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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-02-2006 01:39 PM
Rhansen You can compare the difference in "subsidies" (tax incentives) for yourself here - http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:...s&ct=clnk&cd=1
02-02-2006 07:29 AM
Tech @ BG There are a ton of pro's & con's to using ethanol or E-85, or at least looking into other fuels. One thing to keep in mind with the pricing of E-85 specifically right now is that it is subsidized from the government through the farmers. Not sure how this would or could change as it becomes more of a commonly used fuel.
02-02-2006 07:18 AM
ckucia Another point about Ethanol...

A lot of proponents are saying that ethanol is cost effective now, because it can be made for $1.50/gallon (I've seen figures anywhere from $1.10 to $1.80).

That sounds great compared to gasoline, which in my 'hood is now around $2.11/gal.

What they forget, is that the feds are charging 18.4cents/gallon in taxes (24.4 on diesel), and my state charges 28 cents/gallon for both gasoline and gasohol (29 cents on diesel). Couldn't discover what the feds are taxing ethanol or e85 at.

So, that $2.11 gas actually could have been sold by the station (less taxes) for about $1.65. Ethanol doesn't look so competitive then, especially when you consider a gallon doesn't go as far.

Sure, if you're making it at home, you might be able to justify it, but right now, comparing wholesale gasoline to wholesale ethanol costs, it just doesn't make sense commercially.


This is a little off topic:
I'm not sure what the laws are, but I think if a bunch of gas station owners got together and started posting their gas prices before tax, with some fine print saying "plus tax" on the signs, they'd generate some real consumer awareness about how much taxes are causing the hurt at the pump.

I think most consumers assume one of two things: 1) gas is tax free (those are the dumber ones) or 2) gas is taxed at the same sales tax rate as everything else.

In my state, sales taxes are 5.5%, so gasoline is taxed more than 2x as much as everything else. When you roll in the federal taxes, its a 30% rate at today's pretax gas prices.

In my state (Ohio) we don't charge sales tax on food or medicine because they are necessities. For most of us, gasoline is just as much a necessity (good luck making a living or getting food or medicine without it), yet we're taxed through the wazoo on it.
02-02-2006 06:12 AM
farna coldknock -- bump the compression of that bike up a couple points and you'll get your 4 mpg back most likely.

The "problems" with alcohol as a fuel aren't out of reach technically. The main problem is infrastructure in the US -- it just isn't there. There are few distilleries making fuel grade alcohol. Once large scale production starts costs will start to go down, but there's only so much farm land also. So you get back into another problem. Corn isn't the answer -- sugar beets are. As someone pointed out, the higher the sugar content, the more alcohol is produced, and more importantly, it's easier to produce. Sugar cane is harder to grow than beets.

As gasoline prices rise, alternate fuels become more cost effective. As they become more cost effective, they become more attractive to industry and the consumer. When prices for gasoline reach and maintain close to $5 a gallon in today's economy, alcohol could be cost competitive. Then the infrastructure problem will start to be addressed.

With hydrogen technology coming up, mainly as fuel cells, I can see the day when rodders are running alcohol. I don't think gasoline will go away for a long time, and it's likely that as we wean ourselves off of it for regular transportation that there comes the day when it's harder to find, sort of like kerosene now (kerosene was the first big oil product way before gasoline -- that was a "useless" by product of producing kerosene in the 1800s!). You can find it, at reasonable cost, but you're not gonna find it at every station. And I'll bet that gasoline gets heavily regulated since most alternates burn cleaner. But rodders and industrial users should keep an alcohol and/or gasoline business going for quite some time. I can see the day that only off-road vehicles are allowed to run gasoline though. Not in my lifetime, but I bet the youngest guys here (16-18 years olds) get to see it before they pass on -- assuming they live to be in their 80s!
02-01-2006 12:36 PM
ckucia For anyone who is interested and has access to feedstock (crabapple trees, corn, whatever), you can get a permit to brew your own ethanol at home.

Its labor-intensive, but not too difficult.

