Subject: Use of E85 Fuels in Vehicles Not Certified As Being FlexFuel Compatible/Afte
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    Subject: Use of E85 Fuels in Vehicles Not Certified As Being FlexFuel Compatible/Afte

    Subject:
    • Use of E85 Fuels in Vehicles Not Certified As Being FlexFuel Compatible/Aftermarket Conversion of Vehicles to Operate on E85 Fuels #06-06-04-035 - (07/13/2006)


    Models:
    • 2007 and Prior GM Passenger Cars and Trucks NOT FlexFuel (E85) Compatible (including Saturn)
    • 2007 and Prior HUMMER H2, H3
    • 2005-2007 Saab 9-7X

    Aftermarket Conversions of Vehicles to Use E85 Fuels
    General Motors has become aware of several companies that claim to be able to convert vehicles equipped with gasoline engines to be compatible with E85 Fuels.

    • Vehicles certified by GM as being FlexFuel (E85) compatible contain numerous calibration and component differences that are not conducive to an aftermarket retrofit.

    • General Motors DOES NOT support or endorse conversions that may alter the emissions and related emissions components of its vehicles.

    • Repairs that may result from changes to GM built components, and repairs that result from the use of improper fuel, such as the use of gasoline containing more than 10% Ethanol in a non-FlexFuel certified vehicle, are not covered under the terms of the New Vehicle Warranty.


    E85 Compatible Vehicles

    The only E85 compatible vehicles produced by General Motors are:

    • 2000-2002 S-Series pickups with 2.2L (VIN 5- RPO L43)

    • 2002-2005 full-size pickups and utilities with 5.3L (VIN Z -- L59)

    • 2006 Chevrolet Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe with 5.3L (VIN Z -- RPO L59)

    • 2006 Chevrolet Impala, Monte Carlo with 3.5L (VIN K -- RPO LZE)

    • 2006 GMC Sierra, Yukon, Yukon XL with 5.3L (VIN Z -- RPO L59)

    • 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche, Suburban, Tahoe with 5.3L (VINs 0, 3 -- RPOs LMG, LC9)

    • 2007 GMC Yukon, Yukon XL with 5.3L (VINs 0, 3 -- RPOs LMG, LC9)

    • 2007 Chevrolet Impala, Monte Carlo with 3.5L (VIN K -- RPO LZE)

    • 2007 Saturn Relay, Buick Terraza, Chevrolet Uplander, Pontiac Montana SV6 (Canada Only) with 3.9L (VIN W -- RPO LGD)

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    Re: Subject: Use of E85 Fuels in Vehicles Not Certified As Being FlexFuel Compatible/

    I was under the impression some how that the level was up to E15 not 10%.
    Maybe it can vary + or - 5%. Hmmm Maybe I misunderstood.
    I was also told that E85 has been found to range from 60% to 85%.
    We did get a CTS-V that filled up and got over 90%. He pump PREMIUM. It was not his fault.

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    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: Subject: Use of E85 Fuels in Vehicles Not Certified As Being FlexFuel Compatible/

    All the engineers that I have talked to say that they are certified to run on E10, anything above that causes fuel trim issues, worse on some engines.
    I think a lot of places are getting E15. Not sure what will happen.
    Around here there aren't many places to get E-85 yet, thank God!
    Most places are right at E10, everytime I use the fuel composition tester I get a 60Hz reading.

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    Re: Subject: Use of E85 Fuels in Vehicles Not Certified As Being FlexFuel Compatible/

    Sure, the mix percentage can vary because the stuff is mixed as it is dumped into the final delivery tanker, not at the refinery or distributor's storage tank facility. Ethanol (moonshine) is transported by truck, dedicated truck, because of its highly solvent properties. You have to burn significantly more (>20%) E85 fuel to produce the same energy, which is why your fuel mileage decreases a lot. Yes, E85 has a higher octane rating because of its slower burn rate, but that higher octane comes at a disproportionate fuel cost.(Even E10 reduces fuel economy by about 4-7%) Ethanol pricing is heavily subsidized by the government ($.51/gal.?), so we all pay higher taxes in order to burn more fuel. Scam, big time. Wait 'till China gets into the corn business. China/Mongolia can put more land into corn production than the entire land mass of the U.S. You'll hear the screams of shot cats all over our corrupt Congress. We have Middle East LPG tankers making port here every day. Why not Chinese moonshine (most auspicious) tankers?

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    Re: Subject: Use of E85 Fuels in Vehicles Not Certified As Being FlexFuel Compatible/

    I have run LOTS of E85 through my 94 Fleetwood LT1 with not so much as a hickup. But I tuned for it. But the fuel system in my 94 has no material that I can find that has anything that will be degraded by E85. I have looked and looked. I have run no less than 500 gallons, probably more like 750 gallons...

