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Old 12-06-2009, 04:28 PM   #1
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Default converting my 1994 sw1 to run on e-85?

can it be done, if it can be done how expensive are the parts to do it. i'm a factory certified BMW, Triumph and Ducati cycle tech so the labor part wont be a problem.
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Old 12-06-2009, 05:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: converting my 1994 sw1 to run on e-85?

In most cases the PCM needs to be reflashed to know what to do with the new fuel mix ratio for E85. Insofar as I know, factory Saturn PCM's are not "flashable," though perhaps aftermarket ones are.

This is just pulling ideas out of my ass, here, but I think the main things to do when converting to E85 are adjusting the PCM for proper air/fuel mix, replacing hoses to handle high alcohol fuel, and replacing the fuel pump with one that can handle the same.

E85 will destroy non-rated fuel pump seals, bearings, etc., and attacks a different subset of plastics and rubbers than straight gasoline.
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Old 12-06-2009, 05:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: converting my 1994 sw1 to run on e-85?

i believe that superchips can re-flash the ecm, i'm pretty sure i saw it advertised a while back. i guess i need to contact them and see. i'm also converting my 1974 honda cb750 to run on e-85, i've bumped the compression way up, rejetted up several sizes as well as replaced the fuel hoses and carb 0-rings with parts that will stand up to the corrosive effects of the alcohol.
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Old 12-06-2009, 08:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: converting my 1994 sw1 to run on e-85?

The issues is that the fuel map adjustment the computer wants to make to run properly on e85 is outside the parameters programmed into the computer. The nbo2 sensor in your car acts as a lambda sensor, at lambda (aka stoich for the fuel you are running) it reads one value, it has a high resolution around this value. For normal gas the stoich is around 14.7:1 so when its actually at this the o2 sensor outputs lambda 1. stoich for e85 is around 9.7:1 so when its at this value the o2 sensor outputs a lambda of 1. See the o2 sensor doesnt care, the issue is that you have to give the car nearly double the amount of fuel to achieve the same results. I guess if you wanted to do it you could try just doubling the flow of the injectors (ie bigger injectors, I dont know the size of the stock sohc ones, dohc is 19lbs) that should keep the short term and long term fuel trims within an allowable spec from the stock computer. Otherwise you'd need a full standalone to make this happen because the saturn computer can not be flashed or hacked.
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: converting my 1994 sw1 to run on e-85?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bucky katt View Post
i believe that superchips can re-flash the ecm, i'm pretty sure i saw it advertised a while back. i guess i need to contact them and see. i'm also converting my 1974 honda cb750 to run on e-85, i've bumped the compression way up, rejetted up several sizes as well as replaced the fuel hoses and carb 0-rings with parts that will stand up to the corrosive effects of the alcohol.
Nope, if you take a look at the superchips website, the only model they offer for is the Sky. No one does a reflash or makes a plug & play tune for the S-Series. There's one company that offers it, but they do nothing but put a sticker on your PCM.

You'll probably need to look into a standalone like the megasquirt for this project.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: converting my 1994 sw1 to run on e-85?

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You'll probably need to look into a standalone like the megasquirt for this project.
This would be the correct way to do it, you could do it the half assed way that I recommended. Why do you want to do this anyways? The only benefit I see to e85 is when used with turbo motors it lowers the chance of detonation, cools the motor (lowing chance of detonation more), and is an oxygenated fuel (so it actually introduces more oxygen into the motor, reason why it has a much richer stoich). With a turbo it lets you run more boost.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: converting my 1994 sw1 to run on e-85?

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See the o2 sensor doesnt care, the issue is that you have to give the car nearly double the amount of fuel to achieve the same results.
Not to start that debate again but, tell me once again why corn eth is is the future?? I just don't get the fuzzy logic of food for fuel..
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: converting my 1994 sw1 to run on e-85?

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Not to start that debate again but, tell me once again why corn eth is is the future?? I just don't get the fuzzy logic of food for fuel..
because anthropogenic global warming is going to kill us all.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gBIc3LwYM0

edit this site uses non standard html tags for embedded videos and i have no idea what it is.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: converting my 1994 sw1 to run on e-85?

