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Conversion to Flex Fuel

tempforce

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the main items in converting, is to advance the static timing ten degrees. and to change the o2 sensor to a wide band sensor to prevent the lean fuel error.

if you're near overhauling your engine, bump up the compression to 13-14:1. and fuel mileage will be better than a gas engine, with much more power.

any fuel injected vehicle can burn up to e-50 without any mods. just change your fuel filter before using, and after the first 500 miles.
cc
 


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if you're near overhauling your engine, bump up the compression to 13-14:1. and fuel mileage will be better than a gas engine, with much more power.

So alcohol has more energy by volume than gasoline??
 

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No, alcohol has a higher octane rating, which allows you to increase compression ratio, therefore more efficiently burning more of the injected fuel than a gasloine engine, creating more power, like a diesel engine except, if I'm not mistaken, diesel fuel has more energy per unit of volume than even gasoline... Someone correct me if I'm wrong... I don't feel like looking up the numbers right now...
 

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I live in Mn. Ihave a 99 Ranger FFV 3.0 And I ran a few tanks of E8 to see what the difference was. The first thing was serious lack of power. The mpg slid right down hill right along with the lack of power. To me the savings was not worth it. Just my 2cents worth.
 

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I converted my 2006 Ranger, 2.3L, Manual Tranny to E85 using the FuelFlex device out of Idaho. It ran like a top but was a little hard to start when the weather was cold (<50F). I got 30 mpg all day using gasoline and 24 mpg on E85. At the time E85 was 50 cents cheaper than gasoline and it was economically advantageous to use ethanol as the price came down. Now E85 is only a dime cheaper and the cost per mile is higher than with gas. I willingly pay a little premium to use E85 because I am not buying foreign oil and polluting less (in spite of what others have said in this forum). HOWEVER, my truck started using oil (a qt./1000 miles) all of a sudden and it could only be rings (cyl 3 plug was wet). I do not think it had anything to do with the E85 but I traded the truck off on an '08 identical model. I kept the conversion and will probably put it on the new truck when the warranty is up.
 

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I put a converter from FuelFlex Int'l. on my '06 Ranger. (Same thing as the Change2E85 device.) Ran fine. Cost per mile within hundredths of that of gasoline as long as E85 was 50 cents cheaper. Mileage went from 30 mpg to 24. A little hard to start when the weather is cold but using some gasoline in the tank helped. After 8K miles the engine began to use oil all of a sudden and that could only be rings but I do not know if it had anything to do with the E85. Traded the '06 for an identical '08 (stick shift, 4 cyl, short bed, short cab) but have not put the converter device on it since the warranty is in effect.
 

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you have to burn about 15% more ethyl than gas. Injectors are sized for gas. Maybe a 10% enginering buffer. so even if you can convince the injectors to open more, you will still chance running lean on e85 at the wide open end. If I were to try this.(would need very cheep e85 first off) i would be extremely careful at wot to avoid a lean condition. Even with alcohol, i'm assuming that lean burns pistons. That said, it would be a very cool project for bigger injectors and tuning since the octane is higher. would be pretty sweet with a turbo too since it cools the fuel charge. just use comon sense for best results, ie start with a little more alcohol and work up slowly and see how stuff works.
 

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It's amazing how much mythology persists around alcohol fuel. ;brownbag;

When I first started researching alcohol fuel I too believed that it would eat away at my fuel lines, spark plugs and that I was going to need a carburated engine with some extensive modifications. Now, I know that FI is the way to go.

Yes, some vehicles you can use E85 without modifications because the ECU will automatically adjust for the conditions without caring whether it's alcohol or gas.

No, pouring staight E85 into an unmodified engine will not hurt it. If you are concerned that it will perform poorly on it, then only do half a tank so you can add more gasoline.

Yes, alcohol nets a lower milage but only because the engine is not properly tuned for it.

Alcohol will not eat away at your fuel line unless you have real rubber hose which is highly unlikely since most manufacturers only make synthetic rubber lines.

Ethanol is not corrosive but methanol is.

