Which brand of octane booster can turn your pump fuel into race fuel?
Before discussing these producst, lets first address the differences between a racing fuel and pump fuel. The obvious one is octane. Under the North American octane system AKI (Anti-Knock Index) pump fuel is graded as (RON+MON)/2. Meaning if a fuel has a RON (Research Octane Number) of 96, and a MON ( Motor Octane Number) of 90 its AKI would be 93. Race fuels can be graded on any of the standards AKI, MON, RON. So what is octane and why is it important? Octane is what gives petrol its ability to resist pre-ignition. As displacement, compression, boost, RPM, go up it becomes harder to keep the fuel mixture from igniting prematurely. If under load or high heat, you experience knock with 87 octane, stepping up to 91 octane is logical step for both performance and longevity. If you experience no knock or timing pull at 91 there is no benefit to you stepping up to 93 or higher. The additives that raise octane have less energy than the base fuel, effectively lowering the BTUs of the fuel. That is you will make the most power and have the best fuel economy with the lowest octane that is capable of preventing knock under your specific conditions.
Another major distinction between race and pump fuel is RVP (Reid Vapor Pressure). The easiest, overly simplified, way to think of RVP is as a scale to rate the tendency for the fuel to want to evaporate. In general racing fuels have a much lower RVP than would be found in pump fuel due to the poor starting characteristics that come along with low RVP fuels.
Burn speed is another major difference. Race fuels are blended towards a specific application. The desired burn rate in a Kart at 16k RPM is very different than the target burn rate of something like a big block V8 at 9k RPM. Too fast of a burn and you may experience less than optimum power. Too slow and your exhaust valves may be opening before maximum pressure is reached.
Without going into specific gravity, dielectric constant, and numerous other variables, you should now have a basic understanding that there is a lot more to fuel than just octane. Altering these variables randomly can serve to be counter productive. For the purpose of objectivity lets look at one of the most common indicators. Octane. Below we have reviewed several common octane boosters. Each product was mixed in the recommended concentrations and run through an octanometer.
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Torco's Mach Series Accelerator -L and -U. Avaliable in 32 bottles and 5 gallon pales.
STP's Octane Booster. Avaliable in 12oz bottles.
Outlaw Octane Booster. Avaliable in 16oz bottles.
Lucas Octane Booster. Avaliable in 16oz bottles.
NOS Racing Formula Octane Booster. Avaliable in 12oz bottles.
Some of these products may contain MMT or be unsuitable for street use. Consult the lable before using.