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Old 05-20-2008, 08:03 PM   #11
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Can e85 be ran in a non-flex fuel car? I have a stock 1990 honda accord. What do I need to convert? any gains? any links will be greatly appreciated.

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1. Check your owners manual. If it is like most cars of that era, it probably says you can run 10 or 15 percent alcohol and be ok, more than that will damage rubber and plastic parts in your fuel system.
2. Check a service manual for your car.
3. Check with Honda of America...they may know.
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:03 PM   #12
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1. Check your owners manual. If it is like most cars of that era, it probably says you can run 10 or 15 percent alcohol and be ok, more than that will damage rubber and plastic parts in your fuel system.
2. Check a service manual for your car.
3. Check with Honda of America...they may know.
yea best way to know, heck even my 1980 chevettes manual says its OK to use E10 as long as the octane is the same or higher than regular
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Old 05-21-2008, 08:32 AM   #13
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In an OBD2 car you might get a check engine light for an excessively lean engine. It'll run fine but the ECU sees how much fuel it's adding and will cause this. An avalanche here at work did this.
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Old 05-21-2008, 08:40 AM   #14
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The tempo I was driving ran nice on E10, but kept bellyaching about "injector pulsewidth too low" which I guess meant it thought it was running too lean. I woulda thunk that meant that the O2 was shot, but it passed an emissions sniffer test at about 1/4 of allowed values.
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Old 05-21-2008, 08:46 AM   #15
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I thought the only difference in an E85 rated vehicle was the fuel plumbing. The fuel pump and lines all have to be made of stainless or other alloys. A few years ago I was considering running it in a non-E85 s-10 but several s-10s that year were E85 rated. The only difference I read was about the fuel pump and lines. They can't have any rubber toughing the fuel or E85 will eat into them. If I remember right it's an additional $120 bucks for the auto maker to upgrade the fuel line delivery system. I wouldn't do it just because of the risk of eating through a line; you'd really have fuel mileage issues then. I do know that all E85 has to be delivered via truck for the same reason; the current fuel infrastructure cannot handle the acidity of E85.
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Old 05-21-2008, 08:58 AM   #16
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Colleague did a 2 month test of his own of driving to work and back in similar conditions (same time of day, etc) and got it as close as he could.

1 month on e85 and 1 month on regular gas in a flex fuel vehicle.
In between he ran the car until the fuel light came on.
He got 25% less mpg on e85.

In other words, in his estimation, e85 would have to be 25% less per gallon to make it worth using. That's all the specifics I have.

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Old 05-21-2008, 09:27 AM   #17
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One more thing to keep in mind, Ethanol and aluminum do not get along, and you should consider changing fuel filters after your first tank or two of e-85, as it's a very good fuel system cleaner, it will quickly gunk up the filters.
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Old 05-22-2008, 06:15 AM   #18
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1. E85 will NOT necessarily eat through aluminum, only certain alloys and other certain un-anodized.

2. E85 will generally NOT destroy rubber seals and hoses on vehicles built after 1988...obviously if your vehicle is very old, and the rubber is degraded, the E85 may worsen the problem.

3. Not all vehicles experience a 20-25% drop in FE, some may only drop 10-15% in FE. It all depends on the vehicle, native compression, timing, and fuel management software.

4. Almost any vehicle with an O2 sensor built after 1988 can handle upto 50-60% ethanol without any issues such as burning too lean. Though the optimal fuel/air ratio is different for ethanol and gasoline, the O2 sensor senses lambda not the air/fuel ratio...so when ethanol is burned it will naturally burn richer to keep the optimal fuel/air ratio.

5. Advancing the ignition does little to help FE or power on an E85 vehicle. Though the octane is 105, and the engine will not knock even with significant ignition advance, the nature of the fuel does not provide for noticeable increase in FE or power. Higher compression, however, can give noticeable increase in power and FE. So mill the heads and call it good.

6. I have a '94 Acura Vigor with ~202k miles on it. Threw in larger injectors and it runs fine on 100% gasoline, 100% E85 or anything inbetween. No check engine lights, stumbling, fouled plugs or anything of the sort. No issues with seals, lines, or other leaks or part degradation. The oil even looks cleaner after 5k miles than normal because the ethanol burns cleaner. I have been running well over 5k miles on E85.

My mileage has dropped about 17-18% compared to gasoline, but E85 is 19-20% cheaper here, so I'm ahead.

As a note, before installing larger injectors, I was able to run about 60% ethanol without any issues...~65% and you would notice stumbling once in a while and a check engine light would pop once a week for a "lean condition".

Remember, a lot of the "scare" you hear about ethanol is from back in the 70's when methanol was added to the gasoline in the last gas crunch. Methanol is much more corrosive than ethanol, plus the fuel lines and seals back then were not made to handle any level of alcohol in the fuel. Ethanol is a much milder alcohol, and like I said previously, most cars built after 1988 have federally mandated fuel lines and seals able to with-stand alcohol.


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One more thing to keep in mind, Ethanol and aluminum do not get along, and you should consider changing fuel filters after your first tank or two of e-85, as it's a very good fuel system cleaner, it will quickly gunk up the filters.
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Old 05-22-2008, 09:04 AM   #19
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I've ran pure E-85 on several cars older than '88, and the only problem it gave me (other than fuel ratios) was fuel pumps wearing out, I tossed in a '94 Mustang pump, and everything worked fine. I've also been using pure E-85 on my Civic, and it loves it. It just needs a larger pump, the old one is too old to provide the flow required.
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Old 05-22-2008, 07:46 PM   #20
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2 friends of mine, one with a 87 toyota cressida, one with a 86 ran straight E85 for a few months. they adjusted the airflow meter (flapper door style) and ramped the ignition up to about 40* or 45* advanced and the car ran as well as and faster than regular with 15* advance.

I read an article about this where someone bought 2 2003 (ish) chevy tahoes... identical non-flex fuel vehicles except one was run on E85 for 100k miles and one was run on regular unleaded for 100k miles. apparently the FE and power wasn't different enough to mention and the E85 test vehicle had a much cleaner intake manifold and combustion chamber. (both engines were torn down and checked at 100k) the owner then had them put back together and continued to run e85
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