Using e85 in our commodores

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Re: Using e85 in our commodores

Postby Wade » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:32 am

So keep an eye on egt’s to try avoid pre-ignition? Also now im running stock plugs gapped down to .80 so if stepping down some heat ranges will that allow larger gaps even with the e85? Or you saying keep plug gaps small just use different heat range to further help with pre-ignition

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Re: Using e85 in our commodores

Postby vlad01 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:07 pm

Gap has nothing to do with heat range, its actually to do with gas break down voltage which is mostly related to pressure, higher the dynamic cylinder pressure at time of ignition the the higher the voltage required to jump the gap, so either more voltage or smaller gap. E85 doesn't really effect that.

The cooler plugs prevent the electrodes heating up as much, reducing the change the air/fuel mixture auto ignition temperature point is reached by the plugs. If the hot electrodes ignite the mixture before the spark actually happens this is what pre-ignition is and as it happens too early it can and probably will damage the engine. Ethanol is easier in that sense to ignite but very difficult to auto ignite by pressure alone so it for that reason is very resistant to detonation.

Yes e85 has more wider window, power will still drop either side of ideal settings as it does with petrol but not as sharply and it doesn't care as much when comes to being safe, hence why its so good with performance engines especially boost as it breaks through the detonation limit that holds back petrol tuned engines.

Pretty much like methanol but more energy dense and neutral Ph, non corrosive. Where methanol is slightly acidic which breaks down the protective oxide layer on metals allowing them to reach with the water component in methanol fuels and thats how methanol causes corrosion.

Ethanol chemically can't do this, so if people are having corrosion issues it would be due to other inclusions in the blend due to poor control over the production which is a non issue in united e85.
I'm the director of VSH (Vlad's Spec Holden), because HSV were doing it ass about.

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Re: Using e85 in our commodores

Postby Holden202T » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:12 pm

I've had more experience with methanol than e85, but both seem to be similar in this area, I've found if i drain my tank/pump even if i flush it with petrol, not long after I've done it, I've always had pump failures, I've found the best solution is to never let the pump run dry! (bosch 044's in my case)

when i do these days if i have to open up the system is disconnect the lines and then cap the pumps off with fuel still in them, I'm lucky enough to have speedflow fittings so its not to hard to achieve this.

definitely also seen a mate use e85 in an escort .... its regularly blocking filters as it drags all the old shit out of the stock fuel tank, would probably recommend at the very least to do a bit of a flush on the fuel tank with some e85 pumped into a bucket or something to try and clean it out..... either that or buy 10 filters if its a daily and replace them weekly hahah

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Re: Using e85 in our commodores

Postby VL400 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:54 pm

Have been running United E85 for awhile now. So far think its excellent. Good power and economy isnt all that bad, maybe 30% worse, but hard to tell as the right foot kills economy really fast. The United E85 is always reading 82% on my flex fuel sensor, never seen anything different except the very first tank when there was maybe 5 litres of U98 in the tank and it was around 78% or something from memory.

As for tuning, less timing needed at low loads (which Id say helps with efficiency) and can get more in under boost where you are fuel knock limited (which helps to paint 11s on the track or private road). Dyno really is a must as you cannot tune to MBT on the road, forget knock sensing. Obviously fuel supply needs to be larger, but bigger pumps mean its easy to out flow the stock regulator and then outflow the stock return line venturi in the tank swirl pot. I think fuel pressure monitoring is also very useful when data logging, Ive got a calculated taget fuel pressure which can be overlayed with actual so any deviation/drop is clearly shown.

Lean cruise helps economy but Ive found it can get lean misfires easier than U98 does, around 15.4 AFR on both petrol and E seemed to be the sweet spot. But while finding this, I could push U98 to 17-18AFR ok, E85 wasnt as happy there.

Plugs are 1 step colder, 7 instead of 6, and have them gaped to 0.8mm (standard BKR7E). Using LS2 coils, but still distributors (twin dizzy setup on the 1UZ, so still has rotors, leads etc).

