Thread: E85 as an Octane Booster

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  1. #1
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    Default E85 as an Octane Booster

    Now, I know that E85 has had a bad rep and until recently I dogged the fuel as an MPG loser and an inefficient garbage fuel that I would never touch. But I have been doing some reading, and the consensus is that E85 eats up rubber seals, corrodes fuel lines, and gives poorer fuel economy because it's 85% ethanol, but it has an octane rating from 100 to 113. Has anyone here ever tried it in moderation for boosted or nitrous applications? On other car forums, some people use it for turbo charged applications. If some people are willing to poor a couple gallons of pure Toluene or Xylene into their tank, could two or three gallons of E85 safely increase the octane to 95 -97 without damaging the seals? I remember there being an ACR converted to use pure E85, but has anyone used it in mixed form, say 3 gallons in a full tank? I would like to use it to safely bump up my nitrous shot to 200 without pulling timing, or as a way to avoid meth injection if I supercharge later. It's cheaper than 93 unleaded, race fuel, or toluene, and a bump in octane would be sweet.

    Wiki says this: "Because of the lower heating value E85 has a cooler intake charge—which, coupled with its high stability level from its high octane rating—has also been used as a "power adder" in turbocharged performance vehicles. These modifications have not only resulted in lower GHG emissions, but also resulted in 10-12% power and torque increase at the wheels."

  2. #2
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    Default Re: E85 as an Octane Booster

    I would stick with the off the shelf products like NOS, I do not think you will get favorable results trying to mix the E85.
    Mark Jorgensen
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: E85 as an Octane Booster

    i would think you will need an flex fuel type of sensor if you are planning to mix it and a fuel system that can support E85. i wouldnt mix it though. just stick with 100% e85 or normal unleaded with an octane booster.

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    Default Re: E85 as an Octane Booster

    Quote Originally Posted by mjorgensen Woodhouse View Post
    I would stick with the off the shelf products like NOS, I do not think you will get favorable results trying to mix the E85.
    Off the shelf octane boosters are garbage and don't boost octane significantly at all. NOS products only increase octane by a few tenths, 1 octane point for them is .01 in the real world. Torco is the only one that works, but it leaves a reddish coating on everything. Only Toluene (114 octane), Xylene (116 octane), and race fuels (100- 120) add real octane numbers, but you need about a gallon to add a full octane point to your fuel. At $20 a gallon, Xylene would only bump you from 93 to 94.5 roughly. Four gallons of race fuel would be the most cost effective to get to 97 octane, but I'm afraid that the leaded stuff will clog my racing cats and foul my O2 sensors. At $3.35 a gallon, E85 seams like an excellent octane booster. Mixing the stuff with regular fuel is not the issue, most cars can't use the stuff straight up without a conversion because the octane is insane and would cause that four banger to get spark misfire or blowout. I ran a mix of 4 gallons of E85 on my wife's Continental, which is not flex fuel, and it ran fine. What I'm concerned about is the corrosive properties.
    Last edited by klamathpro; 04-26-2012 at 01:10 PM.

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    Default Re: E85 as an Octane Booster

    Quote Originally Posted by LS6 Molester View Post
    i would think you will need an flex fuel type of sensor if you are planning to mix it and a fuel system that can support E85. i wouldnt mix it though. just stick with 100% e85 or normal unleaded with an octane booster.
    Did you end up selling that TT beast of yours?

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    Default Re: E85 as an Octane Booster

    it aint goin to hurt mixing that stuff so little, a few gallons wont hurt in my opinion.....

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    Default Re: E85 as an Octane Booster

    AAA estimated the nationwide average price of regular at $3.826 this morning; diesel at $4.10; E85 at $3.294. E85 would have to retail at $2.87 to equal regular on a BTU basis.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: E85 as an Octane Booster

    E85 is a wonderful fuel for boosted applications. Keep in mind though that mixing in E85 is going to lean out your fuel mixture. Your 02 sensors will compensate for that up to a certain point during normal driving. However, at WOT, you're stuck with fixed fueling unless you're able to reprogram your calibration. I ran it in my '99 Roe blown GTS. I was able to drop the meth injection and picked up 50 rwhp just by switching to E85.

    Do an internet search on Torco Accelerator. That reddish brown residue doesn't hurt anything.

    Regarding the rubber seal degradation issue....there is already 10% ethanol in regular gas. Modern fuel systems are able to handle it. I ran E85 in my '99 GTS and also in my '92 daily driver with no issues whatsoever. BTW, my daily driver is a 4 banger and never misfires or has a "blowout". Lots of misinformation about E85 out there but never heard that one before.
    Last edited by Viperless; 04-27-2012 at 07:03 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: E85 as an Octane Booster

    I use 104 octane boost, and I get that wonderful 'reddish coating' on my spark plugs. Does that mean it works?

