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Old 05-07-2005, 03:35 PM
stusanders stusanders is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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Default Xylene versus toluene for octane improvement?

Anyone try both? So far, 10% xylene seems to work for me but I have yet to find a source for toluene locally (USA).
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Old 29-11-2006, 05:59 AM
hotrod hotrod is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 307

Toluene is getting hard to find at consumer outlets due to it being a common chemical needed in some illegal drug manufacturing.

Both Xylene and Toluene work about the same. They have very similar octanes the major difference being that the xylene does not evaporate as quickly as the toluene, so it should not be used in high concentrations and in cool or cold weather as it will end up not burning in the cylinder but after the exhaust valve opens a fair portion of it will get blown into the exhaust manifold while it is still burning.

Xylene works ok in hot weather though. Most high octane unleaded fuels have a fairly large fraction of toluene in them anyway ( if the MSDS sheet lists a high percentage of aromatics that is probably toluene upto a max of about 45%) As a result adding toluene or xylene to these high octane fuels does not net you as much improvement as it does in lower grade fuels that do not have a significant portion of toluene. Xylene is usually held to low concentrations in commercial gasolines due to the slow evaporation issues mentioned above and the fact that it produces compounds that help form some types of smog, so it is not a prefered component of consumer gasoline.

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Old 18-02-2009, 01:07 PM
ATCO ATCO is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: UK
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I've used 40% Xylene mix with Shell V-Power.

Chose Xylene because it has better RON/MON rating compared to Tol.

Bearing in mind the stuff is not very pleasent to breathe in, it actually works very well as an octane booster/anti-knock. In fact it eliminated knock altogether even when running quite high boost of 2Bar which I would not have risked on SUL alone.

It will not work in low temperatures, anti-knock to the point it won't burn at all! You can compensate by allowing the engine to warm up thoroughly before driving, aided, if you have one, by 'common' heating at the swirl pot. It is not a winter fuel though.

It also is an aggressive substance, so be aware the fuel pump seals might not like it, or your fuel lines.
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