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View Full Version : E85...........conversion??


Workin' 4 Toys
07-30-2006, 10:44 AM
I know there are some folks on here that know this.
What would it take to get a brand new engine, in a older car to run E85?

Upper Michigan Prostar190
07-30-2006, 10:48 AM
Ooof, ya got me there pal, I have NO idea...

Workin' 4 Toys
07-30-2006, 10:50 AM
Ooof, ya got me there pal, I have NO idea...
If there are not easy fixes for this, I am sure there will be. But I would like to know what it takes for future purposes....;)

H20skeefreek
07-30-2006, 10:59 AM
My understanding is that ALL fuel related parts ie injectors, lines, carb/throttle body would have to be replaced, as well as the tank and fuel pump.

JimN
07-30-2006, 11:20 AM
You can get this info on Google.

bigmac
07-30-2006, 11:55 AM
I know there are some folks on here that know this.
What would it take to get a brand new engine, in a older car to run E85?

IIUC, it would take an EPA-certified conversion kit, of which AFAIK there are none. Yet. Note that a DIY conversion in your garage, which is possible, would violate federal law.

Rumor has it that the conversion is far from cost-effective, based on the expected cost of the kits that are currently trying for EPA certificaton vs. the price differential between E85 and 10% ethanol regular. That assumes the current price differential remains stable, but that gap has already closed significantly in the last 6 months. The cost of E85 will vary widely based on each state's corn subsidies, and it will be a political football in every legislative session every year in every state where corn is grown, but experience suggests that, like 10% and diesel, E85 will eventually cost as much or more than regular at the pump.

Of course, even though it would cost you a lot, you'd have the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping the environment while reducing our dependance on foreign oil.

Based on the typical vehicle lifetime energy investment (build-use-reclaim), flex fuel vehicles appear to make FAR more sense than hybrids relative to those goals.

Farmer Ted
07-30-2006, 12:05 PM
IIUC, it would take an EPA-certified conversion kit, of which AFAIK there are none. Yet.

Rumor has it that the conversion is far from cost-effective, based on the expected cost of the kits that are currently trying for EPA certificaton vs. the price differential between E85 and 10% ethanol regular. That assumes the current price differential remains stable, but that gap has already closed significantly in the last 6 months. The cost of E85 will vary widely based on each state's corn subsidies, and it will be a political football in every legislative session every year in every state where corn is grown.

Of course, even though it would cost you a lot, you'd have the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping the environment while reducing our dependance on foreign oil.


Based on the typical vehicle lifetime energy investment (build-use-reclaim), flex fuel vehicles appear to make FAR more sense than hybrids relative to those goals.

I've been reading alot about Cellulose Ethanol, it's odd that the government paid farmers to plant Switchgrass instead of corn (CRP) now it looks like switchgrass could be the perfect substance to make ethanol out of????

20 years from now, will they pay farmers to plant corn instead of swtichgrass?

It really seems that ethanol, regardless of how it's manufactured (distilled or this enzyme cellulose method) coupled with fuel cell technology will be the only way we can ween ourselves off our oil habit.

JimN
07-30-2006, 12:09 PM
Conversion is cost effective compared to the damage caused by using E85 fuel in a motor/fuel system that isn't set up for it.

On a similar note- does anyone have info on converting to CNG or propane? The patrol cars used by the local police dept use CNG for cruising and when they are in pursuit, it switches over to gasoline. Since there are U-Haul stores all over, if I could convert my P/U to propane, I could probably save a bunch of $ and reduce the emissions.

bigmac
07-30-2006, 12:12 PM
I've been reading alot about Cellulose Ethanol, it's odd that the government paid farmers to plant Switchgrass instead of corn (CRP) now it looks like switchgrass could be the perfect substance to make ethanol out of????

20 years from now, will they pay farmers to plant corn instead of swtichgrass?

It really seems that ethanol, regardless of how it's manufactured (distilled or this enzyme cellulose method) coupled with fuel cell technology will be the only way we can ween ourselves off our oil habit.

Agreed. Until the oil companies quit covering up their successful cold-fusion process (:D ), it's all we have and our only hope of avoiding $8/gallon fuel as Chindia emerges.

Farmer Ted
07-30-2006, 12:13 PM
Conversion is cost effective compared to the damage caused by using E85 fuel in a motor/fuel system that isn't set up for it.

