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Old 12-30-2006, 03:31 PM
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Talking Converting an older truck for e85

Apparently e85 is corrosive to our tanks and lines so stainless steel is recommended. Stainless tanks are ridiculously expensive, do the newer trucks have plastic tanks like new cars do? if so could we just convert our trucks to the newer tanks if they are in fact plastic. I've got a great article about converting a Thermoquad carb on a mopar. My duster is being built for e85, and would certainly do so with my truck and my 400. A 12-1 400 should be just the ticket.
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Old 12-30-2006, 05:41 PM
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You're thinking methanol. E85 is a lot more forgiving. I would replace all the rubber lines with new ones though. They sell rubber fuel line at Napa that I used on my truck when I converted it to E85. It's their fuel injection hose. It says "multi-fuel compatibility" on the side of it. Probably the regular stuff would have worked, but why take the chance?

I'd also get a new fuel pump or rebuild your old one.

I had been running E10 for years in the old tank in the '70 F100. After a while it cleaned out some gunk that clogged the fuel filter. I expect the E85 to clean out a bit more gunk. Again, no big deal.
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Old 12-30-2006, 07:34 PM
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rusty where abouts in Iowa, I deliver into iowa everyday. Mostly the quad cities but occasionally as far as Cedar Rapids. Anyways I have heard alot of conflicting reports on what does and does not need to be changed. I do know i have to richen up all the circuits in the carb. Will probably just have a carb doctor do it for me. I figure a small hydraulic stick, a performer intake, headers and 12-1 compression and i should be pulling 18 wheelers
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Old 12-31-2006, 01:20 AM
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E85
http://www.answers.com/topic/e85
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Old 12-31-2006, 12:04 PM
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Cedar Falls, Iowa

I would figure up the dynamic compression ratio of the engine you're building. With 12:1 and a small cam, E85's 105 octane may not even be enough. Here's a good article:
http://www.popularhotrodding.com/tec...on_ratio_tech/

Note the chart at the bottom. Here's a link to the chart:
http://www.popularhotrodding.com/tec.../photo_18.html

Here's a calculator for figuring up compression:
http://www.kb-silvolite.com/calc.php?action=comp

Here's some other good articles:
http://www.kb-silvolite.com/article....n=read&A_id=63

Building an engine for E85 is just like anything else, just build for 105 octane and go from there. If you're not comfortable tuning your carburetor, definately take it to someone that knows what he's doing.
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Old 01-01-2007, 02:27 PM
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E85 ethanol

71 dustyDan, can you provide a link to the thermoquad article ? I have a couple of thermoquads and I would love to expeiriment. My guess, even after reading the articles Rusty linked us too, is that 12 to 1 would be a cake walk with E85. That first link gave some charts about compression, but with the comment about running a cold 'stat to keep detonation at bay, it shows they are obviously thinking about gasoline. The 105 rating for E85 is actually for the winter blend, which is frequently really 70% ethanol, and that means the full strength summer stuff will have an even greater octane rating. One has to remember that aside from octane value, ethanol has a latent heat of vapourization that is three times that of gasoline. If you look around, you might be able to find a picture of an engine on the dyno with ice forming on the intake manifold- that will be the alcohol engine. Gasoline doesn't even dream of such things. The methanol guys run compressions of 15 to 1 or more, and ethanol and methanol are very very close in octane value. I want to build an E85-only engine, but have been hesistating because my cheap and available parts will only give me something like 11.7 to 1. I want a combination that is at least 12.5, I would do 14 to 1 if I could afford the parts to get there. DF
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Old 01-01-2007, 05:00 PM
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The chart couldn't be more clear. To me, all I'd want to run for dynamic compression on 105 octane anything would be about 10:1. This means 11 or 12:1 static.

They determine octane on a test engine, latent heat of vaporization, ice, and all. I'm inclined to believe their ratings. If it was straight ethanol, then yeah, you could run 14:1 all day. But it's not; it has gasoline mixed in, and that really drops the octane.

I did NOT know the 105 was for the winter blend! Makes me feel better though, as I thought my new engine build might be on the edge in the spring.

OBTW, here's a link to my new E85 engine build:
http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/52...e-a-motor.html

Dino, what engine are you looking at? I might be able to help with some research. FE, small block, ?
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Old 01-01-2007, 08:55 PM
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Ethanol engine build

Kurt, I'll use an FE. We have 3 FE powered trucks here, and I have a fair amount of parts sitting around, so that seems the logical choice. The smallest chambered heads that I have for the FE are the D2TE-AAs so I ported a set of them and milled them .040. That, with an H395P flattop and a decked to zero block with .017 shim gaskets I think will give me 11.8 to 1, I want more than that. My heads measured out at 62 ccs in the chamber after milling. But the H395Ps have four valve notches in them, I wish somebody made a nice two notch flattop for the 390, but I don't know of anyone who does, at least not in the price range this engine is going to live in. DinosaurFan, on the old work 'puter
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Old 01-01-2007, 10:01 PM
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Zero deck and steel shims? .017" quench? Sorry, but the pistons will hit the heads! .030" is the absolute minimum, with .035" indicated in most books.

