• Welcome to SVTPerformance!

E85 eating main bearings???

Discussion in 'The Distillery' started by bambinov8, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. Drazga

    Drazga New Member Established Member

    Messages:
    616
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Location:
    Dirty Jersey
    I agree with the crutch statement, but can a flexfuel vehicle with typically under 350 crank hp, most of which aren't driven hard or for that matter religiously ran on E85 really be compared to our cars?

    Lets look at the facts of stock flexfuel vehicles vs built cars using E85 for power (now that the E85 fuel system deterioration arguments are over).

    WHP
    Flexfuel: sub 350whp (usually)
    Racers: most are over 500whp, some nearing or surpassing the 4 digit milestone

    Abuse
    Flexfuel: very little, chances are someone buying E85 thinks they are saving themselves a few dollars (even though we know this isn't true since it burns faster even in flexfuel vehicles) since it is cheaper, thus they probably wont be beating on the car. More then likely these people will be limping their stock commuter around to be more efficient.
    Racers: maximum abuse, most of us that plan on running it will be doing so full time (stations permitting) and trying to get the most power out of it with the benefits of cooling and octane that it provides.

    Timing
    Flexfuel: very conservative like most factory vehicles
    Racers: most of us run the most timing we can get away with on 93, those on E85 are pushing their cars to amounts of timing similar to C16 race gas, but permanently!

    etc. we can list the differences for days, between us revving the motors out higher, leaner AFRs, more timing, cooling down in between track passes, more abuse, 2-6 times the whp, % of time driven on E85, non daily driven cars sitting longer allowing the fuel to absorb water, etc etc etc.

    Again, I'm not bashing you or starting an internet war. I completely agree with the crutch statement, but we should look at all the facts that contribute to E85 engine failure/oil dilution in our cars vs run of the mill flexfuel vehicles.

    Lets get to the bottom of this before I buy a set of 160lb injectors this Spring for my E85 tune!

    :beer:
     
  2. Drazga

    Drazga New Member Established Member

    Messages:
    616
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Location:
    Dirty Jersey
    :beer:

    What degree T-stat would you recommend for E85?

    These flexfuel vehicles aren't the same as our cars (see my post above), but I agree it isn't a huge issue with E85 in vehicles as a generalization. I even agree that the tuners/builders blame it far too often but in cars being driven less frequently, more often on E85, running on more extreme conditions (tune, power, timing, AFR, etc.) and being driven harder.

    What about the other cars that the bearings went on because of the tuner/builder? Have we narrowed it down to improper oil/bad tune/bad rings/prolonged oil changes (since it is proven to thin out oil slightly faster)?
    I agree with all of your statements, but our cars are the ones with the odds against them as to where the flexfuel commuters have the favorable odds/qualities when consuming E85. :beer:



    The questions I leave for the rest of you:
    1. What thermostat would be ideal for a E85 car?
    2. What can we do to ensure our oil is safe, aside from making sure the motor oil reaches a temperature to evaporate contaminants, changing it more frequently, and using the proper high-end real full synthetics with special additives that we've discussed?
    3. What spark plugs are ideal? What gap?
    4. What differences/problems do E98 and E100 present us with? Are they more prone to anything?
    5. What about those of us who receive winter blend?
    6. Would it be ideal to use "the backup" 93 octane tune when not racing, for lack of a better term to clean the system or expose it to less contaminants?
    7. Would draining the tank down before it sits for extended periods be helpful for reducing the amount of water being absorbed?
    8. Would a larger oil pan be more helpful, to help dilute the oil to water ratio that the bearings are exposed to?
    9. When spinning an engine faster, would the bearings be more exposed (due to water) on E85 compared to say a comparable race gas?
    10. When breaking in a built motor, I assume that 93 and the typical break in non-synthetic motor oil would be ideal? Then switch to E85 and the proper synthetic with additives when it is broken in?
     
