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Electrical Connections

Posted or updated 11.16.08 by Chuck Russell


Many people fear making electrical connections, when working on installing hydrogen generators in cars. Actually making a good connection is simple. The most feared part of hydrogen conversions, for the most part, seems to be connecting the Map Sensor Enhancer box. Nothing could be simpler, it’s quite easy to do. You only have to work with one wire, and although many fear it, it’s the simpliest thing of the entire hydrogen generator install to do, and it takes the least amount of time.

First off, vehicles use wire that is best crimped and not soldered. You can solder very fine wires when the car is brand new, but it is not necessary. All you really need is a crimping tool. See my picture. A good one costs around $6. Then you will need some crimp connectors. You can get these anywhere. Make sure you have a good assortment, small connector ends for small wires, and larger connector ends for larger wires like the connections to the battery terminals. You might wants large rings for those, so you can go around or under the battery terminals.

Either cut or peel back a bit of the plastic insulation, at the end of the wire you need to have a connector on. Expose the bare wire. You’ll only need a ¼ inch or so. Then take the wire, insert it into the connector until you see the wire coming out the other end. Using the handle of your crimping tool, put the connector and wire between the slots made for crimping. Use the slot that best fits your wire. Remember to use the handle, and not the holes at the top, those are for cutting. Then squash (another word for crimp) right below where the wire ends. I usually crimp mine in 2 places. That’s all there is to it. You have just put a connector end on a wire.

If you feel the wire might ever come into contact with anything nearby, you can get double protection by buying and using the overly long insulated connectors at the top of the picture. It’s impossible to short anything out with this type connector. Finally I use LOOM, which is the plastic sleeves you see wires encased in. This is simply curly black plastic tubes that have a slit cut from top to bottom. Loom is what you see everywhere in your car that has cables. You can buy it on-line, or from electrical supply places. Again is not necessary, but it provides great protection, it makes your car look factory wired, and it is very inexpensive. I have never spent more than $8 on loom and that was enough sizes and footage to do both my vehicles

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Saturn Hydrogen Project Part 4 Final

Posted or updated 11.12.08 by Chuck Russell


The last item you will need is a switch to turn your hydrogen generator on/off from the passenger compartment of your car. Find a place to mount that you can reach from the driving position. I leave mine in the “on” position all the time, but it is necessary to have a switch handy that will shut everything off if you ever had problems while driving.

I located the switch in the center dash, by the cup holders. See my picture. This switch is illuminated and glows soft blue when the hydrogen generator is on. Since I never turn mine off. I inverted the switch. By that I mean that normally a switch is turned on by flipping the lever up. Ours is turned to the on position by switching the lever down. The reason I chose this position, is that it’s quite easy to bump a switch, or put a drink in the holder and push the lever down. It’s much harder to bump something and switch the lever upwards. I wanted to keep the switch in the on position, unless I had an emergency. Therefore I mounted it backwards.

One other safety precaution was employed. I wired the switch to the fuel pump fuse, since the fuel pump is disabled in a crash. In the case of the Saturn, so is the hydrogen generator.

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Saturn Hydrogen Project Part 3

Posted or updated 11.12.08 by Chuck Russell


One of the reasons that many people do not realize better MPG results with hydrogen convertors is that they are supplying full gasoline and hydrogen at the same time. This makes perfect sense when you think about it. If you took a car, and converted it to run on propane, you would be wasting money to feed in full amounts of gasoline at the same time.

To obtain really good mile per gallon gains with your car, after installing a hydrogen generator, you must cut down the amount of gasoline it receives and let the hydrogen take the place of the gasoline. There are only two ways to do this. One is to manipulate the O2 sensors ( fuel to air ratio) which I consider dangerous. Others use it with good results, so use your own judgment. I prefer to use a device that controls the amount of time that the fuel injectors of the engine are spraying gasoline into the engine. That device is called a MAP Sensor Enhancer which is what I used on my Saturn. MAP stands for manifold absolute pressure sensor. You would need a MAF enhancer if you have a Mass Air Flow Sensor which is what I have on my second vehicle Toyota Tundra. Both work the same way.

The device you see in the picture, little gray box with large dial, sitting near the ignition key opening, is a Map Sensor Enhancer that can be bought for $40. I rewired it with better parts, and I added a voltage device that is my own making, which keeps the O2 sensors from running too lean. The main function is to be able to turn on the fuel injectors, turn off the fuel injectors, and to be able to adjust the fuel injectors to anything in between. The dial adds resistance and is adjustable from 0-10. Zero is full gasoline. The dial sit at 4.5 corresponds to exactly half gasoline, and is what we run in the city with. The Saturn averages about 50 mpg in city driving. It used to get about 30 mpg city driving, before I installed the Hydrogen Convertor.

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Saturn SL1 Hydrogen Convertor Project Part 2

Posted or updated 11.11.08 by Chuck Russell


Once you have purchased a hydrogen generator, found a location in the car hood area for it, and connected it to the car battery, the job gets easy. The next step is connecting the hoses which will carry the hydrogen, to the fuel system of the vehicle.

This is where my ideas differ a bit from the norm. The installation instructions that came with my hydrogen generator want you to make one connection to the air intake system behind the aircleaner. That works fine for highway driving, but does not address city driving, and sitting at stop lights in idle. The problem as I see it, is that the air intake hose only pulls vacumn while accelerating. There is no air being sucked while idling at a stop light. So I split the hydrogen gas output between the air intake, and the intake manifold. The idea is that the intake manifold pulls vacumn while idling and thus sucks the hydrogen into the fuel system. When accelerating, the intake manifold slowly stops pulling hydrogen and allows the air intake system to literally take over. The idea works well, the car ran much better and smoother, and MPG’s went thru the roof with this type of connection. It also allowed me to run the car with just hydrogen when driving in the flat lands, and staying below 62 mph. I will follow up on that later.