    It is also not NEAR as corrosive as people think. It isn't METHANOL, and it isn't ACID. It is a far cry from those.

    Now, GM is correct, the PCM tune isn't going to support the E85. The injectors aren't large enough (need to add 1.5x larger roughly). But I would bet there is very little actual changes in anything else in the fuel system.

    If someone can point out something I am missing, PLEASE point it out.

    E10 does NOT drop fuel economy by 4-7%, if it does, you have to look and find what is wrong, my testing shows a around 0.11 mpg average loss in mpg, far cry from 4-7%. I have 100K miles of comparison data to back it up. Closer to 1-2% in reality. I datalog like crazy, and keep records of what I use for fuel, E10, E0 and E85. E85 drops my 19-19.7 mpg to around 15-16.5 mpg. Worse as temps drop. Worst tank was 13 ish (closer to 13.0), but it was below 32 degrees F too. (Summer blend E85 was still in the tanks, winter blend is more like E70)

    I hate the E85 stations here, some track the E85 prices with gas prices. So they stay a constant $0.30 away. I have found I need at LEAST $0.50 difference to break even using E85 vs gas. I CAN use my E85 on gas, but I need 93 octane to do it, else ping city (well, the knock sensor hears it, I don't)...

    I would be very worried about E100 coming out of China, if it does get more than a certain % of water in it, it will become contaminated. Add a % of water to make the profits go up scares me.

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    Re: Subject: Use of E85 Fuels in Vehicles Not Certified As Being FlexFuel Compatible/

    "Update May 2005:
    On May 10th, Minnesota's Governor signed a bill into law that could result in a requirement that the state's gasoline supplies contain 20 percent ethanol (E-20). If the rules go into effect, it would double the current 10 percent ethanol blends that are now standard throughout the state. Under the legislation, a new E-20 mandate would take effect in 2013 unless ethanol has already replaced 20 percent of the state's motor vehicle fuel by 2010. The rule would expire at the end of 2010 if Minnesota is not granted federal approval to use E-20 gasoline blends."

    http://www.newrules.org/agri/ethanol.html


    So, what will happen to "old" cars?

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    Re: Subject: Use of E85 Fuels in Vehicles Not Certified As Being FlexFuel Compatible/

    That is a perfect example of a politician trying to dictate terms to the automotive industry, maybe he should ask someone who actually understands what happens when you turn the ignition key on a car.
    I predict nothing but problems for that state.
    The cars are not being engineered to run on E20, you can't just tell a car to work because you want it to. LOL
    Not sure at this point who will end up paying for that, probably the residents of the state, one way or another.

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    Re: Subject: Use of E85 Fuels in Vehicles Not Certified As Being FlexFuel Compatible/

    N0DIH, Concerning ethanol, I didn't say "corrosive", I said "solvent". Two very different terms.

    Have you had a chance, or do you, periodically switch from E10 to plain ol' gasoline? During my trips down the East Coast, I have a chance to burn both fuels, and my mileage takes a noticeable jump when I refill with non-ethanol fuel. A purely highway change from 23.5 mpg to 25 mpg is about 6%, which is significant. (Like you, I'm a recordkeeper).

    Maybe 7% is a bit much for E10 as a loss factor, but the absolute fact of ethanol mixing is that you must burn more units of ethanol mix in order to produce the same heat output as an equivalent volume of pure gasoline.

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    Re: Subject: Use of E85 Fuels in Vehicles Not Certified As Being FlexFuel Compatible/

    When 10% ethanol was mandated in Colorado, the first cold snap of the year, at least 10% of the cars on the road were parked on the roadside with their hoods up. One good thing is that it turns a badly tuned and misfiring car into a stalled car that must be repaired to get it back on the road. The advocates talk about oxygenated fuel but what it really does is lean the engine out by reducing the BTU content. MBTE is even worse. They tried that stuff around here and motorists as well as pedestrians were keeling over from the fumes.
    It's the old law of unintended consequences rearing it's ugly head.
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    Re: Subject: Use of E85 Fuels in Vehicles Not Certified As Being FlexFuel Compatible/

    The thing with Ethanol vs pure gas, is although it takes more ethanol (9.67:1 vs 14.67:1 for stoich burn), you get more complete burn. That is why when I run E85 I don't lose 50% gas mileage. E85 has around 84400 BTU's, gas has like 125000 BTU's. (ref http://www.jwiwood.com/faq/conversion.html)

    Being there is more O2 present in the ethanol, the burn is more complete, less raw fuel or fuel that didn't get enough O2 (this is the CO maker) to burn completely, so you actually extract MORE power out of the ethanol mixed fuel than the non ethanol, despite the lower BTU value.

    This is why race cars often use Methanol, it has even more O2 available. It is easier to dump lots more fuel in than to try to force more air in.

