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#1 Old 08-26-2011, 09:33 PM
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How to increase your Octane Rating

I am starting to do some more mods and have some decent plans in the future so i thought i would start looking at better Octane levels for my tune. While i live in an area with on 91 and would like to run 94 and i figured this info would be pretty nice to share. I have combed through a lot of the posts regarding Octane but didnt see any of this info available.

I don't want this to turn into an "You need blah blah blah or this wont do anything or it will ruing your fuel delivery system." Here are just some better ideas as to how to improve your Octane if you live in an area like mine.


Formula #1 - Toluene
R+M/2.........114

Mixtures with 92 Octane Premium
10%...........94.2 Octane
20%...........96.4 Octane
30%...........98.6 Octane

Notes: Common ingredient in Octane Boosters in a can. 12-16 ounces will only raise octane 2-3 *points*, i.e. from 92 to 92.3. Often costs $3-5 for 12-16 ounces, when it can be purchased for less than $3/gal at chemical supply houses or paint stores.

Formula #2 - Xylene
R+M/2.........117

Mixtures with 92 Octane Premium
10%...........94.5 Octane
20%...........97.0 Octane
30%...........99.5 Octane

Notes: Similar to Toluene. 12-16 ounces will only raise octane 2-3 *points*, ie. from 92 to 92.3. Usually mixed with Toluene and advertised as *race formula*.


Formula #3 - Methyl-tertiary-butyl-ether (MTBE)
R+M/2.........118

Mixtures with 92 Octane Premium
10%...........94.6 Octane
20%...........97.2 Octane
30%...........99.8 Octane

Notes: Oxygenate. Very common in octane booster products. Has lower BTU ontent than toluene or xylene, but oxygenate effect makes the gasoline burn better and produce more energy.

Formula #4 - Methanol or Ethanol
R+M/2.........101

Mixtures with 92 Octane Premium
10%...........94.3 Octane (Methanol)
10%...........94.7 Octane (Ethanol)
20%...........Not Recommended

Notes: Methanol is wood alcohol. Ethanol is grain alcohol and found in Gasohol in 10% ratios. Both alcohols are mildly corrosive and will eat gas tank linings, rubber and aluminum if used in excessive ratios. Main ingredient in "Gas Dryers", combine with water.


Formula #5 - Isopropyl Alcohol and Tertiary Butyl Alcohol
R+M/2.........101

Mixtures with 92 Octane Premium
10%...........94.5 Octane
20%...........Not Recommended
30%...........Not Recommended

Notes: Similar to Methanol/Ethanol. Isopropyl Alcohol is simply rubbing alcohol.


Sample Mixture

To make your own octane booster, it is easiest to make up a large batch, and then bottle it up in "dosage-size" uses. Below is the basic formula of one of the popular octane booster products. To make eight 16 ounce bottles (128 oz = 1 gal):

100 oz of toluene for octane boost
25 oz of mineral spirits (cleaning agent)
3 oz of transmission fluid (lubricating agent)

This product is advertised as "octane booster with cleaning agent *and* lubricating agent!". Diesel fuel or kerosene can be substituted for mineral spirits and light turbine oil can be substituted for transmission fluid. Color can be added with petroleum dyes.
~~NOTE:I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY HARM OR DAMAGES THAT MAY COME FROM WORKING WITH DANGEROUS CHEMICALS OR THE IMPROPER MIXTURE OF SAID CHEMICALS~~

Last edited by Phat Korean; 08-26-2011 at 11:28 PM.
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#2 Old 08-27-2011, 11:01 AM
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I've used the lacquer thinner before that is 50/50 toluene and xylene. One gallon to 10 gallons of gas. Back in the day before E10 gas I had a '79 Mustang that pinged like crazy on regular. 100 ml of benzene to 10 gallons of gas is all it took to cure that.

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#3 Old 08-27-2011, 11:39 AM
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Oh man, I wish benzene was easier to get. That stuff rocks. Causes near instant fatal cancer, though. LOL.

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#4 Old 08-27-2011, 12:06 PM
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Well not instant. That was over 40 years ago that I used it.......

