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fleebut

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I'm blending e10 and e85 in my 1999 lumina sedan, 3.1 l v6.  With my 14 gallon tank, I can put 7 gallons of each fuel in with no CEL whatsoever.  If I bump it up to 8:6, I get the CEL some times, but not every time.  Seems to me that I get the light on this mixture more when it is drier out.  Even in cold winter driving (now), when it is overcast and very humid/wet, I don't get the CEL.  If on the next commute, it is bright and sunny, with little moisture in the air, the light will come on.

 

Or maybe I'm just way over analysing this seemingly random CEL pattern.

 

Anyways, 7:7 e10:e85 ratio and there are no lights ever.  I've never noticed any problems either in the way she runs or sounds. 

 

This 7:7 ratio causes my mpg to drop from 22-23, down to 20-21... so I'm pretty happy with that.  With the 19% spread I'm currently getting (thanks Kum & Go  ;D) this has been working very well for me for the past 2 years.

husker,

 

I had that same engine on a 1995 Grand Am that ran for 130K, and I always ran E 20 and often pushed it to E30-35, no CEL. Got rid of that car in Feb 2009, but was a great motor for E30 anyway. The intake manifold gasket went on it when the thing was at 45K, but that was way before E85 was around here, blending had nothing to do with that. The engine was notorious for that from day 1. But after the fix (must have been done right :)) I ran about another 85K on it, about 40K of which was on the higher ethanol blend :) ...was running great when I traded it in for a few hundrend bucks! Prolly still is and nobody ever knew thet the thing had 3/4 tank of E 30 in it when it went to auction LOL.

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I havent hurt mine yet but you  never do know do we.

 

Yeah man that's the chance we take for being on the cutting edge!!!!!

 

But as the miles continue to add up we know we are doing all good and no harm! :laugh:

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good to hear.  Mine has about 128k on it already.  I had the same intake manifold issues back around 90k that you had.  I've been running approximately e30 in it since around 100k.  With the age, miles and rough exterior and interior, it is not worth much if any for resale. 

 

I figure, it is bought, paid for, working great, and cheap to insure/license... why sell it...

 

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My '95 GMC pick up is a plain C1500 2wd 4.6L V6 throttle body injected. It burns E-85 good with no engine faults. I lighten up in winter with alternating 1/2 fills of E-85 next time with unleaded. In this part of Michigan most of the unleaded fuel is E10. Sometimes I get it wrong and pump back to back fills with E-85. The tell tale indicator....a little more cranking and more stumbling when cold. Feathering the gas pedal works to prevent this.

 

Mpg definitely less in winter. My take is ethanol not a good fuel for cold short trips. First the fuel doesn't vaporize as well or as completely in cold engines. Engines that warm up slower in winter driving conditions. Fuel vapor condenses on cold engine parts like manifolds and cylinder walls. Unburned fuel wasted and mostly burns up in exhaust parts.

 

A plug in engine heater is supposed to be a good investment. A warm engine runs efficiently, especially with E-85 fuel, especially with throttle body injection and all the cold intake manifold to navigate. Port injection better and my theory DI is the best. The heat of compression is substantial. Liquid ethanol injected at high pressure into the highly compressed air and high  temperature chamber WOULD vaporize easily even in winter weather. Still the spark plug needed for ignition, thats all right. This would be an ethanol engine. Problem for auto engineers is flex engines. Being efficient for normal gas and try to burn E-85 fuel. Note they compromise engineering to have ability to burn E-85. Not a show case for ethanol, just ability to burn it without ruining the engine. 

 

I keep trying to convince more of the benefit of promoting an E-85 class of vehicle.  Wouldn't it be cool if the lawmakers eniated a low regulation class of auto. An EAA type of experimental with minimal safeguards and pollution control regs. Like the after market custom car business, but within new car sales. To spur R&D and test cars for evaluating technology of high power, high torque, or high mileage. Manufactures converge on the E-85 class to get creative. Customers know these cars are not consumer products, but a professional class. Maybe those low mileage high cost SUVs forced to this classification. A classification to burn only E-85 fuel no flex.  Maybe the high performance cars or heavy passenger/truck vehicles? Ethanol appears to need different technology and so far just a fuel additive for octane improvement. 

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My 1996 Silverado 5.7L (TBI) 4X4 has run on E20 for over 4 years and approx 130,000 miles. She has 230,000 total miles on it now. All original fuel system except I finally did have to replace the fuel pump after pressures started to drop and make starting tough. I was experimenting with E60 with good success and no CEL when I was asked to haul a very heavy trailer from Wisconsin to Galveston TX and back with huricane relief supplies. Not a good plan since I would likely be going at or near WOT up hills. I started the trip with this same full tank of E60- headed off into the teeth of a 30+ mph headwind and into the hills keeping it out of OD and winding at approx 3,000 rpm. She did just fine and the scan tool I have showed me long term and short term fuel trims that were acceptable. It survived the trip. The only issue was non-fuel-- I damaged the tranny enough that I finally had to replace it last month.

