E85 Conversion and Tuning Thread

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E85 Interesting finds and more research done

Postby S13FX » Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:12 am

So for the longest time I have been researching about running E85 in a 240. Other then a fact that it burns faster and needs higher output injectors for more hp then gasoline does, I dont see any downsides. Now I have read that people shouldnt use E85 cause it will ruin fuel lines and such but I did some more reasrch on this and found this.

"Since the 1960s, all cars have been manufactured with alcohol resistant hoses, connections, O-rings, seals, and plastics. This was necessary because of the popular use of alcohol base gas line antifreeze additives, and the use of ethanol mixes in automotive fuel."

If anyone has any more info please chime in. I know there is a thread on here about this but it has jack squat for information and a lot of it is useless. For those of you that don't know E85 is pretty cheap and its getting a lot more common at all the gas stations and burns at about 104 octane.


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Re: E85 Interesting finds and more research done (S13FX)

Postby onosqv » Tue Dec 05, 2006 1:30 pm

Why are you considering running e85? Idea of grain-alcohol etc has been around a while now. It's not as efficient as gas. I don't know where you got the 104 octane figure, but eXX is not as efficient as gas when put into use by any consumer vehicle out today - even the GM cars that were made to be e55 friendly etc clearly state significantly less mileage w/ e55 fuels.

Eventually, yes, we have to figure out a better way than just regular gasoline... however, from the research I did w/ e55 (just a different mix percentage) back in my research project in college, you have to look beyond the consumer...

Yes, e85/55/whatever % you want, will emit less greenhouse gasses & such on the consumer side; even then, it is hard to figure out the balance because it requires more eXX to produce the same amt of energy as gas... However, guess what fuel is used to process grain... you guessed it, fossil fuels; not just a little bit of fossil fuel, but A LOT. IIRC, all modern grain processing uses fossil fuels.

The problem with most alternative fuels now is that they are processed using fossil fuels; many of which require more fossil fuel to produce relative to power output, than if we just ran fossil fuels ourselves.

That's just one "small" problem with it.

Basically:eXX - cheaper? no. more efficient vs gas? no. eliminates need for fossil fuels? no (at least not in its current state).

Other minor details for practicality on a consumer level:

Some e85 presentation from: http://www.nmma.org/

basic negatives:Negative technical dimensions * Driving ability of ethanol is lower.- Lower per litre energy value (EV);- Takes more to drive the same distance;- Consumers have to fill their cars more often;- And they have to pay more for ethanol fuel.

Negative technical dimensions (cont.) * Ethanol can absorb water & if water enters the fuel tank * It dilutes ethanol, reducing its value as a fuel; * It causes problems with corrosion and phase separation in the gasoline mixture. * Ethanol dissolves almost everything. * It absorbs and carries dirt inside the fuel lines and fuel tank, thus contaminanting the car engine system. * Ethanol is rich in octane content. * It is highly flammable and explosive compared to gasoline. * It requires more attention to handle in daily life.

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Re: E85 Interesting finds and more research done (brokeAs240sx)

Postby crzycav86 » Wed Dec 06, 2006 6:41 am

I think ever since OBDI came out, all vehicles were required to be compatible with E10(which is what most gas around US is). E85 is still much more corrosive, and it will require more modification.

I also wrote a paper this summer on how much ethanol fuel sucks. I brought up the points in the previous post. However, I was writing it from a consumer perspective.

Performance-wise, E85 might have more potential. Particle per particle, Gasoline does have higher BTU's(heat energy) versus ethanol. (117,000 vs 76,000 per gallon). However, the stoichometric ratio of ethanol is 9:1 versus gasoline's 14.7:1. This is bad for fuel economy, but good for performance because you can use more ethanol per cycle to make up for its fewer BTU's.

If ethanol and gasoline particle densities were the same, you would be able to use stoich and energy ratios to directly compare the amount of energy per engine cycle. I don't want to look that stuff up, but for arguments sake, lets say they are the same.

So you would have...

76,000/9 = 8444 117000/14.7 = 7959

I'm not sure what the units on those two bad boys are, but I know that it's an effective comparison between the energy released per engine cycle. As you can see, this comparison shows that ethanol actually has a slight performance advantage. Considering the fact that I assumed they had the same density, this number is probably wrong, but it's probably pretty close.

