Conversion to Flex Fuel


MartyD

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Hi all,

This is my first post. I am considering converting my 2002 Ranger to burn E85 fuel (85% Ethanol) or gasoline. It is a 4.0l, automatic, 4X4. The conversion kit would come from a company named CHANGE2E85 in Denver.

I know about the loss of gas mileage but I want to know if there are any other problems with burning E85 in my truck such as; fuel line deterioration? spark plug problems? catalytic converter or muffler burn up? or any other problems (or benefits)?

I would appreciate any feedback members have.

Thanks,
Marty D.
 


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mhughes165

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just out of curiosty why are u considering convertin it to a flex fuel vehicle...:huh:
 

97ranger4x4

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Yeh I am pretty sure with the lost mileage you end up paying just about the same cost. Not to mention some rangers already came factory with a 3.0 flex fuel motor in them. I do not think this will pay for itself as would buying an older civic for a commuter car.
 

baadboy11

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and if you are doing it for the environment, then there really isen't much benefit because to make E85 pollutes just about as much as burning gas...Biodiesel is betta!!:headbang:
 

lil_Blue_Ford

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I've heard this topic brought up before on the board long ago... there is much more to it than just changing one or two things, you have to change the entire fuel system, spark plugs, re-flash the computer to allow for it, etc.

It is cheaper to get E85.... if you can find it.... but you lose fuel economy. In the end, it works out to about even. In fact, I've noticed that many Sonoco stations around here have lil signs on the pumps that say that the gas contains some E-85.... I also noticed that they are usually (but not always) a few cents lower than everyone else... and that my fuel economy is a touch lower when I run their fuel.... and I have a Flex-Fuel 3.0L truck....

Unless you're gonna make E-85 yourself, and live on a farm, I don't see how it could possibly be worth the trouble of converting over to E-85.
 

Simple_serf

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Funny, I Just read this Month's Green Magazine and it had an article about the conversion of a John Deere A to E85...Obviously nowhere near the problems of switching a FI motor to be Ethanol compatible, however with the increased fuel consumption, it just isn't worth it in my opinion.

The production process is energy intensive, with large mounts of Fossil fuels being used. The farm equipment is using Diesel fuel, and large amounts of fertilizer are used...It's not like the tractors are buring biodiesel (which is still an issue...Fuel from food is NOT a good idea, especially given the food condtions in other parts of the world) and the corn is being grown Organically... not to mention all the engergy that goes into distilling.

Many of the renewable energy people (myself included...I tinker with wind and solar) are not happy with this government for deluding the public into thinking that Ethanol from corn is the answer. The only reason it works in South America is because of the HUGE yeilds that you get when using sugarcane. Corn simply doesn't have a large enough yeild of alcohol for the amount of energy put into growing it.

Not to mention, even if we used all of our land for growing fuel, we still couldn't replace oil entirely.

Paul
 

MartyD

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just out of curiosty why are u considering convertin it to a flex fuel vehicle...:huh:
Well, a couple of reasons;
E85 fuel is about $0.76/gal cheaper than mid-grade unleaded here in Colorado Springs. Maybe the difference will take the sting out of filling uo more.

Secon, I'm an Engineer and this is geky/cool thing to me; tinkering around with my truck!

Thanks for asking.
 

MartyD

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I've heard this topic brought up before on the board long ago... there is much more to it than just changing one or two things, you have to change the entire fuel system, spark plugs, re-flash the computer to allow for it, etc.

It is cheaper to get E85.... if you can find it.... but you lose fuel economy. In the end, it works out to about even. In fact, I've noticed that many Sonoco stations around here have lil signs on the pumps that say that the gas contains some E-85.... I also noticed that they are usually (but not always) a few cents lower than everyone else... and that my fuel economy is a touch lower when I run their fuel.... and I have a Flex-Fuel 3.0L truck....

