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 Post subject: Flex Fuel Modification
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 3:29 pm 
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Anyone know what the 3.7 needs to run E85?

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 3:36 pm 
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Ethanol is corrosive (more so than gas) so fuel tank, lines, ect. would need to be replaced. Probably not feasible to do a switch. Better solution would be to go to Propane. You would be able to run Gas or Propane.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 11:37 am 
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well it is very possible to convert a liberty to e-85. Ive been doing a bit of research into what it would take to convert the truck from regular gas to e-85 or another ethanol gas mix. This is what i have come up with. After contacting quite a few jeep and dodge dealerships i finallly found one that was willing to even comment on an after market mod that deals with the fuel system. I was informed that there may be a bit heavier ware on the injectors but thats about it. The gas tank and lines are capable of handeling higher octane/ethanol fuels. The only modifications that are really needed to the sysem is a e-85 conversion kit that can be purchased at many enviromental sites online. A few are allready being tested in Minnisota in an attempt to find a alternative to the insane gas prices and enviromental and economic problems it causes. You can pick up a conversion kit for about 400 to about 450 depending on where you get it. Its just a bunch of sesnsros that measure the mix of fuel that is directally bolt on. Ive contacted a few people that have one and the only drawback to the system is a drop in mileage. What does it really matter though when the fuel is about 60 cents cheaper a gallon that rehular unleaded.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 3:45 pm 
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Hey HB, welcome, I'm in Elgin as well.

Your paying the 60 cents difference a gallon anyway along with the rest of us taxpayers. Its only that cheap because its subsidized. If the market forces were in effect, it would be more expensive than unleaded. I will support biofuels once they find a better source than corn. Right now its a boondoggle for the corporate farming interests, and you and I are paying for the experiment.

I have a flex fuel Ford Ranger, and have run a few tanks of E85 through it, but the additional maintenance costs (1/2 the normal oil change interval) and the reduction in mpg (about 1/3 less range) wasn't worth it. I do like the way it runs on E85, it has Lots of Go.

I'd buy another flex fuel vehicle in a heartbeat, WHY, because the vehicles price is subsidized by the government (kind of hypocritical aren't I). They come with a stainless steel exhaust and lots of upgraded seals and parts for the more corrosive environment of E85 and it has a computer that can compensate for even the lowest grade or suspect fuel. All good things if you want a vehicle that's going to last a long time. They should be putting this stuff on all vehicles anyway.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 7:03 pm 
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Considering the 30-40% drop in fuel economy, it would take a lot more than a 60 cents/gallon benefit to make it worth it to run E85...

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 9:27 pm 
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30 to 40 percent drop? where is this information coming from? At the extreme end of the loss it only going to be about 18 percent. Maby when flex fueled vehicles where just a new thing thats what it would have been the case. An there are about a 100 other benifits to using ethanol. One would be not having to change your oil for about an additional 3 to 5 thousand miles from the sugested 3 thousand. On top of that its the most enviromentally friendly fuel thats on the market besides electric. Which if you follow the lines it comes from to the power plant; which is most likely coal. bottom line ethanol is still cheaper than gas.


Last edited by C co Chickenhawck 2/127IN on Sun Jul 22, 2007 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 11:25 pm 
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I'm not sure that E85 is that much more environmentally friendly than gas or diesel, just Renewable. Its cheaper only because of the government subsidies of E85.

I can vouch for the 30-40 percent drop in mileage from experience, I get 210 miles a tank (15 gal) on E85 and over 300 miles on Regular in my 1999 Ranger 3.0L V6 flexfuel truck.

A year ago, E85 was averaging 10 - 20 cents or 5-10% lower than than regular not enough of a difference to make it worth the increased maintenance schedule. I haven't checked it lately, but I'd be surprised if it was 60 cents cheaper. that would still be only
about 20% cheaper, but it needs to be about a 30% cheaper to make it economical.