On a similar note- does anyone have info on converting to CNG or propane? The patrol cars used by the local police dept use CNG for cruising and when they are in pursuit, it switches over to gasoline. Since there are U-Haul stores all over, if I could convert my P/U to propane, I could probably save a bunch of $ and reduce the emissions.


What about this?
http://automobiles.honda.com/models/civic_gx_phill.asp?ModelName=Civic+GX

Be interesting to see what the cost savings would be...

Upper Michigan Prostar190
07-30-2006, 01:47 PM
Anybody heard about that guy that SUPPOSEDLY built an engine that will run off water for fuel?? My boss saw it on some news site on the internet. Weird Science if its true! I am bettin its a hoax.....:rolleyes:

Workin' 4 Toys
07-30-2006, 01:59 PM
You can get this info on Google.
Check you PM's......

JimN
07-30-2006, 02:21 PM
If it runs on water, it's probably using electrolysis to extract the hydrogen. Water isn't a fuel, but its components can be turned into fuel.

Workin' 4 Toys
07-31-2006, 12:53 AM
Anybody heard about that guy that SUPPOSEDLY built an engine that will run off water for fuel?? My boss saw it on some news site on the internet. Weird Science if its true! I am bettin its a hoax.....:rolleyes:

No hoax, it's possible (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X216fifxGRc&search=hydrogen)

Workin' 4 Toys
07-31-2006, 01:02 AM
For discussion purposes....
Let's say someone wants to install a brand new LS1 crate motor into a car. Needs new fuel tank sender and lines, wiring harness, ecm, all sensors anyway.
Going hybrid is NOT an option. E85 sounds like a good idea to me.
It's a thought...:)

JimN
07-31-2006, 08:33 AM
WFT- like I said in my post, it probably (and in this case it does) uses electrolysis to extract the hydrogen from the water. How much electricity does it take to do this? Is there a net gain or loss in energy for this? He didn't say anything about that. The electricity isn't free unless he's using solar, wind or water power to generate it.

JimN
07-31-2006, 08:42 AM
That crate motor comes with the ECM, harness and sensors. By hybrid, do you mean electric/gasoline or flex-fuel? It's something to look into further, I think. If they do it like some are now, the starter motor assembly is also the generator and is coaxial so as long as the crankshaft/driveshaft is turning, the generator is producing electricity. Some use the brakes to generate it but I thing the coaxial design has more generation potential (no pun intended) and might be the format that sees wider acceptance. We'll see. Personally, I think more research dollars should have been spent earlier to keep the US from being so effin' dependant on other oil sources in the first place. I know that Globe Union (now Johnson Controls) was working on battery powered cars in the mid-late '60s but that obviously fell on deaf ears when they went to the government with it.

I think anything that helps to make vehicles more efficient is a good thing. We have enough farm acreage to grow the bio-fuel sources, we just need to do it. If hydrogen is going to be the fuel of the future, we have rivers, open spaces for solar fields and we already have some windmill farms.

tommcat
07-31-2006, 08:44 AM
are you talking about an injected car or carb for the E85?

jim, i'm certified in CNG and propane vehicles. if you have any specific questions PM me.

JimN
07-31-2006, 08:56 AM
I have a Chevy pickup (5.7L TBI) and I would be interested in dual fuel operation. I know I would need a valve to go from gasoline to CNG or ? and shut the OEM fuel pump off, lines, tank for the optional fuel, etc. What kind of controller is used for a setup like this?

Carb, we don' need no stinkin' carb!

bigmac
07-31-2006, 09:31 AM
No hoax, it's possible (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X216fifxGRc&search=hydrogen)

I think the jury is still out on whether this is a hoax or not. The promoter/inventer:

a) reports that he's found "a new property of water"
b) reports that his Aquygen gas is "heretofore undiscovered gas"
c) is selling "licenses" to people so that they can become a dealer

That stuff alone sets off almost deafening fraud alarm bells in my little brain.