Alcohol burns cleaner and the engines runs cooler which extends the life of the engine. If you are concerned about alcohol washing away your engine lubricant then switch to a synthetic oil.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head and I am sure I didn't address all the concerns. Those that are interested in converting to alcohol should read David Blume's book, "Alcohol can be a Gas" and those that say negative things about alcohol fuel should read it twice.

P.S. journeytoforever.org rocks! :icon_hornsup:

Well all I can say is that it is amazing what false RESEARCH can make you believe is true. As an Engineer and a Chemist I must say that you are incorrect about ethanol and E85. Ethanol AND E85 are VERY corrosive, and it's not just to natural rubber. Ethanol and E85 are very corrosive to numerous natural and artificial fibers that are contained in various products. (Including gaskets, seals, and hose lines) Just because something is labeled a synthetic material, does NOT mean it was not derived from various natural fibers. Nor does it mean that it is resistant to alcohol.

The big issue with Ethanol and E85 is that it can and will dissolve and strip the natural/artificial oils from your gaskets, seals, and hose lines, causing them to become brittle and crack. This is a fact with all Ethanol based fuels, and is normally what is addressed in a good kit. Secondly, Ethanol based fuels are corrosive in nature to numerous alloys and can cause an oxidized buildup in the engine over time. There are only two ways to counter this. Either you coat all of your wet parts with a protective coating that is resistant to alcohol corrosion, or (and most feasible) you run some engine cleaner through it every 3-5 thousand miles to flush the crap out. And remember to replace that fuel filter and your oil more often while running Ethanol or E85.

Otherwise, I have seen a smoother drive in my 2000 FFV, when running ethanol, and it has better pick up than when I switch back to gas. But this is because my truck is tuned to run on both by Ford. I still see a 3-4 mile decrease in mileage when switching from 87 octane to E85, but it runs better.

But this increase in performance is NOT totally due to the ethanol, it's primarily due to the fact that the fuel system in the FFV's is designed for E85, and then adapted to Gasoline (namely, it has a $800 Ethanol to Gas ratio sensor). Plus, everything is over-sized in the FFV's. For example, the injector's are much larger. On the order of 40% larger than the non-FFV version of the Ranger 3.0. This is needed, because it takes more E85 to get the same energy output of Gasoline. But it also causes the FFV's to run a little rich on Gasoline. Hence, the perceived better performance on E85. It's really all just in the tune.

NOTE: This means running E85 in a vehicle not designed for it, will cause it to run lean, and burn your engine up! A proper conversion should include new injectors, and a new tune to fix this.

Energy is Energy, and what goes in must come out. If you put in a higher quantity of the lower energy yield ethanol, you can get the same energy output as gas (of a lesser quantity).

Per US Gallon:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
No. 2 Diesel: 128,000 - 130,000 Btu
Bio Diesel (B20): 125,000 - 127,000 Btu
Biodiesel (B100): 117,000 - 120,000 Btu
Gasoline (87-93 oct): 109,000 - 125,000 Btu
Gasohol (E10): 113,000 - 121,000 Btu
E85 (85% Ethanol/ 15% Gasoline): 82,200 - 83,500 Btu
Ethanol (E100): 76,100 Btu (this is very nearly exact)
M85 (85% Methanol/ 15% Gasoline): 64,600 - 67,100 Btu
Methanol (M100): 56,800 Btu (this is very nearly exact)

Note:
Crude oil based fuels vary greatly in potential energy, which is why they have ranges above.

So at worse you can expect it to take 1.4 times as much E85 to equal the energy output of Gasoline. But with the additives in most gas now (ie. MTBE, ETBE, Ethanol, ***Water***) the actual energy potential of that gas you buy might be quite lower. Case in point, I normally see around a 1 to 1.2 ratio of gas to ethanol where I live. So our gas here is loaded with all sorts of crap!!! The math doesn't lie.

But in engines this is not the only driving factor that determines whether an engine will run well off of it. It's also partly due to the Octane content too. Which in ethanol is far higher. It's 116 for E100 and around 105 +/- 2 for E85. This is why some people will substitute E85 or higher for 110 racing fuel. Same octane rating, but cheaper.

