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  • e85 conversion

    i am looking to convert my car to e85. it has a 350 chevy with an edelbrock 750 carb. i was just wondering what i need to do this. can i convert the carb, or do i have to buy a new one?

  • #2

    Re: e85 conversion

    Re: e85 conversion

    jsut prep the carb for alch and you are done. E85 is no different than gas as far as the restof the engine is concerned other than running cooler and being able to get away with a touch more timing.

    Comment


    • #3

      Re: e85 conversion

      Re: e85 conversion

      It is not that easy, but not that hard either once you know what you need to do.

      I am not aware of anyone that has converted an Edelbrock carb, so I can only speak from a Holley perspective.

      Basically, you need a carb that is calibrated for E85. An E85 calibration is different than gasoline and is different than Methanol. Each circuit in the carb has to be touched and all of them will want somewhere between 20% and 40% more fuel. The idle and transition circuits will want about 20-25% more fuel, the main jet about 30% more fuel and the power enrichment more like 40%. That is just BALLPARK based on what I learned tuning mine for E85. In addition when you buy a carb that is already set up for E85 the emulsion wells, cross channels and boosters should be modified for E85 (larger than gasoline, but not as large as methanol)

      Aside from the carb it is a good idea to make sure the rest of your fuel system is compatible with alcohol. It is also a good idea to either flush your gas tank or replace it. Gasoline leaves a brownish sludge on the bottom of your tank and E85 will dissolve it and plug up your fuel filter. E85 is not as corrosive as methanol, but it is more corrosive than gasoline -- epsecially if you get water in the E85 or let it sit for a long time.

      Once you are converted to E85 you can enjoy the benefits of 105 octane fuel for about half the cost of race fuel and 20-30% lower mileage. If you optimize the entire engine for E85 (compression cam, etc.) you can probably match the fuel mileage of the same engine set up for 87 octane gasoline.

      Bottom line: I would recommend a new E85 carb, and a thorough cleaning of the fuel system (minimum).

      Hope that helps.

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      • #4

        Re: e85 conversion

        Re: e85 conversion

        Ok, first off you'll want to increase your compression quite a bit. 12-12.5-1 or even more depending on your cam. If you don't do this step you won't be getting all you can out of the motor on E-85. To give you an idea of whats involved converting a carb to it heres a link to an article I wrote for Mopar Action Magazine on converting a carter thermoquad to E-85. Dave

        http://www.moparts.org/moparts/pictu...ages/Vraa.html

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        • #5

          Re: e85 conversion

          Re: e85 conversion

          Does anybody know why this fuel in not available in California? I would love to try it, 12.1 comp is my favorite.

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          • #6

            Re: e85 conversion

            Re: e85 conversion

            Does anybody know why this fuel in not available in California? I would love to try it, 12.1 comp is my favorite.
            Ironically, the reason CA is so far behind on E85 is emissions.

            There 4 major ethanol plants in CA but not much is sold to the consumer because California emissions laws require flex fuel vehicles to meet CA standards. Not up on all the details personally, but currently GM is the only manufacturer to get flex fuel vehicles approved by the CARB. In fact, Gov. Schwarteneger recently spent a TON of money on GM built flex fuel vehicles for the state only to put gasoline in them (I bet the reason why is that they cannot get E85 reliably)

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            • #7

              Re: e85 conversion

              Re: e85 conversion

              Does anybody know why this fuel in not available in California? I would love to try it, 12.1 comp is my favorite.
              Simple, not enough people at C.A.R.B. have been paid off yet.
              BS'er formally known as Rebeldryver

              Resident Instigator

              sigpic

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              • #8

                Re: e85 conversion

                Re: e85 conversion

                In my former life, I sometimes interfaced with CARB. They were a pain in the A$$. They were like working with Mercedes - in their minds, they knew WAY more about it than everyone else, including the Federal Gov't EPA, and worse, they had the worse case of NIH (Not Invented Here) that I ever came across. So if they didn't think E-85 (or whatever) was a good idea first, they are unlikely to move to accept it for as long as they can avoid it. I'm guessing that starts at the top and trickles down, although I had no contact with the top of their heap, being a peon myself.

