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40 MPG Toyota Tundra

Posted or updated 01.27.09 by Chuck Russell

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When I last posted results of my hydrogen conversion (2008 Toyota Tundra), I was averaging around 34.6 mpg highway. Since that time, I have been able to dial everything in much better, and closely tune the output of the hydrogen generator, as well as the hydrogen/gasoline mixture. I now run the Hydro Super 2 Double at 6 amps per cylinder. This allows one to hit the sweet spot of 8 amps, within 5 to 10 minutes. Maximum hydrogen output is attained over the entire trip duration. I now believe starting with 6amps straight out of the box, or when changing water will guarantee optimum results. Both my vehicles now use this 6 amps as starting point.

I now run the 2008 Toyota Tundra ( 5.7 liter engine), with 50% hydrogen & 50% gasoline in the city position. On the highway position, I use 70% hydrogen & 30% gasoline. The highway setting is a cruise position, and the engine really likes it. It runs very smooth, and almost silent. I also have taken thermal readings, and the engine runs 12 degrees cooler at this setting, than on straight gasoline. All settings are determined by the Mass Air Flow Sensor Enhancer installed in the cab, a simple dial.

I drove many miles over Christmas, and I was delighted with the results. In fact so delighted, that I almost feared my readings were wrong. In the following month I have confirmed these results, and duplicated them anew. My Christmas driving left me with a combined 40 MPG highway. I must confess that after obtaining 41.6 MPG on a near perfect front leg of the trip, 60 degrees, slight tail wind & slight decline in altitude, that I tried some of the hyper-mile tricks on the return leg. A cold front blew in, I was in high profile vehicle and facing 55 mph winds. It was very cold with some light freezing, and my mileage was dropping. I have always driven the speed limit, but this time I coasted with the wind. I drove a straight 65 mph, on a 70 mph road, and refused to accelerate climbing.

My spouse became annoyed with me, she was quite tired and wanted to get home. I was determined to get 40 MPG. By the time I got home late, I had exactly 40MPG on the scan gauge. I threw my arm up in victory, and shouted “YEAH”. The next day I took it to the service station and tanked. The final results were 39.4 mpg. Well almost anyway…

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Toyota Tundra 2008 Hydrogen Conversion Final Notes

Posted or updated 12.04.08 by Chuck Russell

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I already have covered installing a Mass Air Flow Sensor Enhancer, see my previous entries. The article shows the actual mass air flow sensor of the 2008 Toyota Tundra that the Hydro Super 2 was installed on. This item allows the fuel injectors to be controlled, and thus the amount of gasoline being injected into the engine.

Unlike my first hydrogen project, I bought a stock mass air flow enhancer. I installed and use it without any modifications. I tried to find one that would match the interior and exterior color of my Timber Land Green Tundra. Yes, I am that girly…sorry to say. This Enhancer cost around $40 shipped and has dual control knobs. I use one position for the city driving, and the other position for highway driving. I run the truck leaner on the highway, than in the city. All I have to do is flip a switch from the city to highway position. This makes the design safer, in that you don’t have to look at a dial to vary the amount of gasoline fuel being added to your hydrogen to power the vehicle. A simple switch flip is all it takes.

This is the final entry on the Toyota Tundra 2008 Hydrogen Conversion.

I have been driving the vehicle and testing it for six weeks now, at least the complete package after replacing the stock water tank with a larger one. I have two long highway trips under my belt. I was not able to get the Tundra to run on just hydrogen like the small Saturn does. However I was able to achieve much greater miles per gallon, and I am quite pleased with the results. The Tundra has a 5.7 liter V-8 engine with a 6 speed automatic transmission.

The previous mpg for city driving was 14.5 average. The worst city mileage I have achieved since installing the hydrogen generator is 27.2 mpg. The very best city mileage I have obtained is 29.4 mpg. The average city mileage was 28.7 mpg. I am personally very impressed and delighted with the city mileage.