I know this is allot to read and take in and I'm tired just writing it, so I'm sure you are in reading it.

But the only point to make is, you can run E85 in your vehicle you just need to get it tuned (hotter spark plugs will help in cold climates but are unnecessary). The other stuff dealing with corrosion will keep your engine from dying later on.


Hope this helps someone.




-Chris
 
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1999-Intruder

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relpy to not knowing anything

It's amazing how much mythology persists around alcohol fuel. ;brownbag;

When I first started researching alcohol fuel I too believed that it would eat away at my fuel lines, spark plugs and that I was going to need a carburated engine with some extensive modifications. Now, I know that FI is the way to go.

Yes, some vehicles you can use E85 without modifications because the ECU will automatically adjust for the conditions without caring whether it's alcohol or gas.

No, pouring staight E85 into an unmodified engine will not hurt it. If you are concerned that it will perform poorly on it, then only do half a tank so you can add more gasoline.

Yes, alcohol nets a lower milage but only because the engine is not properly tuned for it.

Alcohol will not eat away at your fuel line unless you have real rubber hose which is highly unlikely since most manufacturers only make synthetic rubber lines.

Ethanol is not corrosive but methanol is.

Alcohol burns cleaner and the engines runs cooler which extends the life of the engine. If you are concerned about alcohol washing away your engine lubricant then switch to a synthetic oil.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head and I am sure I didn't address all the concerns. Those that are interested in converting to alcohol should read David Blume's book, "Alcohol can be a Gas" and those that say negative things about alcohol fuel should read it twice.

P.S. journeytoforever.org rocks! :icon_hornsup:
From an Engineer who understands physics and chemistry.

Ethanol is acidic. Not very but it will attack some metals and will destroy materials that have no resistance to acidic compounds such as rubber and some plastics. Which by the way plastics are synthetic compounds. You will also have to use an oil which is acid neutralizing in the sump.

Now Ethanol has a much lower "heat content" which means that you have to burn more of it to get the same amount of energy to do the same amount of work
As per known fact on energy in specific material that can be researched in any chemistry textbook, Gasoline contains 116K BTUs per gallon, Ethanol contains 76K BTUs per gallon. Any mix of the two will still contain less energy per gallon than that of pure gasoline.

Your book wont prove anything, that is a single persons opinion on some matter that they have no clue about. You are a lemming following this persons opinion.

Oh by the way, for all those who think that Ehtanol will cure G.W. Wrong!!!! the biggest thing on the G.W. agenda is CO2, right? Well, burning ethanol produces CO2 just like gasoline. Buring more of it because it is less efficient than gasoline, means producing more CO2 than the gasoline which really means it is worse for the G.W. problem. So your solution is worse than the problem. Read science not garbage books from the G.W. followers.

Lemmings this world is full of lemmings, don't post in a topic you have no clue about.

I wont post all the information that I can about Ethanol but here is a small blurb from Wikipedia.

:CITED WIKIPEDIA ETHANOL:
Several of the outstanding ethanol fuel issues are linked specifically to fuel systems. Fuels with more than 10% ethanol are not compatible with non E85-ready fuel system components and may cause corrosion of iron components.[192][193] Ethanol fuel can negatively affect electric fuel pumps by increasing internal wear,[193] cause undesirable spark generation,[194] and is not compatible with capacitance fuel level gauging indicators and may cause erroneous fuel quantity indications in vehicles that employ that system.[195] It is also not always compatible with marine craft, especially those that use fiberglass fuel tanks.[196][197] Ethanol is also not used in aircraft for these same reasons.

