Some NEWB E85 Questions

Discussion in 'Mazdaspeed 3/6 E85/CornFed' started by rang-a-stang, Mar 9, 2021.

Watchers:
8 users.
  1. rang-a-stang

    rang-a-stang Greenie Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2020
    Posts:
    86
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Camarillo, CA
    Ratings:
    +66 / -4
    I found a local station with E85 so I am starting my journey down that rabbit hole. I have read all the posts in this knowledgebase and done a minor Google search but most of my questions are super easy

    1) Do we need to do any hardware changes to our MS3s to run E85 (in any concentration)? Lots of stories out there of "I knewa guy..." or "You might need ta.." but I don't see hardly any "When I did this..."

    2) When mixing, is it important to do it before you dump the fuel in? What I mean is, If I have a 5 gallon can of E85, can I dump that into my tank, then just top off with my local 91/87 octane to get the mix I need?

    3) How many of you daily drive E85? How many of you have done a road trip with an E85 tuned car? Does it suck? Do you just swap tunes back to 91 octane before you go on a long road trip? What changes to your routine do you make with E85 (like do you have a gas can in the trunk all the time to measure stuff? do you have an app on your phone to find gas stations or calucalate mixes?)?

    4) Anyone have 50k+ miles on E85 mixes?

    5) When I pay for my tune (using Freektune again), should I plan to have straight E85 in my tank or a mix? I assume he will tell me?

    6) Any warnings/advice? this is my everyday driver, 140k miles, and I need this dude to last a Looooooong time.
     
  2. _Mazdarati

    _Mazdarati I just want my car back Silver Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2017
    Posts:
    587
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Dearborn, MI
    Ratings:
    +733 / -5
    1) Do we need to do any hardware changes to our MS3s to run E85 (in any concentration)? Lots of stories out there of "I knewa guy..." or "You might need ta.." but I don't see hardly any "When I did this..."
    - it is recommended to replace the O rings with Ethanol safe o rings on the HPFP pump. Rey's Mazda parts on FB sells them or there is a list around the forums somewhere with part numbers for mcmaster carr

    2) When mixing, is it important to do it before you dump the fuel in? What I mean is, If I have a 5 gallon can of E85, can I dump that into my tank, then just top off with my local 91/87 octane to get the mix I need?
    - there is no specific way to mix it. I mix at the pump and put my E85 in and then my 93, and I'm done. So yes, what you said would be absolutely fine.

    3) How many of you daily drive E85? How many of you have done a road trip with an E85 tuned car? Does it suck? Do you just swap tunes back to 91 octane before you go on a long road trip? What changes to your routine do you make with E85 (like do you have a gas can in the trunk all the time to measure stuff? do you have an app on your phone to find gas stations or calucalate mixes?)?
    - I daily drove my Pu on an E33 mix and didn't regret it. Sure you get deceased mpg but it didn't bother me. I didn't mind it considering I have E stations all over my area in Michigan. I tested the E85 monthly at my main station just to keep on top of things. Gasbuddy is an app I use all the time to find E85 stations if I'm in an unfamiliar area. I made plenty of cross state trips on a mix with no problems.

    4) Anyone have 50k+ miles on E85 mixes?
    - I probably put close to that on my Pu while using an E33 mixture.

    5) When I pay for my tune (using Freektune again), should I plan to have straight E85 in my tank or a mix? I assume he will tell me?
    - no tuner really does straight E85 tunes. But usually a tuner will do the normal pump gas tune first and get that finalized before starting the Emix tune, but it may vary from tuner to tuner

    6) Any warnings/advice? this is my everyday driver, 140k miles, and I need this dude to last a Looooooong time.

    -just have fun and make sure you datalog to make sure your car stays healthy and make sure you're getting the best quality of corn you can. E85 definitely helps keep your car healthy and any knock out of your cylinders. All the work is in the tune, so as long as your tuner isn't stupid, you'll be fine.
     
    _Mazdarati, via a mobile device, Mar 9, 2021
    #2
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Enki

    Enki Motorhead Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Posts:
    1,764
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Tucson
    Ratings:
    +2,690 / -3
    No, but you do need to run the proper oil. See here: https://mazdaspeeds.org/index.php?threads/best-engine-oil-all-mod-levels.7931/
    My HPFP has had stock seals forever, and I've run anywhere from straight gas to straight e85. I'm currently running ~e40 and have been for over a year.