Furthermore, basic chemistry would dictate that there has to be a net loss of energy in the process. If it didn't, the inventor would, after all these years, have discovered the true perpetual motion machine and completely invalidate the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Good for him (and us) if he has...but I think I'll hold off on buying an Aquygen dealership for a little while.

jlf
07-31-2006, 10:04 AM
When I got my new truck it is E85 compatable so for an experiment I started to run E85 in my truck to see if the money I saved in gas was worth the gas milage I lost. It turned out that I lost so much gas milage that the little bit of money I saved per gallon with the E85 actually costed me more than just running the cheatest unleaned gas. In my town E85 is only like a dime cheaper per gallon than the cheapest unleaded gas now. The E85 does give you a bit more power though. I went back to the cheap unleaded because in the end it actually was costing me less money than the E85. This was done in an '05 Chev Avalanche.

bigmac
07-31-2006, 10:22 AM
I think the point of E85 is to use a renewable energy source that pollutes less and decreases our dependance on oil, not to save us money. Many people (not everyone) believe that goal is worth the short-term cost.

Our energy is going to be costing us a LOT more over the next decade. It might be wise to do what we can to facilitate development of alternative sources now, even if it costs us a little more.

:twocents:

tommcat
07-31-2006, 10:52 AM
I think the point of E85 is to use a renewable energy source that pollutes less and decreases our dependance on oil, not to save us money. 100% correct

tommcat
07-31-2006, 10:55 AM
I have a Chevy pickup (5.7L TBI) and I would be interested in dual fuel operation. I know I would need a valve to go from gasoline to CNG or ? and shut the OEM fuel pump off, lines, tank for the optional fuel, etc. What kind of controller is used for a setup like this?

Carb, we don' need no stinkin' carb!
depending on the year you may be able to get the stuff right from your dealer. as i remember, that motor was a CNG option right from GM at one point.
technically the motor should be built different from the ground up(compression ratio,timing,etc) but conversions are out there and do work pretty well. we see more CNG than propane but both have about the same results.

Workin' 4 Toys
07-31-2006, 11:34 AM
are you talking about an injected car or carb for the E85?
Any, I'd prefer TPI, but TB or carb would be ok.

Workin' 4 Toys
07-31-2006, 11:41 AM
When I got my new truck it is E85 compatable so for an experiment I started to run E85 in my truck to see if the money I saved in gas was worth the gas milage I lost. It turned out that I lost so much gas milage that the little bit of money I saved per gallon with the E85 actually costed me more than just running the cheatest unleaned gas. In my town E85 is only like a dime cheaper per gallon than the cheapest unleaded gas now. The E85 does give you a bit more power though. I went back to the cheap unleaded because in the end it actually was costing me less money than the E85. This was done in an '05 Chev Avalanche.
I have been tempted to "try" it in an '06 non GM to see what happens. By the way, is engine damage (or just poor performance) the result of this type of experiment.

Oh, and on a different matter all together, what is covered on those extra insurance policies rental places sell you.......

And for the record, this person would not be looking to save money by using E85. It would more than likely be a car that gets drivin' a few hundred miles a year. Although I think E85 is about .50 a gallon less than reg unl. here.
I don't look often because the temptation is already there....

tommcat
07-31-2006, 02:34 PM
Any, I'd prefer TPI, but TB or carb would be ok.
with a good deal of knowledge(and cash) you could convert over but i dont think it would be worth your time or money.

tommcat
07-31-2006, 02:36 PM
I have been tempted to "try" it in an '06 non GM to see what happens. By the way, is engine damage (or just poor performance) the result of this type of experiment.it would run like crap, set the check engine light and most likely destroy the cats.....at minimum.

JimN
07-31-2006, 02:37 PM
WFT- a lot of normal driver's insurance policies cover rentals and it's generally a waste of money to buy the rental agency's policy.

Workin' 4 Toys
07-31-2006, 08:06 PM
with a good deal of knowledge(and cash) you could convert over but i dont think it would be worth your time or money.
Maybe not, but I could get RunsE85 on the plates.....;)
I don't really care about the time, worth the $ is another story, hobbies never are, they're priceless. If I can be done by the time I am ready, it will be a goal.

Workin' 4 Toys
07-31-2006, 08:06 PM
it would run like crap, set the check engine light and most likely destroy the cats.....at minimum.
Sounds like a challenge......;)

tommcat
08-01-2006, 08:37 AM
Sounds like a challenge......;)
If you decide to try it let me know, i'll help you out if i can.

JimN
08-01-2006, 08:43 AM
WFT- maybe there's some kind of government grant for independent alternate fuel research, by someone other than schools or industry.