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#5 Old 08-27-2011, 12:20 PM
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Oh man, I wish benzene was easier to get. That stuff rocks. Causes near instant fatal cancer, though. LOL.
benzene | Sigma-Aldrich.com

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#6 Old 08-27-2011, 04:29 PM
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Its really unfortunate that these chemicals are expensive now. I remember when a gallon of Xylene was less than 3 bucks. now i think you can pick up a gallon from a paint store like sherwin williams or from lowes for 12-16 bucks.
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#7 Old 08-29-2011, 07:29 AM
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Good info to have. Thanks

It would be awesome if the 3.8 could have multiple programs loaded. A 91 Octane file, and then a 94-95 Octane file for guys that mix up high octane fuel in this manner.

Unfortunately, you can't run the additional timing advance unless you can guarantee that you will ALWAYS have the higher Octane. And the higher Octane does absolutely no good of you don't have the additional timing to actually need it. So this info does very little for most.

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#8 Old 08-29-2011, 07:37 AM
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Thank god we still have 93 everywhere here in the Northeast...
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#9 Old 08-29-2011, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Phat Korean View Post
I am starting to do some more mods and have some decent plans in the future so i thought i would start looking at better Octane levels for my tune. While i live in an area with on 91 and would like to run 94 and i figured this info would be pretty nice to share. I have combed through a lot of the posts regarding Octane but didnt see any of this info available.

I don't want this to turn into an "You need blah blah blah or this wont do anything or it will ruing your fuel delivery system." Here are just some better ideas as to how to improve your Octane if you live in an area like mine.


Formula #1 - Toluene
R+M/2.........114

Mixtures with 92 Octane Premium
10%...........94.2 Octane
20%...........96.4 Octane
30%...........98.6 Octane

Notes: Common ingredient in Octane Boosters in a can. 12-16 ounces will only raise octane 2-3 *points*, i.e. from 92 to 92.3. Often costs $3-5 for 12-16 ounces, when it can be purchased for less than $3/gal at chemical supply houses or paint stores.

Formula #2 - Xylene
R+M/2.........117

Mixtures with 92 Octane Premium
10%...........94.5 Octane
20%...........97.0 Octane
30%...........99.5 Octane

Notes: Similar to Toluene. 12-16 ounces will only raise octane 2-3 *points*, ie. from 92 to 92.3. Usually mixed with Toluene and advertised as *race formula*.


Formula #3 - Methyl-tertiary-butyl-ether (MTBE)
R+M/2.........118

Mixtures with 92 Octane Premium
10%...........94.6 Octane
20%...........97.2 Octane
30%...........99.8 Octane

Notes: Oxygenate. Very common in octane booster products. Has lower BTU ontent than toluene or xylene, but oxygenate effect makes the gasoline burn better and produce more energy.

Formula #4 - Methanol or Ethanol
R+M/2.........101

Mixtures with 92 Octane Premium
10%...........94.3 Octane (Methanol)
10%...........94.7 Octane (Ethanol)
20%...........Not Recommended

Notes: Methanol is wood alcohol. Ethanol is grain alcohol and found in Gasohol in 10% ratios. Both alcohols are mildly corrosive and will eat gas tank linings, rubber and aluminum if used in excessive ratios. Main ingredient in "Gas Dryers", combine with water.


Formula #5 - Isopropyl Alcohol and Tertiary Butyl Alcohol
R+M/2.........101

Mixtures with 92 Octane Premium
10%...........94.5 Octane
20%...........Not Recommended
30%...........Not Recommended

Notes: Similar to Methanol/Ethanol. Isopropyl Alcohol is simply rubbing alcohol.


