Community Forum For "Alcohol Can Be A Gas" Readers

This month, June 08, we went through Emissions testing in the Tucson test facility. We now know what our 50% plus Flex Fuel vehicle can do.....

You can do the same as well!

This car is an older station wagon, all wheel drive, and has 206,000 miles. We have put about 10,000 miles a year on this vehicle.

1992 Subaru Legacy Wagon
2.2 liter 4 cylinder multiport, non-turbo, AWD
5 speed Manual Transmission

I always changed the oil and Air filter before emissions testing each year. In 2008 I did not have time to do this so the Air filter has about 10,000 miles on it. Oil had about 3000 miles on it also. We use Delo 400 oil, which is a premium oil. In early 2007, a few months before 2007 testing, we changed the O2 sensor as it looked original and was possibly not working as well as when new.

2005 through 2007 results. (Before blending E-85)

HC in PPM 19 (Idle standard is 220)

CO in PPM 0.01 (Idle Standard 1.20)

2008 results:

HC 09

CO 0.00

This year, we have been using a blend that is 60/40,
3 parts E-85 to 2 parts 87 octane pump gas.

We started blending very slowly, as per David's suggestions, to avoid dissolving too much built up gunk and varnish in the fuel system and thereby plugging the fuel filter, adding one gallon of E-85 with each full tank of pump gas.

Increase another gallon of E-85 to each subsequent tankful until we were at the present 3/2 ratio.

We have been at a 3/2 ratio since last November 2007.

We note that we can drive one gear higher while commuting around town, quite often we are running in 5th gear at around 40 to 45 mph. The engine is loafing along turning at about 1500 to 1700 rpm.

Before, when running on pump gas, this car would have been pinging at 40 mph in 5th gear, which would have necessitated shifting down to 4th and spinning the engine faster, using more fuel.

Our MPG on the 3/2 ratio, has been averaging 22 mpg without changing our driving habits except as noted above. We were getting 22 mpg when on pump gas.

Disclaimer: Ask Your mechanic about blending fuel in Your auto.

Our mpg is improving even more as we learn to implement coasting to a stop while idling, and other fuel saving tricks.

Tags: Cleaner, E-85, Emissions., Ethanol, Fuel, Gas, Money, Porn, Pump, Save, More…Sex, Subaru, blending

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Replies to This Discussion

Wow Robert. These are the kinds of details Americans need to understand! Even oil company CEOs are starting to admit the truth.
Thanks Randy!

It is true that we can use Alcohol for our "gas"

Even in an older fuel injected auto, changing nothing more in most cases than a fuel filter at some point, which should be done now and then in any case.

A mechanic should check all fuel lines in older cars, for wear and tear as a precaution, even if You are not doing any fuel blending.
Tucson Fuel Prices Today 06-14-08:

Unleaded 87 octane is $3.99 at a gas station on Pima and Alvernon where I can also buy E-85

E-85 at the same location is $3.09

Blending E-85 with 87 octane pump gas at a 3/2 ratio is probably close to what?
90 to 92 octane?

So,,, If You drive an auto with a high octane requirement, Your savings is even greater by spending an extra few minutes blending Your own.

With the price spread of 90 cents a gallon between the two fuels the farmers and ethanol distillers must be giving it away since the gov. subsidy is only 51 cents......

Unless someone has been lying about how ethanol will never make it in the marketplace.

$20.85 of E-85 = 6.75 gallons
$17.00 of 87 PG = 4.26 gallons

So, I get 11.01 gallons of 3/2 fuel for $37.85

$37.85 of 87 PG @ $3.99 is only 9.49 gallons.
$37.85 of 92 PG @ $4.24 is only 8.93 gallons.

That extra gallon and a half allows my car to go another 33 miles.

That is about a 6 dollar fuel saving each week.
The math is adding up.

I have seen many farmers on their tractors this week. We need to start making this financial case to them so they can see that they can run their equipment on American made, home grown fuel. Dave even tells them 6 ways to run diesels on ethanol!

Robert, have you considered making a video that contains the math and specs you are citing? May people respond well to video if you have the means.
I will have the means in another month.

It's a shame more people don't read!!!

