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Converting to E85?

Discussion in 'The Distillery' started by REX-RACER, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. droptopsnake01

    droptopsnake01 N/A FTW! Established Member

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    If you could read you would see I actually answered the question in my first responce ;-)
     
  2. REX-RACER

    REX-RACER Testing w/ the live data! Established Member

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    Yes, you did. You said this:
    I'm not sure what other ASSumption could have been made from that? Perhaps you'd like to enlighten me since I'm obviously such a loser and can't even accurately recall what I posted or what I say to people?????????

    It's a good question Hamilton, the two biggest arguments against this conversion seem to be:

    1). Possible damage to the fuel delivery system, but a lot of what I'm reading seems to indicate that post 1998 automobiles systems are sufficiently hardened. I'd admit I'd like to see more definitive data on that, but so far I've run across a number of personal testimonies of people who are doing this w/ no ill side effects and no stories at all of people having problems. Like I said though, I'm open to hearing both sides, no decisions have been made.

    2). The difference/loss in fuel economy vs. the use of conventional gasoline. It seems to be on average about 20% which is still significant. This is would be a valid argument w/ more impact for me if I was considering this for my daily driver. However this is going to be for my weekend driven, garage queen, open track, auto-x, have fun in the sun car. That's not the sort of thing you do w/ a car if you're worried about fuel economy. Also keep in mind that I already have to use Premium 93 octane in this car becuase of my current XCal2 tune. The price differential then becomes a sloid .50c/gal.

    Additionally, a lot of what's going on w/ the fuel economy seems to be what's going on w/ the tune. Apparently an experienced tuner can do better if they calibrate specifically for E85. The folks at HiTech Motorsport have this to say about it:

    Soure link: http://hitechmotorsport.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=29&Itemid=96

    The other thing to keep in mind is that if you get set up for E85 and you have the ability to switch tunes w/ a hand held flash tuner ( XCal2 ) or flip chip, there's absolutely nothing to prevent from going back to running on conventional 93 at any time. Just the push of a few buttons and you're ready to fill up anywhere you could before.
     
  3. whizdumb81

    whizdumb81 RealEyesRealizeRealLies Established Member

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    By the way guys... oil will never run out... it will become too expensive to drill for. meaning that alternative fuels will be necessary... I think the idea of e85 (if properly implemented) could do wonders for prolonging the supply of oil around the world and possibly reducing our dependancy on foreign countries for oil. But the nessecity will still be there..

    Now please can we discuss the topic at hand... because all the mudslinging is childish and since this topic will inevitably be the future of fuel (not just for our cobras, but for many cars) I think the answers that we as intelligent car enthusiats come up with will benefit us all in the long run...
     
  4. droptopsnake01

    droptopsnake01 N/A FTW! Established Member

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    so who's converting!
     
  5. REX-RACER

    REX-RACER Testing w/ the live data! Established Member

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    I'm considering it . . . but I'm doing the homework first.

    I just thought I'd share!
     
  6. droptopsnake01

    droptopsnake01 N/A FTW! Established Member

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    Good luck, I just dont see the benefits over race gas.
     
  7. REX-RACER

    REX-RACER Testing w/ the live data! Established Member

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    More reasearch!

    Did some more e-research last night. The objective for the night was to find real world stories of people who had switched or at least experimented w/E85 and what kind or results or problems they encountered. Here are some of the results and links:

    Turbomustangs.com - 1995 Mustang GT street car, 331 cubic inch, custom twin turbo
    This car pushed out over 1000 hp once tuned on E85! Unfortunately they didn't do a comparison run against conventional gasoline, but it's doubtful they would have gotten that number on the 91 octane the car had been running on. There is a pretty cool dyno vid you can d/l at the bottom of the first post along w/ links to the graphs. This car was set up and tested back in 2005 and while it obviously has a super serious fuel system, that apparently was not the original intent, they just decided to see what they could get on pump obtainable E85. Two years later the car is still motoring w/ no ill effects to the fuel system.

    Corral.net - 95trippleblackconv
    This guy decided to start running his supercharged 95 GT on E85 and he provides a ton of tunning info and data that he did w/ his Tweecer and wide band O2 sensor. Lots of info on afr, lambda readings, fuel pump & injector duty cycles, etc. He starts by blending the stuff w/ conventional gas at various percentages and ends up going to straight E85. He does not mention any unusual fuel system upgrades other than what he had in place to support the blower previously. He reports no fuel system issues since he began in May 2006.

