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Old 06-04-2014, 11:31 PM   #1
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School Me on E85 Upgrades

See a lot of posts about guys running E85, where I'm located the best I can get is 91 so was considering making the swap to E85. It's readily available here in the Midwest but what is needed besides the tune? Is it worth the money in a motor that is currently stock? This is my second 14 GT mustang and I'm doing it backwards of my last I'm getting all the suspension upgrades first before adding more power. I'll be doing the basic bolt ons this winter, cai, long tube headers and offroad x cat delete. Planning to go FI in about a year and a half once we get our new house built.
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:03 AM   #2
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To run E85, you'll need to upgrade to 47lb injectors. Also, something that is often overlooked, is E85 legally can range anywhere from E50 to E85 right out of the pump. If you are running your car on E85 without a flex-fuel kit (fuel sensor, adaptive tune), then if you get a bad tank of gas your car will run like **** (at best), or you'll have some detonation.

So if you want to run E85, get a fuel tester kit and test the fuel at the pump on each fill up. That way if its bad gas, you can drive accordingly or flash over to a lower concentration tune.


I'm not too familiar with the E85 tunes available for the mustang, so I could not tell you which one is best. I would ask the tuner if they offer various tunes for different concentrations of E85. I would also ask the tuner if they offer a full conversion flex-fuel kit with adaptive tunes.
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:27 AM   #3
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I am currently running a Lund E85 tune with very basic mods. With an off road x-pipe, resonator deletes, Roush axle back mufflers, and a JLT intake (along with the 47lb injectors of course) I made 416rwhp/393rwtq. Now that we're on the summer blend, which was tested at E90 at my usual station last week, I'm probably working with 420/397...ish.

A tester isn't mandatory, but very helpful. I check the local racing forum since they have guys going around and checking our 5-6 stations monthly. We have 2 or 3 that are to be avoided at all costs because they run shtty blends all year 'round. Also worth noting that in the winter (October here in KS), if you still want to run E85, most blends will be around E70 because cars have a harder time starting in colder weather.

There is a company (VMP) that will give you an E85 tune with stock injectors for $150, and since you're stock as far as the engine is concerned, you might be alright. The problem comes when modifying the engine because it will put your stock injectors very close to being maxed out. To me, it's worth it to do it right, especially since you plan on engine mods in the future, and get the 47lb. I paid $175 for mine used, new they run closer to $300.

As far as which tuner, most will say AED or Lund. AED's customer service can be hit or miss and Shaun will ONLY tune the FRPP 47lb injectors and will not refund you if he discovers they are incorrect after the process has started, then will charge you again once you get the correct ones. Lund's customer service is, hands down, the best I've ever had. Email responses within literally MINUTES during business hours. You will have to be "remote tuned" for either of these companies and it's worth it. AED is $350, Lund is $300. You will get a tune for 91/93, a fuel pump tune that will allow you to run the fuel pump without the engine on to manually drain the tank, and the E85 tune.

Be prepared for an awesome smell and horrible gas mileage. I average about 17mpg on the highway at 70-75mph and about 14mpg city, if that.
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:08 PM   #4
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DON'T use E85! E85 does not burn cleanly and will cause the engine to not last the typical 200k miles.
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:20 PM   #5
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E85 burns cooler.... It's pretty much cheap race gas. You use more of it though so less mpg, but it's generally cheaper.

On an NA or regular compression engine there really no need for E85.
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by KSconvert View Post
I am currently running a Lund E85 tune with very basic mods. With an off road x-pipe, resonator deletes, Roush axle back mufflers, and a JLT intake (along with the 47lb injectors of course) I made 416rwhp/393rwtq. Now that we're on the summer blend, which was tested at E90 at my usual station last week, I'm probably working with 420/397...ish.

A tester isn't mandatory, but very helpful. I check the local racing forum since they have guys going around and checking our 5-6 stations monthly. We have 2 or 3 that are to be avoided at all costs because they run shtty blends all year 'round. Also worth noting that in the winter (October here in KS), if you still want to run E85, most blends will be around E70 because cars have a harder time starting in colder weather.

There is a company (VMP) that will give you an E85 tune with stock injectors for $150, and since you're stock as far as the engine is concerned, you might be alright. The problem comes when modifying the engine because it will put your stock injectors very close to being maxed out. To me, it's worth it to do it right, especially since you plan on engine mods in the future, and get the 47lb. I paid $175 for mine used, new they run closer to $300.

