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Old 07-08-2008, 02:28 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Bomber View Post
The high percentage of ethanol in E85 can destroy certain hoses and seals in your fuel system. At the minimum, you should replace your fuel lines with an E85-compatible material to prevent major leaks. Your fuel pump and injector O-rings may also need to be upgraded in order to ensure full compatibility.

Depends on the year of the vehicle. You guys running old stuff, maybe. But for some time the automakers have been designing for E10. A lot of the materials have already been "hardened" for the ethanol.

I think the biggest issue is will it throw a CEL, and is it really running lean or not? If you are going to go down this road, mix your E85 with gas so you don't get a CEL, or get a scangauge II to know what is really going on.

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Old 10-17-2008, 05:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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E85 in a non flex fuel vehicle

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Originally Posted by ajax_6531 View Post
What are the pros and cons to running a non flex-fuel vehicle on E85?

As of now, I don't even know if I can get it in my area. I'm just wondering what I should expect to see.

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I have been running E85 at up to a 50% mix with unleaded regular in my unmodified '92 Roadmaster. When the engine is cold, I get a slight hesitation for a block or so, under throttle, until the engine warms up, then it runs fine....slight power drop off climbing steep hills. When this happens, I think about OPEC, who did not sell me half a tank of gas, smile, and push a bit harder on the throttle. This solves the problem quite well, for me.

At about a 20-30% mix, there are no problems at all. In town I loose about 2mpg overall, on the highway, I break even on a 50% mix. I do not run it at all when it is cold out, eg. Winter. It starts and runs too hard.


The only reason I mess with it at all, again, is that Ilike the idea of keeping at least some of the fuel production here in the US.

Running E85 in a newer car still under warranty will void that warranty, however, so I wouldn't use it in a newer car unless it is a flex fuel vehicle. Like Mr. Lee, I am not known for my great luck.
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Old 10-17-2008, 07:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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i ran it in my non flex fuel 2001 street miata. I notice some seat of the pants dropoff, but no MPG suffering until i get to about a 40% E85 / 60% 87 octane mixture.
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Old 10-18-2008, 12:07 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Uhh just so people know, Blue Bomber is not the same as me
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Old 10-18-2008, 10:33 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I've hit the wall in my car at 50% ethanol. Long term fuel trim is maxed out, it won't go any higher. I have some cold start and throttle response issues.

So I'm going to probably back off to 30% ethanol or so. The car runs REAL well on E30. If there is a mileage difference, it is too small to notice. Power is good, no issues with cold start whatsoever.

E30 is like 95 octane or so, so you're getting premium fuel for about 20 cents a gallon less than regular.
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Old 10-18-2008, 06:13 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Doesn't ethanol require a higher compression ratio to burn efficiently? I remember reading that in normal engines, it is not very efficient.
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Old 10-20-2008, 08:25 AM   #17 (permalink)
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E85 has anywhere from 100 to 105 octane. Thus, you could easily build an engine with a very high compression ratio, which would raise the efficiency of the engine greatly.

The EPA did a study where they converted a Volkswagen TDI diesel engine to run on E85. They replaced the diesel fuel injectors with spark plugs, and used conventional port fuel injection. The TDI has 19.5:1 compression ration, and that was unchanged. They got upwards of 40% efficiency, same as a diesel.

Sadly, because E85 pumps are so rare, you can't buy an E85 only engine. A flex fuel vehicle has to be able to run on gas, so that precludes a very high compression ratio. Without that increased efficiency, a FFV running on gas gets crappy mileage, because ethanol has less energy that gas.
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Old 10-20-2008, 06:55 PM   #18 (permalink)
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A loophole to E85 requiring high compression: turbocharged engines are well-suited to it, as it offers the same effects as a high compression ratio.

Saab has developed flex-fuel turbo engines that are allegedly optimized for E85.

I could see having a turbocharged car's ECU adjust the boost depending on the fuel.
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Old 10-27-2008, 12:00 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I've a '93 Plymouth Sundance Duster (V6, auto, 150k) that runs awesome on 1-3 ratio of E85 to gasoline. Idle was smooth, engine ran cooler, stomp on the gas pedal and it goes! I'm thinking of going back to the ethanol mix again (just one local e85 station, open only on weekdays).

A Dodge dealer told me it wouldn't run on ethanol without $3000 worth of modifications. LOL
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Old 10-27-2008, 12:09 AM   #20 (permalink)
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1. ethanol is harsher on rubber gas lines.

2. Ethanol is more prone to explosive issues

3. some groups are claiming e85 takes more to farm and convert in diesel then it actually produces. I find this unlikely, but can anyone offer some real evidence one way or the other?

E85 vehicles mitigate these issues with different gas lines (poly?) and fuel pumps with spark arrestors built in. In order to take full advantage of e85 based fuel the vehicles engine should have sufficient compression.

That said, i think the likliehood of a catastrophic failure is ultimately very low, and I suspect engine performance would drop off so significantly to most folks they wouldn't ever push this high of a ratio in. Most fuels in my neck of the woods have a high (15% or less) amount of ethanol in the regular petroleum anyway.

A couple additions, on the pro side. I have heard that ethanol "burns cleaner" and will leave less carbon deposit in the engine, any truth?

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