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Old 04-02-2006, 03:41 PM
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78stepside429 78stepside429 is offline
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E85 fuel in Dodge question

I have a few questions about E85. First, is it ok to run in a vehicle that isnt specifically set up for it? I have a 2003 Dodge Dakota with the V6 and 78 F150 with a 429. Will this fuel harm the Dodge with all its computers? Would it hurt the 429? I am about to rebuild the big block, is there anything to keep in mind for running this fuel when rebuilding it? Hardened valves seats, rings, etc. I am tired of lining these oil tycoons wallets while I go into the poorhouse at the pump every 3 days. Yeah, record profits in 2005 and the first quarter of 06....
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Old 04-02-2006, 05:36 PM
jroehl jroehl is offline
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There is a forum here just for such questions. You might ask there and get more in-depth responses, but the bottom line is that unless a vehicle is designed to run on E85 (called FFVs, or Fuel Flexible Vehicle), they either won't run well, or you will do damage to them.

Jason
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Old 04-02-2006, 06:39 PM
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Thumbs down E85 question

If your vehicle is NOT flex-fuel compatible I do not recommend using E85. Ethanol require more volume and has a lower air/fuel ration for optimal combustion.

Using E85 in a non-flex fuel may result in three possible problems:

1> Vehicle may run poorly, or not at all

2> "Check Engine" or "Service Engine" light may come on for a "lean running" condition. The computer will max out fuel injector output thinking it is running lean, due to ethanol's burning properties. (Flex fuel vehicles have higher output injectors to compensate for this)

3> The ethanol may deteriorate fuel seals and tank coatings, causing a fuel leak, filter restriction, and/or fuel pump failure.

I have heard of people successfully using a 50% mix of ethanol/gasoline with no problems. If you're determined to try, start with 20% and add a little higher percentage each time you fill up until your check engine light comes on, then start backing off.

But I don't recommend it.

Good luck!
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Old 04-02-2006, 06:59 PM
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Don't mix in more than 10% or even 5% in a non-flex fuel vehicle or the fuel system will be damaged. Forget more than 5% on older vehicles. Even 10% will eventually eat up the fuel system on older vehicles. Check with the alternative fuels forum for more info on Fords. I don't know about a Dodge but Ford had a real problem with flex fuel vehicles in some US Post Office fleets.
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Old 04-02-2006, 08:30 PM
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Alright..Thanks a million to all of you. I wish there was a way to get the old Ford to run on that stuff since its cheaper than gas. But oh well, I guess I will keep paying for the oil tycoons lavish lifestyle.....lol. And again, thanks.

Mike
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Old 04-02-2006, 09:09 PM
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Not really cheaper, -just subsidized by taxes.
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Old 04-03-2006, 02:51 AM
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I've got a buddy of mine back home that has a older 81 Ford PU with a 302. He uses E85 no problem, but then again, metal fuel lines, no computer, things like that. I wouldn't run it in your newer vehicle, but in the older one, hell give it a try.
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Old 04-03-2006, 08:22 AM
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I was thinking about doing something similar. If you wanted to reliably run E85, you would need all E85 compatible fuel system components. This includes gas tank, fuel pump, fuel lines, fuel filter, and carburetor components. All of which are available. I think the regular gasoline type replacement components would be just fine though, as I've been running nothing but 10% ethanol gas in my '92 Explorer for YEARS without one fuel system problem. 219,000 miles now and it still works just fine...

On the engine side of things, if you want to run exclusively E85, then you can increase the compression ratio of the engine a lot. Like 12:1 with a small camshaft wouldn't be out of the question. It should get real good mileage that way. Other than that, standard engine components, and hardened exhaust valve seats. Jet the carburetor appropriately, and drive away!
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:56 AM
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Yes, it's cheaper. As for the tax subsidies, the state doesn't charge as much as they do on regular gasoline. Aren't you for less taxes? That is a myth that you need to stop spreading. It costs the same per mile to burn as gas, and I have done extensive tests on my own to prove this.

You can run a 50/50 mix in any car with no problems. We do it all the time here in Iowa.
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Old 04-03-2006, 07:44 PM
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what is e85 ??????? is it farm gas or somthing?
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Old 04-03-2006, 09:28 PM
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85% ethyl alcohol, 15% gas mixture for flex fuel vehicles.

