What makes a car E85 proof ?

Messages
9,783
Location
Saskatoon canada
Because more actual fuel is required to do work you need a larger fuel system including injectors and fuel pump. Going to big with injectors is similar to a carb that's too big. Just consider that. Going with my gut I'd look for the entire fuel system off a supercharged 3.8. That should flow enough e-85 for an NA version. If you can't find a wrecked boosted 3.8 then just order fuel system hardware meant for the boosted version. You might wanna try 1 heat range cooler plugs,if you find that the stockers are having problems with longevity. Since you need more fuel,and air you might wanna look at a larger exhaust as well. Because ethanol has less energy than gasoline you need to burn more of it,so your fuel system needs to be bigger if comparing to a similar hp gasoline engine,as well as intake and exhaust and tuning will be of the utmost importance. Its likely smarter to use the stock ecu and the hard/software as far as fuelling goes instead of buying an aftermarket stand alone system. Much easier. Then its just an injector,pump and fuel lines swap. Then find a tuner with a dyno and get the engine dynotuned to run e-85,and at least 1 gasoline tune. I'd have 2 gasoline tunes personally. One tune for low octane with not a lot of timing just in case I get stuck and that's all that's available. And a second gasoline tune written to maximize fuel economy at 89 octane. Then you've got the e-85 super speeder tune for when your feeling all ricki bobby,then if your long tripping you can run your fuel miser tune.
 
Messages
9,783
Location
Saskatoon canada
Originally Posted By: actionstan
Gaskets and seals compatible with E85 and ECU changes to handle the timing with E85 I believe.
It's not just timing. Whole new fuel and spark maps need to be written,air/fuel ratio is different too.
 
Messages
2,287
Location
Canada
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
actionstan, after those changes were made, would the car still be able to run on regular gasoline?
Modern passenger-car engines that are tuned for E85 will say something like "Flex Fuel" on the trunk lid. This means that they are designed to run on anything from E0 (0% ethanol) to E85 (85% ethanol), and everything in between.
 
Messages
10,740
Location
MA
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
What would have to be done to a car to make it able to run on E85 ? For example, a 2000 Buick LeSabre.
It would need to be sold and then an E85 model should be bought. Probably the cheapest way to do it. Doesn't cost the automaker that much more to do it, but it's a lot more for the end user to swap out all the parts. Price of flex fuel and regular gas cars are about the same. And E85 usually isn't that much cheaper than gasoline once you factor in the lower BTU per gallon of E85, usually it's more. I guess maybe in some areas where you're really close to an E85 source it might be but there are many flex fuel cars out there that just run on regular gas all the time.
 
Messages
488
Location
Ohio
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
actionstan, after those changes were made, would the car still be able to run on regular gasoline?
Considering that cars that are 'flex fuel' can also run regular gas, it 'should'. Clevy mentioned a lot more specific things, it would be such a large undertaking. Clevy you mentioned pulling hardware from a 3.8 boosted system.. but would it be safe to use with E85?
 
Messages
488
Location
Ohio
Originally Posted By: Wolf359
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
What would have to be done to a car to make it able to run on E85 ? For example, a 2000 Buick LeSabre.
It would need to be sold and then an E85 model should be bought. Probably the cheapest way to do it. Doesn't cost the automaker that much more to do it, but it's a lot more for the end user to swap out all the parts. Price of flex fuel and regular gas cars are about the same. And E85 usually isn't that much cheaper than gasoline once you factor in the lower BTU per gallon of E85, usually it's more. I guess maybe in some areas where you're really close to an E85 source it might be but there are many flex fuel cars out there that just run on regular gas all the time.
Pretty much this. You'd save a lot of trouble just getting a vehicle prebuilt to run e85. I don't think it's worth it either way though.
 
Messages
9,783
Location
Saskatoon canada
Originally Posted By: actionstan
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
actionstan, after those changes were made, would the car still be able to run on regular gasoline?
Considering that cars that are 'flex fuel' can also run regular gas, it 'should'. Clevy mentioned a lot more specific things, it would be such a large undertaking. Clevy you mentioned pulling hardware from a 3.8 boosted system.. but would it be safe to use with E85?
I don't see why not. By 2000 all the rubbers are ethanol resistant. I really think using a boosted version as the plan for an e-85 version would work almost perfectly. I'm sure there will be a couple bumps in the road however due to the supercharged version needing more fuel that means there's an oem quality and engineered system available and replacement parts will be easy to source. Because its a 2000 that means its obd-2 which is awesome. That means tuning is so much less hassle because you don't need a chip which suck and aren't adjustable. You buy a tuner instead and just upload whichever fuel your burning. And being dynamic a tuner can adjust and fine tune on the side of the road if needed. E-85 hasn't caught on everywhere yet so you still just have to be able to switch tuning to gasoline. You could likely find the hardware cheap enough however I can assure you that tuning will cost in excess of 2000 dollars minimum to tune it properly however its money well spent,otherwise there's going to be problems,and trust me when I tell you that there is nothing more frustrating then chasing down a glitch.
 