    This TT Dodge Viper produced 1100 hp and went 189 mph in a standing mile to set a world record - http://www.e85viper.com/

    Here is a utube video of the same car start & run on the street! It sounds pretty weird frankly but I hear V10s are just like that . . . you can't argue w/ the performance though and this guy never has to bother w/ $10/gal race fuel! His fuel system is reworked but for an 1100 hp TT car that's hardly unusual.



    There are some haters though and for what ever reasons this subject seems to really piss some people off! I found thes bashing threads too:
    http://www.modularfords.com/forums/2005-mustang/e85-49075.html?highlight=e85+conversion
    http://www.corral.net/forums/showthread.php?t=872277&highlight=e85+conversion

    The odd thing about the folks who keep screaming about not doing this don't seem to have much evidence that it's going to be a big problem. They just keep saying stuff like:

    "I think it'll screw up you fuel system so you'd better no try it!"

    or

    "I hear it will screw up your engine, gaskets, injectors, etc. so don't bother!"

    and of course,

    "You have to use more of it than gasoline becuase of it's energy yield properties so it isn't worth it at all!"

    But oddly enough they never seem to have any real world data to support these claims. I'm not saying there aren't some horror stories out there somewhere, but I haven't run across them yet . . .

    Conclusions thus far . . .
    The one actual problem that I have heard from people that could result from going to E85 suddenly is the fact that the alcohol will suddenly super clean the inside of you fuel dilivery system stripping out all of the gunk & varnish. In and of itself I don't think that's a bad thing, but some people have reported that it clogs the fuel filter on the first or second tank full. The recomendations seem to be to be prepaired to change your fuel filter after the first tank fuel & maybe two and also look into getting a wire mesh fuel filter instead paper element. This seems like a good idea to me in a general sense.

    I have seen no actual eveidence of E85 destroying someoned engine or fuel system in a post 1995 vehicle. Noones car died, melted from the inside out or spontaneously combusted b/c they started running E85. I'm still looking though so if anyone knows of anything please post it up!

    The biggest obstacles seems to be frankly tunning for E85 in the since that you need to push approx. 20% more fuel to get the correct ratios, etc. If your fuel system doesn't have that kind of additional head room than it's likely to be an issue, obviously. The other obstacle appears to be the tunning. The interesting thing about this though is that given E85's high octane rating, it appears to be more forgiving than conventional gasoline.

    This is a good thing!

    In all actuallity, for the N2O application that I have planned, E85 is good but not necessarily great since N2O is all about "the hit". For boosted cars it appears to be the shiznit though for two reason:

    1). Obviously the octane will allow you turn the boost & timing up even further.

    2). It runs much cooler than conventional gasoline providing properties something like Meth injection allowing increased timing as well.

    I tell ya, if I had a boosted car w/ an already upgraded fuel delivery system, I'd be all over this stuff. It's like cheap race fuel at corner gas station!

    The research continues. I'm going to look at some other forums like f-body, etc. and see what I can find. I'm also going to try to find out which fuel pump & injectors are most compatable w/ E85.
     
  8. na svt

    na svt say no to power adders Established Member

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    Except for the fact that it's much cheaper than both race gas and even regular gas while also being avaliable at the pump. And allows increased timing which resluts in more power just like race gas...I don't see the benefits either.
     
  9. droptopsnake01

    droptopsnake01 N/A FTW! Established Member

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    yea to bad NO gas station around here has it.

    But the money that you will spend to switch over neglects the cheaper price you will pay for the E85.
     
  10. na svt

    na svt say no to power adders Established Member

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    And modding cars makes no sense either. TB make no sense on low power n/a cars but yet BBK and Accufab have made a lot of money selling them. 3.55s and 3.73s don't inprove performance much but people still have them installed. Who cares, he wants to switch, as do I, and the reasons don't matter because we want to do it. It's our money and our time and we have to answer to only ourselves.

    BTW, most Cobras, modded or not, will make more power with E85 because they can not run max ignition timong with 93 octane. E85 will allow the use of more timing and the result will be more power.
     
  11. droptopsnake01

    droptopsnake01 N/A FTW! Established Member

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    well convert then.

