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TD

Anyone have a Chevy Volt running on E85?

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Thanks guys, I'll be running around Suburban Chicago for TruGreen so having a plug in and hopefully something that I won't end up as attached to as I have become to my 200 and Cherokee. Actually been thinking that with the better income from this job that I can actually do some hotrodding to the 200 and start fixing the rust and other old age related issues on my Jeep as well as pay off bills that retail just haven't paid for.

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Bear in mind, the EVSE (the adapter that plugs into your 110v outlet) that comes with the 2013 and up can be modified easily to work on 220 and 110v.

 

The 2016/17 one just needs an adapter, and 2013-15 needs to be opened up and a new cord soldered in to work on both voltages.

 

The difference is 220 @ 12amps, vs 110v @ 12 amps, so 9 hours vs 4 hours for a full charge. I sold the EVSE for my '12 and bought a '13 EVSE + all the parts for the same amount of money I received from my old one.

 

Took a trip to Minneapolis today, about 500 miles round trip. Knocked out some knock and have 80 mb in logs.

 

A brief (10 minute) mileage check at 70 mph, 67°F, AC on eco, and a 5 mph headwind, was 30 mpg. This vehicle is EPA-rated at 37 mpg.

 

I spend most of the trip at 75 mph and 67°, AC on eco was 27 mpg.

Return trip (after knocking out some knock) at 75 mph, 80°, AC on eco and 17 mph headwind was also 27 mpg.

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E85 tune is done and works great. Mileage is good, about 14% loss in mileage, and performance exceeds stock.

 

Laz did a nice job of tweaking the pedal too, making the Volt even more fun to drive. It's like a cross between stock and sport mode. (Sport mode remaps the pedal so full throttle is about where the pedal is half-way to the floor.)

 

Starting on an E30 tune next.

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The ELR's are nice too, but they blew it when they didn't give it much acceleration over the Volt. Still lots of features over the Volt, if you can find one for a good price.

 

I'm not aware of anyone tuning an ELR.

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Threw some more timing at 1200-1400 rpm, where I spend a lot of time at 55 mph or 70 with a tailwind. No knock after adding 13 degrees and had to add 5 degrees before I got any knock. For some reason GM didn't have much timing for this rpm range. It was the last hot day for at least a week so thought I'd quick try to get this working. (KR is more likely on hot days than cool days with this tune.)

 

Return trip on Interstate @ 70 mph with near E85 in the tank was 40 mpg with a 15 mph tailwind. I didn't think that was too bad considering the vehicle is rated at 37 mpg highway and ~15% loss due to E85. Most of the tune is 3-6 deg timing over stock with 11 to 17 deg additional in the 1200-1400 rpm range. Really pleased with how this is coming around.

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BTW, I was told today that John Brackett's E85 Volt conversion was Fuel Freedom Foundation's top share for last year.

 

On that page, the critical part of John's tune is setting Stoich to around E55 or so, which is what allows us to run E85 without larger injectors. (Using HP Tuner software, fill the entire Stoich table with a value of 11.8.)

 

 

 

 

 

E55 will allow E85 no problem (I've never had a CEL light from that) and should allow E30, maybe lower. Remember, officially this vehicle requires premium so if you're not running Premium, you should be using at least E20.

 

Adding additional timing is what gets us better mileage. Add 2-4 degrees from 1200 to 4800 rpm in the high and low octane Spark Advance tables with the transition from 2 degrees to 4 degrees at about 2700 rpm. Adding 2 to 4 degrees is going to be pretty safe. Adding more timing will requiring a lot of logging and tuning time and knocking out knock. Your altitude, ethanol % and climate will also determine how much knock you can tolerate. Closer to sea level, warmer climates and higher ethanol % will all limit your timing. Again, the 2-4 is pretty safe year round.

Edited by TD

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Please read this link:  

http://www.hptuners.com/forum/showthread.php?48684-E85-FlexFuel-Conversion-2012-Chevy-Volt-2012-Cruze-Eco

 

Someone has already did what you are seeking.

 

The world is a very small place these days with the Internet.

 

The guy who was trying to install an ethanol sensor in his Volt (Mr. Comment) is a friend of mine now and has a 2 Volt family. He managed to get his sensor working (it was a tuning issue) after I reached out to him and is working on his tune. I believe he has already removed his larger injectors (or soon will), since they weren't needed.

 

Laz (in Florida) is helping me with my tune, also based on an ethanol sensor which I had installed a few weeks ago. We also have Fuelverine in the wings, but he's busy moving closer to work and hasn't been active in tuning yet. So we have 4 Volt owners, one at sea level in Florida (Laz), another in the mountains in Colorado (Fuelverine), Mr. Comment is in Illinois and I'm at 900 ft above sea level in ND.

 

With a sensor, the premise is simple. You need a base tune compatible with a low ethanol level (E10). When that's solid, you work on the upper end (E85/70) and once you're done with that, in theory any level in-between should have pretty close timing. Of course there's ways to tweak in the middle. With the Volt, that appears to be the only way to make it a true FFV since GM has set barriers in place to make it difficult.

 

I thought we were done with the E10 portion of my tune. It was solid using the virtual sensor built into HP Tuner and still worked great when I installed the physical sensor, then cold weather arrived and I had to remove timing as the temp dropped. I think we have that under control, but the true test will be the next two days when the temp is projected to hit -24°F.

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We have come to the conclusion that the first gen Volt's tune is half-done at best.

 

The EV portion is well engineered and has a very low failure rate, but they must have decided that 90% of the time EV would be used and that the ICE didn't matter much. The GM buy-out and lower than expected sales of a niche vehicle didn't help much either.

 

There's a lot of knock (6-8°) at higher load and higher rpm, and knock-learning was disabled, so the high octane timing table is always used. Since the Cruze has a similar engine and ECU (and is a lot more polished), Laz and Jeremy have copied a lot of Cruze tune and used it in the Volt.

 

No doubt about it, this is going to be a very nice tune when finished.

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