E85

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Thread: E85

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    Default E85

    Does anyone use E85 or tried it on their Tacoma? I'm curious why Toyota has not approved thsi on the vehicles at this time.

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    Default Re: E85

    E85 will eat the seals and plastic parts in your fuel system/engine if it wasn't built to use it - Toyota does not do that so DO NOT use E85 in a Toyota.

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    Default Re: E85

    E85 has been around for a while, but it only got media exposure and people talking about it again a few months ago. Toyota, like any car maker will need time to first decide, then create the design changes if they do it.

    Tough call,
    1. you lose 30 % of mileage vs gas
    2. it's only available in midwest
    3. right now it costs the same as gas per gallon (see point 1, look how far you go on a tank, like paying $4+ a gallon).

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    Default Re: E85

    Yep, what demoncleaner said, and the fuel system of the Tacoma is not compatible with high concentrations of ethanol. That stuff is very corrosive.
    05 Tacoma Pre-Runner, Dbl Cab, Long Bed, Sport Pkg

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    Default Re: E85

    yep, what they ^^^ said. you'll have to buy a GM (or other flex fuel cars) if you want to use that.

    Nathan
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    Default Re: E85

    I have noticed it at two or three different stores around here (NM) who have both E10 and E85. So I was just curious if people had tried it.

    Out here the E10 @ 90 octane was $.15/gal less than 85 octane unleaded (currently $3.09/gall) and the E85 with 105 Octane was also the same price. If I use the 91 Octane like the Toytaco manual says, E10 and E85 are about $.45 less than 91 Octane.

    So that started the wheels turning....

    Out of curisoity, why does 105 Octane perform so much worse than regular unleaded....assuming you can run your vehicle on it? Is the combustion that much worse?

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    Default Re: E85

    Quote Originally Posted by grooveninja View Post
    I have noticed it at two or three different stores around here (NM) who have both E10 and E85. So I was just curious if people had tried it.

    Out here the E10 @ 90 octane was $.15/gal less than 85 octane unleaded (currently $3.09/gall) and the E85 with 105 Octane was also the same price. If I use the 91 Octane like the Toytaco manual says, E10 and E85 are about $.45 less than 91 Octane.

    So that started the wheels turning....

    Out of curisoity, why does 105 Octane perform so much worse than regular unleaded....assuming you can run your vehicle on it? Is the combustion that much worse?
    E-85 has the capability to perform better with better mpg than gasoline because of the higher octane. It does have less heat units than gasoline though. The problem is engines today are designed to run on much lower octane, compression would need to be raised considerably to achieve the same efficiency as gasoline.

    I think it is Saab who has a turbo'd concept vehicle designed for E-100 that achieves more hp and mileage than it's gasoline counterpart. Iowa State University had a flex fuel Avalanche at the Iowa state fair this year that they put different pistons in to raise the compression and changed the timing or something and they claimed a 5% increase in fuel mileage running E-85. Unfortunately you would always need to run E-85 or higher.

    So it's not a problem with ethanol, it's a problem with the engines designed to run on both. Some manufacturers engines have less loss of efficiency with ethanol (the ones with higher compression ratios) but i'm not sure which ones, go to National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition, I believe they have done tests on all the flex fuel cars. Nissan's 5.6 V-8 can run e-85.

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    Default Re: E85

    I suppose I am reviving an old thread, but after stopping at a local gas station (Castle Rock, CO) I noticed that E85 fuel was $2.39/gallon and 85 octane unleaded was $3.09 That would be quite a savings so I started searching on the subject and this thread turned up.

    Was wondering if anyone had any updated information on the subject...

    I also ran across this product:
    FlexTek

    Has anyone tried this in thier tacoma?

