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High Compression E85 401 Build

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muttnïk View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote muttnïk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/04/2012 at 1:41pm
Originally posted by smills61074 smills61074 wrote:

I posted a threat quite a while ago concerning E85.  Although it is a great idea, it is difficult to get gas that has a consistent mixture.  This will affect timing, detonation, etc.  I was dissappointed in the answers I got from everyone, but realize that unless it is a full blown race motor, the cost versus the performance is hard to justify.  The end result is cheaper gas, but you have to test each batch and adjust the octane accordingly.  I live in the midwest where there are plenty of E85 stations.  Please keep that in mind when you do your build.  E85 typically uses about 30% more fuel to get the same horsepower.  So, a 93 octane motor is what I am building.  I hope this helps you in your decision. 

I will be running a fuel composition sensor to take the guesswork out of the E85 mixture.  The ECU will adjust timing and fuel as needed to match the concentration of ethanol in the fuel.

I know that cost savings is not a justification for this build.  I also know that it will take quite a bit of tinkering to get my fuel and timing maps dialed in.  It is mainly just a project that interests me.

As for E85 availability... that is what the 60gal fuel capacity is for!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote muttnïk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/04/2012 at 1:46pm
Originally posted by tufcj tufcj wrote:

You may want to re-think the 3.54 gears or go with smaller tires.  3.73s or 4.10s would be better with 33" tires.  Even building the engine for low-end grunt, your RPMs will be too low at cruise.  Google a "gear ratio calculator" and play with ratio vs. tire size.

Bob
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I've pondered those 33" tires quite a bit myself.  I've got an old cracked set of 31s I can throw on for comparison.  I think 3.73s would be right in the sweet spot with 33s.  I am waiting to see how it actually performs on the road.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tsanchez Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/04/2012 at 2:10pm
33s and 354 gears will be right at 2400 cruise at 60, just right for economy and while not best for towing will be fine with a strong powerplant. I would use the torker over the offy intake. Make a 2 inch tapered adapter for the throttle body so the transition is smooth. Should run well and a camshaft in the .490 range 215 at .050 on a 112 lobe center should do well (hyd lifters)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 6768rogues Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/04/2012 at 3:56pm
Originally posted by tufcj tufcj wrote:

You may want to re-think the 3.54 gears or go with smaller tires.  3.73s or 4.10s would be better with 33" tires.  Even building the engine for low-end grunt, your RPMs will be too low at cruise.  Google a "gear ratio calculator" and play with ratio vs. tire size.

Bob
tufcj

I agree. I had a 76 J-10 that I bought new with the 360 and a truck 4-speed. I went to 33-ish sized tires and it was a dog with the stock 3.54 gears. I went to 4.10 gears and it really came alive and its gas mileage improved. With an automatic and no lock up converter, you might have good results with 3.73 gears.


Edited by 6768rogues - Apr/04/2012 at 3:58pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/04/2012 at 6:56pm
DUH!! I forgot all about the EFI! The DP would be a waste with that. I still don't like the Torker for that application, but a single plane is definitely needed for the 2V TB. For towing you might be just as well off with the stock 2V intake. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jcisworthy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/08/2012 at 7:03pm
I am converting to E85 in a week or so but does the variation in mixture make that much of a difference? I was told for the winter the mix it is as low as 70% to compensate for the cold weather and for easier starting but even at that is that drastic enough to worry about? I live in the North East now so the car will not see winter although I will drive it in the cold before the salt and snow. I have heard of hard starting in the cold but have not used it yet to know. 

It seems the benefits out weigh the negatives to me especially when I have to run "high octane" in my car now at 450 + a gallon and yesterday I was staring at the E85 price at 339 a gallon, which I am told is 105 octane, while I pumped in 93 octane at 469 a gallon. 

I am also told 20 degree cooler engine temps, better throttle response, far less engine deposits, clean oil throughout in between oil changes and it is readily available here. My fuel system is modified for the conversion I am just waiting to tune the car in at the local quarter mile track which opens nest Saturday weather permitting, so I can order a conversion closer to what the car needs. When ordering a kit they want to know jet sizes, sqirters, power valves etc. 

