E85

Jay Nesbitt

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Apr 22, 2003
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I have it in my car.....running 72 pph, TA49, powerstroke FMIC....20#/25deg, accel gen6/Vic...one walbro hi press pump. I am currently having two issues....one is the fire seems to go out at max boost...the other is poor hot start....

I need to switch wires and coil pack and see if it helps. (it could help both) I am running 10.5-11.00 WB AFR, (Post turbo EGT is not much help) with no knock (on gen 6 data acquisition)...once I get these issues fixed, I'll refine tune, turn up the boost. After I max out the 49, I have a 60-1 and 95 pph for next upgrade.

There has been so much speculation on this fuel...and misinformation....we haven't had 93 octane at the pump for over 2 years now....and E85 is cheaper than 87 here in Wichita Ks. I think it's an unrecognized blessing to turbo cars like ours.

Jay
 

Jay Nesbitt

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I'm sorry, but I'm not sure what you're trying to tell me. I did a search on "Available Info on the Web @ E85" and didn't see anything. This thick headedness probably comes from looking at a spreadsheet all day and then bringing it home and continuing.... I just took a break and checked out TB.com. Please simplify what you are trying to tell me. I'm anxious to learn.

thanks,

Jay
 

Jay Nesbitt

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Ok, thanks. I went and looked and guess I missed it the first time. Suprised the search function also missed it....I guess I'm really tired. Anyway, I've researched the sites you mentioned and others when I was preparing for this mod. I THINK you are trying to tell me I have something wrong..combo or tuning wise? I wish you'd just tell me what you think. I won't be offended. I'll give you my reason and you may convinve me...or not....One thing; you keep talking about the need for "CRES" (what us aerospace types call stainless steel)...I don't see the need. We are talking about grain alcohol, not wood alcohol. This has been in fuels here in Kansas since the early 80's, so I am not too concerned with plastic/steel/treated paper/fuel resistant rubbers like you seem to be. I guess if I burn my car down, I'll be saying "well you TRIED to tell me!!!"
Thanks for your response. ps I think I have the hot start problem fixed. I cut my cranking fuel in about 1/2. Changed plug wires...the boost is better...not fixed...put another coil/module in and i haven't run it yet....

Later,
J
 

Hot Air

E85 and S.E./Carolinas Moderator
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Nov 11, 2002
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Jay,
Two things..
1. Air/Fuel ratio for E85 is very different than for gasoline. Make sure you are using the correct a/f ratio.
2. Aeromotive told me they do not recommend using their 10 micron fuel filter because the aclohol will attack the filter media. They recommend their 100 micros stainless steel filter as a post-fuel pump filter.
Conrad

ps...I am not running E85 yet. Working on upgrading fuel pump to Aeromotive Pro series w/ Pro FPR, SS post-filter and 100+ pound injectors. Already have -10 feed and -8 return lines w/sumped tank.
 

Jay Nesbitt

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+Here it is 5:30 and i am at work...sick....

I thought the comment about the WB might be what was bothering you.

As I recall, the Lambda values are the same for Gas/E85. I am using a Gas calibrated WB. Experimentors have found out that the when using a gasoline cal'ed WB, the indicated afr is approximately the same. So I am first tuning to the rich side of the afr and then plan to tune for best power. I had hoped to get some help from downstream (post turbo) EGT...but the gas stream seems to be too cool there.

I have basically stock fuel system on car right now except with hot wired walbro pump. I tend to trust the treated paper stock type fuel filters for durability, because as I've stated, there has been ethyl alcohol gas in use in this country for (at least) 25 years. I was in the University of Mo system in Columbia Mo. in '84 and had never experienced any "gasahol" as it used to be called. I got hired by Boeing that same year and moved to Wichita Ks and the alky gas was everywhere....my point being that the filter materials (fuel system components) used in OEM components have had plenty of time to adapt as it has been generally accepted that Ethanol blends were a thing of the future.