Check out the other articles in this alternate fuels forum for more info and check this one and the many others:
http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/sh...=461695&page=1

Ethanol production is heavily subsidized and taxes are manipulated to make it appear to be economically comparable with other traditional fuels for political reasons. You may notice some FTE members from farm states or farmers heavily promote alcohol fuels and their use in vehicles that are not set up to use those fuels. Government farm, industry, and crop subsidies are very profitable for those that can take advantage of them. Unfortunately the government or the farmers will not help pay for damages to your vehicles or equipment when improper fuels are used.

Check out this thread for energy comparisons. The energy content per gallon of fuel is DIRECTLY related to mileage. It takes energy to move a vehicle no matter how it is measured.
http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=389447
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Old 04-04-2006, 06:12 AM
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So, we decided that we would put to the test the theory that E85 eats up rubber parts, as many experts claim they do. We took a carburator (older technology) and soaked it for 1 week in E85. Was there any brittleness? Nope. Was there any damage? Nope.

This is just one test. Multiple farmers around the nation are burning E85 in their non-flex fuel vehicles with no problems. Brazil is nearly 100% E85, along with some European countries. They just use other products to make it, as opposed to corn in the midwest.

I am truely amazed that people are against technology that reduces our dependence on foreign oil. Why is it being fought so much? It pollutes less, is renewable, is nearly as efficient to produce as gasoline, especially now that the technology is improved, and costs nearly the same to use on a per- mile basis. YES, your fuel mileage goes down, but the cost per mile is a difference of a penny, and you are using less gasoline. I suppose you are also against Bio-diesel?

If you don't have a flex fuel vehicle don't use it if you don't want to "risk" damage. But don't knock it if you don't understand it.
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Old 04-04-2006, 07:53 AM
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I have run e-85 tthrough many vehicles that are not specifically built for it, and still have yet to see any damage from it. I have had some vehicles that did not do so well on it, one being my Plymouth Voyager. But it has not suffered any damage from it, just started hard and the mileage sucked. But my sister has run it through their Escort every chance they get, and it got better mileage than on regular 10% mix. Same story on their Dodge Caravan, that is practically the same as my Plymouth. Can't answer why one of the same make and model will be so different, but it does happen. My mother runs it through her 02 Le Sabre, no problems, not even a check engine light, except when we were in Idaho, where they use potatoes instead of corn. It also has improved mileage, rather than lost.
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Old 04-04-2006, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fellro86
I have run e-85 tthrough many vehicles that are not specifically built for it, and still have yet to see any damage from it. I have had some vehicles that did not do so well on it, one being my Plymouth Voyager. But it has not suffered any damage from it, just started hard and the mileage sucked. But my sister has run it through their Escort every chance they get, and it got better mileage than on regular 10% mix. Same story on their Dodge Caravan, that is practically the same as my Plymouth. Can't answer why one of the same make and model will be so different, but it does happen. My mother runs it through her 02 Le Sabre, no problems, not even a check engine light, except when we were in Idaho, where they use potatoes instead of corn. It also has improved mileage, rather than lost.
I am curious as to why you saw an increase in mileage, unless you are running a tad on the rich side. E85 will lean out the mixture, which is where some of the damage claims come from.

Most generally you will see a drop if you run 100% E85. The 50/50 mix is the highest mix we have run without a drop in mileage.

We use it in our 'Cuda race car with increase performance, but no mileage indications. We had to order the largest jets they make for a Demon carb to get the mixture we were looking for.
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Old 04-04-2006, 08:17 AM
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I can't say why it improved, unless like you say, the computer richened it, but I would think that should go the other way. These are all injected motors that saw teh improvement. The only carb I ran it on was my T/A, and it didn't drop off, stayed the same, but it also has the feed back carb on it. Haven't really run it through any hard set carbs, but if I were to do that, I would be sure to have the carb rebuilt with the modern alcohol ready seals. One point I guess I ought to make is that it is not continuous run on the E85, as the pumps are not readily available to do so as yet. These motors have rarely seen less than 10% though.
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