Using 100% ethanol fuel decreases fuel-economy by 15-30% over using 100% gasoline; this can be avoided using certain modifications that would, however, render the engine inoperable on regular petrol without the addition of an adjustable ECU.[198] Tough materials are needed to accommodate a higher compression ratio to make an ethanol engine as efficient as it would be on petrol; these would be similar to those used in diesel engines which typically run at a CR of 20:1,[199] vs. about 8-12:1 for petrol engines.[200]
 

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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.
I'm not condoning this because I don't think the E85 from corn movement is going to go any further than it has, but....

tapping into the injector circuits is not a new thing. Most "tuners" for fuel injected motorcycles simply plug in between the computer and the harness. They take the injector pulse given by the computer and shorten or lengthen it by a percentage to adjust for the differing fuel needs. In those systems, it allows you to tune a full map by adding a percentage of fuel to keep your AFR correct after making mods. For an ethanol conversion it could be used to change the AFR across the board to account for the differing stoichiometric ratios and viscosities, molecule size, etc (affecting lb/hr through the injector nozzle) between gasoline and E85.

Of course it will never be as perfect as a map perfected by Ford's untold millions of dollars in R&D, but in most cases it's close enough.
 

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Thank you

Well all I can say is that it is amazing what false RESEARCH can make you believe is true. As an Engineer and a Chemist I must say that you are incorrect about ethanol. Ethanol IS very corrosive, and it's not just to natural rubber. Ethanol is very corrosive to numerous natural and artifical fibers that are contained in various products. (Including gaskets, seals, and hose lines) Just because something is labeled a synthetic material, does NOT mean it was not derived from various natural fibers. Nor does it mean that it is resistant to alcohol.

The big issue with ethanol is that it can and will dissolve and strip the natural/artificial oils from your gaskets, seals, and hose lines, causing them to become brittle and crack. This is a fact with ethanol, and is normally what is changed in a good kit. Secondly, ethanol is corrosive in nature to numerous alloys and can cause an oxidized buildup in the engine over time. There are only two ways to counter this. Either you coat all of your wet parts with a protective coating that is resistant to alcohol corrosion, or (and most feasible) you run some engine cleaner through it every 3-5 thousand miles to flush the crap out. And remember to replace that fuel filter more often while running ethanol.

Otherwise, I have seen a smoother drive in my 2000 FFV, when running ethanol, and it has better pick up than when I switch back to gas. But this is because my truck is tuned to run on both by Ford. I still see a 3-4 mile decrease in mileage when switching from 87 octane to E85, but it runs better.

But this increase in performance is NOT totally due to the ethanol, it's primarily due to the fact that the fuel system in the FFV's is designed for ethanol, and then adapted to gas. So everything is oversized in the FFV's. For example, the injector's are much larger. On the order of 40% larger than the non-FFV version of the Ranger 3.0. This is needed, because it takes more ethanol to get the same energy output of gas. But it also causes the FFV's to run a little rich on gas. Hence, the perceived better performance on E85. It's really all just in the tune.

Energy is Energy, and what goes in must come out. If you put in a higher quantity of the lower energy yield ethanol, you can get the same energy output as gas (of a lesser quantity).

Per US Gallon:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
No. 2 Diesel: 128,000 - 130,000 Btu
Bio Diesel (B20): 125,000 - 127,000 Btu
Biodiesel (B100): 117,000 - 120,000 Btu
Gasoline (87-93 oct): 109,000 - 125,000 Btu
Gasohol (E10): 113,000 - 121,000 Btu
E85 (85% Ethanol/ 15% Gasoline): 82,200 - 83,500 Btu
Ethanol (E100): 76,100 Btu (this is very nearly exact)
M85 (85% Methanol/ 15% Gasoline): 64,600 - 67,100 Btu
Methanol (M100): 56,800 Btu (this is very nearly exact)

Note:
Crude oil based fuels vary greatly in potential energy, which is why they have ranges above.

So at worse you can expect it to take 1.4 times as much ethanol to equal the energy output of gasoline. But with the additives in most gas now (ie. MTBE, ETBE, Ethanol, ***Water***) the actual energy potential of that gas you buy might be quite lower. Case in point, I normally see around a 1 to 1.2 ratio of gas to ethanol where I live. So our gas here is loaded with all sorts of crap!!! The math doesn't lie.

