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Methanol or E85?
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Beck
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PostPosted: Mon, Dec 07 2015, 9:53 am    Post subject: Methanol or E85? Reply with quote

I keep talking about the same motor project. All are related but yet different.

I keep looking at the option of running E85 instead of methanol.

My local gas station has it at the pump. I wouldn't need to make special trips to buy a 5 gal can and then store it. It's cheap. I realize sometimes it is E75 and other times E95. That concerns me.

I don't know the difference in tuning difficulty.

Corrosion is still a problem.

Last weekend methanol fueled guys were having a problem getting enough heat in the motor. Between runs they were covering them with blankets. E85 would help that some. In the summer the problem may be reversed. The E85 may run to hot without coolant.

Suggestions please!
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Mikej
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PostPosted: Mon, Dec 07 2015, 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't you need to drain methanol? Corrodes aluminum?
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Beck
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PostPosted: Mon, Dec 07 2015, 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mikej wrote:
Don't you need to drain methanol? Corrodes aluminum?
Yes ethanol and methanol both have corrosion issues in the fuel system. There are a couple of methods to purge the fuel system. None are fun.
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kb426
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PostPosted: Mon, Dec 07 2015, 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ethanol is 120 octane. Methanol is 160 octane. The benefits of running alky start with higher mechanical compression. Cooling the intake is a plus. You decide if it's worth it or not. Your economics and tolerance for grief will make your decision easier. Smile
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Beck
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PostPosted: Mon, Dec 07 2015, 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went through the local station that sells E85. The pump says 51% minimum ethanol. That could cause a severe tuning issue if you were tuned for 85%.
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58 Yeoman
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PostPosted: Mon, Dec 07 2015, 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beck wrote:
I went through the local station that sells E85. The pump says 51% minimum ethanol. That could cause a severe tuning issue if you were tuned for 85%.


WOW! That's a pretty big spread. I wonder if the 10% ethanol gas is 35%?

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Beck
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PostPosted: Tue, Dec 08 2015, 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="58 Yeoman]
WOW! That's a pretty big spread. I wonder if the 10% ethanol gas is 35%?[/quote]

This same station sells E10, E15, and E25 for flex fuel vehicles. Each of those had the minimum ethanol content as 5% below the designation. So E15 could have as little as 10% ethanol. I don't know what the max would be.
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PostPosted: Wed, Dec 09 2015, 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most drag strips carry either sunoco or VP true e85 (you may have to order it)
Good luck

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chimp koose
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PostPosted: Wed, Dec 09 2015, 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am pretty sure you can have more consistent fuel with proper storage of methanol . If the percentage of E85 is all over the map it would be near impossible to get a consistent tune up in it .
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PostPosted: Thu, Dec 10 2015, 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only reason I can see for the percentages being wrong would be that they are using the same hoses for all products.
I don't think ethanol is nearly as corrosive as methanol.
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chimp koose
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PostPosted: Thu, Dec 10 2015, 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If they were using similar storage methods to gasoline I could see E85 going bad in a short while . Alcohol is hydroscopic , it absorbs moisture from the air and if the storage container is vented to outside air like underground storage tanks are , it would likely absorb moisture making it perform differently .One of the "advantages " of the 10% ethanol blends in colder climates is that it is supposed to be its own gas line anti freeze as it absorbs the moisture in the gas tank .
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kb426
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PostPosted: Thu, Dec 10 2015, 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only have knowledge from the state of Kansas. The retailers do not have to tell you if there is ethanol in the tank, There isn't a close tolerance standard for percentages at the pump. If the other states are the same, you have your answer for the variances at the pump. One of my concerns has always been the separation of the 2 fuels. Gas and alky don't mix well. What is keeping it in suspension in a storage tank????
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Beck
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PostPosted: Fri, Dec 18 2015, 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you guys are missing the real reason for the variations of ethanol percentages. Sometimes gas is cheaper than ethanol for the companies to purchase. Sometimes it is the other way around. The fuel companies are going to blend it to the maximum profit margin.
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chimp koose
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PostPosted: Fri, Dec 18 2015, 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jeez Beck , I never even thought about that but I bet you are right on the money with that call! Seems like around here if a tanker truck rolled outside of town it would take about 2 hours for our stations to call one another to decide how much the price was going to go up . holidays and long weekends seem to drive the price up as much as the world price .Any time you have a large tourist type event in town the price seems to start creeping up a week or so before .
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PostPosted: Fri, Dec 18 2015, 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A fellow I know ran E85 stufff for turbo EFI drag race car. He had problems with moisture content and the mixture octane variations.

He then mixed his own E85 for a short while. Till that became a PITA. I dont recall what or how he mixed fuels to achieve the E85 fuel.

He now runs race gas.

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kb426
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PostPosted: Fri, Dec 18 2015, 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Beck. That's why I would run methanol. I had to have that shipped in 55 gallon drums to me. It was a pita from the beginning to the end. But that was back in the dark ages. Smile
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PostPosted: Fri, Dec 18 2015, 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always thought it would be a neat project to build an engine around E85. Then again I wasn't aware of any issues with consistency of the fuel. Sounds like you'd have to be very conservative with it and not try to run on the ragged edge of compression ratio and such.
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phat46
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PostPosted: Sat, Dec 19 2015, 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unrelated to the original question, but kind of funny. We have only one station locally that sells E-85. It used to be cheaper than regular gas, now it's at $3,25/ gal, regular gas at same station is $1.74. 😀
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chimp koose
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PostPosted: Sun, Dec 20 2015, 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phat 46 I wonder if that's because corn is probably worth more than oil now
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Mikej
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PostPosted: Mon, Dec 21 2015, 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

phat46 wrote:
Unrelated to the original question, but kind of funny. We have only one station locally that sells E-85. It used to be cheaper than regular gas, now it's at $3,25/ gal, regular gas at same station is $1.74. 😀





It was $1.59 here yesterday. Never heard of these problems. Seem like Hot Rod has articles on people running e-85 all the time.
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