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Everything posted by 1outlaw

  1. I agree with you mpersell on the speculation aspect. Since Feb contract period for summer months- unleaded is up about 75 cents primarily driven by traders more than real demand / shortage (though BP Whiting IN partial shut down did tighten the Chicago area which also includes part of WI and Michigan driving basis wild). I also sense you feel that WI. 9.12% minumum markup is questionable at a $3.00 gasoline wholesale when it was adequate in the past at $1.00 or less. Amen! The only constant % from $1.00 to $3.00 is the 2-3% credit card fees. To add insult to injury the ethanol price at the terminal does not reflect the real market- effectively pricing it out of the market at times, restricting competition and innovation. Is it your opinion that on the govt oil leases that govt is paid more as crude goes up or does the lease stay flat fee and oil companies benefit from high crude #'s?
  2. I feel pretty strong about seeing as many mechanics as possible before opening a station and providing them with what cars are flex-fuel, what to expect when people misfuel, what e85 looks like (so if they see a clear material they do not say it's water), how blends change with seasons, the proper way to test alcohol content, not to totally trust their alcohol test kits (they often are wrong and cause delays in fixing real problems), web sites to go to (such as this one) to learn more, mileage variations including better models to poorer, what octane it is, that it is also a high performance race fuel, and as much as I can about what issues manufacturers have been experiencing- to name a few. Often I can only get to the service writers, mgt, and sales staff. You would not believe what some preconceptions some of these folks have. Once opening a station- we try to put staff there at the pumps as much as possible to educate consumers. Grocery stores have a hard time doing all the above as do also chain C-stores.
  3. mpersell- I know a former Chrysler engineer who did a lot of their early alcohol work leading up to their FFV designs- I will look up what he said to do but you have already done much of it. I do remember some of it; he did specify plug type, less restrictive intake, larger exhaust (he noted that alcohols expand more in combustion, helping to push the piston down with less btu than gasoline, but also needing larger exhaust), and though he noted with caution (due to sensor input) he recommended a 5 degree warmer thermostat if you are going for fuel economy. Last time I talked to him, he had done all but the exhaust on his 5.3 L Suburban FFV, then tuned his ECU so that he was within 1-1 1/2 MPG of NL gas which is far better than the 4mpg difference for the factory tune that is prevalent in the model year he has. He wrote his own tune for the ECU.
  4. Golden Rule ;D Snuck that right in didn't ya? Pretty good list!
  5. Thanks Corey for the lean burn info- you confirmed my suspicions and thoughts about running lean at light cruise- I feel that this is where a lot of factory FFV tunes may have room for improvement. Nice to have you with us.
  6. Thanks for the post Cory- is a lean burn window common in most factory tunes?
  7. That is a crime- a retail of $1 over most of midwest cost
  8. 1outlaw


    Danny- about 4-5% of the cars/trucks on the road are flex-fuel already- have you already checked the inside of the fuel door for the words; "ethanol" "e85" etc?
  9. 1outlaw