Unless you're gonna make E-85 yourself, and live on a farm, I don't see how it could possibly be worth the trouble of converting over to E-85.
Hi,

From the research I've done so far, it seems that things have changed a lot since about 1998. The conversion kit I'm considering is SUPPOSED to take care of computer problems. And the data seems to say all manufactureres have already strengthened their vehicle's fuel systems to tolerate ethanol. 100% ethanol still might be a problem but the 15% gas in E85 should act as a lubricant for the parts that need it.

I havent seen any comments about possible mechanical problems in the forum yet but you all have the experience to know if there any. Please let me know if you've even "heard of a problem".

Thanks.
 

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played around with e85 couple of weeks, can run about 50% blend without throwing a code, and 100% throw back 3 to lean codes, also noticed cylinder temp went up, but the cyclinder temp stays normal at about 50% with no e85 conversion.

this is on a 06, system is clean know, (back to unleaded, just 1 tank 50/50 blend, toped of with E85 first to test) was nice have 100+ octane at 6000 ft elevation, truck felt alive again
 
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lil_Blue_Ford

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Hi,

From the research I've done so far, it seems that things have changed a lot since about 1998. The conversion kit I'm considering is SUPPOSED to take care of computer problems. And the data seems to say all manufactureres have already strengthened their vehicle's fuel systems to tolerate ethanol. 100% ethanol still might be a problem but the 15% gas in E85 should act as a lubricant for the parts that need it.

I havent seen any comments about possible mechanical problems in the forum yet but you all have the experience to know if there any. Please let me know if you've even "heard of a problem".

Thanks.
I poked around on the site for the company you brought up...

I have to say that I'm a bit apprehensive as to how well it would actually work, because all you're hooking into their system is the plugs for your injectors, and somehow this magic system can use only that input to decide how much E-85 to use? I'm sure it's possible, though it would have to control the fuel system independent of the existing computer in the truck. Not to mention that for an E-85 system to run properly, it needs different spark plugs and fuel injectors at the least, but their site makes no mention of changing that sort of thing.

I'm not saying it can't work, I'm saying that I have concerns about how well a system like they are selling actually works. And you can't just say that "well, they've been in business awhile and have a big certified site an all" cuz look at the gimmicks like the "tornado", they're still passing them things out and they do NOTHING to improve performance on a fuel injected vehicle.
 

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Funny, I Just read this Month's Green Magazine and it had an article about the conversion of a John Deere A to E85...Obviously nowhere near the problems of switching a FI motor to be Ethanol compatible, however with the increased fuel consumption, it just isn't worth it in my opinion.
Antique tractor pullers love the stuff, mainly because it is alot cheaper than race gas. The biggest thing is take a set of drill bits and double the size of every passage in the carburator. Of course they won't say exactly what they have, but they also have too much compression for pump gas so that might help it work better that way too. However they only go a couple hundred feet per run, so economy concerns are pretty much out the window.

Personally I think if they purpose built an engine that would only run on it milage would get alot better. But the supply isn't there and probably won't be for quite awhile if ever.
 

MAKG

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Personally I think if they purpose built an engine that would only run on it milage would get alot better. But the supply isn't there and probably won't be for quite awhile if ever.
Only part of the mileage loss is due to computer or mechanical issues. Ethanol really does contain quite a lot less energy per gallon than gasoline. You'll never get around that with a purpose-built engine or any modifications to an existing one.

The specific energy density difference is about 40%. It's not small. Ethanol contains about 76,000 BTUs per gallon. E85 is 94,000 BTU/gal. Gasoline is 125,000 BTU/gal.

Even if you burn this stuff PERFECTLY, you will still see a mileage drop just because there is less energy to start with.
 

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For once I find myself agreeing with MAKG.... he's right.
 

OilPatch197

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You don't need a conversion kit, just fill it up and drive....

That is what one of my high school buddies did, lol.

and agreed, ethanol is a scam, just wait until a plague hits the crops, then what, when your genetically modified "fake corn" fails?
 


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