As far as which tuner, most will say AED or Lund. AED's customer service can be hit or miss and Shaun will ONLY tune the FRPP 47lb injectors and will not refund you if he discovers they are incorrect after the process has started, then will charge you again once you get the correct ones. Lund's customer service is, hands down, the best I've ever had. Email responses within literally MINUTES during business hours. You will have to be "remote tuned" for either of these companies and it's worth it. AED is $350, Lund is $300. You will get a tune for 91/93, a fuel pump tune that will allow you to run the fuel pump without the engine on to manually drain the tank, and the E85 tune.

Be prepared for an awesome smell and horrible gas mileage. I average about 17mpg on the highway at 70-75mph and about 14mpg city, if that.

When the ethanol blend changes as you state in October, does the car compensate for it or do you need to change the tune? I'm located in Omaha,NE so I'm assuming the same thing happens here.
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:10 PM   #7
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School Me on E85 Upgrades

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Originally Posted by Soccerluvr4 View Post
E85 burns cooler.... It's pretty much cheap race gas. You use more of it though so less mpg, but it's generally cheaper.

On an NA or regular compression engine there really no need for E85.

Guess I'm trying to seperate fact from fiction here, some state there's no need for it on NA engines and others are saying with the proper tune they are running more timing and getting +20hp increases over basic bolt ons vs premium gas.
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:26 PM   #8
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DON'T use E85! E85 does not burn cleanly and will cause the engine to not last the typical 200k miles.
What is this statement based on? Fact or fiction?
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:40 PM   #9
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When the ethanol blend changes as you state in October, does the car compensate for it or do you need to change the tune? I'm located in Omaha,NE so I'm assuming the same thing happens here.

The tune does not compensate. The tune will likely be made with a safety factor built in, but if you get a bad tank of gas the tune will not be able to compensate for the reduced ethanol content. I do not believe one exists yet for the mustang, but there are companies making full flex fuel conversion which provide a ethanol content sensor which goes on a fuel line. This reads ethanol content in real time, and with an adaptive tune can compensate from pump gas all the way to pure e85 and everything in between.

I've yet to see one for a Coyote though (haven't looked very hard).
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:55 PM   #10
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What is this statement based on? Fact or fiction?
Fact because he read it on the internet! Smh.
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:14 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Soccerluvr4 View Post
E85 burns cooler.... It's pretty much cheap race gas. You use more of it though so less mpg, but it's generally cheaper.

On an NA or regular compression engine there really no need for E85.
You can crank up the timing a bit on E85 vs 93/91. Enough to make a 15 - 20 whp difference on a regular compression NA engine. That's not enough of a difference for me to switch to it.

On a boosted or high compression engine however, you can really push them pretty far.



The biggest downside besides the fuel economy is that the fuel itself is very hit or miss as far as quality. Some stations offer actual e85/e90, others offer e85 that tests down to e50. Grab an ethanol fuel test tube and drive around and test the different stations, you will likely see more than a 10% difference in ethanol content between just a few stations. That's the entire reason I stopped running it on my old race quad.
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:30 PM   #12
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Fact because he read it on the internet! Smh.
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:07 PM   #13
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The ecu will be able to compensate down to about 15%, so no less than E70. Just know that it'll be down on power.

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Old 06-05-2014, 09:15 PM   #14
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What is this statement based on? Fact or fiction?


It's based on fact. It is well known that regular gas (be that 85 - 93 octane) has at most 15% ethanol. It burns less cleanly than pure gasoline with 0% ethanol. So now extrapolate that fact and you will learn that E85 (gas with up to 85% ethanol) burns terribly in your engine.


Why do you think diesel engines last 300k, 400k, or even 500k+ miles!? It is because diesel burns extremely cleanly.
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:19 PM   #15
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You will need to run regular gas through it every couple months to clean out all the crap from the e85.

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Old 06-05-2014, 09:31 PM   #16
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What is the price difference between E85 & 87 and 93 octane? We don't have E85 here. Curious thread though.
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Old 06-05-2014, 11:06 PM   #17
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What is the price difference between E85 & 87 and 93 octane? We don't have E85 here. Curious thread though.

I'm sure it fluctuates geographically but here in the Midwest premium is around $3.70, mid grade $3.39 and E85 $2.80ish
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Old 06-05-2014, 11:23 PM   #18
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It's based on fact. It is well known that regular gas (be that 85 - 93 octane) has at most 15% ethanol. It burns less cleanly than pure gasoline with 0% ethanol. So now extrapolate that fact and you will learn that E85 (gas with up to 85% ethanol) burns terribly in your engine.


