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.
- E-85 gasoline is running well, in a non-E-85-rated engine. Fritz has the second engine we know of to run with air chargers, he 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; but he reports, that since his air chargers went in, all has been running nicely. Reportedly there was a decade or two where many cars had gaskets which could be harmed by alcohol, but it is not clear how true these are or what decade(s) these might have been. His engine is running very nicely indeed.
- My truck Bertha definitely now runs better on 90 octane, than 91 and higher. This is the exact opposite of her behavior before; in fact, the friend who sold her to me told me that he ran 91 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 gets cold in Kansas!
- More power overall. Much smoother.
- When the engine is hot and the environment is over 80 F, much much quieter.
- About 3% better gas mileage, measured on Bertha with just three Alanchi air chargers installed. Will be remeasuring sometime soon, she now having 12!
Detail, in chronological order:
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, 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.
- 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.
There has been, on and off, a bit of rough idle when stone-cold. I first tried a temperature switch zip-tied to the upper coolant fitting on the engine, which worked but turned on the air chargers quite a while after startup; and then a timer relay, an Omron K3Y-2, with a variety of delays. But then after air chargers 10, 11, and 12 went in, no more rough idle at all. So this may very well just be a small crack in one exhaust manifold which a mechanic found for me recently, and the last install may have brought things over a threshold. Live and learn hopefully!
The most shocking result lately 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. Real numbers should be available for this effect without too much effort.
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...?
Haven’t run a rigorous fuel use check since the previous, but that will come.
Do drop me a line if you have questions, are interested, or try it!!!