    Tom- Renew stations are all at $2.099
  10. mpersell- I would also ask them to show you in writing Daimler's most recent oil type and mileage recommendations. I also run full synthetic to 8,000 miles on all mine except for the Impala (because GM does not allow extended drain under warranty). A friend of mine uses standard diesel oils and changes his at 8-10,000 miles- oil analysis has indicated he can go much farther. His truck is a 1990 Ranger non-ffv (and no mods) with over 250,000 miles of which the last 70,000 miles is all E85.
  11. The 70% minumum ethanol is the standard Federal Decal that is required for all E85 pumps regardless of season- It just means the ethanol content is >70% (but could be up to 85%). If you are in Dallas you will not want winter version now as the vapor pressure may be too high for your weather (are you in the 90's yet?)- it would be almost as bad as running winter gasoline in the summer. Right now north of 31 degree lattitude you can run Spring blend (76% alcohol) and south of 31 degree lattitude summer (81%) or Spring blend. In May both areas should be Summer blend. I do not think being off by 1 season will cause any issues but using winter blend in a summer zone could cause some operabilty issues such as hot start, erratic hot idle, etc- this would be made worse by the unleaded gas left in your tank when you filled. Most vehicles do not have a problem with this as long as the fuel lines are not run thru too close to extreme hot areas- this would cause issues with gasoline too. Going the opposite way- using summer e85 in the winter would lead to difficult cold starts. Good luck mpersell- I know the frustration-you already probably know more than your mechanic on this- I do find that dealers who have racers for mechanics catch on faster because they are interested in making it work and understand what the fuel does do and what it cannot do.
  12. mpersell- I still say to keep pressure on Daimler about this. The consumption rate you are at is near pure ethanol difference (76,000btu/gal ethanol vs 115,000btu/gal gas=.66). You cannot compare it to methanol which is 55,000btu/gal(roughly half energy content of gas) Winter e85 is really e70 (76.3% btu content of gas), Summer E85 is really 81% alchohol (and is 72.5%btu content of gas). With ethanol's properties- a proper tune in a OBD II can close the gap to 1/2 the btu difference under lighter load yet will need full energy difference under WOT. A former Chrysler engineer (who did a lot of ethanol work in the 70's and 80's) I know has his Suburban running at a 1mpg difference (6%-10%) with just tuning under mixed driving. Do you know the exact % blend you are running?
  13. mpersell- That is one bad tune. Are you towing a heavy trailer or running very short (<5 mile) distances? How are you determining mpg- with an on-board computer or hand calc? My guess is your tailpipe is even black from the over rich condition (this was a problem on my Impala for a while). Difficult starting and rough idle is not normal nor acceptable for an FFV. Mpg differences of 68% of gas as you have listed is also very poor unless you are towing or all short run, cold starts- even then 75-80% would be more appropriate. Something is wrong either with the factory tune or the vehicle. I agree with the others who encouraged you to keep working on the shop folks and Dodge while this is under warranty. Tell them you bought the truck so you could use e85 and you expect it to run properly on it. Be patient but insistent- it took Ford 9 months to come out with a flash so their Taurus's would start right (some -not all had issues). GM also took time to address some issues they had. Make sure your dealer has logged this complaint and sent the data and your VIN code up to Daimler. You do not say where you are or how many tankfuls in a row you tested or if the fuel was tested for alcohol content. Be aware most of the dealer tests I have seen for % alcohol are not even close. Take a sample to your state lab or perform your own h20 test IF the station you are buying it from cannot give you the precise blend. The blend would have to be way off (too much alcohol) to give you poor mileage but if it is a little too much- it could affect starting. Just so you know- my 2001 s10 starts flawless year round sitting outside- hot or cold, has no operational issues and consumes 10-18% more e85 than gas depending on what type of trip it is doing. The '05 Taurus we have -used to start excellent in the winter and rough the rest of the year- a new Ford ecu flash fixed that. Mpg difference is as little as 10% in the winter to as much as 20% in hard driving summer conditions. The '06 Impala has a poor tune-calling for approx. 22-26% more fuel and some starting/ operating issues. GM does have a very recent recall on it- hopefully a flash will also improve mpg but this flash is to help it learn the fuel you have put in better and faster. (important for drivibility/ operational issues). Starting has never been an issue w/ mine but it did not like me switching fuels. When I first ran E85 this car consumed almost 32% more fuel (six straight tanks) and the tailpipe was blackened with carbon- I took it off e85 for 3 tankfuls and when I put it back on E85 it settled out at about 25% additional consumption. This is mpg issue seems common for '06 Impalas and '04-'06 5.3 liter GM- Just my opinion.
  14. Good point Jeff- thanks for the clarification
  15. You would have to pay me big $ to take the last 2 >
  16. Welcome to the forum EatDirt- folks here use ethanol for many differing reasons and one of them may be to save money (we all hope to have fun and save money doing it). If your sole reason for using E85 is to save money- you may want to forget the cents/ gallon spread and use 80% of the gas price as your break even (20/25=0.8 Your results are not uncommon for a 2006 GM 5.3L. Most of the 2002-2003's 5.3L were better as is my 2001 2.2L s10. Breakeven for these are approx. 88%. Personally I like E85 for performance, and who the money goes to when I use it. The side benefit for me is most of the year it saves me $, engine stays much cleaner, reduces govt. farm program costs, and supports farmers. I am more fortunate than most when it comes to buy E85- Here the spread's narrowest point was 86.2% last Feb. and is now 70.4%.
  17. My son drives a 1996 GM Sierra 5.7L with 225,000 miles on it- bought it from a friend who used it to make deliveries pulling a heavy trailer- runs real sweet- fuel system is untouched. Most of the miles driven on this truck has been on E20. :
  18. Looks like Senator Thune is a violator of EPA rules- fueling on E20- if he put that in a non-FFV. Now he's just like the rest of us violators putting e85 in non-FFV's or running up the alcohol content 'til we find the CEL limit 8)
  19. "Do ethanol companies have the power to set whatever price they want to sell ethanol to the petroleum companies?" Not really- plants produce 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and typically only have 2-3 days storage. Combine that with the fact that there are about 130 plants with approx. 75 different ownership (companies) all trying to get rid of tomorrow's or next month's production to refiners who would prefer to use a product they make (iso-octane, pentane, etc). Add to this fact that it is funneled through brokers who make money by keeping quiet about what they really sold it (or bought it) for, throw in a little imports and ---- did you ask if ethanol companies have the power to set the price???? ;D
  20. The Chrysler code: MS -- unless things have changed in the recent past- an oil # starting with "MS----" is simply a military specification # which means nothing to us but historically was to have been a tighter set of parameters than the more generic API SAE 5w30 SM for example. Supposedly the military did not find API categories tight enough for bid spec??? What rusty is saying makes sense on the antiwear metal additives and increased wear. Wonder if there really were plating issues in the converters? I am not sure though that we are using up our TBN running E85 in extended drain intervals. I wonder if we do create more h20 in the cooler burn, the ph of e85 is very slightly acid (but what is gasoline?),- BUT most importantly- e85 contains almost no sulfur which is usually the chief source of acids which consume TBN. As others have said- I run a synthetic oil (I used to run CE diesel oils) and wonder if it is best. I like the synthetics for cold start and extreme heat. I have not used oil analysis lately- it is an awesome tool if used at every oil change. The only test I have seen on oil w/ e85 was on a diesel oil at 8500 miles (engine has 250,000 miles and is not an FFV)-- wear metals, viscosity,fuel dilution,TBN was still great!
  21. He may be saying this to blunt the US/Brazil meeting and agreement. Castro wants his socialist agenda to spread through-out South America.
  22. I am not a tuner so others on this site can help more than I- I am curious what your setup will be. A local street racer runs his stock turbo 2004 or 2005 completely unmodified. I wonder if you stay EFI if you even need to worry about E70 vs E85 (true alcohol diff is only 11% in reality per Fed handbook). I would hope your local station owner can tell you what blend they have at the time you call- maybe even show you the shipping papers if they haven't been sent to a central office elsewhere. If you are really pushing compression or boost- what matter just as much is what makes up the gas portion of the mix- this could be the difference of 3-5 octane.
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