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Boomerweps

E85 regular users?

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Just got back a week ago from UT to PA. Was stuck with using E85 gas due to the huge price difference between real gas and alcohol blends. Fuel filler says E85 is OK so I tried it. Has anybody done comparisons on their mileage between regular and E85 gas? I can't give a decent comparison because all my E85 use was at high altitudes and up and down significant mountains. 

At home, there isn't much E85 around BUT a station 16 miles away had the E85 at $2.189 vs regular 87 at $2.499.  So around a 12% cost savings.

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According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center of the US Energy department:

 "1 gallon of E85 has 73% to 83% of the energy of one gallon of gasoline...."

https://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/fuel_comparison_chart.pdf

So although it costs 12% more, you are getting 17-27% more energy in your E10 - regular gas. More energy per gallon is almost guaranteed to give you better milage. Higher alcohol content is also more corrosive and absorbs more moisture and the potential damaging effects are why vehicles have to be specifically designed to be able to use E85. Even though they may be designed to be safe for E85, my personal opinion is that I think it would still be less wear/damage to use lower alcohol blends.

Edited by DonShockley

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Here's another excerpt from an article on Popular Mechanics:

But here's the simple math for the gas-pumping consumer: The E10 many of us pump (which is 10 percent ethanol) has about 30,500 calories per gallon, while E85 has just 22,900 calories per gallon. And even though E85 contains 25 percent less energy per gallon, it's generally only about 10 percent less expensive. Indeed, owners of flex-fuel vehicles report losing about a quarter of their gas mileage when running on E85, so I think it doesn't make sense to fill up my own car with the stuff at current prices.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/hybrid-electric/a7263/the-one-time-it-makes-clear-sense-to-buy-e85/

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It is all about the BTU's per dollar.   Good Information  Don.

 

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Pricing varies depending on the market.  In my region, when fuel was really expensive a few years ago, E85 was sold for a lot less.  At one point, the vehicles I drove at work were really saving money based upon the price per mile factor.  

 

Met a guy who swapped out whatever parts he needed in a Mustang, so that he could safely run E85.  I guess the kit involves things like fuel injectors, fuel lines, fuel rails, and whatever seals which are susceptible to corrosion.  I hear that it's long term corrosion, so nothing bad will happen to your car immediately, and you won't notice until it's too late.  By then, you would have already traded your car in, and the damage is someone else's problem.  Kits are available from companies like Jegs.  

 

Mustang owner says that he had his car dyno-tuned to make more power with the 105 octane  rating of the E85.  

 

Some people say they notice a little more in the seat of the pants feel with E85.  I know that back when smog certification still required the tail pipe sniffer, the E85 had close to nothing in every category.  Smog tech kept shaking his head, and he thought that something had to be wrong, because he had never seen a high mileage V8 put out next to nothing at the tailpipe.  He told me that I would be in huge trouble when The State catches on to whatever I did to mess with the vehicle.

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The fuel system needs to be protected for the elevated corrosion that high alcohol fuel brings.  The seals and rubber parts need to be changed to alcohol rated products ,  Edelbrock  and Holley  both make performance Carburetors that are calibrated to run E-85 .   The Indy 500 has run methanol , Ethanol  and E-85.  The high octane allows for lots of power to weight and the ability to extinguish fires with water is an added benefit. The fuel mileage and cost are a secondary   concern .

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That's why I asked this here. Always great info.

Think I'll stick with the regular 87 octane.

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If cost is a concern, then you really need to do the math.  What is the actual cost per mile?  If you're saving any money, how much, and how long will it take to recuperate the initial investment into the conversion.   I'm partial to the idea of less pollution.  But it all comes with a cost.  What is the environmental footprint of production and distribution of E85?  Nobody with an electric car ever thinks about the pollution caused by producing all of those batteries, and how their electricity is produced.  If an electric car or hybrid has the equivalent of 12 or more batteries, which eventually all become replaced after XXX years or miles of service, does that balance it out?  Where does electricity come from?  How is it made and delivered to your house?  

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Replying to my own post ;)

I easily found a US government website on fuel economy, fueleconomy.gov.

The Gummint says 15 to 27% loss in mpg on E85 fuel, E10 fuel loses 3-4% mpg, E15 fuel loses 4-5%, all in comparison to 100% gasoline.

 

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MLB    3

ALL the turbo's and high hp guys run E85 with special tunes due to it's higher performance capabilities.  (cooler, less chance of detonation)

No it won't give you equal mpg, yes it will make more power if the car has the tuning to take advantage of it.

 

Edited by MLB

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That is the same thing as the guys that use to run the Amoco (106) or the Sunoco 260 (103)

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