Will race fuel damage my engine?

Discussion in '456/550/575' started by enzone, Oct 3, 2010.

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  1. enzone

    enzone Rookie

    Jan 14, 2010
    I just filled my tank with 110 octane unleaded ( no ethanol) race gas on my 456GT.
    A friend told me it will make my engine run much hotter and it could cause damage to the engine?
    Is there any basis to that statemant?
    Should I continue just filling super 93 at the pump instead..?
    Thanks for any comments
  2. tazandjan

    tazandjan Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jul 19, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    Full Name:
    Terry H Phillips
    #2 tazandjan, Oct 3, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2010
    EZ- Your engine is not set up to take advantage of 110 octane fuel, but it will definitely not cause your car to overheat. The higher the octane you use, up to a certain limit, the more resistant the fuel is to preignition/detonation/knocking, allowing an engine to run more ignition advance. Ignition advance tends to improve power at high revolutions. Some racing fuels have additives which would not do your engine too much good, but one tank will probably not hurt it. Racing fuel (and racing oil) tend to not have additives aiding storage, so use it and do not let it sit in the garage. Diluting it with 93 octane will solve the storage problem and still give you higher octane than the engine is set up to use advantageously.

    Without engine mods, very high octane gas is a waste of money. Modern engines have knock sensors which allow them to reduce or increase engine advance depending on the octane properties of the fuel used and the condition of the car's combustion chamber, fuel delivery system, and ignition system.

    Terry Phillips
  3. XENU

    XENU F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jul 13, 2009
    Las Vegas, Nevada US
    Full Name:
    I think it really depends on the formulation of the fuel you put in your car.

    I use 100 octane Trick fuel when I'm storing a car because it keeps better than the 91 octane premium we have in Las Vegas.

    My 2000 456M GTA runs the same on the 100 as it does on the 91 octane.

    My concerns would be possible damage to cat sensors and other PITA stuff like that.

    Did you do a full fillup from empty (more than 25 gallons)?
  4. enzone

    enzone Rookie

    Jan 14, 2010
    Thank you for the replyTerry.
    I have about a half tank left,I will fill up with 93 octane on my way home.
    Really glad to be on FChat,you always seem to have an answer for any situation.
  5. alex550575430

    alex550575430 Formula Junior

    Jun 21, 2009
    Full Name:

    Thanks Terry,

    I once was intended to fuel up with high octane racing gas, but I gave it up. 91 works for me now at the track especially on my car it's not the issue of lacking power, it's more of heavy weight problem on the track.

  6. joakim_adolfson

    joakim_adolfson Karting

    Sep 19, 2009
    Stockholm, Sweden
    The 456 for instance do not have a knock sensor so it need to bse remapped to use the higher octance fuel. I wonder if anyone knows if the european version uses the same map as the us version?? Aren't us version specified to handle 91 RON?, if so there could be a substansial power gain in remapping this engine.

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  8. 308 GTB

    308 GTB F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Feb 7, 2002
    New Jersey
    Full Name:
    Barry Wolinsky
    enzone, 110 octane race fuel is leaded. I think the highest octane unleaded race fuel is VP MotorSport 109 which is actually 105 octane (R+M/2). I would check to see what you actually put in your tank.

    Sunoco's highest octane unleaded race fuel is their 260 GT Plus (104 octane).
  9. ztunelover

    ztunelover Formula Junior

    Oct 1, 2009
    Calgary, AB
    Full Name:
    What he said, I doubt you did any significant damage if it was just one tank, but just to be sure I would get the fuel system a thorough cleaning, and check the spark plugs for lead fouling.

    Like Terry said, you are wasting your money, the engine isn't set to run on race gas, so in a manner of speaking its lowering performance. Because now your mixture is running colder than optimal settings and with the increased resistance to ignite or lower volatility, the combustion would be weaker.

    Again I wouldn't worry too much, just run premium pump gas, it is what your car was designed to run with. It is the best for your engine. If you are hellbent on using the 110octane(I assume its c16) then reprogram your ecu, and change some of your seals in the system to run leaded gasoline, and you might need to alter the type of oil, and spark plugs to fully take advantage of the race fuel.
  10. 348SStb

    348SStb F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Apr 9, 2004
    Long Island, NY
    Full Name:
    #9 348SStb, Oct 6, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2010
    My reply will be far less scientific than Terry's:


    Trust me.
  11. CAS

    CAS F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 6, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    Full Name:
    Why? Euro/Asian cars run on much higher octane fuels. It simply isn't available in the US. It allows more timing and more power. It will not damage your engine to run 100 octane, unleaded fuel.
  12. It's Ross

    It's Ross Formula 3

    Jul 30, 2007
    Barrington, Ill. USA
    Full Name:
    Euro fuel's rating is RON, here it is an anti'knock index, the average of Research and Motor rating.
    The Euro number doesn't compare with our AKI.
    Perhaps some Europeans will let us know the RON# for premium fuel in their countries.
    Given the cost of catalysts and not knowing that additive package(or lead) of the race fuel I'd not be using it in my car.
    Sure smells good though.

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