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    Default Re: E85 as an Octane Booster

    how bout just running race fuel?

    I dont get why people are you trying to "cheap out" on your viper?

    E85 will run hotter than standard fuels, and it requires more fuel to get the same result.

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    Default Re: E85 as an Octane Booster

    Quote Originally Posted by MoparBoyy View Post
    how bout just running race fuel?

    I dont get why people are you trying to "cheap out" on your viper?

    E85 will run hotter than standard fuels, and it requires more fuel to get the same result.
    One of the many E85 myths.

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    Default Re: E85 as an Octane Booster

    Quote Originally Posted by Viperless View Post
    One of the many E85 myths.
    So groups like the AMA is fighting against the government getting 15% eithonal in standard fuels because people like myself with air cooled motorcycles because of a myth? wow they must really like wasting money.

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    Default Re: E85 as an Octane Booster

    Quote Originally Posted by Viperless View Post
    One of the many E85 myths.
    That E85 runs hotter is a myth. It actually lowers the charge temps like alcohol. It just runs leaner because it has less BTU per volume.

    Viperless, was your 99 a stock fuel system? Are you saying you ran straight E85? I have a 94' and a 'new' 98 GTS I just got. I have a VEC2 that I could put on either car. My 94' has a 125 shot of nitrous that has been running great. If I were to have Sean Roe send me a card to retune the 94' for pure E85, would the system be able to handle it without a problem, or would seals and fuel lines start to corrode over time?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoparBoyy View Post
    So groups like the AMA is fighting against the government getting 15% eithonal in standard fuels because people like myself with air cooled motorcycles because of a myth? wow they must really like wasting money.
    Yes, a lot of it is based on myths, however, there are many reasons not to force more ethanol, one of them being, older and smaller engines, or bike engines, may have a more precise and delicate fuel system that the added ethanol could damage over time. I get that. I know for a fact that even a Ford Crown Vic from the 90's would probably start to have corrosion in the fuel line because my buddy just replaced all his fuel lines due to corrosion. But I want to know if the Viper system can handle it as a safe octane booster.

    Moparboy, I'm not trying to 'cheap out' on my Viper. Despite the fact that race fuel is over $6 a gallon near me, it contains lead and could clog my high-flow cats and foul my O2s. I ran straight race fuel in my Stealth TT for a year, with no cats, and it left a grey powder coating on everything. The exhaust was always dirty, and I was having spark blowout issues for six months. It wasn't until I did a 50/50 mix that the spark blowout went away. I didn't drive it enough to foul my O2's but with all that soot, it eventually would have because I had to clean the O2's every three months. If I can get the same results from cheaper E85, actually lower my charge temps, increase my nitrous intake and avoid pulling timing, and also avoid grey or reddish soot covering everything, I don't see how this is cheaping out.

    I'm a natural proponent against Corn gas, it takes more BTUs to make a gallon of E85 than actual BTUs you get out of it. It's a sham. When put in flex fuel cars, it decreases the MPGs because the cumputer adds more fuel to compensate for the leaning out. But what I do like are the benefits to forced induction engines. And E85 stations are everywhere near me. I have to drive 15 minutes to the nearest race fuel station.
    Last edited by klamathpro; 04-27-2012 at 10:05 AM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: E85 as an Octane Booster

    You won't have enough injector pulsewidth or fuel flow to run E85 on a stock system even with a VEC controlling open loop. The stock PCM would not be able to keep the fuel trims needed for the additional fuel demand either. I'd love to run nothing but E85, but Florida hasn't odopted it yet save for a few remote stations.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: E85 as an Octane Booster

    run that stuff in a 2 stroke, and possibly blow the top of the piston off it, back in the mid 80,s gas had a bunch of that crap in it, had to go around and find gas that didnt have alot of blended crap in it,or run av gas- run the holy toledo out of it, and you have your self a top end repair happening.. been there......

  16. #16
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    Default Re: E85 as an Octane Booster

    Sunoco station down the street has straight non-ethanol 90 octane gas presumably for use in outboard motors. Current price is about 30-40 cents more than the ethanol blend. Wish they had it in a higher octane rating.

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    Default Re: E85 as an Octane Booster

    Quote Originally Posted by klamathpro View Post

    Viperless, was your 99 a stock fuel system? Are you saying you ran straight E85? I have a 94' and a 'new' 98 GTS I just got. I have a VEC2 that I could put on either car. My 94' has a 125 shot of nitrous that has been running great. If I were to have Sean Roe send me a card to retune the 94' for pure E85, would the system be able to handle it without a problem, or would seals and fuel lines start to corrode over time?
    No, far from stock. The stock fuel system with a boost-a-pump was on the ragged edge at 640rwhp on gas. It needed upgrading. Since I was going to change it anyway, I made it large enough to handle straight E-85 and then tuned the VEC3 accordingly. I had a card for gas and a card for E-85.

