Register now to get rid of these ads!

History Nitromethane

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Dan in Canada, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. Dan in Canada
    Joined: Nov 21, 2012
    Posts: 83

    Dan in Canada
    Member

    Please school me on the earliest uses of nitromethane for racing.

    I understand that Tommy Ivo ran nitro in his twin engine car in 1959.


    Did anyone use it before '59?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. NHRA banned nitro at sanctioned events in 1957.
    So the use dates back long before 1959.
    Somewhere in the late 40s early 50 edelbrok and offenhauser were playing with it.
     
  3. V8 Bob
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 2,658

    V8 Bob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER



    To my knowledge, the first successful racing use of nitro was in 1950, when Vic Edelbrock's V8 60 midget beat his Offy powered #27 twin. Bobby Meeks at Edelbrock figured out the jetting/compression/nitro % that allowed flathead Fords to be very competitive. :)
     
  4. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    The use of nitro based fuel additives goes waaaay back. This may be of interest:
     

    Attached Files:


  5. NickJT
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 640

    NickJT
    Member
    from S.E. PA

    I hope it's not too off topic of a question, but how and where does hydrazine fit into the fuels picture?

    I remember as a kid at the dragstrip hearing about dragsters etc running hydrazine and that it was eventually outlawed due to it's highly unstable nature and it could blow up just sitting in a can. Maybe that was more legend than fact?
     
  6. Dan in Canada
    Joined: Nov 21, 2012
    Posts: 83

    Dan in Canada
    Member

    Thanks for this! There is no stone left unturned after reading that.

    ...and I was wrong about the Ivo car, but it's still one of the most bitchin' FED's of all time. :D
     
  7. Hydrazine was common in Indy racing (esp. qualifying) for years. Often as not, it sawed the engine in half instead of posting a faster time...
     
  8. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    From a 1957 Speed Age mag.- The stuff was never real cheap, at 5.85 a gal. in 1957 money :eek:
     

    Attached Files:

  9. mtkawboy
    Joined: Feb 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,213

    mtkawboy
    Member

    Ive read that the Bean Bandits were early users if nitro at the drags, dry lakes and Bonneville. Hydrazine was later found to be a major carcinogin as well as nitro propane which was used by an old friend in flathead stock cars. He called it purple sh&t. He died of cancer so I suppose that some proof of it
     
  10. shawnspeed
    Joined: Sep 10, 2009
    Posts: 165

    shawnspeed
    Member
    from Attica Mi

    Nitro and hydrozene& benzene were some of the common attempts to sensitize nitro so it would "light " the fire a little easier..as 44amp mags were not the norm back then...it was very unpredictable..and Nitro being a mono propellant (no outside O2 required to burn).very dangerous.....Now Methanol is the option of choice....Shawn
     
  11. We used Nito in the original Scorpion back in the late 50s.....
     
  12. BootleggerJim
    Joined: Dec 14, 2007
    Posts: 202

    BootleggerJim
    Member
    from SC

    What Shawnspeed said....
     
  13. Dan in Canada
    Joined: Nov 21, 2012
    Posts: 83

    Dan in Canada
    Member

    It is "first person account" responses like this that make the HAMB so cool.

    Thanks for posting.
     
  14. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    CutawayAl
    Member
    from MI

    I read that nitro was a byproduct of a solvent once used in the printing industry. When health regulations led to the replacement of that solvent(in the '70s ?) the price of nitro increased several times over.
     
  15. teejay99
    Joined: Sep 26, 2009
    Posts: 356

    teejay99
    Member

    Used to love the commercials on the Detroit radio stations back in the day ....

    ..." Sunday at Detroit Dragway ! DANGEROUS Nitromethane fuel dragsters ".

    T
     
  16. CutawaAl is correct Nitro was used in the printing industry and also the carpet industry for cleaning finished carpets. Tony Capanna and Jack Chrisman were among the early users of Nitro, Jack did use hydrazine which became very unstable above 68 degrees F. One racer used it in his sling shot and left some fuel with the hydrazine in his tank after the run, After exiting the dragster he only got a few feet away when the explosion occurred, no serious injury but it turned his dragster into a mangled heap!
     
  17. NickJT
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 640

    NickJT
    Member
    from S.E. PA

    I worked for a specialty valve manufacturer a few years ago and my favorite part of the job was rooting through old files on special valves they built for the early aerospace industry in California. It was really cool looking at notes those guys made on valves they were designing to handle and process stuff like hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide. It seems they liked stuff with big strings of oxygens aka oxidizers.
     
  18. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    CutawayAl
    Member
    from MI

    Was nitro the actual solvent used, or was nitro a byproduct of making the solvent?


    I remember reading that the first stage of the Saturn V Apollo mooin rockets were fueled by liquid oxygen, and kerosene containing a few additives. One of those additives was 1% hydrazine.
     
  19. shawnspeed
    Joined: Sep 10, 2009
    Posts: 165

    shawnspeed
    Member
    from Attica Mi

    Nitro IS the solvent....works great for dissolving superglue...:D
     
  20. Search hydrazine for a great thread on the subject

    Sent from my DROID device using the TJJ mobile app
     
  21. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    Does a good job at dissolving pistons and other engine components too. :rolleyes:
     
  22. Mad Mouse
    Joined: Apr 1, 2007
    Posts: 93

    Mad Mouse
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Hydrazine made the nitro burn smoother with a more even flame path. We also used polypropylene. The reason nitro is yellow was a dye added that would turn purple when hydrazine was added. When you saw a racer putting purple nitro Into his digger, you ran like hell. I miss the good ole days!!
     

  23. Great 4 startin the charcoal BBQ also.
    White coals about 2 minutes after ignition
     
  24. the shadow
    Joined: Mar 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,104

    the shadow
    Member

    here is what nitro & hydrozine did to a friends 484ci fuel dragster engine at York in the early 60's (63-64), left him with burns all over his legs and lower body. He is badly scared to this day & lucky it didn't kill him, it did end his driving days and made him a car owner/tuner with hired guns filling the seat till 1966. this was the last time he played with hydrozine too!
    Paul
     

    Attached Files:

  25. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,959

    lippy
    Member
    from Ks

    Also used as a defoiliant (sp) for strawberries. The 1957 price of $28.00 may have seemed high still, but the OVER $2,000 with shipping for a 53 gal drum we gave a few years ago (during the China olympics deal )was a little stout.:eek: Got a drum for next year. A good trick use to be fill a beaker with mountain dew, hide it behind you and wait till your buddies or someone was watching then take a big drink while mixing fuel.:D Lippy
     
  26. Dan in Canada
    Joined: Nov 21, 2012
    Posts: 83

    Dan in Canada
    Member


    LOL..........Funny
     
  27. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,864

    Truckedup
    Member

    Nitromethane is small amounts is blended into model aircraft engine fuel.
     
  28. rustednutz
    Joined: Nov 20, 2010
    Posts: 1,580

    rustednutz
    Member
    from tulsa, ok

    I used to use the Fox brand racing fuel with a higher percentage of nitro made for the bigger .35 model airplane engines in my little .049 engines. Made a big difference in the sound and performance, plus it sure smelled good.
     
  29. Pete1
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,804

    Pete1
    Member
    from Wa.

    I ran nitroethane, nitromethane, picric acid and hydrazine in varying ammounts in my
    dragster in 1952. I got the idea from the German's using it in the Auto Unions before the war.
     
  30. I have heard a few stories from a local racer JR Bloom, about how he use to run Nitro in his Buick straight 8 powered dragster way back when, He has a few articles that he had written about what they did to run it and He also said the GM sent engineers out to talk to them when they heard what he was doing.
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.