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Everything posted by bbesler

  1. Using E85 in non-FFV vehicles is a do at your own risk proposition. I'm running E70 now with no CEL and no-performance hit at 75 K miles on a supercharged Scion tC. The supercharger kit replaces the stock fuel injectors with higher flow ones, plus an ECM flash which has a much wider trip capability. Thus I would expect my engine to be able to handle higher ethanol concentrations than the standard 2.4 L Toyota engine. I would love to see a complete list of what is changed in an FFV versus non-FFV where the models are almost identical like a Chevy Malibu for example. The fleet ones are FFV and the standard ones aren't.
  2. My supercharged Scion tC has about the same story. About E60-E70 is the best blend for me. Non-FFV vehicles need to be experimented with to find the suite spot. I mix one gallon regular to 4 gal E85 and all seems to be happy. Any higher than that I notice P0171 (running lean codes) which stop after I dilute back down with regular gas. Considering I would have to use 91+ octane normally, I'm ahead with E60-70.
  3. There is only one blender pump in Michigan. I just do the math and mix my own using E85 and regular gas(E10)
  4. Amazon lists and Actron scan tool for about $60. Harbor Freight carriers a similar thing. It is a fairly compact, bare bones ODB II scanner that can pull codes and reset CEL(clear codes). It gets its power from the ODB II port I carry one in the glove compartment in case of CEL. http://www.amazon.com/Actron-CP9125-PocketScan-Code-Reader/dp/B0007LEG2K http://www.harborfreight.com/can-obdii-code-reader-with-multilingual-menu-98568.html
  5. I have a 2008 scion tC with the TRD supercharger kit which includes higher flow fuel injectors and an ECU flash to not throw CEL and P0171 on leaner than normal conditions. Pure E85 gives ping, ping, ping no power, hard starting and CEL. 50-60% ethanol plus regular 87 octane gas runs great. Normally I have to use 91+ octane gas. 75% E85 with 25% regular 87 octane gas mixture seems to work well. I wait till the tank is close to empty, put in 1/8 tank of gas, then 3/4 E85, and 1/8 regular gas to top it off. At the Meijer by me E85 is in the same pump housing as regular gas, so I can do it all in one stop. A little OCD I suppose, but I want to be sure the fuel is well mixed in the tank.
  6. I've been running my car (TRD supercharged 2008 Scion tC) successfully (meaning no check engine light, normal power) on 75% E85/ 25% regular gasoline which gives somewhere between 50% and 60% ethanol since gas is almost always 10% ethanol. Mileage drops 15% so it comes out to be equivalent to $3.50/gal instead or $4.20 for premium since E85 is about $3.15/gal in MI.
  7. The 2008 Scion tC moded with the supercharger kit can handle E50. Normally I have to use 91+ octane gas so I can use E85 cut with regular gas (E10) to splash blend my own and be oK. My old Honda Civic 2002 could only handle E30. I hope to see more 4 cyl direct injection E85 capable vehicles coming out. The 2012 Ford Focus ST is such as vehicle as is the 2011 Buick Regal Turbo
  8. Well on my second tank of E85 things started going down hill. I started having some starting difficulties and hesitation under acceleration on the supercharged Scion tC. I had four codes and a CEL P0171 is the code for "fuel system too lean". At about 1/3 of a tank down, I topped it off with regular gas(E10) which should have diluted my tank down to about E50. Cleared the codes and everything is good now. I think E50 is the comfortable limit for my engine ECU.
  9. The TRD supercharger kit included an ECU flash to handle lean conditions as normal under accelerating because of the supercharger. I'm just taking advantage of that mod for E85 use. I will post the code I get and if I get anymore CELs after I clear it.
  10. I just filled up with the second full tank of E85 today. The scion tC just gave me a check engine light although it still runs completely fine. I will hookup my ODB II scanner when I get home and pull the fault code(and reset the check engine light). I got 23 mpg as opposed to the normal 26/27 mpg I get on premium.
  11. On E70 I do notice it takes about 2 seconds of starter cranking versus one on pure premium gas. There is about a 1/4 second stumble in the engine right when it starts. Then it is fine. I let it warm about a minute before driving it. This is in about 45 degree ambient temperature.
  12. The TRD supercharger kit provides a nice boost, but the wastegate limits it to 7 lbs. The supercharger could do 20 lbs. Because it is under factory warranty till 100K miles, the turnkey kit is adjusted to the conservative end. I have two ODB II scanners, but they are for fault code/reset only. I would need to buy an ODB II to USB kit with software that would hook to my laptop. I may do that depending on price. Regarding nitrogen tire inflation, air is 78% nitrogen. You increase it with nitrogen inflation to like 96% in the tires. If you get it for free like at Belle Tire fine. I wouldn't pay for it.
  13. I think the blend in the tanks is probably pretty consistent with what is in the chart below. The E85 cycles through the tanks around here fast lately it seems because gas prices are so high. I paid $3.04 a few days ago for E85 at Meijer including a 5c Meijer credit card discount. I'm sure I am running blend level 3 which is E70. After a half a tank I think I'm observing at 15% mpg reduction, but no acceleration or start problems yet. At work it was left out and started a couple of times below 50 degrees F. Normally the supercharged engine require 91 octane so I'm saving money even with the mpg reduction. I will report more fully on the mileage once I am though a couple tanks of E85. Normally the tC gives me 27 mpg. From what I am reading the new direct injection engines like the Buick Regal turbo and the Ford Ecotech should use E85 with mpg closer to regular gasoline.
