Flex Fuel (E85) vehicles...

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Mr Tony

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Anybody out there have one of those Flex Fuel vehicles? These are the ones that can run on E85 gas (85% ethanol/15% gas)

I have a 03 Ranger that can take the E85 but I’ve been hesitant about using that kind of gas. I have only put in unleaded. I’ve heard bad things like the sensor goes out if you switch between it too much or your engine doesn’t last as long. With gas as high as it is, I thought about using the E85 stuff.

Anybody using this? How is the gas milage? (I put on about 350 miles a week driving to work and back)
 
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korsjs

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i saw the episode of trucks that could use cooking oil to make diesel gas, but the kit was over 2000. how do you find out if your car can take the e85? i have a 98 explorer. i do not put as many miles as you do, only about 20 a day, but i would like to save if i can.
 
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Mr Tony

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Its got the leaf logo on the back of the truck and also would say when you open the gas door

I think these started in 2000
 
jbcheshire

jbcheshire

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Berg,
Do you have gas stations in your area that sells the e85 gas? I saw some news reports lately saying that they are very few since there are not many cars on the road that can use that fuel... I only know of 2 or 3 in the St Louis area.
 
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Mr Tony

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yep. Holiday gas about 2 miles from my house sells it. There is actually a fair amount in MN that sell it
 
drhydro

drhydro

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korsjs said:
i saw the episode of trucks that could use cooking oil to make diesel gas, but the kit was over 2000. how do you find out if your car can take the e85? i have a 98 explorer. i do not put as many miles as you do, only about 20 a day, but i would like to save if i can.

If you have a diesel vehicle, preferably an older one with less electronics, the conversion from diesel to veggie oil is not expensive at all. I have a friend who is a mechanic/ fabricator that has done several of these conversions on older mercedes and vw diesels. His latest conversion was a VW Turbo Direct Injection (90 hp/ 149 foot pounds torque) engine into a 73 Bug that is running dual deisel/ veggie oil ;-) It smells like french fries going down the road, gets around 38 mpg, and is a blast to drive :)

I am currently looking for a vw TDI motor / electronics to put into my '84 audi 4000 quatto to convert it to veggie, i already have a source for all the oil i need.

All you need to convert these older diesel vehicles are a few parts and a bit of labor.

The parts include:
1)veggie fuel tank - i have seen old fountain soda cannisters used for this.
2)combined heater/fuel pump for the veggie oil, approx $275.
3) a line inside a line with the inside being a veggie fuel line and the outside carrying heated coolant back to a heat exchanger (coil of copper tube) in the veggie fuel tank. This arrangement heats the veggie oil in the tank and in the fuel line, essential at lower outside temps.
4) Veggie fuel filter
5) a selenoid/ valve assembly to switch from veggie to diesel approx $100.
6) a switch to activate the veggie/diesel selenoid/ valve combo.
7) assorted bits of hi temp pvc plumbing

The hardest part of the conversion is running the dual line and locating/mounting the second tank. The rest is fairly simple. The vehicle is started on deisel and then switched over to veggie oil after the oil is warmed up. What really amazes me is how well these vehicles run, you cant tell a difference in between running on veggie and running on diesel.
 
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philhu

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e85 gas and car sales is huge in the Chicago area.

I saw it all over the place last month and it was selling for 50-75 cents a gallon cheaper.
 
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Mr Tony

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I wish...here in MN its only about a quarter less
 
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jlohrenz

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Aug 24, 2005
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There are no problems in using or switching between fuels. The only suggestion is that you wait until almost empty to switch between types.
Fuel economy and engine wear are the same with either type of fuel.

There is a lot of misinformation out there about E85. It is a cheaper and safer alternative.
 
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Mr Tony

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do you use E85?

I wouldnt mind using it but the last thing I want to do is have my engine screw up :)
 
Neutron

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If your vehicle is designed for it then it shouldn't hurt your vehicle. If it does you can always go back at the manufacturer for that.

From what I heard E85 will work fine, but MPG is a little less than conventional gasoline.
 
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jlohrenz

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The MPG is the same. That is one of the biggest misnomers out there. Yes I used to have a E85 car I drove around in for the Minnesota Corn Growers association.
 
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Mr Tony

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If its the same then why does EVERYTHING I see (including E85 sites) say its less mpg?
 
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Mr Tony

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really didnt say much other than its cheaper, which I already knew :)
 
gpflepsen

gpflepsen

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Explain to me how a blended fuel of gasoline and ethanol can achieve an equal or better MPG than 100% gasoline?

Ethanol has about 2/3 the energy content of gasoline.
 
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Mr Tony

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Thats what I'm saying gerry

if all you do is city driving, then maybe E85 would be beneficial. but I drive 30 miles one way to work (highway miles) and there is a 5 mpg drop with E85

When you put 54K miles in 26 months you need all the mpg you can get :)
 
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