    Just put the smaller quantity in first, then the larger (Doesn't matter which is which).

    The only change to behavior I have is I now park between pumps when filling, so I don't have to move the car to fill up. It would be wise to have multiple tunes to make sure you're good to go wherever though. I made a simple HTML page that I had on my phone for a while for calculating mixes and remixes. Could probably find it somewhere if needed.

    Yes.

    Most tuners go for the smallest mix possible to get the power level you're after, but there is merit (IMO) in having full corn in the tank. The engine runs a fair bit smoother on corn. If you don't care about that, then just have Freek tell you what mix to run.

    Proper pump maintenance is a must. You will want to invest in a bottle of Redline Fuel Injector cleaner and use that to "prime" the pump when you do maintenance/cleaning on it (you should clean it when you first start running your mix, because its a good idea).

    The right oil really is the most important thing, surprisingly. Shit like Rotella will muck up your pump pretty quick, but stuff with a Dexos label tends to last a lot longer between cleanings.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Sho

    Sho Greenie Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Posts:
    1,283
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Ratings:
    +2,648 / -0
    Ive run e-mixes pretty much exclusively since May 2014.

    I have never changed any of the seals on my hpfp housing and my autotech internals have more than 250,000 miles on them. I do clean the hpfp internals and spill valve every 3-6 months depending miles driven due to running a e50-e60 mix.


    As far as road trips. I drove from northeast ohio to tail of the dragon twice and it was a pain in the ass being on corn mix tune only. For that reason alone, I have a low boost 93 Octane map that is safe for road trips
     
    Sho, via a mobile device, Mar 9, 2021
    #4
    • Like Like x 3
  5. rang-a-stang

    rang-a-stang Greenie Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2020
    Posts:
    86
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Camarillo, CA
    Ratings:
    +66 / -4
    You guys are awesome! My last oil change I used the Kirkland 5W-30. Just went out and saw it is labeled as Dexos Gen 2 SN Plus. I have been using a bottle of Techron fuel injector cleaner every other oil change since it was new but thats the only real fuel injector/fuel pump cleaning I have ever done.

    I will research the O-Rings and get them upgraded.

    When cleaning the pump, is it just:
    1) remove internals,
    2) clean them and the housing
    3) reinstall
    When you clean your pump, is it a pretty quick job?
     
  6. Enki

    Enki Motorhead Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Posts:
    1,764
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Tucson
    Ratings:
    +2,690 / -3
    Stop using injector cleaner. Like now.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Duey1083

    Duey1083 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2020
    Posts:
    229
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +101 / -0
    @rang-a-stang,

    You've received a lot of good advice here, so I won't be able to add much to the discussion.

    For starters, most benefit and least harm is found in e25-e35 mixes. I think there are mods and other considerations you would need to consider for corn mixes above that (black death for the HPFP, which I think can be cleaned out). I'll let the experienced folk chime in, but I think you just need to clean the spill valve and not the actual autotech internals.

    Couple comments and recommendations:

    1) Your initial fill will be different than all subsequent fuel ups. Initial fill you need to take into account the size of the fuel tank to achieve the desired mix. This is the only fuel up on corn that will completely fill your tank to full.

    2) Prior to switching to e85 tune, I ran my fuel tank down to half, refueled and recorded the volume on a piece of paper. I then ran the tank down to 1/4 and refueled and recorded that volume on a piece of paper so that I roughly knew my total mix volume targets at those remaining volumes on my gauge (don't assume that your gauge is actually accurate).

    3) For all subsequent fill-ups I tried to drive the car until it was just below a 1/4 tank and I would use the total mix volume that I recorded when the tank registered at a 1/4 in step 2. When you fill up, put your e85 into your tank first, and then add the required amount of 91 for that volume mix to target your desired ethanol mix. I use the E85 Blend app for android.

    NOTE: None of your subsequent fill-ups after your initial fill will completely fill your tank. If you make a mistake and accidentally overestimate the volume to fill your tank and you run out of room, it is better to have more ethanol in the tank than less. That is why you put the ethanol in first.

    4) Check to see if your 91 octane fuel has any ethanol in it...many stations have up to e10.

    5) Check with your tuner on range of acceptable ethanol mix for the tune. Mine was good for anything from e25-e40. At the pump I targeted e33 mix assuming e10 in my 91 octane. This means that if there was no ethanol on the 91, I would maintain roughly e28 mix and if there was e5 in the 91, I would be at e30 mix, and e10 I'd be at the e33. That way you don't need to worry about getting an ethanol sensor.

