e85 85% ethanol fuel

Discussion in '2005 - 2009 Specific Tech' started by crewwolfy, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. The majority of "stock" ford v8 engines use 19lbs/hr fuel injectors "yellow top fuel injectors". E85 likes a air to fuel about 30% richer than common pump fuel. Blue top fuel fuel injectors are rated to flow 24lbs/hr or very close to 30% more fuel. The oxygen sensor reports rich or lean based on unused oxygen leftover from combustion. The computer has no clue what fuel you are burning.

    The problem with this type of tuning is that normal pump fuel would run too rich after this mod. I have a 1980 F150 running this type mod. 15mpg not bad for a old 351w needing a rebuild.
  2. Regardless of what anyone might say, ANY car can run ethanol. It takes about one tank for the computer to figure out what the hell you put in there. Now this may indeed mean less power or poor mpg, I really never noticed but then again wasn't paying attention.

    Now....will it corrode parts of the fuel system over time if the car is not "prepared" for it? I don't know, maybe. But in North Dakota most my extended families cars (purchased in Michigan) have been running on the corn gas just fine. No issues as yet and it's been 12 years. Not one of the cars was "prepared" for ethanol.
  3. This post is extremely old going back to the beginning and lots has changed, lots in here is false or incorrect as well.

    E85 increases performance which in turn has decreased fuel mileage. I have a flex fuel truck, 07 avalanche and when I run e85 my mileage reduces by an average of 4 to 5 miles per gallon, and if I tug anything out back, it falls far worse in overall averages.

    The amazing thing is the difference in performance across the board. Off the line acceleration is far better, and there's benefit on the top end as well.

    The problem is for a heavy right footed driver, you'll spend more on the e85 fuel than on the low grade guaranteed. For a driver that can stay out of the pedal, you'll likely brake even in the same comparison or save a little over the year, but cost in prepping the fuel system will sway you back to the red.

    A lot of negative publicity came out with e85 and much of it was not true.. I'm no green tree advocate, don't really care about emissions and ozone. I'm not that type of person, but E85 is extremely clean both in processing and it's burnage in actual use.

    Bottom line it's corrosive, you cannot just dump e85 in the tank and go. You have to be tuned for it obviously as well otherwise the benefit is nil. Don't forget them cats will likely cease as well over time, it's not like running c16 but it does act in that way over time. Todays oem e85 cars adjust for the fuel grade on the fly via chat to the computer off the 02 sensors so you do nothing when using any of the available grades. You could essentially on our mustangs run a seperate tune on e85 fills and it would be the same thing. Just have to be conscious of changing the tune.

    Here's the kicker, our fuel rails are not welded, they are soldered, turn one over and take a peak. These will over time corrode. You will have to replace. Parts of our pump wiring and hosing are nut up to spec either. Keep in mind most of the system would / could hold up for a duration of time and then fail. Injector o-rings included. It won't be an overnight failure, it's not that corrosive. Plugs are an issue from the increased burn on ignition, you essentially would over heat stockers and net pre-ignition.

    Here's an article on a terminator converted to e85 in 5.0 magazine a while back.

  4. E85 alone has less energy than gasoline. The stoich AFR for E85 is like 9-10:1 versus 14.64:1 for pump gas. You'll burn more fuel doing the same work with E85 with a lead or feather right foot.

    Using E85 alone will not net any power gains. The high anti-knock rating of E85 (about 100-105 octane) allows additional spark advance on FFV applications. E85 shines when you are using forced induction on a high compression motor with spark advance.

    E85 as-is is less expensive than 105 octane unleaded racing fuel, only because of heavy subsidization (thanks to us taxpayers).

    The bottom line is that E85 works well for racing applications, but is only a stop-gap (at the max) for reducing dependence on foreign crude oil in the US, and does not work to reduce fuel consumption or "greenhouse gases" in general since you are still burning hydrocarbons.
  5. This is why I brought this thread back. I have first hand information, I just did not have than. It takes time to build an engine use it than take it apart to see how it ran.

    This is true but their is a catch. An engine's BSFC becomes lower with more compression.This is true for common fuel and E85. 11:1 and extra 1 to 2 mpg is a common gain. We can get more form E85 but at the cost of not being able to run common fuel. We "CAN" get 20mpg but compression has to go up.

    I am getting 15mpg spinning the tires a good bit. Only changes injectors, milled the heads, and bump time. The 1980 f150 is a VERY heavy truck. About to install fiber glass hood, fenders, and bed.

  6. Um, there's nothing in E85 that will damage your catalytic converters... C16 is a leaded racegas, and the lead damages the converter making it useless.

    If we really want to do a thread about E85 and effects, we should start a new one & reference the good posts in this one, plus some other forums & information.

  7. According to an article in my ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) magazine from around this time last year, studies have proven that as of that time, all forms of ethanol (be it corn, switchgrass, sugar cane, etc.) that we currently use are energy negative and worse for the environment than gasoline. Keep in mind, ASME has little incentive to sway the facts in favor of gasoline since there are so many mechanical engineering jobs in alternative fuels.

