How to Convert a Car to Run on Alcohol

Next Video:
How to Get Swirl Marks Out of Car Paint....5

When converting a car to run on alcohol, it's important to address the issues of fuel mixture ratio, the density of alcohol and gasoline and fuel distribution. Find out why a fuel system needs to be drained of gasoline before converting it to run on alcohol with help from an ASE-certified master mechanic in this free video on auto repair and car maintenance.

Part of the Video Series: Car Repair & Maintenance
Promoted By Zergnet


Video Transcript

Hello, my name is Mark, and in this segment, we're going to cover how to convert a gasoline engine to run on alcohol. First, I'm going to briefly let you know the differences between gasoline and alcohol, and that will give us a better understanding of what we need to change, and why. The statiometric fuel mixture ratio for a gasoline engine, or the optimal ratio, for the air fuel mixture ratio, is 14. 7:1 for gasoline, and that's approximately about 9:1 for alcohol. The second thing is, that alcohol is much denser or heavier than gasoline. The third item that has to be addressed, is alcohol burns much slower, or cooler than gasoline. On today's computer controlled vehicles, because the computer system controls the fuel distribution, it also controls our spark timing. The computer can basically make the swap for us. There's many different after market companies that are offering computer interchanges, that allow you to either change the computer module itself, or put an adapter between the wiring harness and the computer, that will reprogram it, so it will run correctly or efficiently on gasoline. You might need to change your spark plugs, and drop them to a heat range or two hotter, so you get a better combustion. Also, gasoline and alcohol don't mix well, unless the alcohol is almost completely water-free, so generally when the swap is made, you'll need to drain your system of gasoline, prior to filling it with alcohol, but for a fuel injected vehicle, the newer type vehicles, they have many of them that are already out and available, the flex fuel vehicles, and there's also many different companies that provide various kits, that you can easily convert these over. On a carburated vehicle however, you're going to need to make a few more changes, in order for it to run correctly. The first change is, the jet size in the carburetor is going to need to be changed. Wherever your main metering jets are, they're going to need to be enlarged by about 40%. The second problem is, the alcohol being denser than gasoline, it's heavier, so we're going to need to add some weight to the fuel float. You'll need to weight the float in the carburetor, and add about 10% of the original weight of the float to it, to correctly compensate for the extra density in the alcohol, and that will ensure that your fuel bowl stays full, and ignition timing. We're going to want to crank up the ignition timing, by about twenty to twenty five degrees, and please remember, these are all just rough settings for an initial fire up, and they should allow just about any gasoline engine to run up, to fire up and run safely, so you can dial them in. This is just a ball park figure, to get you going, and the last thing you'll need to do, is change the spark plugs. You'll want to go up one or two heat ranges hotter, and these are all just baseline figures. Do some research on your vehicle, and you should be able to get all the accurate information you need to know, so you can correctly dial that in. Just remember, drain the fuel system, prior to switching it over to alcohol. That's how you convert a gasoline engine to run on alcohol.


Related Searches

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!