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E85 for 2.9

LEB Ben

Arrogant A-hole At-Large
34,919
1,124
outside your house
I thought all rigs could accept E85. I thought it was just corn induced gasoline, reulting in cheaper fuel, but also results in worse mpg's.
 

polarbear

just growing older not up
12,878
605
Boring, Oregon
GM puts different fuel lines on our E85 motors as opposed to the non-E85 variety. E85 is highly corrosive, and can raise all sorts of hell with your fuel lines/filters/injectors as it either knocks crud loose or just rots out what's there. I wouldn't do it.
 

Fellro

Moderator
Staff member
I keep hearing about how corrosive it is, but I personally haven't seen any damage to back up those claims. Methanol certainly is, but I haven't seen ethanol do it. We have been running 10% since the early 80's and don't have all the problems I always see thrown around that it is supposed to cause. We also play around with E85 in non-flex vehicles, and still have yet to have a fuel system failure due to it. It does depend on your vehicle though on that aspect, because if you try using ethanol in a vehicle with natural rubber in the fuel system, it will definitely damage those seals in time. But on the corrosive part, I have yet to see corrosion from it. I do see all the varnish deposits disappear..

I ran about a 35% blend in my 91 Cavalier all summer while the gas prices were high, saw maybe a 1-2 mpg decrease, no problems with how it ran. When I got higher than that, the mileage would drop off, as the compression is not high enough to efficiently use ethanol, but is good for gasoline. Dual purpose vehicles just aren't realistically going to work out, as the fuel properties are enough different to make one of them have issues, and lesser fuel economy is more acceptable than engine damage...

All that said, if you are looking to run full strength, you may run into some problems with stock setup. Some vehicles seem to take to it just fine, others do not. My mom's 02 Lesabre will run just fine on it, but set emissions codes. My 83 Trans Am ran like a champ on it. My 91 Chevy 1500 ran fine on it. My Cavalier did not do so well above 50% My Plymouth Voyager did not do too well on it. My sisters Voyage was fine... my BIL's 94 Escort loved it, but his 93 does not... No rhyme or reason to some of those, just observations.

If you really want to try it, you can try blending it in varying strengths to see how it responds. To get a good feel for it, you will need to duplicate that blend for a few tanks to make an accurate assessment. If you have always run straight regular gas, be prepared for all the deposits in the fuel system to be cleaned out and catch in the filter/injector screens, it will take a while for all of that to dissolve. Even the aftermarket cleaners don't seem to keep all those deposits out. Might even consider a hard regimen of something like Sea Foam before bringing up the blend levels.

There are some kits out there that will convert the computer mapping and such with an alcohol sensor in the fuel line, but unless you have a line on E85 all the time, it may not be worth the effort, and with a gasoline compression motor, the pricetag of the lost fuel will maybe make it not such a good choice to buy. What I have all explained is from personal experience and experimentation. Take it or leave it, it is how it is.
 

blacksnapon

Moderator
Staff member
No more than 15%. The military here have access to e85, and we get them in here constantly to repair the fuel systems. 1 or 2 tanks are ok, but constant use.....NO!
 
e85

the only reason e85 gets worse mpg's is that the cars/truck that america has are what we call bi fuel....in other words there made to run both gasoline and e85....to be completely honest thats the biggest joke i have seen yet...dont get me wrong i love e85. i run it in my evo but its built for it. ethanol has 76,000 btu's (British thermal unit's) thermal energy. gasoline contains 120,000 btu's. ethanol basically burns cooler and needs to be 20 to 40% more in a gasoline engine....not the best for economy. but eth is roughly 104 octane and the highest gas we have at the pump is 93...so as for ethanol you need to up your compression, or added a turbo/supercharger. increase your fuel 20 tp 40% at the injectors and fuel pump....and dont get me wrong i love e85 and the idea that its made here in the usa...but its not being treated fairly....if we had cars/trucks built properly for it, it would be great...and comparable of not better than gasoline but as which came 1st the chicken or the egg...to build ethanol cars you need eth readily available but to produce more you need more call for it....so there you have it my answer.
 

DNFXDLI

The Token Canadian
Staff member
the only reason e85 gets worse mpg's is that the cars/truck that america has are what we call bi fuel....in other words there made to run both gasoline and e85....to be completely honest thats the biggest joke i have seen yet...dont get me wrong i love e85. i run it in my evo but its built for it. ethanol has 76,000 btu's (British thermal unit's) thermal energy. gasoline contains 120,000 btu's. ethanol basically burns cooler and needs to be 20 to 40% more in a gasoline engine....not the best for economy. but eth is roughly 104 octane and the highest gas we have at the pump is 93...so as for ethanol you need to up your compression, or added a turbo/supercharger. increase your fuel 20 tp 40% at the injectors and fuel pump....and dont get me wrong i love e85 and the idea that its made here in the usa...but its not being treated fairly....if we had cars/trucks built properly for it, it would be great...and comparable of not better than gasoline but as which came 1st the chicken or the egg...to build ethanol cars you need eth readily available but to produce more you need more call for it....so there you have it my answer.

Well said!
 

lil_dq

Let 'er eat boys!
6,933
265
Union, MO
the only reason e85 gets worse mpg's is that the cars/truck that america has are what we call bi fuel....in other words there made to run both gasoline and e85....to be completely honest thats the biggest joke i have seen yet...dont get me wrong i love e85. i run it in my evo but its built for it. ethanol has 76,000 btu's (British thermal unit's) thermal energy. gasoline contains 120,000 btu's. ethanol basically burns cooler and needs to be 20 to 40% more in a gasoline engine....not the best for economy. but eth is roughly 104 octane and the highest gas we have at the pump is 93...so as for ethanol you need to up your compression, or added a turbo/supercharger. increase your fuel 20 tp 40% at the injectors and fuel pump....and dont get me wrong i love e85 and the idea that its made here in the usa...but its not being treated fairly....if we had cars/trucks built properly for it, it would be great...and comparable of not better than gasoline but as which came 1st the chicken or the egg...to build ethanol cars you need eth readily available but to produce more you need more call for it....so there you have it my answer.


Only thing I add is if you convert you need to change your fuel lines out to stainless. Other than that that is exactly what I have been finding, I am in the process of chaning my S/C 5.4 over to E85.
 

Fellro

Moderator
Staff member
Thing is, the fuel lines are mostly plastic these days... the tanks are generally plastic now as well. I haven't personally seen the corrosion issues that are claimed from running ethanol. If it were methanol blend, I would use nothing less, but ethanol doesn't seem to me to be the same kind of trouble. I have tinkered with it for probably close to 10 years now, and have run E-10 for over 20 years with no more fuel issues than usual, perhaps less.
 

Fellro

Moderator
Staff member
The highest gasoline can generally handle is around 10.5:1, while ethanol will run up to 12:1 effectively. That is why these multifuel vehicles fail, they can't change the compression to the fuel type. The only thing the multifuel vehicle s do is change the spark mapping, as well as compensate for the different O2 readings.

here is a link to the challenge:http://running_on_alcohol.tripod.com/id12.html
 
The highest gasoline can generally handle is around 10.5:1, while ethanol will run up to 12:1 effectively. That is why these multifuel vehicles fail, they can't change the compression to the fuel type. The only thing the multifuel vehicle s do is change the spark mapping, as well as compensate for the different O2 readings.

here is a link to the challenge:http://running_on_alcohol.tripod.com/id12.html

Thanks for the link. a lot of reading but it is interesting.
 
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