  3. tonewyork89

    tonewyork89 Wraith Established Member

    Messages:
    195
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Long Island
    didn't know that about the diesel oils, could've been using them for a while since i had an '02 ram with a cummins
     
  4. bambinov8

    bambinov8 600WHP LOL Established Member

    Messages:
    2,702
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    SOUTH FLORIDA
    This is a great post drazga , as you mentioned isn't the Same comparing 250-300 HP cars that barely sees redline and also AFR' s and timing are at the safe spot all the time vs a more agressive AFR w 22-23* timing permanently and seeing redline more often ..I personally think is not comparing apples to apples ..I also need to find out abt the thermostat topic since I have a 170* from lethal P ..As it is now , we can conclude that running this cars daily on e85 requires a much sooner oil change than your regular 3k miles ..Again if is a daily driven car like mine
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  5. bambinov8

    bambinov8 600WHP LOL Established Member

    Messages:
    2,702
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    SOUTH FLORIDA
    I think you need to see that my car isn't a Chevy impala, Chevy HTR, or any kind of pick up truck making over 650+ whp on e85 DAILY !! and timing and AFR' s way more advance than this cars mentioned ...those oem cars aren't put under the stress like whipple or kb , turbo cobra..thanks for posting but I think u are comparing two different type of cars ..:burnout:
     
  6. 04sleeper

    04sleeper Runs On "Liquid Gold" Staff Member Super Moderator

    Messages:
    12,337
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Whatever will keep your engine between 180-190*. The fan settings must also be altered as well. I used a 170* Stant Thermostat from NAPA for $8.


    If the car is tuned properly and there should be no difference between HP levels. If your driving habits are harder, you always want to change the oil sooner. That goes for lower HP cars as well.


    Again, it shouldn't matter at all if the car is tuned properly. A Lambda of 1 is the same no matter what. A complete and full burn of fuel is all that matters.


    See above.

    Since everyones driving habits are different, I recommend sending in your oil for anaylsis and letting the pros tell you the story. That way there is no doubt and speculation.

    Plugs that have recessed electrodes are prefered. This is due to E85 having a higher potential for pre-ignition. (Not to be confused with detonation) Also the gap and heat range will depend on boost and compression. (Just like any other fuel)

    They are much dryer due to not having as much if any gasoline in them. This can also lead to harder starting when trying to fire off the engine cold. The 15% gasoline in E85 is just the right balance of fuel added and still give superior resistance to detonation while giving the added colling benefits of the Ethanol.

    What about it? I would suggest to tune on a summer blend and leave your tune the same for winter. All it will do is run a tad richer. This won't harm anything. If you must tune on winter blend, then just tune a little richer than normal.

    I think you got this backwards. There are far less contaminants when using E85 and it burns and runs much cleaner. There is no need to run gasoline unless you are traveling on long trips where E85 is not available.

    Not really. Just make sure your fuel cap is on and tight. Also it is not good to let any fuel sit for too long.

    Not at all. Run the car at operating temperature with either gasoline or E85. It is never good to just run the car for short periods without reaching operating temperature time and time agian. Doesn't matter what fuel.

    No, If the car is at operating temperature, (which it should be when racing), then you should have no trouble at all.

    Not at all. You can easily run E85 from day 1 and be fine.

    Does this answer all your questions?
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  7. ugotbit03

    ugotbit03 4.6 ways to waste money Established Member

    Messages:
    2,394
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    Location:
    Upstate NY, Saratoga Springs
    My replies are above in red. Not bashing here either, just saying what I see. There are a lot of myths and rumors about e85, and most of them are not true. e85 is a chemical formula just like gasoline, and you need to understand it to understand how it works. I'm no expert, I'm just some guy.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  8. ugotbit03

    ugotbit03 4.6 ways to waste money Established Member

    Messages:
    2,394
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    Location:
    Upstate NY, Saratoga Springs
    Right. Because these vehicles are not put under strict longevity testing. Under the idea that the person that just bought the vehicle could sue or lemon law the vehicle that was designed to run of fuel that kills babies and eats bearings.

    You are correct on the tuning, OEM's spend WAY more time on tuning than any tuner, making sure the vehicle behaves and drives correctly in ALL conditions accross the world. on TWO different types of fuel.

    Thank you for posting, but your missing the point.

    e85 does not kill engine bearings. Idiots do.
     