  14. I have been running my 2008 Scion tC on increasing E85 percentages over the last 400 miles or so. I am full E85(which in MI right now is really E70). I have had no check engine light or apparent reduction in power. I'm keeping a close eye on my fuel mileage, since the is my first pure tank of E85. The engine sounds the same at idle. I mention that because when I tried E85 in my 2002 Civic, there was a pronounced valve noise and large reduction in acceleration. My tC has has the TRD supercharger kit installed. It is a turnkey package which is dealer installed with higher flow fuel injectors and a new ECU program which is designed to handle "lean conditions" on wide open throttle. I have done WOT on full E85 with no problem. I suspect the supercharger mods are what is allowing the E85 to work, even though the tC is not a flex fuel vehicle. My scion tC has a stock 4 cyl Camray engine with the TRD supercharger kit.
  15. There is a new BP station in Utica, Michigan with E85 also 8100 HALL RD UTICA 48317 Tel: 586-739-2211
  16. What did you do to convert the supercharged car to E85. I have a supercharged Scion tC. So far only run 91+ octane gas in it because of warranty.
  17. 8100 HALL RD UTICA 48317 Tel: 586-739-2211
  18. VALERO E85 $3.07/gal this morning 24722 SOUTHFIELD RD SOUTHFIELD MI 48075-2715 SUNOCO E85 $3.15/gal this morning 25000 Greenfield Rd Oak Park, MI
  19. I looked into buying a Civic NGV, but Honda only will sell them to fleets, or to residents of California, and New York. There are about 10 public natural gas refuling stations in Michigan. Most are in the city of Detroit at gas company facilities. There are two at public gas stations in Ann Arbor. The Phil home refueling unit is almost $5000 installed in Michigan. There is a contractor who will do it here. The unit takes 750 watts and takes about 12 hours to do a full refuel. The commercial gas stations pumps apparently do in 10 minutes. Consumer Reports said the practical range on the NGV was about 180-200 miles. Make sure you have AAA Plus with its 100 mile towning if you run out of gas...... I would love to see a car that could run on CNG and propane. Propane is much wasier to liquify(need only pressure) and much easier to find, especially in rural areas. A flex fuel hybrid like a Prius would be nice to have or a plug in flex-fuel Prius would be even better.
  20. The 2008 Scion tC with supercharger is 91 Octane required. I mixed 60% 93 Octane premium and 40% 87 octane comming out of the same Sams Clum pump. I must have looked wierd to the clerk, because I put some premium in first, the regular, the premium. That way I make sure it is mixed. I have done the same thing on my previous car with a station that had E85 and gasoline in the same pump. Essentially a do it yourself belnder pump.
  21. I just bought a brand new Scion tC which has a 2.4L Toyota Camray engine with a supercharger in it. It require 91 octane or higher fuel. Since premium is $$$$, how much E85 do you think I could mix in to save some $$$. E85 is about 3.39/gal around southeastern MI now versus $4.35/gal for 93 octane/
  22. Exisiting flex-fuel vehicles just use the oxygen sensor(s) already present in all vehicles today. In effect, they don't really know what's in the tank, just what the exhaust gas oxygen concentration is. This does extrapolate back to what the actual ethanol/gasoline percentage is.
  23. This is a high tech way of doing it. Note that this is a Brazilian research paper. http://www.cori.unicamp.br/centenario2008/completos/B11%20-%20DETERMINATION%20OF%20THE%20CONCENTRATION%20RATIOS%20OF%20BIOETHANOL.pdf Pure ethanol and gasoline have very similar specific gravities, and SG varies with temperature so I doubt that would work very well for a coolant hydrometer type of thing. A $2500 SG meter is capabale of doing it apparently. Fischer Scientific market a professional handled measuring instrument for such a purpose, but it needs to be calibrated with know gasoline/ethanol mixtures. In "English" an in tank system based on the paper above could be built for under $100 in parts I think.
  24. Tomorrow I'm picking up my new supercharged 2008 Scion tC. My E85 running 202K mile 2002 Civic was just sold to my dad. I hope he will continue to run it on pure E85. The Scion has a 5yr/60K mile powertrain warranty. You have to run 91 octane or better in the supercharged engine. I bought the Toyota Racing Development supercharger(dealer installed) because it comes with higher flow fuel injectors and a new engine program designed to handle the high fuel flow. I suspect this will be an ideal E85 vehicle once the powertrain warranty expires.
  25. Vehicles which are FFVs give increased Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) credits to the manufacturer. The way the formula is encourages the manufacturers to make the lowest EPA MPG mileage vehicles FFVs first. As I've mentioned on the forum the Chevy 2009 HHR will be the first 4cyl FFV. In my opinion GM is the only auto company putting a serious effort into E85. The have invested in two cellulosic ethanol companies and made a deal with the large retail chain Meijer to put E85 pumps in many of their gas stations in Michigan and Ohio. There are 3 Sunoco stations in the Detroit Metro area(Brighton, Southfield, and Bloomfield Hills) that are owned or supplied by Corrigan Oil with their E85. They are all below $3.39/gal while most other statiosn have E85 at $3.50 or above in Michigan. So many Kudos to GM and Corrigan for making E85 a viable reality in their home territory.
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