                Go Figger
                Dan

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                • #9

                  Re: e85 conversion

                  Re: e85 conversion

                  To help cypher out the fuel requirements, you can guess at 13:1 for gas, 6:1 for methanol and 9:1 for E85. It's available mostly in the midwest in the corn belt. The rest of us just don't have it. The closest station to me is about 200 miles. You figure the cost to tweak the carb, plus a couple of barrels to haul the 'shine that distance and it's not going to save me a dime - it'd cost more. If I'm going to tweak compression way up there, I'll just run meth. On a flexi-fuel car, I think you'll just spend money to get worse mileage and that warm "green" feeling - sort of like wetting your pants on a hot day.

                  Article on Methanol

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                  • #10

                    Re: e85 conversion

                    Re: e85 conversion

                    My "guess" why E-85 hasn't made it to California probably has to do more with economics. E-85 already barely breaks even with Gasoline in terms of cost/BTU and to ship it across the country and over the rockies edges up the costs to the point it doesn't offset reduction in fuel mileage. (Any Oregon or Washington state people here that know if E-85 is sold there?) My second guess would be in supply, California I would hazard a guess consumes a lot more gasoline as a whole, or even fractionalized, than many states in the midwest. I'm not sure how much over capacity E-85 refiner's have over their current mid-western markets but you show $2.00 gas in California and rather their vehicle is set up for it or not every idiot in town will buy in a hurry, and probably repeatedly. There has to be a proven supply that could keep up with the potential demand before gas station owners would be willing to sell it (at least I wouldn't want to be a gas station sold out of gas for a day or two until another shipment comes in). Not to mention in the last ten years the majority of California's gas station owners had to foot the cost of retrofitting/rebuilding/replacing their tanks to meet new requirements and to install a new tank for E-85 is another costly venture that I'm sure plenty are not wanting to under take so soon.

                    As for politically, I don't doubt CARB has NIH. It threatens the power it has over the Federal Government regulations. California can regulate air emissions differently than the Federal Government because it pre-empted the Feds in Air Quality Managment. It starts letting the Feds tell them what to do (or play follow the leader) they potentially set themselves up to loose that control in the courts or polls.

                    That's all I got for this one.
                    Escaped on a technicality.

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: e85 conversion

                      Re: e85 conversion

                      There are a few things you need to address for long term use. The fuel tank needs to be cross-link HDPE plastic. Anything else will corrode unless you hard anodize it. An aluminum tank or carb must be hard anodized for long term use. Edelbrock is coming out with an E-85 carb that is hard anodized and calibrated properly. From what I have seen, the calibration is within the grasp of very rich but available tuning parts. You need an air/fuel calibration tool and a bung in the headers to really know that you are hitting all circuits. The problem will then be that it will be a real black smoking pig on normal gas and need recalibration. Of course you could put a manual choke on it with detents for ethanol now E85 and gas, thats how Henry Ford did it on the Model T. :D

                      But corrosion is a big issue. When alcohol and gas seperate in the presence of water you get a formic acid boundary layer that will eat the valves, rings, and bores up within a few miles. An in tank alcohol compatible electric pump is a necessity to turbolate the mixture and prevent a big slug of that formic acid from reaching the engine.

                      Hard anodized components for metals, and cross link plastic are a necessity for delivery. It isn't a whole lot different from setting up for methanol, and those components are available at most of your circle track shops.

