01. For our Project Ultimate...
For our Project Ultimate Tow Rig, Matt Snow of Snow Performance recommended using the MPG Max Kit due to how we would be using the 7.3L-equipped F250. The kit consists of a 7-gallon tank, 2D digital controller, EGT sensor, and a 12-volt pump with all the hoses, nozzles, and hardware.
Water-methanol injection is nothing new. While it has recently become a hot item in the racing and towing communities, its roots lie in pre-WWII fighter planes. The U.S. military began injecting a mix of water and methanol into the P47 Thunderbolt’s engine, boosting horsepower numbers in some cases close to 2,000 hp over stock. This allowed for much shorter take-off’s and increased power for dog fights while enjoying better fuel economy at the same time.
Using a 2D digital computer controller with multiple engine monitors, Snow Performance has taken this historically tested technology and adapted it to today’s modern engines for safe and reliable power. For us RVers, with our large and heavy homes-on-wheels, the Snow Performance kit makes rolling on ramps, climbing hills, and passing semis eons easier. Snow Performance claims (and we confirmed) that there are gains of 1 to 3 mpg and about 20-percent horsepower, as well as an average 300-degree drop in exhaust gas temperature (EGT).
02. We mounted the digital controller in clear view of the driver. The MPG Max has two settings: mileage and tow. Each setting is easily adjustable as to when and how the kit begins to inject. Tow uses EGT settings whereas the mileage set-up uses boost to determine injection rates.
When injecting water-methanol into an internal-combustion engine, the mix creates what is known as a chemical intercooler. Depending on the power plant, nozzles are installed in the intake and generally spray a 50/50 mix of water to methanol. The mist then enters the combustion chamber and instantly cools the incoming air. This creates a much denser air charge allowing for a more complete burn equaling more power. As a byproduct of this more complete burn emissions are drastically reduced as well. Snow’s digital controller progressively injects this mix giving you smooth, safe, and green power.
03. With the 7-gallon tank...
With the 7-gallon tank mounted in the bed we used the supplied self-tapping screws to mount the 12-volt pump BELOW the tank, making sure to install the check valve to eliminate gravity feeding.
After installing the MPG Max Kit, we picked up our Carson Trailer, topped off the Snow Performance tank with a 50/50 mix of water to methanol and filled up on diesel. Our testing plan was to start and stop at the same gas station, at the same time of day with the intent of having the same ambient air temperature for each run. The route took us up and down 36 miles of six-percent grades and ended with a 24-mile run through city streets. We ran this loop four times to really give the MPG Max Kit a true test. After making two “control” laps with the injection turned off we were ready to start spraying the water methanol.
The first time the pump kicked on really was an odd feeling. Starting at the base of the hill we accelerated until the boost reached 8 psi. At that point the Snow Performance controller turned on the first stage of injection. With the accelerator pedal in the same position the truck climbed and climbed. It really does feel as if someone else is rolling on the throttle for you. EGTs were drastically less and we were able to maintain a higher, safer speed.
Testing Results: Hill Climbing
MPG Max Turned Off
EGT: 1,100-degree average
Sustained Speed: 45 mph
MPG Max Turned On
EGT: 900-degree average
Sustained Speed: 60 mph
(Note: These results were found while testing on an exceptionally mountainous highway. This is where the Snow Performance kit really excels. When testing on flat ground the mpg gains were evident but much less substantial. On flat ground we saw an average gain of 1.23 mpg over stock.)
04. After removing the post...
04. After removing the post turbo intake tube, we marked, drilled, and tapped three holes for the three nozzles.
05. The MPG Max Kit is progressive,...
05. The MPG Max Kit is progressive, so each nozzle is different and needs to be installed in its own special place. Once done we cleaned the intake tube, making sure no metal shavings were left behind.
06. Next the supply hoses...
06. Next the supply hoses were run. The smallest nozzle gets its own line, straight from the pump while the two power nozzles operate off a solenoid activated at high boost or EGT levels.
07. This part is a little...
07. This part is a little tricky. Drilling and tapping the exhaust manifold for the EGT sensor. Any metal shavings left inside the manifold could potentially destroy the turbo charger, so great care was taken to minimize this risk.
08. To give the kits brain...
08. To give the kits brain a boost signal we tapped into the MAP (manifold absolute pressure) sensors line.
09. After all the different...
09. After all the different parts were installed it was time to tie them all together and finish the install. We ran the wires through the firewall using one of Daystar’s super clean universal boots. All connections were made and we were off to test the kit.
10. Snow’s Boost Juice is great stuff. Unfortunately, during our 1,500-mile testing trip to Utah and back, we ran out. Matt Snow then informed us we could use methanol race fuel and mix it with distilled water (half and half) as a replacement for the Boost Juice. It’s pretty much the same thing.