But in engines this is not the only driving factor that determines whether an engine will run well off of it. It's also partly due to the Octane content too. Which in ethanol is far higher. It's 116 for E100 and around 105 +/- 2 for E85. This is why some people will substitute E85 or higher for 110 racing fuel. Same octane rating, but cheaper.

I know this is allot to read and take in and I'm tired just writing it, so I'm sure you are in reading it.

But the only point to make is, you can run E85 in your vehicle you just need to get it tuned (hotter spark plugs will help but are unnecessary). The other stuff dealing with corrosion will keep your engine from dying later on.


Hope this helps someone.




-Chris
I should have finished the whole thread before I slammed him too. Looks like us Engineers have this figured out, wish the rest could too!
 

1999-Intruder

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08 ranger

I converted my 2006 Ranger, 2.3L, Manual Tranny to E85 using the FuelFlex device out of Idaho. It ran like a top but was a little hard to start when the weather was cold (<50F). I got 30 mpg all day using gasoline and 24 mpg on E85. At the time E85 was 50 cents cheaper than gasoline and it was economically advantageous to use ethanol as the price came down. Now E85 is only a dime cheaper and the cost per mile is higher than with gas. I willingly pay a little premium to use E85 because I am not buying foreign oil and polluting less (in spite of what others have said in this forum). HOWEVER, my truck started using oil (a qt./1000 miles) all of a sudden and it could only be rings (cyl 3 plug was wet). I do not think it had anything to do with the E85 but I traded the truck off on an '08 identical model. I kept the conversion and will probably put it on the new truck when the warranty is up.
Recommend you not even attempt this conversion on your Duratec 2.3 It will destroy it even faster than it did on your Lima 2.3. The Duratec is an all aluminum engine and has cylinder issues. The sleeves have been known to release from their press and slide around.

Yes your ethanol conversion did ruin your Lima engine. The Oil became saturated with acidic compounds and therefore the oil was not lubricated but eating the engine. It caused ring failure and then consequently oil burning.

By the way read my last few posts, your idea of saving the planet with ethanol is a pipe dream.
 

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problem

I put a converter from FuelFlex Int'l. on my '06 Ranger. (Same thing as the Change2E85 device.) Ran fine. Cost per mile within hundredths of that of gasoline as long as E85 was 50 cents cheaper. Mileage went from 30 mpg to 24. A little hard to start when the weather is cold but using some gasoline in the tank helped. After 8K miles the engine began to use oil all of a sudden and that could only be rings but I do not know if it had anything to do with the E85. Traded the '06 for an identical '08 (stick shift, 4 cyl, short bed, short cab) but have not put the converter device on it since the warranty is in effect.
see my last post.
 

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From an Engineer who understands physics and chemistry.

Ethanol is acidic. Not very but it will attack some metals and will destroy materials that have no resistance to acidic compounds such as rubber and some plastics. Which by the way plastics are synthetic compounds. You will also have to use an oil which is acid neutralizing in the sump.

Now Ethanol has a much lower "heat content" which means that you have to burn more of it to get the same amount of energy to do the same amount of work
As per known fact on energy in specific material that can be researched in any chemistry textbook, Gasoline contains 116K BTUs per gallon, Ethanol contains 76K BTUs per gallon. Any mix of the two will still contain less energy per gallon than that of pure gasoline.

Your book wont prove anything, that is a single persons opinion on some matter that they have no clue about. You are a lemming following this persons opinion.

Oh by the way, for all those who think that Ehtanol will cure G.W. Wrong!!!! the biggest thing on the G.W. agenda is CO2, right? Well, burning ethanol produces CO2 just like gasoline. Buring more of it because it is less efficient than gasoline, means producing more CO2 than the gasoline which really means it is worse for the G.W. problem. So your solution is worse than the problem. Read science not garbage books from the G.W. followers.

Lemmings this world is full of lemmings, don't post in a topic you have no clue about.

I wont post all the information that I can about Ethanol but here is a small blurb from Wikipedia.