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Hydrogen Conversion One Handy Device

Posted or updated 12.03.08 by Chuck Russell

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One handy device, to use for a hydrogen hybrid car, is called a Fuse Buddy. I could not find one where I live, so I ordered it on line. There are two models available, distinguished only by differences in the amount of amperage that the fuse buddy can read. One model reads up to 20 amps, the other can safely read up to 30 amps current.

What makes this device unique and very handy to tune your hydrogen generator is the small size and cost of the item, and the ability to read right through an actual car fuse. You can place the fuse in the fuse buddy itself, and read right through the fuse to determine if it is passing electrical current. This makes a fuse buddy ideal to tune a hydrogen generator, if you have car fuse holders like mine built in-line with the hydrogen generator. The Hydro Super 2 that I use in both my vehicles has a fuse holder in-line by the actual car battery, and each cell has a 30 amp fuse. I use the fuse buddy to set up the hydrogen generator when first installed, or to set the hydrogen output after changing water. It can also be taken with you in the glove box of your vehicle, and can provide a quick test of the hydrogen output when traveling. Think of it like checking your oil to see if it is full, before traveling further.

One tip I have for you, is to actually install a 30 amp car fuse in the fuse buddy body, buy an extra fuse from the parts store. Keep it inside the fuse buddy tester, that way you will not only have back-up fuse on the road, but you will also be able to just take the fuse out of your hydrogen generator’s fuse holder, and plug the fuse buddy right into the fuse holder. After your check, simply put the fuse you took out right back into the fuse holder. This avoids some repetitious steps, and makes checking simpler.

One mistake I made, and almost every novice to hydrogen convertors seems to make, is to try and get the most hydrogen from the convertor immediately. What you really want however is the hydrogen generator to run cool and very efficient. When you set up your Hydro Super 2, or any other hydrogen generator for that matter, you want to find the lowest amperage that the convertor can use to start producing hydrogen. Remember the clear hoses I recommended to you. They now come into play.

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Hydro Super 2 Double Design Defect Water Mixer Tank

Posted or updated 12.01.08 by Chuck Russell

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There is a design defect in the water tank bubbler design of the new Hydro Super 2 Double. Smith Industries redesigned the water tank for greater hydrogen flow. There were two 3/8 inch input elbows placed at the right bottom of the mixer tank to allow each hydrogen cell to have it’s own hydrogen input, instead of the one input from the past design. This was good thinking and it allows each of the Hydro Super 2 Double Cells to function independent of the other, and there is greater hydrogen flow since each generator has it own input. Both cells work like a water pump, pulling water from the bottom and passing hydrogen and water up through the lines and back into the water tank.

However, there is a serious problem with the design of the water tank The problem is that both inputs are directly below the hydrogen out tap on the top right hand side. What happens is that the two inputs directly below the hydrogen output, create a geyser-like bubbling when both work simultaneously. This literally causes the water to spring up on the right side. The hydrogen gas is normally sucked from the top after it rises above the highest water level. However, since both inputs and the single output are together on the right side of the water mix tank, the water is roiling, and some water gets sucked out the hydrogen out tap on the right top,  and into the engine.

Now a bit of water won’t kill your engine, but this design needs to be changed. I thought about relocating the hydrogen out tap to the left top on the water tank instead of the right top. For some time I put a restrictor on the hydrogen out hoses, dropping the suction down to where it would not pull the water springing in the air.

For about two weeks I simply filled the water tank half way, only to the black mark, and not to the top level red mark. (See Picture).  That worked fine, but the tank only holds 1.5 quarts of water to begin with. Filling it only half way, limited my water to .75 quarts for two hydrogen generators. I found this not enough water to work well and drive long distances.

Finally I purchased a 3 quart water tank, and did my own inputs. I put one input on the right bottom, and one input on the left bottom. I put my output on the right top as before. The tank was much deeper than before. I decided to fill it 2/3rds full, or two quarts of water. That gave me much more water than before. It also stopped the roiling and geyser action on the right side, and I had much more clearance at the top of the tank for the hydrogen. I bought this from Hydrogen Fuel in Florida. The cost was about $40 with shipping, and I consider this to be a necessity with the Hydro Super 2 Double Generator. The single cell Hydro Super 2 water tank works fine with my Saturn SlL1. The company should really change the water tank design for the double generator.

