Can I/ Should I use E85 in my car that says it can use 10% ethanol?

Messages
202
Location
oklahoma city, ok
I was wondering since gas is now 3 dollars a gallon would it be safe to run E85 in my 88 Ford Bronco II. It says it can run on a 10% ethanol blend could it run on 15%? I know that E85 usually gets less mpg than regular gasoline, would it be cost effective if I can use it in my vehicle?
 
Messages
2,689
Location
South Carolina
Unless your vehicle is rated for the E-85 (FFV), you may achieve less-than-stellar results. One concern that I would have is that E-85 is 85% ethyl alcohol, and your fuel system components, mainly the rubber ones, may not really be designed for this much alcohol. Also, you may have more trouble starting your engine cold, since the stuff does not seem nearly as volatile as gasoline. You can remedy this with a quick shot of starting fluid, however. If you do decide to try some out of desperation with the high prices of regular gas, try topping up just the last 25% of your tank with the stuff. If that goes well you could go 50% or better, depending how lucky you are feeling. I have heard of vehicles that are hard to start and won't hardly idle, but once you get going, the stuff runs great. I've run it up to half a tank (50% mix) in my 91 caprice with 305 V8 and TB injection. A little harder to start in the morning, but otherwise runs great. Good luck!
 

bigwillie

Thread starter
Messages
202
Location
oklahoma city, ok
Thanks for the quick response bmwtechguy. I think the next time I'm near the 1 of 2 E85 gas stations near me I will try a 25% fill up and let everyone now how it goes. I'm currently 620 miles into an arx clean phase in my engine, do you know if the E85 will disrupt the arx treatment in any way? BTW the engine in my Bronco II is a 2.9L fuel injected V6 just in case you wanted to know.
 
Messages
2,689
Location
South Carolina
I used the E-85 on and off through 3 complete AR-X cycles (severely sludged, neglected, engine) and did not have any problems. In fact, the engine has noticeably increased power than before I started. I don't see how it could affect the cleaning process. You could email Frank or PM one of the board experts such as Terry Dyson to find out for sure. I have used a fuel system treatment called Fuel Power throughout the ARX cycles, as this was recomended by Terry Dyson, I believe, to reduce insolubles in the oil. But, I don't see a problem. E85 is supposed to be a very clean burning fuel and may have some cleaning ability of its own. BTW, I did not notice any real difference in gas mileage while running 50% E85. The car ran really well actually- maybe partly due to the 105 octane rating?
 

bigwillie

Thread starter
Messages
202
Location
oklahoma city, ok
I don't know the exact price of E85 in your area but in my area it usually seems to be 20 to 50 cents cheaper than regular gasoline, i don't know what it is now but it is sure to be at least a little chepaer than gasoline. I think the next tank I'm going to run 75% Shell V-Power and 25% e85 instead of my regular 87. It guess it will be kind of like racing fuel with the 93 octane V-Power and the 105 octane E85. BTW thanks for all of your great help and advice bmwtechguy.
 
Messages
56
Location
Maryland
e-85 needs different fuel lines lower fuel pressure larger fuel injectors different timing hardend valve seats It sounds risky to me.. [I dont know]
 
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7,077
Location
Ontario, Canada
One website says the LHV for gasoline is 115,000 BTU/gallon, while that for ethanol is 75,700. E85 might have about 82,000 BTU/gallon. The price of E85 would have to be more than 29% cheaper than gasoline for it to make sense for me to buy it.
 
Messages
2,689
Location
South Carolina
Well, regular here is $3-3.20/gal and the E85 is still at $2.09, so for now it seems to work for me. I'm also not risking much with my old daily driver car. It does get slightly worse gas mileage when I run a good dose of it. [Frown]
 

bigwillie

Thread starter
Messages
202
Location
oklahoma city, ok
I don't really think there can be to much risk from using a 25% ethanol 75% gas blend I would never use it straight though that could cause trouble. The car i'm using it in is also an old daily driver so i'm not to cocerned. Also I have been using FP60 for the last 6 or 7 tanks so I think that my fuel system it pretty clean and lubricated.
 
