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HHO: Is it alchemy? Or will it improve gas mileage on a ’99 4.0 SOHC Explorer?

aldive

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To further my quest for exceptional gas mileage (http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44372&highlight=quest ), after a good deal of research into hydrogen fuel use in automobiles, I decided to try HHO for myself.

The literature is full of positive results when using HHO to increase gas mileage up to 50% as well as the naysayers who readily debunk the concept and brand it alchemy. Hopefully this experimentation will shed some light to the viability of HHO use in a real world application.

So what is this HHO stuff and what will it do for me?
HHO is an oxyhydrogen mixture made by electric arc technology; it contains 2 parts of hydrogen per 1 part oxygen. It is also known as Brown’s Gas and Hydroxy.

Is this gas safe or will my vehicle go up in flames like the Hindenburg? Yes it is safe; the HHO gas is extracted as required and burned steadily from the water, unlike stored pressurized large volumes of pure hydrogen which is extremely combustible.

When water, distilled in this case, is exposed to electrical energy it become excited and divides into Hydrogen and Oxygen gases. The gases enter the vehicles motor via intake vacuum.

Before jumping on the HHO bandwagon, I highly recommend doing your homework. Read everything you can get your hands on. With new technology ( though HHO is far from new, its use in this application is ) knowledge is everything.

I plan on testing several of the plethora of ready made HHO kits and eventually building one of my own design. For this first trial, I ordered a ready made HHO generator kit from one of our members, Chris Swain ( SwaintaN ). After many e mail communications with him, I decided to obtain one of his single cell units.

Not knowing exactly what to expect with the “kit”, I was somewhat taken aback when I opened the box and saw a glass Ball canning jar with some wires and a hose protruding from the plastic top. The real surprise was that there were no instructions whatsoever included.

I immediately e mailed Chris. Within an hour he replayed: “no they werent suppose to be in it, that is one way I can see the kits cheaper then other people. I email the install instructions”. That’s the first I heard anything about that. Oh well, I have them now.

The negative wire was about a foot of yellow wire. It was attached to the negative terminal, a wing nut, on the top of the jar by simply stripping the wire and looping under the wing nut. This was absolutely unacceptable in my opinion.

The positive wire was attached in a similar manner. However, it had a fuse holder with a 15 amp fuse attached.

The first thing I did was install ring terminals on the wires that attach to the generator and completely rewire the negative lead and remove the extension wire that was simply taped wire to the positive lead.

Subsequently, I had to find a location to mount the generator. The engine bay area in my Explorer is already jam-packed, and given that the generator is made of glass, extra care had to be taken. The mounting location had to be accessible to refill the generator. I fit the HHO generator in behind the passenger side headlight.

The HHO generator was hooked up on my ’99 Explorer by “T”ing the output hose with one leg going to intake vacuum near the PCV filter ( http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=148135 ) and the other going into my Mac intake ( I installed a 1/4” fitting into rubber connector on the intake tube ).

After everything was hooked up, I charged the system with distilled water and 1 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda ). This is an area in which I plan to experiment to determine the optimal amount of baking soda.

The ignition was turned on and the bubbles were observed. The truck was started and driven through the neighborhood. All appeared normal; no differences were observed nor were they expected.

My ongoing concern is how to tune or modify so that the PCM doesn’t increase fuel as the O2 sensors read a lean condition due to the burn of HHO. Further research and testing will be required. I don’t expect optimal mileage until this issue is resolved.

The PCM tune used to study the HHO generator was one of my custom maximum gas mileage tunes using 89 octane fuel.

The relatively uncomplicated installation took only about 1 hour.

The cost of the generator used in this trial was $55.00 to my door. I decided to use the cheapest ready made kit I could find for the first phase of this research and upgrade from there.

In addition to the kit, I had to purchase an additional T fitting ( 3/8” - ¼” ) to tap into the intake vacuum line and a fitting ( ¼” ) for the Mac intake. I acquired these goods at my local Advance Auto Parts store.

I shall withhold endorsement of this kit until the mileage results are in, however, the quality of the kit is not up to my standards. The instructions do not explain a lot of things, yet when asked by e mail, were explained by Chris. He is very helpful and very prompt with e mail replies.

Will the HHO generator enhance my already very good gas mileage? Only time will tell. I plan a road tryout in the next few days. I also plan on evaluating this device in my son’s Nissan Titan as well as another friends stock Lexus SUV and then on our carbureted Jeep.

Stay tuned for the data …
 

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aldive

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Blacksheep Josh

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Al, if this worked and you design one of your own, would you ever consider building and selling, or selling the instructions to your design?

-Josh
 




Pensa

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It sounds like there were some things to be desired about this particular kit, but it's making bubbles.:)
 




greyphox

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I am very interested in the results you will achieve with this, Al. I started building my own, but that got put on the back burner for now. A few things I have come across in my reading about HHO boosting.

You should try to avoid using sodium bicarbonate as your electrolyte. The carbon in it has been said to cause some issues. Instead look at getting some potassium hydroxide (KOH). This is supposed to be the electrolyte of choice, as it also contains hydrogen and oxygen in it. They claim that the optimal concentration by weight of KOH to water is 28%.

As far as concentration of sodium bicarbonate, you should add it like you have done already; one teaspoon at a time. You should probably hook up an ammeter to your unit to be able to adjust the concentration, since the more electrolyte you have in the water, the more amps it will draw. Also remember that these things draw more amps after they get hot. So if you have a 15 Amp inline fuse, you might shoot for 7-8 amps while cold, and around 10 while hot, but I would consult Chris for the specifics on it, since he designed the unit.