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Hydrogen Hose Connections Hydro Super 2 Toyota Tundra 2008

Posted or updated 12.01.08 by Chuck Russell

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Once you have your hydrogen generator mounted, the hose connections are very easy to do. First off, discard any Nylon hoses that came with your kit, and use only braided re-inforced 3/8 inch hosing. If given a choice of colors, opt for clear tubing so you can see the bubbler and generator working. This gives you a visual idea of how well you hydrogen generator is working, and it can be useful when traveling. Unlike nylon hoses, braided clear hose will not half close when you bend it around a corner. It won’t collapse, and it won’t sag when the weather is warm. The last thing you need is your hydrogen hose to fall across your spark plug wires, or worse yet an exhaust manifold. You also don’t want to get maximum hydrogen production from your generator, only to find out that the hose is being bottle-necked going around a corner, closing itself halfway or more, and limiting your hydrogen delivery system.

The Hydro Super 2 comes with Nylon hoses which are red and blue color. Lose them as soon as possible.. You can get very good hose at Lowes or Home Depot for about 60 cents a foot, and you shouldn’t need very much.

You need to run a hose from your water tank to the bottom of the Hydro Super 2 generator. If you have the double cell model, like I am using, you need to put a Y-splitter into the line and to feed both inputs. This Y-adapter comes with the Hydro Super 2 double cell. If you have any problems finding hose, adapters, or fittings in your area, head for the nearest pet store that handles aquarium supplies. These are the same hose and fittings used for fish aquariums.

You need to feed hydrogen into the air-intake behind the air cleaner filter. This is in the plastic duct somewhere right before the throttle body, or multi-port intake. See my picture. Drill a hole into the air intake behind the air filter, and insert your plastic 3/8 inch bent elbow. Use a bit of silicon after you insert the elbow to prevent leaks. See my picture, the plastic elbow hydrogen input is right behind the air cleaning filter, in the main plastic duct feeding the multi-port fuel injection. I have my elbow as close to the multi-port fuel injection as possible. This gets the maximum amount of hydrogen into the engine, and keeps loss to a minimum.

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Hydro Super 2 Mounting Toyota Tundra

Posted or updated 11.30.08 by Chuck Russell

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I chose a front mounting position for the Hydro Super 2 double cell hydrogen generator, placing it in front of the radiator for cooling reasons. If you look closely at this picture, and the picture from the previous entry on my Blog, you will see that I used angled-iron to mount the top right side. The Toyota Tundra has two horns, and each has it’s own threaded bolt to hold it in place. I removed the horn from the right front. I then located it together with the horn on the left front, using one bolt to hold both horns in place there. I then used the existing threaded bolt to attach the right side of the Hydro Super 2 into the threaded mount. No holes drilled and very sturdy. The bottom of the Hydro Super 2 is resting on a cross member right below the front bumper, and it is quite secure. There was no need to attach anything to the bottom, it rests secure on the nylon end plates. Be careful not to short the red wire in the center of the bottom nylon plates to ground, since this is the positive lead.

The right side was easier. There was a metal vertical support, right down the center of the Tundra. I simply used a big metal adjusting band to attach, the kind you find on garden hose only larger. This type of clamp closes as you adjust the screw.  I put it around one side of the Hydro Super 2, making sure I was around screws and not clamping any wires. I then leveled it, and screwed the clamp shut around the center support.

