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New E85 Ethanol Fuel, Opinions?

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hmm lets see E85 = 70-83% Ethanol. Ethanol = corrosion = got a lot of $$ to replace your fuel system on your zed? Even new cars usually only support E10/E15 due to the same reason corrosion of the fuel system. It comes down to costs of the anti-corrosion fuel system you require.

 

Stainless steel (the good stuff) for the fuel line, petrol tank, if EFI then special injectors, and if carbs then maybe custom/special jets etc.

 

Drag cars and race cars that run 100% Ethanol have such fuel systems and this is usually controlled via the class rules ie Ethanol permitted to be used = team go to the expense etc.

 

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_fuel about 1/2 down the Methanol/Ethanol secion is the info about corrosion.

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I tried the Shell U100 (100 octane unleaded with "lots" of ethanol ) in my 240 Race car and my Sports 2000 Roadster  and they both ran like dogs , apart form the corrosive issues you may find that the old skool engines just don't like the stuff .

 

Now I stick to the 98 RON BP stuff.

 

Alan

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Steve,

the higher the octane doesnt mean you have more "lubrication" (lead in the old days)...for a stockish-mild motor I run 92 octane with a squirt of lead replacement as opposed to "octane booster"...runs perfect.

If your motor is worked (& head modified accordingly) and your doing lap times like a fair few of the guys , then 95-98 would do the trick.  ;D

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The Shell V Power Racing has 5% ethanol and did wonders for my car.

When retuned for the 100 octane fuel my power went from 280kW atw to 310kW.

And the corrosion is not caused by ethanol but methanol which is used in many categories of drag racing.

 

cheers,

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Let me rephrase the corrosion issue, what I meant to say is a small percentage of ethanol

in petrol has no long term effects, but works really well in surpressing detonation allowing more timing and boost to be used. 

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Thought i would dig up this old thread as E85 is easier to get now and it seems a lot of people with modified engines swear by it.

 

Has anyone else tuned their car to run on E85?

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My engine said no to E85. Apperently the guys running turbos in Improved production have had some success, but for n/a not worth it.

 

I use 98, but will be doing the exercise on costing proper race fuel, Elf or equivalent, for how much km I would do in a year of racing and track days, and buying in the small amounts I would need at any one time. Looking at the cost difference and the convienience of 98, I think I will sacrifice the exta power I would get, for where I race improveing the handling and braking would be of a more cost effective benfit to me.

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I haven't tried it yet myself but I know a few people getting excellent results with it in boosted applications.  One in particular got better results than with $9 a litre Sunoco!  For race cars I think it's definately worth a shot but probably not worth the hassles in a road car.

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As mentioned earlier in the thread there is nothing wrong with running ethanol but it's but harder to get and availability is why most don't run it also the fact that you need all supporting fuel system mods (eg any plastic or urathanes replaced with stainless steel) basically a treated metal. Aluminium is a no go because it will corrode. There's a wealth of info out there, just google e85. May even be worth talking to csr about their propuct as they are a supplier.

 

"Soft metals such as zinc, brass or aluminum, which are commonly found in conventional fuel storage and dispensing systems are not compatible with E85."- http://www.in.gov/idem/catalog/guidance/la-072-gg.pdf/

 

"Corrosion: because the alcohol in ethanol corrodes aluminum, FFV components are made of stainless steel and E85 pumps must be modified or manufactured with stainless steel to prevent corrosion."- /

 

 

"there are only four acceptable metals to use, namely silver, copper, treated brass, and stainless steel."-http://gillesenergies.webs.com/buildyourownstill.htm/ 

 

 

http://www.ethanolfacts.com.au/

http://running_on_alcohol.tripod.com/id26.html

 

Good luck hope this helps.

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I'm waiting for it to become more available around here. I am really interested in trying some.

 

I've seen quite a few discussions on the myth of corrosion, I call it a myth, because I've read too many discussions, where someone has changed to E85, without chaning anything in thier fuel system and not had one bit of problems. Aluminum fuel rails, rubber hose, etc, all stood up fine.

 

The fuel sold around here all contains "up to" 10% ethanol, especially in winter, and has been sold that way for many years. I haven't seen or experianced any issues with the lower percentage of ethanol fuels.

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Hi i think it is the best fuel when injected. when it been setup properly it is grate. compresion as hi as 13.1 with no detonation car runs very cool .does it make more power no .but it does let you run more compresion .in a stock car it not good . wast of time.  not for carbs you all so have to change oil more often as it gets contaminated with alcohol. as a race fuel it is a good thing

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Kind of weird that no one has mentioned retuning for the fuel. A bit part of E85 is the oxygen content in the fuel and from what i've read you need to check your AFR to make sure its not running super lean. You would probably have to change your carb jetting / mixtures to be a lot richer for your car to run right.

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So 2 years have past since the last post and E85 is becoming the fuel to use in road and race engines more often now.

 

I have been trying to get as much info lately and find someone with the knowledge to tune as I can, with very little success on the net. I have an L series in my race only Datsun running Webers with very high comp. and want to run on either 100 oct fuel (98 + 10% eth) this is easier to get or possibly E85. Engine has never ran on anything other than Avgas.

Can anyone recommend someone to speak to? Or any advice would be very appreciated.