                      Comment


                      • #12

                        Re: e85 conversion

                        Re: e85 conversion

                        There are a few things you need to address for long term use. The fuel tank needs to be cross-link HDPE plastic. Anything else will corrode unless you hard anodize it. An aluminum tank or carb must be hard anodized for long term use. Edelbrock is coming out with an E-85 carb that is hard anodized and calibrated properly. From what I have seen, the calibration is within the grasp of very rich but available tuning parts. You need an air/fuel calibration tool and a bung in the headers to really know that you are hitting all circuits. The problem will then be that it will be a real black smoking pig on normal gas and need recalibration. Of course you could put a manual choke on it with detents for ethanol now E85 and gas, thats how Henry Ford did it on the Model T. :D

                        But corrosion is a big issue. When alcohol and gas seperate in the presence of water you get a formic acid boundary layer that will eat the valves, rings, and bores up within a few miles. An in tank alcohol compatible electric pump is a necessity to turbolate the mixture and prevent a big slug of that formic acid from reaching the engine.

                        Hard anodized components for metals, and cross link plastic are a necessity for delivery. It isn't a whole lot different from setting up for methanol, and those components are available at most of your circle track shops.


                        Can I ask where you got your info?

                        I not trying to be a prick, just wondering if this was personal experience, what you read on the internet, or what a buddy told you? For all I know you could be an engineer for an refinery or someone who just heard this from someone. ;)

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          Re: e85 conversion

                          Re: e85 conversion

                          I, too am really interested in this topic. I have a 1970 Monte Carlo that needs a new gas tank and a new carb.....since E85 is available where i live, i have decided to make that my fuel of choice. Also, my wife decided she likes that my hot rod will be socially responsible.

                          jason

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                          • #14

                            Re: e85 conversion

                            Re: e85 conversion




                            Can I ask where you got your info?

                            I not trying to be a prick, just wondering if this was personal experience, what you read on the internet, or what a buddy told you? For all I know you could be an engineer for an refinery or someone who just heard this from someone. ;)
                            A few years of transporting of "big bubble" (180+ proof) to a conversion facility and knowing what it takes to make it, and what it does to certain materials. There are other materials, like copper that hold up, but are brittle and need to not experience vibration. After you cut it with water, milk jugs or glass is the container of choice. Aluminum will become porous unless you hard anodize it tank or carb, alchohol carbs are hard anodized, steel, even stainless will corrode, and rubber just dissolves. Its like methanol, if you race with it. Drain down the tank, empty the carb and lines and purge it with Argon for it to sit any time. If you are on a long trip and it doesn't sit at all, you can get away with it, if you get the calibration right.

                            Build the car like you are running methanol, you will be glad you did.

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                            • #15

                              Re: e85 conversion

                              Re: e85 conversion

                              Ok, Thats what I was wondering. I have been running e-85 for about a year now. I have a blow-thru carb that was originally set up for gas and a gas type areomotive fuel system. I have seen no ill effects from the e-85 yet. Even in the carb where there is some totally bare aluminum. I do use a poly cell and anodized fittings because thats what I put on when I built the car. I have many friends also running e-85. On of them has a c-5 vette that has been on corn for over 3 years including being stored with a full tank for the long Minnesota winters. He also has not seen any corrosion issues anywhere.

                              The University of Minnesota Mankato has done research about the corrosive nature of ethanol. They stated that there is a bell curve and it is actually most corrosive with a 20% mixture with gasoline.

                              Check out these sites:

                              www.rune85.com
                              www.dynotuneusa.com

                              They are both run by Andy Wicks. He is the one who wrote the programs for Diablosports flex-fuel programmers. He has over 1000 chevy trucks on the road with no changes but the computer program and not one report of unusual leaking or shortened component life. There are pics of a post e-85 fuel pump on there too.

                              It seems to me that there is a huge amount of misinformation out the about ethanol. The fact is it is not methanol and does not need to be treated like it is. I am not saying that down the road problem will not surface. Anything is possible, e-85 has not been around long enough to know the whole story. But from what my friends and I have seen the results are very promising. Its cheap and you can make huge power with it.

                              In a n\a engine though I'm not sure if it is worth the swap. If you run high comp, n2o, or a forced induction setup I'm all for it. But for the average daily driver the loss in mpg may offset the benefits.

                              OK rant over ;D


                              Ohh, that mustang in the video now makes 1380 to the tire on corn

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