Custom Water Injection
History of Water Injection
Water injection isn’t new technology. It was used in WWII to help performance on supercharged fighter aircraft. We have applied the same principles used successfully in WWII to the modern automobile. Kennedy’s Dynotune has taken an old idea combined with technology and achieved impressive results. As an example, one of our customer cars is a street/strip LT1 Camaro that makes over 700rwhp with water injection and without an intercooler
How and Why Water makes Horsepower
In a forced induction engine, as boost levels increase, the temperature of the air in the intake manifold increases. The occurs with all supercharger designs and is due to the physics of compressing a gas; there is no way to design around it. The result is increased combustion chamber temperatures, which in turn requires higher-octane fuel, a reduction in ignition timing to prevent detonation, or both. Both of these tuning “Band-Aids” cost power.
Water injection reduces the air temperature in the intake manifold by 65 degrees on the average. This is the same as most air to air intercoolers. Water injection does not increase horsepower directly. It allows you to run more timing with the same octane fuel without detonation. On cars with knock sensors the computer can pull timing out. In this circumstance you can see increased power with water injection even when no other changes are made. Without a data logger you will never know if timing is being pulled. You give away ~5 horsepower for every degree of timing that is pulled from the engine. It does not make sense to add 10lbs of boost and pull 8-12 degrees of timing out. You are giving away 40-60 HP. In our testing we have seen knock sensors pull 12 degrees of timing out and never hear it. A properly tuned water injection vehicle can keep the timing and keep the HP too.
Water has a high “latent heat of vaporization” which is the amount of heat absorbed when a substance changes from liquid to vapor (liquid water to steam). For water, the amount of heat is 540 calories per gram. This compares to only 135 calories for gasoline. This explains why water is a better way to cool intake temps than running an excessively rich mixture – water absorbs more heat. By using water, we can tune for a slightly leaner AF ratio which increases power!
Results with Water
We have made several tests on the Dyno with back to back runs using water injection and saw no change in HP readings. If back to back runs are made without water injection the runs show a steady decrease in HP as the intake air heats up. If the engine is allowed to cool off between pulls, then the results are consistent. At the track runs will be more consistent with water injection even if the runs are back to back. Even more important, there is no engine damage from detonation. Remember, the engine is detonating before you can hear it and in a short time damage is done. Engines do not heal, they break.
As shown, during testing on our Dynojet, Kennedy’s Water Injection allows us to run the same boost at a cooler air change temp. The benefit is more power and a safer air/fuel mixture. The above represents tests on the same motor with no changes other than the addition of water injection. The first is with a cool motor, the second is fully warmed up and heat-soaked. As you can see the expected loss in power as the motor warms up does not occur. Peak rwhp on the second run is increased by 11rwhp. Without water the second run would have been at least 20hp less, for a net gain of at least 30rwhp. This means more real world power for you!
Kennedy’s Custom Water Injection
The kit was originally designed for use on the Kenne Bell Superchargers. However our tests on Centrifugal Superchargers have shown equally impressive results.
We use a high output, industrial grade pump that flows 20gph at 100 psi, not a cheap, low pressure windshield washer pump. Because of this high pressure pump, we can use a nozzle with a very small orifice for proper atomization. The water sprays into the intake as a fine mist. The spray is boost enabled and rpm triggered. Water is only delivered under boost and over an adjustable rpm. The size of the nozzle can be changed. The boost level sensor and the rpm are also all user adjustable.
We sell the kit customized for your application. Water nozzles are available in a variety of sizes. The rpm chips are the same ones used in MSD controls. We do not supply a reservoir, since everyone needs a different size or shape. The windshield washer bottle works just fine and will last about a tank of fuel. This depends upon how it is set up and how you drive.
Water Injection and Normally Aspirated Engines*
Use of water injection is typically associated with a supercharger. Through our research and development, Kennedy’s has found that water injection may be very useful in certain normally aspirated applications. To briefly review, the basic concept is that contemporary engines from GM, Ford, and most European and Japanese manufacturers utilize knock sensor technology to allow an aggressive timing curve. The knock sensor retards timing to avoid damaging detonation under commonly encountered conditions such as high load (rapid acceleration, hill climbing, towing), high ambient temperature, or low octane fuel. This protects the engine but robs power and ruins fuel economy. With the use of Kennedy’s Water Injection you can have your cake and eat it to! By suppressing detonation, the knock sensor remains inactive and full timing is retained. The result is more power, better fuel economy, and crisp throttle response. When the knock sensor pulls timing, up to 30-40hp can be lost on a normally aspirated motor. With a Kennedy’s Custom Water Injection, this horsepower remains available when you need it.
*NA Water Injection Kits are currently under development. Please call if you are interested.
Why is Kennedy’s Kit the Best?
Besides superior design, other features of our Custom Water Injection include the following.
- Aircraft quality high pressure pump! A windshield washer pump is not man enough for the job of water injection. The pressure is too low. As a result, the water is not finely atomized and will pool in the intake. Engine damage may result, and even if it does not the maximum gain from water will not be realized. Cheap pumps are also prone to failure. If the pump fails during a period of peak load, catastrophic engine failure may result. We use an aircraft quality, 100psi, piston pump (design is similar to an air compressor).
- OEM style connectors! We use the OEM quality GM design “Weatherpack” connectors to ensure safe and reliable operation of your Custom Water Injection.
- Custom designed for your application! Different setups require different configurations. Before you order, call us to discuss your needs. We will be sure you get what you need for a top notch system.
- Installation available! We can provide a show quality water injection installation for your vehicle if you prefer. Installation prices start at $150 for most vehicles. Dyno testing is available at our usual rates.
- Tested and Calibrated for Optimum Results! We have installed and tested water on a wide variety of foreign and domestic vehicles. With this experience we can optimize results for your application.
- Designed for use with water, alcohol, and water/alcohol mixtures! The pumps, tubing, and connectors we use are compatible with water, methanol, or ethanol. We recommend use of a 50:50 water alcohol mixture.
- Protection from Electrical Shorts! By using high quality connectors, wiring, and fusing we provide optimal protection from electrical shorts.
As with all our products – we support what we sell. Whether you purchase the kit to install yourself or have us install it, you can always call us if you need help. To learn more about our Tech Support policy, click here.
The kit is tailored to your application, and sells for $649.00 plus shipping*.
*We offer FREE SHIPPING via UPS Ground on all Water Injection Systems if you pay by Certified Funds or in cash. Tax must be collected for our New York State customers.