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Old 02-26-2013, 02:31 PM   #7026
manitou
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I think this is true to a point about running E85 100% of the time if the tune is good.

The other factors to consider is that you are going to make more HP and torque on E85 than with pump gas, like say; 400 on pg and 500 on e85 or 500/600 etc... that added power and torque will somewhat shorten the motor life. The other thing is the richer AFR's and astringent effect of the alcohol may not help the motors life expectancy.
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:52 PM   #7027
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A buddy of mine was who told me that running E85 all the time would likely shorten the life of a motor, and the higher power numbers was the reason why. Granted he's never run a car on E85 himself, but he's in engineering school and knows a thing or two about engines so naturally I trust what he says. In my case though I'm not wanting huge numbers or to max out my engine's potential. This will be my DD for awhile. Personally I think somewhere around 370-400whp/wtq would more than suffice for me. I don't want to build a monster street machine for my DD.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:26 PM   #7028
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At that power level you'll be fine as long as your motor is built well and you have a solid tune. A big thing is quality, the biggest is maintaining it. Some people have built blocks last 20k, some last until they get tired of it. Really just depends.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:34 PM   #7029
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I personally think sub 500whp for a Subaru can be reliable. Above that...not so much. I also don't think anyone really needs more than 400whp in suburbia between red lights. 400whp is pretty uckin fast.

There are plenty of competent e tuners on here if you need a hand with tuning. I personally recommend phatron
on the west coast and ray of turbo Tek on the east coast.

I have had great success with e tuning. My car has never been tuned on a dyno.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:43 PM   #7030
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Yea I'll probably have to look for someone on here to help me tune it. Never tuned a car before, and really wouldn't know what I was doing without some guidance.
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:24 PM   #7031
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To determine how things are going to affect longevity you need to determine what type of failure mode you are concerned about.

Failures:
Head gaskets- more likely with e85 because a lot of people run too much timing.
Pistons- Less likely because detonation is practically non existent. This is what leads to people running too much timing.
Bearings- Two main causes assuming the bearing clearances and oil pressure are proper: 1. Too much timing wearing them out. 2. Oil dilution or degradation. You have to be on top of your oil changes when running e85 because it is a stronger solvent than gasoline.
Burnt valves: e85 burns cooler and cleaner. Most valve burns are products of carbon buildup fouling the seat and holding the valve open. Since e85 burns cleaner there should be less deposits. However, I've seen lots of e85 engines with few miles and a good amount of carbon buildup on the pistons. So I can't say for certain whether or not e85 helps or hinders carbon buildup.

Engine wear:
As mean piston speed increases linearly, cylinder wear goes up exponentially (or so I read once). Whether linearly or exponentially, the point is that the more time it spends at higher rpm, the more it wears out.

As cylinder pressure increases linearly, cylinder wear goes up exponentially (also something I read). Again, whether or not it's linear or exponential the same thing is true that the more power you make, the more wear you experience.

To take away from those statements: The harder you drive it, the more it wears out.

Now addressing cylinder pressure:
One of the big gains of e85 is the burn speed. It burns quicker which means we don't have to apply a ton of timing. That also means that cylinder pressure rises quicker making timing your pressure peak easier. The other advantage is the octane improvement. This means we get to establish cylinder pressures at the exact point in crankshaft position for the best output. In essence, with the same pressure, we can make more power by timing the peak pressure appropriately.

So with those assumptions established:
Making the same power on e85 is potentially less wearing than making it on pump gas provided the tune is done appropriately. This means that in theory you could make MORE power on e85 and have the same wear characteristics of pump fuel.


All in all, it really depends on how you drive it and how good the tune is. Just like any other engine out there.
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:30 PM   #7032
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A lot of good info in that post. Thank you
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:10 PM   #7033
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I ran E85 on my 02 wrx over 5 years from 70k miles until it let go at 164999 with an EVOIII16G. Originally i thought it was a head gasket, but after pulling the plugs and injectors, the injectors were very dirty, one of them EXTREMELY dirty, and the plug in the same cylinder as the dirty injector was covered in oil. I'm assuming it was a ring now but who knows till the new owner tears it down for his project car. I'll be interested in finding out.

E85 itself doesnt cause the gunk, but theres no telling what they had in some of the E85 tanks before it was E85. I've been told it's good to run a tank of 91/93 through the engine a couple times a year just to clean up any gunk that may have accumulated. A single drop of gasoline was all it took to clean each injector tip up. I wouldnt use them again without proper cleaning/flow testing, but it was very obvious how quickly the gas ate up that gunk that was on there.

