High gas prices, thoughts on using Toluene to boost octane

Discussion in '2005 - 2009 Specific Tech' started by COBESGT, May 13, 2008.


  1. COBESGT

    COBESGT Member

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    I remember back a few years, more like 9 years, Mustangers were using a mixture of lower octane gas and adding toluene to their tank to boost the octane rating. Just wondering if anyone is still doing this, especially now since gas prices are so high. Toluene is available in 1-gallon cans at your local home improvement stores. I managed to save a copy from a old Corral Posting if anybody is interested in hearing more.
     
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  2. matty

    matty Member

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    To be honest this is the first time i've heard about that. I'd like to see that post that you have if you can send it to me, or post it that would be great. How much toluene do you have to put in and how much does it cost? Any drawbacks, potential issues of using it?

    Matt
     
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  3. ct07gt

    ct07gt Member

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    I know that it works, but I am not sure how much you have to add to make the difference you need. I really doubt that it would be cheaper to use toluene than to just buy higher octane at the gas station. I don't think that a dealership would be too likely to honor a warranty if they found out about it either. The only time I think it would make sense is if you are trying to get higher octane gas than is available.
    I just looked it up on wikipedia, they said 86% of F1 fuel in the 80's was toluene. I would think that the 1.5L Turbo motors back then needed some pretty high octane fuel, some of the qualifying motors supposedly made 1400 hp.
     
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  4. SlideWRX

    SlideWRX New Member

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    Toluene is some good high octane booster. Figure out the right amount to get the desired octane and go. However, Premium around here is now usually just under 20 cents less per gallon than regular. For Fifteen gallons, that's three bucks. How much is the toluene, and do you have somewhere safe to store it? I've heard some people use it to boost pump gas octane up to 95+ when needed for track days & whatnot, but they usually start at 93 octane gas.
     
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  5. DarkFireGT

    DarkFireGT Playing with my wife's really makes me want one. Mod Dude

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    Personally, if you want to run higher octane, just buy the higher octane. It may work, but it could cause problems. Why run the risk? It's only a few extra dollars at the pump. If you can't afford the few extra dollars, go to a lower tune.
     
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  6. TGJ

    TGJ New Member

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    I know that this works. This is a racer's trick to turn 91 Octane into 100 Octane fuel. How much you need to add, depends on what Octane level of fuel you are buying and what Octane level you want to achieve. I am not sure I would do this on a daily driver though as I don't think it would be cost effective compared to buying 91-94 Octane fuel.
     
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  7. Hoboattacker

    Hoboattacker New Member

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    Never heard of Toluene. Most of the 03/04 Cobra guys are using Torco octane booster when they want to run above 93 octane, though.
     
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  8. DarkFireGT

    DarkFireGT Playing with my wife's really makes me want one. Mod Dude

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    Yeah, Torco is safe, I know that one. But again... It's safer just to buy the octane you really want. Why take a chance on a new car?
     
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  9. stanmckinney

    stanmckinney Active Member

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    COBESGT, what's that gas cap you have? Can we see a larger photo of it and your car?
    If I remember my college chemistry, toluene is a solvent, used for cleaning metal.
     
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  10. COBESGT

    COBESGT Member

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    Gas Cap and Calculations

    The gas cap is a UPR Product. Gezz, I'm impressed that someone else would like to see more pictures of my car. I'm attaching a picture of the gas cap and if you would like to see more pictures of my car, just let me know what angle.

    As far as the Toluene goes, I did some simple equations using a dilution calculator and found that you would need to mix 3 gallons of Toluene with 12 gallons of 87 Octane gas to get a mixture of 92 Octane. See my simple calcs below:

    Toluene = 112 Octane rating x 3 gallons = (336)
    Reg Gas = 87 Octane rating x 12 gallons = (1044)

    Desired Gas = 92 Octane rating x 15 gallons = (1380)

    (112x3) + (87x12) = 1380, thus giving you a 92 Octane Rating mixture.

    Now let's say a 1-Gallon can of Toluene = $5 (I really have no idea what it costs), 87 octane gas costs $3.73/gallon and 92 Octane Gas costs $4.13/gallon.