    Energy negative means it takes more energy to produce than you get out of it. The ironic part about it is that its typically all oil that is used - exactly what people are trying to avoid. The energy used to grow, harvest, and transport the ethanol source must be factored in - when you see articles that say it is energy positive, they "forget" to factor in these effects.

    As for ethanol being worse for the environment... First, going back to the negative energy balane - since more energy is being used, that typically leads to more CO2 emissions. While global warming is a topic for debate in a completely different thread, most people believe more CO2 is bad for global warming - if it even exists. Lets not forget, however, how destructive farming is on the environment in general. It removes nutrients from the ground and the pesticides pollute the groundwater.

    Finally, making ethanol from food sources would actually increase world hunger. More corn would be produced, but less would go to people who need it to live and more would go into ethanol production. It would drive up the prices for those who already can't afford it. A similar legitamite arguement could be made for non-food based ethanol. Farmers would switch their efforts from growing corn, etc. to growing switchgrass since it would be much more lucrative to supply the energy industry than the food industry.

    I don't think we should avoid ethanol, I just believe it needs more development before it is used to any large degree. I did just read an article about a new way of producing algea-based ethanol that seems to be extremely promising, so perhaps that will be one answer.
  8. I have read in several places that if we could PERFECT switchgrass and other cellulosic ethanol production methods, that the energy return goes from 40-60% (which it is now with corn) to 540% (in otherwords, 5.4x as much energy out as in.
    But like you said, there is some more development to be done.
    Only time will tell. If you have the local Chevron selling E85 for $1-$2 a gallon, and regular is $3.50, THEN people will take notice. But I also don't want that $1-$2 to be artificially low because of government subsidies, I want that to be the price that it costs with some profit factored in, in other words, the real world price.

    It might happen, we'll see...

    Another possibility comes in the form of the new quick-charging batteries. If they can provide a similar range and be charged in 5 minutes, then it wouldn't take much of an infrastructure change to implement (all gas stations already have power).
    Lots of tech coming soon...
  9. Few thoughts here....

    We are already seeing the impact of farmers switching over their crops. Since the corn used for E85 is so heavily subsidized by the government, many farmers are switching their crops, making other food more expensive. In the last year alone, barley, corn used for animal feed, and wheat are significantly more expensive because there are less farmers growing them. Wheat is now 400% (yes, four hundred) more expensive than the same time last year. This in turn makes many things at the grocery store more expensive, from bread, beef, chicken, down to beer. Compared to the number of people using plain gasoline, the proportion of the country burning E85 is relatively small, but we are already seeing a negative impact on food crops.

    Secondly, I believe it was History channel that recently had a show about E85. They claimed that if we planted all of America, from sea to shining sea (knock down cities, plant over roads, etc....) with corn for E85, that we would then have enough ethanol to replace about 50% of our gasoline demand....

    Just some food for thought.
  10. True, corn isn't the answer, cellulosic ethanol might be...
  11. E85 from corn is stupid! I make my E98 form food that would end up at the dump making unused methane "energy". We wast energy in every way. Just stupid!
  12. +1! :nice:
  13. What I don't understand, is every time we fill our cars up at the pump. Were actually filling up with gasoline, which is re-formulated with ethanol anyhow.

    So if our Mustangs are not designed to run on E85 fuel. Then how are they able to run properly with conventional fuels, that are re-formulated with ethanol. :shrug:
  14. Our cars are designed to run on pump gas which is (up to) 10% ethanol. It gets very detrimental when you use the higher octane, such as E85. I can't imagine though that it doesn't at least have at least a limited negative effect is regular 87 octane.
  15. Yes. But you have to replace ALL of your fuel lines, ALL of your gaskets, and ANYTHING that would potentially come in contact with the fuel. It's possible, but it's about a 2,000 dollar conversion from what I hear. That + the lower gas mileage makes it not worth it at all.
  16. E85 is 85% ethanol, 15% gasoline, from what I understand. Regular gasoline is 10% ethanol, 90% gasoline. HUGE difference.
  17. I couldn't agree more, as even at just 10% ethanol. You would still expect to find at least some form of negative effect with regular 87 octane, at 90%.

    Let's just hope that by using 91 octane and higher, reduces this limited negative effect by a higher margin. :shrug:
  18. It has been suggested that one of the most efficient methods for decreasing our dependency on imported oil is for our government to ease the restrictions that prohibit the drilling of oil along an estimated 85% of the American coastline.
    However, this idea has been facing an uphill battle due to beach goers who do not like looking at oil platforms, and environmentalists who are concerned about oil spills.
  19. Although I totally agree that 90% gasoline, when compared to just 15% is a very huge difference.

    My concern, is even at just 10% ethanol. Wouldn't it still be enough to cause some form of negative effect in the fuel system :shrug:
  20. Haven't noticed any effects and I have 34.2k on my car. Been using the 10% ethanol since I got my car at 8k. I'm 100% positive the previous owner was, too, since where I live all of the gasoline is 10% ethanol, 90% gasoline.