I put E85 in my car in May (I think, have to check records). Started with 50% mix...cruise seemed pretty normal, but boost!! I knew it would go lean and by O2 gauge(just had NB in car at that time) started showing the leaning, I let off. I plan to cut the fuel filter soon and look for deteriation. I will then continue to soak the treated paper element in E85 for a longer term test. I feel my fuel system is marginal at the TA49 power levels, and plan to upgrade it soon. My car is a DD ,but I have not been confident enough to drive the car the 50 miles round trip to work. I plan to rectify this soon.

I use BSFC .5 for gas and .67 for E85 for rough calcs. By that rationale, my 72s should be good enough for 645 hp (100%) assuming I can get enough fuel to them.
Good 'nuff for the '49, but not the 60-1. The 95s should support 850 using the same numbers.

Thanks for spreading the word about E85.

Got to get to work; I got an airplane to test!!
JN
 

GNVYUS 1

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Dec 15, 2002
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Are you experiencing a miss?
Post your plugs, current gap and how old your coil pack is.

Running one Walbro with 72lbs and E85 is pushing it. No one would recommend running one Walbro into the low 10's unless it had alky helping it. I hope it's hotwired and that you are not running the base pressure through the room. Your issue sounds like it might be fuel volume and with your wideband showing 10:5 to 11:0 you are definitely pushing your fuel pump. You can easily lean it out to 12:0 and not worry while probably picking up some HP.

What is your injector DC%?

I am not sure you want to test a -10 micron filter without the stainless mesh element, if any chunks start flaking off you are looking at trouble. Most of the time it is because E85 cleans out your gas tank like a power washer, it will send so much crap into that filter it could and has easily clogged them.
Not worth it IMO.
 

Jay Nesbitt

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I wouldn't say "miss"; more like the fire just goes out for a second or two @ ~20 psi. They are 42 plugs @ .03 gap...Coil pack...now that's a good question. I assume it is original. I have one I got on this board (supposedly good) that I bought for a spare, it LOOKS new.....I have installed, but not driven it....

This is not a 10 sec car never said it was....mph last trime I checked was 112. Thas was same setup, but smaller injectors (40.5pph) with 112 oct gas...

Base fuel is 45psi and it's going to 65 at 19-20 lbs boost. I can not SEE any pressure droop on the gauge, but it's kinda hard watching the road, fuel, boost, knock, afr, and other basic gauges. As I said in my first post I need better DAS (data logging). My Tech Edge WB will support this with the Tublog (SP?) software, but I haven't gotten it hooked up yet.
"..with your wideband showing 10:5 to 11:0 you are definitely pushing your fuel pump." HUH??!! This is a gasoline calibrated WB, not E85. I don't know when I am pushing the fuel supply to the injectors, but as long as I am well rich over the envelope, I should be able to lean safly (assuming no fuel system malfunction) for most power. DC should by 62%.

I'm not playing with any filters I have a stock one. I am aware that that may also be an issue.

Thanks for your help and advice......we all need to work this E85 issue.


Jay
 

GNVYUS 1

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Coil packs are notorious for starting to miss as they get around 50k on these cars, it really comes down to how much boost and cylinder pressure you are running, worth swapping to see if it clears up.

Assuming you are .030??
Anything over .035 might enhance spark blow out on the top end, especially with an older coil pack.

Since your wideband is reading rich, it can be said that you are overworking your pump to keep up with your current fuel demands the injectors are calling for. Though your pressure is not really high at 65psi you are really working the Walbro with it pushing E85 ( less lubricity than gas ). I would consider dropping the fuel pressure ( less strain on pump at WOT ) and then make up for it in the injector if needed. And since you are running so fat already you probably will be ok with a basic pressure change.

It basically comes down to volume with E85 since it will need about 30% more up top. Keep your fuel pressure lower if possible and work the injector and you can probably push the one pump safely.

If you had a monster pump and lines then all bets are off, but the tiny Walbro pushing E85 through stock lines is going to fall off the chart at pressures of 60psi and beyond. It sum what does that already on gas and using the stock filter is probably going to come back to haunt you, a ton of talk about alky and paper elements all over E85 boards.

