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Old 07-14-2008, 12:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Heated Fuel

Does anyone have any real information about a possible fuel economy increase from using heated fuel?

I have heard of some comments here and there, but no solid information on it.

Then of course, the next question is how to properly (and safely) heat your fuel. I am imagining something similar to an engine block heater.

There IS lots of information out there about heating vegetable oil and biodiesel fuel, but I am talking about plain ole gasoline.

Any insight into this?

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-Ben N.

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Old 07-14-2008, 12:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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nope never really heard of any data that proves it works.

Still, if I were to try to pre-heat fuel I'd basically wrap a copper line around a coolant hose and route the fuel through the copper bit. No extra electrical draw that way.
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Old 07-14-2008, 02:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You may want to take a look at this book on the internet.
HIMAC Research - The Secret Super High Mileage Report

This is about "Thermal Catalytic Cracking" which is more than just heating the gasoline. It involves heating the fuel mixture to make it completely vaporized, adding steam and using a catalyst to break up the fuel molecules into other small molecules.

There are some companies that sell fuel heaters for gasoline engines.
Fuel Heater :: Sigma Automotive

According to the EPA, fuel heaters don't save gas.
"Gas-Saving" Products: Fact or Fuelishness?
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Old 07-14-2008, 08:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Well, heated fuel works on the same principle behind WAI, higher mixtures temps and its associated "theoretical" benefits.

Daox wanted to try it on his vibe/matrix only to find out that the fuel rail already got pretty hot on his car.
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Old 07-14-2008, 11:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I've had a fuel heater in my car for about 2 months now. Hard to say what the benefit is though since I have no "scientific data" to show anything. I do too many modifications at one time so it's hard to tell what each mod nets me.

I tapped into my coolant line and rerouted it down the fuel rail, wrapping it up against the fuel line. No extra power needed, just a longer coolant hose. I didn't want to mess with actually splicing into a fuel line (dont' like the idea of blowing myself up...)

From hooking up a probe thermometer, I've seen the temperature rise about 20F when the car is warmed up.
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Old 07-14-2008, 04:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah, the Matrix/Vibe fuel rail is tucked in close to the engine and has a plastic cover and some foam insulation on top of it and the intake manifold right under it. I took the cover off, and touched the fuel rail about three hours after parking the car one night. It was still pretty warm. I'd be interested in doing testing on the Paseo, but thats one of those things that takes time. There may be small gains to be had, but I doubt there anything huge there. Its also possible that some engines may actually run worse with hot fuel.
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Old 07-14-2008, 04:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tasdrouille View Post
Well, heated fuel works on the same principle behind WAI, higher mixtures temps and its associated "theoretical" benefits.

Daox wanted to try it on his vibe/matrix only to find out that the fuel rail already got pretty hot on his car.
WAI works because the ECU leans out the fuel mixture at higher temperatures because the air is not as dense, not because hot air is "more efficient"
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVOboy View Post
WAI works because the ECU leans out the fuel mixture at higher temperatures because the air is not as dense, not because hot air is "more efficient"
I do not entirely agree. That is probably the case for many cars; BUT thinner air allows the throttle plate farther open which reduces manifld vacuum which decreases pumping losses. However some ECU's counter with more fuels so . . . . .


I "think" I've read that there is an optimal temperature for gasoline evaporation, MIGHT be related to that . . . .

Heating WVO for a diesel is simply a matter of making it flow through the lines and the pump. Gasoline already flows pretty darn well.
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Didn't Jim Fueling or Smokey Yunick do some research on this back in the 1970's? Seems I saw pictures of a Vega or Pinto engine bay...

If I remember correctly, the article stated you need some pretty high temps, well over coolant temps of +200F, to realize any significant gains. Just repeating what I read, I'm pretty sure the system used exhaust manifold heat and a heat exchanger. Super-heated fuel sounds tough to manage, from a saftey perspective. But then again, so does internal combustion when compared to an 1600's cooking fire or 1800's steam boiler.
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Old 07-14-2008, 10:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metromizer View Post
Didn't Jim Fueling or Smokey Yunick do some research on this back in the 1970's? Seems I saw pictures of a Vega or Pinto engine bay...

If I remember correctly, the article stated you need some pretty high temps, well over coolant temps of +200F, to realize any significant gains. Just repeating what I read, I'm pretty sure the system used exhaust manifold heat and a heat exchanger. Super-heated fuel sounds tough to manage, from a saftey perspective. But then again, so does internal combustion when compared to an 1600's cooking fire or 1800's steam boiler.
I don't think most people here are expecting significant gains from anything done on a car. But if my fuel heater nets me 1-2 mpg, I'd consider that a pretty big success.

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