So since the BTU argument isn't a big deal anymore, lets look into the fact that E85 does in fact have a higher octane rating. A quick google search shows results ranging from 100-110, which is significantly higher than gasoline. This means you can run more timing more boost, and make more power.

Switching to E85 might be difficult, but you will probably like the new performance potential.

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Re: E85 Interesting finds and more research done (S13FX)

Postby nelson8708 » Wed Dec 06, 2006 6:41 am

When running E85 you need 15% more fuel at idle and cruising conditions and you need 35% more at high load and WOT conditions. How ever E85 is 104 octane. My friend has a ford ranger with 35" tires on it. Running on gas he could not power brake it and do a burn out. Since his car is a flex fuel vehicle he switched to E85 and now he can power brake it. You could defintally feel a difference in power.

Yes it takes more fuel to get that power and your mpg will decrease a little but he is paying 1.70 a gallon. So in the end he is still saving a little money when comparing to running gas at 2.40 a gallon.

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Re: E85 Interesting finds and more research done (nelson8708)

Postby S13FX » Wed Dec 06, 2006 6:51 am

Awesome those are the type of responses I have been looking for. And yes I have put a lot of thought into this. Considering that some of my reaserch showed that pretty much every degree of timing equals to about 5hp or so. Now Don't hold me to that cause I don't know exacly how that works and iv only seen it at a couple of places, but it does make sense to me. In anycase I guess Il just make a Water/Alchy kit or something and run with that. But for the future that sounds like a great idea, and running bigger injectors in exchange for performance im all about it.

Something to keep in mind for a next engine rebuild.

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Re: E85 Interesting finds and more research done (S13FX)

Postby WDRacing » Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:47 am

E85 rocks...its the future of the industry man, hell, you can make it yourself. Granted, it doesn't put out as much bang as pump gas...but hello, neither does methonal, but when you add enough of it...the bang is huge. Thats not including its higher octane...saying E85 is bad is simply someone afraid of chage.

Personally, I'm into propane and alky, but thats just me.

WD

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Re: E85 Interesting finds and more research done (WDRacing)

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Thu Dec 07, 2006 6:50 am

I don't exactly understand why people say it takes more energy to produce the ethanol than the ammount of energy that the ethanol yields. (takes more fossil fuel to make it). How is that even possible... and if it were correct, then why the hell is ethanol so damn cheap?p.s. this isnt a jab at anyone here, I've heard this other places too... I really want to know

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Re: E85 Interesting finds and more research done (PapaSmurf2k3)

Postby S13FX » Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:20 am

It's cheap because you can grow the damn thing in your back yard lol. And it's not thats it's bad I think it's cause people are scared of change and are afraid of what they don't understand. I don't even bother asking anymore Im building a few applications my self here and test them out and then just post results...

Also Im the type of person when I see something new I right away try to think of a DIY way to make it work for me where as other just preffere to use what's already there which isnt a bad thing too.

If I didnt get so damned baked all the time a lot of the **** I created and build some of it is not even car realted, I bet I would be able to sell it for a good profit but oh well..

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Re: E85 Interesting finds and more research done (PapaSmurf2k3)

Postby onosqv » Thu Dec 07, 2006 8:53 am

PapaSmurf2k3 wrote:I don't exactly understand why people say it takes more energy to produce the ethanol than the ammount of energy that the ethanol yields. (takes more fossil fuel to make it). How is that even possible... and if it were correct, then why the hell is ethanol so damn cheap?p.s. this isnt a jab at anyone here, I've heard this other places too... I really want to know
Well, here's one overview... not the most scientific source, persay, but take it as you will:

Ethanol Fuel Energy Balance - Wikipedia

Has references at the bottom that can lead you to more papers/articles if you are interested enough. There is plenty of information out there (online & otherwise), you just have to seek it out.

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Re: E85 Interesting finds and more research done (brokeAs240sx)

Postby S13FX » Thu Dec 07, 2006 9:03 am

brokeAs240sx wrote:There is plenty of information out there (online & otherwise), you just have to seek it out.
You my friend are 100% correct, I just wanted to see if anyone attempted something like this here cause regardless sooner or later I will. And if anyone has, I wanted to see what problems they ran into to. Either way I'm going to start out simple and maybe in the next year or so Il have something more to work with .

