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E85 Hot or Not?

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:05 pm
by mikerobison
Has Anyone done an E85 conversion to their Merkur? I'm more curious of a XR conversion? There are Conversion kits available for 4 Cyl Fords. Though I have yet to talk to a person who sells them.

I am also not convinced that at this point in the evolution of E85 that it is economical to do a conversion on a non-E85 vehicle.

The reason I ask is the gas station across the street from me just installed 4 E85 pumps, the only ones in town. The cost of the fuel is only 19% less expensive than regular pump gas. With E85 it isn't uncommon to see a decrease of economy around 25% making it a total waste of time, in my book. But there is more BTU'S in E85 Vs Pump gas! I've read an average of 105-110 octane compared to 97 on high test!!! So more boost+slower burn= More Power!

?

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:11 pm
by Mike McCreight
Might want to cruise on over to www.turboford.net
There's a thread or 2 on conversion.

Re: E85 Hot or Not?

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 12:21 am
by milehighXR
mikerobison wrote:Has Anyone done an E85 conversion to their Merkur? I'm more curious of a XR conversion? There are Conversion kits available for 4 Cyl Fords. Though I have yet to talk to a person who sells them.

I am also not convinced that at this point in the evolution of E85 that it is economical to do a conversion on a non-E85 vehicle.

The reason I ask is the gas station across the street from me just installed 4 E85 pumps, the only ones in town. The cost of the fuel is only 19% less expensive than regular pump gas. With E85 it isn't uncommon to see a decrease of economy around 25% making it a total waste of time, in my book. But there is more BTU'S in E85 Vs Pump gas! I've read an average of 105-110 octane compared to 97 on high test!!! So more boost+slower burn= More Power!
You got the BTUs backwards, and around here(CO0 E-85 is $2.09 vs $3.19 for 91 gas, that looks closer to 33% cheaper to me. Even with a 25%MPG penalty, your money ahead on E-85. Not far though. Unless you do the conversion cheaply...

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:07 am
by MerlinMerkur
Well.. I heard the loss of economy is more like 33%. Takes a gallon and a half to get the same miles as with gasolene, so that makes the minimum saving per gal to make it worth the fart, 33%. E85 is 2.75 here BUT doesnt seem to fluctuate at all really, while 93 premium is still 2.86-.90 so.. Need more change than that.

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 1:49 pm
by Freejack
Yes, at a BTU level, E85 has less than petrol, but if you tune correctly to take advantage of the higher octance, you can make up for alot of the mileage loss.

Jake

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 3:15 pm
by CV12Steve
Freejack wrote:Yes, at a BTU level, E85 has less than petrol, but if you tune correctly to take advantage of the higher octance, you can make up for alot of the mileage loss.

Jake
Mileage at a state of tune is going to be limited by available BTUs in a fuel, (that's why diesels get such good mileage, many more BTUs per gal.)
Higher octane allows a higher state of tune, making more ultimate power, but assuming neither is tuned to run excessively rich, etc., more BTUs/gal = more MPG.

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:05 pm
by granth
Stoichiometric for regular fuel is about 14.7. For E85 it's about 9.7ish.

So when you read about people tuning their AFR to 11-12 through the RPM range, in an E85 car you'd be tuning to 7-8 or so. Thus you need a stand alone engine management and wideband ECU to tune it.
In Brazil, most cars are converted to run E85, but it's from sugar cane, not corn. There's lots of upgrade kits available there, but it's usually equivalent to adding bigger injectors and a chip for the ECU.
In our cars it'd probably require completely redoing the fuel system. Here's a quick list.
1. Go to an compatable fuel pump (non-sparking if intank design).
2. Replace fuel lines with alcohol compatable lines.
3. Possibly replace filter (???).
4. Replace injectors with large enough ones to feed proper fueling.
5. Replace injector/FPR o-rings with compatible o-rings... viton maybe?
6. Add a spark/flash suppressor to the fuel tank inlet tube.
7. Ensure the fuel tank material is completely compatable with alcohol.
8. Stop the stock ECU from freaking out due to changes in various emissions sensor readings.

Now blending of ethanol is another story. Our pumps in Colorado have a 5-10% ethanol blend always depending upon the time of year. But I doubt it would really be worth the effort to think about blending in a daily driver.

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:31 am
by 86XR4Ti_John
I don't think I can even GET E85 up here, but I do see several new GM vehicles with FlexFuel stickers on them so maybe its promising.

I'd love to see this happen as my Talon is an absolute octane whore. Even with water injection and a fmic, it needs as much as it can get.

And as a plus, it should be more environmentally freindly. The car already easily passes emissions testing(several readings are 0.00 or close to it) but every bit helps.

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:40 am
by mikerobison
I believe most 80's and newer vehicles are ethanol compliant. All should be good for and unleaded only fuel type vehicle...since the addition of alcohol. Rubber O-Rings/hoses, and Lead Lined tanks would be the only problem.

Posted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 10:09 pm
by Colin
granth wrote:6. Add a flash suppressor to the fuel tank inlet tube.
I can't wait to see an XR with one of those giant V-shaped suppressors from a .50 BMG hanging out the filler neck. :lol:

Posted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 11:19 pm
by milehighXR
Quick and dirty conversion for our cars is about 20% bigger injectors, and about 3psi more FP. Just use a socket and hammer to squeeze the FPR a little to achieve more FP. I haven't done this yet, but will make a sorry attempt when my drivability is fixed.

Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 9:23 am
by BeefFajitas
granth wrote:Stoichiometric for regular fuel is about 14.7. For E85 it's about 9.7ish.

So when you read about people tuning their AFR to 11-12 through the RPM range, in an E85 car you'd be tuning to 7-8 or so. Thus you need a stand alone engine management and wideband ECU to tune it.
In Brazil, most cars are converted to run E85, but it's from sugar cane, not corn. There's lots of upgrade kits available there, but it's usually equivalent to adding bigger injectors and a chip for the ECU.
In our cars it'd probably require completely redoing the fuel system. Here's a quick list.
1. Go to an compatable fuel pump (non-sparking if intank design).
2. Replace fuel lines with alcohol compatable lines.
3. Possibly replace filter (???).
4. Replace injectors with large enough ones to feed proper fueling.
5. Replace injector/FPR o-rings with compatible o-rings... viton maybe?
6. Add a spark/flash suppressor to the fuel tank inlet tube.
7. Ensure the fuel tank material is completely compatable with alcohol.
8. Stop the stock ECU from freaking out due to changes in various emissions sensor readings.

Now blending of ethanol is another story. Our pumps in Colorado have a 5-10% ethanol blend always depending upon the time of year. But I doubt it would really be worth the effort to think about blending in a daily driver.
You should go over to TF. A couple guys have just thrown in some bigger injectors and they run as good as a stock computer car can.