E85 Conversion and Tuning Thread

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Re: (WDRacing)

Postby nelson8708 » Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:54 am

WDRacing wrote:When tuning with alcohol or an alcohol mix you can use Lambda instead of AFR's. That is if you're wideband reads lambda. Lambda is the same with all fuels..well almost all. What I mean is 0.8 Lambda is about 12.8:1 AFR when measuring pump gas. But 0.8 Lambda is also slightly richer then stoich for Methanol. Yet when reading the AFR for methanol at that Lambda you'll see 5.7:1.

Laymen terms, Lambda stays constant even when the AFR changes.

Here are the 3 most common ones, bare in mind this is tuning for power.

AFR at the motor / LambdaGas = 12.8 / Lambda = 0.87E85 = 7.9 / Lambda = 0.80Meth = 5.7 / Lambda = 0.88
cool. I plan on switching to e85 when gas prices rise this spring(3.50+). Right now it is not worth it for me to switch. Regular is 2.99 and e85 is 2.84. I am going to convert my 93 civic (stock daily) to run e85 before i do it to the ka-t. I check a few forums last night and the stock honda fuel system can run e85. Plus chrome is so easy to tune. I am just going to start in the first column and add 15% more fuel and then every column after that i add 2% more (15, 17, 19 ect). It ends up making the last column 33% more fuel over gas. Then i am going to add 3 degrees timing to the lower half of the map. However i heard it is a good idea to have a extra fuel filter with you because all the dirt in your fuel system will clog it up real quick.

Thanks for the info

p.s.my wideband (tech edge) can display lambda so i am going to start tuning with it. I am just so used to afr's.


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Postby float_6969 » Thu Jan 31, 2008 7:27 pm

I have to run premium and it's $3.10 for gasoline, and only $2.50 for E85 here. I'm getting poor gasmileage (15 miles/gallon) but I haven't tuned the cruising map yet, and just added 30% more fuel everywhere.

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Re: (nelson8708)

Postby eazye2000 » Thu Jan 31, 2008 7:29 pm

All this E85 stuff is confusing to a simple minded person like myself.

So explain to me. The AFR's display different than the Lambda? And all you have to do is swap your Wide Band to display Lambda, and you're all set?So what is the 'cruise' and 'WOT' Lambda settings? Sort of like 14.8 AFR, and 11.8 AFR respectively..

I fail. You can say it...

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Postby float_6969 » Thu Jan 31, 2008 7:54 pm

Lambda is universal for ALL fuels. What that means that a Lambda reading of 1 is stoichiometric for any fuel, or combination of fuels.

The stoichiometric AFR is different for every fuel. For Gasoline it's 14.7:1, Propane is 15:1, Compressed Natural Gas is 17:1, Ethanol (not E85) is 9:1, etc.

Most widebands read the AFR so if you switch fuels, they aren't really giving you the correct reading anymore. The innovate (and maybe others) allows you to tell it what fuel your using and it will output the correct reading.

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Re: (float_6969)

Postby eazye2000 » Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:59 pm

Gotcha. That makes more sense. So it's kind of like degrees Fahrenheit, and Centigrade?

Where as 0 Centigrade is Freezing, and 32 FahrenheitLambda is 1 for stoichiometric, and 14.7 for AFR stoichiometric? <--GasLambda is 1 for stoichiometric, and 9 for AFR for Corn Gas(E85)?

Lambda just goes 1 down the line, for stoichiometric mixture, no matter what fuel...?

Sorry guys, I really abuse this stuff. I need to hit google.. lol But what sucks if I don't know what I'm looking for, I can't really find it...?

...I'm going to bed.

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Re: (eazye2000)

Postby WDRacing » Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:09 am

Let me try to explain this how I learned it from the GN guys when I started using alcohol as a sub injection. Most people use alcohol or methanol to suppress knock/detonation when they have maxed out the amount of boost they can run on pump gas. As you know, you need to retard timing when running boost. Well there's only so much you can retard timing before adding more boost has little to no actual gains. Not to mention the side effects of retarding timing to much, incomplete fuel burn and really high egt's.

When I first started using alcohol injection, I only had a knock alert from MSD. I'd crank the boost till I registered a slight knock, then I would add alcohol 2 psi earlier then that point. Obviously the problem here is that you have no idea how much alcohol, you're injecting and you need more then one stage to avoid bogging the motor in order to run ALOT of boost. I was running enough boost that my injectors maxed out and I was using the alcohol as a fuel source. Because it was just easier to keep the stock injectors/ecu tune and add a bunch of alcohol.