    6) Get an ethanol test kit and test your e85 before putting any in your tank. Don't assume e85 necessarily means 85% ethanol. It can range anywhere from 70% to 90% ethanol. I agree, testing monthly is probably a good rule of thumb.

    7) For road trips, run your car mostly empty (less than 1/4), fill with 91 octane and reload your car with your 91 tune...this is what I did and it worked great. No headaches or stress and you can start filling your car completely to the top.
     
    Duey1083, via a Samsung mobile device, Mar 10, 2021
    #7
    • Like Like x 4
  8. Awafrican

    Awafrican Moderator Silver Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Posts:
    2,921
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +2,224 / -9
    Awafrican, via a mobile device, Mar 10, 2021
    #8
    • Like Like x 1
  9. rang-a-stang

    rang-a-stang Greenie Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2020
    Posts:
    86
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Camarillo, CA
    Ratings:
    +66 / -4
    Awesome! I'm doin' it!
    Last night on my way home from work, I stopped at the local station that has E85 on tap. It was $2.60/gal vs. $4.01 for 91 octane. Ouch. $1.40 a gallon difference? I burn about 2 tanks of gas a month. If the cost stays like that, this will pay itself off in 6 months! (cost of the fuel tune, the O-Rings, etc.).

    two more of my NEWB questions:
    1) other than a possible moderate loss of MPG, is there a downside to running some E85 (say like an E25 mix)?
    2) I assume if I run 91 octane on a tune that was written for say E45, I run the risk of too much boost/timing and catastrophic engine failure. Right? What happens of I run E45 on a tune written for 91 Octane? anything other than lost potential (assuming I have cleaned my dump valve and swapped O-Rings)?
     
  10. Sho

    Sho Greenie Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Posts:
    1,283
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Ratings:
    +2,648 / -0
    1: not really other than occasional maintenance. I strictly run an E85 mix when possible and have done so for 7 years. As long as its available, I dont see why you wouldnt wanna run a corn tune.

    2. Yes. Running straight pump gas on a tune for an Emix will likely lead to some big fail.

    And running an e mix on a pump gas tune will result in the car running lean.
     
    Sho, via a mobile device, Mar 11, 2021
    #10
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Duey1083

    Duey1083 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2020
    Posts:
    229
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +101 / -0
    1) You'll lose maybe 1-3 mpg running the e30 mix and tune. It's pretty safe to be honest...tuning in the range of e25 - e40 likely won't result in the HPFP issues that others speak about.

    I'll have to dig into some of the other comments regarding oil though...I didn't know about those issues. I run Pennzoil Platinum 5w40 in my car...I think it should be okay.

    2) The first scenario would be catastrophic, especially in boost yes...don't ever do that.

    The second scenario would be less bad, but probably not ideal. Sometimes if you're having issues with knock, some members recommend adding a gallon or two of e85 to the tank to see if it's a fuel issue. On a tune designed for 91, e45 may present some issues.
     
    Duey1083, via a Samsung mobile device, Mar 11, 2021
    #11
  12. Enki

    Enki Motorhead Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Posts:
    1,764
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Tucson
    Ratings:
    +2,690 / -3
    Absolutely wrong.
    Worst pump I've ever seen came off of a pump gas only CX7. Was seized up so bad from black death it couldn't be removed and the head flange thingie had to be unbolted from the head and included with the pump.

    Oil is what causes the black death, NOT the ethanol. The corn just accelerates the process.
    I mean, there has to be a good reason why on Rotella for a specific custom scraper test I didn't even make it out of my driveway before the pump failed, yet I can go over a year without touching it on RP Dexos.

    Edit: I can post pictures of the testing I did with a hotplate and corn if you like. It's where I accidentally discovered the actual cause wasn't the corn itself.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Duey1083

    Duey1083 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2020
    Posts:
    229
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +101 / -0
    @Enki, post the pictures...I never mind learning something new.

    I was going off info I remembered from MSF days...everyone had a hard-on for Rotella back then, so it's likely people that ran e85 were running Rotella as well, contributing to the problem and made some cause and effect assumptions strictly on regards to the ethanol.

    @rang-a-stang, had asked a question about what needs to be cleaned on the HPFP to avoid black death. Is it just the spill valve or do the internals need to be cleaned as well?
     
