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Old July 10th, 2008, 12:03 PM   #1
Justin@VMP
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Default E85 testing on NA 08 Mustang GT 4.6L 3V

I have been wanting to play with E85 for a couple of years now. Cental Florida has been slow to get it, it has not been available until just recently. I found out on Friday it can be purchased from the Turkey Lake Service plaza on the turnpike (3.49 gal on 7/4/08). Until now, it was only available in Tallahassee, recently Miami, and at a biofuels distributor in Lake City. On my way back from Texas last month I picked up a barrel from the bio fuels distributor in Lake City (N. Florida) for testing, these guys mix their own E85 so it is very consistent fuel. Most E85 pumps claim up to 70% ethanol, so you *should* be getting E85 in the summer and E70 in the winter, which is enough of a difference to require a tune change.

E85 is cheaper by the gallon, but due to the 20-40% fuel economy loss, it's not usually any cheaper overall. There are some things I can do to help with the fuel economy loss by applying my fuel economy tuning, but it only offsets the loss by 5-10% at most. The fuel economy loss is due to the much lower energy content of ethanol, it also means you need much more fuel by volume. E85 really taxes the fuel system, the stoich point of normal gasoline is 14.64, E85 is about 9.85, 14.64/9.85=1.48, so you need roughly 50% more fuel mass to run E85.

A discussion on fuel demands and supplies...

The stock 05+ Mustang GT and V6 Fuel pump is capable of delivering about 4lb/min of fuel. The stock 05+ pump is the "Focus pump" that we install in the older 99-04 cars as an upgrade, it flows similar to the Ford GT pump and Aviator pumps.

A stock Mustang 05+ GT uses about 2.5lb/min of fuel peak, while a V6 uses about 1.7lb/min peak. The older 99-04 cars use just a little bit less than that.

2.5 lb/min fuel requirement on gasoline X 50% increased fuel demand for E85 = 3.75lb/min, which is how much fuel an 05+ GT should need to run E85, and my testing on Mike's car found that to be completely correct, which is still within the capacity of our stock pump.

The stock 05+ GT 24lb injectors aren't as well off as the stock pump, at the standard 40psi of fuel pressure they can only supply enough E85 up to about 5000RPM. If we do the math, they can only supply about 3.2 lb/min of fuel at 40psi. The workaround is to raise fuel pressure up to 50-60psi to get more flow out of them. The factory tune actually has all the parameters already set up to do this, so you don't actually need to change anything to get more out of them to run E85. Raising fuel pressure makes the pump work harder, but duty cycle still sits around 90-95% on E85.

The real value to us in E85 is the high octane rating, about 105. It is a very cheap race gas for boosted cars, assuming your fuel system is up to it. And based on our testing below, it seems to add power even in NA applications (more on that later).

Recently we put one of my local customers cars on the dyno to test E85 in it. He has an 08 Mustang GT Manual with a C&L Racer intake, CMCV deletes, stock cats, and magnapack mufflers. I made some baseline pulls on his 93 tune with around 12.7 A/F (.87 lambda), this car is able to run 30-31* of timing at WOT with no major knock sensor activity.

We then drained the tank and put in 8 gallons of E85.

I got the tune set up for E85 and dialed it in to run the same lambda that I was running on 93. I've found that a lambda of .86 to .89 (12.6 to 13.0 in gasoline terms) works best on these 3V motor. Going to .92 lambda on E85 (about 13.5 in gasoline terms) caused a power loss.

On E85 the car did not run significantly more timing, there may have been slightly less knock sensor retard, by 1/2 degree or so.

Now onto the results, the car gained 9RWHP and 9RWTQ on E85. This is totally suprises me, but is consistent with another 05+ GT owners results found here. The additional power could be from the oxygen locked up in the fuel, which is realeased during combustion or from the cooling effect of the greater fuel volume and the alcohol. On boosted cars, the gains will be even greater because of the additional timing that can be run on E85, due to the additional octane.



The alcohol in E85 is corrosive. The fuel systems in modern vehicles is designed to deal with a small amount of alcohol, 10%, which is now being found at many pumps in the form of E10 gasoline.

For short term use, E85 should not cause problems with fuel systems in newer non-FFV vehicles.

Mike left with half a tank so we can see how much gas mileage changes without doing any special fuel economy tuning.

I also plan to test E85 in a V6 and a GT500. I don't know if all naturally aspirated vehicles will gain power on E85 with no timing change, like the 4.6L 3Vs, further testing will be required.
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2007 Shelby GT500 Ford Racing TVS Blower, VMP 2.6" Pulley, IW 10% OD lower, TB, 697RWHP/702RWTQ
2006 F250 6.0 14.3@93
2000 Mustang 3.8 A4 TT 450RWHP@17psi & 10.9@127.8 1.74 60ft@17psi stock motor
2006 Mustang 4.0 M5 Vortech 15psi 395RWHP 12.5@110 wife's car
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Old July 14th, 2008, 12:47 PM   #2
jonballi
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I have Justin's E85 Tune in my 2007 Mustang GT. I picked up 10rwhp and 18rwtq on this switch alone. My car is bone stock other than a JLT2 intake. With the E85 tune on a Dynojet I put down 301rwhp and 317.8wrtq.