    If you only have to answer to yourself then no need to get pissy w/ me.

    and you talking about gears/TB is different b/e you dont have to switch over shit to make it work.

    Im happy with race gas when its in my car either way.

    I hope it would get you more power against 93, but it wont against 110!

    AND THAT WAS THE ORIGINAL QUESTION.
     
  12. REX-RACER

    REX-RACER Testing w/ the live data! Established Member

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    It may not get bette performance than 110 but tell me this:

    1). What would be the cost of filling up your car w/ an entire tankful of 110 or even 101?

    2). How often & what times of day can you get 110?

    - Since E85 is available at a pump 10 mins from my house and would cost about $32.25 for a tank full vs. $38.00 for a tankful of even 93. Yes I'd have to burn about 20% more of it to get the same milage, so the savings might be wash out, but I never even had to think about finding a performance shop during "office hours" and pay almost $130.00 for a tankful of 110!

    No, you don't need a tankful of 110 to do your thing, but I think this is still a valid comparison since you would able to obtain an entire tankful of E85 at 3 a.m. tomorrow ( Sunday ) if you wanted.

    If E85 isn't available in your area or convenient for you get than obviously it's not viable for you. But the only reason I started even wondering about is b/c I drive past a place that has big "E85 AVAILABLE HERE!!!" sign on the front of the business.

    That was my original question - I can get it, it's cheap, What's involved in switching over?

    Turns out it may not be that involved after all . . .
     
  13. droptopsnake01

    droptopsnake01 N/A FTW! Established Member

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    How much would it cost to switch over then?

    I can get 110 whenever I want :)
     
  14. REX-RACER

    REX-RACER Testing w/ the live data! Established Member

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    Well, you're the only person I've ever heard say that so I guess it's the right choice for you. No harm, no foul. How much do you get it for?

    As far as the cost to switch, it seems to depend on the car and the set up. People who were already running fi the cost seems to be primarily tunning time. If you're not fi then you probably need to upgrade the fuel delivery capacity to compensate for the fact that you'll need to push about 20% more fuel. If you were adding a blower or turbo(s) you were likely gonna do that anyways so the trick would be to find parts that are E85 compatible . . . from what I've seen so far there don't seem to be a lot of parts that aren't E85 compatible frankly, probably due to the fact that a lot of cities already mandate E10 ( and soon to be E20 ) in all grades of pump fuel. I would guess the parts compatibility thing is something you'd want to confirm anyways though as long as you're spending money.

    The bulk of the expense seems to really be in the tunning process. That might take a while even for an experienced tuner to perfect but then anything new is always labor intensive on the front end. It's my guess that if E85 really did catch on w/ the performance community the tuning time and cost would go down dramatically since people would start getting a handle on what works and what doesn't and they could repeat the process more quickly each time.

    My guess is that in places like Brazil where E85, E98 & even E100 are as common as an other grade of gasoline, performance junkies and tuners tune for the stuff just like we tune for 93 premium, as in no particular bi deal.

    I'm just hypothisizing on that last part, but it seems plausible. They've been running ethanol intense fuels down there as a normal part of life for the better part of the last 20 years!
     
  15. 03Steve

    03Steve Active Member Established Member

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    Well, with a "105 octane rating"...this could benefit those who are interested in lower EGT's (read nitrous/FI guys) to prevent detonation.

    As far as the tuning side of things go...there is no black magic at all.

    -You make 9.78:1 your target stioch air/fuel ratio in the EEC.

    -Same thing with your wideband air/fuel meter.

    -Apply a 0.668 scale factor for closed loop/driveability conditions as needed in the EEC (bringing stioch from 14.64 to 9.78)

    -Verify that the EEC's short term fuel trim readings are now centerlined off a 9.78:1 ratio, by referencing the wideband.

    -Determine a desired WOT air/fuel ratio, use the scale factor with respect to gasoline as a starting point.

    From there, it's volume. You have more parts ethanol than gasoline in your ratios. About 33.2% more to be exact, when looking at the scale factor. At a quick glance, the costs savings of ethanol vs 105 octane gasoline will be moot, as the ethanol system requires more fuel for regular street driving and for WOT performance. Not to mention the larger fuel system components required to support the ethanol air/fuel ratios.
     

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