When it comes to performance cars, tuners are generally in one of two camps: naturally aspirated or forced induction. Naturally aspirated vehicles offer a smooth power band, but the only way to pull massive horsepower and torque gains from an NA is with more displacement or by introducing a means of forced induction. Turbo cars have a huge benefit in that they are more efficient than large displacement engines, are easily upgradable, and require much less work to increase power outputs. One popular method of improving the performance of a turbocharged engine is to add a Water Methanol Injection System to increase performance and improve engine reliability. Let’s take a look at what you need to do in order to add horsepower to your German performance car with a Water Meth Injection setup!
How It Works
First, it is important to understand what a water meth system actually does to improve your engine performance. In modern turbocharged vehicles, air is inducted through the intake, through the cold side of the turbo, passes through the intercooler, and into the intake valve port where it is mixed with fuel and combusted. You may know that a Cold Air Intake and bigger Intercooler reduce intake air temperatures dramatically, which improves performance. This is because cold air is denser than warm air, meaning more fuel can be added to the mixture for a bigger explosion.
The idea of pressurized cool air is the driving principle behind turbocharged cars, as they pressurize the air for the same effect. Water meth injection further cools the intake air temperature by misting a mixture of 50% water and 50% methanol into the intake behind the intercooler but before the throttle body. This allows the mixture to vaporize rather than condense. The water-meth mixture is essentially steam as it enters the combustion chamber, where it has two main effects: both reducing the temperature of the intake air and producing a steam-engine effect. Both factors combine to make a significant increase in performance.
Power and Reliability
This already sounds like a big benefit, but water meth injection setups go beyond improved performance. The addition of water as pressurized steam effectively steam-cleans your engine internals, which helps with performance as well as reliability. Moreover, a common issue with turbo cars is premature detonation. This occurs when a pocket of heat in the combustion chamber reaches a temperature high enough to ignite the air-fuel mixture and compete with the ignition from the spark plug. This causes ‘knock’ and is commonly heard in turbo cars with an advanced timing for performance tunes or in vehicles that use low octane rated fuels. With water meth injection, the lower temperatures combat premature detonation and increase the octane rating. Higher octane ratings are more explosive, so the whole system effectively makes full use of all physical, thermal, and chemical properties to increase power and reliability.
Where To Get Yours
So what do you need to make your own boost juice kit? Snow Performance kits are available either as universal kits, or, in the case of n54-powered BMWs, available as preassembled kits. You need a tank to hold the mixture, lines to run the mixture, a controller to program for delivery, and an injector to tap into your intake. Power, ground, and a controller module make up the electronics, while a tank and nozzle make up the hardware. Outside of that, you will want to find where to buy methanol to make your mixture.