Have you ran into any similar issues, Dom? There has been no one locally running e85 until just recently, so I really haven't had any direct contact with anyone else running it long term.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:40 AM   #7034
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simon021 View Post
I ran E85 on my 02 wrx over 5 years from 70k miles until it let go at 164999 with an EVOIII16G. Originally i thought it was a head gasket, but after pulling the plugs and injectors, the injectors were very dirty, one of them EXTREMELY dirty, and the plug in the same cylinder as the dirty injector was covered in oil. I'm assuming it was a ring now but who knows till the new owner tears it down for his project car. I'll be interested in finding out.

E85 itself doesnt cause the gunk, but theres no telling what they had in some of the E85 tanks before it was E85. I've been told it's good to run a tank of 91/93 through the engine a couple times a year just to clean up any gunk that may have accumulated. A single drop of gasoline was all it took to clean each injector tip up. I wouldnt use them again without proper cleaning/flow testing, but it was very obvious how quickly the gas ate up that gunk that was on there.

Have you ran into any similar issues, Dom? There has been no one locally running e85 until just recently, so I really haven't had any direct contact with anyone else running it long term.
E85 does react different with oil than gasoline. If you have blow by getting introduced into the intake tract you will have more gunk around the injectors and in the port walls.

I am all for running straight pump occasionally to help keep a clean system.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:48 AM   #7035
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I pulled an injector out after at least a year and a half of all E85 save a couple of tanks, and the injector was still as clean as the day I put them in. None of the black gunk that some people get.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:05 PM   #7036
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxwell Power View Post

E85 does react different with oil than gasoline. If you have blow by getting introduced into the intake tract you will have more gunk around the injectors and in the port walls.

I am all for running straight pump occasionally to help keep a clean system.
My flex fuel truck recommends every fifth (5) fill up use gasoline if you run e85 all the time. Thats about twice per oil change.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:39 PM   #7037
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxwell Power View Post
E85 does react different with oil than gasoline. If you have blow by getting introduced into the intake tract you will have more gunk around the injectors and in the port walls.

I am all for running straight pump occasionally to help keep a clean system.
Do you recommend AOS or catch cans with e85 then? If so, does this seem to help combat the issue?
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:04 PM   #7038
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Do you recommend AOS or catch cans with e85 then? If so, does this seem to help combat the issue?
I am not sure about Dom's preference, but I personally like the use of a catch can over an AOS for the benefit of being able to monitor your engine's health. With an AOS, the average person is, for the most part, completely oblivious to additional blow-by because it is just being re-routed back to the pan. With a catch can, that additional blow-by is able to be monitored because it is held right in the can. Not only that, but there are very few AOS on the market that perform properly on higher than stock powered setups. There are benefits to a catch can even on a bone stock 93oct vehicle, and the benefit/necessity only increases as power does.



...that is just my personal opinion...
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:09 PM   #7039
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Originally Posted by simon021 View Post
Do you recommend AOS or catch cans with e85 then? If so, does this seem to help combat the issue?
Yes. Well, I can't speak as to whether or not Dom reccomends them...

But a good AOS or catch can WILL improve the cleanliness of your intake and the air being burned by your engine and help to deal with or reduce blowby. Catch can or AOS, as Amal said, lots of people have their opinions. Figure out which one you like better and then go for it. My AOS has been on my 430 whp bugeye for a while now without a single issue.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:43 PM   #7040
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Ever have a oil analysis squids?
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:46 PM   #7041
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Do you recommend AOS or catch cans with e85 then? If so, does this seem to help combat the issue?
They're a very good idea if not a necessity! I agree with squidz and amalgrover on this. My personal preference is with the closed loop system of the coolant heated Crawford AOS. It deletes the PCV and does what it's supposed to do which is keeping the intake air tract clean. The coolant heating of the can keeps the condensation at bay in the can so that the oil it does collect drains back into the crankcase without gunk from condensation. You can monitor blow by and oil consumption with a visual of the exhaust smoke and your dipstick. I would steer clear of the oil filler top AOS's like the Grimm and the Prova, they don't work and can actually cause excessive crank case pressure which will cause seals in other components to go bad. I know this from personal experience.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:46 PM   #7042
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Originally Posted by 340Duster View Post
I pulled an injector out after at least a year and a half of all E85 save a couple of tanks, and the injector was still as clean as the day I put them in. None of the black gunk that some people get.
Mine were the same. When I swapped the EJ207, I moved my ID1000s over and the tips were clean after about 20k on E85 since my last fill of 91. No gunk at all. I think it's a hit or miss thing.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:12 PM   #7043
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Raises an interesting point though...e85 vapors in the AOS system may be returning oil that is "more" broken down than gas vapors. That's why I asked about an oil analysis.

I run the Crawford v2, but have never had my oil checked.

