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Old 01-06-2011, 11:09 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmay635703 View Post
Actually I've never seen a statistically significant drop on any of my non-e85 vehicles when running an e85 mix. (compared to e10 anyway)

The vehicles I own that would be affected are so old that they can't run ethanol gas in the summer because of vapor lock issues and I've never tried in the winter but likely I would have to get non-40year old gaskets replaced.
I have. Everyone I know that's done it has. By engine design and physics it should. Depends on how much ethanol there is/how many tanks and how the fuel management system works (like you mention). All FI cars should see a noticeable drop using full E85. My car that I tried it in ran fine, albeit with a little less oomph and the gas gauge dropped pretty quick. lost 2-3 mpg (starting at 26) and according to my math I only had about 40-50% ethanol in the tank for about a month (alternated tanks of E10 and E85 filling when it was around 1/2)

As far as the O2 sensor reading mixtures, it'll read fine with ethanol. the sensor reads how much O2 is left which is a function of the mixture. stoich for pure ethanol is around 9:1 vs gasolines 14.7:1. you get fuel system rich codes because the O2 is trying to correct the mixture to the 9:1 side and the PCM says that's not cool and turns on the MIL.

It's not a matter of "IF": the Ethanol subsidies are scheduled to end in either 2016 or 2018. Around the same time the car mfrs will stop getting credits toward CAFE for flex fuel vehicles.

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Old 01-06-2011, 11:53 AM   #12 (permalink)
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You'll only get a CEL for it if it hits the +/- 30% fuel adjustment limit that most OBDII setups have. The CEL isn't for the fact that it's adding fuel, it's for the fact that it hit the limit and can't add enough.
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Old 01-06-2011, 05:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamesama980 View Post
I have. Everyone I know that's done it has. By engine design and physics it should. Depends on how much ethanol there is/how many tanks and how the fuel management system works (like you mention). All FI cars should see a noticeable drop using full E85.
I never ran full e85, highest was E60 which resulted in a slow idle, normally mathematically I came out around E30-E40 and I usually ran it in the winter. Also each tank had a different percentage because of how I filled, I kept track so I knew approx how much of each fuel to add on the next fillup.

My winter FE on standard gas versus e40 was within the margin of error over several seasons.

I have a feeling that if you have an OBDII vehicle, use mystery oil (my car wouldn't idle properly without it then, nor did/does my fathers suburban now) and run e30-e40 you will find most late 90's cars don't get much different FE wise. (I would say under 3% which is hard to appreciate or see on varying driving conditions)
What this meant is that driving on the highway WITHOUT hypermiling in the winter My 98 lesabre still managed 27-30mpg on e40 (the mix varied from e20-e55 week to week), which was no different than e10 in the winter. My fathers 93 suburban typically ran the range from 16-19mpg in the winter and also did the same on e30 (usually e15-e35), when I ran the average over the winter seasons from that year it ended up around .3mpg on the lesabre off from previous years (winter) and about .5mpg on the suburban from previous years (winter).

As you know personal experience is meaningless but not all cars drop massive amounts running on some ethanol mix, my experience is there is a sweet spot right around 30-40% where your mileage really isn't noticably different, I think an ethanol mix, ESPECIALLY in the winter can pay for itself. I think the winter gas must suck bad enough that the FE from it and actual ethanol isn't much different.

I also know many who run big boy vehicles that are made for ethanol and only experience a 1mpg drop between it and e10 year round. The 6% drop still gets paid for by the price difference.

This does not mean all vehicle behave this way, my experience is OLD vehicles drop large amounts of FE but most semi-new vehicles DO NOT. Around here when gas is high; ethanol is usually a $1 per gallon less and DOES PAY FOR ITSELF and then some at least in my own pocketbook on the typical vehicles I run.

Would I run e85 in my old Subaru? No, would my father run it in the 79 ford? No Would I run it in a lawnmower or small motor? No but it does have its place and it is at least for now cheaper to me (not cheaper to society but to me)

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Old 01-09-2011, 01:42 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Alot of guys in the import tuning and muscle car scenes like it because it has such high octane. I only see problems with it eating rubber if your hoses are already worn out. But if you freshen up your whole fuel system you should have no issues.

Every body I have talked to with a flex fuel car complains about the lower economy but most people I have talked to have a large V-6 or a V-8 and do not hypermile.

I think with a few modifications to the fuel systems, a good ignition, and a dyno tuned mega squirt system we could probably get some really good mileage from E-85.

My personal thoughts on ethanol is that we should not be making it from corn, we have enough grass clippings and yard trimmings and wast product from corn and other grains produced in this country that we should be using those instead.
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
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My personal thoughts on ethanol is that we should not be making it from corn, we have enough grass clippings and yard trimmings and wast product from corn and other grains produced in this country that we should be using those instead.
I agree 100% with this, only waste should be made into ethanol and preferably down south where it is warm enough not to waste massive amounts of energy heating the brew.

But why run pure e85? Most of the studies have shown the fuel economy sweet spot is between 20-35% ethanol.

Most vehicles require no tuning to run that mix and the cost to benefit is there because the fuel economy (for me at least) does not seem to start dropping like a rock until I get upwards of 40% ethanol and obviously saving 15-30% on the cost per gallon exceeds the slight drop.

If a stock car gets say 30mpg on e0, 28 on e10, 27mpg on e40 and 22mpg on e85 why not stick on the easy part of the curve where you are really saving money?

I am not the only one who noticed this effect.

http://www.eastcoastenergysolutions....anGasoline.doc

Not that I think the data for all cars with behave this way but certain ones run just fine with better than expected fuel economy.
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:31 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I agree. However, true E85 still has its uses, mostly as far as cheap race gas, which allows people to build a high performance car that can be run on the street. However, due to the fuel economy penalty compared to E30-ish mixes, it's not worth it in most vehicles for day-to-day use.

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