This is where I ran into problems. To much alcohol will not only bog the motor, but it will unspool the turbo because it burns so much colder. Atleast when it's injected using the method I was at the time.

I ended up buying the Innovate LM1 wide band O2 meter and swear by it to this day. The only thing I knew at this point from reading through the Buick forums was that alcohol has a lower stoich point then pump gas. Since I was using alcohol as a fuel source on high boost, when the alcohol injection turned on, I made sure my afr's were in the 10:1 range since I was still using pump gas as well the alcohol.

Then I read about tuning for Lambda. Since Lambda is a constant I could tune for .8 lambda under WOT no matter what combination of fuel I was running. I'm pretty sure this is how the flex fuel vehicles work also.

All my friends over on Okinawa couldn't believe how much power I was putting down with a stock RB20 using alcohol. It was pretty new at that point, at least on Skylines.

Does that make sense to anyone besides me...lol?

Here's another graph I found.




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Postby float_6969 » Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:11 am

EXACTLY! I've got an LC-1 and I love it. With the innovate, I can either do lambda or AFR. I'm using a cheap Autometer narrow band gauge with no digital display, but since the output from the Innovate is so good, I can literally use it as a Lambda sensor. It doesn't matter what combination of fuel I'm using, If I'm in the middle of the orange bars, I'm at 1 (Lambda) if I'm at the first green bar, I'm at about .9 Lambda, and etc.

I think the LC-1/cheap narrowband gauge is a good combo. Until I can find a dedicated, standalone lambda gauge that I can run the output from the LC-1 into, I'll keep using it.

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Postby inuyasha3466 » Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:57 am

Im planning on converting to E85 and just finished reading all the posts on this thread.

Ive got a 1992 240sx with a High Compression KA24DE. 11:1 compression forged aluminum pistons.

I plan on using 370cc injectors, and a walboro fuel pump. Also gonna use an additive that is supposed to keep the E85 from eating up things and also makes your car smell like fruit/candy. My buddy uses the additive on his E85 turbo civic hatch that makes well over 600hp.

This sound like its gonna work? Am i gonna have to go out and get a wideband o2/lambda sensor too?

I am not going to boost it.

Thanks!

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Postby float_6969 » Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:03 am

A wideband is certainly a handy tool to have and an important piece of information to have available inside the car at any given moment.

If you're doing the tuning yourself, you'll NEED it.

How are you planning on compensating for the additional fuel requirements?

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Re: (float_6969)

Postby inuyasha3466 » Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:50 am

I figure the high compression pistons have called upon more than the normal duty cycle on my stock injectors. The #1 injector went out 2 days ago and since then i was thinking about stepping up to 370 injectors to keep the injectors within their duty cycle.

I also asked Quincy from Q-Garage about tuning my ecu. He mention of someone who is running a totally stock 240 with 370 injectors, a walboro pump, and E85 and making more power out of it with stock ECU no tune. Now with my high comp. pistons and cams i should be able to benefit from this also...

Now im worried about the o2 sensor freaking out the ECU since it would be running on E85.


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Postby float_6969 » Thu Feb 21, 2008 5:12 pm

Higher compression doesn't demand more fuel unless you're over fueling to compensate for fuel that has too low of an octane rating.

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Re: (float_6969)

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Thu Feb 21, 2008 5:21 pm

right, which is why cars that are supposed to run on premium get worse mileage on regular gas.

He will probably need bigger injectors if he is going to run E85 though.

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Re: (PapaSmurf2k3)

Postby GTR PrYdE » Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:09 pm

NA ka with bolt on's, high compression should be fine with E85 and 370's. E85 needs 30% more, so for a stock setup, only about 350ccs are needed. absolutely no FI though with 370s

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Re: (GTR PrYdE)

Postby inuyasha3466 » Fri Feb 22, 2008 4:43 am

Thats how it was explained to me. Plus ive heard of an additive you can add to E85 that makes it non corrosive and makes the exhaust smell great. Grape, orange, and cherry to name a few. Ive personally smelled the grape one on a friends car, smells like grape jolly ranchers...

My whole perpose of running E85 is to get more power out of it by changing the timing and and eventually pull some more power by getting the ECU tuned.

Does anyone thing im going to run into a major problem running the same o2 sensor i ran with gasoline? I still dont quite get that part...

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Re: (inuyasha3466)

Postby GTR PrYdE » Fri Feb 22, 2008 4:57 am

E85 isn't very corrosive at all. It cleans build up and that's about it. It's nothing like Methanol in that aspect. So you shoulnd't need any additive or anything like that, just replace your fuel filter after a tank or too of gas.