 

The Dato has fuel cell, copper fuel lines and is already running rich for performance. FYI

 

Thomo

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The boys down at Nizpro swear by E85...particularly the product supplied by United. The downsides are availability (you can't get it everywhere), the requirement to retune your engine to address the different stoich ratio it requires, the possibility you will need bigger injectors/jets and the fact you will use if faster. In the case of tuneable engine management systems like Apexi, you can just adjust the injector scale factor and you're good to go in the event you need to run on premium for a period of time due to not being able to get E85 (assuming you have previously tuned the engine for E85).

 

The upsides are a much higher octane rating, which gives you the potential for more power and in the case of turbo cars, Simon and Dave at Nizpro have dyno verified that it gives you useable boost at lower RPM (up to 500rpm lower than on premium) due to the increased gas volume (because you burn a greater mass of it per unit air). They also consider it will give you 10 degrees more spark which is where a lot of additional power can also be achieved on turbo cars that become spark/boost limited using premium unleaded.

 

In the words of Dave at Nizpro regarding turbo cars "...I wouldn't run a car on anything but E85 in the Melbourne area where it's easy to get...it is just that much better". These guys are tuning cars on it everyday, so they have plenty  of experience.

 

For those who don't understand how E85 works from a performance perspective, it's like this: Petrol has a stoichiometric ratio of 14.7:1. That is, you need 14.7lbs of air to burn 1lb of fuel. Ethanol is about half this, so more like 7:1. From a calorific point of view, petrol actually has more energy per lb than ethanol, but because of the lower stoich ratio, you can burn more pounds of it per unit air, hence get more power...the higher octane rating also helps power due to spark tolerance. When you add nitro methane to ethanol, the stoich ratio goes right down to about 4:1, and this is why top fuel dragsters burn 30 or so litres to cover the quarter mile...they are injecting a huge amount of fuel for the air that the engine uses, but this is the only way to produce such large amounts of power.

 

Bottom line: E85 is the highest performance potential fuel you can buy at the pump in this country, but you will have to make tuning and possibly component changes to get the benefits. You will also use more of it. E85 will be of no use (and may perform poorly) without retuning the engine. I have not heard of the corrosion problems driving component changes on conventional cars, but will check with the Nizpro chaps on this one....I do know they replaced the fibreglass tanks in their race boat with Stainless steel when they changed that engine over to E85.

 

Cheers

 

Jamo

 

 

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after 2 years in one car we have been racing id say you can keep it for the turbo cars , in NA cars there is better ways to go and is there a big advantage running more comp , no not really , 10.5 -11 is more than anuff  , E85 in NA cars has no advantage as it burns to slow , sorry i should say there is no addvantage in a L motor , i did a test a bit back where a tuned a car with E85 and made 180kw then removed the comp with new pistons and went from 12.3 to 10.6 and ran 98 fuel guess what it made 185kw  ... like i said 2 years ago its not for carbs , on a L motor

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HI

Problem here in SA is there is only a couple of spots you can get it and

have confidence that its the octane they say it is.

I would run it in my RB26 Z but cant be bothered going to get it in Jerry cans.

 

I must admit when you are trackside or at the top of the hill climb waiting to come

back down and an E85 car blasts past and you get that sweet sweet smell it almost

makes me want to change.

 

Paul

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after 2 years in one car we have been racing id say you can keep it for the turbo cars , in NA cars there is better ways to go and is there a big advantage running more comp , no not really , 10.5 -11 is more than anuff  , E85 in NA cars has no advantage as it burns to slow , sorry i should say there is no addvantage in a L motor , i did a test a bit back where a tuned a car with E85 and made 180kw then removed the comp with new pistons and went from 12.3 to 10.6 and ran 98 fuel guess what it made 185kw  ... like i said 2 years ago its not for carbs , on a L motor

 

Interesting, I was toying with the idea of going E85 once I eventually go to a new engine and injection. So are you saying even with injection on an NA L-motor it's a waste of time?

 

I have a few (much faster turbocharged) friends that use the Haltech or GM flex-fuel sensors coupled with a couple of base maps on their fancy ECUs allowing for any percentage of ethanol mixture from E0 (no ethanol) to E85. For anyone interested:

 

http://www.skylinesaustralia.com/forums/topic/366722-e8598-flex-fuel-mission-complete-thanks-to-chequered-tuning/

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The other thing the Nizpro team advises is that engines running on E85 run noticeably cooler than on 98.

 

I tend to agree with Peter Mc on the NA vs turbo question...turbo cars have the advantage of being able to get extra air in the cylinders, but run into knock problems moreso than NA engines, hence they benefit more from the octane rating of E85 while overcoming the calorific disadvantage. In the same way NA sprint car engines are built very specifically to benefit from running on methanol, you would need to build a very specific NA L series to benefit from E85. Pete has the experience here though, as I haven't messed around with it on NA engines. For turbos however, it can be of benefit without changing the engine mechanical configuration except for a re-tune to deal with the stoich ratio issues.

 

CHeers

 

Jamo

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For shore the best turbo fuel , for the price its great , and yes its a cool running fuel, even in NA cars . But there are down sides as well , because there is so much water in it it can cause problems with oil turning to mud , you need to have good breathers on your engine and make shore you don't do a lot of cold starts and short trips , if the oil does not get hot it will build up water and will cause problems , but bang for buck best turbo fuel around , just not so on NA cars

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