I understand the coolant warms the oil to help with the condensation, but trapping it in a catch can does remove contaminated oil. Trouble with a catch can system though is running low on oil if blow by is excessive. The AOSmay be returning "bad" oil but at least it still makes oil pressure. I don't even lose a half a quart between changes.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:30 PM   #7044
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I agree that there may be some additional oil breakdown caused from the E85 but I figure that the heated oil will allow the alcohol to evaporate and get pulled back into the intake tract. I do think that some oil analysis would be in order if you are running E85 all the time to see how the oil is handling the alcohol. I am not running E85 all the time because of how I drive my XTI. I do a fair amount of road trips with the car and would rather run pump gas because I am getting 25 mpg on pump at 80ish mph. I save the E85 for the fun stuff. Then when I switch over it really feels like a rocket!

I have not used a drop of oil in almost 2k but my motor is very new.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:39 PM   #7045
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I ran E85 for about 1 year / 12k miles and then had my injectors tested and they were perfect. No build up at all. I haven't had single issue and I do not use an AOS or catch can.

My brother's MS3 ran E85 for about 6 months and then his HPFP seized. When he opened it, it was complete sludge. He cleaned it and then it only lasted a week or so before being gunked up again. He swapped back to pump gas and it's been perfect for months now. Still trying to figure out the cause. Very common with the Mazda E85 guys. Their direct injection makes for a bit different set of conditions. He fills from the same stations as I do and also daily drives his car.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:45 PM   #7046
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Speaking of oil analysis, this is as good of a place as any to post this. Since my E85 car is no longer a daily driver it' gets driven maybe every 1-2 weeks. My oil sat for about 4 months basically right at 5k on the oil (Rotella T6). The last time I drove it, cruising pressure was down about 9 psi. At idle it was fine. I changed it the next day and the oil was very thin when drained. On fresh oil my pressure was back up to normal. I took a sample but have just been slack in mailing it to Blackstone to see what they say. I really expected the oil to last longer, as I sent some off on the first 5k change when the motor was new (on 93) and they said it had plenty of life left. This is the first time I've noticed this, so I'm not sure if it has to do with the car sitting and possibly condensating more?
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:07 AM   #7047
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I ran E85 for about 1 year / 12k miles and then had my injectors tested and they were perfect. No build up at all. I haven't had single issue and I do not use an AOS or catch can.

My brother's MS3 ran E85 for about 6 months and then his HPFP seized. When he opened it, it was complete sludge. He cleaned it and then it only lasted a week or so before being gunked up again. He swapped back to pump gas and it's been perfect for months now. Still trying to figure out the cause. Very common with the Mazda E85 guys. Their direct injection makes for a bit different set of conditions. He fills from the same stations as I do and also daily drives his car.
It's because the direct injection. The BMW's have problems with it at 30K on gas. A friend of mine runs a MS3 with direct and port injection (E85) (big turbo needs the extra fuel) and he has no issues anymore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 340Duster View Post
Speaking of oil analysis, this is as good of a place as any to post this. Since my E85 car is no longer a daily driver it' gets driven maybe every 1-2 weeks. My oil sat for about 4 months basically right at 5k on the oil (Rotella T6). The last time I drove it, cruising pressure was down about 9 psi. At idle it was fine. I changed it the next day and the oil was very thin when drained. On fresh oil my pressure was back up to normal. I took a sample but have just been slack in mailing it to Blackstone to see what they say. I really expected the oil to last longer, as I sent some off on the first 5k change when the motor was new (on 93) and they said it had plenty of life left. This is the first time I've noticed this, so I'm not sure if it has to do with the car sitting and possibly condensating more?
As a car sits it will get more moisture in the system. Also if you don't drive it on long trips the moisture will stay in the system. Finally E85 attracts moisture.

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Old 02-28-2013, 08:22 AM   #7048
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It's because the direct injection. The BMW's have problems with it at 30K on gas. A friend of mine runs a MS3 with direct and port injection (E85) (big turbo needs the extra fuel) and he has no issues anymore.
That seems to be the common solution to getting more fuel than the stock direct injection system can provide, but I don't see how it would resolve the issue with the HPFP solenoid getting gunked up every few hundred miles, because that part of the system is still functioning just like stock. I'm guessing the issues are related to the DI setup, but I'm not exactly sure on the cause. It could also be different materials in the Mazda fuel system.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:44 AM   #7049
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It's because the direct injection. The BMW's have problems with it at 30K on gas. A friend of mine runs a MS3 with direct and port injection (E85) (big turbo needs the extra fuel) and he has no issues anymore.



As a car sits it will get more moisture in the system. Also if you don't drive it on long trips the moisture will stay in the system. Finally E85 attracts moisture.

How Ethanol Gas Attracts Water from the Air - Demonstration - YouTube
I understand that, but how it affects the oil I'm not really sure.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:00 PM   #7050
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I understand that, but how it affects the oil I'm not really sure.
Where do you think lots of the moisture ends up? In the oil pan..
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