Just so you know, I have an E85 69 GTO so I am not giving too much internet regurgitation here. LOL
 

Jay Nesbitt

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Well, you may be correct on the fuel supply. I ran the car last night and it sure acts different with the replacement coil pack. I failed to collect data, but it now won't get to set boost prior to knock setting in. As soon as I saw the lights heading toward the red, I shut the throttle. It could be the paper element has failed...or just full of junk. I'll pull it off and examine it.
 

Hot Air

E85 and S.E./Carolinas Moderator
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FWIW,
1. What's up with filters?
According to Barry Grants' website, it's the water that the alcohol absorbs that causes the problem with the paper filters and the bonding agent! Check out Topic #5 in the link below.

Common Fuel Delivery Mistakes by: Barry Grant


2. Does anyone make an acceptable pre-pump and post-pump filter that is compatible with E85?
I just found a site for SX fuel filters...they have stainless steel filters in 24 and 75 micron!

SX Performance Fuel Filters

http://www.sx-performance.com/41002 & 41003.pdf

3. Why are you making such a big deal with the fuel pump for E85?
Most people don't realize that as you increase flow rate (E85 required 30% more flow), the pressure drop through the supply and return lines goes up quickly. So, we are asking the fuel pump to supply more flow and more pressure. Unfortunately, the fuel pumps have motors with fixed HP. As you ask the pump to put out more flow, the available pressure goes DOWN! Yikes!

Conrad
 

Jay Nesbitt

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I have this in my electronic folder on E85...don't 'member where I got it...

Materials that have performed well in E85 systems include, but may not be limited to, those listed below. U.S. Department of Energy

Metals:
Unplated steel
Stainless steel
Black iron
Bronze
Non-Metallic Materials:
Teflon
Nitrile
Viton
Polypropylene
Buna-N
Neoprene rubber
Non-metallic thermoset plastics
Thermoset reinforced fiberglass tanks
Thermo plastic piping



DURABILITY OF VARIOUS PLASTICS: ALCOHOLS VS. GASOLINE (Mother’s Alcohol Fuel Seminar)

-----------------------------Ethanol----------Methanol------------Gasoline
Conventional Polyethylene-good------------excellent-------------poor
High-density Polyethylene-excellent---------excellent-------------good
Teflon---------------------excellent----------excellent--------------excellent
Tefzel----------------------excellent--------excellent-------------excellent
Polypropylene--------------good------------excellent-------------fair
Polymethylpentene---------good------------excellent-------------fair
Polycarbonate--------------good------------fair-------------------fair
Polyvinyl Chloride-----------good------------fair-------------------poor

Excellent: Will tolerate years of exposure.
Fair: Some signs of deterioration after one week of exposure.
Good: No damage after 30 days of exposure, should tolerate several years of exposure.
Poor: Deteriorates readily.
NOTE: All tests were made with liquids at 122 deg F.
Compare Gasoline to Ethanol and make your own decision.


JN
 
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GNVYUS 1

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Dec 15, 2002
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Sounds like the coil pack was just weak and causing a spark blow out up top.

Are you reading knock from the Caspers gauge or the Scanmaster??
If you have a Scanmaster, do you have the quicker update rate??

Have to remember, these fuel pumps were not designed to run that % of alky to gas, just call and talk to a tech at Walbro, I did. They were very aware that people were using their pumps to push E85 and said they were not recommending it with their current line up ( though they are working on them now ). E85 has a different lubricity than gas, it is much more abrasive to the pump and Walbro guaranteed it would hurt the life of their pump by up to 50%.

As far as pressure vs volume, if you have a big injector don't run a ton of pressure, keep the volume high by lowering the pressure and increase the pulse width at the injector instead. This is what I would do to give the single Walbro a chance to support the 30% more alky needed at WOT.

If you go to -10 or -8 lines that will free up even more stress on the Walbro, just like a turbo through a stock intercooler or after market intercooler ( pressure drop ).

Tons of ways to skin this cat:cool:
 

Jay Nesbitt

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Knock indication is from a Caspers' gauge. I'm running Accel Gen6 and Vic. I'm using (tried to use last time) the Gen6 data acquisition (only 6 engine parameters) But my Tech Edge Wb has more data capturing ability.