We need Farmers to read ACBAG and start planting more Ethanol productive crops too. Seems a shame to not plant fodder beets or other crops that make 2 or 3 times more fuel per acre than corn.
There is always the risk that farmers and distillers will suffer under the boot of Big Oil/Big Government, since gasoline is a relative waste product, they could lower the price to what was considered low a year ago. Or as Vinod says, even lower.

Getting Lean and mean by planting crops that yield 2 or 3 times more ethanol per acre will insulate against the winds of war waged by monopolies and fatten their bank accounts to help them weather economic storms to come.
I was very interested in the diesel section of "the book" because I have a diesel vehicle. I was extremely disappointed in that section of the book. It is very lightly covered and certainly doesn't provide enough information to even approach switching fuel.

Also cetine (SP?) and octane are opposite ends of the scale, which complicates the situation. Gasoline and diesel engines have important fundamental differences in their design. Care should be taken in such a conversion, unless it is an older engine and OK to damage during the "learning curse."

What little was said about diesel to ethanol conversion seemed to be speaking to older farm tractors. Not late model road engines. Much more detailed work needs to be done, or published on this subject.

If you care to provide me page numbers to show me I am wrong I'll be happy to re-read those pages. I've been wrong before.

However, for my engine, I'd concentrate on making biodiesel for my diesel engine. It is well proven and is also a fuel we can produce ourselves.
I forgot to add this:

The $20.85 spent on E-85 is money we won't be sending outside the U.S.

We personally save 6 bucks a tankful.

It's a win-win situation in that, All are Blessed!

Imagine if half the money spent on fuel each and every day stayed here, How would America look?
The next possibility to save more involves entering the computer program and making a set of instructions for E-85 alone, upping the injector pressure and changing a few more parameters.

It might be possible to get as good mpg at highway speeds on straight E-85 than when on pump gas.

Anyone with Subaru Programming experience out there?
Hi, I'm new here and just had to harp in on this. Performance minded individuals who often find that the "stock" computer in their vehicle does not "plug and play" well with different or additional hardware have solutions to just this. Bigger injectors and turbos(just to name a few) all require engine management software changes. And forgive me if I am already telling you something you know. But there are several groups on the internet that have come up with "open" projects to build and program generic computer management systems to do exactly what you want to do. Change injector pulse width, to deliver more fuel or calculate and correct for fuel being delivered at a higher/lower fuel pressure than stock. Advance/retard spark timing. All of it. And if you don't want to go the DIY way and you have some cash, there are companies that produce these generic engine management computers. Greddy comes to mind for one. Anyway Hi(again), my name is Bill and I'm a bit into this sorta thing and have been interested in homesteading/self sufficiency since someone gave me a box of Mother Earth News about 20 years ago... Look where its gotten me to! I'd be more than happy to talk further about such things, please feel free to contact. Oh by the way, I am VERY interested in setting up a still. Are the plans/descriptions of the still (is it a fractional still?) complete enough to duplicate the authors effort with out too much trouble? Also are the red tape issues with the government discussed? Example letters/forms, address of US bureaucratic agency that issues the still license etc in the book? Sorry for the barrage of questions. Plus I am off topic, so I will stop. Cheers, Bill.
Thanks for the tip on Greddy

I know this car pretty well. All I need is a method to program the existing computer, or replace the chip if that is an option.

The rest of the car is adequate to handle E-85.
Cool, then what you could do is go with the Greddy e-manage system. It just piggy backs on using existing sensors. This lets you start with your stock computer settings, and tweak from there. For instance you decided you want to run higher fuel pressure to bigger injectors, you could easily tweak the fuel delivery amount with this setup. You could also easily advance your timing for the entire rpm range. Then once you have it set the way you want save it on your laptop, computer etc. You could then make a map optimized for 50/50 ethanol mix, one for E85 etc. and load the one that matches your fuel source. And I'm pretty sure there are the DIY groups that are doing this in an open source way, making the hardware design and software itself basically free. I like this way because it is cheaper and also allows me to be "self sufficient" even in the area of modifying my own car to run on ethanol. Plus its easier to fix when you are familiar with the nuts and bolts of a system. I'll be doing this with my generator(hurricanes) mower and cars once I have a working still and sugar source.




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