It won't affect your stock o2 sensor either, but for a wideband you need one that can read down to 7-8:1 AFR. Innovate widebands can do this, to name one.

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Re: (GTR PrYdE)

Postby WDRacing » Fri Feb 22, 2008 6:48 am

Just so we can re-establish this. Using E85 has no benefit without added compression or boost. Just bumping up your timing is not enough to justify the 30% increase in fuel usage. E85 should be used by people looking to run high compression and boost or simply a lot of boost.

The alcohol can damage your stock fuel pump because it lacks the lubricant that regular pump gas has, or at least the amount of the lubricant. Yes there are people that have run and are running E85 with basically no changes to their stock stuff, other then increasing fuel. But it "can" cause problems.

I just don't want everyone skipping to the end of this thread and thinking there are no hazards at all.

WD

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Re: (WDRacing)

Postby inuyasha3466 » Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:06 am

Thanks WD, i was waiting on you to chime in on this also.

Im running 11:1 compression ratio according to JE Pistons. Thats my excuse for the possible "need" for E85.

I know this is a KAT thread and im sorry for NA'ing is all up lol. Im trying to get as much as possible out of this KA to prove what it is capable of NA. So far ive spend more that a SR swap on this but not by much. I built the whole thing myself with some help from others and people like you all that answer my questions on the forum. Id like to say thanks in advance for helping me out with this!

Its true i may not need the additive but with the forged aluminum pistons im running, i dont want to take the chance.

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Re: (inuyasha3466)

Postby WDRacing » Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:32 am

I would have talked you out of going NA on a DOHC motor if you had posted in here first

Lots of timing and 11:1 should be fun...but you'll never hit 200whp.

WD

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Re: (WDRacing)

Postby GTR PrYdE » Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:35 am

WDRacing wrote:The alcohol can damage your stock fuel pump because it lacks the lubricant that regular pump gas has, or at least the amount of the lubricant. WD
I agree, which is why a walbro should be required for E85 and or boost.

AMS did a test on letting various fuel parts from an evo plus a walbro in jars of E85 for months. No corrosion was found at all. The only useful bit of that was that it's proven that walbro's can take it

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Re: (GTR PrYdE)

Postby WDRacing » Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:53 am

Yeah, most aftermarket pumps will hold up fine. But as I said, it's more of a lubricant thing...so the pumps would need to be running, not soaking.

WD

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Postby stylin99 » Fri Feb 29, 2008 6:09 pm

I commend your efforts to run E85. I've been running it in my '99 Mustang GT for over a year and its helped me get to 470hp at the wheels without blowing it up. I started a website to showcase the car (www.e85mustangs.com), and I know it's not related to this site, but it helps me promote the fuel and show off the unique benefits of ethanol. I'm actually rebuilding that Mustang engine now specifically for E85 to see what it can do. Good luck on the 240.

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Re: (stylin99)

Postby WDRacing » Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:48 am

Since it's not a competing website, it's all good man. Anything or anyone that's about expanding the HP world is ok in my book

WD

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Re: (WDRacing)

Postby crzycav86 » Sun Mar 02, 2008 3:31 pm

WDRacing wrote:Just so we can re-establish this. Using E85 has no benefit without added compression or boost. Just bumping up your timing is not enough to justify the 30% increase in fuel usage. E85 should be used by people looking to run high compression and boost or simply a lot of boost.

WD
it's true that the high octane of e85 won't inherently make more power on a non-knock limited engine. however, stoich combustion of e85 releases more heat than combustion of regular gasoline. the extra heat increases the pressure, resulting in more power.

you can look up the heating values for e85 and gasoline, and divide them by their respective stoich ratios to verify this.


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Re: (crzycav86)

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Sun Mar 02, 2008 3:36 pm

I was under the assumption that, for whatever reason, E85 burned cooler in the ICE.

EGT data says so.

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Re: (PapaSmurf2k3)

Postby driftin_sr20det » Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:04 am

I'm with you papa, I'm not sure where crzycav86 got his info.

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Re: (crzycav86)

Postby WDRacing » Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:20 am

crzycav86 wrote:
it's true that the high octane of e85 won't inherently make more power on a non-knock limited engine. however, stoich combustion of e85 releases more heat than combustion of regular gasoline. the extra heat increases the pressure, resulting in more power.

you can look up the heating values for e85 and gasoline, and divide them by their respective stoich ratios to verify this.
My statement stands uncorrected. E85 has NO benefit on a NA motor or one without increased compression and or timing. BTU's aside...