H20skeefreek
08-01-2006, 10:02 AM
WFT, keep in mind that sometime in the next 30-50 years we will be out of petrol completely, so look ahead to what the next fuel may be. Maybe E100? If you are going to go to the expense, I'd make sure to make sure it's permenant.

Workin' 4 Toys
08-01-2006, 11:50 AM
Tom, I do intend to do it, if possible. I'd like to run an LT1 OR a ZZ502 , I know a big difference, but those seem to be the two I have narrowed it down to.
If its possible to run them on E85, what do I need to know first? Will I need an ECM programmed for that engine specifically?

Does any one know if the new 7.0 is capable of E85?

H20, I am lucky if I keep anything a couple years. I get bored quick:cool: .

Jim, I will certainly check into that. Although it won't be research on my part, I will need plug and play from the big guys. But I will be the test mule if someone needs it. Can you see it now, I'll run ads, offering test mule late 60's camaros looking for 500HP small block on E85..:D

JimN
08-01-2006, 12:31 PM
Let me see if Alan has done any testing with E85. I would almost bet that he has been doing it for years.

chudson
08-01-2006, 12:45 PM
[I've been reading alot about Cellulose Ethanol, it's odd that the government paid farmers to plant Switchgrass instead of corn (CRP) now it looks like switchgrass could be the perfect substance to make ethanol out of????]


Switch Grass is a cover crop "only" for the CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) which is a program the Gov. set up for the farmer not to plant a cash crop on their ground which is mostly along ditch banks and what is concidered highly erodible ground. So the Gov. pays us to plant it but we cannot harvest it. But there is alot of University study going on with alternative fuels and not just corn. But speaking from the farmer point of view I would rather pay a little more for fuel knowing I am buying from a neighbor than the people we are fighting across the big pond.

tommcat
08-01-2006, 03:04 PM
Tom, I do intend to do it, if possible. I'd like to run an LT1 OR a ZZ502 , I know a big difference, but those seem to be the two I have narrowed it down to.
If its possible to run them on E85, what do I need to know first? Will I need an ECM programmed for that engine specifically?


you'd need a pcm for that engine that also has the ability to detect the different fuel types. either through and actual fuel sensor or by HEGO pattern like we use with fords.

Workin' 4 Toys
08-01-2006, 08:27 PM
you'd need a pcm for that engine that also has the ability to detect the different fuel types. either through and actual fuel sensor or by HEGO pattern like we use with fords.
Ok, so i need to check with the aftermarket and see if they have been toying with the idea. I was thinking I was going to end up with a turn key system. However by the time I am ready to do this, if there aren't any available yet, I might have to find some totaled Z06's to strip......

bigmac
08-01-2006, 09:26 PM
Ok, so i need to check with the aftermarket and see if they have been toying with the idea. I was thinking I was going to end up with a turn key system. However by the time I am ready to do this, if there aren't any available yet, I might have to find some totaled Z06's to strip......

An aftermarket conversion is going to require EPA certification before anyone can sell such kits. There are at least a couple of companies working on that, but I sure would'nt hold my breath.

Workin' 4 Toys
08-01-2006, 11:48 PM
An aftermarket conversion is going to require EPA certification before anyone can sell such kits. There are at least a couple of companies working on that, but I sure would'nt hold my breath.
How about moving "said" equipment from one vehicle to another.......:rolleyes: I am sure "they" would find a way for that to be against the rules.:mad:
After all, why would they want to encourage someone to NOT use as much oil.....:rolleyes:
It probably falls into the same catagory as running grease in diesels. Gotta tax that somehow.....M'frs!!!!

tommcat
08-02-2006, 08:40 AM
How about moving "said" equipment from one vehicle to another.......:rolleyes: I am sure "they" would find a way for that to be against the rules.:mad:
After all, why would they want to encourage someone to NOT use as much oil.....:rolleyes:
It probably falls into the same catagory as running grease in diesels. Gotta tax that somehow.....M'frs!!!!
you can move the whole system from one vehicle to another, then the car has to be reregistered and retitled. for example, around here if we put a 98 mustang engine and driveline in a 66 galaxie the car would then have to pass emissions testing every year as a 98.

