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      09-24-2007, 08:59 PM   #1
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HELP! i only have 89 octane here.

( I know u guys are into the 1 series, but my 335 motor is the same as the 1 335)I am expecting my 335 in 6 weeks, but my car will have 2 disadvantages that i want to fix:

i live in ecuador at 7,000' above sea level, & there is only 89 octane here.
i am sure the ECU can deal with 89 octane:
but i did not spend good BMW money to get less than max performance. I am new to this forum. I have posed similar type questions in a few other popular forums, but got some conflicting and incorrect info.


i want to safely boost octane with each tankful so the car can run closer to sea level stock performance at my high altitude.

I had read an "authoritative" type article written by a "tuner" that said toluene was perfectly safe, and it was a natural component of gasoline. But some have said toluene will eventually damage my fuel system seals.

if you guys have had real life experiences with toluene,or know people who have, i should probably refer to your collective judgement (as opposed to the article I read).any help or comments re boosting gas on a weekly basis?

once the gas is taken care of, i was planning on a intercooler upgrade (for cooler / denser air ) to help with my altitude. I was thinking of shelby spearco.
any help or comments re upgrading intercooler?

then i was going to do an ECU mod with a lower boost map, AND/OR a better intake with low restriction cats.
any help or comments ECU mod versus an intake and exhaust mod?
Please Remember my 7000’ altitude.


a lot of u guys seem to know a hell of alot more than i do (i am just reading forums and learning that way).

what do u guys think about all of my above thinking?

appreciate any and all help.
thanks from a noobie.
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      09-24-2007, 10:15 PM   #2
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.....If it was me.......I would just have 20 gallons of race gas with the highest unleaded octane I could find and mix that with the 89. Shoot for 93 octane, the factory ecu only adapts up to 93 so any higher is worthless.....for the most part. You'll get roughly 10whp going from 91 to 93.
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      09-24-2007, 10:26 PM   #3
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Toluene is a component of crude petrol and it is processed the same way as gasoline. Gasoline can contain up to 35% toluene. It is used mainly as an oxygenate to effectively increase the octane rating. Turbo'd F1's in the 80's used damn near 85% toluene.

My concern wouldn't be if you can use toluene but how clean your supply is. Off the shelf toluene can contain other possibly detrimental components. You would need to verify that it is 100% pure. Gasoline contains some lubricity and toluene is a straight solvent. IMO you would be wise to use Lucas UCL, MMO, FP +, etc. because you could potentially reduce the effective lifetime of your fuel pumps w/o it.

Zak


BTW: less B I U makes for an easier read.


edit: re intercooler upgrade... I would hold off on it for a while till aftermarket develops and prices drop.. Just not enough bang for the buck at the moment. Unless you have chronic heatsoak?
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      09-24-2007, 10:59 PM   #4
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[quote=zba857;20464]Toluene is a component of crude petrol and it is processed the same way as gasoline. Gasoline can contain up to 35% toluene. It is used mainly as an oxygenate to effectively increase the octane rating. Turbo'd F1's in the 80's used damn near 85% toluene.

My concern wouldn't be if you can use toluene but how clean your supply is. You would need to verify that it is 100% pure. Gasoline contains some lubricity and toluene is a straight solvent.

IMO you would be wise to use Lucas UCL, MMO, FP +, etc. because you could potentially reduce the effective lifetime of your fuel pumps w/o it.

quote]

since i live in ecuador, finding Lucas UCL, MMO, FP would be very difficult. any "generic" type of stuff i can find here and use instead?.....can i use something as simple as motor oil?

i plan to buy toluene from a "reputable" chemical manufacturer:
a/if it is say 90% pure is that good enough? or should i insist on 100%?
b/ assuming i can get good enough quality toluene, can i use it for every fillup (with a few ounces per tank of whatever "lubricant" i add to my gas)?
c/ lastly, putting these "lubricants" into my gas tank on a regular basis is o.k. for my motor and it's fuel delivery system?

one last thought,vbecause of the "thin" air up here at 7,000 feet, isn't a intercooler upgrade going to give me cooler denser air so my car can perform more similar to sea level?

thanks.
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      09-24-2007, 11:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midlife
can i use something as simple as motor oil?
negative.