There's a bunch of info here (among other places):

http://running_on_alcohol.tripod.com/

Any decent rodder should be able to build a still using the plans on that site (or others) with no problem.


You can find used flexfuel Chevy/GMC trucks/SUVs on ebay quite frequently.
02-01-2006 10:09 AM
roger1 Well, after last night's State of the Union and this article last week, I thought I would reserrect this thread. Things have changed a bunch from last September.

http://money.cnn.com/2006/01/27/news...gedin_fortune/

Maybe this is a doomsday senario. ($262/barrel oil would mean somewhere around $7.50/gallon gasoline.) However, I do believe the confontation with Iran is unavoidable and we are looking at significantly higher gas prices going forward.

I do believe E85 is the future of automobiles in America.

As an automobile enthusiast, I would like to see further development of technology and available products to aid in the conversion of old cars to E85.
09-04-2005 01:22 PM
Triaged
Quote:
Originally Posted by radracer43
... how to you detect a more detrimental lean condition?
Wide Band O2 sensors is where it is all at. For the most part they don't care what hydrocarbon you use (if you are tuning with Lambda).

I have a DIY-2A0 from www.wbo2.com. They just released one with 1MB of logging memory that I might upgrade to.

The other way might be with exhaust gas temp (EGT) which my WBO2 controler can also measure...but that is also timing (among others) dependent
09-04-2005 01:12 PM
radracer43
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulo
Hey Radracer43. You are evidently eager to burn ethanol without the high cost of a new carburetor.I am sure your 377 is a high CR engine.Do this then.Get a simple 2 barrel carby.Could be a Holley or a Motorcraft 2100.
Replace the main jets for units about 30% larger in area.Do the same to the power valve tiny holes.On a Holley they are on the metering plate.Open up also a bit more on the accelerator nozzles.Readjust your idle screws about one and a half turns more.Advance the spark some 4 degrees.Once you practice on simple carbs,do your definite ,plating it in Nickel.

That is a crude way of converting to ethanol.Was very popular here in Brasil at the beginning of our "Proalcohol" government funded revolution to avoid petroleum in the late 70s.Our automobile industry got to a point back then that almost 90% of the new cars sold were alcohol fed.None were computerized.

Do not rely much on spark plug reading.Alcohol does not colour them much.
Keep checking the oil stick.If it changes towards a beige colour you are way too rich.Change the oil and filter and lean out.Go play!

I'm actually using about 10.3:1 compression, with the iron heads, I suppose it's a little on the high side. My only problem with trying to use a trial and error system with carbs is the inherrent cost of just trashing a few carbs to get the system right. So, I'm thinking about using something maybe similar to the sprint car crowd's hillborn, enderal, flying toilet, whtatever setups. The carb would also be more problematic since any holes drilled won't be the same for both sides of the carb, also, once it's plated, that in itself will add material, so you'd have to know how much overbore do do each hole.

So, if you can see a rich condition in the oil, how to you detect a more detrimental lean condition?
09-03-2005 09:32 PM
Triaged
Quote:
Originally Posted by coldknock
The last two posts contained references to the two largest problems, in my opinion, facing ethanol production and distribution on a national scale.

Government control and the E.P.A.

P.S.,

Minnesota has 167 E85 stations and they are all selling very well. Cold starting must not be a very big problem anymore.
I'm with you on that. Just about every alternative fuel available comes almost 100% from the US. It would be nice to thumb our noses at OPEC

The problem has been that alternative fuels are either:
A) Not in abundant enough supply for the entire US to use (like Propane)
B) Previously cost more than crude.

The government could stepped in to help "B".

One good thing Bush has done is to force the use of ethanol (used to oxygenate fuels in high smog areas). I guess that means that CA and NY fuel is E2 (2% ethanol). This is also the reason that the CA gas costs more.