H20skeefreek
08-02-2006, 08:46 AM
From my limited experience, that's not the case. You can register the vehicle by what is on the fire wall. If it's a '66 Galaxy, it's a '66 Galaxy. Where do you draw the line? If you move a engine and tranny over, is that enough? do you need the rear end? I say if it looks like a '66 Galaxy, then it is a '66 Galaxy. My uncle has a '55 Chevy with a Blown 502. Definitely not OEM. It's still registered and titled as a '55.

bigmac
08-02-2006, 10:36 AM
you can move the whole system from one vehicle to another, then the car has to be reregistered and retitled. for example, around here if we put a 98 mustang engine and driveline in a 66 galaxie the car would then have to pass emissions testing every year as a 98.I don't know about Illinois, but Minnesota doesn't have any emissions testing. However, it is illegal (federal and state law) to alter the emissions systems in any way and an owner has to certify that it hasn't been altered, in writing, before selling the vehicle. The vehicle doesn't have to be re-titled or re-registered. As to emission testing, I'm pretty sure an E85 vehicle would pass if it was modified.

Currently it is illegal to change anything with the emissions system, including E85 conversion, but there is a lot of noise around the country to change that - even Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty is making a big push on the EPA (http://www.duluthsuperior.com/mld/duluthsuperior/news/local/15126146.htm). Minnesota is a big ethanol state. Apparently we have more E85 here than other states (must be some kind of pork-barrel corn-growing thing).

Leading candidate for conversion kits is Flex-Tek (http://flextek.com/), and I'll bet it won't be long before the EPA relents and lets them market their E85 conversion kit. I don't know if there are other kits in the wings - I'm sure the governor is pushing Flex-Tek out of some kind of political deal - Xcel Energy has some kind of big connection to Minnesota. I don't know what it is, but the Xcel Energy Center is where the Minnesota Wild plays.

JimN
08-02-2006, 10:43 AM
How can any state get away with not requiring emission testing? I'm surprised the EPA hasn't camped out at the state capitol for this. Even if the reason is sparse population distribution, MPLS/ST Paul should have it.

In WI, vehicles more than 25 years old get a waiver because they won't usually pass today's standards, anyway. Anything newer needs testing. IIRC, an older car with new power may still be looked at the same as whatever is on the VIN plate.

bigmac
08-02-2006, 11:02 AM
How can any state get away with not requiring emission testing? I'm surprised the EPA hasn't camped out at the state capitol for this. Even if the reason is sparse population distribution, MPLS/ST Paul should have it.

In WI, vehicles more than 25 years old get a waiver because they won't usually pass today's standards, anyway. Anything newer needs testing. IIRC, an older car with new power may still be looked at the same as whatever is on the VIN plate.

There hasn't been emissions testing in Minnesota for as long as I've lived here (1982). The Twin Cities metro area did, at one time, require it for vehicles registered in those 7 counties, but that was dropped in 1999 and that repeal of the law was approved by the EPA.

All cars newer than (about) 1994 that are titled in Minnesota have to have a certificate of emissions compliance attached as part of the title that certifies the vehicle met emissions standards on the day that it was new. Cars older than ~1994 have to get that certificate if and when the title is transferred, but there is no testing, it's just a formality...you tell the DMV clerk "oh, by the way, I need an emissions certificate too" when you change the title. Cars older than ~1968 are exempt.

Workin' 4 Toys
08-02-2006, 12:14 PM
I am not completely sure, but I do think 68 is the cutoff here.
Anything 69 and newer needs to be tested. I think it is every other year now. And every 3 for anything newer than 96 if it passes the first time.
I am not up to date on the engine swap. If its a 79, I think it gets a 79 test even if it has a 99 engine. I could be wrong, but I know ALOT of people that have late model engines in older vehicles. I suppose ignorance is bliss....

Tommcat, if the same were true as you said, and I took a 1999 camaro and installed a 1967 Camaro engine in it, it would be tested as a '67?

tommcat
08-02-2006, 12:46 PM
Tommcat, if the same were true as you said, and I took a 1999 camaro and installed a 1967 Camaro engine in it, it would be tested as a '67?
Not here in MA. they require you test it as whichever is newer, the engine or the car. then your 99 camaro would have to pass as a 99.
our inspection and emissions laws are some of the most screwed up in the country. from our lift laws to safety and emissions, none of them make sense.

Workin' 4 Toys
08-02-2006, 12:54 PM
Then there are some states that not only require emissions, but actual vehicle inspections.....:mad: Something about that just crosses the line..