On a safety note, you should have a flash suppressor, also known as a bubbler, installed between the generator and your intake. This is just a small container with distilled water in it and a one way valve attached. IF something were to happen, it would isolate the generator from the intake.

Check out this website, they have some interesting material there.
http://oupower.com/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=1

Good luck Al :thumbsup:
I'll be looking forward to see the results.
 








aldive

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I You should try to avoid using sodium bicarbonate as your electrolyte. The carbon in it has been said to cause some issues. Instead look at getting some potassium hydroxide (KOH). This is supposed to be the electrolyte of choice, as it also contains hydrogen and oxygen in it. They claim that the optimal concentration by weight of KOH to water is 28%.

KOH is indeed the way to go for maximum efficiency, however, its a little too potentially caustic for my liking.

Still, I may it a go in future trials.
 




local7teener

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I've made one too, and started a post about these a few weeks ago.
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums//showthread.php?t=215353

I've made mine and am ready to put it in my 5.0 mountaineer. I have been scowering the net trying to figure out how the ecm reads a lean or rich condition from the o2 sensors. I hooked my laptop up to my livewire and recored the normal oper. bands (look like sin waves) of the o2s. .2 to .8 volts, give or take. From what i understand the addition of hho will introduce more oxygen into the exhaust, telling the o2s the motor is running lean. The computer will hamper your attempts to gain mileage by introducing more fuel to compensate.

There are EFIE boxes i've seen used. Electronic Fuel Injection Enhancer. These will create a false o2 signal and keep the computer from adding more fuel.

I just need to know how the ecm knows of a lean/rich condition from the wave. Is it a higher oscilation, longer oscilation, higher voltage at the top of the oscilation/lower at the bottom??

It shouldn't be that hard to make one, wether it be a voltage adder, or create a false signal.
 




seth247

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as i understand it the computer takes the "average' of the sine wave, for example yours fluctuates from .2 to .8 so the "root mean square [RMS]"(average), would be .5

a stoichiometric(im sure i probly got the spelling on that wrong) ratio reads at aproximatley .45 i beileve and the ecm runs the explorers a little rich just to be safe so your sinewave would be correct.

now im no expert so i would kep researching until you find out for sure


on a side note i have seen several "Adapters" selling on ebay that are supposed to move the o2 sensor a little further out of the exhaust stream so as to counteract the lean reading resultant from the hho.

i cannot comment as to there effectiveness.





WHOA, i just sounded smart!
 




seth247

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It shouldn't be that hard to make one, wether it be a voltage adder, or create a false signal.

far as i can tell the way to do it would be to add a resistor(VERY small) in series with the signal wire. therefore the signal would always be reading sightly richer than it acually is


but this would not be foolproof and could cause dangerous lean conditions in the event hho gas is not introduced.
 








Blacksheep Josh

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MustangP51

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Subscribing :popcorn:
I was inches away from buying a kit to test out, but I'm going to wait until I hear Al's verdict to order.
 




Blacksheep Josh

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local7teener

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You want a tube design, aka 'joe cell'. I have personally tried a couple designs, i'll post some pictures tomorrow evening of the designs.
 








captainjimrod

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Hho

Went on Ebay again, and I am more confused than ever, apparently there are several HHO systems that are recommended but no one has yet to confirm to me that it works other than Al. I am waiting to hear from him so can purchase the correct one.
Jim:salute:
 




GJarrett

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Al, I will be extremely surprised if you see any significant results until you address the O2 sensor issue. Our computers will dump more fuel in to "fix" the false lean condition and that should negate any advantage the hydro will give. IMO you'll be wasting your time until you jump that hurdle.

I looked into many of the kits and the cheaper ones using canning jars and stuff just didn't appeal to me at all. I did buy some plans for what looks to be a quality kit and intend on building one later this summer. The plans I bought also include detailed instructions on building a module to adjust the O2 sensor input and correct the problem. I've also looked at the O2 sensor adaptors that move the sensor up out of the direct flow of the exhaust but haven't spent the thinking time to understand how that will help... also that wouldn't be adjustable.

I've also read that one reason to not use baking soda is that it produces an odorless undectable lethal gas during the process of producing the hydro.

The HHO theory should work, it's the practical application of it that will be the challenge. Once I build a real one using good parts, if I can make it work and make it user friendly, I do plan to market it. There's already a couple of fairly sophisticatic looking ones out there but the price hovers around a thousand dollars.
 




manaen

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Interesting stuff, I'm just not sure how these small things can generate enough hho to actually make a difference in the amount of usable fuel for an engine that is pulling 200 to 600 CFM.

If the sensors are falsely lean, how will you actually be sure that your engine is running the correct mix? If you make the engine run leaner to counter act the "false lean" reading how do you know your not just making your engine run even leaner which could have negative effects on the motor. It seems like a very touchy thing, But as represented by your other threads you have a very scientific approach to these types of things and I will be curious to see the results of your testing :thumbsup:
 


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aldive

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Interesting stuff, I'm just not sure how these small things can generate enough hho to actually make a difference in the amount of usable fuel for an engine that is pulling 200 to 600 CFM.

Apparantely they do indeed do the job.

If the sensors are falsely lean, how will you actually be sure that your engine is running the correct mix? If you make the engine run leaner to counter act the "false lean" reading how do you know your not just making your engine run even leaner which could have negative effects on the motor. It seems like a very touchy thing, But as represented by your other threads you have a very scientific approach to these types of things and I will be curious to see the results of your testing :thumbsup:


I plan to start monitoring the A/F ratio today.
 




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