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Old 01-05-2010, 10:11 AM   #1
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fuel heaters

The basic idea seems to be a good one. I've read about gains from such a set up, but there are many useless devices people think work.

I picked up 5 feet of fuel line at the hardware store this morning. Next i'll need to make a thermal transfer device and insulate my fuel rail. I was planing on something simple, like annealed copper tubing rapped around a coolant hose.

I'm still a little hesitant about the whole thing. It seems to me that a device such as this could cause the fuel to boil, which could be really bad. Does anyone know what temp gasoline boils at?
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:21 AM   #2
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A quick googling tells me that your fuel pressure is between 30 and 46psi, so don't forget to account for that when you try to determine gasoline's boiling point.
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Old 01-05-2010, 12:07 PM   #3
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A quick fidgeting of the numbers using 30psi shows that the lowest boiling point would be ~433?F for using the lowest boiling point I could find for gasoline. The highest boiling point would be ~472?F. this is all using the lowest boiling point I could find which was 100?F so your actual numbers will be higher.
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Old 01-05-2010, 12:16 PM   #4
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Careful there, at 433 you are only 40 deg F from the autoignition temp of gasoline.
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Old 01-05-2010, 12:39 PM   #5
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Don't forget that "gasoline" is not a simple chemical compound, it actually contains dozens or hundreds or different ingredients - some of which may boil off earlier than others. (I think a sunoco technical representative once told me that pump gas typically contains 175 different ingredients).

My brother ran into a situation in a Suburban a few years back, where he had an electrical fuel pump near the engine compartment. On a cross-country trip, he ran into a problem in the mountains where fuel was boiling inside the fuel lines - in addition to the gasoline being under suction (which promotes boiling) for an extended distance, the fuel line also ran right next to an exhaust pipe for a few feet. On big mountains (he was towing a camper trailer), the truck would bog down and lose all fuel delivery. The solution was to buy a "pusher" pump and install it at the back of the truck - since the fuel was now under pressure instead of under suction, it didn't boil off and he was able to maintain heavy throttle for extended periods.

Something I've thought about before is buying a length of 5/8" heater hose and trying to figure out a way to run 5/16" fuel line inside it for maybe 3 feet or so. That way I could preheat the gasoline to 180 degrees or so. It would basically be a 3-foot long heat exchanger. But I can't figure out a way to do it without having leaking coolant hoses (maybe gobs of RTV or something).

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Old 01-05-2010, 12:54 PM   #6
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Totally forgot to add about fuel boiling off. When that pump cuts off you normally lose fuel pressure which means that fuel will boil off and you'll have fuel lines full of fuel vapor that needs pumped out before the car will start.
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Old 01-05-2010, 03:43 PM   #7
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warm fuel has less power, some cars run fuel coolers if the gas line runs by the engine to much, for power and to pervent vapor lock. with less power you may need higher rpms to run the same speed, using more gas?
also i'm not an expert so i'll look forward to the rest of this post.
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Old 01-05-2010, 04:20 PM   #8
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I don't buy into fuel temperature making a difference. However, if warm fuel does "have less power", it's because the fuel has expanded so you get less mass for a given volume of fuel. If that's the case, you won't get higher RPM, you'll just get more volume of fuel (same mass) injected as a result of data from your O2 sensors. Then you'll get the same power and the same fuel economy.

Anyway, there's two ways to adjust power and economy: by adjusting fuel used/energy produced, and by adjusting waste/energy lost. If warm fuel does "have less power", it's not because of wasted/lost energy; it's because of less fuel used.
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Old 01-05-2010, 07:23 PM   #9
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I could see it reducing power if the intake is good at warming the air charge. The fuel vaporizing has a cooling effect as it turns to a gas. The TRD supercharging kit for the Tundras actually rely on it for knock prevention under full boost.
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:04 PM   #10
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Why bother with unsafe and ineffective wrapped fuel lines? Get a plate heat exchanger from eBay and a few adapters for fuel and heater hose and you can have as much heat as you want.

This thread is poorly titled so I'm not surprised you didn't find it.

GasSavers: how i did it (fuel heat)
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