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Discussion Starter #1
with the gas prices up well over $4 a gallon ive been thinking about changing the boat over to run on e85. Does anyone know anything about this? Is it a feasable alternative or not worth what it would cost to convert everything over?
 

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E-7 Sheepdog (ret)
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Unless you can get it for about 1/2 of the price of gasoline, you're going to spend MORE $$$$, by burning more of it.


Not at all worth the cost.
 

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Not at all worth the cost.
It's a better fuel.
Methanol’s octane rating is 129 (RON), 103 (MON), which equates to 113 (AKI)
Ethanol's octane rating is 129 (RON), 102 (MON), which equates to 116 (AKI).
Gasoline is approximately 91 (RON), 81 (MON), equal to 86 (AKI)

AKI is 'Anti-Knock Index'
 

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E85

I think with anything that's fairly new there will be more sceptism (sp?) than anything else. I have done a ton of research on it but have yet to have a chance to use it.

E85 varies in octane in how long it's been sitting, how it is transported, and how it is stored. The octane rating of E85 varies more than with gasoline because of the above. I think typically they say E85 is around 105 octane. I have read that E85 is more difficult to transport and keep it's original composition the same. E85 burns similar to alcohol in that it has a much cooler charge than gasoline which is a lot of the reason you'll read people saying that E85 takes 15% - 50% more fuel than gasoline. I believe that a basic switch to E85 means that you need to ritchen up the air fuel mixture by at least 15%. The more you ritchen the mixture the safer it will be for the engine and it will also create a larger tuning window than gasoline which means you can add a lot more timing, compression, etc... than with gasoline. When E85 is on fire it smokes, unlike alcohol. E85 is corrosive and you need to know that prior to running it. There are people that say you must run alcohol compatible fuel lines with E85 however the Big 3 didn't change jack sh!t when they built the Flex Fuel vehicles. I have also read many people say they didn't change anything (regarding to fuel lines) when they switched to E85 and have had zero issue's with the fuel and their fuel lines after several years of use. E85 is a USA made product which for me is almost enough of a reason to switch to E85. I've got a lot more in my head and even more saved up on the puter about E85 but I say run it! :)devil

Here's a copy and paiste of a post I did a while back on E85. I got the info in it from many many different sources and I added my .02 in parenthessis. To anyone who I copied and paisted :D THANKS!

