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Old 12-31-2010, 01:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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aspire on e85

what mods do i need to do to run e85?

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Old 12-31-2010, 02:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The most cost effective way would be to trade it in on a flex fuel ready vehicle.
Unless... Your fuel injection system will need to be able to handle about 30% fuel flow increase to run normally. This will necessitate a new fuel and ignition curve. In order to start playing with these things, the existing computer will need to be replaced, as the current O2 sensor will not read correctly to compute lambda and the ignition will need to operate with a different curve. The O2 sensor is not going to supply the correct voltage signal to the computer when running E85. The computer will force a lean burn that is off the permissible mixture range for running the engine with this percentage of Ethanol. E85 lean burn works up to an 11:1 A/F ratio for simplicity in describing this.
To describe the effect, if your car gets 30 mpg, it will now get 20 mpg once it's tuned correctly. That's kind of a raw way to look at it.

If you want to keep the Aspire and have vehicle emissions testing to contend with, forget you heard about E85.

If your planning to become a mad scientist, and can get around the emissions issues, then you will need to re-write the cars control system. Allow for lot's of down time and testing.

Only you can determine if that's worth your time and effort.

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Old 12-31-2010, 04:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I run E85 in "regular" vehicles with no mods.

Caveats:

Don't run straight E85 in subfreezing weather. My Fords do well on straight E85 in the summer. So I run blends in spring and fall; the strength varies with outside temps. If the mix is too heavy with E85 for the temp it may start hard and run poorly until the engine warms up.

Special circumstance: I did a long road trip recently in subfreezing temps and I ran a strong E85 mix, but that is because the car was already warmed up and I knew I'd be topping off with regular gas at or near my destination before shutting it off. Saved 60 cents a gallon for that segment!
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aspire1605 View Post
what mods do i need to do to run e85?
The ford apire is able to alter the fuel mix but not necessarily the timing (depends on year OBDI vrs OBDII)

This means like some other users regardless of year apire you should be able to run up to about 50/50 mix of e85 w/ e10 in the summer months.

If you are willing to run tests you may be able to run much more e85, possibly even 100% but you need to use small batches to test the engine to make sure it idles fast enough and starts cold and doesn't miss or knock while driving down the road. My buick would stall at stop signs when running more than 50% e85. I also had hard start issues running more than 40% in the winter when it got very cold.

Also remember, never WOT (aka floor) a non-e85 car when running e85 as the older cars tend to go lean on e85 and if you are a person that drives the car to the floor a lot, lean burn at WOT can burn a piston in short order. And yes I speak of this because there are some fools who ignore their engine and keep flooring it anyway despite obvious auditory warning signs. One guy took out a 98 3800 this way, while I ran mine for years on the stuff. Many older cars do not have the ability to remap WOT/open loop enough for e85.

I mention that as a warning but not one I personally take seriously, its all in how well you know/maintain your car and how you drive it.

That said e85 has been said to damage fuel pumps, fuel tanks, etc. I think this rather unlikely except on very old cars and on cars that already have fuel delivery issues. A far more likely scenario is that the crud in your old fuel tank will be cleaned out and plug your fuel filter, to minimize this risk either
1. Increase the amount of e85 gradually (I would recommend that anyway)
or
2. Just go for it and have a spare fuel filter ready.

If you do have a fuel pump issue sometime in the far future from e85 use you can simply replace it with one guaranteed for the stuff or one that uses ethanol compatible gaskets/seals/components.

Personally as long as you use common sense and test how your car behaves safely I don't think there is any risk of running a mix of e85 and e10.

Now if you are doing this to drag race that is a whole other ball of worms and is a pain in the arse usually involving oversized injectors and remapping your ecu somehow. For normal driving this should never be necessary.\

E85 conversion kits? - Toyota Forums :: Toyota Nation

Good Luck
Ryan
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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As far as WOT, it's harder to do damage running lean on E85 than gas. I'd personally give the ECU plenty of time to adjust and re-map its tables, then make a single WOT run, listen for pinging, and pull the spark plugs after to make sure all looks well. If it's running lean enough to do damage, the plugs should tell the tale.

If the ECU needs help remapping enough, do like the turbo guys would and up the fuel pressure, as that allows more flow through a given injector. That would have it pulling fuel on E0 (rather than at baseline), but able to add enough on E85.
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Old 01-02-2011, 06:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comptiger5000 View Post
As far as WOT, it's harder to do damage running lean on E85 than gas.
Sorry to be stuck on the wrong side of the fence but...

You can run leaner on e85 and not cause damage but it is much easier to not notice you are running very very lean as e85 does not make as much noise in the right ways to notice it like on gas.

It is very RARE for someone to get the right combination for it to occur and...

That said I don't worry about the above issue because it simply doesn't apply to me, I can count the number of yearly wot events in my cars on one hand.

Also it only happens on specific cars, stuff older than 96.5 definately is in that region were some superiorly gifted individuals can find ways of wrecking their engines.

A hypermiler would never enter into the situation where they could ever remotely run the risk of engine damage but not all here are hypermilers and are doing it for the wrong reasons.

A good running check is e85forum.com

Cheers
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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True. E85 doesn't ping much when lean like gas, which is why I mentioned checking based on plugs, rather than just by ear. If you can determine that it won't run TOO lean, it should be ok, as there's a good bit of leeway. It's certainly not a dump it in and go WOT without checking type of thing, however.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I think one important thing before going too far is asking WHY do you want to run E85? if it's to save the environment, don't. more energy (usually from coal burning power plants) goes into the e85 than gets to your car. If it's to save money, won't unless it's like $.50 or more cheaper. depends on how your car responds to it because you'll see a large FE drop. if that drop is greater than what you're saving by running it, it's not worth it. that's before considering headache and damage to the engine. If you're doing it to support your corn-growing friends....good for you.

It'll be interesting to see the price (and availability) of E85 in a few years when the subsidies expire.
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It'd be interesting to see the price of gasoline if those subsidies were pulled.
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Old 01-04-2011, 06:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamesama980 View Post
I think one important thing before going too far is asking WHY do you want to run E85? if it's to save the environment, don't. more energy (usually from coal burning power plants) goes into the e85 than gets to your car. If it's to save money, won't unless it's like $.50 or more cheaper. depends on how your car responds to it because you'll see a large FE drop
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.

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