    Yup, I ran probably 15-20 tanks of E0, then 10-20 tanks of E10, and then 10-20 tanks of E0, until recently, I rarely ran E10, not I have only E85 or E10 to run. I prefer E0, slightly better mpg for same price, but a very very small amount. With the amount of miles I drive daily, I take what i can get.... But I can get better acceleration out of E85.... I'll try to find my mpg charts of it.

    Maybe 1 tank will be a tad off, but I would bet the next several tanks won't be, as the BLM needs to learn (but reality check is it only takes a couple seconds to learn a cell) and it will be off a bit until it learns. But I think eWill3rd can explain why I wouldn't make a real difference in mpg. It a lot more ethanol, yes, 10% Ethanol, probably not.

    A friend of mine swears up and down he loses 3-4 mpg with Milwaukee 10% ethanol fuel. I still say no, and I have never seen it in my car lose any at all, but then again, I RARELY get fuel there....

    Quote Originally Posted by submariner409 View Post
    N0DIH, Concerning ethanol, I didn't say "corrosive", I said "solvent". Two very different terms.

    Have you had a chance, or do you, periodically switch from E10 to plain ol' gasoline? During my trips down the East Coast, I have a chance to burn both fuels, and my mileage takes a noticeable jump when I refill with non-ethanol fuel. A purely highway change from 23.5 mpg to 25 mpg is about 6%, which is significant. (Like you, I'm a recordkeeper).

    Maybe 7% is a bit much for E10 as a loss factor, but the absolute fact of ethanol mixing is that you must burn more units of ethanol mix in order to produce the same heat output as an equivalent volume of pure gasoline.

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    Re: Subject: Use of E85 Fuels in Vehicles Not Certified As Being FlexFuel Compatible/

    Alcohol is used in race cars because it has a higher antiknock rating and it has a higher latent heat of vaporization that supplies greater cooling to a marginally cooled engine. A Meyers & Drake Offenhauser engine wouldn't run on gasoline because the valves would burn up but it ran fine on alcohol. BTU/hr. coverts directly to horsepower. To get more horsepower you need more BTU's/hr. There is no way in hell you don't have to burn more alcohol than gasoline by a sustantial margin to get your car down the road. O2 in alcohol may give marginally cleaner burning but it does not increase the BTU content which is what makes the wheels turn.
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    Re: Subject: Use of E85 Fuels in Vehicles Not Certified As Being FlexFuel Compatible/

    N0DIH,
    No wonder your friend in M'waukee loses mileage on E10: Everyone knows M'waukee gas is 10% beer !

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    Re: Subject: Use of E85 Fuels in Vehicles Not Certified As Being FlexFuel Compatible/

    Now THAT would explain the bad mpg!!!! LOL!!

    Quote Originally Posted by submariner409 View Post
    N0DIH,
    No wonder your friend in M'waukee loses mileage on E10: Everyone knows M'waukee gas is 10% beer !

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    Re: Subject: Use of E85 Fuels in Vehicles Not Certified As Being FlexFuel Compatible/

    There are a LOT of reasons for Alky for a fuel. Those are many of them too, but the available O2 is a very big one. The more O2 present, the more complete the burn, not for emissions, but for power, if you can burn 100% of it, you have a best chance at extracting the most power out of the engine. It does matter. That is one of the big reasons that NitroMethane is used in Top Fuel dragsters. This came directly from one of the crew chiefs they were interviewing on TV talking about fuels. NM is around 2:1 A/F ratio!

    But for that extra amount of O2, is like free boost to your engine. Not much, but more than nothing.

    E85 over gas is around a 5% hp BOOST. BTU's are not all the story at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by dkozloski View Post
    Alcohol is used in race cars because it has a higher antiknock rating and it has a higher latent heat of vaporization that supplies greater cooling to a marginally cooled engine. A Meyers & Drake Offenhauser engine wouldn't run on gasoline because the valves would burn up but it ran fine on alcohol. BTU/hr. coverts directly to horsepower. To get more horsepower you need more BTU's/hr. There is no way in hell you don't have to burn more alcohol than gasoline by a sustantial margin to get your car down the road. O2 in alcohol may give marginally cleaner burning but it does not increase the BTU content which is what makes the wheels turn.

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    Re: Subject: Use of E85 Fuels in Vehicles Not Certified As Being FlexFuel Compatible/

    I forgot about this thread.

    I am not 100% sure of the corrosion caused by E85. Could it be the root cause of the corrosion? Look at it this way. E85 can suspend H2O correct? GM says that the H2O will settle out and corrode the steel lines. Then the E85 will clean the area and the process starts all over.
    Is it the E85 or the H2O in the fuel?
    Run higher amounts of H2O/non-lubricant through the injectors for a year and lets see how they look.

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