    ($5x3) + ($3.73x12) = $59.76, Toluene & 87 Octane mixture cost
    ($4.13x15) = $61.95, 92 Octane cost

    So, to make a long story short, after I did all the calculations, $2.19 is not worth my time, effort, or worries.
     
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  11. TGJ

    TGJ New Member

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    Kind of correct as it is a cleaning solvent...

    However, Toluene is 114 Octane petroleum solvent that is currently found in pump gasoline. It is as safe to add as Torco is as it is in the gasoline you buy/burn already( Roughly 3 - 5% of 91 - 94 Octane Gasoline is Toluene ).

    Last I checked, Toluene is roughly $10.00 US for a 5 gallon pail of 100% Toluene.

    Another common solvent used is Xylene which is 117 Octane. Xylene is more corrosive than Toluene and does like to eat away at fuel system components.
     
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  12. COBESGT

    COBESGT Member

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    Ahh, I think I have solved the Spark Plug Dilemma


    How about adding a high octane mixture of Toluene to your tank, run it for a while (1/2 tank), then try to remove the spark plugs. If Toluene is a cleaning solvent, what better to use to clean-out the carbon deposits around the two-piece spark plugs. Probably just wishful thinking!
     
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  13. DarkFireGT

    DarkFireGT Playing with my wife's really makes me want one. Mod Dude

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    If you're looking to clean the engine out, I'd use Seafoam.
     
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  14. klaw

    klaw Member

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    My Whipple HO kit came with a warning about commercial octane boosters that said that they don't work that well and that they are extremely hard on spark plugs. Normally, you could change/clean/regap your plugs but with the known 3V plug problems together with aluminum heads/threads, frequent spark plug changes doesn't sound like a great idea. The kit also warns against using ethanol blended gasolines. Our premium pump gas here is 91 octane with 92 available as a 90/10 ethanol blend. We're at a higher elevation so apparently the refiiners decided that 91 is "sufficient" for our market. I'm running the 91 premium.
     
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  15. SlideWRX

    SlideWRX New Member

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    Dang! Your premium is forty cents more expensive?

    Most autostore octane boosters boost less than 0.5 octane per bottle; making 93 into 93.5 octane. They advertise a '3 point increase!!!' and kinda leave off that that is ~0.3 octane improvement. Torco & some others are significantly better, resulting in a 2-4 octane bump.
     
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  16. klaw

    klaw Member

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    I think Whipple said that NOS brand octane booster was the best and could be used in a pinch but still didn't recommend it because of the spark plug issue.
     
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  17. LV51FER

    LV51FER New Member

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    Your expensive gas prices are so cheap, it's laughable. If I lived over there. I'd run a couple of V10s just to make myself feel good. We are now paying the equivalent of $2.24 for a liter of gas in the UK as well as 17.5% tax on everything.
     
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  18. COBESGT

    COBESGT Member

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    Yes, I know we have cheaper gas here in the states, but all things are relative. You may pay more for gas in the UK, but some other things for you may be cheaper, or your yearly earnings are higher, perhaps not. I think the day of $2.75/gallon of gas are long gone. It's sad, I just filled my F150 and three gas cans (2 1-gallon cans and 1 2-gallon can) the other day, $97 down the tubes! I wish I could get that money tree in the backyard to finally start growing!:D
     
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  19. LV51FER

    LV51FER New Member

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    Very true. It cost me £60 (about $120) to fill the Mazda 5 the other day but then I do have an orchard of money trees in the back garden. :rlaugh:
     
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  20. ThavionHawk

    ThavionHawk New Member

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    I don't know why but in my part of the US it cost about $16-$20/Gallon of Toluene, and even more for Goof-Off or Xylene. I only need to get around 94oct so 1 gallon of boost for every 11 gallons of 92oct at the pump. I just hate the fact that Oregon is an E10 only state so I have low quality gas to start with. I've ran a full tank of MMT boosted gas, and loved how smooth it was on they Highway and in town, but it cost $14 for the boost and I don't trust MMT in long term use.

    Can some one please tell me why I am getting shafted. I have searched within about a 50-60 mile range, but still. I have herd that Toluene is used in production of Meth, but if that is true, then why spike xylene too, and has any one herd about using Goof-Off, its said to be a 50/50 of Toluene and Xylene.
     
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