Messages
6,131
Location
Texas Hill Country
I could never make it work for me. Had a 2008 Marquis in NY with 4.6L flex fuel engine. E85 is cheaper, but was only at one station, out of my way. So I wasted fuel going to that station instead of a regular one. Prices were lower, but MPG was way lower. If you have E85 at your local station, try it out for a few months. I did note better performance on the corn juice, but that is about it.
 
Messages
7,485
Location
S California
If you're looking at the cost of transportation don't do it. Buy a flex-fuel vehicle. If you looking for a hobby this project would take care of your spare time for a while. Just make sure you have alternate transportation available during the conversion process. How about a CNG conversion?
 
Messages
28,123
Location
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Originally Posted By: OneEyeJack
How about a CNG conversion?
Or even an LPG conversion. It seems to me that an E85 conversion would be rather daunting. I've got an idea that would maybe cure Merk of his short OCIs and drive him insane with noise at the same time. Find one of those little Cummins out of the bread trucks, hopefully with a huge sump (to jack oil change costs substantially). Basically, remanufacture that vehicle to accept that diesel, and let us know how quiet it is and if you can run SuperTech 10w-30. Or, you could visit us in Canada and buy a 5 gallon pail of SuperTech 15w-40. wink
 
Messages
5,722
Location
Charlotte, NC
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
What would have to be done to a car to make it able to run on E85 ? For example, a 2000 Buick LeSabre.
First, why?? It's a 2000. It would cost more then the car is worth to convert it. If this is to be a diy project just for the fun of it, go find a flexfuel car in the jy and strip it for parts. Otherwise, sell the car and buy a flexfuel car. Done. Again, why?? I'm driving my second flexfuel car, a Dodge Grand Caravan. I haven't bought any E-85 yet. Too expensive, and not readily available, Only about 10 cents cheaper. Not worth it. YMMV Wayne
 
Messages
8,051
Location
Michigan
It's not worth the effort to convert a non-FlexFuel car to reliably run on E85. The entire fuel system needs to be replaced with appropriate seals, hoses, and stainless steel hard lines. Larger capacity injectors that also resist corrosion from the E85. Different fuel and spark calibrations for the ECU. E85 engines also use different valve materials. How deep into this do you want to get? It's not worth buying a FlexFuel car to run on E85 because it's not cost-effective. The ethanol mandate is being rolled back. E85 will disappear from most gas stations outside of the corn belt. The only people who really benefit from using it are drag racers with highly turbocharged cars.
 
Messages
273
Location
CO, USA
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
actionstan, after those changes were made, would the car still be able to run on regular gasoline?
If you are serious I'd get a ProEFI ECU installed with a Flex Fuel Sensor. That way the ecu can detect ethanol percentage and automatically make adjustments. It's similar to how the OEM Flex Fuel cars work. You will still need to do all of the other modifications already mentioned. IMO I would just buy a OEM flex fuel car.
 
Messages
14,732
Location
Central NY
There are a few people on ecomodder than run E85 in mid 90s vehicles NOT designed for it and they claim to have no negative effects from it.
 
Messages
3,561
Location
Central Iowa
Yeah, for a vehicle that is 14 years old, it is hardly worth the effort. For anything more recent, even if it was not specified a flex fuel vehicle out of the gate, it is an easy change. Auto companies have parts standardization to reduce production costs. It is not practical to have two sets of everything coming in on the trucks to the assembly lines and engine plants. I have hauled auto production parts for a lot of years, and they pretty much use the same components in a non flex fuel as they do a flex fuel. Just a ECM remap and it is ready to go. There was a vid on youtube where a 2000 Chevy was setup after the OEM build to run on E85 and did so for over 100,000 miles then they did a tear down to check components. The entire fuel system was standard stuff. No aftermarket items. They compared it to another like vehicle of the same year that had been only on gasoline. Pretty good results on the E85. Here we go. Went out and dug it up. It is an old video. The Vehicles were 2000 Chevy Tahoe's. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuOs1yap8mU
 
Last edited:
Top