Water Induction to Save Fuel - DECOMMISSIONED

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Introduction: Water Induction to Save Fuel - DECOMMISSIONED

Driving in rain or to work on early mornings I had noticed my fuel economy improved by a small amount. Could it be the higher water vapour content in the air? Via research I came across an old technique called water injection used in the world War 2 era. Basically a fine mist water is introduced into the air intake manifold and this is burnt in the combustion Chambers.

The water mist is converted to steam which increases the compression ratio of the engine. The steam also cleans the built up carbon in the cylinders and also the oxygen sensor.

One month after implementing my own blend of water injection (water induction), I gained an extra 40km on a full tank of gas! The original stock range on my lev civic was a pitiful 290km. Four years after implementation of water injection, I typically get 460km. On consecutive long drives I will get over 560km per tank.

This project works reasonably well on cars without a catalytic converter. I have tried this on a car with its cat still installed and the project was a failure. Also, the needle valve used to control the flow of water into the intake manifold is critical in its percent open state: even a little too much water and the engine will splutter so its very important to use the smallest possible flow of water to achieve misting.

Now let me Show you what I did to obtain these results and it cost me less than 100TT dollars.

Step 1: Vacuum Line to the Air Intake Manifold.

I used the vapour line that pulls gasoline vapours stored in a charcoal canister. Years ago the rollover valve in my gas tank got stuck in the closed position. As a result I condemned that vapour line and removed the fuel vapour recovery hardware. The vacuum line as a result was available for my use to get a controlled amount of water into the air intake manifold. In the pic that's the hose with the copper tubing link.

Please note that if you introduce water mist before the air intake throttle you will sieze up your intake air control valve (and the electronic throttle if you have that) . Water mist must be introduced downstream of these devices for a reliable solution.

Step 2: Valve to Control the Water.

Using a brass needle valve for water control, I connected to the vacuum line. A very small amount of water is needed as even a little too much will cause the engine to cough and stall! If that happens it will need water removal from the air intake manifold and lots of heavy revving to start back.

Using a quarter inch inner diameter tubing, my flow is approximately 20mm travel of water in 15 seconds. I made a red mark to know how much to turn from the lock off position.

As water becomes mist via this valve, it gets really cold. Small scale refrigeration! This is a future project I will try to tap into.

Step 3: Water Reservoir .

Any bottle will work. Just have the tubing inserted and that's it. My bottle there gives me a month's supply. The water required is very small and it is only sucked into the engine when the throttle is closed (strongest vacuum at that position).

Important to note is I had removed my Catalytic converter. It was over ten years old at the time and past its service life. I used this water injection technique on another car without a Catalytic converter and it got much better fuel economy. I tried on a vehicle with a converter and that vehicle experienced the opposite!

When I start my car, steam exits the exhaust and carbon residue is deposited on the inside of the tailpipe. I no longer get the typical gasoline car exhaust smell. It smells much cleaner however I don't go sniffing that tailpipe for the good vibes.

This has been one of my most successful hobbies and literally pays for itself.

Step 4: Exhaust Debris.

As shown on the pics, Steam condenses to form a small quantity of water on the tail pipe. Carbon from inside the engine has been deposited due to the cleaning action of the steam. My Tail pipe is always cool to touch thanks to this effect.

Step 5: Side Effect: Refrigeration

I added a small radiator and separate water bottle with needle valve to test a theory. Under the pull of vacuum line, liquid water become water vapour much easier. To become vapour it needs to absorb thermal energy. This is why the vacuum line became so cold when the car starts. I have decided to use this phenomenon to produce low level air conditioning.

The temperature difference measured was greater than 14C. The radiator got cold enough to form condensation on a hot day in Trinidad.
I will make use of the refrigeration side effect to further another project.

1 Person Made This Project!

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21 Comments

0
rimar2000
rimar2000

6 years ago on Introduction

I think this should be done only when the engine has reached standard operating temperature. Otherwise, part of the energy generated by the fuel will be used heating the water and it is likely that the balance be negative.

It's interesting how you solved the problem of prevent water entering the engine when it is turned off.

0
Mjtrinihobby
Mjtrinihobby

Reply 6 years ago

You are correct in that when the engine is at proper operating temperature should water be part of the combustion process. My poor hobbyist approach was meant as a very low cost solution and has proven itself most effective. Simple systems are most reliable.

0
atomic79greg
atomic79greg

Reply 4 months ago

water already is part of the process - the PCV system sucks not only hydrocarbon vapours out of the crankcase to be reburned through the intake, but there is water vapour in there too by default, from combustion, that blows past the cylinder rings.

0
fred3655
fred3655

6 years ago

I use an Sta-bil to dry out the ethanol and my engine runs much smoother, less vibration. It is like running 100% gasoline except less mpg due to ethanol having less power output. My point is, ethanol absorbs moisture from the atmosphere and causes the engine to run rough and rusts out your exhaust quicker. Not sure I would want to ADD water. A cooler engine prevents detonation, early combustion which fights a piston still on the upstroke. My theory is water injection cools the engine when regarding the timing or using higher octane would do the same thing.

