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Unread 01-30-2011, 02:01 AM   #1
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Default E85 in newer cars?

So there's been off and on discussion on one of my focus forums, and the hot debate is running E85 in the 08+ focus. They aren't flex fuel but a lot of people on the forum run E85 with no problems. The only problem I heard about it is the fuel lines, and occasional misses.

E85 here is 2.83 a gallon, vs 3.20 a gallon for regular.. Can you see why would want to run E85?
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Unread 01-30-2011, 02:35 AM   #2
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I've heard stuff like that about E85, along with people using it on cars with a higher compression ratio. However I've never been brave enough to try it.
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Unread 01-30-2011, 09:39 AM   #3
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There's a lot of debate on that with the 4.3L too; as GM still puts the 4.3L V6 in their W/T trucks, but they're not certified for flex-fuel. The general consensus is no, you should not do it because the PCM will hate you. IT's got limits of how far it can adjust the AF ratio and ethanol requires it to go farther. E85 also requires wider injectors and a longer spark curve.

In older cars (cs_maan), E85 will also hurt the seals. It dries them out like Heet.
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Unread 01-30-2011, 11:42 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by wierdo124 View Post
In older cars (cs_maan), E85 will also hurt the seals. It dries them out like Heet.
Damn....I'm stuck paying $3.52/gallon .
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Unread 01-30-2011, 11:48 AM   #5
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I ran E-85 in the Cavalier in IA with out a problem, but we have had many repairs related to it in Vegas. IE Fuel lines, fuel pumps, Drive ability issues, even had a PT Turbo that ran like a bat out of hell on it but ruined the fuel pump. Honestly the cost savings isn't justified because of the decreased mileage.
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Unread 01-30-2011, 12:46 PM   #6
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Honestly the cost savings isn't justified because of the decreased mileage.
This. The lower energy density cancels out any potential savings you would have by making the switch.
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Unread 01-30-2011, 03:24 PM   #7
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This. The lower energy density cancels out any potential savings you would have by making the switch.
Wrong. It is if the car is tuned to run E85. If you just run E85 on a normal gas engine, yes you will see enough of a decrease in efficiency, thats its no longer worth the savings in fuel cost. But an engine designed to run E85, will run a little more aggressive timing and fuel maps, generating all the more power, which in turn means you dont have to press the accelerator down as much to achieve the same result. My brother in law converted his Evo VIII to run on E85, he gained ~45hp on the dyno, and about 2-3MPG on the street. So it is worth it if you can tune the car to run it. Kerep in mind that E85 is equal to 105octane, so there is a good amount of potential for power.

Now, back on topic, yes it is common on noremal gas cars for the seals to wear out in the fuel system from the alcohol, so i would just plan to change these seals over to alcohol safe seals when you convert to E85. As far as the miss-fire goes, ive not heard of this. I bet it can be solved playing with the spark plug gap, and maybe even lower temp plugs.
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Unread 01-30-2011, 04:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by pbasil1 View Post
Wrong. It is if the car is tuned to run E85. If you just run E85 on a normal gas engine, yes you will see enough of a decrease in efficiency, thats its no longer worth the savings in fuel cost. But an engine designed to run E85, will run a little more aggressive timing and fuel maps, generating all the more power, which in turn means you dont have to press the accelerator down as much to achieve the same result. My brother in law converted his Evo VIII to run on E85, he gained ~45hp on the dyno, and about 2-3MPG on the street. So it is worth it if you can tune the car to run it. Kerep in mind that E85 is equal to 105octane, so there is a good amount of potential for power.

Now, back on topic, yes it is common on noremal gas cars for the seals to wear out in the fuel system from the alcohol, so i would just plan to change these seals over to alcohol safe seals when you convert to E85. As far as the miss-fire goes, ive not heard of this. I bet it can be solved playing with the spark plug gap, and maybe even lower temp plugs.
A professional tune is not free, neither is the additional labor involved with swapping seals.

Here's a lil math using some numbers from my thermodynamics text book.

45 MJ/kg <-- energy density of gas

27 MJ/kg <-- energy density of e85

simple math yields 27/45 = .6

dimensionless parameter yields that 1 gallon of ethanol will take you as far as .6 gallons of gas. All things considered, including the cleaner burn, you would have to be very light on the gas pedal to close this gap. You tell me 1 story I can tell you another. Bring me numbers, not hear say and I'll believe you.

Petty arguments aside, who on this forum presses on the gas lighter when they get a hp boost?
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Unread 01-31-2011, 07:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tofunater View Post
A professional tune is not free, neither is the additional labor involved with swapping seals.

Here's a lil math using some numbers from my thermodynamics text book.

45 MJ/kg <-- energy density of gas

27 MJ/kg <-- energy density of e85

simple math yields 27/45 = .6

dimensionless parameter yields that 1 gallon of ethanol will take you as far as .6 gallons of gas. All things considered, including the cleaner burn, you would have to be very light on the gas pedal to close this gap. You tell me 1 story I can tell you another. Bring me numbers, not hear say and I'll believe you.

Petty arguments aside, who on this forum presses on the gas lighter when they get a hp boost?
this.

plus the engine is designed to run on gasoline so why not just use gasoline? there's no free lunch

also to pbasil's story, if the E85 is comparable to a higher octane gasoline then you can run a more aggressive setup to make more power. it's not necessarily the fuel

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