E85 Debate
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Thread: E85 Debate

  1. #1
    1000+ Posts PeterT's Avatar
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    Default E85 Debate

    Like the E10 debate on the Pug forum, I thought I'd start a similar thread on E85 for performance, and in particular, racing applications. As most are probably aware, the V8 Taxi's have moved to E85. The use of a high ethanol blend the way I see it, is mostly a big plus if you're chasing horsepower. ie

    - high latent heat of evaporation and higher octane rating (108?) allow higher compression ratios and thus higher efficiency, resulting in more hp.

    One of the downsides is of course you use a lot more fuel as the calorific value is approx. 70% of petrol. Thus you need bigger injectors. As the cost of fuel is a relatively small part of a racing budget (compared to tyres and entry fees), that's not a huge issue. Here are some other thoughts. Please add yours.

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    Blends - unless you buy in 200L drums, the other 15% could be 91RON rather than 98RON.
    Lack of outlets - It easy to fill up with pump fuel on the way to the track. Caltex 98 is reliably the same.
    Compatibilty - fuel pump and hoses?
    Shelf Life - how long does it last before going stale?

    '92 205 Mi16
    '90 Mi16x4

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    From Caltex's website (selected quotes):

    Why does the ethanol content differ between 70 and 85 per cent?
    Caltex Bio E-Flex will contain between 70 and 85 per cent ethanol blended with petrol, depending on the time of year. This is similar to the seasonal variation in ethanol content in E85 overseas. Different seasons can change the way fuel performs in your engine, so Caltex will adjust the blend of ethanol from 70 to 85% between seasons to ensure your engine performs correctly.

    What is the octane rating of Bio E-Flex?
    The octane of Bio E-Flex is about 105 RON (Research Octane Number) but this will vary depending on the season.
    To me, the RON is the most enticing aspect of E85 fuel, thus I would be willing to pay to get my engine tuned for it to get maximum benefit. The only reasons why I wouldn't (or can't) run it are as follows;

    1. Not compatible with my current vehicle/s.
    2. Not available outside the city (which is where all the good roads are at ) so it's difficult to go on a spirited cruise without resorting to plain old 98 RON fuel.

    As for the environmental aspects (good or bad), they're more or less irrelevant to my interests, as is fuel economy or fuel consumption. E85 is supposed to cheap anyway, so who cares!

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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    being like LPG though upping the CR and creating more HP pulls the fuel usage difference down although it will never be as good as full normal fuel as far as usage goes the engine runs cooler while getting more HP and the tuning capabilities are greater

    so say if you run 12:1, are you still going to have to run the car at 9:1 AF or can you get it closer to petrol ratios ??
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    1000+ Posts PeterT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pugrambo View Post
    being like LPG though upping the CR and creating more HP pulls the fuel usage difference down although it will never be as good as full normal fuel as far as usage goes the engine runs cooler while getting more HP and the tuning capabilities are greater

    so say if you run 12:1, are you still going to have to run the car at 9:1 AF or can you get it closer to petrol ratios ??
    Lambda of 1 for E85 is approx 9.75:1. So at cruise that's what you'd run, using approx. 30% more fuel than straight petrol At full load you'd run approx 0.85 lambda (8.3:1). The O2 sensor only reads lambda then gets converted into a number or scale later.

    '92 205 Mi16
    '90 Mi16x4

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    Varying predictions on power increases, 5-10% with tuning.
    30% more fuel used but half(?) the co2 and a substantially cheaper per litre.

    All very interesting stuff!

    I reckon guaranteeing the characteristics of the blend that is available will have a big bearing on it's viability. It's no good to be able to fill up on the way to the track if it's a bit different everytime.

    A brazilian dude on 306gti6.com says they are running it in standard ones over there, change fuel hoses, plastic or stainless fuel rail, bigger injectors, and a different fuel pump.



