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Cornbread

F150

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4,000 miles ago I converted my '98 Ford 150 XLT, 4.2L, V-6; 2x4 with 95,xxx miles on the odometer to a FFV (Flex Fuel Vehicle). Its been running great on full tanks of 100% E-85 with NO PEOBLEMS ever since. (I'm even running on a fuel filter that has 30,xxx+ mile on it, (against the kit manufacturer's recommendation to change it at 500 miles).

 

I installed a Full Flex Gold International bi-fuel Kit [ http://www.fullflexint.com/ ] and I can't say enough good things about it. Its truly plug-& -play and the Full Flex Gold units have a set of dip switches, (unlike the other units on the market), that permit you to select four engine firing parameter curves with the simple flip of the switches.

 

Running at altitudes between 4,500’ to 7,800’ msl (above mean sea level), my gas mileage, so far on full tanks of E-85, has averaged 1.5-3 mpg less than what I ‘usually’ got with 86 octane unleaded gasoline.

 

Running down wind, if I hold the speed to 60 mph with the cruise control on and the tail gate down, I get between 15.5-16.5 mpg on 100% E-85. In comparison, the best I've gotten at under similar conditions on unleaded regular gas was 17.7mpg.

 

Running into a head wind at 78 mph on the interstate, this little 4.2L, V-6 engine gets  12 -13 mpg on E-85 vs. 14.5-15.5 mpg on unleaded regular gas.

 

Driving around town in stop & go traffic, at speeds below 50 mph, I'm get around 16.5 mpg.

 

I've made six Dyno runs; two before the FFV Conversion on 86 octane gas and four runs after the conversion on full tanks of E-85. The Dyno  shows a 12.2 HP and 5.5+ ft-lbs Torque increase AND, two widely spaced, (in mileage), Emissions tests on full tanks of E-85 show that the engine is running VERY, VERY CLEAN.

 

At normal highway cruising RPMs of 2200-2500, the tests indicate: Hydrocarbons = 13-17ppm, (where 100 ppm is the max. allowable), and CO & CO2 Emissions have virtually been eliminated.

[CO = 0.00-0.01%, (where 1.00% is the Max.) and CO2 = 15.3-15.7% (where 16.0 optimum and 14.7% is ideal.] [O2 = 0.32%, (where the lowest possible is desirable)].

 

Cold Starting with 85% (+/- 2%) E-85 Ethanol:

The only problem I've experienced is the extra cranking required, (2-3 tries), before the engine will run without stumbling when starting on a cold morning of 35 deg. F & below. The installation of an Kim Hotstart, ‘TPS Model' electric Coolant System Heater has helped starting considerably on very cold mornings but there still times when it takes 2-3 cranks.

 

Copies of the tests that the City of Albuquerque Main Emissions Testing Facility conducted on my vehicle as well as the ‘Before & After’ Dyno Curves on my '98 F150, (just after I installed the Full Flex Gold [ http://www.fullflexint.com/ ] FFV Conversion Kit), are available upon request.

 

The how and the why that the FFV conversion works I'll leave to Dan Lorenzo the technical expert at Full Flex International, Inc. Dan Lorenzo:      [ xpertech_inc@hotmail.com ] or

[ dan@fullflexint.com ].

(He'll be glad to answer any questions you may have.)

 

A copy of my initial post after the FFV Conversion Kit was installed follows:

[Late yesterday evening, Jimmy Garner at Liberty Automotive, (471-8844), here in Santa Fe, completed the installation of Full Flex International's, Full Flex Gold 6 cylinder FFV Conversion Kit [ http://www.fullflexint.com/ ] on my personal '98 Ford F150 XLT 4.2L V-6 SFI pickup truck.

 

Attached is a copy of the before (w/Unleaded Gasoline) and after (w/a full tank of E-85) Horsepower/Torque & Air/Fuel Ratio curves that I had Chris at Dyno Edge in ABQ run on his Dyno this morning.