    You would have to figure out the fuel flow capacity of your stock fuel system in order to know if it's large enough to run straight E-85. And then you'd need a way to tune it. A VEC2 would get the job done. Assuming your fuel pump could keep up and you could find injectors that flow 40% more than your stock injectors, you'd be very close on the tune. Just a few tweaks here and there and you're set.

    You're on the right track. E-85 is a viable alternative to race fuel for a number of reasons. You nailed it right on the head. It is a "cool" fuel and has an intercooling effect because it absorbs heat in the combustion chamber. One of it's main benefits besides the high octane rating. And one of the reasons it worked so well on my Roe supercharged Viper. Also one of the reasons meth injection systems work. Liquid intercooling.

    One the way to VOI10 in Detroit.



    Last edited by Viperless; 04-28-2012 at 12:31 PM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: E85 as an Octane Booster

    Looks like the risks outweigh the benefits.


    The American Automobile Association is asking the EPA to suspend sales of E15 gasoline because a survey of its members found that 95 percent of them don’t know what it is and could unknowingly damage their cars as a result.
    E15, a mix of 85 percent gasoline and 15 percent ethanol, was recently approved for sale by the EPA as a way to increase the use of renewable fuels, but it comes with a caveat.
    While E10 (a 10 percent ethanol blend) is approved for nearly all gasoline-powered vehicles, by law E15 can be used only by cars and light trucks from the 2001 model year and later, because it could have an adverse affect on the engines and emissions systems of older vehicles. According to the Renewable Fuels Association, 62 percent of the vehicles on the road today are cleared to use it, and regulations require pumps dispensing E15 to be clearly labeled with this information, but AAA thinks more needs to be done.
    In a statement, AAA’s President and CEO, Robert Darbelnet wrote that “the sale and use of E15 should be suspended until additional gas pump labeling and consumer education efforts are implemented to mitigate problems for motorists and their vehicles,” adding that “consumers should carefully read pump labels and know their auto manufacturer’s recommendations to help prevent any problems from E15.”
    According to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, those problems could include engine damage caused by the corrosive ethanol, even in the late model cars that the EPA says are good to go. The organization, which represents 12 major automakers, including Ford, GM and Chrysler, says its own long-term durability tests found that E15 could cause a host of issues for even newer cars, including misfires, increased emissions and costly damage to engine components like valve stems and cylinder heads.
    Its members seem to agree.
    Only flex-fuel vehicles designed to burn fuel blends that contain up to 85 percent ethanol, 2013 model year Fords, 2012 Model year GM cars and Porsches built since 2001 are specifically approved by their manufacturers to use E15. BMW, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen have already said that their warrantees will not cover E15-related damage, while eight others, including Ford and GM, say E15 use may void coverage on unapproved cars. That leaves just 12 percent of the vehicles on the road fully compliant with E15, according to the Alliance.


    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2012/...#ixzz2E6n9Tuhp

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    Default Re: E85 as an Octane Booster

    Quote Originally Posted by klamathpro View Post
    Four gallons of race fuel would be the most cost effective to get to 97 octane, but I'm afraid that the leaded stuff will clog my racing cats and foul my O2 sensors.
    Sunoco makes 100 octane unleaded gas. It is available in 5 gallon cans where I live. Because the cans are sealed, they are supposed to have a shelf life of a couple years iirc. I mix it 50:50 with our crap 91 octane here to get to about 95 octane. It may be worthwhile checking to see if it is available where you live. Unfortunately, at about $10/gallon, it is so expensive that I only use it occassionally and just run a more conservative tune most of the time.

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    Default Re: E85 as an Octane Booster

    Klamathpro sounds like a great idea. I'd just run a seperate fuel cell and pump for the nitrous system. I'm assuming of course that you have a wet system. Call your nitrous kit provider and get some jetting recommendations. I'd start real slow and watch your plugs carefully as your tuning your system. I'm sure some of you remember how unleaded fuel was going to destroy your valves in a week, this thread sounds like history repeating itself.

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    Default Re: E85 as an Octane Booster

    Quote Originally Posted by Tagoo View Post
    Sunoco makes 100 octane unleaded gas. It is available in 5 gallon cans where I live. Because the cans are sealed, they are supposed to have a shelf life of a couple years iirc. I mix it 50:50 with our crap 91 octane here to get to about 95 octane. It may be worthwhile checking to see if it is available where you live. Unfortunately, at about $10/gallon, it is so expensive that I only use it occassionally and just run a more conservative tune most of the time.
    We have 102UL and 110L available at the pump around here. It fluctuates between $7.29 and $7.99/gal. I found Sunoco 110L at a Kwik Trip just across the border in Wisconsin last summer for $5.59/gal!!!

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