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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-13-2006, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Building engine for ethanol

My friend and I were throwing around ideas of running an engine on ethanol today and it got me thinking. E85 is about 100 octane. With the higher octane, you can run more compression or higher boost. With a turbo system, it's easy to increase and decrease boost if E85 isn't available. But there is nothing you can do to a naturally aspirated engine, besides retard timing, to account for a lower octane. Say an engine combination is safe running 13:1 compression and full timing with E85, which is again, 100 octane. Could you pull enough timing out to safely run 91 octane, the highest that is sold around here? I know it would be a dog but it would just be something to get me back to Wichita if I decide to leave. So I guess this is what I'm really trying to get at. How much compression could I run with 100 octane and still be able to pull enough timing out to safely run 91 octane? And maybe this is just a really stupid idea altogether. I want to know what you guys know about this. I need your knowledge. Thanks, Brandon
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-13-2006, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, never mind. I don't think it would work anyway. E85 would take larger jets and I'm not going to change timing AND jets everytime I can't get E85. Unless I'm wrong, in which case, please correct me. I guess I'm so used to fuel injection that carburetion is complicated to me. I just think it would be nice to be able to use a cheaper, higher octane, earth friendly fuel that would reduce the amount of money going into the pockets of oil companies and foreign countries and help our farmers out instead. Maybe after setting up my car with a big block, I'll have to work on a turbo'd, fuel injected big block. If you guys have any thoughts or ideas on ethanol, I'd still love to hear them. Thanks, Brandon
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-13-2006, 10:35 PM
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Hi from the ethanol state! (Nebraska)
We rebuilt an engine for a friend of ours, it is 642ci,C460 headed beast. he put rons injection on it and ran Straight ethanol(because he hauls it in a tanker all the time). It worked OK, but it took a long time to get it tuned right(I wasnt involved in that part of it) I think mainly because noone runs it, so it was a bit of a guessing game. I think he has decided this year to go with methanol.
That being said, in a carburated street/strip vehicle i think E85 would work much better.
One more word of interest; Anyone who has a flex fuel, or buys a flex fuel vehicle needs to realize that running E85 will cost you more money than running regular gasoline, even if it is cheaper per gallon.Peoplecome up to me and complain"I put in E85 and lost 5 miles to the gallon!!". It takes more ethanol to make the same amount of energy............
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-18-2006, 08:51 PM
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there a guy in ft collins colorado the has a sponser from a ethenol company. they have 5-6 car in every super class and there in the process of developing a carb for the e85 engines and a lot of tuning and jetting data to go along with it. Dave Slatten automotive machine and this guy been around since the late 60's and has a very good repitaion.

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