    Oh, and this is my first post (My tacoma is almost a month old already!)
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    Default Re: E85

    The E85 flex fuel vehicles are a joke. I would not be suprised if it was pushed through by GM. Why? Simply put GM uses the sales of these vehicles to get credit for their not so great preforming gas hogs ie their trucks. There was a good article on this that it was CHEAPER for GM to make their vehicles E85 then to actually improve their gas mileage. The problem of course is very few people use E85 so there has been no improvement in the reduction of foreign oil but yet GM come off smelling like roses for a fraction of the cost of what it would have, had they produced a more effiecient car. GM's slight of hand.....

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    Default Re: E85

    the banner at the top of the flextek site shows a tacoma in it...interesting...
    2005 Toyota Tacoma Black Double Cab TRD Sport 4x4

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    Default Re: E85

    calitundra

    Yep that sure does sound like some of the little three tricks all right! The little three has had so many chances throughout the years to do it right! But they just seem to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over!

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    Default Re: E85

    Ignoring the GM and thier flex-fuel engine, looking at the economics of a .70 per gallon savings seems like it could pay for the FlexTek computer pretty quickly.

    The site says it supports the "new Toyota" injectors and has pictures of the injector cabling. (You are supposed to make sure they are compatible with your vehicle by looking at the plugs. I havent done this in my Tacoma)

    However, I am just leary of this solution because of comments such as in this thread that it will cause corrosion of various engine parts. I know this is marketing hype, but this is what FlexTek says in thier FAQs:
    If I have a gasoline vehicle and convert it to alcohol, am I going to damage the engine?

    No. There are currently over 50,000 vehicles on the road using the FlexTek to burn alcohol fuels. There have been no reports of engine damage due to the conversion. In fact, burning alcohol instead of gasoline has been shown to decrease engine oil contamination and extend engine life. Alcohol burns cooler than gasoline providing additional benefits in terms of engine life and performance.
    Should I take any precautions before running my vehicle on alcohol?

    Yes. We highly recommend that you treat your engine with the included E85 Engine Treatment and Fuel Treatment before running on alcohol. This helps clean the fuel system and protects the engine from corrosion.


    I pasted the others 'cause it had interesting information.





    Will the FlexTek void my new car warranty?

    No. FlexTek will not void a new car warranty. There are laws that protect the consumer. This link to the Federal Trade Commission explains the Magnuson-Moss Act in detail.

    Does the FlexTek work in cold weather?

    Yes. FlexTek provides easy starting even in extremely cold weather.

    Does FlexTek increase fuel consumption?

    Because ethanol contains less energy per gallon than gasoline, you can expect somewhat lesser fuel mileage when burning E85. However, the E85 Engine Preparation Kit increases fuel mileage and helps offset mileage loss due to burning alcohol.


    Will I lose power from using alcohol in my car?

    No. Because E85 has a higher octane rating than most automotive grade gasoline you should notice a power increase. If you currently use regular or mid-grade gasoline you should see a significant boost in horsepower.

    Is FlexTek the same as a chip?

    No. FlexTek is not a chip. FlexTek utilizes its own standalone CPU to enable the vehicle’s fuel system to burn alcohol, gasoline, or any blend of the two fuels. The vehicle’s original computer is not bypassed. The vehicle continues to be controlled by the original sensors and ECU, but in such a way as to allow efficient burning of alcohol blends.

    Does FlexTek alter the vehicle’s originality?

    No. FlexTek installation does not alter the originality of a vehicle. FlexTek plugs into the vehicle’s existing wiring harness without cutting or splicing. FlexTek is easily removed leaving your car completely unaltered.

    Does FlexTek work on most cars?

    Yes. FlexTek fits most domestic and imported late model cars with multi-port and sequential fuel injection systems.

    Does FlexTek work using only alcohol or it can use a mixture?

    FlexTek allows your car to burn ethanol, gasoline, or any mixture of alcohol and gasoline.

    What if I sell my car?

    FlexTek can be completely removed leaving the car unaltered. The unit may be reused on any compatible vehicle with the same number of cylinders or less.

    Will the FlexTek unit work with any car?