If you really want to try the E-85 then you can increase the injector flow rate for a given pulse width and fuel pressure and get the right A/F ratio across the RPM/Load range of the engine. Then you can address all the components that get brittle and crack when soaked in E-85. You will put more $$ into the mods than you will ever recover in fuel savings.


Psst, AGW is a fraud, the evidence is out there.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: converting my 1994 sw1 to run on e-85?

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Psst, AGW is a fraud, the evidence is out there.
psst, click my link you'll like it.
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:51 AM   #11
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Default Re: converting my 1994 sw1 to run on e-85?

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Not to start that debate again but, tell me once again why corn eth is is the future?? I just don't get the fuzzy logic of food for fuel..
I roll my eyes at you, sir. NO ONE MENTIONED CORN. No one. Ethanol comes from a number of difference sources. Quit trying to start a political argument about something this thread has pretty much nothing to do with.
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:03 PM   #12
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Default Re: converting my 1994 sw1 to run on e-85?

Ethanol is still a stupid idea, no matter if you make it from corn or sugarcane or grass clippings. Its energy density is too danged low for the types of vehicles we drive today.

Methanol is where it's at, if you insist on burning alcohol.
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:07 PM   #13
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Default Re: converting my 1994 sw1 to run on e-85?

here in my area it's a dollar a gallon cheaper than 87 octane with 10% ethanol. we cant get ethanol free fuel here that i've seen.
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:13 PM   #14
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Default Re: converting my 1994 sw1 to run on e-85?

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here in my area it's a dollar a gallon cheaper than 87 octane with 10% ethanol. we cant get ethanol free fuel here that i've seen.
It may be a buck cheaper but bank on using almost 30% more of it!
Cost of conversion will never be recovered, you would be better banking the cash you would spend on a conversion and using it to buy gasoline.

Edit: OH, and unless you have done some headwork on that Honda You better watch for valve recession.
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:15 PM   #15
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Default Re: converting my 1994 sw1 to run on e-85?

yeah, the more i look into it the worse the idea sounds to me. thanks for all the info folks!
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:46 PM   #16
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Default Re: converting my 1994 sw1 to run on e-85?

Here's an interesting NYT article on the ethanol glut. I knew that ethanol can wreak havoc on fuel system components/plastics/rubber/etc, but I wasn't aware that a higher mix dramatically lowers catalytic converter life.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/27/bu...27ethanol.html

The ethanol fuel program has sure been goofy -- bad economics, negligible if any improvement in energy self-sufficiency, bad for the environment, a raw deal for taxpayers with all the insane subsidies, and now it seems, bad for most cars.

The glut of enthanol refineries coming on line since the 2004 Energy bill ("No Lobbyist Left Behind") have crucified farmer coops who invested in them. Good thing ADM moved to a franchising model for making the stuff after it made an early killing.....
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Old 12-07-2009, 03:32 PM   #17
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Default Re: converting my 1994 sw1 to run on e-85?

In the USA, ethanol for fuel is a politically driven movement, not one based on hard uncompromised science, and the economics are deeply rooted in the tax and subsidy structures. The main benefit of ethanol is that it can provide an alternative if oil supplies are cut off, provided we do not need more oil to produce ethanol feed stock.

Believe there have been a number of past threads on E85 conversion if you go back a couple years, they arise about any time gas prices spike. Bottom line is that it is perhaps an interesting academic or hobby exercise, but of no practical value to most drivers at anywhere near recent fuel prices.

If God had not intended ethanol to be consumed by man (and woman), he would not have invented beer, whiskey, vodka, gin, scotch, ...
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Old 12-07-2009, 09:18 PM   #18
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Default Re: converting my 1994 sw1 to run on e-85?

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I roll my eyes at you, sir. NO ONE MENTIONED CORN. No one. Ethanol comes from a number of difference sources. Quit trying to start a political argument about something this thread has pretty much nothing to do with.
Ethanol from corn STALKS would be pretty cool. To bad it isn't economically feasible yet.
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Old 12-07-2009, 09:21 PM   #19
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Default Re: converting my 1994 sw1 to run on e-85?

e85 is still great for turbo cars. when my friend gets e85 for his dsm he can completely disconnect the boost control and run 35 psi (436hp 485lbft) without detonation, cant do that with 97 octane.
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:08 PM   #20
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Default Re: converting my 1994 sw1 to run on e-85?

**** it
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