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Typhoon

E85 Volvo 740 turbo

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Hi everyone, first post.

Found the forum on an internet search and I like the real information here.

Anyway, I've owned this 740 turbo for about five years now, it's been modified with a decent exhaust, performance chips and more boost on the stock turbo.

The engine has always needed the highest octane I could feed it, and that was getting expensive! So E85 started to interest me.

Here in Australia, E85 has been slow to roll out, so I had been waiting for some sort of infrastructure to appear locally. Finally two service stations in my city started carrying it, one about three minutes from home, which is great!

In Australia, our ethanol is produced from cellulose and sugar cane waste, so it's a byproduct and that makes me happy to use it, it's not  a crop grown specifically for fuel.

So, I knew I was right at the limit of my stock injectors with the performance chips and running 16psi of boost, plus the cost of premium unleaded fuel. After talking to the manufacturer of my chips ( a great Swedish guy who had been running his own car on E85 for  along time), I decided to go for it.

I purchased some 440cc injectors, dropped them in and the car has been running really well ever since. 440cc injectors were chosen as being 45% larger than stock. Given the car was right at the limits of the stock injectors, I erred on the larger side.

The Bosch EFI system in the 740 (LH2.4) is an excellent system, very adaptive and modern for it's day. It has no issues running E85 and adapting things like idle, cold warm up etc to the E85, which as you know needs special attention with high alcohol fuels. On a really cold morning, the car will start, run for a second then stall. Second start is perfect.

The chips I have in the car were originally developed for premium unleaded, but work really well with E85. They feature  a much more agressive spark advance map and have had some of the "safeguards" removed pertaining to overfuelling and underfuelling, both of which can set off the stock ECU and prevent it from storing any data for these conditions. Bosch LH 2.4 is quite adaptive as I mentioned earlier and will move quite a way from the standard baseline chasing the right tune for the engine, using the lambda sensor to do so. The only issue with this learning is it takes several days of driving for it to fully fine tune things, but I can live with that.

I've been running E85 for around four months now and the entire fuel system has held up, no leaks or damage anywhere. The engine is really happy on E85 and it "feels" like a really good tune, no flat spots, great improvements in midrange torque on E85. I have the boost wound back to 13 psi at the moment, when I get a chance I am going to a dyno to ensure A/F ratios are good, then I'll wind boost back up.

I also feel the engine runs a little cooler on E85 and is definitely smoother and torquier in the midrange.

The best part of it is, when I changed to the larger injectors and still had a quarter of a tank of 98 unleaded, the car still ran just fine, the ECU seemed to manage with the big injectors on the unleaded. So I have the ability to run a tank or 98 if I need to (although it would be a last resort due to the learning I mentioned earlier, would "ruin" the E85 fine tuning the ECU has done).

If I could mention a few things I feel are necessary to get a good swap over to E85:

Ensure the EFI system is in good order beforehand. No codes, all sensors working well. The lambda sensor is VERY important. Make sure it's good or new, it makes learning easier on the ECU.

Just buy new injectors. They're cheap enough now to make it worthwhile on an older engine. And it's one variable (used injectors) you don't have to worry about.

If you can buy performance chips for your car, do so. Optimising the tune for E85 frees up so much useable power.

As it is now, the car is using, at worst, 15% more fuel than on 98 unleaded around town. I'm really happy with the conversion. I intend to convert my Alfa over soon, however, it uses an older style injector that is hard to find in larger flow rates. However, it runs a conventional electronic distributor, so tuning spark advance is easy.

Oh yeah, I LOVE the smell of E85 cars!

 

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Welcome to the forum typhoon... one of our few international residents...  nice to have an ausie aboard! ;)

 

I used to be a rugby player, coach, administrator... so have a fond appreciation for the land down under.  What state are you from?  I would assume with the sugar cane industry mostly being in Qld that most of the e85 would be up there (Brisbane and points north...) but that would be a "feedstock assumption"... like our e85 is mostly concentrated in the midwest where the corn comes from...