Assuming your taxes are going to rape you if you order it you might be able to find caster oil locally and use it sparingly.

Quote:
"reputable" chemical manufacturer
who?

Quote:
insist on 100%
Unless they are willing to give you the exact chemical makeup of their formula.

Quote:
b/ assuming i can get good enough quality toluene, can i use it on every tank (with a few ounces per tank of whatever "lubricant" i add to my gas?
c/ putting these "lubricants" into my gas tank on a semi regular basis is o.k. for my motor and it's fuel delivery system?
Be aware that doing any of the above mentioned is a sub-optimal option and you can't expect anyone to know exactly how it will react w/ a different mixture because it wasn't designed for your application. I suggest you do your research on it and if you feel comfortable with doing it then go for it.

Quote:
lastly, because oc the "thin" air up here at 7,000 feet, isn't a intercooler upgrade going to give me cooler denser air more similar to sea level?
0ft -14.73psi / 7000ft ~11psi

You are not going to make up that three and a half difference with just a intercooler IMO.
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      09-25-2007, 12:17 AM   #6
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I would just stick with 89 octane rating. From what I've been told before, you don't need as high a octane rating as you go higher in altitude.

I got this from Wikipedia:
Quote:
In the Rocky Mountain (high altitude) states, 85 octane is the minimum octane and 91 is the maximum octane available in fuel. The reason for this is that in higher-altitude areas, a typical combustion engine draws in less air per cycle due to the reduced density of the atmosphere. This directly translates to reduced absolute compression in the cylinder, therefore deterring knock. It is safe to fill up a car with a carburetor that normally takes 87 AKI fuel at sea level with 85 AKI fuel in the mountains, but at sea level the fuel may cause damage to the engine.
Also this from the Chevron website:
Quote:
The higher the altitude above sea level, the lower the octane requirement. Modern computer-controlled engines adjust spark timing and air-fuel ratio to compensate for changes in barometric pressure, and thus the effect of altitude on octane requirement is smaller in these vehicles.
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      09-25-2007, 11:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alex2364 View Post
I would just stick with 89 octane rating. From what I've been told before, you don't need as high a octane rating as you go higher in altitude.

I got this from Wikipedia:


Also this from the Chevron website:

I'm not expert, but I have firsthand experience with the n54. This engine IS very sensitive to octane/gas quality, even more so when you add a chip/increase boost, and it definately adds WHP. I through codes running procede using shell 91 for a couple months and as soon as I switched to chevron 91 they stopped. Also, the difference between 89 and 93 octane is probably 20+WHP stock or not.
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      09-25-2007, 04:18 PM   #8
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[quote=alex2364;20474]I would just stick with 89 octane rating. From what I've been told before, you don't need as high a octane rating as you go higher in altitude.

quote]

i know the ECU will adjust to lower octane, and that you do not "need" as high an octane as u do at sea level. but lower octane just means the ECU retards your timing = which equals lower HP. i need to avoid this.
again, i am fighting both low octane and 7,000' altitude.

please see the above post above this re how higher octane increaes perfoormance - especially with the N54.

i do not know about U.S. speced cars, but my european version owner's manual in front of me says:
"suggested octane 98 RON ... "so that nominal performance values are achieved". AND
"the minumum permissable grade is 95 RON".

a question would be if i can safely boost the gas octane here from 89 to 95, is there enough air density at my 7,000' to take advantage of it?

m&m over at bimmerfest stated after recorded testing at 5,000 feet, that after his intercooler upgrade, he could run the regular proceed map. before his intercooler upgrade, he could only run a proceed low boost map at 5,000 feet.

possibly:
1/if my car is unmodded, maybe it can get SOME benifit from the higher 93 - 95 octane, but
2/ maybe a good intercooler upgrade (cooler denser air) can better take advantage of the higher octane.
3/ my guess is that i would definitely need to do both 1 & 2 above if i am thinking of doing an ecu mod.

if the above is true, i have the first primary problem of safely boosting gas octane.

i welcome all thought and comments.
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      09-25-2007, 04:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zba857 View Post
negative.