For anyone who is thinking of this modification...I highly recommend it. Justin is a awesome tuner. Well worth the 59 bucks for the power increase!
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Old July 24th, 2008, 12:37 PM   #3
CorralOne
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I've been toying with this idea lately.We just got a few stations selling e85 in our city.

I have 06 GT with a Saleen s/c running 10 psi.It has 39 psi injectors and I'm about to install the GT500 fuel pumps.Are these pumps and injectors enough to run e85?

Last edited by CorralOne : July 24th, 2008 at 12:38 PM.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 02:19 PM   #4
jonballi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CorralOne
I've been toying with this idea lately.We just got a few stations selling e85 in our city.

I have 06 GT with a Saleen s/c running 10 psi.It has 39 psi injectors and I'm about to install the GT500 fuel pumps.Are these pumps and injectors enough to run e85?

If not...I'll buy your injectors
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Old July 24th, 2008, 09:29 PM   #5
Justin@VMP
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The pumps will do, you'll need 60s for injectors though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CorralOne
I've been toying with this idea lately.We just got a few stations selling e85 in our city.

I have 06 GT with a Saleen s/c running 10 psi.It has 39 psi injectors and I'm about to install the GT500 fuel pumps.Are these pumps and injectors enough to run e85?
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Justin Starkey - VMP Tuning - Ford & GM Tuning
Mobile DynoJet 224xLC Load Control
Justin@VMPTuning.com 321-206-9369

2007 Shelby GT500 Ford Racing TVS Blower, VMP 2.6" Pulley, IW 10% OD lower, TB, 697RWHP/702RWTQ
2006 F250 6.0 14.3@93
2000 Mustang 3.8 A4 TT 450RWHP@17psi & 10.9@127.8 1.74 60ft@17psi stock motor
2006 Mustang 4.0 M5 Vortech 15psi 395RWHP 12.5@110 wife's car
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Old July 25th, 2008, 07:00 AM   #6
jonballi
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The torque increase is so worth it. The car actually has some bottem end to it.

I just filled up yesterday and paid 3.11 a gallon. I'm installing my CMCV delete plates tomorrow and loading Justin's new tune.

I'm waiting to see how Justin's Shelby handles ethanol.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 09:57 AM   #7
CorralOne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonballi
If not...I'll buy your injectors

I'll be happy to sell them to you if I go this route.

I could use Justins honest opinion.

Would it be better if I stick with my current set up of useing Arizonas crappy 91 fuel and methenol injection or e85? or e85 and methenol or e85 and striaight water injection. The heat gets intense out here in the summer I still may need a way to cool the intake charge.
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Old August 28th, 2008, 12:43 PM   #8
Justin@VMP
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I wanted to post some MPG results that mike gave me. With the normal performance tune on 93 pump gas he gets 20mpg. With E85 he saw that drop to 16.5mpg. This is mixed city/hwy driving. That is a loss of 18%, not bad considering I did not make any of the economy tuning changes to help get mpg back up, with those changes, we might come close to breaking even on price depending on your local E85 cost, in some places its barely cheaper than gasoline, in other places it is much cheaper.
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Justin Starkey - VMP Tuning - Ford & GM Tuning
Mobile DynoJet 224xLC Load Control
Justin@VMPTuning.com 321-206-9369

2007 Shelby GT500 Ford Racing TVS Blower, VMP 2.6" Pulley, IW 10% OD lower, TB, 697RWHP/702RWTQ
2006 F250 6.0 14.3@93
2000 Mustang 3.8 A4 TT 450RWHP@17psi & 10.9@127.8 1.74 60ft@17psi stock motor
2006 Mustang 4.0 M5 Vortech 15psi 395RWHP 12.5@110 wife's car
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Old August 28th, 2008, 02:23 PM   #9
jonballi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin@VMP
I wanted to post some MPG results that mike gave me. With the normal performance tune on 93 pump gas he gets 20mpg. With E85 he saw that drop to 16.5mpg. This is mixed city/hwy driving. That is a loss of 18%, not bad considering I did not make any of the economy tuning changes to help get mpg back up, with those changes, we might come close to breaking even on price depending on your local E85 cost, in some places its barely cheaper than gasoline, in other places it is much cheaper.

I have a long term update on my E85 MPG. In Dallas traffic I was getting about 22-23MPG on 93 octane. My daily commute is approx 21 miles each way with an average speed of 36mph.

Since the switch to E85 I get approx 19-20MPG on the same commute. Freeway driving at 70MPH yeilds 21MPG on E85. This is down from 25MPG running 93 octane.

Price for E85 is approx $.70 cheaper per gallon than 93 octane in my location.
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Old September 13th, 2008, 05:22 PM   #10
NastyStang113
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Just wanted to give everyone a heads up about the mods that the car had when this testing was done. I was running a C&L Racer with a 88mm maf tube, Magnaflow Magnapacks, Steeda UDPs and "Economy" CMCVs.

Mike

Last edited by NastyStang113 : September 13th, 2008 at 05:23 PM.
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