View Full Version : Toluene

10-10-02, 12:31 PM
where do I purchase this stuff from?

I have rang a few paint places but they all hang on the phone silently.... do I have to use a code word for them to answer or something :D

10-10-02, 01:43 PM
i am sure all of you have heard of the explosive TNT, it stands for Tri Nitro Toluene.

Basically Toluene is an extremely strong thinner so to speak, and you need a license to carry it therefore member of the general public are unable to purchase or possess this chemical.

Similar to things such as pure sodium, potassium..

these chemicals are either too dangereous, or unstable to be considered "safe" for the general public.

So unless you have got some quality conection you aint going to get it.

can i ask what you want it for??

10-10-02, 01:49 PM
Mmm-rather nasty stuff. From what I understand it is also a known carcinogen (cancer causing). I'm guessing you want it to boost octane. Maybe contact scotcher petroleum here in adelaide or a racing fuel supplier near you. A number of the 'octane boosters' you buy over the counter are also mostly toluene.


10-10-02, 02:16 PM
BP sell it. You can order it through your local service station but i wouldn't use it.

10-10-02, 03:08 PM
anything else recommended to raise octane? Looking to increase 96 fuel to 98 and no we dont have 98 fuel.... (not Brisbane).

10-10-02, 04:00 PM
The thinners in nail polish is usually acetone, but there are a number of acetone free nail polishes now....they still smell like acetone so they must be using a ketone of some sort as solvent.

Maimu is a panic merchant. Toluene and TNT are only related by the fact that you make TNT out of toluene. Toluene has none of the randomly explosive properies that he would suggest it has. It is just a hydrocarbon that burns somewhat similarly to petrol, and even makes up a fair proportion of unleaded and a bigger proportion of PULP fuels anyway.

But it is carcinogenic and you must avoid contact and breathing the fumes.

I was told that Brizzy does have 98 anyway. Just ring your petrol companies and ask for a list of vendors. I just checked the BP site and they have 33 locations within 25km of the Brisbane GPO that sell Ultimate 98.


10-10-02, 04:05 PM
Brissie is not the location I require the 98 fuel for.

I am in Townsville atm...I know you can buy optimax but I want to look at other alternatives and compare costs...


10-10-02, 04:38 PM
Sorry ppl, Toluene is not carcinogenic.


Studies reveal that toluene does affect the central nervous system of humans and animals, however currently there is no evidence to classify it as a carcinogen.

10-10-02, 04:46 PM
ok great, so how do I go about getting some then ;)

10-10-02, 05:05 PM
bjm, You can buy it direct from fuel suppliers as mentioned above.

You will only need 10% addition or probably even less to make the octane change you are looking for.

GTST4, it may not be carcinogenic itself (although the jury is still out on that one) but many of the products of incomplete combustion of both toluene and benzene are thought to be quite carcinogenic.


10-10-02, 05:14 PM
GTSBoy, no argument there. Benzene is certainly a carcinogen.

10-10-02, 05:25 PM
Originally posted by bjm
Brissie is not the location I require the 98 fuel for.

I am in Townsville atm...I know you can buy optimax but I want to look at other alternatives and compare costs...


And optimax in townsville is where? seriously the closest place on their web site is gladstone

BTW, if you are up for a cruise, look under meets, there is one on friday.

10-10-02, 06:28 PM
you can buy optimax from the shell distributor....I just want some options as PULP is around but optimax isnt....

10-10-02, 11:23 PM
Ring Shell's office, 1300669988.

I rang them today chasing Toluene and they gave me the number of a local distributor. (Im in Sydney). My local distributor sells 200L minimum at 96c per litre.

11-10-02, 01:06 AM
BJM: I remember a while ago some people up here in townsville will talking about being able to order optimax by the drum from the servo. Worked out to be about $1.10 i think. Dont know which servo or it is true.

What type of car are you driving BTW?

11-10-02, 09:38 AM
I thought optimax went "off" very quickly?

From what I understand (was talking to the dude driving the shell truck) that the "goodies" in optimax last about 30 days before it drops its octane?, and the "goodies" boil out at a very low temperature??