Assuming your taxes are going to rape you if you order it you might be able to find caster oil locally and use it sparingly.



who?


Unless they are willing to give you the exact chemical makeup of their formula.



Be aware that doing any of the above mentioned is a sub-optimal option and you can't expect anyone to know exactly how it will react w/ a different mixture because it wasn't designed for your application. I suggest you do your research on it and if you feel comfortable with doing it then go for it.



0ft -14.73psi / 7000ft ~11psi

You are not going to make up that three and a half difference with just a intercooler IMO.
excuse my ignorance, but what is castor oil?
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      09-25-2007, 06:56 PM   #10
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http://www.vpracingfuels.com/vp_01_fuels.html#unleaded

:roundel:
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      09-25-2007, 07:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midlife View Post
excuse my ignorance, but what is castor oil?
It is a vegetable based oil. I would never use it in a daily driver because it does not burn completely and would gum up msc. parts. However it is a great lubricant.

Can you not order lube online?
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      09-25-2007, 08:11 PM   #12
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You shoulda bought the V8.

You don't need as much octane up there, but 89 will still ping the damn thing to an early grave. NA motors need less octane at altitude than turbo'd motors, which will continue to up the boost to compensate for the lack of altitude. Thus pinging.

You can indeed mix toluene to up the octane, and there's a ton of info on various websites about how to do this well... but what a pain in the ass! Seriously. As stated above, you have to mix up a nice concoction every time you fill the tank.

That said... BMW sold you the damn thing. Think they have an 89 octane program? It's entirely possible. I know my BMW motorcycle can have a low-octane program loaded on it by the dealer if I'm traveling areas of the world with crap gas.
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      09-25-2007, 08:42 PM   #13
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Do they have E85 in Ecuador? I drive the mountains at 7000+ feet regularly. I mix in E85 with every tank and I can really feel the extra octane

E85 is about 105 octane, so 1/4 tank would get you 93 octane. This will harm gas mileage by about 5%, but the fuel injectors should have no problem keeping up. Stoc doesn't change that much with 1/4 tank of 85% ethanol. 1/4 tank would be about E21 and Brazil has been running E20 in every modern production car for years without problems.

I would do the E85 instead of the toluene if that is an option for you. With either product, you are better off keeping with a consistent mix all the time. That way the ECU isn't constantly trying to re-learn how to predict the point where the engine will begin to ping. (Well, that's what other maker's ecu's do, I can't confirm that 335i's do the same.)


The problem with the statements about lower octane being fine at higher altitude is that they assume a naturally aspirated engine. It doesn't work for turbos, because a turbo engine can spool the turbo faster at higher altitude and put the actual pressure right back to sea level. Once the turbos attain parity with sea level, all of their logic goes out the window. Turbos do need higher octane than their non-turbo brothers at high altitude.

Last edited by Nixon; 08-10-2009 at 03:25 PM..
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      09-25-2007, 08:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducati View Post
You don't need as much octane up there, but 89 will still ping the damn thing to an early grave.
I agree with the rest of your post, except this part about pinging. The ECU won't let it ping itself into an early grave. It will just cut power. There is no real chance of harm to the engine. (Again, that's based upon my knowledge of other vehicle's ECU's. I expect BMW to be as smart)

Last edited by Nixon; 08-10-2009 at 03:24 PM..
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      09-25-2007, 09:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nixon View Post
I agree with the rest of your post, except this part about pinging. The ECU won't let it ping itself into an early grave. It will just cut power. There is no real chance of harm to the engine. (Again, that's based upon my knowledge of Audi ECU's. I expect BMW to be as smart)
Maybe--but I recall some of the VAG turbos blowing themselves up in... Was it Venezuela?

