Injector troubles on e85

gibbstroy

Member
Jan 12, 2018
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Allen, TX, United States
Im looking for some ideas here to help figure out a solution to a fuel problem. Ive bought a car about two months ago and shipped it from Mn to TX so Im not completely sure of its history. Since its been here Ive noticed degrading power over a short time, once to the point that the car could barely pull into the drive to park it.

Twice now the solution has been to pull the injectors and blow air through them backwards. It only takes about three tanks of e85 for the clogging to occur, and when blowing them out nothing appears to come out of them except clean looking fuel. After reinstalling the injectors it runs perfect. I suspect that there is a bit of rusting within the injector but nothing is visible. The fuel has been purchased from three different locations. The first time it happened I flushed the tank and lines out, pickled with a little 97 octane, then refilled with e85 from a different station, but the only thing that helped was pulling the injectors.

I was told the car has about 4000 miles on the build and from the way it looks its likely accurate. The fuel system consists of a 10 gal alum fuel cell, aeromotive in tank pump with a stainless screen pickup as well as an inline filter that are both spotless. Boost a pump, 160# injectors, FAST, -10 supply and -8 return. Its best is 10.0 in the 1/4 up north so it seems to be set up right. Im at a loss but pulling injectors every couple hundred miles is a pain.
 

turbo nasty

Turbo Dojo / MNTR
Jul 19, 2001
8,177
409
83
St Paul, MN
Just finished reading your post and pretty sure this is his old car, if so congrats as it is super clean.

He only ran clean E90 from barrels he purchased in the car.

Is the fuel psi low during the low on power?

What is the XFI saying on the edash during this?

Are the inlet baskets on the injectors dirty?

How are you blowing air through them? They need to be energized to flow either way
 

gibbstroy

Member
Jan 12, 2018
76
16
8
52
Allen, TX, United States
Yes Sir, got it from him, what a great car!. Super nice guy too, he actually helped me figure it out to start with. He noticed that the FAST system was trying to richen the mixture but it couldnt due to the injectors. Fuel pressure stays as expected.

The first time I energized them and poured injector cleaner in them and blew pressurized air through both ways. The second time it happened I noticed the air pressure would push the injector open and flush it out backwards with out energizing. Ran like a top after.
 

turbo nasty

Turbo Dojo / MNTR
Jul 19, 2001
8,177
409
83
St Paul, MN
Yes Sir, got it from him, what a great car!. Super nice guy too, he actually helped me figure it out to start with. He noticed that the FAST system was trying to richen the mixture but it couldnt due to the injectors. Fuel pressure stays as expected.

The first time I energized them and poured injector cleaner in them and blew pressurized air through both ways. The second time it happened I noticed the air pressure would push the injector open and flush it out backwards with out energizing. Ran like a top after.
https://www.racetronix.biz/product.asp?ic=01d164x

I think these are the injectors^

Maybe some water got in them and corroded them. Otherwise the fuel system filters or injector baskets would show contaminants. @Chuck Leeper Your thoughts?
 

gibbstroy

Member
Jan 12, 2018
76
16
8
52
Allen, TX, United States
Yeah that looks like them. No screens on them though. It’s more humid here in Dallas this time of year, and e85 is known to absorb moisture. So I’d say that’s the most logical possibility. I’m shocked at the short amount of time it’s taken. It hasn’t set still for more than a week. I can’t keep myself out of it!
 

Chuck Leeper

8/10's of a century!
Staff member
May 28, 2001
11,864
1,511
113
Madison, Ga.
Yeah that looks like them. No screens on them though. It’s more humid here in Dallas this time of year, and e85 is known to absorb moisture. So I’d say that’s the most logical possibility. I’m shocked at the short amount of time it’s taken. It hasn’t set still for more than a week. I can’t keep myself out of it!
I highly doubt they are run w/o the "screens", aka filter baskets. Easy way to tell, look at the top of the inj.. See a brass looking ring? That's the top of the filter basket. Attempting to "clean" them w/ compressed air, in reverse flow, can/will just stack the crud up under the baskets. The baskets HAVE to be removed, then cleaned in a pulsed, ultrasonic cleaning machine.
E85 is notorious for creating "corn starch", on the tops of the injs. You see any of that?
When I get this problem, I usually find this.
The issue was dirty filter baskets. The second pic was after only a basket removal, no other work done.
Note the significant flow increase. Engine ran, but obviously not well.
AIRC, this was an E85 application.
The "older" 160's were originally for LP gas, not gasoline. I've had many of them fail at the body seal, and spray flow fluid. Many were run at high base psi, and on methanol, tho.
Cleaning would be a good starting point.
TFS 95# Haymore.jpg
TFS 95# Haymore wo baskets.jpg
 

gibbstroy

Member
Jan 12, 2018
76
16
8
52
Allen, TX, United States
I highly doubt they are run w/o the "screens", aka filter baskets. Easy way to tell, look at the top of the inj.. See a brass looking ring? That's the top of the filter basket. Attempting to "clean" them w/ compressed air, in reverse flow, can/will just stack the crud up under the baskets. The baskets HAVE to be removed, then cleaned in a pulsed, ultrasonic cleaning machine.
E85 is notorious for creating "corn starch", on the tops of the injs. You see any of that?
When I get this problem, I usually find this.
The issue was dirty filter baskets. The second pic was after only a basket removal, no other work done.
Note the significant flow increase. Engine ran, but obviously not well.
AIRC, this was an E85 application.
The "older" 160's were originally for LP gas, not gasoline. I've had many of them fail at the body seal, and spray flow fluid. Many were run at high base psi, and on methanol, tho.
Cleaning would be a good starting point
You hit the nail on the head, I do see the brass rings. Im sure it was just my old man eyes before.

One last thing I noticed Friday was the sound of the plunger when blowing air through them. Five gave a distinct sound of the plunger moving when air was moving through them. One gave no sound of the plunger moving and it was noticeable that there was less air moving thru it. After some home garage level cleaning it started acting normal again.

So, its time to pull them all back out and send them in for a proper cleaning. Anyone know of a place in Dallas? If not, are there any other recommendations?
 

gibbstroy

Member
Jan 12, 2018
76
16
8
52
Allen, TX, United States
Well, the Racetronix injectors are sticking again. Cleaning them didnt last long so I guess its time to replace them.

What are the recommendations for 160-220 sized injectors? Would going stainless internals help prevent the e85 corrosion? Id say my budget is under $1k if anyway possible. Ive driven myself nuts researching them, and Im no further than before I started...lol
 

Chuck Leeper

8/10's of a century!
Staff member
May 28, 2001
11,864
1,511
113
Madison, Ga.
NP! :cool:
Not rebuildable, in the sense of installing new parts.
Lets put them on the bench, just as they come out of the engine, and see what the flow patterns look like.
If you are going to replace them, anyway, I can machine the case, and take the internals out, and we'll see if there's corrosion, or?
LMK, and make them w/ the cyl they come out of.
 
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turbo nasty

Turbo Dojo / MNTR
Jul 19, 2001
8,177
409
83
St Paul, MN
NP! :cool:
Not rebuildable, in the sense of installing new parts.
Lets put them on the bench, just as they come out of the engine, and see what the flow patterns look like.
If you are going to replace them, anyway, I can machine the case, and take the internals out, and we'll see if there's corrosion, or?
LMK, and make them w/ the cyl they come out of.
Video footage chuck!
 
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