I decided to switch to E85 because:
A) I am sick of sending my hard-earned transportation dollars to wealthy Middle-Eastern nations
B) I am sick of the price-gouging and changes in gas prices multiple times daily
C) I am sick of poor quality gasoline
D) It's time to try something new
PLEASE NO ANTI-E85 TROLLS!!! If you don't like it, close this page immediately. PLEASE DO NOT SHANGHAI THIS THREAD!!! Technical discussion ONLY! No "price of corn" or "world hunger" arguements!
'76 F150 Trailer Special - 112,000 miles on the odometer - was an Arizona truck until it made its way to Michigan 4-years ago.
Factory installed 460 with Weiand Stealth intake, Holley 750 carb, MSD Streetfire ignition, Accel Super Coil, electric fans, glasspacks, and Ford Motorsport double roller timing set (+2 deg.) Nothing special - just a shave and a haircut.
Factory C6 untouched
9" with Trac-Loc diff. and 3.50 gears
Factory untouched. Everything original except for a rubber line from the fuel pump's hard line to the carb.
The first thing I did was get on QuickFuel Technologies' website and order up the necessarry carb parts. I ordered their E85 metering block kit (P/N 34-106), two stainless .130" needle and seats (P/N 18-10), and a 7.0" power valve (P/N 25-70). After waiting anxiously for four weeks for my parts, I visited Diversified Creations in Brighton, Mi. for the longer dual-feed carb line (Spectare), jets (Holley), and alcohol accelerator pump diaphragm (Holley).
The carb went together and back on the truck in 20-minutes. After some research, it was recommended to jet the carb 10 numbers higher as a baseline. Jets went from 74prim. & 80sec. to 84prim. & 90sec. After driving for a day, these were proven to be a little lean for me so jets were upped two more numbers to 86prim. & 92sec. No changes were made to the accelerator pump besides the alcohol-safe diaphragm. Pump nozzle is a tube-shooter style .31 with the green cam.
Since E85 is a cleaning agent similar to rubbing alcohol, any deposits in my fuel tanks and lines would be loosened up so a new filter was installed on the original mechanical fuel pump and a clearview inline filter was installed between the pump and the carb to catch any escapees.
The truck ran rich all the way to the gas station awaiting its first fillup of E85 - I only had a gallon of gas left in the tank to get me there. When I put it in park at the pump I think it was running on 6-cylinders. 84's and 90's are quite large for gasoline on a pretty-close-to-stock 460. The first fillup - $64 for 19-gallons at $3.39/gal.
After driving for several weeks now, I haven't noticed a difference in fuel economy. I am going to do a fuel consumption test and comparison - results will be posted.
Performance is improved a lot - you can really feel the difference running 105 octane E85 after running pump 87 octane for a few years. With the possibility of pinging reduced, I was able to advance initial ignition timing from 16-deg. to nearly 22-deg. without pinging. Performance felt best at 20-deg. I had to plug my vacuum advance canister though, because the QuickFuel metering block does not provide a timed vacuum port. Time for a recurve kit. Throttle response is super-crisp, the 460 pulls harder and longer than before, and cold-starts are a piece of cake.
Engine coolant stays a few degrees cooler than usual since E85 burns cooler than gas. After getting the engine up to temp., you can let it sit, hood closed, fans off, and the carb with still be cool to the touch. I don't know why, but it seems to stay cool longer.
After 400 miles on E85, the fuel-pump filter cup accumulated some dirt particles in it but the clearview filter after the pump remains like new. All the fuel lines (even the originals) are still pliable. The spark plugs, even despite my richening the mix, are clean. The porcelain is still white with a little light carbon toward the tip.
I will have pictures and more comparisons and technical stuff up soon. Hope everyone finds this info useful! I felt compelled to post this to debunk the common misconceptions about E85.
As you can tell, there is really no "mystery" about running E85. What you cant do with old tech is flex-fuel. You have fixed jetting and ignition timing.
Please elaborate on the timing. Initial (idle) cant be 22degrees. I think you mean total mechanical advance. Most engines can take 28-30 crankshaft degrees of total advance.
Im not at all familiar with Ford's 1976 distributor, but what is a timed vacuum port? Is that connected to a vacuum switch to interrupt manifold vacuum to the distributor at idle? My Dodge had such a setup.
A "timed" vacuum port is another way of saying "ported" or venturi vacuum. No vacuum at idle, but as the throttle is opened, vacuum appears.
Without being able to use the vacuum advance, I can see needing to bump the initial timing up a few degrees. 22 does sound a bit much, though. Ethanol does have a higher octane rating, so perhaps it's not out of the question.
I have considered converting to E85 on a couple older trucks and cars, as it is a cheaper alternative to the high priced extra octane gas sold at the pump. The limited availability in my area for E85 is a bit of a concern, though.
In my opinion, E85 is the only ethanol/gasoline blend that should be sold. The E5, E10, and E15 blends will typically lower the MPG by more than the percentage of ethanol added, particularly in older vehicles. This causes the actual use to be increased, rather than decreased. The fact that we don't have a choice about ethanol blended gas in many parts of the country just makes it worse.
E85 has it's place, whether for the flex-fuel vehicles, or for custom tuned performance vehicles and other older vehicles that need higher octane than the 87 crap sold at most pumps.
I am interested in seeing the longer term MPG figures the OP has promised to post, and how they compare to the prior MPG figures on gasoline. I'm sure they are getting better power, just wonder what the MPG is.
if you would be interested in adding some newer technology to your truck, you might want to look into a megajolt DIS ignition, and you could have complete control over the entire timing curve.
I am interested in the hard numbers as well. I think that there was probably a little lost, but i am more interseted in if the cost/gallon difference is enough to still make it worth it. (which i think it will since you have done the proper tuning) and remember, the more numbers and the more accurate your test are, the harder it is to dispute.
if you really get into it, you could easily bump the compression a point or two.
really interested in this cause i intend for my bronco to be a flex fuel, but i gotta get a baseline done first
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