Dunno. Can't recall. Poor fuel was cited.

The problem is the engines won't cut power (in this context, they will retard ignition) until they detect knock. They can't predict knock, although they can learn frequent knock to a certain extent which should prevent some damage. But they "listen" for knock, and apply corrective measures. It has already occurred by that point. Knock, even the inaudible kind, is very destructive in turbo engines, especially o boost, and especially over a very long period of time.

Do you know if the N54 has a knock sensor on each cylinder? This would help matters.
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      09-25-2007, 09:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zba857 View Post
It is a vegetable based oil. I would never use it in a daily driver because it does not burn completely and would gum up msc. parts. However it is a great lubricant.

Can you not order lube online?
i do not think american vendors are going to jump to send me stuff in quito, ecuador.
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      09-25-2007, 10:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nixon View Post
Do they have E85 in Ecuador? I live in Denver CO, at 5000+ feet and I drive the mountains at 7000+ feet regularly. I mix in E85 with every tank and I can really feel the extra octane in my chipped turbo Audi A4.

E85 is about 105 octane, so 1/4 tank would get you 93 octane. This will harm gas mileage by about 5%, but the fuel injectors should have no problem keeping up. Stoc doesn't change that much with 1/4 tank of 85% ethanol. 1/4 tank would be about E21 and Brazil has been running E20 in every modern production car for years without problems.

I would do the E85 instead of the toluene if that is an option for you. With either product, you are better off keeping with a consistent mix all the time. That way the ECU isn't constantly trying to re-learn how to predict the point where the engine will begin to ping. (Well, that's what Audi ecu's do, I can't confirm that 335i's do the same.)


The problem with the statements about lower octane being fine at higher altitude is that they assume a naturally aspirated engine. It doesn't work for turbos, because a turbo engine can spool the turbo faster at higher altitude and put the actual pressure right back to sea level. Once the turbos attain parity with sea level, all of their logic goes out the window. Turbos do need higher octane than their non-turbo brothers at high altitude.
my owner's manual says specifically (pg 117) "do not use E85 (fuel with 85% ethanol) or flex fuel......fuel supply system will be damaged.

i have an advvance copy of my owner's manual (my european 335 i get in 6 weeks). what does your american manual say re fuel? is it on pg 117?

BTW, my manual also says MINIMUM 95 RON octane, 98 preferred, wierd eh?
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      09-25-2007, 10:07 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zba857 View Post
It is a vegetable based oil. I would never use it in a daily driver because it does not burn completely and would gum up msc. parts. However it is a great lubricant.

Can you not order lube online?
i need something safe and reliable to use with toluene for my daily driver, any ideas?
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      09-26-2007, 12:57 AM   #19
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yea... lucas UCL...

you got my input...
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      09-26-2007, 12:29 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zba857 View Post
yea... lucas UCL...

you got my input...
thanks, problemm is no one has heard of it here.
i will try to buy it online and have it sent to my bro in NY.
then my wife will have to carry it back next time she is there.
can u recommend a website or two where i can get this stuff?

if i mix approx 2 gallons of tolunene with approx 13 gallons of gas, how much of theis lucas UCL should i use?

also, confirm it is safe to do this for most if not all of my gas refills.

thanks, hopefully i am getting closer.
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      09-26-2007, 03:33 PM   #21
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I would think using that much toulene, a pure solvent, in every tank would significantly decrease rubber/neoprene life in the fuel system.
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      09-26-2007, 03:52 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeo View Post
I would think using that much toulene, a pure solvent, in every tank would significantly decrease rubber/neoprene like in the fuel system.
thanks.
i was just approximating. i have the "formula" somewhere on how much to add to a tank to change 89 octane to get 93 octane.

will look for it and repost.
thanks.
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