"E85 acts like a combination of higher octane gasoline and alcohol. With E85 I've read that fuel consumption goes up 15 - 50% (I believe the variation is soley due to jetting and that 15% is a more viable comparison figure, read on). E85 is not nearly as corrosive as alcohol, the 15% mix with gas helps with that. E85 is Ethanol, not Methanol. Ethanol mixed with gasoline undergoes a chemical reaction when it sits too long in a tank, because it attracts more water, which leaves a non-combustable fluid on the bottom of your tank. 101 - 106 octane from the pump. Runs way cooler than gasoline. Has some of the charactoristics of alcohol but it's better than methanol, like not as dry on the upper side of the engine, not as corrosive on lines, tanks, etc. I went to GM school on the flexfuel vehicles, it does provide more power than super unleaded fuel. It also requires more of it to produce the correct air/fuel ratio, but we're olny talking jetting up a carb maybe 3-4 jet sizes to make the stuff work. E85 cleans all the old varnish and crap in the old tanks and lines. E85 will eat fiberglass too. May want to consider something to catch any sludge material, I guess a water/fuel seperator won't work, and also a
low fuel pressure kill switch. Those turbo guys are using aluminum gas tanks with no problems so the right fuel lines and a compatable pump should take care of fuel supply. Some guys say you need 10-15% more fuel and some all the way to 40% more. Most guys are using gas calibration and best power seems to be around 12.0 A/F ratio. Also need to drop sparkplugs down 3 sizes according to one of the manufacturers. It's not corrosive (as a lot of people claim that have never used it). I work on E85 vehicles everyday and they run great on the stuff! At the GM flex fuel classes I went too, they told us that GM vehicles used @20% more E85 than gas, but the 20% more also yielded lower egt's, lower intake temps, and @15% more power. E85 to top it off it is made 100% within the confines of the USA. Many people state that the fuel is corrosive and it could have adverse effects on aluminum fuel rails, injector o-rings and fuel lines, but so far in 9 months of testing we have seen no such side effects. E85 will give your tanks and fuel lines an "INSTANT CLEANING". For those of you who plan on running this stuff in your old varnished gas tanks, be carefull. The minute this fuel hits the system, it starts getting rid of all the gas tar that has built up over the years. I have been running it for a year in a weekend driver. The gas tank sat full of E85 all winter long. I haven't seen any indicators that this fuel is causing damage to anything. I had the gas tank out this spring and every thing looked fine. I haven't even needed to change the fuel filter. We ran E85 in a banshee, 72 hp on race fuel, 82 hp on E85. Just ran my first tank of E85 through. My fuel economy did not drop as much as the math suggests it should. I averaged 23 mpg on E85, and on the same trip I was averaging 26 mpg on 93 octane. So with my 50/50 hwy/cty commute it only dropped 10%. I love this stuff, I just hope materials compatability doesn't become a problem and force me to change anything. So far no problems though. That is half the loss the math shows it should be. I added more timing, but primarily just where is was knock limited. Car is much faster now. This is a daily driven car, about 330 miles per week. The loss should be close to 30%, but it is much less in my case. I am very happy with it as a fuel. I haven't even had to change my fuel filter yet (I fully expected it to clog in 500 miles). It smells NICE. E85 engine reacts more to even slight changes in a/f ration on E85 vs. gas, even at part throttle cruise. Cold start seems more crisp, and smells a little like coolant burning.
E85 To sum it all up
Why is Ethanol a better fuel?
1. It has a much higher evaporative cooling power than gasoline so the intake air charge in the cylinder is significantly cooler that it is with a comparable mixture of gasoline --- that means higher VE.
2. Its octane as blended in E85 is about 100, its blending octane when added to gasoline is rated at 118, so it is a very cost effective octane booster.
3. Ethanol burns faster than gasoline but has a slightly longer ignition delay during the slow burn phase of combustion so the engine does not do as much negative work fighting rising cylinder pressures due to large ignition advances. The total ignition advance for E85 is almost identical to the ideal advance for gasoline so it does not cause the PCM problems when you mix them.
4. At proper mixture you actually are releasing more energy in the cylinder due to the higher quantity of fuel you can burn. Ethanol can burn effeciently at much richer mixtures than gasoline can. That means about a 5% increase in energy release all by itself.
5. Peak combustion pressures are actually lower for ethanol than for gasoline but the cylinder pressures stay higher longer, so you have more "longer" crank angle that is usable by the engine. This lower peak cylinder pressure also helps with detonaton control.
6. Theorethically, the gain is 5% just by switching fuel. 350 hp X 5% = 15 hp, plus what can be gained from timing.
I just tried out E85 for myself. Its in a big ass cammed LS1 car, and the mph picked up from 89 to 92 in the 1/8. It didn't care too much as far as timing or richness. It seemed to like about 33 degrees advance, but would take up to 40 and ran the same (27 on 93 octane). It also didn't care too much about the AFR either. I varied it from 12.8 to 10.8 and it didn't pick up any or slow down. And my exhaust smells like rum now!!
E85, 1340 RWHP, Over a year in mine no issues at all.
• E85 is easy to use and handle - E85 fueling equipment is slightly different and of similar cost to equipment used to store and dispense petroleum fuels. In some cases, it may be possible to convert your existing petroleum equipment to handle E85.
• Using E85 reduces petroleum consumption - Use of E85 will reduce a fleet's overall use of petroleum and replace it with a renewable-based fuel produced ("grown") in the United States.
• E85 is good for the environment - Beyond operational ease, E85 offers considerable environmental benefits. To learn more about fuel economy, greenhouse gas scores, and air pollution scores for individual vehicles, go to the U.S. Department of Energy/U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's on-line Fuel Economy Guide. You can search for E85-fueled vehicles by selecting "flexible-fueled vehicles" in the "Select Vehicle Type" pull-down menu. Once you are there, select individual vehicles to get fuel economy, greenhouse gas, and air pollution details."
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I made the switch. Sent my Carbs out over the winter to http://greenracecarbs.com/services.html . Just waiting to get the boat back together to see how well it works.
what else has to be changed? Is compression an issue? I have a 502 crate motor that is only 8.75-1 compression. $250 for a conversion is a recoverable amount.

