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E85 conversion

  1. I have been looking at E85 conversion kits on-line. My impression is that they are drastically overpriced. The going price seems to be about $500 for a 8 cylinder model, for a device that should only cost about $50 to produce.

    Here is my impression, you connect this device between the ECM and the fuel injectors, and the device stretches the injector pulse to allow more fuel.

    Some of these kits claim to automatically adjust for E85 or gas. I don't see how this is possible, as they have no connection to anything besides the injectors, no connection to MAF, or knock sensor, or O2 sensor.

    Anyhow, they claim to stretch the injector pulse about 30%.

    I am considering making my own device, perhaps to sell.

    Here are some questions:
    1) Would you start the fuel injector pulse when the ECM starts the pulse, and make it longer, or would you sync with the ECM and make the pulse start earlier as well as end later. I don't know how the beginning of the injector pulse corresponds to the valve opening.

    2) How would you determine what kind of fuel the car is running on.

    Apparently there are EPA legality issues involved with such a device. There also seems to be some dispute about the effect that E85 would have on the fuel system of a car not designed for E85. We have been using E10 in Colorado for many years, I assume it has done a good job of dissolving sludge in everyones gas tank.
  2. I have heard (no clue if it is really true though) that E85 is much more corrosive and you would have issues with the tank, seals, fuel lines, ect. as well as the injector issues.
  3. I've heard about the corrosive properties also. From what I understand the new dual fuel E85 vehicles have an upgraded fuel supply system. So to do it and do it right you would probably have to replace the vast majority of your entire fuel system.
  4. At this point I am no expert, but this is what I am seeing from people trying to sell E85 conversions, as opposed to what I see from people trying to sell new E85 cars:


    1. E85 Ethanol is corrosive

    Yes ethanol is corrosive, but not very much. Gasoline is corrosive too. Ethanol is biodegradable in water. So it has a tendency to contain and attract water. It is not the corrosive properties of ethanol that can cause damage to your vehicle; it is the water which can rust a vehicle’s fuel system from the inside out. Today’s vehicles (since mid 1980s) have fuel systems which are made to withstand corrosive motor fuels and rust from water. Also today’s distilling processes are superior to way back when. We now have better techniques for drying out ethanol or reducing the water content.

    On side note, gas contains water too. Ever hear of dry gas?

    2. If I put E85 in my gas tank, it will eat it away.

    If your car was built in the old days, it was had a lead coated, steel tank. The water in ethanol would cause the tank to rust from the inside out. The government mandated that all gas in the USA contain 10% ethanol to help reduce pollution. In the mid 80s, automakers made vehicles with fuel systems to be ethanol and rust tolerant. Gas tanks began to contain polymers and Teflon which are extremely durable.

    6. E85 will eat my rubber fuel lines.

    This is another myth from the old days. Rubber technology has significantly advanced so the concerns of a 20 year old car or newer having issues like this are extremely rare. Plus the 15% gas will help keep lines lubricated.

    7. E85 will destroy my fuel pump.

    E85 won’t destroy your fuel pump, but using it can damage it. If you have a new car and run E85 in it from the day it is new, you will probably have no problems out of the ordinary with your fuel pump. If you convert a high mileage vehicle to FlexFuel, the E85 will cause the sediment in the gas tank to dissolve and then get sucked up by the fuel pump. This sediment can shorten the life of the pump of your high mileage vehicle. Fuel pumps are not expensive to replace. The sediment will be trapped by your fuel filter so it will not reach your engine.
  5. E-85 is a loser at the current price localy .01 cheaper than regular for 25-33% less mileage.
    as for the myths about e-85 there is some truth.
    If there is any water even a very small amout of water then the e-85 will carry it through your fuel system potentialy causing rust and rough running.The alcohol will mix with water.
    E-85 fuel pump and injectors. E-85 is dry it does not lubricate the parts as well as gasoline this causes failures of pumps and injectors not designed to run on them. This is why Alcohol drasters add lubricants to the alcohol. This is simular to the problems seen in diesel engines with the new low sulpher fuels.
    I manage a fleet shop with 60 units we have looked at alt fuels. and even tried some. Even with tax breaks we are back to gasoline and diesel.
    I have never seen a "lead coated steel gas tank" maybe you are thinking galvinized ?
  6. not directly related to this thread, but here is my rant on ETHANOL.

    Here in Mass, our gas contains 10% ETHANOL (they are trying to make it 20%). My motorcycle has a gas tank that is made of carbon fiber, and the ETHANOL is actually causing the carbon fiber to delaminate from the inside out.

    This little addition to the gas is going to cost me $2000 for a new tank and another $1000 in paint this year.

    Additionally when I gas up in Mass, I get 2 mpg less than if I gas in NH (which does not have an ETHANOL additive)and my car does not run as well.

    <rant off>