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Old 12-14-2009, 12:52 PM   #1
NoSubYet
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Default E85 Injector Build-up / Gunk

I come from the dark side in peace =) (EvolutionM)
We are tracking some E85 users finding black injector gunk....I searched & could not find any posts relating to this issue here at Nasioc....Have you guys heard of this issue?

I have attached our thread reporting some very interesting reports as to what this is.

A deuce your way
http://forums.evolutionm.net/alterna...nk-e-85-a.html
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Old 12-14-2009, 01:56 PM   #2
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Yes, and I also followed the thread on Evo forums. I believe that the issue has been discussed on this forum as well, about a year ago.

I think that the gunk is caused by a breakdown of non-E85 resistant materials in the fuel system, likely lines, filter, pump parts, or o-rings. Just my 2 cents. I have never seen anything other than squeaky-clean components in my car, and I have been running E85 almost exclusively for over 2 years.
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:30 PM   #3
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^^^ At this point its only a handful reporting this issue....The general consensus is, it is fuel related & not any of the ethanol approved lines / other components in the EVO (Anyway I hope not)...I would hope the WRX & EVO have similar component builds that are ethanol compliant......Heres a cut/paste from some type of Engineer who analyzed the material.....Glad to hear all's well over here.......Peace

Well, here is what I did just so everyone is clear. I filled a 40mL vial with E85 and blew it dry with nitrogen gas and mild heating (about 150*F). After there was no fuel left, I placed it under high vacuum to remove any remaining volatiles for about an hour. I was left with a clear sticky residue that smelled bad - like nasty frying oil. I dissolved this sample in the NMR solvent and analyzed it and it IS the same goo that was on the injector. There was smaller amounts of some other stuff in it as well, but the same peaks I saw in the black goo were in this residue. The black goo IS coming from the E85. It isn't naturally black, though. I suspect it just has soot mixed in with it that is giving it the color.So the next challenge is figuring out why is this crap in our fuel, and if it is in everyone's fuel (particularly people who aren't having this problem).
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:53 PM   #4
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How does that sticky gunk make its way through your fuel filter on the evo's? I have had my injectors out a couple times with thousands of E85 miles no build up and they were clean as a whistle, with a vodka smell kinda
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:26 PM   #5
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Honestly, its probably locatoin related. I would imagine either the station's "compliant" in ground tank is less than compliant, or the batch of fuel that the station recieves is not quality ethanol.

If there are 5000 people running it WITHOUT this problem, and 2-3 with this problem, I am willing to say its NOT a direct result of ethanol, more a result of THEIR ethanol.

I've had my injectors out 4 times now, 2 sets in fact, and have over 25k miles on E now - always clean as a whistle and NOT sticky in any way shape or form.

-jerod
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:59 PM   #6
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I dont believe evo's have a fuel filter other than the in tank filter
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oxox55 View Post
I dont believe evo's have a fuel filter other than the in tank filter
Sir, You are correct.......The only filter the EVO has is on the right side of the fuel tank & it is not serviceable so Ive read. Curious about the WRX fuel filter.

My main interest is in knowing if the WRX's have seen this injector gunk....I certainly hope its fuel related & not some type of degradation issue.......Peace to all WRX owners. Deuces on the road! Peace
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSubYet View Post
Sir, You are correct.......The only filter the EVO has is on the right side of the fuel tank & it is not serviceable so Ive read. Curious about the WRX fuel filter.

My main interest is in knowing if the WRX's have seen this injector gunk....I certainly hope its fuel related & not some type of degradation issue.......Peace to all WRX owners. Deuces on the road! Peace

Been on e85 exclusively for ~two years now. Had a miss on #3, changed plug, coil, all four injectors, no more miss. With two years on these injectors there was no buildup at all on the outside, although there may have been some kind of contaminate on the inside as I did have a miss. If time allows this weekend I'll clean the filters on them and see if anything comes out.