The only problem now is dragging the boat 10 miles out of the way behind my suburban , which burns the $4.10 a gallon gas, to fill up at a station that has e85, and then burn 20% more fuel at $2.95 a gallon and if I am doing the math right ( I may not be) then to compare apples to apples and roughly burning 1.2 gallons of ethanol in the time I would burn 1 gallon of gasoline, so it takes $3.59 worth of ethanol to replace 1 gallon or $4.26 of 92 octane gasoline.Which makes a savings of .67 per gallon of fuel burned. I think. So if my math is correct then I will be saving about $16.08 everytime I fill (and empty) my 2 12 gallon tanks taking into account the 20% greater fuel consumption when using ethanol. Or in terms of straight up dollars at the pump, which is the number the wife pays attention to, its a savings of $1.31 a gallon or $31.44 per fill up, which will make the wife very happy, just dont tell her im burning 20% more of it. ***** almost forgot, 10 miles out of the way in the suburban at about maybe 15 mpg when towing then 10 miles back, so it costs $5.56 just to go get the stuff, take that off the real world savings number and Im actually saving $10.52 per fill up. Not sure if it is totally worth it in those terms but if gas does go up to 5 or 6 $ a gallon and e85 stays around $3 then it is definitely worth it. One other thing to consider, at every fill up instead of foreign countries getting my money, american farmers do. That is also worth something. and gas prices are certainly going higher, so the savings could go up or even double before summer is over. What do you think, or is my math just all messed up?
 

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You forgot the fact that you will also be making that trip to the E85 station more frequently than if you were filling up with gas. Since consumption rate is higher, operating range will be lower.

For someone building an engine from scratch to utilize the octane benefits of E85, the conversion would make a lot more sense.
 

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Imo

I think that if cost is the sole consideration in choosing a fuel to run then E85 is not the correct choice for a jet boat. However, if you want to consider all factors in whether or not E85 is a viable alternative to race gas or alcohol then E85 is definately a viable choice. Whens the last time a engine that runs race gas with 15:1 compression ran timing at 50 degree's advanced and lived to tell the tale? E85 can do it. I personally would never consider E85 for a jet boat that normally runs on pump gas.

IMO
 

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Discussion Starter #10
at 20 miles round trip in traffic, the day will just be over 20% sooner. The performance gains would be pretty easy to measure in a jetboat, and it would be very interesting to see if anyone changed over and made only that change what if any difference it made in rpm at full throttle. If it gains a decent amount of horsepower after fine tuning everything then it would take alot of the sting out of that 20% greater consumption. And like oldsqurt said, if you were building a motor for e85 from scratch you could make alot of power on a relatively cheap fuel, and at that point fuel consumtion isnt really an issue. With all of the flexfuel cars coming out more e85 stations are bound to pop up. But when the demand goes up so does the price.
 

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Does E85 add HP?

Depending on who you talk to will depend on the answer you get on whether or not E85 gives added HP "out of the box". Same for alcohol (fuel). Most seem to say that both E85 and alcohol will add or drop (depending on who you are talking to) HP by about 15% + - . I personally don't look at E85 to add HP, but it definately has the possibility of adding HP due to it's tuning window. With E85 you can add a ton more compression, timing, and fuel, than you can with gasoline.

