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Old 06-27-2005, 03:42 PM   #1
HamFist
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Default E85 in my RS...(or, how to run ethanol alcohol in your stock GC fuel system.)

So far no problems and it runs like a WRX with no lag. Supposedly you can run a percentage of this stuff, but 85%? Sheesh. It runs like a scalded dog. I took Rob for a ride yesterday. By the second datalogging run, he was convinced it works. No leaks, no funny smells except for the sweet scent of the alcohol in the fuel. Hotrod's WRX has run on it for a few years now with no problems. It'll be worth another dyno run to see what kind of difference this makes. I doubt anyone else has really tried it, and I'll probably get flamed for doing so. Just letting you guys know it works great in an n/a RS .
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Last edited by HamFist; 02-09-2006 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 06-27-2005, 04:01 PM   #2
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What is this stuff you are running?
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Old 06-27-2005, 04:07 PM   #3
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85% ethanol/15% gas. It's straight out of the pump at a local Conoco. It's made from corn squeezin's. I'm amazed the car can handle this high of a concentration of alcohol. If you don't have upgraded injectors in your RST, I'm not sure I'd try it. you have to dump in about 15-20% more of it, I think. 250 miles of running it and no problems.
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Old 06-27-2005, 05:19 PM   #4
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Most all modern cars should be able to handle about 20% - 30% of ethanol by volume in the gasoline. In the 1970's when Brazil converted over to a high ethanol fuel nation wide they ran some tests. At that time all cars could handle 22% ethanol in the gasoline with no problems. Modern cars have an even higher tolerance. My WRX did not complain until I got up around 33% by volume on the stock fuel system. Even then it was only a CEL and the car would happily run even higher concentrations.

After I upgraded my injector size, I now can run any blend from 50% to 100% of the E85. I am now running the STi 550 cc/min injectors (pinks) without telling the ECU the injectors have changed. That gives me a base fuel map that is 1.30 x the stock fueling which is just about perfect for E85.

The only down side is that now if I have to run straight gasoline the car is a little grumpy (has a brief dip in power) when it makes the open loop/closed loop fueling transition around 5000 rpm (BUT only on straight gasoline). My long term plans are to put two fuel pressure regulators in the system and run a lower fuel pressure on one which I can switch to when I am forced to run straight gasoline (like when traveling).

Our engines seem to really like the characteristics of the E85. If you can find it give it a try!

There are several other threads here on NASIOC on E85 -- a search with E85 as the key word will pull them up.

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Old 06-27-2005, 05:35 PM   #5
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Hamfist, where do you live? I don't think we have much of that in Oregon, but I was just back in ND, where I was born, and it's everywhere due to all the corn that is grown around there.
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Old 06-27-2005, 05:43 PM   #6
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This fuel is moslty in the Midwest right.. Mostly cause its made from corn.

I have been wondering about this for a while.. Its considerably cheaper than regular gasoline.

I have a couple of stations around here that i could try.. I wonder if something were to happen during a run with this stuff if warranty would cover it.? I havent looked at the owners manual yet to see if they say its ok to run it.. I should maybe try running a 1/4 tank mixed with regular gas..?
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Old 06-27-2005, 07:49 PM   #7
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I live in Denver, like hotrod. I get it from the same station in fact. There's corn everywhere in the midwest, but all the greenies are out west in Cali/Oregon. I'm surprised they haven't been screaming for it out there. The stuff really is THAT good. Not just as a replacement for gasoline, but the sheer power increase from using E85 is amazing.

I took DragonRM for a ride with this stuff in the car and he was quite surprised. It feels like boost with no lag. We might try some of this with his perfect power unit, but it needs a new map. Thanks for the .30 correction factor Larry. Do you think an rrfpr might work out some of that difference? (BTW, PM me if you'd like to hook up. I'd really love to show this to you and check out your WRX.) I was wondering how much more of this we should dump in. As for timing, I think you can run more advance throughout the entire map, too.