    Bill

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    i have been researching into fuels lately, you can by e85 quite close to my home so im looking into an e85 conversion in the future for my mi16. another good additive is methanol, it burns alot cooler than petrol. another option i was looking into is toluene, toluene is alot denser than petrol and is used frequently as an octane booster and it allows you to run stupid cr. when f1 cars where turbo they ran 84% toluene and where running 73psi of boost making 1500+hp from a 1.5l

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    Just spent the day with my car on the dyno. Independent Motorsport (Morwell, Victoria) sware by the stuff. They have suggested that when I bolt in the race engine that I convert to E85 - my injectors are big enough to cope with the increased volumetric flow rates required. They now prefer to tune their high performance engines for E85, biggest advantage is reduction in pinging. My Turbo Teritory is currently tuned for RON98, but next time it gets any performance upgrades, will also convert to E85 - it has gone from 180kW at the wheels to 248kW through exhaust and tune, but limited by knock sensor even on RON98.

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    Quote Originally Posted by racing405 View Post
    My Turbo Teritory is currently tuned for RON98, but next time it gets any performance upgrades, will also convert to E85 - it has gone from 180kW at the wheels to 248kW through exhaust and tune, but limited by knock sensor even on RON98.


    I found this interesting

    http://www.ipraforum.com.au/viewtopi...33c6ad7e206816


    Bill

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    mlb
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    I just heard an interesting thing tonight regarding this.

    One of our leading rally competitors here is running a 2008 Impreza WRX STi C-Spec. Normally he's running E85 with the restrictor when on gravel. For Targa this year he removed the restrictor and ran it on 98RON. The dyno figures between the two set ups varied by 1kW on the same dyno.

    I'm not sure whether any other changes were made - injectors etc - but from the sounds of things it didn't appear so.

    The general feeling here is that the best gains are found on turboed cars, not so much on NA cars.

    Our 323 used to run on E85 and all I know is that by the end of the day we both smelt like we'd had a good night on the turps Went like a cut cat though

    Matt
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    Default Hi interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by mlb View Post
    I just heard an interesting thing tonight regarding this.

    One of our leading rally competitors here is running a 2008 Impreza WRX STi C-Spec. Normally he's running E85 with the restrictor when on gravel. For Targa this year he removed the restrictor and ran it on 98RON. The dyno figures between the two set ups varied by 1kW on the same dyno.
    I'm not sure whether any other changes were made - injectors etc - but from the sounds of things it didn't appear so.
    The general feeling here is that the best gains are found on turboed cars, not so much on NA cars.
    Our 323 used to run on E85 and all I know is that by the end of the day we both smelt like we'd had a good night on the turps Went like a cut cat though
    Matt
    Matt,
    What do you mean by "removed the restrictor".

    Great discussion on a new subject for me !! I have a young friend who is going to turbo his car (what else) when he gets the money. He has discovered that a newly refurbished Service Station now has E85 and is keen to get on to it. There is a lot of BS on some forums about the benefits etc so its hard to sort out the truth. Nothing new there I guess
    Jaahn

  11. #11
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    Ive been running E85 for 2 years now and i love the stuff. Oil temp is lower and exhaust temp is down to. At track days my car is between 10-15 degrees cooler than 98 users. Best part of all is the 42awkw gain.

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    1000+ Posts Andrew Ch's Avatar
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    Let me understand this correctly just by changing from 98 unleaded to E 85 you gained 42 kw at the wheels with no other adjustments made ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Ch View Post
    Let me understand this correctly just by changing from 98 unleaded to E 85 you gained 42 kw at the wheels with no other adjustments made ?
    Restrictor was removed.
    Graham

  14. #14
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    My car doesnt run a restrictor.

    To run E85 you need larger injectors and a ecu tune. I have a duel map tune on my car and i can flick between E85 and 98. The caltex E85 isnt true E85 it varies between E70 to E85. The United E85 is true E85.

  15. #15
    mlb
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaahn View Post
    Matt,
    What do you mean by "removed the restrictor".
    Sorry, I should have made it a bit clearer. For PRC rally cars they are required to have a restrictor placed in the inlet side of the turbo which reduces the diameter to 32mm. This in effect stifles the breathing of the engine, detuning it. Removing it makes a huge difference, as the ARC competitors are finding this year.

    Hope this clears it up.

    Matt
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