    FlexTek will work with all multi-port and sequential fuel injection systems. Please refer to our “List of Cars” .
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    Default Re: E85

    First off DO NOT try to use E85 in your Taco!! No, it will not "hurt the engine"- It will however destroy the rest of your fuel delivery system. Every hose, every O-ring, possibly even the fuel pump-depending on what it's constructed from.
    I used to have a flex fuel S10 and I ran E85 quite often in it. The price difference was offset by the reduction in mpg so the actual cost per mile for fuel was exactly the same! this was including the $.50/gal price subsidy and the federal price support of the corn used to manufacture it!!!
    E85 is a scam, switchgrass would be a much better product to use to make alcohol, but the corn growers lobby in D.C. will NEVER let that happen! Back to your question about the use of E85 in your Toyota- Presently, none of their vehicles are made to use it, and there are no "conversion kits" on the market that address every possible potential problem that may arise from the use of any fuel other than good old gasoline.
    P.S. Try putting one of those funky kits on your truck and then bring it back to toyota for ANY warranty work and I'll bet they laugh you right out the back door of the service area.

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    Default Re: E85

    Quote Originally Posted by calitundra View Post
    The E85 flex fuel vehicles are a joke. I would not be suprised if it was pushed through by GM. Why? Simply put GM uses the sales of these vehicles to get credit for their not so great preforming gas hogs ie their trucks. There was a good article on this that it was CHEAPER for GM to make their vehicles E85 then to actually improve their gas mileage. The problem of course is very few people use E85 so there has been no improvement in the reduction of foreign oil but yet GM come off smelling like roses for a fraction of the cost of what it would have, had they produced a more effiecient car. GM's slight of hand.....
    I'm not so sure I would venture to call their entire truck lineup gas hogs. Funny, my dad's Silverado with the 5.3 V8 get the same mileage as my 4.0 Taco. Reliability issues aside, don't think it can be argued that our yotas have the best gas mileage to weight ratios in the industry.

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    Default Re: E85

    Quote Originally Posted by elfiero View Post
    First off DO NOT try to use E85 in your Taco!! No, it will not "hurt the engine"- It will however destroy the rest of your fuel delivery system. Every hose, every O-ring, possibly even the fuel pump-depending on what it's constructed from.
    The evidence from this is still a little lacking for modern fuel systems. Ethanol mixes have been known to soften fuel system components. This is not limited to E85, but as little as E10. This was a common problem in the late 80s when BMW motorcycle division first came out with their fuel injected motorcycles. The primary problem was that if left standing in the tank, the fuel would soften the rubber mounting of the fuel pump to the point that the pump would actually try to suck it in. This would instantly destroy the pump. We saw this happen several times in the 8 years I worked at the dealership service department.

