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Old 10-19-2018, 03:20 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
I'd be willing to test it if Oregon had anything higher than E10, but color me skeptical considering the loss in MPG on my Subaru when we went from E0 to E10.
There are E85 stations in Portland, Eugene, and Bend. Not many though.

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Old 11-05-2018, 08:59 PM   #22 (permalink)
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The perfect engine for a flexfuel vehicle is direct injected and turbocharged. Variable boost on the turbo allows the engine to vary the effective compression ratio based on the blend of ethanol.
There are already some engines with such feature available on the market, at least here in Brazil.


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So why do flex-fuel vehicles suck so badly in the USA? The answer lies in CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy). Manufacturers in the USA make flex-fuel vehicle to get CAFE credits. The manufacturer gets a 1.2 mpg credit for making vehicle flex-fuel. The fine for not meeting CAFE is $5.50 for every 1/10 of a mpg you miss it by. So a flex-fuel credit is worth $66. In order for it to make sense for a manufacturer to make a flex-fuel vehicle the cost has to be less than $66.
The problem with American automakers is their mindset based on mediocrity. Even though I like some old-school American boat anchors, this caught my attention when I first realised so many features which are now becoming widespread on gassers would also be highly desirable on a flexfuel. Well, maybe the fact that ethanol is often pointed out as a regional fuel, most easily accepted by some corn farmer in Nebraska than by a New Yorker, it seems like automakers get even more inclined to resort to it as an excuse to keep delivering mediocre engines with a near-zero cost to implement a flexfuel software and eventually replacing the materials used in the fuel lines even though they won't have any major redesign.
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:39 PM   #23 (permalink)
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It comes down to economics. If the farmer in Nebraska is willing to pay enough extra for a flex fuel engine then the automakers will be happy to make one. Also, this isn’t localized to US automakers. The domestic brands make more flexfuel vehicles than the imports.
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Old 11-06-2018, 11:41 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I was under the impression that pretty much everything was flex-fuel capable because of EPA mandate.
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Old 11-06-2018, 12:25 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I was under the impression that pretty much everything was flex-fuel capable because of EPA mandate.
Every vehicle sold in the USA is capable of using E10. For model year 2018 there were only 51 flex-fuel vehicles sold in the USA (capable of using E85) and that includes brand duplicates like the Chevy Silverado / GMC Sierra and variations of FWD or AWD. For example; there are 10 variations of the Ford F-150.

FuelEconomy.gov has the details if you are curious. Use the "power search" tool.
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Old 11-07-2018, 12:39 AM   #26 (permalink)
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The domestic brands make more flexfuel vehicles than the imports.
At least there in the U.S. it might be pointed out as a loophole to the CAFE regulations and then the foreign automakers who claim to provide better gas mileage might not be so willing to try a flexfuel setup there. OTOH in my country it became a strong sales argument, to the point that an overwhelming majority of spark-ignition engines available here are flexfuel.
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:10 PM   #27 (permalink)
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FlexFuel is a "bridge technology" easing the path to a fuel that is not widely available.

It has a bigger problem in the US due to widely varying temperatures. I doubt E100 would ever fly in the US because of cold-weather starting difficulties. Low Reid vapor pressure and all that.

I've been looking at a FlexFuel setup flexing E85 and CNG. CNG requires "driveway fuel" to warm up the cooling system to keep the NG regulator from freezing.

An optimized CNG vehcle would run 13:5 compression with lots of spark advance.

E85 runs 95-102 octane, so it would be OK warm-up and purge fuel for a CNG car. 92 octane PUG is iffy, and requires a big spark retardation to serve.
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Old 11-10-2018, 04:23 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
CNG requires "driveway fuel" to warm up the cooling system to keep the NG regulator from freezing.
It uses the coolant to keep gas regulator from freezing, and requires the coolant to be warmer than about -10

Quote:
An optimized CNG vehcle would run 13:5 compression with lots of spark advance.
My up! runs 11,5:1 , compared to the regular petrol-up!'s 10.5:1

Also means FE isn't too great on petrol

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E85 runs 95-102 octane, so it would be OK warm-up and purge fuel for a CNG car.
Mine ran rough on hydrous hE15
Not going to try E85 - which it isn't rated for - unless I know it'd work.

Converting FFV to CNG was quite popular - with FFVs already having the more heat-resistant valves/seats required by CNG.
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Old 11-11-2018, 05:51 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
It has a bigger problem in the US due to widely varying temperatures. I doubt E100 would ever fly in the US because of cold-weather starting difficulties. Low Reid vapor pressure and all that.
Heating of the fuel is now widely used in Brazil for that very same reason on flexfuel cars still fitted with port injection, even though fewer places have such extreme cold temperatures here during the winter. And the ones fitted with direct injection don't require any cold start aid.


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CNG requires "driveway fuel" to warm up the cooling system to keep the NG regulator from freezing.
I never had any trouble with freezing regulators in the cars converted to CNG that I drove. Could start on CNG without any trouble. When it comes to LPG/propane, it's a whole different matter. Well, to not say I have never seen a car converted to CNG with some problem, an uncle used to own an AE100 Corolla and fitted the 7A-FE engine with a fumigation CNG setup, so the intake manifold would freeze once in a while...
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Old 11-12-2018, 12:27 PM   #30 (permalink)
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We ran CNG on the handicapped minibusses. They were a PITA below freezing because the regulator froze closed. Other than that they did ok.

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