The wiring was much easier as well. The black wires have their own lugs, and since negative is ground in this vehicle, all I had to do was get them grounded. There just happened to be another threaded small bolt right at the bottom of the center support, and I attached both ground wires there to frame ground. The two red wires I ran straight to the positive side of the battery. Once I had them attached I put electrical loom around the wires running back to the hydrogen generator. This time I used a small piece of bent anodized aluminum, and drilled a hole in it for the on/off switch. I ran the wires thru the rubber gasket on the driver’s side into the passenger cabin. I then mounted the switch into the small mount I had just made. I then attached it to a screw under my legs, on the driver’s side of the cabin, so I could reach it with my right arm if needed. As stated before, I always leave the hydrogen generator on, but you must have the option of turning it off from the inside of the vehicle. Finally I ran the relay wire to the fuel pump fuse, so the hydrogen generator would turn off in case of an accident. Almost every modern car turns the fuel pump off in case of an emergency.

There are two fuses, one for each cell of the Hydro Super 2 Double. Each has a rubber protective cover, and each is easy to check. The fuses are near the battery, which makes it very handy to check.

The Hydro Super 2 double cell was now mounted. It was easy to reach the drain levers for water changes. The mounted generator looked good, and best of all I had not drilled a single hole, or made any major change to the vehicle. I finished up by painting the angle iron and screw heads black with Krylon Black Matt Spray paint. I put Lock Tight on my screw clamp to prevent it loosening.

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2008 Toyota Tundra Hydrogen Conversion Change

Posted or updated 11.26.08 by Chuck Russell

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I received the 21 plate dry cell hydrogen generator. Once nice thing about dry cell convertors is that they take up little space. Basically a square or rectangle, with very little depth. I was excited, and I did a dry run hooking it to a battery . It worked very well and the production of hydrogen was over 5 liters per minute. After running it on a battery charger for some time, I began to see two very potential problems with the dry cell. The first was that it required over 50 amps power input, to produce that 5 liters of hydrogen. I always had the impression that dry cell hydrogen generators were the most efficient kind, but this was a big disappointment. I would need a second battery in the engine compartment just to run this hydrogen convertor.

The second problem was that after two hours running, the heat had risen 47 degrees.  I had expected some heat increase, but not nearly as much as I actually measured. Even a small radiator to run the water through wouldn’t do much good. I finally decided to return it to the manufacturer for a full refund, and go back to my submerged plate technology. A setback, but then again with the safety of a submerged unit, I would not have to install a spark arrestor, nor would I have any safety concerns while driving.

I then ordered the double cell Hydro Super 2 from Smith Industries. One word of warning here, the Hydro Super 2 is the most copied Hydrogen Generator available, and there are some “knock offs” of the design selling on the internet and E-bay. Use your judgment, if it seems to good to be true price wise, then it probably is. One of my own employees got suckered into buying a knock off from an E-bay seller. Always buy from a reputable authorized seller of the manufacturer you choose.

Here is a quick picture of the Hydro Super 2 Double Cell Hydrogen Generator mounted in the 2008 Toyota Tundra. It was mounted up front by the radiator so that it is air and water cooled. I will get to the actual install in the next entry.

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2008 Toyota Tundra Hydrogen Conversion

Posted or updated 11.22.08 by Chuck Russell

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My next Hydrogen Conversion project is a rather large Toyota Tundra 2008 pickup, with a 5.7 liter V-8 engine. Weighing almost 3 tons, it presents a totally different challenge than the first 3 cars I put a hydrogen generator on. This model has a double cab, and the Off Road package. This is the vehicle I use to deliver large items to customers, in my Audio Video business, and it is my personal daily transportation. It delivers nearly 400 HP, and is not very fuel efficient, particularly in city driving where it averages about 14.5 mpg. It’s a blast to drive, so far as large pickups go with great power and torque, and it will pass anything very quickly. About the only thing it has going for it fuel wise, is a 6 speed automatic transmission, which assures that the engine is loafing on the highway when cruising. That allows me to get 22 mpg driving the speed limits.

I will need a hydrogen generator that can produce 4 liters of hydrogen per minute or more, and that in itself is a problem. I know of very few single units that can produce this kind of output, and most of those are the 21 plate Dry Cells. If I decide to go with a Dry Cell, then I will need a flashback arrestor to protect the hydrogen before it gets to the engine, since it won’t be submerged in water. I will also need a small radiator to cool the water that goes into the hydrogen convertor, upfront by the water radiator.

