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  #1  
Old 07-25-2006, 02:09 PM
Nightrain Nightrain is offline
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1994 5.0L EFI: E85 Conversion Questions

My uncle and I are debating on purchasing an E85 "still" from a local feller who works for Dogwood Energy in Tullahoma, Tennessee. We have plenty of access to all of the ingredients needed to produce E85, so none of my questions pretain to that topic...

Unk has a Dodge Ram and his wife has a Dodge Caravan.
He was able to purchase a kit online from Flex-Tek to be able to switch from gasoline to E85. Unfortuneately, there is no kit available for my 1994 F-150 EFI 5.0L.

So, I'm going to go at it my own, but not without the proper knowledge, first. I've read several articles online pretaining to EFI Volvo's, Dodge's, etc., so I figure that the process is almost the same.

What I'm mostly curious about is what products are needed to convert to E85 alone? Forget running gasoline anymore... I only want to run E85. So, what all parts do I need, and where do I go from there?

Sorry to be so complicated... This is just something that I want to venture into, but I want to take my time and know that I do everything properly. I hope that we all can benefit from the info that will be strewn around this thread!

Thanks, ya'll!

Nightrain
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  #2  
Old 07-25-2006, 04:14 PM
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Torque1st Torque1st is offline
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A chip with the proper fuel map and timing may work. When they do the chip they may be able to tell you if you have enuf injector and fuel pump capacity.

Have you checked?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E85
http://www.answers.com/topic/e85
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Old 07-26-2006, 01:28 PM
Nightrain Nightrain is offline
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Ahh, thanks Torque1st.

I called FlexTek yesterday and spoke with a sales rep about my F-150. She said that they did indeed make kits for any EFI vehicle. She told me that the only thing I needed to clarify was my injector electrical plug type, which I'm suspecting is Bosch, but I will have to pull it to be sure.

I'm still a bit skeptical about this kit, though. It's supposed to be "plug n' play" technology, but I just don't understand how it works.

She explained that when the kit arrives, you take each of your injector electrical connections loose one at a time, and connect the FlexTek plug to each injector. You then reconnect your factory injector connectors to the TOP of the FlexTek connectors. Then, you just run the wire into the cab with the switch on the end to change between regular gasoline and E85. I'm also suspecting to have to wire it to the battery for positive and negative connections, but I could be wrong.

She said that no other modifications were needed, except that I needed to make sure that the engine and all fuel components were working properly, which at this time, they are. It does say on the website to check your fuel pumps to make sure that they can take the "acidity" of the E85. I though that E85 was safer than gas as it is??

Anyway, the kit is almost $800, and I still don't have peace-of-mind.

www.flextek.com

What do you fellers think?

Nightrain
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Old 07-26-2006, 01:33 PM
Nightrain Nightrain is offline
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Below is the link to FlexTek's FAQ page. There seems to be some interesting info there:

http://www.flextek.com/faq.htm

Nightrain
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Old 07-26-2006, 06:02 PM
jimandmandy jimandmandy is offline
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The FAQ's say that it works with sequential multi port fuel injection. Only the California version of the 5.0 is so equipped, including MAF, for 1994. The 49-state version was bank firing and MAP. If the only connection to the engine is at the injector harness, then I suspect that it just lengthens the injection pulse by the percentage necessary to equalize the eqivalent energy content by volume of fuel.

This will not increase the compression ratio or even advance the ignition timing in order to take advantage of the increased octane and recover some of the lost mileage.

A rebuild with high-compression pistons, along with fuel and ignition timing remapped in the computer is what is really needed to convert to dedicated E85 and run optimally.
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Old 07-27-2006, 12:09 PM
Nightrain Nightrain is offline
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Hmm, I thought that the 5.0L had the sequential multi-port injection system. I guess the MULTI-PORT threw me off. lol. Thanks for clarifying!

I guess I'll just wait a few years when this current-160,000 mile 5.0L is ready to give in, and I'll replace her with a rebuild built to run on E85.

So after the motor is built for optimum performance, running on E85 fuel, I guess that I would need to have a chip custom-made to have the fuel and ignition timing remapped so the computer will run the engine properly?

Thanks again!

Nightrain
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Old 07-28-2006, 11:22 AM
davidpa28140 davidpa28140 is offline
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Keep in mind that by raising the compression in an effort to recapture the power lost in using e85 you may be taking away the option of running straight gasoline if you need to. Let me say, I have zero experience with e 85, after looking into the effort req to make it and the huge amount of by products and the power loss I decided to buy a little diesel and make biodiesel, I know that methanol swells any natural rubber and I wonder if ethanol might have the same effect. Not trying to bring you or e85 down, just not my cup of tea. Anything to avoid sending more money to the middle east is A OK by me, good luck, Dave.
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Old 07-28-2006, 11:48 AM
Nightrain Nightrain is offline
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I had a 1985 F-250 with the 6.9L diesel that I was making some biodiesel for, but I made the mistake of selling it... I'm still looking for another one to come along. That's one thing about a diesel, though... It don't take much to get one to run on anything!