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Re: E85 Interesting finds and more research done (S13FX)

Postby FRSport » Thu Dec 07, 2006 9:15 am

S13FX wrote:You my friend are 100% correct, I just wanted to see if anyone attempted something like this here cause regardless sooner or later I will. And if anyone has, I wanted to see what problems they ran into to. Either way I'm going to start out simple and maybe in the next year or so Il have something more to work with .
Seriously doubt most of us have done anything productive w/ e85, etc. Closest we have done so far is alcohol injection . Look how long it took us to turbo our KA's, hee hee.

If you want a better lead tho, check out the VW forums. I have a buddy w/ a VW and he's always mentioning the VW guys are trying to run all sorts of **** & building their own Bio-Diesel, etc equipment.

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Re: E85 Interesting finds and more research done (FRSport)

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Thu Dec 07, 2006 10:45 am

FRSport wrote:
Seriously doubt most of us have done anything productive w/ e85, etc. Closest we have done so far is alcohol injection . Look how long it took us to turbo our KA's, hee hee.

If you want a better lead tho, check out the VW forums. I have a buddy w/ a VW and he's always mentioning the VW guys are trying to run all sorts of **** & building their own Bio-Diesel, etc equipment.
yeah man Im in Germany right now and they have so much crazy stuff going on here. I was watching the deutsch version of pimp my ride or something, except it had nothing to do with MTV or the actual pimp my ride, but they took an old chevy blazer (Uber rare here) and "gepimped" it. They installed this huge *** tank thing that holds something that they call "autogas" and its this type of air that boost fuel economy when tied into the intake system. It might have been natural gas or something... not gonna lie there was a little lost in the translation, but it was Way cheaper than petroleum or deisel.

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Postby S13FX » Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:09 am

Maybe it was a propane injection kit UH OH WD hehe

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Re: E85 Interesting finds and more research done

Postby gtrpryde » Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:12 am

Vishnu made an E85 Evo, which made 30hp more than their regular Evo. IIRC they only needed bigger injectors and a fuel pump(with a tune of course). Supposedly it has racegas potential at a pump gas price. I'd like it in my Evo and will definetly try it when it comes around. 1000cc injectors, walbro, tune, MORE POWER!

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Re: E85 Interesting finds and more research done (gtrpryde)

Postby GTR PrYdE » Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:30 am

*posted on wrong name lol.

Vishnu made an E85 Evo, which made 30hp more than their regular Evo. IIRC they only needed bigger injectors and a fuel pump(with a tune of course). Supposedly it has racegas potential at a pump gas price. I'd like it in my Evo and will definetly try it when it comes around. 1000cc injectors, walbro, tune, MORE POWER!

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Postby Chezedik » Sat Dec 09, 2006 8:49 pm

Also, let's not forget it's relatively low vapor pressure, which means that the fuel has to be heated at temps below 60', otherwise you can have Vapor Lock, and the car will not start in temps below 60'.

BTW, I was impressed by Broke ***' point, it was spot on. I did a lot of fuels studies for a course of mine. Also, I did a write up in the articles section on the matter, it can help explain Vapor Pressure for you. It's how I got the custom title.

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Re: (Chezedik)

Postby Swedish Mike » Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:02 am

We tuned a Volvo 850T a while ago, 450 hp on regular gas and 550 hp on race fuel.The customer returned after a while and asked if he could run E85?We swapped injectors and fump and tuned it again, we reached 540 hp on E85 without detonations.He can now run "race hp" to work every day and the engine runs cooler!The engine need more fuel now but E85 cost half as much as gas here, still cheaper in total and no need for expensive race fuel.

E85 is great and we save some tree´s too.

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Postby S13FX » Sun Dec 10, 2006 11:26 am

Well first Im going to go with a little alchy kit then when I decide to rebuild another engine Im going to see about converting all my hoses and such so it can handle E85 with no problem, and see what I need to do to my internals.

But like I said E85 is the future performance fuel you heard it here first .

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Re: (S13FX)

Postby Swedish Mike » Sun Dec 10, 2006 11:33 am

S13FX wrote:Well first Im going to go with a little alchy kit then when I decide to rebuild another engine Im going to see about converting all my hoses and such so it can handle E85 with no problem, and see what I need to do to my internals.

But like I said E85 is the future performance fuel you heard it here first .
Old news, both rally cars and 1000 hp drag cars run E85 over here. Cheapest race fuel ever!