I decided to order a 21 plate dry fuel cell hydrogen generator. The difference between a dry and wet cell is that the dry cell plates are not submerged in water. The water passes into an opening and between only parts of the plates. Gaskets keep the water inside and from leaking. A dry cell can produce prodigious amounts of hydrogen, and the cost is somewhat better than the wet cell.

I ordered the dry cell. Let’s see how it goes.

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Hydrogen Generator Efficency

Posted or updated 11.20.08 by Chuck Russell

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I wanted to share some of the things I have learned with using a hydrogen generator in my wife’s Saturn SL1. Much of the knowledge about using hydrogen convertors is relatively new.

Use rain water if you can as your water source, it is the very best water. West Texas does not get much rain, and I have never thought about trying to collect it, but if you happen to live in an area with above rain fall, then by all means take advantage of your situation. After rain water, use steam distilled water. Make sure it’s distilled by steam and not by reverse osmosis or filtering.

I have tried baking soda, salt, lye, mineral water, vinegar, concentrated sea water, and a few other catalysts to up the production of the hydrogen. By far the best additive to your water, to up your hydrogen conversion, is about ¼ teaspoon of KOH, better known as Potassium Hydroxide. You can buy a 2 lb container of it from AAA Chemical on-line for about $8. That amount might last you the rest of your life.

Gap your spark plugs about .005 wider when using a hydrogen generator. My stock spark plugs were gapped at .040 inches, and increasing the gap to .045 helped the fuel burn more completely, and increased the MPG. I tested 15 different brands of spark plugs, but saw no mileage gains or decreases with any of them.

Use synthetic oil, it is the oil of choice now. It costs more, but due to the amount of heat it can withstand, and still retain the viscosity and lubricating abilities, not to mention longer oil change intervals, it is more than worth the money. Many say they get better mileage. I have never used anything but synthetic oil in my vehicles, but I do believe that 0-20 weight synthetic oil will lubricate and protect better than 5-30 regular oil. It has less friction too, which should mean more miles per gallon.

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HHO Installing The MAP MAF Sensor Enhancer

Posted or updated 11.17.08 by Chuck Russell

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You are looking at a Mass Air Flow sensor, or MAF sensor for short. This one is from my 2008 Toyota Tundra, and it is located near the air cleaner. The air filter is located in the box directly to the left, and what the MAF sensor does is control the amount of time that the fuel injectors are open via the ECU (computer).

Every vehicle will have a mass air flow sensor if it is very new, or a MAP sensor in most older models. MAP stands for Manifold Absolute Pressure sensor. Both sensors look very much alike and both do the same thing. You will find the MAP sensor around the throttle body by the manifold. My 1998 Saturn uses a MAP sensor.

This article is about installing the very easy to do MAP or MAF Sensor Enhancer box, see my Hydrogen Project Saturn SL1 Part 3 earlier. This is the box that has the control dial that allows you to cut your gasoline back going into the engine. This is the device that most users are afraid to install, for fear they will get it wrong and damage their car. This is the device that will save you the most money, and get your vehicle running top notch. You must have the hydrogen generator installed and functioning first.

Find out if you have a MAF or MAP sensor. The easy way if you don’t know, is go to your computer and try to buy a MAP or MAF sensor for your particular vehicle. Make sure you get the model and model year right in your search. You will have one or the other. If yours is a MAF sensor, look around the air intake by the air cleaner and filter until you locate it. If yours is MAP sensor, then look for it somewhere near the manifold and throttle body.

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Charlie Russell

About Charlie Russell

Charlie Russell served in Rimbach from late 1968 until March 1971. He and his wife Maria, a Furth-In-Walder, own a high-end video-stereo store in Lubbock, Texas. He blogs about hydrogen generation installations on vehicles. And video-stereo topics, of course.

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