Pushing the limits is in the nature of every gearhead. How much cam can you run? How big of a carb can you get away with? How much compression will pump gas hold? Those aren’t just simple questions that can be answered with a vanilla response. Each engine is different and so when your combo is pushing the limits of a pump-gas street terror, every advantage has to be investigated. Played out and tested.
The Snow Performance kit uses a quality made-in-USA pump that is pulsed by the controller.
Talking with a friend recently, we were discussing the limits of pump gas and how his 12:1 compression 392 Windsor was just barely too much for the junky gas that now dominates the landscape. Pump gas was OK for cruising, but any full-throttle romps were now verboten. Just a couple of years ago, gas stations were still selling the good stuff, but now my friend has resorted to filling his ride with even more expensive race gas just to keep it happy. A call to Matt Snow of Snow Performance changed that.
Water/methanol injection has been used since World War II to help heavily laden fighter and bomber planes boost their power by cooling the turbos and increasing boost. In piston engines, like the ones we’re used to, the fluid cools the combustion chamber and allows for greater cylinder pressure before detonation rears its ugly head. Snow had been using water/methanol injection since the early ’80s when he had a hot 12.5:1-compression Mopar street monster. He found that even with the good gas of the day he couldn’t keep from pinging, and it would subsequently lose power. Adding the injection brought the power right to where it should be, and he started manufacturing the kits for fellow racers. Soon word got out and the Snow Performance name became directly associated with providing a solution for the pump-gas blues. Sounds exactly like what our fine Ford friend was fending for.
Installation began by removing and relocating the radiator overflow and vacuum canister to
Talking with Snow, we learned that they not only had kits for the late-model EFI-boosted combos, which seem to be more prevalent, but they also carry a muscle car naturally aspirated/carbureted version, which would fit perfectly. The kit comes with pretty much everything we needed to get started testing their claims of 10 to 15 horses over non-meth-injected engines.
The first 90-degree day of the year might not have been ideal for the crew at C&C Performance in Carthage, Tennessee, and the owner of the cleanest ’79 Mustang Cobra on the planet, Don Jackson, to be out sweating in the sun to install the kit. Surely though it would be the perfect day to see whether the high latent heat of vaporization that the methanol provides would cool the combustion process enough to make a noticeable difference in power.
The Stage 2 Muscle Car kit typically uses a common 1-inch carb spacer with holes drilled and tapped in the sides to mount the injectors provided, however, since the car was already equipped with a nitrous plate and was hood-clearance limited, the decision was made to drill and tap into the sides of Don’s Vic Jr. intake manifold to mount the nozzles.
Sheetmetal screws are not for sissies. Don Jackson happily plowed through the inner fender
Some Snow customers use the factory washer fluid tank as a handy reservoir to store the water/methanol mixture that they refer to as Boost Juice. Jackson decided to relocate a vacuum canister to mount the Snow reservoir, pump, and controller all together in the left front corner of the engine bay. C&C also installed Snow’s low fluid indicator option in the tank, which was hooked up to a small LED light in the dash.
Plumbing the kit was easy, since it uses push-to-lock tubing and connectors. The only caveat was that the pump must be mounted below the reservoir, since it will only gravity feed to the pump.