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E-85 (Ethanol) in '98 F150 - Custom Programmed DiabloSport Chip
I just completed the installation of DiabloSport Chip that Andy Wicks at [ www.rune85.com ] / [ www.dynotuneusa.com ] programmed for my 'plain jane' '98 F-150 XLT 2x4 5spe Auto w/ 4.2L V-6 SFI engine and its a NEW VEHICLE !
The Speed Limiter has been eliminated in position #2 ( E-85 Ethanol - 105 octane) and in #3 (Unleaded Super Tune [91/92 Octane]. Horsepower, Torque and Emissions tests will be posted as soon as I can complete them (next week).
Andy is the FIRST aftermarket chip distributor that I contacted by email who would even discuss custom chip programming for my 'plain jane' pickup. I received only 2 other initial replies to my inquiries and noe of those ever returned answers to my subsequent questions. Contact Andy Wicks at either of the above listed links - he's knowledgeable and great prople to deal with.
Yes ! I've used about a 1/4 tank of 100% E-85 (no unleaded gas in the tank) in 3 days including my mechanic's thorough testing of all three switch positions.
I have Dyno runs and Emissions tests of the 'all E-85' operation sked. for next week. I'll post the results as soon as I've finished the tests.
Cold starting on mornings with the Temperatures in the low teens, (without use of my coolant heater), is still an 'anoynance'. Sometimes it takes 2-3 cranks to get the engine to run without stumbling. It alwasy starts and, once its running, it does so without hesitation. Andy is working on a 'fix' for this in the programming.
The Full Flex Gold kit I've had installed for the past 5 monts, (approx. 3,800 miles on 100% E-85), was subject to the same 'anoyance' once the outside air temperature dropped below 30 deg. F in the early mornings.
Basically, I'm building an 11:1 compression 4.0L V6 specifically for E85.
Last fall, I did temporarily convert my Explorer over to E85. I used larger fuel injectors to inject the extra fuel. I did notice the cold start problems you describe. It took 2-3 cranks to get it going when it was below about 45F outside and the engine was cold.
I would guess he's going to add a bit more cold start enrichment to your chip program.
Did you notice any changes in the way the engine runs, aside from starting? Does it "feel" more powerful?
We're still experiencing some morning in the mid to high 20's and it takes 2-3 cranks with the DiabloSport chip in place to get enough E-85 into the cylinders so that the engine will run without stumbling.
Once it is running it goes like a raped ape. A mechanic friend took it out for a spin after he redid my front brakes and he was all smiles when he related his trip. He said he wouldn't have believed that the little 4.2L V-6 would do what he was able to get it to do.
I LOVE E-85 and on one 95 mile run holding the speed to 70 mph for the entire distance I got 17.8 mpg ON E-85 !
That's right - 17.8 mpg on E-85 ! ! ! and that was decending from 7,800' msl to 5,000' and climbing back up to 7,000'.
On the other end of the trip driving at 78 mph, I got 15.3 mpg.
The Emissions tests at the City of ABQ main testing facility yielded the following at 2510 RPM (= about 72 mph):
HC (ppm) = 16 (100 ppm is max allowable)
CO (%) = 0.00 (1 % is max)
CO2 (%) = 15.20 (16.0 is Optimum -14.5 is ideal)
O2 (%) = 0.30 (lowest possible is optimum)
the two Dyno runs yielded 164.19 HP compared to the OEM base line of 156.62 HP on 86 octane (Before conversion).
As soon as I burn out my full tank of E-85 I'll fill it with 92 octane Unleaded and get two more Dyno Runs in the 3rd. switch position on supreme unleaded and I'll runit thru the Emissions facility again for a comparison.
After that, I'll repeat using 86 octane with the chip turned off after I've burned up the 92 Octane.
All this may take a while 'cause ITS RIDIN' WEATHER so I'm back and forth to work on my Vulcan1500 or BMW K1200 LT. Being 'stuck' in a Cage for over 4 months without a throttle in my right hand caused severe withdrawal sysmptoms.
I'll keep you posted.
Remember, I'm VERY interested in your engine rebuilding project because my next goal for the 4.2L V-6 in my '98 F-150 is to jack up the compression enough to run it on 100% Ethanol. That way I can can buy my fuel straight from the Ethano plant of from a home still.
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