From searching on alt. fuel web sites there is 1 E85 station in all of CA
09-03-2005 07:25 PM
paulo Hey Radracer43. You are evidently eager to burn ethanol without the high cost of a new carburetor.I am sure your 377 is a high CR engine.Do this then.Get a simple 2 barrel carby.Could be a Holley or a Motorcraft 2100.
Replace the main jets for units about 30% larger in area.Do the same to the power valve tiny holes.On a Holley they are on the metering plate.Open up also a bit more on the accelerator nozzles.Readjust your idle screws about one and a half turns more.Advance the spark some 4 degrees.Once you practice on simple carbs,do your definite ,plating it in Nickel.

That is a crude way of converting to ethanol.Was very popular here in Brasil at the beginning of our "Proalcohol" government funded revolution to avoid petroleum in the late 70s.Our automobile industry got to a point back then that almost 90% of the new cars sold were alcohol fed.None were computerized.

Do not rely much on spark plug reading.Alcohol does not colour them much.
Keep checking the oil stick.If it changes towards a beige colour you are way too rich.Change the oil and filter and lean out.Go play!
09-03-2005 06:55 PM
coldknock The last two posts contained references to the two largest problems, in my opinion, facing ethanol production and distribution on a national scale.

Government control and the E.P.A.

I finally got my GSXR (Frankenbike) on a dyno and discovered that the "lean" mixture that I thought I had was actually too rich. I'm not running it on E85 but pure methanol. Now my mileage has increased and I'm within 4mpg of it's original rating. So don't tell me that an alcohol engine can't be as efficient as a gas engine, well almost as efficient, I own one. I know I'm still 4mpg short but it's a 15yr old junkyard bike and I'm not an engineer. I'd like to think that if I can make it happen in my living room floor with a little help from a couple of friends that the oem's can do it as well.

Larry

P.S.,

Minnesota has 167 E85 stations and they are all selling very well. Cold starting must not be a very big problem anymore.
09-03-2005 05:02 PM
Triaged
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnoftsger
I have personally scoured the internet and haven't found any conversion kits for older cars. Some web site actually claim it is against EPA regulations to convert a car to run E85, but i haven't found that regulation personally.
Search for Memo 1A from the EPA. It has been updated (in 97 I think) to include restrictions on alt. fuel conversions.
09-03-2005 12:31 PM
radracer43 I don't see where running something that produces virtually no hydrocarbons will violate EPA regulations, I could see where the government wouldn't like it since they don't have much control over it at this point.
09-02-2005 08:24 AM
tnoftsger Outside of the political ramifications, you existing carb will not take to E85, ethyl alcohol, well at all...In fact the alcohol will eat it up. Anodizing the aluminum will prevent that i'm told. Magnesium also will be consumed by the alcohol. Fuel injected that are E85 compatible, don't use any aluminum and there for it isn't a problem. Stainless Steel is highly recommended although Teflon coated steel will suffice for fuel lines.

Alcohol doesn't vaporized/atomize as well as gas so cold starts are an issue, again fuel injectors go along way to help here. The carb would have to be jetted up somewhere between 10-30% depending on a whole host of variables. I don't believe brass has any issue with alcohol, so jetting isn't much of a problem. Anodizing the aluminum actually adds several mils to the aluminum and therefore could change small orifice sizes in a carb, depending on the carb of course.

I have personally scoured the internet and haven't found any conversion kits for older cars. Some web site actually claim it is against EPA regulations to convert a car to run E85, but i haven't found that regulation personally.
09-01-2005 11:57 PM
xntrik
Quote:
Originally Posted by cornfieldcars
My chevy truck is a flex fuel vehicle and I haven't seen any problems with it

What it boils down to, at least to me, is I'd rather our American farmers make money from their corn than the Arabs for their oil.

Barry
I guess Americans usually miss the point that

1) the USA only gets 9 (nine) percent of our oil from the middle east. period.

2) we didn't get any oil from Iraq
3) we don't get any oil from Iran
4) Communist China is # 2 in consumption and is buying all the oil they want and that is running the price up
5) Commie China is paying for it with American money.

6) significant authoritative sources insist that the overall oil consumption necessary to produce ethanol exceeds what ethanol saves

check it out and see that this is correct.
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