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What would it take to run Ethanol?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Blue85, May 18, 2003.

  1. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    Parts of the country sell E85 fuel (85% alcohol, 15% gasoline) and growing corn seems more renewable than pumping oil. Could this be the way to extend the life of the internal combustion engine? That may be too broad for this thread.

    My question is: if you take a regular carb K5, what would it take to make it run on Ethanol/E85? Is it hard to also keep it Gasoline compatible? Does EFI make it easier or harder?

    I know that the big three all have EFI engines that run on any mixture of gas and ethanol. I think that it is mostly just a timing adjustment. Ethanol should give slightly more power, but less mileage. It is generally cheaper, though, where it is available.
     
  2. 69K5

    69K5 1/2 ton status

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    3 bucks a gallon around here but then again thats not the 85% stuff. i dont think that you would really need anything diffrent
     
  3. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    not 100% but corrosion resistant fuel system is required on full alky systems
    are you carb or efi?
    either way larger volume of fuel will be required
    carb this means larger floats are good idea and jetting is way rich

    efi might require latger pump ??
     
  4. Ryan B.

    Ryan B. 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    My understanding is Alcohol makes more power, is about twice as expensive as gas, and it drinks about twice as much fuel as a gas engine.. i think the ideal air to fuel ratio is around 7.5 to 1 instead of 14.7 to 1 or whatever.

    Also when it catches on fire you can't see the flames. /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif /forums/images/graemlins/1zhelp.gif /forums/images/graemlins/ignore.gif
     
  5. BowtieRed

    BowtieRed 1/2 ton status Author

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    now the question is, what about METHANOL? /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  6. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    Here's a little info I found:

    [ QUOTE ]
    The 1998 Ford Taurus is available with an optional 3.0 liter, V6 engine capable of operating on E85 (85% ethanol and 15% gasoline), unleaded gasoline, or any blend of the two. Ford has offered an E85 Taurus in its AFV lineup since 1994. These flexible-fuel vehicles (FFVs) give the driver the convenience of fueling with gasoline where E85 is not available. A sensor monitors the fuel composition and sends the information to the on-board computer, which automatically adjusts the air-fuel ratio to optimize its performance on the current mix of fuel. The estimated driving range for the FFV Taurus operating on E85 is 250-340 miles, and on gasoline it is 340-470 miles. Several design changes were necessary to allow for operation on alcohol fuels. These changes include a unique block material, exhaust valve seat inserts, wear resistant
    rings, alcohol-compatible fuel injectors specially designed
    for high flows, increased volume evaporative canister, a stainless steel fuel system, and unique engine calibration for ethanol operation.

    [/ QUOTE ] [ QUOTE ]
    Annual Fuel Costs and Greenhouse Gas Estimates are based on 45% highway driving, 55% city driving, and 15000 annual miles.

    Assumed Fuel Prices:


    Regular: 1.55
    Premium: 1.65
    Diesel: 1.40
    CNG: 1.30
    Electricity: 0.08 per kilowatt hour
    E85: 1.80
    LPG: 1.30

    [/ QUOTE ]


    It looks like the fuel system and engine could be toughened up to work with both, but the problem is the need for A/F ratio changes. I guess it would only be feasible with EFI to be able to switch back and forth. Would the O2 sensor be enough to regulate A/F with both or would you be forced to also detect something about the fuel?
     
  7. ZooMad75

    ZooMad75 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Starting in the 2002 model year, GM made the 5.3 E-85 flex fuel compatible in the Tahoe and Yukon SUV's. The key is as stated above, the system uses a sensor to check the Fuel and changes fuel ratios and timing to match. Here is the problem for a older less sophisticated system wont be able to work on the variable that the new stuff does. You would have to commit to E-85 all together for lack of a Control system to make the adjustments.

    You will notice the mileage on the Taurus was less on the E85. E85 carry's less energy per unit volume (gallon) than Gasoline. Thats why for the same tank size the range is less on the E85 unit. Ideally if one was to make an engine run on E85 alone, you could bump the compression up and optimize the fuel and timing curves to take advantage of the E85. It would still take most of the components listed above for an alcohol based fuel system.
     
  8. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    My 2000 Ranger will run on E85.
     
  9. MousePowrd

    MousePowrd 1/2 ton status

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    Retrofitting a gas engine to alcohol is a bandaid, and the performance would be much less, similar to how gas engines run on natural gas. Benefits to alcohol would be its clean running, you could probably run it forever without worrying about deposits. Ever seen the inside of an engine that runs on propane? Clean as a whistle, even after 4000-5000 hours.

    BTW Blue85 where in Saginaw do you live? Once I get some tires we will have to hook up at the Mounds since I have never been there
     
  10. 77fixer

    77fixer 1/2 ton status

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