WD

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Re: (WDRacing)

Postby crzycav86 » Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:21 am

what do you mean btu's aside?

i'm gonna try to look something up...
Modified by crzycav86 at 10:22 AM 3/4/2008

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Re: (crzycav86)

Postby WDRacing » Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:30 am

BTU's are how we measure the heat and power generated by something when it is ignited. By BTU's aside I mean, not taking into account the BTU's. E85 will not have any REAL world benefit unless you are using high compression or boost.

WD

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Re: (WDRacing)

Postby WDRacing » Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:48 am

This should help explain what I mean when burning an alcohol as a fuel source, especially Ethanol. The below is quoted directly from Mother’s Alcohol Fuel Seminar.

"Actually, when referring to alcohol fuels, the word "octane" does not apply, since octane (in its pure form) is merely the hydrocarbon in gasoline which is assigned the numerical value of 100 for fuel-rating purposes. The octane number given automotive fuels is really an indication of the ability of the fuel to resist premature detonation within the combustion chamber. (Premature detonation, or engine knock, comes about when the fuel/air mixture ignites spontaneously toward the end of the compression stroke because of intense heat and pressure within the combustion chamber. Since the spark plug is supposed to ignite the mixture at a slightly later point in the engine cycle, pre-ignition is undesirable, and can actually damage or even ruin an engine.)

Because a high compression ratio in an engine results in more power per stroke, greater efficiency, and better economy, it's easy to see why a fuel that resists pre-ignition even under high compression conditions is especially desirable ... and alcohol is, on the average, about 16 points higher on the research octane scale than premium gasoline.

HEAT VALUE

The heating value of a fuel is a measure of how much energy we can get from it on a per-unit basis, be it pounds or gallons. When comparing alcohol to gasoline using this "measuring stick", it's obvious that ethanol contains only about 63% of the energy that gasoline does ... mainly because of the presence of oxygen in the alcohol's structure. But since alcohol undergoes different changes as it's vaporized and compressed in an engine, the outright heating value of the ethanol isn't as important when it's used as a motor fuel.

The fact that there's oxygen in the alcohol's structure also means that this fuel will naturally be "leaner" in comparison to gasoline fuel without making any changes to the jets in the carburetor. This is one reason why we must enrich the air/fuel mixture (add more fuel) when burning alcohol by increasing the size of the jets, which we'll discuss further in another section.

VOLATILITY

The volatility of a fuel refers to its ability to be vaporized. This is an important factor, because if vaporization doesn't occur readily, the fuel can't be evenly mixed with air and is of little value in an engine. Some substances that are highly volatile can't easily be used as a motor fuel ... and others, which have excellent heating value, aren't volatile enough to be used in an engine (such as tars and waxes).

Another point to keep in mind is that a very volatile fuel is potentially dangerous, because of the chance of explosion from heat or sparks. This is one reason why alcohol, with a higher flash point than gasoline, is a much safer automotive fuel ... especially considering that the average car's storage tank is really quite vulnerable.

LATENT HEAT OF VAPORIZATION

Latent heat of vaporization is the phenomenon that results in an alcohol-powered engine's running cooler than its gasoline-fueled counterpart. When a substance is about to undergo a change in form (from a liquid to a vapor, in this case), it must absorb a certain amount of additional heat from its surroundings in order for the change to take place. Since alcohol must absorb roughly 2-1/2 times the amount of heat that gasoline does, and the heat naturally is taken from the engine block, the engine should operate at a much lower temperature ... in theory, that is.

What happens in reality is that the alcohol/air mixture doesn't have time to absorb all the heat it could during its short trip through the engine manifold. So instead of running 2-1/2 times cooler on alcohol than it does on gasoline (which, by the way, would not be desirable ... since an engine must retain a certain amount of heat to run efficiently), the engine operates at temperatures only slightly cooler - about 20-40 deg F lower, depending on the specific engine when using alcohol fuel."

WD

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Re: (WDRacing)

Postby crzycav86 » Tue Mar 04, 2008 6:33 am

I see what you mean. I guess it's due to the energy absorbed for vaporization. I knew it was greater, but I didn't think it was significant. I'm going to think about this some more.

For now, I will modify what I said above: e85 combustion does produce more energy at a stoich air-fuel ratio compared to gasoline, but because it starts at a significantly cooler temperature, e85 combustion does not results in higher temperatures required to produce more torque.

I am going to run some numbers to convince myself though. Good call.


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