11-10-02, 09:47 AM
you can order optimax by the 200 litre drum for about $250 from the shell distributor up here. If it goes off quickly maybe we should buy a drum between a few people as I wont use a full tank in a week that is for sure! maybe a full tank per month/three weeks..... maybe.

Anyway I was looing for cheap ways I can boost octane and also Iits easier to carry say 15 litres of toluene on long trips (enough for three tanks of adding to pulp) then the 150 litres of optimax for three tanks.....just looking at options so I can drive a little further from Townsville then a tank of fuel!

11-10-02, 12:39 PM
BJM - What's your car?

I have found BP premuim to generally be the best up here, had problems with Shell and the Caltex Vortex stuff.

11-10-02, 12:46 PM
Slovr4: Myself and RB20R31 found it the other way around with those fuels. Both of us were having troubles with BP premium a while back at one particular garage. Seems better know though. They were probably selling regular as premium or something dodgy.
ALthough another friend is still having troubles with it in his CBR-250. Reckons it might be due to moisture in the fuel.

11-10-02, 12:47 PM
I have a 1.6 normally aspirated daihatsu charade :D

It still has issues with the setup, but will have more if I run it on 96 octane fuel.....

11-10-02, 12:59 PM
If you need toluene to run anything but real weapon of a car you must have problems. In Blackbart's case he needs rocket fuel!

Personally, I would never use it myself. It rots out your fuel system not unlike alcohol.

Has anyone tried "humping"? Half a tank of leaded, half PULP?

11-10-02, 01:06 PM
it runs fine on 98, I just cant get it here....read above on the reasons I am considering toluene....

who said my car isnt a weapon...I am sure it would hurt someone if it hit them :D

11-10-02, 02:06 PM
Sorry BJM, i didn't mean it that way! :)

In my view anything under 500 ponies should run on pump fuel :)

11-10-02, 02:10 PM
My car does run on pump fuel, its just that the necessary pumps are a little far away from me atm.....

hence the need for an octane boost :)

I could go and buy an octane booster as well but they seem a little expensive for each fill up, that toluene in 200 litre drums doesnt sound too expensive, would only have to use 4 litres per tank as well......

11-10-02, 06:03 PM
rusty: They deliver!:D Once i sort out the cooling system i'll be unlocking the dizzy and playing with fuels.

Howy: I was looking at nitro actually. $23 a litre. After doing some research i decided against it due to I'd rather not see the inside of my engine.:D

12-10-02, 10:09 PM
If your wanting a fuel that has a bit more 'jazz' to it then i would steer clear of toluene and use av-gas instead. Toluene is a cyclic hydrocarbon and is quite volitile and this means that the consistency it has in the engine is all over the place and the ecu has trouble trying to compensate. AV-Gas is usually 100ron and is effectively the same as the fuels they use in japan. But if you are able to use good pump fuel, get mobil synergy 8000, it's sooo much better than optimax.

13-10-02, 12:11 PM
When i used to race, the hardcore guys used to run a mix of BP-100, tolulene, and methyl-benzine.... nasty stuff.... highly unstable... and i believe illegal on the streets.

the problem with avgas is it is not designed to operate at sea level, if memory serves correctly avgas is 120 octane @ 20,000 ft, you need to run it really rich at sea-level, and i believe it is not as good as a real race-fuel.

for a good cheap safe kick, just use methanol. it's basically just alchohol. mix 1 litre in 30, and you should notice a difference. plus methanol burns clean, so shouldn't clog your cat, it also burns cool(er than petrolium).

13-10-02, 01:34 PM
Originally posted by rhspecr
the consistency it has in the engine is all over the place and the ecu has trouble trying to compensate.

I don't think blackbart's too concerned his ECU won't be able to compensate. It's one of those Holley ECUs. :p


13-10-02, 01:54 PM
From what I gather, toluene is methyl benzine.

Formula 1 engines of the recent turbo era used to use about 84% toluene as fuel - running up to 70+psi boost for qualifying.

Recently, servos in Sydney were busted selling up to 90% toluene instead of ULP (they were in the shit for not paying excise, not for the fuel being toluene). I don't know if anyone's engine was damaged - probably not - just hi-po ones would have went better.