I put on about 15k per year on the truck, at the recommended 6000 miles service interval thats 2.5 oil changes per year, lets say $20.00 per, thats $50 per year, cause I do it myself. If I were to use E85, recommended service interval is 3000 miles which adds up to 5 times per year or $100 bucks. Besides the extra cost, I really hate changing my oil in the dead of winter. :D

I bought my CRD because I believe that Diesels are more environmentally friendly, I get almost 30% better MPG in my CRD than the gas KJ's, and if I compare it to a gas vehicle with the same towing capacity would bet the comparison is probably 50% better MPG. In addition, Diesel is currently about 15% cheaper than Regular gas (thats not always the case as winter blend is ussually more) and Service interval is 6000 to 12000 miles depending on use. '

VW TDI's are getting 45+ MPG and will go better than 250000 miles before needing to be rebuilt. Thats Great mileage and we don't have to replace it for 20 years. I my oppinion thats true conservation that is effective and available today.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 4:11 am 
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C co Chickenhawck 2/127IN wrote:
30 to 40 percent drop? where is this information coming from? At the extreme end of the loss it only going to be about 10 percent. Maby when flex fueled vehicles where just a new thing thats what it would have been the case.

I'd recheck your sources on that. Most independent testing finds it to be around what I stated. Remember, ethanol only has 78% of the energy density in a gallon that gasoline has. The mileage loss has nothing to do with the 'newness' of the fuel type, its still just an internal combustion engine, its the fact that the fuel just dosen't have as much stored energy as regular gasoline(and a lot less than diesel).

Quote:
An there are about a 100 other benifits to using ethanol. One would be not having to change your oil for about an additional 3 to 5 thousand miles from the sugested 3 thousand.

Actually from what I understand, due to the extra corrosive nature of ethanol it requires you to change your oil twice as often as gasoline(which itself is twice as often as diesel).

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On top of that its the most enviromentally friendly fuel thats on the market besides electric. Which if you follow the lines it comes from to the power plant; which is most likely coal. bottom line ethanol is still cheaper than gas.

Bear in mind that a gallon of ethanol requires 1.3-1.5 gallons of diesel fuel to produce(depending on who's estimates you use), plus 3 gallons of potable water(of which there is less on the planet than there is petroleum). So basically when you use a gallon of ethanol your also using up to one and a half gallons of diesel and three gallons of water. I fail to see how that is environmentally friendly. And its certainly not truly renewable, when we run out of petroleum we'll have no way to run our mechanized farming machine, and when we run out of water we will simply die as a species...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 3:35 pm 
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http://www.psfc.mit.edu/library1/catalo ... 6_full.pdf
MIT study on ethanol fuels

Air pollution
Compared with conventional unleaded gasoline, ethanol is a particulate-free burning fuel source that combusts cleanly with oxygen to form carbon dioxide and water. The Clean Air Act requires the addition of oxygenates to reduce carbon monoxide emissions in the United States. The additive MTBE is currently being phased out due to ground water contamination, hence ethanol becomes an attractive alternative additive.

Use of ethanol, produced from current (2006) methods, emits a similar net amount of carbon dioxide but less carbon monoxide than gasoline.[49] If all bioethanol-production energy came from non-fossil sources the use of bioethanol as a fuel would add no greenhouse gas.[50]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanol_fuel


thers a link to wikipedia about ethanol.... dont pay much attention to the main body of information. read all of the sited sorces


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 5:40 pm 
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Sure, burning ethanol is relatively clean(although some of its emissions are actually fairly harmful, but thats another debate), but that does not address that you have to burn 1.3-1.5 gallons of diesel to create a gallon of ethanol, since our farm system in the US is mechanized rather than human powered(Brazil is mostly human powered, big difference). And then there is the water expense....

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 7:18 pm 
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Water and fuel? Well when you convert the glucose mixture used to make ethanol you remove around 90+ percent o the water from it. So I'm not all to sure where your getting that you have to add to it. An the potable water part isnt true either. I dont know if youve ever made moonshine but you can put nasty pond water into the mash and still get the same quality. im talking about purity not taste, that it self is relative to the person drinking it. An the water you do use during the process; once removed during distilation; can be reused for the next batch of ethanol. An in that case you only have to add about 15 to 20 percent of the water needed. Now for the fuels used to produce it. Most of the petrol used to produce ethanol; with the exception of the fuel used in the harvesting of the feed crop used; comes from domestic sorces like LP gases. An even the amount of fuel used by the machines associated with the process of harvasting the crop wouldnt bring the level of fuel up to what you say is needed. I have been farming or around a farm since i could crawl and i know how efficient farm impliments have become. An when you use bio fuels in that equiptment the actual petroleum used drops even more. An by the way you dont need any petroleum products to make it. If you dont want to read sorces for that just watch the ondemand episode of dirty jobs where the make bio-diesel.



