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Old 05-23-2010, 11:50 AM   #1
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Default E85 Conversion

There seems to be some debate over what is required to successfully convert to E85. I am running a Link ECU in a 92. I've heard from some that stock fuel lines should be okay, and the E85 will clog up the fuel filter first time through, but after that its good. I know I need to increase my injector size, but in terms of preventative maintanence and tuning capability - what exactly are must haves? I've searched the forums here but can't find a true definitive answer. Any help would be appreciated...
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Old 05-23-2010, 12:17 PM   #2
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I don't think there's enough data out there yet; not enough people running full time on E85 for a long period. It's my suspicion that all you'd need to do is add larger injectors. I've been eyeballing the ones from Injector Dynamics, and ID claims full compatibility with E85. 949Racing carries them.
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Old 05-23-2010, 12:24 PM   #3
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i;ve heard the NB lines are ok, not the NA. But I also agree that not enough info is out there.
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Old 05-23-2010, 12:30 PM   #4
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Well I put 4 gallons of E85 in my NA yesterday.* Guess we'll find out.

*Filled 4 gallons E85 on a nearly empty empty tank, drove 40 miles and filled with standard 87 octane. Did not notice any engine performance impact.
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Old 05-23-2010, 02:30 PM   #5
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Winter gas is usually 10% ethanol anyway, and cars have been built with that in mind for many years now. Stock fuel lines/pumps will be fine. As long as you have the flow capability and the ability to control it you are good.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:54 PM   #6
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Stock fuel rail okay for a car that will push 320 RWHP with E85? Any recommendations on what setup to accomodate with?
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Old 05-24-2010, 04:12 PM   #7
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Coming from the DSM world here, but with universal info:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsutto13 View Post
There seems to be some debate over what is required to successfully convert to E85. I am running a Link ECU in a 92. I've heard from some that stock fuel lines should be okay, and the E85 will clog up the fuel filter first time through, but after that its good. I know I need to increase my injector size, but in terms of preventative maintanence and tuning capability - what exactly are must haves? I've searched the forums here but can't find a true definitive answer. Any help would be appreciated...
Your fuel filter will most likely clog, but only once, and after the first tank or two. My stock feed line is roughly -6AN size, and there's plenty of flow there for 400awhp on e85 (don't know how big a Miata feed line is). Nobody I know has had any problem with stock lines deteriorating, and many folks here have been using e85 exclusively for 3+ years. You may see some mysterious goo appear on the tip of your injectors which is easily removed by running a tank of gas through the system every once in a while or pulling the injectors and manually cleaning them. Some folks get it some don't (I don't on my car). You need injectors and pump large enough to supply roughly 30% more fuel as compared to gasoline. The basic conversion on DSMs consists of a bigger pump (like a Wally 255HP), adjustable fuel pressure regulator, larger injectors (I've got 950's...good for about 50lb/min of airflow), and a way to adjust your ECU for the injector pulsewidth and deadtime. A way to adjust ignition timing is not necessary but is ultimately beneficial.

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Well I put 4 gallons of E85 in my NA yesterday.* Guess we'll find out.

*Filled 4 gallons E85 on a nearly empty empty tank, drove 40 miles and filled with standard 87 octane. Did not notice any engine performance impact.
Do you have a wideband? If not, you were probably up in the 16.xx:1 range and didn't know it...not so safe for an extended amount of time even on e85 with it's fantastic knock resistance and heat absorption properties. You won't see any increase in performance just by adding e85 to your tank. Its benefit comes from the higher octane (105), which allows for farther advanced ignition timing and higher boost pressures/intake air temps. Most n/a cars won't see much of an increase, but it really shines in turboed/supercharged cars. I can only run about 24psi of boost on 91oct before I start to knock, but can basically block off my wastegate runner and run 34+psi on e85 (on an Evo3 16g turbo) with no knock.
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Old 05-24-2010, 04:41 PM   #8
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Great info.