I do remember a thread about the buildup...and also remember it was mentioned the gunk may have come from a bulk fuel storage tank. Something about the binders in the tank leeching into the fuel.
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:55 PM   #9
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sorry to bump an old thread but, what was the thread on evom anyone have a link?
I just bought an E85 converted Evo8 and am having fueling issues.

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1917915

car's runnin outta fuel at virtually no load. previous owner reported the car started acting funny so he put 93 pump in it and it acted better. if the fuel flow is restricted it makes sense it'd run better on pump than E85 even tho its tuned for e85.

injectors are 1200 precision brand.
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:48 AM   #10
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Bump for some more knowledge being laid down. I've got an '04 STi that has always run flawlessly - got tuned for E85 approx 5,000 miles ago and started misfiring in all cylinders about 2,000 miles back.

I've replaced plugs (which looked brand new w/10k on 'em) and did fuel filter today. Misfired within 30 miles. I'm cleaning the MAF tomorrow and then am looking at injectors as the culprit.

I did a compression check 10,000 miles ago and came in at 130 in all 4 cylinders. Plugs when pulled showed no signs of det and I'm tuned conservatively. The fuel is doing something, I just can't figure out what.
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mindchatter View Post
Bump for some more knowledge being laid down. I've got an '04 STi that has always run flawlessly - got tuned for E85 approx 5,000 miles ago and started misfiring in all cylinders about 2,000 miles back.

I've replaced plugs (which looked brand new w/10k on 'em) and did fuel filter today. Misfired within 30 miles. I'm cleaning the MAF tomorrow and then am looking at injectors as the culprit.

I did a compression check 10,000 miles ago and came in at 130 in all 4 cylinders. Plugs when pulled showed no signs of det and I'm tuned conservatively. The fuel is doing something, I just can't figure out what.
If I had to guess then I would guess that you cracked one of the plugs when you changed them. It's a common issue if the plugs are over torqued when installed. What did you TQ the new plugs to when you replaced them?
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Old 01-26-2010, 05:01 PM   #12
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Definitely didn't crack a plug. Torqued 'em to 14. Was REAL careful putting them in. The plugs that came out had less than 10k on them, and looked brand new. I only tried plugs as a first step b/c I thought the E85 might've fouled them.

When I started it up with the new plugs the idle seemed smoother (due to fuel trims being reset from disconnecting battery?) and the misfire happened within 50 miles. After the fuel filter there's less "chugging" (FF was NASTY) but misfired again within 30 miles.

Went to clean the MAF today....and there's no o-ring. Nothing. Waiting on a ride to get a replacement o-ring and am hoping that clears this up. Can't hurt!
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:23 AM   #13
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A couple thoughts:
1) What did you gap the plugs to? E85 (and turbo subies in general) doesn't like wide plug gaps.
2) Did it turn cold. E85 likes to misfire in the cold.
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:33 AM   #14
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Plugs came gapped at .28 - checked all 4 with feeler gauges and left them there.

This time it didn't misfire upon start-up. It's consistently been misfiring between 2-3k RPM's off throttle under load, in any gear.

Replaced the o-ring on the MAF today, took 22 miles to misfire. Cylinder 3. Again, right around 2200 rpms. Bringing it back to the tuner to pressure test the intake system and see if there's a leak. If none are found we're gonna do another compression test.

But I know the compressions ok. I had it done 10k ago, and it was 130 across all four cylinders, no variance. Car feels and sounds good. No oil loss, sounds great, no smoke/exhaust from fill tube. I KNOW it's not the block. I've had this car since it had 3 miles on it, and have cared for it myself, religiously. Something else is causing this, and I've eliminated virtually everything I can think of (or service) on my own.

I really appreciate any additional thoughts here, as I'm learning as I go along. Thanks MUCH to those who've replied already.