I decided to edit choice words realizing this is a discussion not an argument.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 7:42 pm 
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also you can use any water it just has to be distilled


definition
Distilled water is water that has virtually all of its impurities removed through distillation. Distillation involves boiling the water and re-condensing the steam into a clean container, leaving most contaminants behind.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 8:47 pm 
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Here is a good article on the topic: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/displa ... thanolnow/

Quote:
Doyal's plant is a co-op. Ten years ago it produced 10 million gallons of ethanol. Then it increased to 35 million gallons. Doyal says he's waiting for approval to increase again, this time to 45 million gallons. That's a four-fold increase, and the majority of its corn comes from less than an hour away.

So, production currently is 35 million gallons. Lets check water consumption...

Quote:
Minnesota has 16 ethanol plants. Al-Corn in Claremont used 146 million gallons of water in 2005. That's about the same water used by a small city with 3,000 people, a few Dairy Queens and a movie theater.

And:
Quote:
For every gallon of ethanol Al-Corn produces, it uses four gallons of water.

Um....that be a lot of water for very little fuel...

And if you read the article, that is *despite* the fact that it heavily recycles the water it consumes. Furthermore, this is just the water utilized in the refinement/production process, not including all the water spent irrigating the crop.

The water being used is well water and city water, both of course come from the same source, underwater aquifers and local lakes/rivers. Thats a huge amount of water consumption, simply to piddle it away as fuel for cars. The point really isn't where you get the clean water, the point is that you aren't getting it from the ocean, which is the only effectively unlimited source of water we have.

I do believe there is a future for biofuels, including ethanol. But its not using cropland for it. Its finding sources that can be easily grown and converted, but that require only nitrates and seawater for their environment. Algae is a good bet, and algae based biodiesel and ethanol are currently being heavily researched....

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 4:26 pm 
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Reflex,
Good article from Minnesota Public Radio, especially the 1 to 4 ratio of ethanol to water for production. I certainly don't want an ethanol plant in my neighborhood. The Great Lakes region is blessed with water, but putting up ethanol plants could put that in jeopardy, especially in drought years.

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 Post subject: The Biodiesel "Pass"
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:58 am 
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As a CRD owner, I've only put pure dino oil in my machine 5 times. With almost 50k miles on the machine, I chalk that up as a pretty good & responsible.

However, I don't pretend that there are not any environmental consequences nor there are no government subsidies because BOTH occur.

To those that recycle veggie oil, filter it and then take the risk of pouring it into a $25k machine I salute you but will not take such a risk nor will I waste my free time trolling fast food joints searching for oil. The Bio-Diesel I use comes from commercial sources which makes it soybean oil in this part of the country.

Now, the soybean market is stabilized (subsidized) by the government. Tax credits subsidize the creation of the Bio-D. In some states, further tax credits for Bio-D goes above and beyond Fed relief.

The same machinery used to plant, fertilize, spray, harvest, dry and haul the soybean are also used for corn; consuming the same amount of energy (or slightly more for beans). While beans do not need nitrogen fertilizer which does require alot of energy to create (they produce their own via a symbotic relationship with soil bacteria), beans produce only 1/3 the bushels/acre of a harvestable crop. In this region of the corn belt, we do a little better than that but other regions cannot make that claim. Our 185-190 bu/acre corn fields will produce 65-70 bu/acres of beans the following year if managed properly. You can't plant them and walk away. You used to be able to get by with one herbecide treatment/pass after emergence but that is slowly creeping into 2. You can also plan on spraying for aphids now in the northern sections of the corn belt (another insecticide trip using more fuel) and the Southern US is treating for soybean rust (another new problem) and the whole soybean belt may eventually be impact by this new pest (to the U.S.). You can read more about this at the USDA's national monitoring site at [url]sbrusa.net[/url]

After you take your machine across three times the amount of land to harvest the same amount (bushels) of crop, you take another hit. How? You can only squeeze (literally) about 1.2-1.4 gallons/bushel of soybean oil (diesel) out of one bushel of beans. Ethanol harvests about 2.75 gallons per bushel of corn and many plants are distilling 2.8 gallons of ethanol per bushel.

In spite of knowing all of this, I still have my CRD. Why? It fits my niche. It will tow 5k lbs, get over 22 MPG, haul my family of four, fit in my garage and not cost $35k like the crew cab trucks (which won't fit in our two car garage with the Mrs. minivan). I know, I traded an '05 F-150 crew for this CRD. All of my fuel, both bio and dino (a B2-B20 blend) is domestically produced.