 

Good to have you on the site... there are several very well informed and experienced e85 mechanical types (of which I am NOT one) that will be able to help you with your specific question.

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Thanks for the welcome! I've spent all my life living in New South Wales, currently in Canberra, in the Australian Capital territory.

Cane is grown predominantly in Queensland, you are correct. However, northern New South Wales has a large area of cane growth in a region known as the northern rivers. It's where the ethanol I use comes from. E85 is available in all the major population centres on the east coast of Australia. Caltex has an agreement with the flex fuel vehicle manufacturers to roll out E85 at the very least in these centres. It is gaining in popularity quite quickly.

Our government is looking into growing cane in northern Australia, firstly for production of sugar for the ever expanding south east asian export market, and also as an excellent source of ethanol. We have vast areas of land suitable for cane growth in the north, and the rainfall to make it happen....fast!

I'm really excited by renewable fuels such as ethanol and I expect Australia to become a big player in the next 5-10 years. I think we'll start exporting ethanol to south east asia once the northern schemes take off. Sugar cane is pretty much the perfect crop for fuel, you get a really easily sold primary product out of it (sugar) and a lot of green mass that grows really fast for fuel.

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Ah... NSW... cool...  I have always been a fan of BOTH codes of rugby.  Never saw the point in hating one over the other... when I enjoyed them both so much!  In the NRL your "Canberra raiders" have been my team since Mal Maninga days!  For the super 12/14/15... (what ever) I have been a NSW Waratahs fan... though that is a tough choice, as they always seem to disappoint. ???

 

We don't get much rugby on these days like we used to, so I've lost track, but follow some scores online, and still get the "greenhouse" fan club emails from the raiders...  about all we have for rugby coverage here is US eagles national team (sometimes) and the 7s series... both of which are just starting to be covered.

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Sorry to get off topic there... but I've lost contact with all my rugby contact friends in Oz since I left the rugby community and started raising a family!

 

Doesn't Holden down there have an e85 engine that is suppose to be pretty good millage?  I remember reading about that a year or two ago...

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United have been good with their take up of E85, but they are  a small independent chain, so their coverage is sketchy. Caltex claim to change the blend for winter. I'm not too worried about cold starts, so far. But our winter is fast approaching so I'll see how unmanageable they get. I have a few ideas of how to get around hard cold starts if need be, one is a fuel rail warmer, the other is cycling the cold start injector manually (remote switch on dash) to "prime" the intake with fuel.

Holden have a flex fuel vehicle based on the Commodore down here, it's just the SIDI engine with two ECU maps and a fuel sensor. Toyota have a Camry available I believe and a couple of european manufacturers have flex vehicles available. I'm not up to date on the newest cars though.

HuskerFlex, I don't follow the Rugby as much as I used to, when the NRL started chasing dollars instead of doing good for the game, I lost interest. As an example, they forced several smaller teams who weren't making much money out of their clubs to merge. That basically removed the team I supported (Balmain Tigers) from the region and I lost interest.

Still follow rugby union, but not at a club level, I'll watch the international games.

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I have cold starting nailed, it is a non issue now. I have the cold start injector wired up to a momentary on push button on the dash. Hitting the button whilst cranking results in a cold start (0c/32f) in less than three seconds, followed by a perfect idle. I can really recommend this for anyone not running  a dedicated aftermarket ECU with the ability to tune cold starts.

But you must use a cold start injector, it provides a very finely atmoised mist, rather than a fairly coarse jet that a normal port injector provides.

The car scared me today. Accelerating briskly, in full boost, two muffled pops from muffler and then a constant misfire. I thought the worst immediately of course.

Pulled over and  a spark plug lead had popped off a plug! Phew!

The car is running really well since I've fixed the coolant temp sensor and reset the ECU, learning E85 very nicely.

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