Last edited by mindchatter; 01-27-2010 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:17 AM   #15
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Pulled injectors from cylinders 1 & 3 today after determining the miss wasn't coilpacks. Been running e85 for about 3,000-4,000 miles with the injectors in for about 50k before that. Orings were nasty, injectors benefitted from being sprayed with MAF cleaner, but they definitely didn't have any kind of gunk build up on 'em.

Swapped injectors, missfire gone. Go figure, but I'm psyched.
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mindchatter View Post
Pulled injectors from cylinders 1 & 3 today after determining the miss wasn't coilpacks. Been running e85 for about 3,000-4,000 miles with the injectors in for about 50k before that. Orings were nasty, injectors benefitted from being sprayed with MAF cleaner, but they definitely didn't have any kind of gunk build up on 'em.

Swapped injectors, missfire gone. Go figure, but I'm psyched.
What do you mean by your O-rings being nasty? Were they falling apart, cracking, dirt build up?
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:31 PM   #17
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I don't know much about the evo set up have not looked into it in detail. one question does come to mind. are most people turning the boost up considerably with the e-85 and if so could this be a fault in the evap system in some of the cars? ie. could blow by from high boost be finding it's way into the evap system, into the tank then through the injectors? just a thought without much veh. specific knowledge!! I personally have been tuning e-85 and running it in my sti for more than a year no probs. what so ever. the only real difference between the evo would be about 10 psi of boost!!
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:13 PM   #18
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Forgive me for bumping this old thread, but this was referred to by unibomber in a newer thread, so I chose to share this information here.

Recently had an engine failure. Before the failure E85 was run for 7000 miles.(Not saying it was the cause of failure) During teardown I came across this,



Which I know is typical and was aware of this issue before switching to E85. (every injector looks this way)

However also looking into the intake I see this,



Its hard to see in this picture but there is a good amount of build up of this "gunk" all round the valve and in the intake. (looks like this for every cylinder)

Using a flat head screw driver i was able to scrape some of this "gunk" of the valve.



^This picture better shows the build up.

What was scraped off V




Now ive read many threads on evo forums and these forums about this issue, but none have I seen been this sevre. I suppose its possible there was an injector issue, but to see this in every cylinder im not leaning that direction. Generally used the same E85 station, perhaps they had bad gas or used diffrent conditioners/cleaners. However did test it one time, tested as a little better than e85. So I i'm not sure. Because of all this for the next build i'll be running an aguamist set up and regular 93.

All of this is just food for thought. I loved the power gain from E85 and the affordability. But I just dont think ill be going down that route again.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:47 AM   #19
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What'd it all look like before you added E85?
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:01 PM   #20
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Clean, lol. A little carbon on the valves but this stuff is diffrent.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:18 PM   #21
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Does that gunk feel/smell like a tar? or more plasticy? or rubber-like? or is it gritty and completely amorphous like mud?
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:56 PM   #22
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Its hard to descrribe bacause really I havent seen anything like it. The best discription i can come up with is like old gum/mud. If that helps at all... if you know what strip-calk is, its kind of like that.
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:11 PM   #23
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It looks crusty on your head and valves but it looks like rubber on the screwdriver.

I'm trying to figure out what its made of.

It is from the fuel or the fuel system I wonder.
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:59 PM   #24
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The side of the gunk that sat on the valve(underside) is crusty. That side is textured like mud. The outside that is exposed is smooth and squishy.
Im about 100% sure it a by-product of the e85 fuel. I tear into motors almost daily at work, and i dont ever see build up like this other than typical carbon deposits. There all regular gas motors. And I dont think rubber or anything in the fuel lines would be able to flow through the injectors.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:10 PM   #25
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There must be something to that regionality. It seems like its happening a lot more in Southern states that don't get winter blended fuels as often. I run E85 in my Evo 100% of the time and its clean as a whistle. There are many many people around here running E85-converted vehicles and don't have this issue.

stolen from that evo thread regarding regionality.

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