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Old 05-22-2008, 02:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Acetone. Lets get to the bottom of this

I do not care why or how it works I just want to know DOES it really work.

I plan to find out. There are several possibilities here.

First it does nothing I change
Second it does something
Third it does nothing but my car is broken and it tricks it into not being as broken.

First I need to eliminate #1 I am doing that right now. I ran acetone for many tanks (you can see the results in my Fuel Log) this last tank was FULLY no acetone IE less than 1 gallon gas was left with any mixed in acetone. My mileage dropped from 22-25mpg to 19mpg. To me thats pretty conclusive.

So I am going to go 2 more tanks with no acetone and see what happens. Then I am going to put acetone back in and see what happens. They take it off again see what happens. That should pretty clearly confirm or eliminate #1

Second there may be something wrong with my car #3 I have a MIL light on (service engine soon)

Someone suggested that if my o2 sensor failed or something was wrong and my car was in "crawl home" mode it would run really badly. Causing the low fuel economy and it may be that the acetone is fooling the compute into thinking there is no problem and so its not HELPING me by altering the fuel but help me by temp fixing a problem with the car.

How to confirm? find out what the mil light is fix the problem see how this effects economy. That would largely eliminate #3

IF all of this is positive and #2 is still a possibility the next step is to remove the driver from the equation.

I am not sure how well this will work since I will have to do it at idle. I am working on getting access to a dyno to add "strain" to the system since it may have a more measurable impact at speed than at idle. Idle for now is all I can do.

First I will disconnect the alternator and run the car on batteries. This will eliminate the alternator turning on or off at the wrong moment from skewing the results.

Next I will bypass the charcoal canister since I understand it has some fuel in it and there is no way to predict when the computer will decide to use this fuel and skewing the results.

I will disconnect my fuel pump and my fuel line mount a graduated cylinder on a stand fill this with fuel. I will run the car till it is worm normal operating temperature and let it run with enough fuel that I know all the fuel in the system is now this runs test fuel. Once I get the fuel level to the "start" mark I will start a stop watch. When it reaches the DONE mark I will stop the stopwatch. Economy will be seconds or minutes per gallon instead of miles per gallon.

This eliminates weather (I will monitor temperature for a large shift and retest if a large shift occurs) This eliminates road conditions and Wind this Eliminates Driver conditions such as me creating a placebo effect because I know its in there. I could even do a blind study by having someone else fill and mark the tubes and disclose afterwards which was acetone or not but since I will not be driving it this is not relevant.

Either way I am seeing difference so large they can not be ignored by "experimental errors" issues. Its not like I am seeing a 2% increase which can be explained away. I am seeing a 30% increase. Thats pretty hard to explain away. Even if 10% of that is environment and driver thats still a 20% difference.

I want to know for sure where its coming from. The why can come later.

I plan to use this thread to catalog everything I do. I will take notes video and pictures of every step as I do them. I figure the A B A B A Testing will take around 2 months. In that time I will begin work on the graduated cylinder test tank for the experiment.

What do you guys think?

Any information? Any Suggestions? Resources? anyone else done any testing?

I think most of the people who say hogwash are right. With regular fuel. I THINK (can not remember for sure) I remember doing this a decade ago and it having no impact. BUT that was before they starting ruining our fuel with ethanol.

My gut tells me that Acetone is not so much helping the gasoline as it is helping OFFSET the damage that the ethanol does. But there both alcohols right? I just do not know enough about this crap Grrrr :-)

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Old 05-22-2008, 02:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Ok Lets start off. I was using acetone when I started logging my fuel here. It was my second tank with acetone (my first tank here) The tanks previous to these on ecomodder where 17.8mpg to 18.9mpg !!! Needless to say I was annoyed. SO I dropped in the acetone. The very next tank (first in ecomodder) was 21.58 Next tank was similar then it started jumping to 23mpg 24mpg. It dipped to 21 again but I went up into the mountains (hazleton) so 21mpg is pretty impressive for that trip. LOTS of massive hill climbs etc..

My best tank yet 25mpg. NOW I stopped using acetone. The very next tank 19.57 and this was ideal driving. NO city driving issues. Just from work to home to work and back and 1 2.2 mile trip to the pharmacy (it was raining so I did not walk) IE the economy should have been quite high here its my most efficient driving. I only dip lower when I add in other trips (mall shopping movies etc..)

I will run the next 2 tank no acetone as well and see what happens. This afternoon on my way back to work I will fill up again (over 100 miles will have been driven by then) and then to the same again Saturday when I come to work.