    However, this was, as I said, in the late 80s when ethanol blends were first being added to many stations. It's been over 20 years since, and most auto manufacturers have hardened they systems to combat the corrosive nature of ethanol. Rubber lines still have some concern, however I have little doubt that most fuel system components in any car manufactured after 2000 would contain little else to be of concern. The most that you will need to worry about is replacing the rubber hoses with hoses that are not affected. Most race shops should be able to direct you in the right direction.
    I used to have a flex fuel S10 and I ran E85 quite often in it. The price difference was offset by the reduction in mpg so the actual cost per mile for fuel was exactly the same! this was including the $.50/gal price subsidy and the federal price support of the corn used to manufacture it!!!
    There is no actual price subsity for E85. There are price incentives for stations to install E85 pumps, but nothing for the fuel itself. This is an often quoted misconception.
    E85 is a scam, switchgrass would be a much better product to use to make alcohol, but the corn growers lobby in D.C. will NEVER let that happen!
    I don't think it is nearly as big of a conspiracy as you think it is. Presently there is little to no price incentive to develop and build celulose-based ethanol plants. The problem is that there is not enough market for ethanol to pay for such an investment. I'm sure that will change in teh next 10 years, but it will certainly take time, and more manufacturers will need to support flex fuel vehicles to make this a reality.
    Back to your question about the use of E85 in your Toyota- Presently, none of their vehicles are made to use it, and there are no "conversion kits" on the market that address every possible potential problem that may arise from the use of any fuel other than good old gasoline.
    The major drawback is that ethanol requires about 15% greater duty cycle of the injectors. There are several methods of addressing this, including larger injectors, aftermarket ECUs, modded ecus, or piggyback ecus. The flex fuel vehicles have an additional sensor that measures the amount of O2 in the exhaust, and based on that will increase or decrease the duty cycle of the injectors. This is not much different than the way most injected cars do for emmissions controls, but requires a little more adjustment. Most stock cars handle a 15% variange to handle the normal variations of fuel quality and other environmental conditions. This is not quite enough to meet both those requirements and E85s' requirements all of the time. At best, you could probably get by running on E20, E30 or even E50-70, depending on the environment, without any added modifications to your ECU.
    P.S. Try putting one of those funky kits on your truck and then bring it back to toyota for ANY warranty work and I'll bet they laugh you right out the back door of the service area.
    Yes, most dealers would find it ammusing. Depending on the dealer, they may ignore the device, and perform the warranty work anyways, or try to refuse to service your vehicle. It really depends on the dealer and your relationship to them. Toyota would most certainly not be amused, so if the dealer performs warranty work that relates to the fuel system, they won't be sharing the use of E85 with Toyota. However, the factory warranty, and probably even the Toyota-backed extended warranty is required by law to cover any damage that is not related to customer installed components. This means if you use E85, and have a modified ECU, they won't cover the ECU, but would still have to cover any parts not related to the ECU. This would only rule out the fuel system, and they may also complain about the engine itself, although that would vary, depending on who you talked to. The rest of the drive train would still be covered.

    Now, as for concerns about the engine... The engine will not be hurt from running E85 unless you are running lean. Your Check Engine Light will warn you about that before you have any engine damage. Adding a ECU helper, or larger injectors will take care of this, as they will both be adding additional fuel to your mixture.

    There are other concerns... Ethanol is water soluible. This ads some concern as it could contaminate your engine oil if not handled properly. The truth to this is that modern fuel systems are closed systems that do not allow mixture of outside air in the tank when the fuel cap is closed. This reduces the possibility that there will be any water moisture in the system. Very little to worry about here. Even if there was some concern, unless you have a very high mileage engine, you aren't going to need to worry about oil contamination, and even then, the worry from ethanol is not any more than that from gasoline.

    If you have any mileage on your vehicle, be prepared to change the fuel filter a few times after switching to E85. This is because running ethanol will actually act as a solvent and clean your fuel system, depositing any contaminants into your fuel system. I would not plan any long trips after first starting to run ethanol, as you may be changing the filter every couple tanks at first. Make sure you are comfortable doing this yourself, as you don't want to have to pay the dealer to do this.

    There are several companies that offer kits to convert to E85. I would recommend doing research on the companies, and how they achieve their conversion. Most add a piggy back module to the ECU. Some add a sensor to be able to dynamically change the injector duty cycle. I would recommend this route, if even more expensive, as it will give you better fuel economy than just dumping an additional 15% fuel into the system, even if it is not needed.

    As for fuel economy... You will likely get worse. There have been reports of some vehicles with advanced engine designs or higher compression actually getting better economy with E85 than with gasoline. I honestly do not know where the Toyota engines will fall, as they are certainly amung the more advances designs on the market.

    As with any advice you get on the forums... Take all of it with a grain of salt, and remember... You are the party responsible for your actions, and if you choose to use E85 on your Toyota, you need to make sure that it is running properly, or you will be paying for some possibly expensive repairs.

    Sorry for the above book, and for any typos. It's late, and I'm tired, but I felt that this was too important of an issue to juse be dismissed with outdated information.

    -jt2

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