I'm stepping up to a Wally 255 that ironically I had on a Galant VR4.

I'm running a Link ECU, so my challenge would be tuning it to E85. Matt, can you refer me to a good writeup on E85 fuel/spark setup?
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Old 05-24-2010, 04:44 PM   #9
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Getting a professional tune for E-85 would really be the way to go, unless you really know what you're doing...
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Old 05-24-2010, 07:24 PM   #10
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^^^Always good advice if you don't have a good grasp of tuning.


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Originally Posted by jsutto13 View Post
Great info.

I'm stepping up to a Wally 255 that ironically I had on a Galant VR4.

I'm running a Link ECU, so my challenge would be tuning it to E85. Matt, can you refer me to a good writeup on E85 fuel/spark setup?
First let me say that my chip is programmed by someone else, and I don't have a copy of the full timing/load map, otherwise I'd share it here.

Unfortunately, I don't know of a singular thread anywhere on a forum that lays everything out, or of a good website in general. There are a bunch of threads on DSMTuners for example...pages of threads that show up with a search of "e85", but the info is pretty scattered, and there's a lot of misinformation, so reading threads can be confusing at times. Most folks on e85 use ECMLink, so you may be able to dig up a full map, and most certainly some logs, if you look around some. I just took a look over on the ECMLink forums and while there are again a number of threads, nothing that compiles everything in one place.

EDIT: Here's an enormous thread on NASIOC.

Disclaimer for tuning noobs: Don't do any tuning unless you can log your ECU and wbo2 and record quantitative changes! I don't suggest making any changes to your tune unless you know what you are doing and what to look for!

Most folks start by getting their fuel trims in line by globally adjusting pulsewidth/deadtime and sometimes fuel pressure, then use their pumpgas maps as a baseline. Adding timing and fuel is going to be no different than tuning on gasoline with the exception being that e85 is REALLY hard to get to knock. My chip targets 12.0:1 afrs and 21* timing advance on e85, whereas on pump91 it's 10.5:1 and 16*. I've run as lean as 16.xx:1 and not knocked, but most folks find there is no more power to be made above 13:1.

Beyond that, my advice to pretty much everyone with a forced induction car on e85 is run the turbo/sc at it's least efficient airflow island that you are comfortable with, increase timing until you don't make any more power, then back timing or boost off a bit. I found the "wall" with my turbo so to speak using e85, where it's efficiency dropped dramatically, so I held it just below that point and had the chip burned to accommodate it (but somewhat conservatively nonetheless). I could probably get away with another degree or two of advance, but I'm not trying to run on the ragged edge lol.
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Old 05-24-2010, 07:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewdesigns View Post
Do you have a wideband? If not, you were probably up in the 16.xx:1 range and didn't know it...not so safe for an extended amount of time even on e85 with it's fantastic knock resistance and heat absorption properties. You won't see any increase in performance just by adding e85 to your tank. Its benefit comes from the higher octane (105), which allows for farther advanced ignition timing and higher boost pressures/intake air temps. Most n/a cars won't see much of an increase, but it really shines in turboed/supercharged cars. I can only run about 24psi of boost on 91oct before I start to knock, but can basically block off my wastegate runner and run 34+psi on e85 (on an Evo3 16g turbo) with no knock.
This car does not have a wideband installed, and my personal LM-1 is on loan as well as the shop's LM-2. But this is on a bone stock car anyway, and the car's OBD2 ECU has both ST and LT fuel trims. It did fine. Might be cool to put it on the dyno, but the boss' Miata is there now, and I've actually got a whole ton of work to finish before I should play with my own stuff.

I was not expecting or looking for an increase in performance. Actually I was looking for the opposite.

