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Methanol Injection: Keeping Your IATs Cool and Your Timing Hot

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Before considering a meth injection system your Mustang has to have everything else working properly. Especially fuel delivery. Keep everything in harmony with AmericanMuscle.

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A lot of horsepower means a lot of heat, especially for boosted 'Stangs. One way to combat to fight the heat is a methanol injection system.

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What is Methanol Injection?

Methanol injection is the act of injecting a water and alcohol mixture into the intake tract of your car. By mixing the incoming air and fuel charge with water and alcohol, you cool the surrounding parts, as well as the intake charge. By cooling the intake charge, it becomes more dense and allows more charge to enter the cylinder for combustion. The lower the temperature, the more ignition timing you can safely run. The alcohol in the mixture also burns with the intake charge, and alcohol is much more resistant to detonation. This gives you a greater octane, allowing you to run more boost or timing.

2011-2012 Mustang with a Ford Racing Cold Air Intake

How Does a Meth System work?

A meth system typically has a reservoir to hold your fluid of choice, a pump to move the fluid to the nozzle or nozzles, and a controller system. The controller system in some kits, like the Snow Performance kits, allows you command when the meth injection begins and how much of the mixture to spray at a given injector duty cycle or boost level. This works by tapping into a fuel injector wiring harness, or by t-ing off your boost gauge. The boost setting is not used for naturally aspirated engine, and the system will rely only on injector duty. By setting the system to come on at minimum threshold boost or injector duty percentages, you prevent damage to your engine. Spraying methanol at low RPM can cause engine quench, which cools the intake charge down so much that it prevents it from burning.

Mustang Interior with a Boost Gauge

Where Can I Get Fluid For My System and How Often Do I Need to Top Off?

Methanol injection kit manufacturers make and sell their own blends of meth and water. They use very clean methanol and water to give you the best possible performance from their systems. With that performance comes a price though, and methanol/water blends are typically more expensive than other fluids that are available for use. One of the more common fluids used for meth injection is plain old windshield washer fluid. People use it because it’s cheap and readily available. The only downside is that it will not perform as well as meth, but its great for the weekend warrior or daily driver looking for a little extra kick.You should only use blue washer solvent rated for -20º and with no additives. Different color washer solvents with additives can damage the system or your engine. Depending on how frequently your system is in use, you may need to refill the reservoir with each fill up of your gas tank. Its a good idea to keep an eye on the fluid level at all times. Some people choose to install a low fluid level switch which will warn you when the fluid level gets too low.

2005 V6 Mustang Washing Fluid Cap

Is Methanol Right for Me?

If you have a bolt on car with stock compression ratio, methanol is not going to be a good choice for you. Its benefits really shine with increased an increased compression ratio, or if you are running a boosted car. If your car is running a non-intercooled supercharger or a heavily leaned on supercharger towards its limits, you can dramatically increase your performance. Injecting meth on a non-intercooled system can bring the intake air temperature down lower than an intercooled system in some cases. A supercharger at its upper threshold of performance can create a huge amount of heat that overwhelms its intercooler system, and methanol can dramatically lower the charge temperature here as well. Meth also works great for people running superchargers in areas of the country with lower octane fuels.

2008 Vista Blue GT350 Mustang

You Should Use Meth If You:

  • Run a non-intercooled supercharger or turbo
  • Have high intake air temperatures from overworked supercharger 
  • Increased compression ratio on naturally aspirated engine
  • Need to run a rich air/fuel mixture to prevent detonation
  • Live in an area with lower octane fuels and run boost
PLX Wideband Air Fuel Ratio Gauge
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