Now I have a 9.5:1 cr 401 which runs as hot as 235 degrees on a hot day going down the highway with a new 3 row radiator seven blade fan and factory shroud in a 68 Javelin. This summer I have a ported Indy head, 11:1cr 434 stroker going in so the conversion is looking to the near future but I really think it will work well for the current combo as a fill the tank and drive it situation after it is tuned for the conversion. Maybe if I was looking for every last hundredth I would have to test every batch but I am thinking I will not notice the difference in a almost daily driven high performance car?  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote smills61074 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/09/2012 at 12:11pm
     I know there are others out there that have used the E85 successfully.  The truck I have at work is a Ford F150.  It can burn E85 or regular gas.  Or, half and half.  The computer just adjusts for it.  My truck gets goes from about 16 miles per gallon down to less than 12 when I run the E 85.  Other than that, you cannot tell the difference.  E85 is currently subsidized by the government.  I believe the subsidies are ending soon.  So, the price is going to go up.
      I am positive that the mixture has to be very consistent to run consistent times at the drag strip.  I also know you have to play with the timing and fuel mixture to adjust for changes in the E85.  Otherwise, you can run lean or have detonation problems.  Both of which are very hard on your engine.  There are quite a few websites, on the internet, that both praise and complain about the use of E85.
      I was really enthusied when I started researching the use of E85.  I was going to build a 13:1 compression 401.  Then, I got so many mixed reviews it kinda scared me away.  From a physics aspect, the E85 is less volitle.  So, you can run higher compression.  It also cools the incoming air, as it is vaporized, which allows for more air to flow into your engine.  In theory it is better.  
    But, you also need a complete fuel system that cannot corrode.  The alcohol is what a chemist would call hygroscopic, which means it attracts moisture from the air.  This is why the water in it will corrode your fuel lines, etc. 
       I am really glad that you brought this topic up again.  I am sure many old schoolers out there that will try to get you to shy away from it.  I think the possibility is there, you just need to sample any of the E85 and adjust the mixture to keep it consistent.  The motor you are currently running is probably about as low as you can go with compression to use E85.  Since E85 is not as volatile, it needs more compression to burn efficently.  When I started talking about 13:1 compression, I was told that I would need to o-ring the block, or I would have head gasket problems.  There appear to be benefits, as well as problems.  The carburators are not cheap.  There are places that will make the necessary changes, so the carburator can supply more fuel and will not corrode.  Hopefully, I can at least point you in the right direction.  In the end, I want to know how yours worked out.  I have not built my motor yet, so I can still switch directions.  Feel free to PM me as you progress.  I would like to learn from your experience, as well as others.       
68 Blue AMX Perfect California Body going for 401/6 speed
1 1/4 ton Power Wagon Ex Colorado Brush Truck
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/09/2012 at 3:52pm
One of the reasons you lose gas mileage with E85 is that it takes more to get the same power at the same compression. The higher octane lets you boost compression. Most of the multi-fuel cars run around 10:1 and use the computer to control detonation when running regular gasoline. You should be able to run 11:1 with E85 only easily. I don't know how high you can go, When  the vehicle is tuned specifically to run E85 it should improve a bit, but will still burn 20-25% more by volume than a gasoline engine -- and it won't run on gasoline very well.  I know there are a few on here running in the 12-13:1 range. The old trick was to use copper head gaskets (or o-ring), but the new Cometic multi-layer steel gaskets seal real good at high compression. I think I might would try 12:1 with those, but wouldn't want to go any higher.  Note that I have no experience running anything over 10:1 -- so I might just be overly cautious, but from what I've read 12:1 is a good stopping point as things start to get expensive over 12:1.


Edited by farna - Apr/09/2012 at 4:03pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jcisworthy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/09/2012 at 6:02pm
I have talked to a guy who has been running it in his race car for the last 6 years and says he made no changes to his fuel system other than provisions for the necessary volume of E85 and checks the system every year with no signs of corrosion as of yet. He never drains the system or fogs it etc, he is not running anything special for fuel line etc with turbo and a carburetor. I know about the use of more fuel to make the same power but it would be about 24 dollars cheaper right now to fill my tank. Now if the price goes up because of loss of funding then that will be a different story but right now it is much cheaper than high octane and WAY cheaper than race fuel. I suppose if you do not try you will never find out right and I can always switch back easy enough because I am installing a conversion kit in my carb so going back is easy. My fuel system is fine for both set ups and there are inexpensive test kits to check for ethanol content so that should not be much of an issue either. If I have to bump or retard the timing a couple degrees here and there not a big deal. I suspect I will not have to worry about it much, especially with the current 9.5cr motor in the car now. Maybe with the 11:1 stroker motor but I dont think the compression is that high there to worry about it either. If a 85% mixture is 105 octane than a 70% mixture should still support 11:1 just fine but maybe not. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/10/2012 at 7:22am
Modern fuel systems and materials don't have a problem with E85. Old ones (say prior to around 90) do. Most of us with old cars have replaced everything that would be a problem. Steel fuel lines don't have issues with E85, but many have even replaced those. 

With the 9.5:1 motor you'll probably notice a slight drop in power and more than a slight increase in fuel consumption. 3-4 mpg is more noticeable than you would think, especially on a long trip. IIRC gasoline has to be around $5 per gallon before you can break even with the lower cost of E85. That's in a flex fuel vehicle which typically has a compression ratio of 10:1 or 10.5:1. By purpose building an engine with 11-13:1 compression you gain some power an efficiency back, though you still use more volume -- just not as much as with lower compression. You lose the option of running straight gasoline though. I think you can go with 12:1 and use copper or Cometic MLS gaskets. You might want to drill for an additional head bolt for each cylinder. I don't know much about the extra head bolt as far as placement, but it is commonly done on very high compression AMCs. IIRC it's a 3/8" head bolt on the outer edge where there is the biggest gap between bolts.


Edited by farna - Apr/10/2012 at 7:25am
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