Check out some of the sites on the internet regarding toluene - makes quite interesting reading. Various articles consider toluene to be a safe and effective octane booster that does not cause engine damage

The problem with using methanol (I've ran it straight at the drags) is that it attacks rubber seals/diaphragms etc and requires a much richer ratio (about 2.6 times as rich as petrol). What this means though, if you start adding more than a very small amount, the fuel system will need recalibration (jets etc in carbs) or the engine will start running lean.

13-10-02, 02:27 PM
nikz: Have you mixed methanol into fuel yourself? I'm really interested to talk to someone who has actually done it.

Toluene attacks rubber seals aswell.

13-10-02, 05:21 PM
Originally posted by blackbart
Toluene attacks rubber seals aswell.

I remember back in the late 60's there used to be ads on TV for petrol with methyl benzene (as an octane booster) - if this was the case, its affect on rubber seals may be minimal.

13-10-02, 07:22 PM
I use methyl benzine (aka Toluene) mixed with Optimax in my car. It works very well as far as stopping pinging in high compression engines and also smoothed out my idle a little bit. My car used to ping on optimax (98RON) alone, but runs perfectly on a 5% mix.
From my understanding it is pointless to run a mix of greater than 10% Toluene in your fuel....something to do with "saturation point?"....whatever that means :)
I did have a issue with the accelerator pump diaphram (made of rubber) leaking shortly after using the Toluene, but have since replaced it with a higher quality one and so far there is no problem.

I hope this helps.

Blackbart PM me if you need to know where to get Toluene from.

13-10-02, 10:52 PM
there was a big debate in 1 of the forums,i can remember which 1 but had a big write up on tolulene,and if its mixed right it is very good for your engine,just like putting octane booster in, apparently octane booster that you buy off the shelves contains tolulene,so i dont see why ppl couldnt just put like a 5-10% mix of it in there,

13-10-02, 11:27 PM
Originally posted by grimwolge
Hahah, thats going straight to my signature :D thats a classic :)

That OK with you tex?

Sure, quote me. :)


I Wish
14-10-02, 07:19 AM
Here you go fellas. One of the best threads that you will ever read on octane boosters.


14-10-02, 10:54 AM

i have mixed it a couple of times out at the track, not so much a scientific mix, but pouring about a litre of the stuff into a full tank of premo.

it's not like nos or anything... don't be expecting a 100hp gain from it, mainly smoothness, and torque..... i'm guessing it gave me maybe 10KW & 20Nm (very rough guestimate).

i remeber the BOGAS service stations used to advertise that their fuel contained methanol (about 3 years ago). and i know a few mechanics who have used methanol to get their cars past rego! (if your car smokes, run it on meth, and it don't smoke as bad apparently)

yeah it looks like methyl benzine is tolulene....

just remember (and someone said it above) tolulene/MB is an octane booster, and all an octane boost does is stabilise your fuel burn...... it's not a horespower generator in itself, but what it does allow you to do is run higher comp, and more advance without pinging.

so if you have an old carby engine with no knock sensor, i'd imagine you would not get much improvement outta higher octane without advancing your timing. however if you have a modern car with ECU controlled ignition, & a knock sensor then your ECU should automatically run more advance. well not so much more advance, but it won't have to keep baking the timing off every time it detects knock (ping).

oh and i think i may have been getting methanol mixed up with ethanol. they are both alcohol's but i forget which is which.

i think you mix nitromethane with methanol, and you get nitro-methanol which is what top alcohol dragsters run.... and i think CART cars (indy cars) run straight methanol.

methanol = CH3OH
ethanol = CH3CH2OH

anyone remember chemistry????

14-10-02, 09:43 PM
At the moment im running alot of base timing and only 6 deg total advance to control pinging. If i can get something that will allow a proper timing curve (mega octane booster), it will make a difference. In a few weeks ill order some Toluene then its back on the dyno to see the difference (if any).

14-10-02, 10:55 PM
Anyone know if this stuff goes off when sitting around in drums ???