Like Oldsquirt posted... "For someone building an engine from scratch to utilize the octane benefits of E85, the conversion would make a lot more sense." And I am adding to that the much cooler air fuel intake charge of E85 over gasoline makes it look that much better to me.
 

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E-7 Sheepdog (ret)
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It's a better fuel.
Methanol’s octane rating is 129 (RON), 103 (MON), which equates to 113 (AKI)
Ethanol's octane rating is 129 (RON), 102 (MON), which equates to 116 (AKI).
Gasoline is approximately 91 (RON), 81 (MON), equal to 86 (AKI)

AKI is 'Anti-Knock Index'
Did you rebujild the engine to make any use of the increased "octane" level?

You're still going to burn a good 20% more of it, and how far out of your way is your supplier(s)?

Unless it is avalable close by, AND more than $1 a gallon cheaper, you're going to spend MORE $$$$$ running it.


IMO, "not worth it".
 

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I have a station less than a mile from here. No changes to the motor cept for more boost.;)
 

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Did you rebujild the engine to make any use of the increased "octane" level?

You're still going to burn a good 20% more of it, and how far out of your way is your supplier(s)?

Unless it is avalable close by, AND more than $1 a gallon cheaper, you're going to spend MORE $$$$$ running it.


IMO, "not worth it".
This is your second post in this thread where your sole point is cost, 'fuel X costs this much but you use X amount more therefore it isn't worth it'. IMO, that's lame. You aren't comparing 105 octane E85 to 105 octane gasoline you're comparing it to 91 or 93 octane pump gas. Comparing 105 octane to 93 octane pump gas doesn't work for me because the engine that I am building will melt in a few minutes running on 93 octane gas. BTW, E85 is waaaayyy more than a dollar a gallon cheaper when you do a realistic comparison of 105 octane E85 to 105 octane race gas. E85 is less than $4 a gallon and I was told that 100 octane pump gas (AZ) is a little more than $6 a gallon, buy race gas by the barrel down at my local SoCO Fuels and it's upwards of $9.75 a gallon! Furthermore :|err You have yet to comment on the fact that E85 is a US product, that E85 will cool your engine down better than any gasoline, that with E85 your tuning window is big and with gasoline it is small, That running E85 helps the enviroment, that E85 burns much cleaner than gasoline, that when E85 is used it actually cleans the components rather than putting a gooie film on everything, and last but not least with E85 you can run a top end lube that smells like popcorn! :D

Not a personal attack! Bit IMO you need to compare apples to apples and include all facts otherwise why compare at all?
 

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I'm considering this step mainly for the increased octane and lower price per gallon when compare to 100+ unleaded. I have a 10.3 to 1 496 and I run lazy timing to be safe on pump gas ( 30-32 deg) . I would bet I would pick up 30-50 hp running more advance , like 36-40 ish. Maybe even 100 rpm on top end.

I will look into where I can locally pick this fuel up and if it's close enough I can't see a reason not to.....
 

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... I will look into where I can locally pick this fuel up and if it's close enough I can't see a reason not to.....
The only place that I know of locally to you and I is at Pearson Ford's gas station. Pearson Ford is at Fairmont Ave. and El Cajon Bl. and the gas station, I believe, is across the street/intersection.

I don't know how rich of a air/fuel mixture you're running currently with gasoline but if it's dead on with gasoline you are going to want to richen the mixture up, most articles I've read say to start in the 15% - 20% richer neighborhood.
 

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i'm just brainstorming here guys, but don't most gearheads have at least 2-3 old race fuel drums layin around somewhere? seems like a person could easily trailer those to the pump ;):D if i had e85 within 50 miles of me, you could bet yo ass there'd be some in my tanks right this second. i can burn it instead of the 110, and save a shit load, no matter if it took 30% more to achieve the proper a/f ratio, it'd still be worth it :)bulb
 

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so if i read this right you guys are saying that i can run e85 instead of 110 racing fuel in my 13 to 1 468 if i do some fine tuning??:D
 

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