When I come to work again next week and fill up I will start introducing the acetone again. I will also start measuring it. (I usually just pour a seat of the pants amount into a funnel. I will do 1.5 ounces per 10 gallons.
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Old 05-22-2008, 02:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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My only suggestion to you is to grab a ScanGauge, fill the tank completely without any acetone. Get on a dead-calm road and do 2 runs without acetone. After the 2 runs, add the appropriate acetone mixture to your remaining fuel left and do 2 more runs on the same road immediately after the initial part. Record the MPG averages between the first set and second set of runs and see if there's any difference.

I did it with my acetone revealed video experiment, but I allegedly added 'too much' acetone (as per the dozens of 'you did it wrong' comments left on the video). I'd love to do the experiment again with the 'proper mixture' in my dad's car, but I lost my ScanGauge nearly a year ago.
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Old 05-22-2008, 02:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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MythBusters tried acetone and it bombed.
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Old 05-22-2008, 05:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Did the mythbusters do this pre or post ethanol. Remember I also remember it not making much difference a decade ago.

Well a 30% increase in economy (minivan) 12-14% increase in the Club Wagon. Those are numbers that are more than statistical errors I do not care WHAT the mytbusters (one of my favorite shows BTW) came up with.

SOMETHING is going on inside my two engines. NOW maybe its not the acetone. maybe there is something wrong with my cars and they are responding unusually badly to "ethanol" I tested it to my satisfaction that I am 100% sure that the drop in economy came after they added the ethanol. I am not looking to argue that because its resolved to me.

The question is what KIND of drop and is the "fix" a result of the acetone OR the result of a secondary effect of the acetone that would otherwise not effect my car if they were running properly? (one assumption is that maybe my cars are not running right but both of them?)

Scan Gauge is a non starter. I just do not have $150. Its just that simple so its going no where.

Also your test would NOT be accepted by many people regardless of the results because you have no way of seperating road/wind/weather/driver and other "unknown" variables.

The Idle test isolated from any of those conditions WOULD at least satisfy enough of those concerns to warrant review.

My biggest fear is that at "idle" the different will not be pronounced enough for me to definitively measure. I just do not know.

The worst result I could get is an "inconclusive" result.

I mean look at my numbers. I went from 23.69 24.5 and 25.07 mpg to 19.5 JUST by stopping the used of acetone. Short of be offroading my minivan or driving it like a maniac what "unknown attribute" of weather driving or roads could cause such a significant drop in economy.

To me a 6mpg drop or nearly 25% of just too large a figure to be dismissed with oh you changed your driving or the wind was different. If those things could have that kind of an effect my MPG readings across time would also show such wide variations.

I am just trying to find a way to as empirically as possible test this WITHIN my means (IE no scan gauge)

I also can not do them immediately back to back for the tests. it takes time for the fuel already in the system to work its way through before you next batch of fuel will have any impact.

Also I have all the mythbusters episodes do you remember what episode it was? I want to see how they tested it. Might help me out.
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Old 05-22-2008, 05:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It was episode 53.
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Old 05-22-2008, 09:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Forget the scangauge. It lacks the accuracy and the resolution to tell you anything meaningful. Also, it is not a fuel meter, it is an air meter. Someone with injector based instrumentation would be better equipped to carry out such a test.
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Old 05-22-2008, 09:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Do you know of any products which monitor fuel consumption like this Johnny?
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Old 05-22-2008, 09:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyGrey View Post
Forget the scangauge. It lacks the accuracy and the resolution to tell you anything meaningful.
That's not my experience using one in controlled conditions. The last series of back-to-back runs I did testing vortex generators had a standard deviation of .6%. I'd call that decent resolution. It's less important that the absolute MPG readings are 100% accurate, as long as the relative differences are consistent.

---

However, I would say that tank-to-tank "testing" of acetone is a waste of time. Too many variables involved to draw a conclusion. Despite the ambition, and the title of this thread, you're not going to "get to the bottom of this" on the road.

EDIT: the "idle" method you describe with a graduated cylinder would be more reliable. Don't forget you need to account for fuel return as well (if your van has a fuel return line).
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Old 05-22-2008, 09:47 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I too, support the Acetone theories. I started with 1mL per gallon as my ratio and saw an immeadiate 4mpg improvement. Since then I have retained the ratio, applied other tips and my mileage keeps increasing. I am at a point now where I will stall mods for a couple of tank fulls just to mess with the acetone ratio to see what my vehicle is comfortable with.

I am also going to introduce it into the 4-runner in a couple of tank fulls to see what a baseline difference it makes.

Bottom line I see it working, whether my vehicles optimum ratio is 10mL per gallon or 30mL per gallon I will know for sure in a couple of weeks.

Having shows like Mythbusters support a theory like adding Acetone to gas is also a liability. While it may work, no one can predict any sort of long term damage due to poor maintenance, misuse, or the dumb public. Consider its corrosive properties if you get it on paint or even plastics for extended periods of time. So they most likely had to appease their public by addressing it, but skewed results to avoid larger problems down the line.

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