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Old 01-27-2008, 07:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Newcomer - 1995 Ford Aspire Ethanol

Hi everyone. I just thought I'd introduce myself and my Ford Aspire project car.

I purchased this car as a commuter car that saved me $5 per day in fuel (back in 2006) - you can read my blog about it here: http://chrisbergeron.com/?q=node/12

It paid for itself within the first few months. Most recently, I'm running my own E85 (legally) in it. I'm looking to improve my cost/mile ratio even further, which led me to this site. I say cost/mile because I think MPG isn't accurate when applied to Ethanol, because Ethanol is cheaper. So even though my MPG may go down by 10%, my cost for fuel goes down.

I haven't tuned the engine for better efficiency with the 103 Octane Ethanol yet, because I'm not sure what's involved.

I'm using a standard air filter and exhaust, because I don't know if increasing airflow/exhaust flow will cause me to burn more fuel. I would think that I'd want to do the exact opposite of the muscle car gas guzzler modders.

Anyone have any suggestions? I'll post pictures of my car after I have it painted (I've already done the body work, now I'm just waiting to have it sprayed).

In case anyone is interested, my other cars are a 2000 Volkswagen Jetta (http://dashpc.com) and a 2003 BMW 330Ci.

I look forward to sharing my information as well as learning from others here - so, Hello!

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Old 01-27-2008, 07:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the site. How long have you been running E85 and what kind of mileage change did you see?
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Old 01-27-2008, 08:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome

I don't have much to help you out really, but one point I want to make is that you should definitely be increasing the compression ratio of your engine for the E85, especially the higher octanes.
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Old 01-27-2008, 10:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi, welcome.

There are a couple of people around here talking about ethanol, though I must admit I don't know a lot.

I may be wrong, but my suspicion is that with the higher octane rating of the fuel, you could tune the car with more advanced ignition timing to start, and not have pinging. This would give you more torque, and permit you to loaf around in higher gears sooner & longer, which would save fuel.

Anyway, I'm sure others will chime in.
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Nice. I'm glad to be on board. I've looked at adding this:
http://www.change2e85.com/servlet/StoreFront
to help me advance the timing.

The Aspire is EFI so I'm not sure how to adjust the timing on it without using that device. I'm looking to run E98 (highest legally allowed), or as close to it as I can. I'd love to run E100, but that's impossible since it would be consumable and Uncle Sam doesn't want me running moonshine. So, I have to denature it by 2% so it's not drinkable (in order to keep my fuel producers' license).
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Old 02-01-2008, 09:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Sweet, an Aspire, I've been waiting for one of those to pop up! I'm interested to see what kind of mileage you can wring out of that thing. (though on that front the Ethanol ain't exactly helping)

Anyhow, bumping up the compression would be a good first step, though it's pretty involved for a first step. As for the rest, any of the rest of the techniques involved with getting better gas MPG should transfer quite nicely to alcohol MPG. (Especially the warm-up and aerodynamic mods)

Good luck.
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Old 02-02-2008, 08:07 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbergeron View Post
Anyone have any suggestions? I'll post pictures of my car after I have it painted (I've already done the body work, now I'm just waiting to have it sprayed).
Hi - WELCOME! I also have a 1995 Aspire. Pretty inexpensive - usually, but mine was on a used car lot so it cost a bit more. Ran well, great mileage, so I did not waste the whole day saving a few bucks!

Gets an average 38 mpg now. The only mods so far have been remove the back seat (seat frame- belts), use clear tape to be more aerodynamic without changing appearance, and removing those "gaudy" spinner hubcaps and putting flat aftermarket hubcaps on.

My Aspire is not too attractive- so I just put a black stripe around it to offset that stock blue. So far it has been very dependable but what I like the most are those cheap fill-ups lasting over a month

Great car for the mileage minded!

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Old 02-18-2008, 07:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I love the Aspire (small cars are really fun to drive) when I'm not on the highway. I bought mine for $1200 and it paid for itself just in fuel savings in no time. It would be nice if it had power steering, but that just adds weight and more complexity. I'm trying to start as simple as I can - so this car was the perfect choice. I ripped out the rear seat, the passenger seat (it's a commuter car), and I coast frequently (with the engine off). I've gotten more than 47MPG using gasoline. I think I can do better with ETOH. I don't think it's a fair comparison to compare Miles Per Gallon with Gasoline to Ethanol, because they have different densities and energy output levels.

I'm currently building a controller that will allow me to kill the engine and turn it back on when I step on the gas pedal. Since the car doesn't have power steering, I don't lose anything by running without a steering compressor. I'm also thinking about adding a fifth wheel for electrical and removing the alternator (possibly using the alternator AS the 5th wheel with a better pulley assembly). This would allow me to benefit from the inevitable effects of gravity and weight, by injecting this directly into the electrical system.

I'm still finishing the body work. After that is complete, I plan on modifying the car quite heavily. I'll try my hand at aerodynamics next, because I can clearly feel the drag on the car when I coast at more than 45 MPG.

After reading another Kia Avella post on here, I've decided to seal my front grille and make it completely smooth.
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Old 04-14-2008, 10:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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What all did you do to get the car running on eth as it is?
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
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cbergeron -

Welcome to EM! I remember seeing your Aspire huddled in the corner in your other thread.

I'm jealous. Converting from power to manual is on my ever-too-long todo list. ...


... And you get it for

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