pump gas.

Pump gas has aromatics too. However it is regulated. In California pump gas can only be 35% aromatics and it is 40% for the rest of the US. I'm pretty sure that race gas simply exceeds these limits. One side effect of extra aromatics is a change of density. The aromatics are 15% or so denser than the linear chain hydrocarbons so when making the switch to race gas the jetting will need to be changed a little (leaner) to get maximum benefit.

I'm sure that you have already read here on TT that extra octane does nothing for the engine unless it is built to take advantage of the extra octane. Generally that means high compression. If your bike doesn't ping on pump gas, spending the extra $$$ for race gas does not get you anything performance wise. You do get that sweet smell though.

  • Jon-D

Posted April 08, 2007 - 09:25 AM

#5

One thing to consider, the toluene (and other additives like it) are VERY flammable. I often thought about buying a gallon of toluene and keeping it in the garage to mix with the pump gas but I am afraid to take the risk of storing it there. If you do decide to buy some and store it, get yourself a flammable container to keep it in.

  • HawkGT

Posted April 08, 2007 - 09:36 AM

#6

VP C12 is the only VP fuel with an octane rating of 108 (MON). It is also very common. So I assume that is the fuel you're refering to. :thumbsup: But if you're paying $26 a gallon for C12, that is way too much. C12 should be more like $10 a gallon. Around me, C12 is $8.75 to about $11 per gallon.

The fact that you're reporting $26 a gallon makes me wonder if you're talking about some other VP fuel and are mistaken about the octane rating. They do manufacture over 70 different fuels. VP does have some power-adding oxy fuels and specialty fuels that ARE up in the $25+ range (some approaching $50 per gallon).



C12 is leaded which is where much of its octane rating comes from. These are the hazardous materials (most everything) in C12:

Benzene <10%
Toluene <10%
Dimethylbenzene (xylene) <10%
Ethylbenzene <10%
Styrene (ethenyl benzene) <10%
1,3-Butadiene <5%
Isoprene <10%
N-Hexane <2%
Pentane/pentadiene <10%
Cyclopentadiene <10%
Lead <10%

C12 is an excellent racing fuel--although there is little reason to run it in a stock, recreationally oriented XR650R. If you do run it, be sure to confirm your jetting! It will not jet the same as pump fuel.

  • cleonard

Posted April 08, 2007 - 09:38 AM

#7

One thing to consider, the toluene (and other additives like it) are VERY flammable. I often thought about buying a gallon of toluene and keeping it in the garage to mix with the pump gas but I am afraid to take the risk of storing it there. If you do decide to buy some and store it, get yourself a flammable container to keep it in.


For this reason I never put gas cans in the garage. The bike might go there, but I really try to keep flammable things like this outside. All my gas cans, propane tanks, solvents like acetone are outside. Toluene is actually slightly less flammable than gasoline as it's boiling point is a little higher. You may already have something *worse* that toluene in your garage.

  • rebelventurer

Posted April 08, 2007 - 10:24 AM

#8

Very interesting information :thumbsup: Once again cleonard, you amaze me with your knowledge! The VP gas I was refering to is not the C12, unfortunately I do not recall the exact designation, I know that the folks at Millsaps Training Facility, where my son trains are not feeding me a line of bull as to the cost. My son runs a 2 stroke and I believe the race gas for them is ul-4 (I think). Its just that when I am up there with my son I get overwhelmed at the smell of the four stroke fuel, I have a YZ250F that for most of its life has ran the race gas I have never seen a cleaner engine (the internals) So I have become more and more curious about the chemistry of these fuels. Thanks for your responses, if anyone has any links to the different types of fuel available please pass them on. Happy Easter Everyone!

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  • ebeck

Posted April 08, 2007 - 10:28 AM

#9

Up to sunoco 104 contains MMT. You can buy that form Torco as an additive and add it to regular fuel to get race fuel. I used to use it in my Turbo cars. Truct me it works. With out it I would detonate.With it I could make 100whp more and run 8 mour pounds of boost. all from addig 16 oz or Torco ot my full tank.

  • HawkGT

Posted April 08, 2007 - 11:02 AM

#10

Here are all of VP's fuels:

http://www.vpracingf...p_01_fuels.html

  • rebelventurer

Posted April 08, 2007 - 12:49 PM

#11

Thanks HawkGT, thats what I was looking for.:thumbsup:
Another member posted that Torco sells a product that contains MMT, from what I have heard the MMT additive commonly used in octane boosters is very harmful to engine components, Though I know nothing about the effects it may have, anyone with any insight on this?

  • flyin vee

Posted April 08, 2007 - 01:45 PM

#12

Try this, I used to run aviation fuel in my motocross bikes for raceday. Back then, ( 20 years ago), it was about 108 octane. I know what you mean about the smell, it smells awesome, especially mixed with two stroke oil. Be carefull as it tends to run a little (dry), meaning the motor runs a little more hot than usual. My .02:thumbsup:

  • Billahjack

Posted April 08, 2007 - 02:11 PM

#13

I came across a race gas called M85 for a racing series in college called Formula SAE. I think the Octane equivalent rating was around 140 and the mix was 15% race gas and 85% methanol. We bought it straight from an ARCO refinery and used it on a 30PSI Turbo, stock compression CBR600F2 engine. The spark plugs and fuel injection mapping were the most difficult part of the project.

As far as race gas goes, can you find a sprint car track? Usually the gas stations near those have 55 gallon drums of race gas with manual hand crank pumps.

  • malevolent73

Posted April 08, 2007 - 10:51 PM

#14

Up to sunoco 104 contains MMT. You can buy that form Torco as an additive and add it to regular fuel to get race fuel. I used to use it in my Turbo cars. Truct me it works. With out it I would detonate.With it I could make 100whp more and run 8 mour pounds of boost. all from addig 16 oz or Torco ot my full tank.


what is MMT? and where do you get it??? TORCO I'm guessing is the manufacturer???

  • cleonard

Posted April 09, 2007 - 06:56 AM

#15

what is MMT? and where do you get it??? TORCO I'm guessing is the manufacturer???


MMT = Methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl
http://en.wikipedia....ese_tricarbonyl

It is an organo metallic gas additive. It works a lot like lead (tetra ethyl lead) does. It raises octane. The first little bit helps the most. After that you get to a point of diminishing returns. It will lead to some combustion chamber deposits, but it is concentration related. A little bit shouldn't cause any problems.

I think you can get it right from the www.torco.com website.

  • IcanbreakIt

Posted April 09, 2007 - 06:10 PM

#16

There are 2 stations near me that sell 110 octane from the pump (off road only). About 2.5 times the price of premium. And like was said it smells good.





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