My wife's next vehicle will be an E85 burner. Why? Because I can and it will use a fuel than will not stain her hands and smell all day during the FEW times she has to pump it herself (one of the perks of being married to Mr. Boilermaker :D )

As Americans, we have an insane tendency to slit our own throats just to say we are just. In spite of this, the rest of the world continues to hate us. Now we can't/shouldn't do something because of the environment. Well, if Americans REALLY wanted the ethanol plants to do it right, we would allow the plants being built use coal boilers with fluidized bed technology. This technology is extremely clean, green and squeezes every ounce of energy out of every ton of coal. We won't because the state regulatory commissions start to hyperventilate when you use the "C" word. I've sat in on a few of the meeting and read published accounts of others. Technology is outpacing the knowledge of those put in charge to regulate it. Not a criticism, we don't pay them enough or allow them the time to learn it, either. Global warming might be true but it is a total sham in how it is being presented and how it is enforced. This is especially true when you dig beneath the surface as to how it is to be enforced and who is exempt.

When ethanol is dissed, it is constantly ridiculed as being subsidized. In actuality, it will actually save the U.S. treasury money this year. While it is indeed subsidized, it has pulled ALL subsidized grain commodities off of the government-built market floor. Unless I was asleep, not a single Loan Deficiency Payment (support payment when the corn market dips to a certain level, which also applied to beans and wheat) for a crop will be paid this year which is absolutely amazing...saving the treasury Billions.

While it floated the grain commodities off the floor, it did so without a single shot fired, threat made or mobilized Army Division. Moreover, I can see the money being poured into my state to develop this stuff. I stand bank in amazement at the thought of this amount of money being shipped overseas to only be reinvested elsewhere by people that really, REALLY don't like us. Kinda reminds me of the pauper that becomes a Hollywood prince overnight and doesn't know what to do with all of the money so he joins a cult and underwrites PETA. I digress.

So, yes, none of these "alternative fuels" are perfect. If anyone learns how to turn sticks and leaves into liquid fuel cheaply, they will be the next Bill Gates. Ethanol can be made domestically. While we are making sure that other countries do not dump onto our market (though there are some some CAFTA/NAFTA loopholes that opponents never mention), we have actually raised the market price for grains around the globe...benefitting both the farmer in Kentucky and Kenya through increased consumption.

"Unsubisidized" petroleum requires at the moment 3 aircraft carriers, 150 thousand (even during "peaceful" times, thousands of) troups, billions in annual "make-peace" dollars (bribes-recently to Egypt and Israel) to the area of the world that provideds 40% of the world's petroleum. If we're going to talk about ethanol's subsidy, we should look closely as to how ALL of our energy sources are helped. Under that lens, the story is a little different.

Sorry so long, but there are MANY sides to this issue.
My $.03 :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:45 am 
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Quote:
When ethanol is dissed, it is constantly ridiculed as being subsidized. In actuality, it will actually save the U.S. treasury money this year. While it is indeed subsidized, it has pulled ALL subsidized grain commodities off of the government-built market floor. Unless I was asleep, not a single Loan Deficiency Payment (support payment when the corn market dips to a certain level, which also applied to beans and wheat) for a crop will be paid this year which is absolutely amazing...saving the treasury Billions.


Boilermaker2,

Please don't take this as a personal attack, just getting up on my soapbox.

If biofuel is a viable product then it has to be profitable without government subsidies and support. Its false economy to say that its saving the treasury (re: tax payers) money by pulling subsidized grains off the market, grains the tax payers paid for in the first place via the subsidies. I'll believe when I get that big refund on my taxes due to all those billions saved by ethanol.

down from my soapbox. :oops:

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:20 pm 
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Nor has the fact that it costs more fuel to make ethanol than is produced being taken into account. Until that is resolved, ethanol can only increase our dependence and expenditures on foreign oil.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 10:59 pm 
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To get back on topic. I know of more than one person back home (ND) that tried to run E85 in their non equipped Flex Fuel vehicle only to have the engine sustain heavy damage. An older vehicle that doesn't have the computers/sensers/injectors/etc that a new vehicle has may fair better. Still, the fuel is corrosive and can't be good for internal engine components not designed for it.


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