Friday, April 23, 2010

Back on E85

So, I thought I'd post something new that WASN'T really related to what I do for professionally for work, but what I do for "fun". In this case, it's moving my Subaru back to E85 fuel for the race season. You know, E85 .... 85% moonshine and 15% normal 95 oct. (91 in the US) fuel -- which totals up to 109oct (105oct US). With Winter's long grip on Prague officially over, it's time to go E85 again for the following reasons:

1. It's 40% cheaper than normal 100oct. (96oct US) fuel ... which is about 8.50 USD per gallon now.
2. It produces 70% less emissions than standard petroleum based fuels.
3. With tuning***, I get another 10-15% horsepower and more engine safety.

Now, I don't run E85 in the winter, because I don't drive my Subaru STI much in the winter, and because it's extremly difficult to start the car on E85 when it's cold out. If you don't have an engine blanket, good luck getting it started (unless your car was built as a Flex-Fuel car, then the ECU (car computer) will know what to do).

However, it's warmed up a bit, so now no problemo. To run E85 in my Subaru I had to add a higher capacity fuel pump and larger fuel injectors. E85 requires that you spray 30-40% more fuel than standard gas when using it the way I am (1 to 1, ethanol doesn't have the power as standard gas, so you need more of it to product the same amount of energy). Using the opensource software RomRaider, I am able to tune and make changes to the car's ECU map so that it will run E85. In this case, playing with the fuel scaling and timing. Don't try this at home kiddies ... if you screw up, you'll blow your motor. ;-) Once done, ta-da! Add E85, update ECU map, and you're good to go!

Naturally, I just explained it "for dummies" as details might be just a bit too much for you if you're not familiar with ODBII ports, ECUFlash, MAF scaling, blah, blah, blah. Anyway, something new for you today, if you have any questions about what you need to do to get on E85, let me know, I'll be glad to consult ... now, back to real work I go (oh, wait, still looking for work myself :P) ...