I know there's a way to do this...

Have you thought about increasing displacement? A 428 crank or a Scat stroker deal might be just the thing for more compression.

Ross racing pistons makes some pistons that might help? Maybe too expensive though. Maybe come early C0AE heads with the ~60cc chambers, if you can find them?

I know Dove makes some small chamber heads. I'm sure they're pricey though. Might be worth a look.

Let me think about this for a while. I might come up with something.
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Old 01-02-2007, 12:05 AM
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Balderdash !!

Rusty, who is filling your mind with such nonsense ? I have heard the same minimums recomended for the last 30 yrs or more, but noone can tell me WHY. Pistons hitting the heads ? I don't believe it. Lets look at the math for a minute. Suppose I put those hypers in at a loose .0035, and run a loose .0035 oil clearance on the rods- and the pistons rock at the top of the bore and the oil clearance gets all squeezed out- the rods would have to stretch .010 to let the pistons hit the heads. I just don't see that happening to my steel rods at the 6250 limit this engine will stay under. IIRC, Ford's 390s were built with .017 clearance from '61-64. There is one engine I remember that the pistons DID hit the heads- a customer who did his own assembly built a 302 but used 289 rods. His assembled height was .065 taller than he thought. At 7K the pistons were just kissing the heads. He had used copper shim head gaskets that were .020 thick when compressed. At our suggestion, he tried felpro composition gaskets that were .043 thick and that solved his problems. It lead me to think the minimums we have been taught might not be correct. Because I believe the E85 will do very well with the higher compression, I want to try it. The budget for this engine rules out any diamond or Ross or scat or 428 parts. But if I stumbled across a pair of early small chambered 352HP heads I would certainly use them. I really think we will all learn in the next few years that the minimum quench rules we have been taught are an old wives tale, but I am going to hedge my bet on the issue a little. If the pistons hit@ .017, copper shims are avalable in .020s, and steel shims are out there in .034, and there are always the felpros at .043. So if they hit, and I think that is a big IF, a simple head gasket swap will give me more room but I'll still have tight quench. I wonder if the minimums we have all been taught were thought up with drag racing in mind ? Ford was buzzing the 427 to 8300 or more back in '63, the 390 pickup truck engine I have in mind will never even come close to that kind of useage. DF, on work's old discarded 'puter

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Old 01-02-2007, 12:58 AM
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Ask about clearances required in the FE engine forums. They can give you an idea about head and parts availability. The reason clearance is required is thermal expansion, rod stretch, and combustion deposits.
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Old 01-02-2007, 06:18 PM
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You're absolutely right Eric. We have gone slightly off-topic here!

71dusterdan, I'm sure if you asked in the Cleveland / Modified 351m/400 forum (or whatever it's called) they could help you with the motor build. I'd like to see how you do with this!
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Old 01-02-2007, 07:50 PM
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alright all it is about time some of you guys started chirping on this subject. I'll stick to .40 for my valve to piston clearance thanks ,I'm not made of money and dont want to throw it away on a chance of busted parts. Dino, that thermoquad article was in Mopar Action Magazine Feb 07 www.moparaction.com it should be up there otherwise i will photocopy it and snail it to you cause i'm too dumb to do in the 21 st century. I went and picked up a few TQ's after reading it figuring i'll screw one up,and cause i like them. My pro touring duster project will be an e85 360 with late model magnum heads and 12-1. Just thought it would be a good idea for my F250, and plan on building it sometime this spring with parts from TMI. But definetly e85. I think there is alot of untapped potential there. If those jayholes in Popular HotHotrodding can build those dyno ringers on 91 octane with some of they ridiculous compression they are running, 12-1 with e85 and careful attention to combustion chamber prep and modern coatings. Dino, there is also a guy on ebay that sells a real good paper on rebuilding tq's for about $5.00, just watch for a couple days. I only imagine the torque we can produce with 12-1. I dont know how i will get that much compression out of a 400 but we can certainly figure it out.
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Old 01-03-2007, 04:49 AM
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If you build to run on E85 don't wander far from home. It is not available most places. I suppose you could carry a couple 55 gallon drums around with you that may help.
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:43 AM
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You can find where it's available here:

http://www.e85refueling.com/

My theory with my new motor was to simply do a little research and calling around before making a trip. No big deal. And maybe carry around 10 gallons (well sealed of course) on the longer trips if there's only like 1 station in the area I'm going. Of course, I am in Iowa, so that helps.

Anyway, back to the 400:

If you really want to push things, the open chamber 400 heads might not be the way to do it. Now I'm not the 351M/400 guru, but maybe a set of closed chamber cleveland heads? Maybe Edelbrock's cleveland head?
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:43 AM
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