So the delivery system I use for the hydrogen is very simple. First off throw away the nylon hoses that came with the Hydrogen Generator ( if that is what you get). Nylon is thin and it stands up to chemicals and hydrogen gas very well, but it flexes and bends. Any corner or bend you put in a nylon hose is suspect. It also tends to close halfway when you least need that to happen. Nylon hoses want to lie down or sag when the temps get hot as well. You might well find your hydrogen hose on a hot exhaust manifold or spark plug wire. Find a Lowes or Home Depot, then purchase braided heavy duty clear hoses. The material is a mixture of vinyl and polymers. This will cost you roughly 50 cents a ft. Buy $5 worth and you’ll be set. This type of hose is rugged, abrasion proof, has heavy side walls, and won’t close any at all if you turn a corner with it.

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Saturn SL1 Hydrogen Project Part 1

Posted or updated 11.10.08 by Chuck Russell


The very first thing you will need to do a hydrogen-hybrid conversion to your vehicle is the Hydrogen Generator. The assortment of hydrogen generators are extreme, and range from the totally ridiculous mason jars with bare wire electrodes made by students on a budget, to the equally ridiculous priced computer controlled models that fleet truck companies have installed on their vehicles. Such models can cost upwards of $10-K and need dedicated computer programmers to function. You would have to save a lot of money on gasoline to recoup your investment with such a system.

After much study and homework, I decided to buy a single cell hydrogen generator made by Smith Industries called Hydro Super 2. I liked the fact that it was a large single metal tube with 3/8 inch stainless walls. It was a design that has been around since 1984, back when gasoline was cheap and nobody really cared that much about getting the most miles per gallon they could. It also is a proven design, and safe. I recall seeing the pictures of the Hindenburg, and let’s face it hydrogen mixes with anything having only 1 electron. The Hydro Super 2 seemed to be ahead of the other designs, in that the hydrogen stayed submerged in water until it was actually ready to be used by the car. That makes a spark arrestor, or flashback valve unnecessary, and the water bath that the hydrogen goes thru cleans, and at the same time cools the hydrogen making it denser and more potent.

Hydrogen has three times the power of gasoline in equal amounts, and it burns much faster, and at the same time cooler. In addition it will literally clean carbon and other deposits out of your head assembly and cylinders. It is equal to 124 octane gasoline. There are no by products of burning hydrogen, so your emissions are much cleaner when   mixing with gasoline. There are two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen, so another by-product of hydrogen generators is oxygen. If you look closely you will see two large bubbles which are hydrogen, and one small bubble which is oxygen come up the tube together into the water bath. They are then sucked into the engine by the tube attached to the top of the water tank. This all sounds very complicated, but trust me it isn’t. You only need to do about six steps, even the boss can do that.

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Posted or updated 11.10.08 by Chuck Russell

Just a quick note, the first CD that I am excited about this year will be released Tuesday, Nov. 11th. We all know the hauntingly beautiful music of Enya.

This will be her seventh studio album, and ironically enough it comes exactly 20 years after her landmark album WaterMark.

The CD is titled “And Winter Came.” It looks to be another winner.

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Posted or updated 11.03.08 by Chuck Russell

Among other things, I believe we need a topic about music and films. I plan to blog about both, hopefully with some help and input from others. This is about a fantastic Documentary film that I happen to catch recently. The film is called “Young At Heart” and it aptly named. It was a real sleeper and opened the Florida Film Festival.

The film directed by British director Stephen Walker tells the story of a group of New England senior citizens whose average age is 80 years old. Many of them have medical problems. What keeps them young, is their love of music and the performance thereof.

The group has been performing songs to sold out audiences around the world since 1982, and they put on quite a show. Tickets are very hard to come by. Their genre of music is Rock. Songs by RadioHead, James Brown, The Ramones, The Clash, ColdPlay, The Flaming Lips, and David Bowie are just some of the songs they perform.

Moreover the film sends a message that we are never too old to have fun, to enjoy life, and to bring happiness to others. It sends a deep message to all people about never stop doing what you love. It is touching, inspiring, and at the same time hilarious. It debuted in Germany as well, and audiences are just as thrilled. When else are you going to see a 92 year old former strip tease artist belting out “should I stay…or should I go?”

Go see it. You won’t be sorry!

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Hydrogen Conversions

Posted or updated 11.09.08 by Chuck Russell


Hydrogen Generators are often called convertors, and have been around for many years. They use water and electrolysis to separate the hydrogen and oxygen. I will be blogging my experiences with two vehicles. Vehicle number one is a small car, 1998 Saturn SL1 with a 1.9 liter engine. It has been running as a hybrid on hydrogen made from water, and gasoline for 4 months now. The other vehicle is a 2008 Toyota Tundra Double cab with a 5.7 liter engine which I have just started converting. This conversion is on going.

The first time I became interested in Hydrogen as a fuel source was when oil prices shot up to near $150 a barrel, and gasoline cost $4 a gallon. This 1998 Saturn SL1 was in good shape, driven by my wife and with low miles. The car was not worth a great deal of money, and it was the perfect size to test with. It is light weight, and has a polymer body and small engine.

I will start with this Saturn SL1. It has been a learning experience, but also a pleasant surprise. I hope it may benefit others who are considering this technology. My successes and failures will hopefully shorten the learning curve.

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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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