  9. bambinov8

    bambinov8 600WHP LOL Established Member

    Messages:
    2,702
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    SOUTH FLORIDA
    Not gona enter a debate with you , but I guess you're the best engine builder and tuner on the U.S. champ :beer:
     
  10. BruceH

    BruceH New Member Established Member

    Messages:
    108
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Location:
    WA
    You were running 10w-30 in a motor with stock clearances and wonder why you spun a bearing? Your choice of oil was too thick to provide proper lubrication, oil wedge, and cooling. Your choice of oil killed the bearing.
     
  11. UnleashedBeast

    UnleashedBeast Engine Lubrication Guru Established Member

    Messages:
    8,771
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Location:
    Pensacola, Florida
    oh brother!

    Here we go again!

    most 10W-30 lubricants are around 10.5 cSt @ 100*F

    most 5W-20 lubricants are around 9 cSt @ 100*F

    If you are speculating that a 1.5 cSt variation is enough to make the drastic difference you speak up....I have no words.
     
  12. sn94cobra

    sn94cobra Corn-aholic Established Member

    Messages:
    1,520
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2010
    Location:
    indiana
    I am running mobile1 5w-20 on my motor with 2.3whipple on e85
    Think this oil is ok?
    This is 2.75 pulley
     
  13. BruceH

    BruceH New Member Established Member

    Messages:
    108
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Location:
    WA
    Let's go on your data. That's a 17% difference. How much does that affect flow through a bearing with .0015" cold clearance between it and the journal? I don't have the answer.

    As much as you like to dismiss it oil flow is critical to motor longevity. It needs to be just right, thin enough to flow and cool while being thick enough to hold a wedge.
     
  14. BruceH

    BruceH New Member Established Member

    Messages:
    108
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Location:
    WA
    I ran that combo with up to 15psi on an E85 Whipple. Upon teardown the rod bearings showed some light wear but considering the motor was putting down 599rwhp and drag raced it didn't seem bad. The mains looked real good.

    Ultimately it will depend on your bearing clearances. Most custom builders will set them a little loose to allow for a thicker oil and if that's the case you must use a higher viscosity or risk low pressure, increased wear, and an increased chance of spinning a bearing.

    I built my first motor with stock clearances.
     
  15. BruceH

    BruceH New Member Established Member

    Messages:
    108
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Location:
    WA
    I still have some pics from the first motor I built. Tore it down and sold the parts when I decided to go with an 11:1 motor and E85.

    Mains. BTW I used factory main bearings.

    IMG_0973.gif

    IMG_0972.gif

    Thrust washer/bearing.

    IMG_0974.gif

    Rod bearings.

    IMG_0933.jpg

    Pistons.

    I had the piston to bore clearance set at .002" which was on the tight side. They still functioned fine but I think there is a little more rub markings than there should of been. They are just rubs, no grooves or anything that would catch a fingernail. BTW the piston material was 4032 low expansion aluminum, same as the Terminator and GT500 motors use.

    IMG_0935.jpg
     
  16. sn94cobra

    sn94cobra Corn-aholic Established Member

    Messages:
    1,520
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2010
    Location:
    indiana
    Stock motor. Never apart
     
  17. BruceH

    BruceH New Member Established Member

    Messages:
    108
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Location:
    WA
    Is this a 3v motor?
     
  18. sn94cobra

    sn94cobra Corn-aholic Established Member

    Messages:
    1,520
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2010
    Location:
    indiana
    4v 03 motor
     
  19. BruceH

    BruceH New Member Established Member

    Messages:
    108
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Location:
    WA
    I'm not familiar with the clearances on that motor. I've only spent the time to learn them on my 3v's and even there I sometimes suffer from crs, sorry.

    I had thought Ford called for 5w-30 on the terminator motors?
     
  20. UnleashedBeast

    UnleashedBeast Engine Lubrication Guru Established Member

    Messages:
    8,771
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Location:
    Pensacola, Florida
    I've seen the tear down of a true synthetic 10W-30 just like above. The bearings look so good, we almost called BS that they had any use on them.

    No, I'm not talking about the refined petroleum/PAO blend you were using in this picture.

    This picture confirms exactly what Scott Whitehead commented about. 20 grade lubricants showing increased wear on the rod bearings.

    IIRC, they were back spec'd to 5W-20 like all the other Ford Modular engines of the time.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012

Share This Page