RC Fuels Nitromethane, Castor Oil, Synthetic, heli fuel, 4 stroke, etc...Fuel Q&A is here!

Fuel mixing advice

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Old 05-20-2011, 04:46 PM
  #1
DashRiprock
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Default Fuel mixing advice

I was just wondering if there was a thread somewhere on how to mix your own fuel. ive been reading here quite a bit and it looks like some people say its real easy, some say its much more complicated. but i think id like to try this out since my uncle makes his own bio diesel and has the methanol on hand. all i would need is castor oil and nitromethane right? or is there other additives that i would need to add to the mix? i have an air boat with a super tigre .60 airplane motor and soon a SV Nitro.
anyway i have been looking for a good guide to mixing your own fuel to see if i really wanna try it or not. if someone has a good thread bookmarked or knows of some helpful links i would apriciate it.

Thanks,
Dash
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Old 05-20-2011, 06:25 PM
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Default RE: Fuel mixing advice

Mixing your own fuel is so easy it's almost laughable . A basic fuel that any engine will run on is just 4 parts of methanol and 1 part of oil. Mix together, shake and go fly. If you want to use nitro then it's a little more complicated because you have to reduce the amount of methanol needed by the amount of nitro added, leave the oil at the same amount. For ease of calculating how much of each ingredient to use I'd definitely recommend using the Metric system instead of the American ounces. For instance, if you wanted to make a blend with 70% methanol, 20% oil and 10% nitro you'd measure out 700ml of methanol, 200ml of oil and 100ml of nitro. That would give you 1 litre of fuel or near enough a quart. No calculator needed .
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Old 05-21-2011, 04:04 AM
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http://www.geistware.com/rcmodeling/mixing_fuel.htm

It makes sense to mix your own fuel if you use about 15-20 gallons a year, or if you just like to mix up your own fuel. It is getting very difficult to obtain nitromethane, but there are sources in the U.S. I have mixed all my model fuels for helicopters, boats, cars and airplane engines since the King Orange Internationals in Miami FL in the late 1950s. To make a good fuel with a good idle, you will need methanol, an oil like Klotz Techniplate or the one with 20% Benol racing castor in it, and some nitromethane. You can use fuels without nitromethane, but usually a higher compression engine or one designed to run no nitromethane will run better. It generally is not cost effective to make small amounts of fuel, but a lot of fun, and fairly easy. I agree with Downunder, metric system a LOT easier to use than ounces. Seems like the U.S. is among the slowest to adopt and use the metric system. A system based on the length of a king's foot does not make a lot of sense. The only part we got right was our monetary system is basically metric! I buy 50-gallon drums of M-1 racing methanol, very high purity stuff, 5 gallon pails of nitromethane and have barrels of various Klotz oils here at home (Techniplate, Techniplate plus Benol racing castor and helicopter low viscosity oil, and other oils as well. You can often buy methanol, from speed (auto) shops, some racing cart shops and commercial suppliers to local businesses. You can order Klotz oils directly from Klotz. The nitromethane can be shipped, with hazmat fees to local addresses, but harder to find that the other two ingredients. American modelers generally use much more nitromethane that other modelers. Most engines will run just fine on 5-15% nitromethane. With nitromethane, you will get a much smoother idle, more power, but one generally does not have to use high nitro except for performance/speed applications. Hope this information helps. Enjoy your flying.
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Old 05-21-2011, 04:29 AM
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Default RE: Fuel mixing advice

Or you mix 7 cups of methanol, 2 cups of oil, 1 cup of nitro, whatever a cup stands for Just don't mix sizes.
quote
For instance, if you wanted to make a blend with 70% methanol, 20% oil and 10% nitro you'd measure out 700ml of methanol, 200ml of oil and 100ml of nitro. That would give you 1 litre of fuel or near enough a quart. No calculator needed
/quote
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:24 AM
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I have been mixing my own fuel for a couple months now. I just bought a 32oz liquid measuring cup to mix in, and pour into a jug. I started mixing a quart at a time to get a set ratio down that works good and then mix whole gallons. The only problem I had noticed in my homebrew is bubbles in the fuel lines. My car engines running 20% nitro 12% ALL castor were more problematic in the bubble department than my aero engines. I attribute the problem in the cars more to nucleation than foamy fuel since these engines turn 3000-4000rpm idle and 30,000rpm+ on the WOT side. Not to mention there is no real good way to insulate the tanks on cars since the cars chassis is built around the fuel tank.