(FYI for those that don't know.) This fuel is 85 percent alcohol, derived from corn. In fact, it's LOW grade alcohol. Remember that vid of the dude getting pwn3d by the flaming shot? 151 alcohol ignites pretty easily. I think the alcohol used E85 is about 180 proof. Alcohol in ANY form of racing usually gets it's own separate racing class due to the sheer power increase. This isn't some piss-poor excuse to replace 85 octane gas. I think they made sure that you'd be disappointed with gasoline before switching the entire US over to this stuff. It's 105 octane for 1.89/gal. Looks more attractive now, doesn't it? I get absolutely no knock using it. Stomp it in any gear, at any rpm, and it presses you into the seat like a fast car should. My last 1/4 mile outing was a 16.5. I'm tempted to go back running this and see what happens. It also warrants a new set of dyno runs. I love this stuff. I may get a bit worse mileage out of it, but the grins-per-mile ratio just quadruple 11ty billioned . I really think it's more than a 5hp increase. Supposedly I can run hotter plugs with it which helps the torque along even further. This definitely warrants more study. I'm happy to be a guinea pig when it works this well already. You guys don't know what you're missing.
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Old 06-27-2005, 08:16 PM   #8
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If you want to look up suppliers go here:

http://www.e85fuel.com/database/search.php

Larry
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Old 06-28-2005, 12:04 AM   #9
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sound files...

MUAHAHAHAHAHAAHA!!!!!!!

Turn it up really loud and it might seem like you're right next to it or in it. The droning in the cabin isn't as bad as it seems. The exhaust is the same custom setup in both sets. Maybe you can hear a different tone on the shifting ones with 91 vs. E85. The two groups of sound files are run on two different kinds of fuel, 91 octane and the E85. The acceleration files were done in the same gears with each fuel. Maybe it'll take a trained ear to hear the difference, or maybe it'll be obvious I don't really know. I DO know 2.5 watts worth of speakers WON'T cut the mustard. A nice subwoofer will really make them shine.

E85 fuel

Cold start. Good clip of how it sounds at idle.

http://www.gt-labs.net/video/alkycold.wma

Warm start with revs. Some idle and throttle blips to about 3k. The second to last is loudest blip is to 4k.

http://www.gt-labs.net/video/alkywarm.wma

0-30, kinda easy accel into 1st and second. This is around 1/2 throttle.

http://www.gt-labs.net/video/alky0-30.wma

2nd gear double clutch start at 30mph and a quick shift into third. I let up shortly after getting into third. That slap into the seat on each shift is the equivalent of AWD launching in every gear as you shift. 5th doesn't do it but the 1st four do.

http://www.gt-labs.net/video/alky30-60.wma

3rd gear double clutch start in third. Again, I lift shortly into the next gear (4th) due to that jumping sensation. I don't REALLY want to go past 80 where I tested this. I don't know how fast 50-100 really comes, other than it's faster than a lot of other stuff.

http://www.gt-labs.net/video/alky50-80.wma


The old 91 octane files. A lot of you have heard these before. They are just for comparison to above.


rolling 1st to 2nd gear stomp on 91 octane.

http://www.gt-labs.net/video/1st2ndlazy.wma

revving outside of car on 91 octane

http://www.gt-labs.net/video/magsub2.wma

startup and idle of 91

http://www.gt-labs.net/video/startup.wma

Hopefully some of you will be able to tell the difference. Sorry for lack of vids but I'm not really equipped for them.