 

The stats. below are from the tests that the City of ABQ's Chief Emissions testing Tech, Tim Martinez, ran on my vehicle this morning just before the Dyno run.

 

(I have scanned .jpgs of print outs of the following [initial tests].)

 

1) 830 RPM (Idle)

HC (ppm) = 7 (max allowable is 100 ppm)

CO (%) = 0.01 (max allowable is 1%)

CO2 (%) = 15.20 (16.0 is optimum; anything over 14.5. is ideal)

O2 (%) = 0.03 (shooting for the lowest possible)

 

2) 2273 RPM

HC (ppm) = 10 (max allowable is 100 ppm)

CO (%) = 0.01 (max allowable is 1%)

CO2 (%) = 15.20 (16.0 is optimum; anything over 14.5. is ideal)

O2 (%) = 0.04 (shooting for the lowest possible)

 

Gas mileage to ABQ at 78 mph=12.7 mpg w/tailgate up.

(E-85 @ $2.779/gal in SAF)(with 21.5 gal of E-85 & 3.5 gal of Unleaded left in the tank at the low fuel light.) (descending in altitude from 7,000' msl to 5,000' msl.)

 

Gas mileage back to Santa Fe at 78 mph=12.0 mpg w/tailgate up.

(E-85 @ $2.99/gal in ABQ)(after the emissions test, the Dyno run and a visit to see my Granddaughter.)(ascending in altitude from 5,000' msl to 7,000' msl.)

 

My 'usual' gas mileage using Unleaded regular has run between 15-18 mpg depending on the direction of the Wind; whether the tail gate is up or down, and Load (whether I'm hauling my 950# BMW Touring bike or not). [Lowering the tailgate increases my MPG's by 0.5 to 0.9 mpg.]

 

Tonneau Covers Really Do Improve Gas Mileage

-------------------------------------------------

This link shows that lowering the tail gate DOES reduce drag and slightly increase gas mileage.

[ http://www.pickupspecialties.com/Pa...age_savings.htm ]

 

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I am interesting in running E85. I found a used x-cal2 but it has the wrong pcm code. I plan on getting the pro racer software, so I can tune properly for ethonol, but could I use that pro racer software to change the pcm code? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

The XCAL2 is vin-locked.  As such, only SCT can take care of this.  They; however, will require proof of purchase and even a copy of an invoice before they will unlock the XCAL2.  I don't know what "found" means; but, if you bought it off e-bay or such, you are going to bump into obstacles.  Sorry about that.

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An update.   Last summer, I converted my 2004 F150 Lariat to run on E-85.  I had done all of the prep (fuel filter changes, oil, etc) and it was time to convert.  That was over 28,000 miles ago.  The truck now has just under 117,000 miles.  Annually, I put about 35K on the truck.  So, after being told repeatedly by the experts, this would cause issues primarily with the fuel delivery what are the results ? 

 

At 116,000 my fuel pump and fuel pump driver module (voltage regulator) failed requiring replacement.  Total cost was about $300 since my son and I pulled the truck box and replaced the components.  At a shop this would be about $1000 since labor is high to get at the top of the fuel tank.  Was this failure caused by switching to E-85 ?  Could be since my programming does cause the pump to spin faster at high load.  I dunno; but, I will at around 140,000.  This week, I decided to replace plugs (32,000) and coils on each plug.  The coils probably didn't need to be replaced; but, I prefer preventative maintenance as opposed to the truck laying down on the side of the road.  The plugs also looked good; but, I have to buy a special guage to test their gaps (Ford had Autolite create a special plug for the 3v engines).  I am also going to replace the alternator this weekend to complete my maintenance. 

 

So.  The results remain positive.  Of course, these damn fueling stations are now jacking the price of E-85 up along with gasoline.  In my area, I cannot find it for less than $2.30 a gallon.  The weather is warming up so you can bet I am going to get my building up as soon as possible, then begin production of my own alcohol.  I am just not going to be controlled by exhorbitant pricing.

 

Schaid

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