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  1. #21

    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    North Carolina on Jordan Lake
    Pcw4life, you seem not sure on what you want to do with your ski. On one hand you want to convert to E 85 for economic reasons, second is for more performance , which the gains would be nominal. Some reasons for not converting to E 85 and for you as an engineer you should know this, you’re not racing it, you’re not driving it enough, your engine set up will not benefit from E 85.
    You have asked people for comments on E 85 and it’s just seems like you’re not hearing what you want to hear.
    Last edited by cjk6119; 08-05-2020 at 06:28 AM. Reason: sp

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Grove City, PA
    Quote Originally Posted by pwc4life View Post
    I'm kicking around the idea of switching to E85, but am not sure if it's right for me...
    I’ve been kicking this idea around a lot lately too. I have a decade of experience running E85 in a highly modified Subaru STI track car so I am very familiar with the fuel. My track car has a custom built race motor specifically designed to maximize the gains of E85. I run high RPM (for a car) and 32psi of boost at 10:1 compression all day long with zero detonation. The car generates over 600HP/600TQ reliably and E85 is largely responsible for keeping the entire thing together. In short, without E85 that car would not be able to exist without something like C16 race fuel which I could not afford at well over $10 per gallon. Needless to say, I am a big fan of E85! Unfortunately, I am coming to a big “but”...

    BUT, E85 isn’t easy and it’s certainly not cheap. I could go on for a very long time about what it took to both prep the car for E85 and achieve the gains but I will save that for the Subaru forums. The short version is that keeping the fuel fresh and the car running is a lot of work. You can’t leave E85 sit in the tank when the vehicle won’t be in use for any period of time. You either have to flush the fuel (its a whole process) or start and run the motor regularly. Even then, its important to flush any fuel that will sit for more than a month because the longer it sits, the more water it soaks up and the more corrosive it becomes.

    I’ve been around a lot of track cars of all makes and types that have run E85 for many years and I’ve never seen a corrosion issue with a motor or anything inside a motor. About a thousand people have tried to tell me that E85 will “eat my valves, pistons and walls” and I am tired of arguing so I just say “ill watch out for that”. As far as I am aware, this is simply internet misinformation that originated by people being confused or unaware of the difference between ethanol and methanol. Methanol will absolutely do every one of the nasty things that people say E85 will do to your motor. However, E85 wont. E85 will damage the fuel system by killing your fuel tank, lines, fittings, pumps and injectors.

    I have no issues with inconsistent tuning because I have an entire collection of equipment used to get the E85 from the gas station, analyze its ethanol content and a stock of VP X98 race grade ethanol in 5gal drums to mix up a perfect 83% batch every time. This is also a giant pain in the ass and adds significantly to the cost but the result are pretty much perfect.

    From a financial standpoint, E85 is absolutely NOT economical even though the actual fuel is cheaper than normal 93oct pump gas. Prior to E85, my STI would get about 20mpg and now I average about 12. The drop in fuel economy completely erases any decrease in fuel costs.

    In conclusion, I am so tempted to try E85 in my FZS (with all the needed modifications and tuning) because I already have the equipment to do it well BUT I honestly don’t think it would be worth it. I am of the opinion that you need both high boost and high compression (at the same time) to see the gains that would make it worth the cost and all the extra work and that’s not something I am interested in. If you’re trying to build a very fast ski or if you’re racing and need every last drop of performance it may be a good solution but I would be hard pressed to do this for a recreation machine.

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  4. #23
    The actual fuel system for E85 on a high powered ski is probably one of the biggest headaches.The stock charging system drops voltage at wide open and the stock battery is not designed to support a very large fuel system.If you have a standalone it makes life a whole lot easier because you can go real big in injector size but with a reflash you can only get so big before you drown out the ski at idle and end up needing a ton of pump volume to make up the difference.On a reflash E85 ski running 30psi 1600cc injectors, twin walbro 450 pumps, and an Odessey 925 was the setup.With a standalone ecu upfront costs are much higher but you could probably get away with 2200cc injectors, one 450 pump, and a stock battery.

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