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3.0L Flex Fuel-Running E85--What are your results?

Jspafford

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My truck gets 18-19 MPG on E85 in mixed driving. It's a 2WD with a 5R44E and 3.73 gears with stock size tires.

There is something wrong with the truck if it is getting mileage that bad. How does it run? Is there any possibility the thermostat is stuck or is too low of a temp for the engine?
It's funny.. The truck had 96K when I bought it. The guy who owned it before was anal about maintenace. Someone owned it before him and I have no idea the history it that ownership.

He had records for O2 sensors, fuel filters, new battery, plugs and wires, tranny flush, etc.

When I first got it I was getting 16.5MPG towing a 6x12 trailer with a quad on it. It's slowly gotten worse and worse.

It is throwing no CEL's, although I may hook up my OBD-II scanner on the laptop to see if it has any stored codes..

I don't feel like just throwing parts at it.
 


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BLACK_RANGER_4X4

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cert. mazde technican here. flex fuel is a self ajusting system. takes multiply tanks of same e85 fuel to adjust properply. you will lose horsepower and milage. only loss afew mpg but and there will be a noticeable horsepower lost also. ethonal collect water in the fuel system , can corride injector can clog fuel filter if there is water in the fuel system. danger ranger, you live in pa. where they use alot of salt in the winter. salt and water makes rust. i would not run e85 unless that is all you can get.
 

Froggmann

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you will lose horsepower and milage. only loss afew mpg but and there will be a noticeable horsepower lost also. ethonal collect water in the fuel system , can corride injector can clog fuel filter if there is water in the fuel system. danger ranger, you live in pa. where they use alot of salt in the winter. salt and water makes rust. i would not run e85 unless that is all you can get.
The first statement is half correct. You will lose MPG, although HP will be gained, not lost. Also, the myths about E85 corroding injectors is a farse. E85 does not eat rubber components or aluminum.

An engine will run better on E85 and it cleans the fuel system and helps to remove carbon deposits.

I average 22mpg hwy on pump gas, 17mpg hwy on E85. I run E85 every chance I get, I've also converted my quad to run on corn as well.:headbang:
 

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E85 does not eat rubber components or aluminum.
It can eat rubber. The rubber bits in the systems need to be approved for use with ethanol/alcohol; over time the ethanol will eat away regualr rubber. (burned through a few injector o-rings because of it in our snowmobiles for the CSC challenge).
 

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Easy Math

Hi guys,

Great info on the FFV's. I wanted to share what I use to see if reducing my carbon footprint is worthwhile economically.

I get around 5 miles less per gallon using E85 and for me a breakeven point is if I can find E85 at 77% the cost of regular. So I just use 75% because the math is easier.

If your mileage drop is similar this might be helpful.
 

Sean806

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Yeah my gas milage goes down but my truck is fast because its like 110 octane
 

Jason

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Yeah my gas milage goes down but my truck is fast because its like 110 octane
High octane fuels are less combustible. That's why they are used in engines with preignition problems on regular gas. If your engine can run on 87, it will make less power on 110.
 

Davis

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I have been running e85 in my 1988 ranger for the past year and a half. I use E85 not because it is environmentally friendly, cheap or anything of the sort. I use it because i like to push 25+ psi through my engine. It is about 105 octane, and $2.50/gal is very very cheap race gas.

A couple of errors have been stated in this thread.

1. E85 burns faster than gasoline. False, E85 burns slower than gasoline, as is characteristic of high octane fuels.

2. E85 will not gain you any horsepower. False again, when running on E85, about 30% more fuel is used. The more fuel you use, the more fuel you have to vaporize. The more fuel you vaporize, the cooler/denser your intake charge will be and the more power you will make. It's not so much the fuel itself that causes the slight (usually 5%) power gain, it's the vaporization of the fuel that causes the gain. Also, if timing is advanced, a little power can be picked up. AFAIK, flex fuel systems do not do this, they adjust only the fueling.

