Results To Date

Lots of them, and very good so far.

The setup has been in place on its first vehicle for about 11 months as of this writing, 2019-11-12.

The summary:

  • E-85 gasoline is running well, in two non-E-85-rated engines, my Bertha, and pioneered by Fritz (a friend), who has the second engine of which we are aware to run with air chargers. Fritz is using just two at this writing. He has been running E-85 in his '99 Dodge truck for about a year, with minor hiccups and transmission (probably compression/vacuum) response issues. Both run very nicely on E-85. We have found that the common advice for many E-85-explicit vehicles is recommended, which is to run common fuel after every two or three tanks of pure E-85; there appears to be a sensor or something which gets confused a bit if you don't, you'll see a bit of roughness.
  • My truck Bertha definitely now runs better on 89 or 90 octane, than 91 and higher. This is different than her behavior before; in fact, the friend who sold her to me told me that he ran 91 or better always.
  • Cooler running overall !!! Fritz first recognized this; he keeps a sharp eye on his temperature gauge, and he saw it, he's running consistently cooler, possibly 20 degrees F if his gauge is sufficiently linear. My Bertha has never tended to heat more than 1/4 on its temperature gauge, but Fritz is right: just after a 20-minute freeway run I opened the hood, and lo and behold, no wave of warm-hot air. In other words, like wow. I never dreamed this was possible.
  • Better behavior in extreme cold. Starts quick, runs with clearly less struggle. It can get cold in Kansas!
  • More power overall. Much smoother.
  • When the engine is hot and the environment is over 80 F, much much quieter.
  • 2.8% better gas mileage, as measured on Bertha with three Alanchi air chargers installed. Will be remeasuring, she now having 14!

Gas mileage test, 2019-04-05, with three air chargers installed:

This was two road-trips from Topeka to Lawrence, in immediate succession, from exactly the same gas-pump in Topeka to exactly the same destination in Lawrence. Here are the results:

Odometer Trip Odo Gallons Into Tank Miles per Gallon
First Fillup 280745.4 0 4.042
Air Charger turned off at start of run First Run, w/2 min idle at Lawrence 200812.9 67.5 3.788 17.8
Air Charger turned on at start of run Second Run, w/2 min idle at Lawrence 200880.4 135 3.690 18.3

The difference is 0.5 gallons, or 2.8%.

Detail, in chronological order:

First Installation The first air charger was installed in the dead of a very cold winter, ranging from -5 to +35 F (-21 to +2 C) or so. The first set of results came using just one consumer-grade Alanchi 12VDC negative ionizer component:

  • Cold running. In the extremer cold, Bertha used to sound a bit strained until warm, like other big engines I’ve heard. Not anymore. Even stone cold, at minus five, the gas pedal seemed to have about as much juice as warm. She seemed to burn a tad more gas doing it (until she heated up), but was much happier to run than without.
  • Starting. Bertha has never had real trouble starting once I gave her a really good (and pricey) battery and new starter, just normal behavior. But now it’s not normal. Hot or dead cold, she takes off very quickly.
  • Idle had an interesting sound change (she does have glasspacks…), very very regular, and when hot quite a bit less in volume, apparently doing more with less.

After about two months, I put in two more ionizer elements, for a total of three. Just one of the electronic widgets are visible in the pic, Three ionizer elements in place there is actually some good space down there, underneath the switch.

  • Definitely more power at all times. My sweet Lori, who is not often very impressed with my occasional forays into unusual creative [some might say bizarre] engineering, actually commented on this as we hit the freeway together for the first time after the third went in.
  • Sweet Lori and I did two careful fillups at the same pump at the same station and exactly the same route and approximate speeds, and ran two there-and-backs to Lawrence, Kansas, about 30 miles away. There was about 3% (half a gallon) of gas less used with the widgets on, than off. I won’t say that’s clear and present advantage, because 3% isn’t huge, and you’d really want to do testing on a dyno. But it’s not nothing, and it was a rainy day with very wet air, the very condition most likely to hinder the air chargers. Am quite interested in more testing, and more of this!
  • I was actually surprised at how little immediate change there was when the air chargers were turned off, given the initial experiences of three. I am theorizing that some of the overall effects at this point, may be due to a simple general cleaning effect of having the charged air running through it all.

Some months later, I installed air chargers four, five, and six A cute little harness developed, connecting them all to the switch.

  • Improvement in horsepower was immediate and noteworthy. Ponderworthy had a gig a few days after, about thirty miles away, which was a great first long-ride test; I was amazed at how interesting it was holding Bertha down to the speed limits ☺
  • Overall engine smoothness, and idle tonality, is improved also.
  • Nine In Place
  • Now it being August, we finally have had 70’s and 80’s and the occasional 100’s in air temperature; and so far, the warmer it’s been, the better the behavior. Idling became a quiet murmur once hot. Amazing.
  • Have installed air chargers #7 through 9. One more notch of performance, and hot idle has become frankly unreasonable in its quietude. Does not seem possible for glasspacks, but here it is. And radical RPM changes are very quick to occur, never driven anything like this before. After a few minutes on the road, the gas pedal has lots of juice behind it, cruising at 40 takes just a feather of gas, and you can hear Bertha smiling at 65 or 70!
  • Starting is now just a tiny and very brief momentary turn of the key! This is quite a nice thing for a big engine in a Kansas winter.
  • Sweet Lori noticed these too.
  • Installed #10, 11, and 12. It's near the end of October, and getting colder, below freezing at night. Not quiet murmur now, but a beautiful gentle and ever so regular sound when not putting on the power. And that power just rose again by another notch.
  • Studied several options for next steps over many months, because I'm clearly running out of room on the air cleaner! Eventually I found a different make of air charger which reportedly puts out a whole lot more than my twelve Alanchis, and set them up. Details are at "Further".
  • There has been, on and off, a bit of rough idle when stone-cold. Hasn't happened at all since the bigger #13 and #14 went in, about three months ago. There could conceivably be a minimum amount of charging needed for this computer to see things consistently. Or something!
  • The most important next steps, appear to be testing, to get much harder numbers for all results. Next will be another repetitive distance driving test, to see how the current 14 compares with the 3.

The result most shocking in general, to me, has to be Fritz' observation of running cooler. We have only begun to think about this, and neither of us are chemists, I plan to ask questions here and there. But it's quite a thing to reduce waste heat of an engine.

One of these months (or years) I'm likely to get Bertha dyno-tested. But one very startling observation came recently. I took a couple of friends for two short freeway rides, intending on one ride being chargers-on, and the other being chargers-off, so they could feel the difference. I just flipped the switch after the first run. The shocker was, we could tell little if any difference after the flip. Lots of question about this. I wonder lots of things, like degunkification of the inside of the engine over time, charge storage in the air filter (is it possible? it's all plastic and cloth, right?), and the ever-present X factors. I could imagine it might be some sort of very undocumented regunkification, where lubes are freed up a bit, or something like that, though that sounds like rather a stretch to me. The only thing I know for sure right now, is that Bertha is performing much, much better now than when I began, and so far, every increase in air charging has resulted in improvement both immediately and over time. Will be working on better theory, and more tests. I do wonder if I should have squirted some water at the filter, or just opened it up, to dispel charge, after the first ride...?

Do drop me a line if you have questions, are interested, or try it!!!