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Postby S13FX » Sun Dec 10, 2006 2:00 pm

oh yah definetly I knew about that. For some reason here in America this whole thing about E85 and propane run cars seem like something revolutionary. I know in Poland where I used to live people convert thier cars to propane all the time cause it's cheap. heh

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Postby Chezedik » Sun Dec 10, 2006 3:54 pm

Still, when you consider it's energy content it isn't that cheap. Propane (LPG) is on par with E85. They are both high octane (mid 100's), but either only contains about 80K BTU's per gallon.

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Postby WDRacing » Sun Dec 10, 2006 6:53 pm

Carcraft just did a blown SB on E85 article...E85 is the **** for a boosted motor. They were running a roots blower with 10.5:1 compression pistons...hello!!!!!

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Re: (WDRacing)

Postby KATwo40 » Sun Dec 10, 2006 7:01 pm

WDRacing wrote:Carcraft just did a blown SB on E85 article...E85 is the **** for a boosted motor. They were running a roots blower with 10.5:1 compression pistons...hello!!!!!
Just for the record, that's not too uncommon. Roots blowers don't have the cylinder pressures you find with centrifugal chargers and turbos. The compression happens internally, so the high CR isn't such an issue. Lots of Hondas have been running 10:1 CR and roots blowers (Jackson Racing) for many years.

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Re: (KATwo40)

Postby WDRacing » Sun Dec 10, 2006 7:03 pm

I have always hated you...

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Re: (WDRacing)

Postby KATwo40 » Sun Dec 10, 2006 7:32 pm

WDRacing wrote:I have always hated you...
I hear your words, but I know what you really mean.

I guess I should add my $.02 on the actual thread subject matter.

E85...very interesting points of view in this thread.

On the one hand, I totally understand the issue of economy. You'll have to stop about twice as often for refueling on a road trip. Also, as far as cost, I think it's about a wash. If you stop twice as often, but it's half the cost of gasoline, guess what...same overall cost.

Additionally, the cost of setup is a major concern. Everyone seems to forget a small detail here. Sure, you'll need some fuel plumbing and supply components, but what about tuning? You're going to not only need a new tune for the E85, but also a way to toggle between E85 and pump gas maps.

What if you're driving across the state and they don't have E85 where you're going? Now you have mixed fuel. Which map will you use, depending on your new mixture?

On the other hand, from a performance standpoint, I'm totally for it. If E85 was super common across the country (only 2-3 stations in TN that sell it!), I'd convert right now. Sure, the initial setup might be a pain and I'd have to refuel more often, but there's that street legal, daily driven 104 octane. Mmmmmm. I love it.

But, as it stands, E85 is not readily available to all, so I'm out. However, do not interpret that as claiming it's no good or illogical to ever consider. I'm all for alternative fueling. We'd better get on the ball and do something soon, or we'll all be walking from fuel shortage, racing freewheeling gocarts down hill, screaming at each other, "I'm tha drivah!"

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Postby WDRacing » Sun Dec 10, 2006 8:26 pm

Thats why you save two fuel maps, which is so easy even you could do it brah. E85 means you simply add 20% more fuel but its 104 friggin octane....atleast. Can you say 15 lbs of boost with no timing retard at all.

Wanna drive across the country, well even the safc has two maps you can use.

E85 means lots of boost and no need to retard timing, or A TON of boost and some retard once you surpass say 15 lbs of boost. Just thinking about this makes me horny.

WD

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Re: (WDRacing)

Postby nelson8708 » Mon Dec 11, 2006 3:44 am

WDRacing wrote:E85 means lots of boost and no need to retard timing, or A TON of boost and some retard once you surpass say 15 lbs of boost. Just thinking about this makes me horny.

WD

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Postby S13FX » Mon Dec 11, 2006 5:11 am

Another upside to look at E85 is a lot of states here in the US exempt E85 vechicles from Emission testing. Something to think about for the Californians and ****.

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Re: (S13FX)

Postby WDRacing » Mon Dec 11, 2006 7:13 am

CA residents shouldn't be able to drive anything buy Hybrids...LOL.

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Re: (WDRacing)

Postby crzycav86 » Mon Dec 11, 2006 7:22 am

WDRacing wrote:Wanna drive across the country, well even the safc has two maps you can use.
lol. I'd like to see someone try to get their 240sx running right on E85 with just an safc.


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