    Duey1083, via a Samsung mobile device, Mar 11, 2021
    #13
  14. Enki

    Enki Motorhead Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Posts:
    1,764
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Tucson
    Ratings:
    +2,690 / -3
    It's spill valve and internals. Use Redline fuel injector cleaner to "prime" the pump when you put it back together and install it (install on car, remove spill valve, fill to bottom thread with Redline, reinstall spill valve fully). That helps abate issues that will still eventually pop up over time even with a Dexos oil.

    For the pics:
    TLDR is a company sent me a sample of a coating that we thought maybe could be applied to the internals that would prevent the issue. Turns out that wasn't the case.


    Before:
    IMG_20120323_162640.jpg

    During:
    IMG_20120323_163240.jpg

    After (no oil):
    IMG_20120323_164452.jpg

    After (with oil):
    IMG_20120323_175930.jpg
    Red circle is the only area that isn't sticky, and the sticky didn't appear until after I added the oil (Rotella), and had the hotplate on high. Also, that much sticky came from a very small amount of oil.

    Bonus pic: Inevitable fire aftermath
    IMG_20120323_175226.jpg
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Duey1083

    Duey1083 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2020
    Posts:
    229
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +101 / -0
    Well that's good to know...goes to check oil bottle for Dexos label...

    Forgive my tiny brain, still trying to figure out the HPFP cleaning process. Do you need to completely disassemble the HPFP and the Autotech Internals? I shudder at the thought of that for how stuck my stock internals were when I upgraded. Pretty sure those could never be installed again after that and certainly don't want the same fate for the Autotechs.

    Or do you disassemble the spill valve, clean that all up and add the redline injector cleaner to clean the internals?

    Sorry for my basic brain.
     
    Duey1083, via a Samsung mobile device, Mar 11, 2021
    #15
  16. Awafrican

    Awafrican Moderator Silver Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Posts:
    2,921
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +2,224 / -9
    Awafrican, via a mobile device, Mar 11, 2021
    #16
  17. Enki

    Enki Motorhead Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Posts:
    1,764
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Tucson
    Ratings:
    +2,690 / -3
    To clean the HPFP:
    1. Remove from car
    2. Remove retaining nut that holds in the internals
    3. Remove spill valve
    4. Clean everything with gasoline or something similar
    5. Lubricate with Redline
    6. Reassemble but don't torque down the spill valve yet, fully reassemble internals
    7. Reinstall on car fully (sans spill valve connector)
    8. Remove spill valve, fill to bottom thread with Redline
    9. Fully reassemble spill valve

    @Awafrican I lube all the parts with Redline, then fill the pump up to the bottom thread with it so it has a nice bath of shit that don't care about corn. That's what I did when I got back up and running again (over a year ago?) and haven't had to touch the pump since.

    Also I would argue that there's nothing to clean on the diaphragm (it just squeezes and moves a bit but has no contact area for which it can get stuck to) and the hose connectors are just that, so no moving parts to worry about.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  18. Awafrican

    Awafrican Moderator Silver Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Posts:
    2,921
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +2,224 / -9
    Oh I gotcha you tighten the spill valve when the pump is torqued down after you've filled the pump up with the redline fuel cleaner

    thanks Enki, the redline has lubrication in it, I gotta remeber that so used to using oil to lubricate but not needed in this case because of the redline fuel cleaner. With that access into the cam lobe being oil typically how's the cleaner interact with oil? Or is this the do the clean then change oil deal?
     
    Awafrican, via a mobile device, Mar 11, 2021
    #18
  19. Enki

    Enki Motorhead Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Posts:
    1,764
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Tucson
    Ratings:
    +2,690 / -3
    There will always be oil ingress into the pump, but there's little egress due to pump design, so oil goes in, but nothing really comes out. I thought about modifying the head/bracket to drain oil a bit but decided that might be a bad idea rather than a good one.

    And yeah, use injector cleaner in the pump, but never in the tank. The injector cleaner doesn't really perform a function in the hpfp other than to displace oil and fuel instead of allowing the combination of the two to mix and get nasty in the pump. You could probably substitute it for something else that does the job just as well, but if it works...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Awafrican

    Awafrican Moderator Silver Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Posts:
    2,921
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +2,224 / -9
    Wonderful thanks for the info enki, I'll be rebuilding my hpfp here when I clean my intake valves in the coming weeks
     
    Awafrican, via a mobile device, Mar 11, 2021
    #20
Loading...

Share This Page

Users Viewing Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 0)