While experimenting with one of my 1/8 monster trucks, I encountered tiny bubbles that turned into big bubbles and caused the fuel mixture to go all over the place. Once I got the tune perfect, it'd go lean because of the bubbles. 1 drop of silicone shock oil in the tank straightened out my mixture and the bubbles went away. My aero engine fuel tanks needed 1/4" foam stuck to the bottom of the tank and held in place by rubber bands instead instead of a more rigid fastener (like zipties) to not have bubbles. I did not add silicone to my aero fuel. (5% nitro/20% castor/75% methanol)

I have an Italian ST S90K on one of my homebuilt airboats. It just purrs on 5%! Don't run more than 5% nitro in a SuperTigre engine if its made in Italy. They're designed for low nitro like 5% or even FAI fuel.
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: Fuel Dinosaur

http://www.geistware.com/rcmodeling/mixing_fuel.htm

It makes sense to mix your own fuel if you use about 15-20 gallons a year, or if you just like to mix up your own fuel. It is getting very difficult to obtain nitromethane, but there are sources in the U.S.
I think it makes sense to mix your own even if you use 1-5 gallons a season. For me, its down to the cost per gallon. I have cars and airboats. 20% Car fuel is $32-$35 a gallon, and 5% Aero fuel is $28-$34 a gallon. I can make 20$ car fuel for less than $20 per gallon, and aero fuel for about $12 a gallon. The up-front costs of buying the chemicals may seem counterintuitive, but when you figure you can make 7-8 gallons or more for $120. 2 gallons of car fuel and 2 gallons of aero fuel would cost me $120 plus tax at a LHS.

I honestly had a harder time tracking down methanol locally than nitromethane. I had to order the nitro from out-state.
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:05 AM
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Default RE: Fuel mixing advice

Man, I don't know where you're buying your Aero fuel but I just got a gallon of Aero 15% Patriot (Wildcat) for $17.00.
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:37 AM
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ORIGINAL: TCraft Lover

Man, I don't know where you're buying your Aero fuel but I just got a gallon of Aero 15% Patriot (Wildcat) for $17.00.
The only aero fuel at any of my local stores that has any castor in it is SIG Champion at $8.25 per quart. They won't order gallons, or anything that's all castor. The 10% car fuel is even $28. Hazmat shipping fees suck. No hazmat fees when you make your own if the nitro will come in quarts.

Also, I wanted to run fuel with all castor. I have several bushed engines that need all castor. I like to keep it simple, car brew and aero brew. Methanol, castor, and nitro.
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:45 AM
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Default RE: Fuel mixing advice

Yes there's a lot to be said for keeping it simple alright. I have been trying to find some low nitro or FAI blend but can't. All I've found this year has been 15% nitro. Where can I get methanol and castor oil? I'm local to the twin cities also.
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: TCraft Lover

Yes there's a lot to be said for keeping it simple alright. I have been trying to find some low nitro or FAI blend but can't. All I've found this year has been 15% nitro. Where can I get methanol and castor oil? I'm local to the twin cities also.
I got methanol from Lube Tech. $32 for a 5 gallon bucket. I ordered a gallon of castor from SIG for $22 a gallon. The nitro I got from FHS Oils for $13.50 a quart, diluted to 80% nitro / 20% methanol due to hazmat.

Torco fuels sells 100% pure nitro for $42 a gallon, and free shipping on E**y. I'm getting mine from there next time.

All castor fuel tends to be really bubbly so I add 1 drop of armorall original per quart of fuel. I just made some FAI 80/20 to try in my Super Tiger .90
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:12 AM
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Thanks 10wksport. Good info. I too am looking to get proper fuel to run my Tigre G2300. It's a beast!
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: TCraft Lover

Thanks 10wksport. Good info. I too am looking to get proper fuel to run my Tigre G2300. It's a beast!
Not a problem. The methanol from LubeTech is 99.7% pure I believe, and it's got a nice blue color to it.
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:42 AM
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Yup, I was jsut in contact with Lube Tech and their smallest container is 5 gals for $31 and change. Must be picked up at their Roseville location. Too bad I can't get it in 4 gal. container. 4 parts methanol and 1 part castor would be too easy!
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Old 06-21-2011, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: TCraft Lover

Yup, I was jsut in contact with Lube Tech and their smallest container is 5 gals for $31 and change. Must be picked up at their Roseville location. Too bad I can't get it in 4 gal. container. 4 parts methanol and 1 part castor would be too easy![img][/img]
Yeah - The day I got my bucket, They lady told me to go to the St. Paul warehouse but it turns out they aren't supposed to have Methanol in that building yet they had 2 5gal buckets sitting there.. I should have taken both buckets.

The buckets are metal, and have metal o-ringed caps. One larger than the other. I would find a pour spout that fits the can or use a fuel pump to pull it out of the can. Pouring is a PITA until you get about 2 gallons out of it.

The blue color of the methanol is hard to hide with food dyes. I tried making it red but I ended up with a pale-purple color.
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Old 06-21-2011, 03:52 PM
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PURPLE IS NICE
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: TCraft Lover

PURPLE IS NICE [img][/img]
lol.
I dont think I'll dye mine anymore anyway - I have a car fuel jug and an airplane fuel jug.. I Just have to keep the bubbles at bay with all the castor. I hope I can fit a BubbleJett tank in my hydro airboat.
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Old 06-21-2011, 05:09 PM
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I liked your advice about usinjg the Armorall as a defoaming agent. How did you learn that one?
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Old 06-21-2011, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: TCraft Lover

I liked your advice about usinjg the Armorall as a defoaming agent. How did you learn that one?
The Armorall trick has circulated around many threads around here. Downunder is probably the leader of the Armorall revolution.. lol. There are a lot of people that say AA will kill glow plugs, others say it doesnt.. I dont know if it does or doesnt - I just mixed up two different quarts and put a drop of AA in each quart. I have a few different kinds of plugs I'll test when the weather permits.