:CITED WIKIPEDIA ETHANOL:
Several of the outstanding ethanol fuel issues are linked specifically to fuel systems. Fuels with more than 10% ethanol are not compatible with non E85-ready fuel system components and may cause corrosion of iron components.[192][193] Ethanol fuel can negatively affect electric fuel pumps by increasing internal wear,[193] cause undesirable spark generation,[194] and is not compatible with capacitance fuel level gauging indicators and may cause erroneous fuel quantity indications in vehicles that employ that system.[195] It is also not always compatible with marine craft, especially those that use fiberglass fuel tanks.[196][197] Ethanol is also not used in aircraft for these same reasons.

Using 100% ethanol fuel decreases fuel-economy by 15-30% over using 100% gasoline; this can be avoided using certain modifications that would, however, render the engine inoperable on regular petrol without the addition of an adjustable ECU.[198] Tough materials are needed to accommodate a higher compression ratio to make an ethanol engine as efficient as it would be on petrol; these would be similar to those used in diesel engines which typically run at a CR of 20:1,[199] vs. about 8-12:1 for petrol engines.[200]


Well I agree with most of what you have said here, except the stuff about Ethanol generating more CO2 than Gasoline. This is not really correct. And it's a bit incomplete.

First Ethanol is more efficient when it burns (ie. Efficiency of Combustion, ec). Meaning it burns more completely. So there is no soot (carbon), and less harmful byproducts.

Please note, "Energy Efficiency" and "Efficiency of Combustion" are two different things. Gasoline makes more energy per unit volume, thus it has a higher Energy Efficiency. But Ethanol burns more completely, thus it has a higher Efficiency of Combustion. This can easily be demonstrated by burning Ethanol (E100) and Gasoline in separate pans. The Ethanol will burn without smoke, where the Gasoline will produce smoke. Smoke = inefficient combustion

Burning Ethanol (E100) is simply,

C2H5OH + 3 O2 → 2 CO2 + 3 H2O(l)

So the byproducts are just CO2 and Water.

Whereas, burning Gasoline produces hundreds of complex Carbon chain byproducts that are very nasty. And because the combustion of Gasoline is not very efficient, it produces soot, and Carbon Monoxide. In addition to large amounts of CO2.

So burning Ethanol is cleaner over-all, than burning Gasoline, but not perfect by far. Especially since no one uses Ethanol (E100) in their cars. Most use E85, which is only 85% Ethanol, and 15% Gasoline.

As a Combustion Engineer, this kind of stuff is what I deal with everyday at work...



-Chris
 
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yelobus said:
I converted my 2006 Ranger, 2.3L, Manual Tranny to E85 using the FuelFlex device out of Idaho. It ran like a top but was a little hard to start when the weather was cold (<50F). I got 30 mpg all day using gasoline and 24 mpg on E85. At the time E85 was 50 cents cheaper than gasoline and it was economically advantageous to use ethanol as the price came down. Now E85 is only a dime cheaper and the cost per mile is higher than with gas. I willingly pay a little premium to use E85 because I am not buying foreign oil and polluting less (in spite of what others have said in this forum). HOWEVER, my truck started using oil (a qt./1000 miles) all of a sudden and it could only be rings (cyl 3 plug was wet). I do not think it had anything to do with the E85 but I traded the truck off on an '08 identical model. I kept the conversion and will probably put it on the new truck when the warranty is up.
Recommend you not even attempt this conversion on your Duratec 2.3 It will destroy it even faster than it did on your Lima 2.3. The Duratec is an all aluminum engine and has cylinder issues. The sleeves have been known to release from their press and slide around.

Yes your ethanol conversion did ruin your Lima engine. The Oil became saturated with acidic compounds and therefore the oil was not lubricated but eating the engine. It caused ring failure and then consequently oil burning.

By the way read my last few posts, your idea of saving the planet with ethanol is a pipe dream.


My guess is he was just running his truck too lean. If your vehicle is not designed for E85, then you need to put larger fuel injectors in (40% larger), and re-tune the vehicle to use them properly. Otherwise you will run the engine lean and eventually burn it up. The first thing to go, will be the rings, then once you start getting blow-by, the oil will lose it viscosity and then the lower end of the engine will be toast.


-Chris
 
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