3. E85 will eat the rubber in your fuel system. Sometimes false. It depend on what was put in there stock. Most systems it won't damage. This is ethanol, not methanol. Methanol will eat most anything it comes in contact with. Most EFI fuel systems are fine because in many parts of the country, gasoline is actually E10 in the winter and sometimes year round. Manufacturers know this. That's why they make their systems alcohol compatible. My system is mostly stock injectors and pump, and it hasn't suffered any damage that I know of yet.


Also, if my knowledge of flex fuel engine management is correct, you should not have to "acclimatize" the ecu to the fuel. there is a fuel composition sensor which senses how much alcohol is in the fuel and it adjusts the injector pulsewidths accordingly when in open loop and the O2 sensor just oscillates around lambda=1 as normal in closed loop.
 

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E85 actually has a faster laminar flame speed than gasoline. It's slightly harder to ignite, but burns faster once lit.

Also, a vehicle will pick up power from simply changing from gasoline to E-85 without any other changes. People over at e85performance.net are picking up as much as .5 second and 5 mph in the 1/4 without any changes other than the fuel. ATV builders are gaining 8-12% horsepower and equal torque from the swap to E-85 without any other changes.

It's a brilliant fuel.
 

James86

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I've been running E-85 for nearly a year, so I think I can safely say I consistently get about 50 miles less per tank. Around here its $2.19/gal ethanol and $2.91/gal regular, so I do hit that "75%" mark, and about 78% the fuel economy, and since I'm doing 90% of my driving in town, the reduced range isn't really an issue. It seems to have a little more get up and go on E85, and my oil seems to stay cleaner longer too. I've seen some people mention in forums that the 3.0 likes to ping, so why not run a higher octane if the economics allow it? The 3.0 rebuild section shows a different shaped combustion chamber in the heads optimized for ethanol, so might as well use it. The injectors are different as well according to the Rogue performance site (24lbs for E85, 19lbs stock), so they push more fuel in to make up for any efficiency losses. In any event, my 1995 Intrepid had a 3.5 SOHC that recommended 89 octane, and my wife's 2000 Passat recommends 91 octane, so I'm more or less accustomed to paying a bit more for gas anyways. I'd say try it for a while and see how you like it. I tried it off and on for a bit until finding a local station that had cheaper E85 than the one across town and have used it ever since.
 

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I've been running E-85 exclusively for the last 6 weeks. Since the E-fan install, my mixed driving mileage has improving by over 1mpg, now averaging 16.3mpg. I'm hoping highway mileage is 18, 20mpg highway on E-85 is my ultimate goal.
 

stmitch

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I've been running E-85 exclusively for the last 6 weeks. Since the E-fan install, my mixed driving mileage has improving by over 1mpg, now averaging 16.3mpg. I'm hoping highway mileage is 18, 20mpg highway on E-85 is my ultimate goal.
I think you're close. I run e-85 almost 100% of the time with underdrive pullies, an e-fan, cat-back, and air intake and I average 17.5-18mpg in mixed driving conditions. All highway I've cracked the good side of 21mpg before, so it's definitley doable:headbang:
 
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Froggmann

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I did a couple mileage checks on my trip to the coast this last weekend. On the way down I tried to drive as efficient as possible, I managed to go 104 miles on 5.11 gallons of E-85 (been running it exclusively all summer) for an average of 20.35 mpg. I didn't correct for tire size, so the number is low. On the way back driving like I normally do I averaged 18.11mpg, again no correction for tire size. Mostly highway driving.
 

Jason

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E85 actually has a faster laminar flame speed than gasoline. It's slightly harder to ignite, but burns faster once lit.

Also, a vehicle will pick up power from simply changing from gasoline to E-85 without any other changes. People over at e85performance.net are picking up as much as .5 second and 5 mph in the 1/4 without any changes other than the fuel. ATV builders are gaining 8-12% horsepower and equal torque from the swap to E-85 without any other changes.

It's a brilliant fuel.
Wrong. Google "octane" then check the octane rating of E-85. You will soon see you are not correct.
 

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Jason--

E-85 has 105 octane. It also has a faster flame speed than gasoline, this is a well known fact.

Here ya go--
 

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