The main reason for trying a little E85 was to help clean out the junk from a 15 year and 100k old fuel system.
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Old 05-24-2010, 08:18 PM   #12
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Gotcha...should definitely help dislodge some crap in there lol.
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Old 05-24-2010, 09:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewdesigns View Post
I can only run about 24psi of boost on 91oct before I start to knock, but can basically block off my wastegate runner and run 34+psi on e85 (on an Evo3 16g turbo) with no knock.
don't let Savington see this post.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:41 PM   #14
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I really need to make a decision if I'm going to jetison the Link and step up the the MS or AEM. Any thoughts about which route would serve me better? MS seems to be better understood, but is more limited in functionality.

My car is going to be setup for the track and needs to sustain periods of high temp, high boost.
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Old 05-25-2010, 01:06 AM   #15
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I know AEM has a ton of features and may have a better interface overall, but it's damn expensive, too. There are plenty of DSMs running on MS, and there's a lot of flexibility built in to a stock DSM ECU, which tells me there must be something to gain by jumping to MS there. I don't know why it would be limiting on the Miata platform, but I don't know anything about it, either lol. Given those two choices I'd try a speed density setup on MS before I dropped the $$ on AEM.

I know it may be nuts but I'm going to try a DSM ECU with ECMLink as a standalone in a Miata at some point. I don't think that's outside the realm of possibilities, and if it works would offer everything you could ask for tuning-wise.
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:51 AM   #16
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^^ i cant decide whats the best route to go yet either. I really hate waisting money on learning that something sucks though. So im thinking now that il just get aem since i know for a fact that it will do everything i need and then some.
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:09 AM   #17
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I do not see any compelling reason why you would need an AEM over a MS just so you can run E85 and/or run on the track.
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:56 AM   #18
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This is a copy and paste from another forum so ignore that which doesn't apply. But I hope that this helps others looking to make the switch.

Well, in a very compressed time frame, I upgraded my fuel setup to work with E85. Here are some lessons learned for those of you wanting to go down this path. Hopefully this will alleviate some of the issues that I faced.

Bear in mind, this is all on the assumption that you're not doing some sump or surge tank setup and just the drop in.

1-Time! Don't rush it. Not that it can't be done, but you'll end up pulling your hair out. In my case, I don't have a lot of hair left, so you'll resort to finding it elsewhere.

2-Plan ahead. It's those little gotchas that...getcha. Whether it's wiring or plumbing, you'll miss something and either have to start all over again or take several steps backward to do it right. Make sure you get all the fittings you think you'll need a head of time. Don't worry about getting more than you need, as it may not be what you need or not enough. You can always return things later.

In terms of specifics.

3-Teflon everything that isn't an AN fitting. This is on the assumption that you're removing fittings from your initial installation. In my case, that's what I did. Not thinking that the fittings would give a little, I had to remove all of them (just from the rails) to add teflon. They didn't leak, but they did seep.

4-Drop and clean your tank. If you think your tank is clean, it isn't. If you drain it and look at it and it looks clean, it isn't. If you think that the first tank of E85 will clean it for you, it won't.

5-Buy extra pick up socks. In case you ignore #4.

6-If you're still on a stock fuel setup and are looking to upgrade, plan well ahead. If you're looking for a simple dual walbro setup on 93, but think you may go bigger later, beef up the wiring during the first upgrade instead of again later. You'll thank yourself for not having to rip out what will become a somewhat tedious wiring job. I highly recommend 10 gauge minimum for all pump wiring. More on that later.

7-Get hard lines (or rather, fab them), in particular with the Bosch 044 pumps. They're just too big for clean, simple and efficient plumbing there. As you'll see in the other thread, that plumbing job equates to fitting a square peg in a round hole. Or more specifically in this case, shoving a whole watermelon down your throat. Hard lines will make installation and removal super easy and cut free. With my setup, I have to remove the lines from the top of the plate and the pumps and let them fall into the tank. There's no other way to remove it.