Why do you think diesel engines last 300k, 400k, or even 500k+ miles!? It is because diesel burns extremely cleanly.

So all the flex fuel cars that burn ethanol are crapping out in 70k miles?
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Old 06-06-2014, 12:25 AM   #19
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E85 at the station I use is $3/gal, give or take 10 cents. 91 is $3.79 right now.

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Old 06-06-2014, 01:38 AM   #20
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It's based on fact. It is well known that regular gas (be that 85 - 93 octane) has at most 15% ethanol. It burns less cleanly than pure gasoline with 0% ethanol. So now extrapolate that fact and you will learn that E85 (gas with up to 85% ethanol) burns terribly in your engine.


Why do you think diesel engines last 300k, 400k, or even 500k+ miles!? It is because diesel burns extremely cleanly.

Quite the opposite actually. Ethanol burns very cleanly. The problem with it is it has less btu's than an equivalent amount of gasoline so it takes more ethanol to maintain a safe air/fuel ratio. Or make the same amount of power (heat). Something like 20-30% more. The major benefit of ethanol, E85 specifically is it allows you to run much higher timing, which in turn increases power. E85 is equivalent to 110 octane gasoline but has a double benefit because as the ethanol is injected into the intake runner and cylinder the rapid evaporation of the ethanol has a cooling effect, boosting power even more.

Diesels last a long time because of several factors. The two biggest are the fact that they are built extremely robust. Large thick pistons and rods, larger bearings, etc. The second, and the reason for the first, is the way the diesel fuel is ignited. It's burned by heat and compression, basically controlled detonation, to relate it to a gasoline engine. This process is extremely efficient at making torque. The downside to diesel is it's extremely dirty, hence the need for all types of filters and additives to control NOx and particulate emissions.


While I don't agree with the politics behind the desire for having E85, I love the fact that the unsustainable government subsidies have created a cheap alternative to very expensive race fuels that you can buy at the pump.
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:25 AM   #21
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Quite the opposite actually. Ethanol burns very cleanly. The problem with it is it has less btu's than an equivalent amount of gasoline so it takes more ethanol to maintain a safe air/fuel ratio. Or make the same amount of power (heat). Something like 20-30% more. The major benefit of ethanol, E85 specifically is it allows you to run much higher timing, which in turn increases power. E85 is equivalent to 110 octane gasoline but has a double benefit because as the ethanol is injected into the intake runner and cylinder the rapid evaporation of the ethanol has a cooling effect, boosting power even more.

Diesels last a long time because of several factors. The two biggest are the fact that they are built extremely robust. Large thick pistons and rods, larger bearings, etc. The second, and the reason for the first, is the way the diesel fuel is ignited. It's burned by heat and compression, basically controlled detonation, to relate it to a gasoline engine. This process is extremely efficient at making torque. The downside to diesel is it's extremely dirty, hence the need for all types of filters and additives to control NOx and particulate emissions.


While I don't agree with the politics behind the desire for having E85, I love the fact that the unsustainable government subsidies have created a cheap alternative to very expensive race fuels that you can buy at the pump.
Hmmm I think I've been misinformed. So I looked it up and apparently it does burn cleaner.

Carry on everyone!
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Old 06-07-2014, 01:22 AM   #22
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Thanks. FYI- Here on the east coast outside the city 87 octane is $3.55 & 93 octane is $3.95. In the city 87 octane is almost $4.00 a gallon.
At least 10% ethanol all year round.
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Old 06-19-2014, 04:50 AM   #23
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Well, just gotta wait for the injectors to arrive, install and wait for the tune! Any of you guys tried a tune for the lower grades when it's not the true summer blend? Wondering if that still makes more power than say a 91 tune?
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Old 06-19-2014, 09:27 AM   #24
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Well, just gotta wait for the injectors to arrive, install and wait for the tune! Any of you guys tried a tune for the lower grades when it's not the true summer blend? Wondering if that still makes more power than say a 91 tune?
I think a specific tune would be a waste of money. I was told by Lund that the ecu will compensate for fuel trims (15-20%) with the lower grades, but don't go under E70. It won't be full power right away, and will be lower than E85, but it would probably still get more power than 91.

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Old 06-19-2014, 09:54 AM   #25
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E-85

I do not run any type ethanol product in my vehicle at all yes 93 gas non ethanol is 4.57 a gallon but that is all I run and only one gas station that has it here. makes it a PITA but not going to run anything else. Weekend cruising is a 100.00 adventure
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