I don't know the level of lubricity req'd in a centrifugal pump. Does the remaining gasoline provide adequate lubrication? I don't know. I do know, however that the safe position for Walbro is to recommend against the practice until they have evaluated the performance of their pumps in E85.

The down side to the big lines you are not mentioning is that under acceleration, the pump must overcome the inertia of the 20' long column of fluid on the pump. This adds to the pressure drop in the line.
 

Hot Air

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Dr. Boost,
Your points on running larger injectors and larger feed/return lines to take the pressure off the fuel pimp are great! Thanks for the insight. As you say, there are many ways to get there!

We all need to remember that we have to look at the fuel "system'...not just one component of the fuel system. All the pieces must work together and must compliment each other.
Conrad

Going lean is great for our body, not good for our engines!
 

Jay Nesbitt

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Are you wot in third gear when you see knock?

Whats your afr at that point?
Yes.... I can't tell you if the AFR was climbing or not ..or if the Fuel pressure was falling off...when I saw that first yellow light, I was watching the knock (and of course the road) This is why ineed to get the WB data logging working....it is TEWBLOG, if anyone is interested/knowledgeable about it.

I better get to work...

jn
 

Jay Nesbitt

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R&R'd the fuel filter....I believe it was a WIX. Not the same construction as the current Fram. P/n obscured/faded, but I think I could read "IX" , so I assume it was a WIX. Caught all gas from the filter entrance in a clean glass jar. I observed nothing but clean E85. I cut the can open with a pipe cutter. It was very clean inside, I didn't unfold all of it, but about 1/2 and didn't see any "chunks". The bonding agent didn't appear to be softened after approx 6 months exposeure to E85. I could fail the bond at the metal end cap interface with hand pressure. It pulled smoothly and cleanly from the steel, leaving no bond material on the steel. In my opinion, the prep for the steel prior to bond could be better, but It didn't fail in use. The paper element appeared to be a treated paper; it demonstrated no fraying, softening, or other obvious signs of deteriation. It seemed somewhat brittle and tore fairly easily. All in all, I didn't see any detelerious effects from being used with E85. I put all the filter pieces(except for the steel can) in the glass jar with about 1/2 capacity filled with E85 and capped it. It is on the shelf for observation.

Got a chance to try the car again after the filter change. No observable difference. I did see the WB indication climb to 12.5. First data showed o2s in the 800s under boost. No help there. I used the "snapshot" mode and tried it asgain. I used a 50% load trigger, which was too high. It started collecting data at 14.8 psi and 720 mv. by the time it reached 18 psi, the mvs were in the 800s again, where they stayed for the rest of the boost cycle which was terminated by me because of the visual knock indication. So I added 10% fuel to the table from 1000 rpm, no boost up to the 18 psi area. I got ready to take the car out for a spin. I checked antifreeze anf it was low...oil and it was high...and brown.....no suprise here, except that it took that long to kill the head gasket(s).....more later.....
 

Jay Nesbitt

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Well, I can't believe it has been almost three years since I added to this post....I have been meaning to post since April, but honestly I am embarassed that I let so much time get by.....some updates:

My son was moving some stuff around out in the shop and terminated my extended E85 filter test by dropping the test jar with the filter and the E85 in it. Kinda reminds me of IGOR on Young Frankenstein....but I digress....SO I examined it for signs of deterioration....it looked the same to me as when I cut it open Nov 07. So this had about three years continuous exposure in E85 with no known problems....of course your results may be different....

I replaced the HG with the Race Jace shim set...and used Moroso Studs...
Replaced the cracked stock headers with a set of reworked chinese ones (probably a bad move).....can always fix a set of stockers and put back on....
Upped the turbo from the TA 49 to a PT 54....
I drove it a few times at reduced boost....actually the first time it scared me pretty bad it was pretty quick (by the seat of the pants) and I had to lift because of the knock indications. I backed the actuator rod about 10 turns after that.....

Now the sad part...after getting the car back going in April, I moved to East Texas in May and my car is still in the Wichita, Ks area. I'm the Longview area, and the nearest E85 I've found is Dallas. BUMMER! I may have to go back to 93 Oct and add alcohol injection..... Maybe we'll get an E85 outlet here, soon...

Later,
Jay
 
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