I mixed my fuel ingredients and shook it up to mix it. The bubbles took 15-20 seconds to completely dissipate. With 1 drop of AA in the mix, the bubbles dissipated in about 7 seconds. Pretty good results.

The last batch of 5/20 I made didnt run well in my ST. I tried using silicone shock oil for my RC Cars, and I added an ounce of Acetone to help with the idle. I think I put 4 or 5 drops of the silicone oil (which is what reduces the surface tension of the bubbles and allows them to pop faster) in a gallon and I think that might have been a tad too much. That or the shock oil isnt 100% silicone. My AA treated fuel defoams faster than the botched jug, so hopefully it runs better.

Since I run my Aero engines on scratchbuilt wood Airboats, there is a lot of places for vibration to occur. My Flatbottom boat with the ST .90 vibrates ridiculously at 10,000rpm and starts sucking air bubbles at 12,000rpm. It almost looks like theres a blender inside the fuel tank churning the fuel around when the engine is at speed. I need to switch to Bubble-free tanks should my fuel foam up with the engine at speed.
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:48 PM
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Default RE: Fuel mixing advice

Hey, if you want an even simpler fuel for the basic 2-cycle sport glow engine just go to Home Depot. Head on back to the paint department and on over to the chemical section. Then, scan the shelf for something called Klean Strip S-L-X Denatured Alcohol. Get a gallon container.

Next, go home and order a gallon of Fox castor oil for $23.00 (this includes shipping) from foxmanufacturing.com (it's under fuel).

After a week UPS will drop it off right to your door. Rip open the box and mix 32 oz of oil with 96 oz of Klean Strip. This makes one gallon of fuel/oil mix at 25% ALL castor oil, yum, your engines will love it.

Finally, pump it into your plane and go fly. Expect SUPERB performance like this:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAp7EetWdro[/youtube]


The Klean Strip works because it is half methanol and half ethanol according to the msds. However only the S-L-X flavor works, Do NOT buy the green can. It is almost all ethanol. Glow plug will not stay lit very well.

Been running this for months now. Cost is still 17 bucks a gallon when mixing 25% oil, but at least I can get it locally.

I've tested this brew against FAI brew and performance is the same, however the Klean Strip requires a slightly leaner setting due to the ethanol.
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:52 PM
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Default RE: Fuel mixing advice

Oh yeah, one more thing and this is VERY IMPORTANT only very hot plugs will work with the Home Depot brew. Be sure to use an OS #6 plug if you decide to try this.

Good luck.

Mixing your own fuel makes glow engines twice as fun.
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: DashRiprock

I was just wondering if there was a thread somewhere on how to mix your own fuel. ive been reading here quite a bit and it looks like some people say its real easy, some say its much more complicated. but i think id like to try this out since my uncle makes his own bio diesel and has the methanol on hand. all i would need is castor oil and nitromethane right?
Just be cautious about methanol and water absorption since its extremely hydroscopic - you need to store it in a well closed container as it will draw humidity from the air very easily.

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Old 06-22-2011, 04:51 AM
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Default RE: Fuel mixing advice

Quote:
There are a lot of people that say AA will kill glow plugs,
Those that do are confusing Silicone with Silicon.
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Old 06-22-2011, 06:56 AM
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Default RE: Fuel mixing advice

Oops...the op already has easy access to methanol. No need to go the Home Depot route then.

Take care, and have fun with your home brew fuel.
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:51 AM
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Default RE: Fuel mixing advice

Will this homebrewing with 0% nitro work on 4-stroke engines also? Run hotter plugs? Would I need to remove head shims in a 4-stroke engine if 0% nitro?
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:14 AM
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Default RE: Fuel mixing advice

I ran FAI fuel in my Magnum .52 4s and it worked just fine. I used the good ole OS #6 again.

The Klean Strip brew will NOT work in a 4s though. The plug will not stay lit no matter how hot the plug is.


IMO home brewing is the way to go. I haven't bought one of those pink or green engine killers in overa year. I've burned a lot of Klean Strip since then. Hmm...I wonder if Home Depot can get me a five gallon can of it. I mean during the winter they sell five gallon cans of Klean Strip kerosene for heaters.

If you want to do a quick test to see if your 4s likes 0% nitro just go to Wal-Mart and get two yellow bottles of HEET gas line anti-freeze. That gives you 24 ounces of methanol. Add 6 ounces of castor oil and you have 20% oil FAI fuel. Each 12 oz bottle costs $1.39.

I use to burn HEET before I discovered that the Klean Strip works just as well.

Good luck.

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