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Thread: E85 myth buster

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    E85 myth buster

    After I watched this video I felt much better to run my car with E85 now. Click here to enlarge

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    I feel better now too.

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    Guys, the video is watermarked with the "change2E85.com" url. Of course they are going to say ethanol is safe. The API (American Petroleum Institute) has commissioned at least one study concluding concentrations as low as E15 aren't safe (search: CRC ethanol study). Not surprising either.

    Personally, I believe auto manufactures have taken the necessary steps to ensure their fuel systems are ethanol compatible because ethanol already exists as a part of the fuel we buy. The CRC study suggests E15 is catastrophic for engines even though we know E10 (closer to E09 really) is what comes out of the pumps now when buying 87, 89, 91 or 93 octane gasoline. That just doesn't make any sense.

    The reality is probably somewhere in between. Older engines not designed for E10 use my be fine on E10, but at higher ethanol concentrations have problem. However, I suspect any engine designed for E10 use (probably any OBD-II compliant engines - in other words any engine produced after 1996) are completely safe at higher ethanol concentrations, unless major corners were cut by the manufacturer. This assumes your fuel system can support the additional volume high concentration ethanol blends require. However, this is not a question of material compatibility which is the point so often talked about in the "E85 is bad" argument.

    Methanol is so much more corrosive than ethanol, yet people blast it into their engines all day long. Granted it circumvents the stock fuel system, but it is present in the induction piping, the intake manifold, the head ports, on the backs of valves, the combustion chamber and its byproducts are present in exhaust.

    E85 has been targeted because the average Joe can pull into a filling station and has the choice between a product with only the minimal amount of petroleum present to prevent cold start issues, or one that is 91% petroleum. The petroleum companies are very powerful (money = power), and anything eating into their market share is going to come up against resistance.

    The petroleum companies would love to be the single source for motor fuels, but that doesn't make sense from an economic policy standpoint for any country. You think they really care about your car?
    Eppur si muove.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ajm8127 Click here to enlarge
    Guys, the video is watermarked with the "change2E85.com" url. Of course they are going to say ethanol is safe. The API (American Petroleum Institute) has commissioned at least one study concluding concentrations as low as E15 aren't safe (search: CRC ethanol study). Not surprising either.
    ARGH WHAT IS THE TRUTH

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    DAMN IT! Are there anyone on this forum running E85 for awhile without any issue? I'm just worry about long term damage. I don't know.....
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by hkninja Click here to enlarge
    DAMN IT! Are there anyone on this forum running E85 for awhile without any issue? I'm just worry about long term damage. I don't know.....
    Our cars are fine... In 2007 Brazil (2nd largest ethanol producer behind.... you guessed it, the US) legally required that every fuel on sale had to have a minimum of 25% ethanol (E25) and the country retails up to E100, all at normal gas stations. While I'm sure BMW's US sales out do Brazil's, it's still a market they need to cater to. I can bet there's nothing drastically different (no Brazil spec LPFP, HPFP or Injectors) between a US 135/335 and a Brazilian one except for the tune, which has been re-calibrated to compensate for the higher ethanol concentration. Since 2009, the US EPA has authorized up to 15% ethanol content in standard pump gas, and has approved vehicles made from 2001+ to use this fuel (more advanced ECUs that were probably capable of self adjusting their fuel trims, ethanol spec fuel lines/pump/etc). Like ajm said, in 2010 nearly every automobile/petroleum company tried to sue the EPA to stop ethanol use in consumer vehicles, but the case was dismissed.


    Look at all the older, high power cars (Supras) that are utilizing ethanol based fuels because they offer lots of benefits you just can't get on petroleum based fuels -- burns cooler & cleaner, allows a significantly more aggressive tuning without concern of knock, etc etc. The only thing you need to conscious of is having an ethanol-spec fueling system (lines, pumps, injectors, etc etc).

    **Side Note -- The Open Fuel Standard Act has mandated that 95% of vehicles made in 2017 be flex-fuel. While this will only legally require vehicles made in the US, expect the international manufacturers to follow to make sure their cars can still use the gas sold in the states.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by benzy89 Click here to enlarge
    Look at all the older, high power cars (Supras) that are utilizing ethanol based fuels because they offer lots of benefits you just can't get on petroleum based fuels -- burns cooler & cleaner, allows a significantly more aggressive tuning without concern of knock, etc etc. The only thing you need to conscious of is having an ethanol-spec fueling system (lines, pumps, injectors, etc etc).

    **Side Note -- The Open Fuel Standard Act has mandated that 95% of vehicles made in 2017 be flex-fuel. While this will only legally require vehicles made in the US, expect the international manufacturers to follow to make sure their cars can still use the gas sold in the states.
    That's a great point about the Supras.

    I was unaware of the mandate for almost all vehicles produced to be flex fuel in 2017. It really makes a lot of sense. I don't understand why people thought it was a good idea to allow petroleum to be the sole source for vehicle fueling for so long. I guess people just didn't realize it is a finite resource. That and general instability in the Middle East could have a crippling effect on the global economy.