Sample Mixture

To make your own octane booster, it is easiest to make up a large batch, and then bottle it up in "dosage-size" uses. Below is the basic formula of one of the popular octane booster products. To make eight 16 ounce bottles (128 oz = 1 gal):

100 oz of toluene for octane boost
25 oz of mineral spirits (cleaning agent)
3 oz of transmission fluid (lubricating agent)

This product is advertised as "octane booster with cleaning agent *and* lubricating agent!". Diesel fuel or kerosene can be substituted for mineral spirits and light turbine oil can be substituted for transmission fluid. Color can be added with petroleum dyes.
~~NOTE:I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY HARM OR DAMAGES THAT MAY COME FROM WORKING WITH DANGEROUS CHEMICALS OR THE IMPROPER MIXTURE OF SAID CHEMICALS~~
Stay away from MTBE. MTBE is a an ether. Ethers in their pure form (in commercial gasoline MTBE is found in dilute,and safe amounts) ,when exposed to oxygen are peroxide formers. If you end up leaving a bottle of it around on a shelf to long,it can form these explosive peroxides. A bottle not properly sealed can evaporate leaving nothing but the peroxides which will explode when you pick up the bottle. Full bottles often form peroxide crystals around the cap and will explode when you remove the cap. Guidelines for peroxide formers require that they be tested regularly and not kept for more than six months. Bottles over six months old,or bottles of unknown age are to be treated as explosive,not disturbed and disposed of by a professional. Trust me on this,Im a chemist.

Stick with toluene,xylene or ethanol instead. Toluene and Xylene are no more dangerous than gasoline. Ethanol of course is the stuff you drink,but industrial ethanol has impurities that can be toxic,so of course you would not want to drink it.(We have some 95% stuff at work that you COULD drink,but if they accidentally sent you something toxic,its not their fault,as its labled "for industrial use only",so while Ive heard of people doing just that,I wouldn't try it myself) So long as you dont set yourself on fire though,ethanol is very safe to handle. Methanol is pretty safe (don't drink it though,your body metabolizes it to formic acid which will destroy the retinas in your eyes),but it eats aluminum. I would stay away from it. My choice would be toluene as its something that is FOUND in gasoline,and its a little cheaper than xylene.

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Last edited by mallen; 08-29-2011 at 07:17 PM.
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#10 Old 08-29-2011, 08:12 PM
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I have never used anything other than Toluene and Xylene. I just saw these other chemicals and thought i would post them as well. As for higher octane doing nothing, i beg to differ. You wont be able to put it to its full use, but higher octane will help with engine knocking. =p
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#11 Old 08-29-2011, 09:17 PM
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FWIW Gasoline is ~30% toluene

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#12 Old 09-07-2011, 04:21 PM
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Hahahahah, Super awesome. I love using products warning of possible mutation, cancer, and female reproductive harm. MSDS ftw.

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#13 Old 09-09-2011, 09:38 PM
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Hahahahah, Super awesome. I love using products warning of possible mutation, cancer, and female reproductive harm. MSDS ftw.
I know an old autobody mechanic whose one of those "I dont beleive all that safety stuff" kinda guys. He IS however careful with benzene. He told me about the guy he worked with that used to wash his hands with it. That guy died from tumors that started growing all over his arms.

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#14 Old 09-09-2011, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
Good info to have. Thanks

It would be awesome if the 3.8 could have multiple programs loaded. A 91 Octane file, and then a 94-95 Octane file for guys that mix up high octane fuel in this manner.

Unfortunately, you can't run the additional timing advance unless you can guarantee that you will ALWAYS have the higher Octane. And the higher Octane does absolutely no good of you don't have the additional timing to actually need it. So this info does very little for most.
Take a look at the PowerX module from Poweraxel.

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#15 Old 09-10-2011, 06:28 PM
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Ty Jesus for 94 octane all around my area. lmao, im in no mood to become the next Dr.Jeckle :P
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#16 Old 09-12-2011, 08:14 AM
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I know an old autobody mechanic whose one of those "I dont beleive all that safety stuff" kinda guys. He IS however careful with benzene. He told me about the guy he worked with that used to wash his hands with it. That guy died from tumors that started growing all over his arms.
Yeah, its funny, because I've always stayed away from that stuff out of fear/respect. Most people treat an MSDS like a joke. I just know I wouldn't buy benzene and wouldn't have it at my shop/house. Too freaky. Toluene I trust... to an extent.

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