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Old 12-12-2021, 09:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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ChrisFix is promoting a $700 ethanol conversion kit

This is the sixth year he has posted 10 car maintenance gift ideas. Last year I bought myself some magnetic wrench organizers, so my ratchet wrenches are taking up much less space in my drawer. The other 9 items were fine and I am not saying there is anything wrong with going ethanol if you identify with that lifestyle, but we will get to the math later, but long story short, if ethanol is going for half as much as 87, and you drive 15,000 miles annually, with average fuel economy, you could theoretically break even going ethanol in one year.
Everyone knows the best Decemberesque gift idea is this book! Increase Your Gas Mileage: 48 Tips Anyone Can Use to Get Great Gas Mileage and Save Money

Oh no. I haven't bought it. I don't need to, I am super smart!

Anyway, his 10 gift suggestions are:
  1. Ramps appropriate for your vehicle,
  2. An Oil Udder, like an oil filter wrench, but with a built-in funnel.
  3. A Ryobi polisher,
  4. Drill brushes (for those not clever enough to modify a dollar store brush and cheap fasteners),
  5. A smoke machine,
  6. A utility knife that doubles as a scraper,
  7. Ratchet extensions,
  8. A big box of drill bits and the smaller the bit the more are included,
  9. A spark plug socket set (I only need one size! ),
  10. The $700 ethanol conversion kit that inspired me to share this with you fine gentlemen (and freebeard; he is his own thing),
  11. and a spill-proof funnel. Why does anyone add coolant any other way?!

He linked to race ramps, which alone are $449.00.

Do they think they are Snap-On?!

EFlexFuel.com says "Select your make and model for a vehicle-specific fit."

Apparently my Accord was available with a 1.6-liter engine in Europe.

It was only 114 HP!

My Civic should have 115!

The 1999 Civic SiR achieved 182 HP from 1.6L, but not on ethanol!

They have a kit for my car!

There are 2 kits and the other one is $960!

If someone offered me $960 for my Civic I would get the keys!

It comes with an app with 2\6 profiles. There aren't any claims on fuel savings, but there will be more later.

"Up to 10%\20% more horsepower*"

"More torque*"

Configurable 2D\3D fuel maps

* Depending on your engine technology and/or your custom built of the engine.

Chris indicated that ethanol was 50-60% of the cost of 87, but the nearest E85 I can find is 112.3 miles away, and the only price that I can find for the entire state is the same price as 87!

Chris never says where he is, nor is the gas station sign that he shared necessarily near his location, but it showed $3.699 for 87 and $1.859 for E85.

I drove my Accord 9,044.4 miles in the last 12 months, using $271.992 gallons, and paying $598.16, averaging $2.20.

That station sold E85 for 49.7% less than 87, so if that were available in my area, and gas prices are stable (which they never are), then I could save $297.54 a year, requiring 2.35 years to break even.

However, FuelEconomy.gov states
Quote:
Due to ethanol's lower energy content, [flex fuel vehicles] operating on E85 get roughly 15% to 27% fewer miles per gallon than when operating on regular gasoline, depending on the ethanol content. Regular gasoline typically contains about 10% ethanol
So, I would really need 2.97 years to break even--except my lifetime fuel economy is 51.2% above the EPA rating.

That seems like a significant fraction of how long people own their car. Since only 7% of vehicles on the road are flex fuel, I don't see potential used car buyers caring about that feature.

I tried to find recent data, but I cannot find anything reflecting covid. FuelEconomy.gov still claims 15,000 miles a year (while everything claimed around 14,300 for 2019) and it looks like they calculate $3.379 per gallon.

They claim I would spend $400 annually more than the average driver, indicating that a boring driver would spend $1,900 on $3.379 gas, going 15,000 miles on 562.3 gallons, which would be 26.676 MPG.

So, if you can buy E85 for $1.679, get 26.676 MPG (on 87), and you drive 15,000 miles yearly, you would get more like 21.074 MPG, costing you $1,195.07 annually, saving $704.93.

Huh.

The average driver could allegedly pay for an ethanol conversion kit in 362 days?

Huh.

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Old 12-12-2021, 10:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
....you fine gentlemen (and freebeard; he is his own thing),
[looks around nervously] I resemble that remark? There is at least one active poster here who is the other gender.

My eyes glazed over and I finished by reading the first sentence of each paragraph. The kit allows you to burn straight alcohol? That would be the electronic equivalent of drilling out the jets and replacing the fuel lines?

Where do you get the ethanol? I could see running farm tractors on Vodka.
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Old 12-13-2021, 07:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebeard View Post
The kit allows you to burn straight alcohol?
If it's anything similar to some kits I have seen in Brazil, burning straight alcohol is OK.
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Old 12-13-2021, 10:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Can You Really Run a Car on Moonshine?
Quote:
Though technology exists to allow ethanol FFVs to run on any mixture of gasoline and ethanol, from pure gasoline up to 100% ethanol (E100),[12][13] North American and European flex-fuel vehicles are optimized to run on E85, a blend of 85% anhydrous ethanol fuel with 15% gasoline. This upper limit in the ethanol content is set to reduce ethanol emissions at low temperatures and to avoid cold starting problems during cold weather, at temperatures lower than 11 C (52 F).[14] The alcohol content is reduced during the winter in regions where temperatures fall below 0 C (32 F)[15] to a winter blend of E70 in the U.S.[16][17] or to E75 in Sweden[18] from November until March.[19] Brazilian flex fuel vehicles are optimized to run on any mix of E20-E25 gasoline and up to 100% hydrous ethanol fuel (E100). The Brazilian flex vehicles are built-in with a small gasoline reservoir for cold starting the engine when temperatures drop below 15 C (59 F).[20] An improved flex motor generation was launched in 2009 which eliminated the need for the secondary gas tank.
Flexible-fuel vehicle[Wikipedia]
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Old 12-14-2021, 02:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes and no. Drinkable no as it's has a higher water component, but anything higher than 80% should be burnable but messy internally and 95% is what I saw in Missouri for sale.
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Old 12-14-2021, 03:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebeard View Post
[looks around nervously] I resemble that remark? There is at least one active poster here who is the other gender.
Huh, am I not alone here?
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Old 12-14-2021, 04:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It says my fuel system is ready for E85, I wonder if I could run ethanol without that conversion.
The ECU does have the ability to adjust fuel trims to a certain degree.
If I gradualy mix more and more alcohol into my fuel, I could use my ECUs ability to adjust the fuel trims to run more ethanol.
However I am not sure up untill what point this works and at what point the ECU just throws an error code.
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Old 12-14-2021, 04:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Huh, am I not alone here?
We may never know.
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Old 12-15-2021, 12:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autobahnschleicher View Post
It says my fuel system is ready for E85, I wonder if I could run ethanol without that conversion.
By fuel system, it might refer to the hardware being compatible with ethanol.
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Old 12-15-2021, 12:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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By hardware you mean the soft goods, tubing and plastic.

Be prepared to double 170% the throughput.

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Last edited by freebeard; 12-15-2021 at 12:29 AM.. Reason: maths
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