Anyway, thats my thoughts. While its at the pump I am sticking to it. Engine insides and exhaust stay nice and clean too, the oil hardly gets carbon build up.



vlad01 wrote:I have, only issue is the intake return line in the VS and older goes all jelly like and fragile. it will return back to normal after some time of switching back to petrol but it will probably break off long term on E85. Only solution is to open the tank and replace the line with a gates submersible line which are E85 compatible.

All the rest of the components are fine, though I heard paper based fuel filters aren't recommended.


How long had you run E85 for that to happen? I replaced my pump with something larger over the weekend and after around 18 months of solely United E85 the return line in the tank still seemed alright. Its a VS 80L tank. Everything else looked good too, cables ties never got eaten, all fuel lines not swollen or anything, wiring was fine, the hamster that lives in there still running on his wheel. Was actually pleasantly surprised after reading all the fear-mongering stories.


delcowizzid wrote:I'll get a pic of the eaten away fuel rails from the 1uzfe next time I have them off its all coming apart to store it over winter due to the damage we found over the season

Please do! Really interested in this as I have read, but never seen, that raw aluminium and E85 doe not like each other. There are two types of fuel rails on a 1UZ, the early one is an aluminium extrusion and the later are cast aluminium. Both left as raw aluminium and not anodised. Am yet to remove my (early type) rails for any reason so have not seen what they or the injector baskets are like.

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Re: Using e85 in our commodores

Postby VL400 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:07 pm

This article is interesting. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_point . Flashpoint and auto ignition temp table.

And actually I didnt mention it in my post, cold start is difficult to begin with. Was thinking it must be wrong needing to add so much fuel. This is for winter, summer 'cold' starts are pretty much just using petrol cranking numbers. So I am talking < 20deg ambient temp, seems like a switch where things are good then all of a sudden cranking fuel requirements sky rocket. This is my cranking table, a few seasons in the making to get here...
Crank Fuel.png
Crank Fuel.png (20.1 KiB) Viewed 101 times

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Re: Using e85 in our commodores

Postby vlad01 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:43 pm

Regarding the return line rubber. Few hours I saw it swelling and gone like firm jelly. I was able to rip chunks off with my fingernails. It seems the rubber is permeable to ethanol in a big way, the rubber does fully return to normal when left to dry or in petrol but takes a few weeks for the ethanol to migrate back out. it regains full strength after a 2-3 weeks.

I tested all the common rubbers found in commodores plus some after market hoses, all were fine except the return line. I did this in a controlled experiment in a couple of containers testing various material to some myth busting.
I'm the director of VSH (Vlad's Spec Holden), because HSV were doing it ass about.

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Re: Using e85 in our commodores

Postby The1 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:47 am

vlad01 wrote:Regarding the return line rubber. Few hours I saw it swelling and gone like firm jelly. I was able to rip chunks off with my fingernails. It seems the rubber is permeable to ethanol in a big way, the rubber does fully return to normal when left to dry or in petrol but takes a few weeks for the ethanol to migrate back out. it regains full strength after a 2-3 weeks.

I tested all the common rubbers found in commodores plus some after market hoses, all were fine except the return line. I did this in a controlled experiment in a couple of containers testing various material to some myth busting.


Is that the inside of the hose? id assume some hoses have different materials or liners on the inside.

I have used E85 in my fairly stock VS V6 N/A no problems, injectors and filters were still clean and no hose issues that i could see after a few months, but ive always run 98ron BP, no issues a good year later with switching back to 98.

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Re: Using e85 in our commodores

Postby vlad01 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:20 pm

There is no liner on the in tank return line. Its a solid rubber throughout with no reinforcement.

Mine was fine too for a month that I used e85, you just have to hope the line doesn't snap off at the hose clamps where they typically do without even running e85. I have had a few tanks over the years where the line broke off rendering the tank unusable without cutting open, replacing and re welding.
I'm the director of VSH (Vlad's Spec Holden), because HSV were doing it ass about.

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