8-Build redundancy. In my case, I used two relays. More of a safety thing than anything. If for some reason one dies, I still have one pump working. For as much fuel I'm pushing at the pressures I'm running, I don't need to risk loss of all fuel. One pump will suffice in terms of carrying the load under normal driving. Perhaps even spirited driving.

9-Wear goggles. E85 is alcohol. I don't know how many of you have ever gotten gas in your eyes. As you know, it sucks. This is worse. It won't cause damage if proper first aid is given, but it stings like a sonofabitch.

10-Be sure to have your return sit in the baffle. Otherwise, even sitting there, any level that would be below the top edge of the baffle will cause starvation in about 10 seconds with both pumps going. These things flow a LOT.

11- Be damn careful. Don't go blowing yourselves up.


So my pump wiring setup goes something like this.

-(2) 40A relays from Radio Shack mounted on the assembly plate.
-10 gauge leads from the battery to terminal 30.
-Split the 12v stock power lead with 14 gauge to terminal 86.
-10 gauge from terminal 87 to the pumps (+).
-14 gauge grounds from terminal 85 to the assembly plate.
-10 gauge from the pumps (-) to the battery ground.
-Level sensor grounded to the assembly plate.
-Stock ground wire to the assembly plate.


In terms of the hardware:

-CJ Motorsports 4 injector secondary rail.
-CJ Motorsports Bosch pump assembly.
-(2) 180 deg M12x1.5 to -6 for pump outlets
-(4) 90 deg -6 to hose end for the lines
-(2) Pegasus Auto Racing's high pressure pick up socks. http://www.pegasusautoracing.com/pro...asp?RecID=5813
-(2) Pegasus Auto Racing's Bosch inlet sock adapter. http://www.pegasusautoracing.com/pro...asp?RecID=5812
-(1) Canton Racing 8 micron fuel filter. (this thing is a tank) http://www.cantonracingproducts.com/...ion&key=25-915
-(1) Magnafuel -6 to -8 "Y" adapter. http://www.magnafuel.com/products/ac...ings/index.htm
-Aeromotive A1000-6 FPR
-Still using the FJO injector driver. Even though these are High-Z injectors, I opted to keep this in line for ease of installation.


In terms of the plumbing...

-6 lines from the pumps to the "Y" using front and rear plate ports.
-8 to the secondary rail.
-6 line from the split on secondary rail to the front side of the primary rail.
-Return from secondary to right side FPR.
-Return from primary to left side FPR.
-6 return from bottom of FPR to center port.
-Fuel pressure sending unit on second port of secondary rail.
-Base pressure at 80 PSI
-(6) ID1000 injectors (87 PSI @ 14v flow 1200cc)

My old setup used two Walbros at 38ish base. Simens 850 and 1680 injectors @ 20 PSI on 100 octane made 439 RWHP.
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Old 05-25-2010, 12:25 PM   #19
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^Holy ****, bro. That's a complicated build, necessary for 439 wheel, mass overkill for a smaller setup. For almost 300 wheel, I just dropped in a dual feed rail, ID1000s, some aeroquip AQP lines with AN fittings (manufacturer states compatibility with ethanol), AEM afpr, and a Walbro 255, changed the filter after a few miles, that's it. I guess having the tank cleaned would be a good idea, but I didn't do it. Also, switching out the rubber lines out back would be smart, too, but that's stuff I'm saving for another day.

As far as tuning goes, I just switched my reqfuel in ms for the ethanol and the bigger motor and injectors, and drove it onto the trailer to have the tuner **** with it from there. I think you guys are making too big a deal out of the tuning aspect of E85, it's just fuel. To get the most out of it, just like with gas, you need to put it on the dyno, tune all the cells at load, and figure out what kind of safety factor you can stomach.
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:46 PM   #20
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Ya not my car. I just figured it was a good thing to post up as it explains it pretty well. Ya E85 is just fuel that will let you run more advanced timing and will also result in lower egts. I have seen some cars EGTs drop by over 400 deg while running E85 over pump.
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