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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hopefully next month we'll do some test and tune on a 49 Studebaker PU drag truck. It's a 383 with 14.2:1 compression. Will be running it on E85 and I'm thinking about tuning it on race VP E85 and then go to pump E85 once the local station gets it's summer blend.
Question is, is this a good idea? I know I should stick to the race E85 but it's not available close by and if I buy a 55 gallon drum I'll be sleeping on the couch all summer. lol

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Nothing wrong with pump E85 is long as you can get it with a consistent ethanol percentage.

The only advantage to buying VP is the consistency....it won't make any more power.
I have one of those E85 test vials to check it with. It is my understanding that anything less than a E85 reading on the test vial and it will run richer but at what octaine is only a guess.
 

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Race it, Don't rice it!
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VP's C85 is supposed worth some power. It's about $575/barrel. I haven't tried it myself.
X85L is only $393/barrel. I don't do that either.
X85 is about $380/barrel. It's good stuff. Stinks though.

Pump E85, ranges from 50-85 percent per the Department of Energy guidelines. Most around my parts are about E70. Not a problem to jet around that. Summer blends begin roll out in March and on blender pumps, the station can adjust it whenever. Usually when the pumps gets serviced.
 

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Hates: Liver. Loves: Diesel
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Around here, there is one local gas station chain that sells E85, and it is actually E85. Right next to it is one labeled flex fuel which is anywhere from 40%-85% (if I'm remembering the label correctly.)

All of the other stations have gas (may contain up to 15% Ethanol), or E85 which can be any range of concentrations. The trucks show up with three-chambered tanks. One is 87, one is 93, and one is E85/flex. The pumps blend the 87 and 93 to get the mid grade 91, and the E85 tank gets E85 and whatever leftover gasoline is left in the tanker at the end of the day. That's not true of all energy companies' modus operandi, but that's how they usually treat flex fuel. Since it is going in vehicles that can burn anything from 0% to 85% ethanol, the fuel doesn't have to conform to any specific ratio.

I'm building an 11.3:1 LS that will have a flex fuel sensor, but I originally wanted to add a few PSI of boost and run on E85.... but I can't find a reliable source of true E85 yet.

I also agree with johnsongrass... keep it simple. Nothing more frustrating than two tanks that get empty at different times, two pumps, two plumbing systems. I'm a big fan of tuning it and forgetting it. Stuff a fuel hose in the tank when it's empty, DONE.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Around here, there is one local gas station chain that sells E85, and it is actually E85. Right next to it is one labeled flex fuel which is anywhere from 40%-85% (if I'm remembering the label correctly.)

All of the other stations have gas (may contain up to 15% Ethanol), or E85 which can be any range of concentrations. The trucks show up with three-chambered tanks. One is 87, one is 93, and one is E85/flex. The pumps blend the 87 and 93 to get the mid grade 91, and the E85 tank gets E85 and whatever leftover gasoline is left in the tanker at the end of the day. That's not true of all energy companies' modus operandi, but that's how they usually treat flex fuel. Since it is going in vehicles that can burn anything from 0% to 85% ethanol, the fuel doesn't have to conform to any specific ratio.

I'm building an 11.3:1 LS that will have a flex fuel sensor, but I originally wanted to add a few PSI of boost and run on E85.... but I can't find a reliable source of true E85 yet.

I also agree with johnsongrass... keep it simple. Nothing more frustrating than two tanks that get empty at different times, two pumps, two plumbing systems. I'm a big fan of tuning it and forgetting it. Stuff a fuel hose in the tank when it's empty, DONE.
" I'm a big fan of tuning it and forgetting it" that's what I want to do also. Guess I'll get some local E85 and test it with my tester and tune for that and always get E85 from same station after tune. Testing each jug of gas I get afterwards just to be safe.
 

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At first I was like just run the -20 to -40 washer fluid(prestone yellow has a high ethanol per dollar mix). You just have the thing come on at xxx egt temp or when the tune needs it to prevent issues. It is just added security in case you tune for 85 and get 70.

The washer fluid is sold year round at most gas stations so you just throw up the hood while the slow gas pumps(diesel is much faster) are filling your tank.

You can even use a washer fluid bottle that has a low level sensor to let you know to pour in a entire gallon(most will hold a entire gallon) so your not carrying around half a gallon or so.


But then I seen your from Arizona and was like shoot. Maybe they sell it at every gas station maybe they dont. But I imagine it will be a bit harder to find so just tune for e85 and hope that your station is honest. I imagine you can find it or order it to carry a gallon in your trunk or a couple at the house.


I have 3 "dry mills" within a hour of me (and 3 circle tracks). The one I fill at a majority of the time you only have a gas choice of 88(15%), 30%, and 85%. The place is less then 10 miles from the mill and a sister company of the mill. No concerns about ratios.

Knowing where the mill is in relation to your pump allows for less testing. If you throw some fuel into the tester and it checks out low and you dont have a water/meth kit to help your going to change your tune at the gas station right?

Or just flip a switch telling a relay to spray a bit of water/meth when its needed?
 

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Race it, Don't rice it!
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The DOE has some guidelines on E85 are listed on the web site for percentage variances. Alternative Fuels Data Center: E85 (Flex Fuel)
I personally buy a gallon, test it, and if up to my standards I'll fill the barrels and bring it back to the shop. We use it for weekly shows. If on a touring event, just a few times a year now, used to be full time but I'm old and slowing down, I use the VP E85 as it's made the best power on the engine dyno.
I'm sure not all stations and not all pumps are calibrated just right but what is supposed to happen, is 100 percent ethanol is mixed at the pump to get E85. They have a tolerance of about 50%-85% percent. That spec is given depending on geographic location and time of year. Warm climates get E85 almost year round and Colder climates starting in March.
So if everyone followed the guidelines as they are supposed to, You would get something in between E51 and E83 depending on the time of year and the location of the pump.
Now in realty, we know not every pump and every location and batch of fuel will be on the same moving target but what we can do, is test, buy if it meets your standard, add ethanol if needed. Tune to what you set a standard for yourself and enjoy 108 octane for about $3/gallon.
Although I will admit, paying more and buying from VP, Renegade, or Sunoco takes out the extra work, you're paying for the convenience.
Once E98 and E85 pricing gets high enough, the buying in a barrel form begins to look a lot more attractive.

A very noce side effect of E85, is that the lower ethonal percentage make the carb richer, Octane does go down but the stoic is wider so you have some built in tolerance to work with already. Pay attention to what your doing and there not much reason one should burn down a engine.
 

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Hates: Liver. Loves: Diesel
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" I'm a big fan of tuning it and forgetting it" that's what I want to do also. Guess I'll get some local E85 and test it with my tester and tune for that and always get E85 from same station after tune. Testing each jug of gas I get afterwards just to be safe.
Well, part of my point was that it's not the station that determines the actual ethanol content, it's what's left over in the trucks. You might get E52 one day, then E70 next week from the same station. Part of my "tune it and forget it" includes not having to test the fuel, but I admit that I'm more of a street person and less of a race person. If you don't mind hitting a bunch of stations and hoping for a specific ethanol content before a race, have at it. I personally would feel a little bit at the mercy of luck and it wouldn't feel right to me, but if you're finding the fuel and filling barrels for a race weekend it's probably a decent trade-off.
 
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