0
atomic79greg
atomic79greg

Reply 4 months ago

for anyone who follows along or has stumbled here and finds themselves asking the same question as fred, take a look at the steam already coming out of your tailpipe, and the condensed water from that steam dripping out onto the road or your driveway. Then read this: https://eagle-research.com/q-will-adding-water-hurt-my-engine/

0
Mjtrinihobby
Mjtrinihobby

Reply 6 years ago

Hi fred. My Gasoline engine actually runs a bit cooler since the water injection mod. The water to steam helps remove some thermal energy. A nice side effect are my spark plugs remain perfectly clean. I have not changed them since. This mod has proven itself quite effective on my engine. I have also successfully done this on another car engine without catalytic converter. Of course this is my experience and I stand liability to anything I do on my car(s). Implementation of this mod is as always the decision of the hobbyist who wants to try it. I just wanted others to know of what I did and the benefits I enjoy from it.

0
atomic79greg
atomic79greg

4 months ago on Step 3

it will work similarly well on a car with a catalytic converter - you just have to fool the oxygen sensor that there isn't as much oxygen in the airstream it's reading (the exhaust) as there really is, or the computer will increase fuel delivery at the injectors (by lengthening the injector pulse duration, or "on" time) to try to keep the engine running at the stoichiometric ratio, or as close to it as it can get. using your favourite search engine, look up EFIE circuits. You will need one for each oxygen sensor upstream of any catalytic converter.
I have a similar set up on my catalytic converter-equipped car and it has given me about a 10% gain in mileage/fuel efficiency, or an increase in my miles/dollar, and a decrease in my CO2 emissions per gallon of gasoline.

0
Seán Walsh
Seán Walsh

6 years ago on Step 5

Very interesting.. Probably not worth doing in wetter countries like mine though :)

0
Mjtrinihobby
Mjtrinihobby

Reply 6 years ago

It may be worth a shot since the steam cleaning action of this setup has benefits on the engine and fuel economy.

0
atomic79greg
atomic79greg

Reply 7 months ago

not just the engine, the whole exhaust system: carbon may be building up in your Catalytic converter or your EGR system or on your oxygen sensors and the steam helps remove it. The water vapours in the crankcase from combustion blowby are simply not enough to keep an engine cool and clean.
I've made a bubbler-type water induction system. Engine vacuum from the PCV port is modulated by a needle valve; intake air is passed through aquarium "airstones" to make crazy amounts of bubbles and the associated water vapour in the vessel. It could be made a semi-closed loop with the liquid condensate from the AC/defog system being drawn into the vessel with engine vacuum rather than dripping away.
The real trick to mitigating the perceived vacuum leak of my system is to modify the signal from the MAP sensor correctly, (otherwise your car's computer will overdeliver fuel until the o2 sensors can trim that back) before triggering an OBD/engine code. you could also fine tune fuel delivery by modifying o2 sensor signals to the computer for very specific fuel delivery control. I've increased my fuel economy by almost 50% over gov't ratings without affecting performance. (some would consider that an almost 50% increase in performance...)

0
LlewellynK
LlewellynK

Question 2 years ago

Why did you decommission this solution on your car ?

0
Norfolkson
Norfolkson

4 years ago

Computerized water injection systems are still in use today, mostly on diesel engines. Edelbrock made a similar electronic system in the 80s called Vara-jection. With one of these installed one could advance the timing on a non-computer controlled engine to get more power. The water (or alcohol) cooled the intake charge enough to prevent detonation. The downfall of these is that if you forgot to fill the water reservoir or the electronic control module died you would have to back off the timing right away or risk a holed piston.

0
nathantimm
nathantimm

5 years ago

Could it be possible to use this same concept but with added pressure, so instead of feeding controlled vapor into the intake have water heated to produce a pressurized steam/vapor type induction, making greater compression with the benefits of the vapor?

0
Mjtrinihobby
Mjtrinihobby

Reply 5 years ago

Decommissioned. No further development.

0
skrubol
skrubol

6 years ago on Introduction

Diesel's generally do not have any manifold vacuum as they run lean (and often don't have a throttle valve.) Most diesel's intake manifolds will be under pressure from the turbo.

0
Terra Karma
Terra Karma

6 years ago on Introduction

Wait, you REMOVED your fuel vapor vacuum line? This would cause a drop in fuel efficiency! That line recycles unburned gas!

0
Mjtrinihobby
Mjtrinihobby

Reply 6 years ago

Sigh yes I know. I'm working on a way to get that line back into the process. The problem is my rollover valve in the gas tank got stuck closed after a minor accident. The rest of the car is good but absolutely no vapours come from that line since. This is the sole reason I performed water induction in my car. You have a keen eye. Thanks for the comment.

0
skepticaljay
skepticaljay

6 years ago

I am assuming this is a diesel engine? it looks like all the well documented cases of fuel economy gain is in diesel engines.

0
Mjtrinihobby
Mjtrinihobby

Reply 6 years ago

Water injection was originally used on diesel engines. My Civic is gasoline without the catalytic converter. Any vehicle with a catalytic converter will not accept this mod and have improved fuel economy. The opposite will happen plus the converter will get clogged by carbon deposits. Very bad for the engine when a converter gets clogged.