    I'm waiting for CNG to get more popular in the Northeast. The sure are pulling gas out of the ground fast enough in southwestern PA, although I've have read reports that the amount of gas in the Marcellus region is grossly overestimated.

    But I digress, this is not a thread on energy policy.
    Eppur si muove.

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    I prefer race gas.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ajm8127 Click here to enlarge
    I was unaware of the mandate for almost all vehicles produced to be flex fuel in 2017. It really makes a lot of sense. I don't understand why people thought it was a good idea to allow petroleum to be the sole source for vehicle fueling for so long.
    When you consider how much stuff we use petroleum for, we are clearly over dependent on it (especially as a non-renewable resource). We've started to move away from it in certain things (oil & coil heat are being phased out by cost or EPA regulations, synthetic motor oil is becoming more common, etc), so it's nice to see people accepting an alternative energy source that's readily available (and renewable). I really think that the repeated wars on the Middle East & instability with a foreign source has made people think twice. I'm sure there are plenty of oil sources on domestic US land (Alaska, Texas, Pa, etc), but following the BP incident (and current administration), I don't see the support for tapping the wells anytime soon.

    PLUS, ethanol is a readily available, cheap, renewable resource. If the oil companies were smart, they would start buying up land and start developing their own ethanol-based fuels (no secret they've got enough money to pour funding into start-up projects and some R&D).

    The 2 biggest "problems" I saw with ethanol fuels are fueling systems and cold weather. Fueling systems because to successfully run ethanol based fun, you require a fueling system that provides an additional 30% over petroleum fuel. Not exactly a big deal, but then you've also got cold weather problems. I'm sure a few people can attest to this, but if you've got a strong ethanol mix and try to cold start your vehicle, you'll have some trouble until the car warms up. I'm sure this has been addressed in the GM flex cars, so nothing too difficult for the major automobile manufactures to overcome.


    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BigM62 Click here to enlarge
    I prefer race gas.
    Race Gas is great, it's a very proven product, doesn't require a serious upgrade your fueling system, and you'll get more MPG out of it (avoid unnecessary pit stops in racing). BUT Race Gas it's own set of drawbacks. Biggest problem is anything above 110 octane is leaded, so kiss your o2 sensors good bye after repeated use. It's not that o2s are expensive, but it's gonna be a pain in the ass to replace o2 sensors if you're at a track day or they fail during some pulls to Mexico. Another problem is price/performance, for the octane you get with C16, you can pay half for Race E85 and still run a more aggressive tune.

    At the end of the day it's completely up to the user, no system is "better" than the other & each have their unique drawbacks.
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    To many words in this post and not enough pictures! Anyways. I have been running greater than 30% E85 for over a year now and I am currently at E70 or 11 gallons of E85 and 4 gallons 93 roughly. My mpg is horrible. WHY?? BECAUSE RACECAR!!! Seriously though there is a post on n54tech that someone looked at each component for the N54 and found no weak links. Everything is compliant to run E85 except the fuel pump being able to handle the higher flow required.
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    Didn't watch the video, but I researched e85 before, and there's really no reason to be afraid to put e85 in the tank, it's just lighter and most OEM fuel pumps can't keep up, just remember whether you use it or not you're paying for it no matter what! Thanks Obama!
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by wtfmarine Click here to enlarge
    To many words in this post and not enough pictures! Anyways. I have been running greater than 30% E85 for over a year now and I am currently at E70 or 11 gallons of E85 and 4 gallons 93 roughly. My mpg is horrible. WHY?? BECAUSE RACECAR!!! Seriously though there is a post on n54tech that someone looked at each component for the N54 and found no weak links. Everything is compliant to run E85 except the fuel pump being able to handle the higher flow required.
    No fuel pump upgrade for you to run E70?
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by hkninja Click here to enlarge
    No fuel pump upgrade for you to run E70?
    Nope. I am the 2nd owner of the car. It had its HPFP and lpfp replaced over 5 times within a 2 month period. I am kind of wondering if the dealership didn't do something a little extra to keep it from coming back.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by wtfmarine Click here to enlarge
    Nope. I am the 2nd owner of the car. It had its HPFP and lpfp replaced over 5 times within a 2 month period.
    And somehow your trims are in check?! I find that $#@! amazing
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    I am waiting for it to crap out on me but it hasn't. I ran 100% E85 a couple of weeks ago courtesy of my woman "helping" me out by filling my car up with it because she has seen me use it before. Not knowing of course that I mix it with 93. She drove my car for the entire day and no issues. I put 93 in once I found out later that day. I swear these 335i are very unique individuals. It seems rare for 2 335i to perform the same.
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    I don't listen to internet gossip, but if some "expert BMW shops" care to discuss, I think it would be very valuable.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BigM62 Click here to enlarge
    I don't listen to internet gossip, but if some "expert BMW shops" care to discuss, I think it would be very valuable.
    Lab22, Saad Racing & @undercover (all have experience in the BMW community) could preach to the value of using E85 on a properly setup car, i.e. one with an EMS that compensates for varying ethanol concentrations.
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    cool vid

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