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47,776
Location
Everson WA - Pacific NW USA
I doubt it's risky. Ethanol isn't particularly hard on fuel lines (as mathanol is) and I'm sure you already have hardened valve seats. It may run kinda crappy......whay kind of fuel management system in an 88 Bronco?
 

bigwillie

Thread starter
Messages
202
Location
oklahoma city, ok
quote:
Originally posted by Pablo: I doubt it's risky. Ethanol isn't particularly hard on fuel lines (as mathanol is) and I'm sure you already have hardened valve seats. It may run kinda crappy......whay kind of fuel management system in an 88 Bronco?
The 2.9L V6 is fuel injected and as I understand it from people more knowledgable then me about Bronco IIs on the bronco ii forum I visit, has two fuel filters one is a metal in line type filter closer to the engine, the other is a canister type filter near the frame rail. There are also two fuel pumps one high pressure front fuel pump, and another booster type pump in the tank. As far as the exhaust goes it has dual cats and then a single exist exiting at the rear passenger side. Hope this answers your question pablo. Also the car had not been driven much if at all when I got it only once or twice a week for about 17 years on trips to the grocery store and to church, so it only has 47k on it.
 
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698
Location
MA

LC

Messages
536
Location
Wisconsin
I have been running E85 in my ranger (1999)for 63,000 trouble free miles. There is probe in the tank that reads what % of ethanol is in the fuel. It than adjusts the computer timing (advanced for high ethonal) The only item different on my FFV Ranger than on non FFV ranger is the main fuel filter located on the frame rail. And the little probe in the gas tank. I know many people who run a 50/50 mix in there cars/truck. some new 2005 even. It cost about a $1.00 a gallon less than regular unleaded. In our neck of the woods anyway.
 
Messages
3,398
Location
Midwest, Illinois
"I was wondering since gas is now 3 dollars a gallon would it be safe to run E85 in my 88 Ford Bronco II. It says it can run on a 10% ethanol blend could it run on 15%? I know that E85 usually gets less mpg than regular gasoline, would it be cost effective if I can use it in my vehicle? " I'm thinking major drivability problems. E85 is 85% ethanol, 15% gasoline, not the other way around. You will be majorly lean on the AF ratio with the 88's fuel management system. A bad idea, IMHO.
 
Messages
540
Location
Fla
Without sounding stupid I was always led to believe ethanol was part of the reason your car ran rough.After hearing Bush pushing it today I need to read more on the effects it has on my cars and truck.I also thought they only put it in some of the less known gasolines. If Shell, Texaco,Mobil and Amoco now use 15% its news to me. [Confused]
 
Messages
1,013
Location
wisconsin
If you go on www. fueleconomy.gov it give the EPA rating on the flex-fuel cars . The gas mileage is about 6-8 mpg less using E-85.
 
Messages
1,043
Location
Central IN
quote:
Originally posted by steveh: If you go on www. fueleconomy.gov it give the EPA rating on the flex-fuel cars . The gas mileage is about 6-8 mpg less using E-85.
But the E85 is typically about a buck cheaper per gallon (at least here in Indy).
 
Messages
755
Location
Oshkosh, WI
quote:
Originally posted by steveh: If you go on www. fueleconomy.gov it give the EPA rating on the flex-fuel cars . The gas mileage is about 6-8 mpg less using E-85.
Certain vehicles (mostly GM) tend to take a nosedive in MPG running on E85. Others don't. In real world experience with FFVs, the Caravans and Tauruses don't really experience a loss in MPG. My buddy has a 2000 Caravan, and gets nearly identical MPG on E85 or straight gasoline. He also commented that the van feels quicker on E85. At the dealership I work for, we had a 2004 Dodge Stratus with the 2.7L V6 FFV. I held that car hostage for a while and ran E85 in it almost exclusively, and it too delivered very good MPG (like 24-26) in mixed driving, and it also felt like it picked up a couple ponies compared to running on gasoline. I liked that car. If it wasn't silver, I'd have probably bought it for myself. The exhaust smelled like stewed tomatoes when started cold before the catalysts lit off. Once warmed up, there was no detectable exhaust odor, but it produced a lot more water vapor. It would have a steam cloud following it around regardless of how long the car had been driven, and if left idling long enough, would dribble lots of water out of the drain holes in the mufflers. To satisfy my own curiosity, it did not do this on gasoline...Just a little bit when first warming up, but no detectable amount once warm.
 
Messages
214
Location
Illinois
Here is the link to the report (4.64MB, 24 pages): http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/FEG2006.pdf Starting on page 5, the EPA gives you the fuel economy ratings for all 2006 vehicles in the US. If a particular vehicle is listed as a "FFV vehicle", then they give you the city/highway fuel economy ratings when that vehicle runs on gasoline, as well as the city/highway fuel economy ratings when that vehicle runs on E85. They also give you a comparison of what that vehicle would cost to drive for a year (assuming you drove 15,000 miles, 55% city and 45% highway) if you put E85 in the tank vs. gasoline, but unfortunately, that figure is based on gasoline @ $2.20 a gallon for regular unleaded, and $2.00 a gallon for E85. If there are any math gurus out there, maybe you could convert the numbers for us to reflect the current prices?
 
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