 

One of the most sucessful non-modified 90's era E85 pickups I have seen had dual tanks. These guys put E20 in one and E85 in the other. When ending the day they would switch it them E20 a couple of minutes before shutdown- I suppose one could also do this if towing or running big hills.

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James, maybe some of that cheap tax money could make it's way to engine re-manufacture shop? A bit risky startup for normal investors. This would be good for lower budget consumers on the hunt for low cost auto's. You know the clunkers  they crunched up. If we had good leadership upon politics they would act on behalf of the less powerful, you know the ones, usually taxpayers themselves that can't afford DC Lobbyists.  These budget consumers must now buy cheap imports as no low cost used cars available at least good ones. Keeping those used cars going puts a ton of blue collar folks to work. I can think of nothing better for economy and putting more to work than a car re-manufacture shops. Engines rebuilt to ethanol specs. Maybe thats the sweet spot. Upon reality NOT a threat to U.S. auto market as this market would go to the India or China auto's. These cheap import cars haven't made a big impact yet....but the storm is acomin. Better to have the re-manufacture business in full gear to stem the tide.

 

One parts supplier had developed and was selling a mini-hybid kit for after market. Included the electronics, starter generator, and fan clutches. Actually an easy diy project. You could be stuck in traffic and shut the car off running your AC and creep along with battery power. You could plug in charge to save some mileage and have regenative braking. Now, it wasn't a high class efficient world class hy-brid, just a very cheap solution to improve mileage of old cars. Ford bought the technology and axed. 

 

Regulators could lighten up and create a "craft brewery economic model" for incentives to E-85 only technology. This out of the box solutions just the juice to get economy going. It would be scary to pull power away from DC insiders and let public get creative. Without the heavy handed federal controls....I know risky to think environmentalist, federalist, and the rest of elites to lose some decision making power and horrors if these people made a mistake. You know the elites can spot a mistake after it is explained to them and shake their head in disbelief that if "only" we had wondrous government at the helm this wouldn't have happened.

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EGR helps ethanol engines get better mileage while retaining power, no need to put as much fuel in since some of it is recycled. Also the heat is reinvested so to speak instead of being dumped out the tail pipes. One of the things I am working on is using the EGR system to improve efficiency, it has far more value than just an emissions piece, and some modern engines dont even have EGR.

 

Some of us are working on ethanol only engines designed to produce good power while being efficient. I prefer iron to aluminum as it retains more heat. Heat is not the enemy of an ethanol powered engine like it is a gas engine. Its beneficial to retain the heat rather than shed it, and it can be utilized in a number of ways to increase efficiency that wont work with gasoline. Coupled with a high compression ratio and cam timing that produces high cylinder pressures at low and mid range RPM, we can make sizable improvements in mileage, but it wont be a flex fuel engine that can burn gasoline. I'll let you know how it goes with the EGR on ethanol specific engines.

 

My thinking is if we can make more power, with less fuel, better drivability, and increase engine longevity while decreasing oil change frequency, people will make the switch themselves. They just need to see it works, and know it isnt outrageously expensive. Quite a few engines already have parts available to increase compression ratios, and with aftermarket support we can get camshafts and cylinder heads that will allow the use of a stock short block rather than rebuilding with domed pistons or increasing the stroke. The problem with this idea is bureaucracy and red tape, and people losing profits due to lower oil and gasoline sales. They need to stifle the technology to prevent it from growing, so its left to guys like us.

 

Small grass roots movements will have a far greater effect than a government mandated one, but people need to get out and do it and show people. If the fervor spent on telling people about a certain religion or political belief was spent on ethanol, it would only take a few years. I find it rather interesting that those two things are main ingredients in the opposition to ethanol

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You may have something on egr gases. Maybe a way to adjust fuel ratio's on low load applications and still get max torque when needed?

 

Check out Chu's Mad Science Lab post yesterday at 3:01. The Energy Secretary is thinking best to develop creativity by cutting red tape. His low cost unregulated no peer review process lab. Chu is thinking this small group will be the genius to energy problems. Not the established complex.

 

One link has 37 projects the group is working on. Wow, if any projects make it out of the lab it will be impressive. A few for ethanol. Check out the engine one. Not much detail, though.

 

This is the same logic of having a low regulation e-85 market. Unleash the  innovators and allow some mistakes to be made. This is the creative process on steroids. 

 

The opposite is happening now. The Toyota punishment for innovation a company breaking risk. Ford now is crawling along with innovation they report. Can you blame them. News people love to beat up in unison, the tabloid story of victim hood.  They post the Toyota story as if the driver helpless. You know the tabloid fear of going down mountain pass with brake failure. This happened to private airplane industry. Most companies went bankrupt with Trial Lawyer liabilities. Innovation crashed. Consumers went away. The Experimental Aircraft laws can to rescue.  We need experimental E-85 laws.

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