I have been kind of thinking on the rebuild aspect, also. Too much compression would keep it from running on regular gasoline, but I was wondering something else, also...

Really, the only BIG arguement on E85 is that the fuel mileage isn't as good, correct? Well, if gasoline is $3.00 a gallon, and we're making E85 for $.30 a gallon... It seems to be a sort of win-win situation.

My truck gets a steady 20 miles per gallon. So that's $3.00 every 20 miles.

Now, let's just say that running E85, it gets 5 miles per gallon. That's only $1.20 every 20 miles. Less than half the cost of running gasoline! lol.

But, is loss of mileage the only culprit when switching from pump gas to E85?

Nightrain
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  #9  
Old 07-28-2006, 11:19 PM
davidpa28140 davidpa28140 is offline
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Nighttrain, I wish I could be more help here with this E85, You have a point with the cost benefit regardless of the mpg. In your 30 cents a gallon cost, are you figuring all factors? Like heating the products, electricity for pumping(heating?) delivery of the mash if thats what you are using? Getting rid of the by product?

What really turned me away from E85 was the byproduct. I live on a small 1 acre lot with nosy,troublesome neighbors so having heaping piles of stinky byproduct piling up was out of the question.

Like I said before I know very little about E85 so don't let me bring you down on it. As for the 6.9 diesel you should come across another one of those pretty cheap. I had thought about one(still may) to replace my F250hd which has the 351w but I really don't drive it enough to do so(4000mi yr)

Shamefully I bought a vw rabbit pick up to run the biodiesel in, because ford hasn't yet found the US worthy of giving us a diesel ranger or small car. I commute 100 miles to work a day and average near 50 mpg and have been running BD for about 6 months, it cost me about 60 cents a gallon to make, this includes the lye, methanol, electricity, fuel to pick up the oil and recapturing the methanol. Looked at another way, for every ten miles I drive my F250(which I love) I could drive the vw 200 miles. Dollar for dollar.
I have had several 302 engines in pick ups and a mustang, you are doing well to get 20 mpg out of it in a truck. I average about 13-15 with the f250/351 and I was over joyed to get that. If ford ever does bring the turbo diesel ranger to the US I will be standing at the showroom on day one, cash in hand which will be shortly followed by a vw rabbit pickup going to ebay.

One last thing is I can't believe that big brother isn't going to put a stop to this Biodiesel rage eventually, they are missing out on tax $ and the rendering companies that are paid to take the grease don't get happy over me stealing thier bussiness. So maybe E85 will have a future, it alreay does in preimum fuels. Good luck Dave
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Old 07-29-2006, 01:27 AM
Nightrain Nightrain is offline
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Unk and I are looking into buying a still... $.30 a gallon is what we have figured all-together. Of course, these are only figures... At best, I know that it is possible to do for less than $.50 cents a gallon, here where we all live anyway.

I know what you mean there on "big brother", also. I have yet to figure why everyone is, including local government agencies, still supporting it. Like for-instance, that still that we're looking at... You have to fill out two pages of paperwork for a FREE government permit to run your "fuel-making" still. There is no cost in it whatsoever!

I always wondered on something back when I was making small batches of biodiesel... I often thought of a way to make cottonseed oil work... It's VERY cheap, and VERY abundant in my area. Old grease is no problem to get ahold of, but if you had some clean, pure oil to begin with, it would be 90% easier to make.

BTW, I'm with you on Ford and a small diesel car or Ranger. But, I have to say, I believe there is one coming... That new V6 "Powerstroke" that they're putting in that new commercial truck, (I think it's a 3.6L, but anyway...), that will probably be the diesel that they put in the Explorer, Expedition, Ranger, etc. in the VERY near future... And there I'll be, standing right next to you in front of one!

... I still think I'll keep my F-150, though.

Nightrain
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Last edited by Nightrain; 07-29-2006 at 01:30 AM.
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Old 08-01-2006, 10:26 AM
AndysFords AndysFords is offline
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go to ethanolstill.com, they will sell you a still or give you the instructions to build your own. Thats what I am doing, building my own. Also you have to have a permit to make ethanol, but the permit application is on ethanolstill.com.
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Old 08-05-2006, 09:51 AM
Nightrain Nightrain is offline
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Ethanolstill.com is where we're looking at our still.

There's a represenative from that company that lives only about 10 miles away, and he has the stills in stock and running!

He did a radio broadcast the other day, and that's when we got interested in it. We drove over to his place and stayed there a whole half-day watching those stills run... Simply amazing!

I only know that my grandad would've LOVED to have had one of those hid away in the hills back in the day...

lol.

Nightrain
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Old 08-05-2006, 09:51 AM
 
 
 
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