Last edited by HamFist; 06-28-2005 at 12:19 AM.
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Old 06-29-2005, 09:50 AM   #10
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we have it too....but only a select few gas stations....citgo for one...
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Old 06-29-2005, 12:28 PM   #11
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Just as a note... E85 would have a proof rating of 170.... Proof is twice the percentage of alcohol...
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Old 06-29-2005, 12:39 PM   #12
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I still wouldn't do a flaming shot of the stuff
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Old 06-29-2005, 01:32 PM   #13
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So, I've read all the threads ect. but I just want to be sure. It is safe to experiment with ~30% mixture of e85 and ~70% premium fule on a stock 02 WRX fuel system? I just found that there is an e85 station very near by.
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Old 06-29-2005, 02:14 PM   #14
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Yup. 30% should be okay. What mods do you have? PM hotrod if yo uwant more info. We met up last night and went for a spin. I didn't ride in his car, but the thing sure does sound mean. I'm waiting for someone to try this in their STI and actually admit to running it...
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Old 06-29-2005, 02:32 PM   #15
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Does anybody know why Subaru doesn't make our vehicles Fuel Flexible to begin with? I mean, if Ford could make their Taurus, which is not a high-margin car, Fuel Flexible then surely Subie could?
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Old 06-29-2005, 03:28 PM   #16
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They are fuel-flexible to a point. Almost every car out there now can handle ethanol, but it's not that big an issue. War gets more headlines at the moment. I don't think it's advertised readily because it's not that big an issue yet. Greenpeace may have a good PR department but there's very few people out there pushing limits through scientific means. The "green" movement still has a "soy-sucking hippie" stereotype attached to it which doesn't do it any favors.
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Old 06-30-2005, 12:25 PM   #17
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None here in CT.
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Old 06-30-2005, 01:54 PM   #18
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There is a potatoe farmer in northern Maine. Well, one day, he and his son got really bored, and they made a still to make E85 out of unused potatoes. All of their farm equipment and their cars are fueled by the stuff. No word yet about them selling to the public. I wonder if it would work in my car? 1993 w/2001 2.5, running off the 1.8 ecu.
BTW, i think the newspaper said that it takes like 80 tons of potatoes to produce 30 gallons of E85. It only takes 30 tons if they use wheat.
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Old 07-02-2005, 10:41 AM   #19
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I doubt it would work with that older ECU. A lower percentage should be okay, but I'm not sure about your fuel tank and lines from that year, either. That'd be your own risk. I just know it works pretty well in my car. I'm in need on an rrfpr to play with some fuel enrichment.
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Old 07-02-2005, 03:10 PM   #20
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wait, so its safe to run an 85% ethanol fuel on a stock rs?
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Old 07-02-2005, 04:02 PM   #21
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So far so good except for the CEL. It's my 2nd tankful with no issues. I don't know how long I'll keep it up, though. The fuel is cheap here, but I'd be more comfy with some fuelling mods to make it run richer.
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Old 07-03-2005, 10:53 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HamFist
I'm in need on an rrfpr to play with some fuel enrichment.
I'm assuming that you're talking about a vacuum referenced unit. Who makes these for our cars? Sorry I never returned your call. I was in the middle of pulling the wagon's motor for the second time in a week (long story...don't ask).
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Old 07-03-2005, 03:04 PM   #23
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I'm trying to get my hands on another one of these "prototypes" . It can jack up the FP a bit, plus it can be boost referenced too. No fuel flows through it. It's an add on to the factory FPR. Good luck with the wagon. I'll be yanking my motor soon for a freshening if I can resist the urge for rods, pistons, cams, new intake manifold, machine work.) I can run 12-13:1 compression with this fuel. Problem is, I'm glued to THAT E85 gas station if I do it. I'll hit the dyno next weekend if funds allow. So far so good .
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Old 07-03-2005, 08:22 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HamFist
Problem is, I'm glued to THAT E85 gas station if I do it.
Got Sake?

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Old 07-05-2005, 11:56 PM   #25
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Default Got everclear?

Pix first. Chatter later.

red line- gasoline
blue line- E85 (85% ethanol)






That fat torque peak I used to have is gone. What it was replaced with was more torque through the rev band. Mid-range and upper RPM torque gains were very impressive. I wasn't kidding about any of this. E85 works. Petrol can kiss my ass once I get this tuned right. NO other changes were made other than the fuel type. Getting more fuel in there now that I have a slight clue what it's doing is a very high priority. The ECU threw a fuel trim malfunction code for a very good reason, it seems. The car is sitting for a while, so it's not like I'm risking my daily driver doing this.

Results were pretty entertaining. Every employee there noticed a different smell from the exhaust. After a while, the dyno room did kinda smell like popcorn. Another guy thought it was rotten meat, so it is kinda subjective I guess. The fuelling is running far to lean in the mid range. But, there isn't a hint of detonation or problems with the motor. At a 16:1 AFR, gasoline would detonate to no end and kill your motor. That 16:1 reading is debatable if the wideband they use is reading it correctly. It looks like a copper lead stuck into the tail pipe. End gasses are different with CO and CO2 dropping but NOx goes up. The shape of the AFR line is too consistent and the fuel trim code make me think it's all reading as it should. Don't forget the motor hasn't exploded, so something's still going right. Diesel makes it read all weird, but I don't know about alcohol really. This fuel has never detonated on me at all. Ever. I'll get a hold of a new pressure regulator and jack the fuel pressure up a bit.

I also have a 255lph walbro pump that I ran a while ago but removed. It was putting too much pressure in the lines. Whether it's a whole new regulator I use, or the prototype that attaches after the stock regulator, something has to be done about all of that excess fuel pressure. If somehow more fuel was sent back to the tank after the regulator, then that extra pressure in the lines wouldn't be as big an issue. I don't know if an SVX regulator would work better or not. Please pipe up if you've read something about this already. I read Kingpin's thread about the stock fpr and the "dimple". This is a different issue, however. With increasing the fuel volume pumped with the Walbro, more presssure builds in the line against the stock fpr's diaphragm(???). Vacuum/boost is still regulating pressure at a set rate, but a much higher base pressure to start with because of the pump's extra volume against a restriction that hasn't changed. (Whew.)

Rant off. It should be obvious I'm very happy with this stuff .
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