Alcohol legality ???

MaxxT Out

Member
So I raced at a Indoor track over the weekend and after qualifying my CLEAR alky was tested and it was cloudy, deemed illeagal. So what makes the clear alky cloudy, and what advantage did I have if any. Just straight clear alky from a speed shop here in Ohio, right from my jug to the fuel tank on kart... Confused..
 

DynoDon

Moderator
Call me evenings after 7. I will share some things I learned from the Indianapolis 500 tech inspectors for alcohol. 570-515-0379
 
Likely no advantage. When alcohol is subjected to a water test, any oil / petroleum based product will readily show up.
Either cloudy, separate, swirls, etc.

Now, if your fuel jug or fuel tank on the kart was ever used for gas, it'll surely cause you to get dinged in tech.
Having evidence of previously using gas in the fuel jug or tank (or even if it had gas added) would not be a performance enhancer.
It is, however, the easiest way to tech for petroleum additives in water based alcohol.


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alvin l nunley

Premium User
Alcohol "blends" quite readily with water, but not gas, (it only mixes with gas, it doesn't blend) and when I've seen the water test performed, with gas, when the alcohol separates from the gas and blends with the water, thus increasing the water volume, the water turns cloudy. Knowing this, I have always been confused about the water test for alcohol. Why doesn't straight alcohol also turn cloudy?
I know when I've improperly stored alcohol, and it partially turns to water, it's always been cloudy.
 

racing promotor

Moderator
I've always instructed My tech guy's the water test is a simple check to confirm possibility there may be an additive, but always finish with a hydrometer test as if it's cloudy because of additive it will not pass the hydrometer in most cases, yes there are additives as long as to much is not mixed it will still pass hydrometer test but it will also pass the water test, MORE times than not cloudy water test is just a victim of circumstances as mentioned above.
 
If it was bought from a speed shop or from a race car supplier, most likely it had top end lube in it which caused it to fail a water test.
 

jsf74

Member
I always hear about these additives but what are they? For a open class is stuff like this not legal seems like everyone keeps it top secret. Im new to opens and curious.
 
There are plenty of "additives" that will pass a hydrometer test when infused with a chemical heavier than alcohol. Propylene Oxide, all the nitro stuff, etc. Ie, adding an oxygenator will change the weight; by adding a small amount of weight of another chemical (distilled water for instance,) you can bring your fuel cocktail back to read the same hydrometer weight as straight methanol. Acetone is a popular chemical used in blending fuel additives as well and has a distinct odor. As much as I hate subjectivity in tech, often times tech is left to rely on the nose of the old tech man.

When introduced to the alcohol, "most" fuel additives will be easily detected with a simple distilled water test. Some clear additives will show up with an additional bleach test.
 

msquared

Member
One of the things we see often is people will run gas, then go somewhere and run alcohol. They will then use the same fuel tank and fuel line for gas and get kicked for illegal fuel. OR they put gas in their alcohol fuel jug.

Another thing, this is with gas, what we do is get a sample from a store very close to the track and that is our base and we let the racers know that on the tracks webpage. So our racers know where to purchase their gas. And with pumps pumping different grades of gas, always pump a few gallons into your vehicle first to clear the pump line. I've seen many racers not do that and have to get more gas. Our tech guy always says, never run aged gas even if it is a week old.

Lets face it, these "sniffers" are very sensitive and the water test, well it depends of the type water used as well.

Mistakes can be made and that is OK, but to outright cheat, you are only cheating yourself and making a bad impression and name for yourself. I remember when I was racing at a local track if you were caught cheating on purpose twice, you were kicked out of that class.

Msquared
 
One of the things we see often is people will run gas, then go somewhere and run alcohol. They will then use the same fuel tank and fuel line for gas and get kicked for illegal fuel. OR they put gas in their alcohol fuel jug.

Another thing, this is with gas, what we do is get a sample from a store very close to the track and that is our base and we let the racers know that on the tracks webpage. So our racers know where to purchase their gas. And with pumps pumping different grades of gas, always pump a few gallons into your vehicle first to clear the pump line. I've seen many racers not do that and have to get more gas. Our tech guy always says, never run aged gas even if it is a week old.

Lets face it, these "sniffers" are very sensitive and the water test, well it depends of the type water used as well.

Mistakes can be made and that is OK, but to outright cheat, you are only cheating yourself and making a bad impression and name for yourself. I remember when I was racing at a local track if you were caught cheating on purpose twice, you were kicked out of that class.

Msquared
I agree 100% exectly what I tell Mr racers
 
Mike is exactly right. Don't take my post(s) as condoning cheating. Far from it. I'm simply pointing out that these are some things that we, as tech guys, are looking for (and ARE going on.)
 

DynoDon

Moderator
Alcohol has it's own distinct oder. There is not an additive on the market that can be used for creating a performance gain that will not alter the oder.
 

MaxxT Out

Member
Just to be clear I didn't cheat up my alky.. I use the same 5 gallon jug for alky and transfer it to a Alky only 1 gallon jug when need refilled.. I was running Flathead class, qualified toward the back(kart Barely pushing on entry, gotta be hooked up) tech man didn't know that though. Anyway, Only thing I can think is my alky was a few months old. Other than that my peeps I race with (8-10 man group) know I don't cheat, my buddy was Madder than me :) ..
 
I've seen where a guy's air pre-filter was too heavily oiled and dripped in the vent hole of the fuel cap and get dq'd on fuel. It doesn't take much to cloud up the fuel enough to get dinged on a fuel test. As a tech man, this is one of those "I hate to" things, but a rule is a rule.
If stored improperly, (ie cap not tight, etc) alcohol can go bad. If the cap was tight and in a good airtight fuel jug, it should have been fine though. Also keeping the fuel jug up off of concrete floors helps.
BTW, new fuel jugs often have a release agent that, if not rinsed out thoroughly, will show up in a water test. Always rinse out new "alcohol" fuel jugs and fuel tanks with distilled water or straight methanol. Rinse gas jugs and fuel tanks with gasoline.
Figuring out if it's something in the tank, the jug, or introduced later, is the next step.
Check each with a glass container and distilled water. Also -- you need to use "distilled" water, not purified water or drinking water - they are different.
 
I've seen where a guy's air pre-filter was too heavily oiled and dripped in the vent hole of the fuel cap and get dq'd on fuel. It doesn't take much to cloud up the fuel enough to get dinged on a fuel test. As a tech man, this is one of those "I hate to" things, but a rule is a rule.
If stored improperly, (ie cap not tight, etc) alcohol can go bad. If the cap was tight and in a good airtight fuel jug, it should have been fine though. Also keeping the fuel jug up off of concrete floors helps.
BTW, new fuel jugs often have a release agent that, if not rinsed out thoroughly, will show up in a water test. Always rinse out new "alcohol" fuel jugs and fuel tanks with distilled water or straight methanol. Rinse gas jugs and fuel tanks with gasoline.
Figuring out if it's something in the tank, the jug, or introduced later, is the next step.
Check each with a glass container and distilled water. Also -- you need to use "distilled" water, not purified water or drinking water - they are different.
They did a water test of the top 3 this weekend and 2 failed. One they suspects outright cheating tech man gave it the sniff test, other switched from gas to methanol 2 races ago. I want to test ours just to be sure. Do you need equal parts water/methanol to do this correctly or does it matter?
 
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