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Old 04-28-2016, 10:56 PM   #1
Revolver
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MacEwen's E85 ethanol content



Hey folks, I've been running an E85 blend in my car for a little while now. As far as I know it's only available at the MacEwen at Bank and the Queensway. I live in the 'burbs but pass by there on my way to hockey every week so stop in and top up with E85. Logs look real good running a 95 octane MHD tune with a mix of Petro 94 and E85.

I've often heard that gas stations lower the ethanol content of E85 in the winter, but was curious what the winter content of ethanol is and when they change it so I sent MacEwen a few emails and someone called me back today. The fellow I spoke to said they lower the ethanol content to 55% from November to March and do E85 from April to November. He said 55% was he lowest they've gone, and that they switched to the summer blend at the beginning of the month.

After I got off the phone I wished I had asked if they test the octane rating of their ethanol or E85 blend as I've heard different numbers. I've got the number on my phone so I think I'll call back tomorrow and see. Can't hurt to ask, right?

Anyway, thought this might be useful information for those running E85 to help figure out their ethanol content.

Cheers.
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Old 04-29-2016, 03:53 PM   #2
NOTORIOUS VR
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No offence, but running an ethanol blend without a content analyzer is asking for problems.... you can call all you want, but what is really in the tank when you fill up is one thing.

On top of the changing pump ethanol content, you're guesstimating even more when mixing pump 94.
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Old 04-30-2016, 09:50 AM   #3
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If my fuel system is well within the limits of the volume of fuel it's able to supply and my tune is not asking for more octane than the fuel is supplying, how am I asking for problems? Why do you think it matters that I'm blending fuel?

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Old 05-03-2016, 03:05 PM   #4
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What he's saying is if your car is tuned for e85 and your only getting at e70 at the pump then your motor will pop but if you have a flex fuel sensor and standalone than your fine. I've bought e85 from the same ottawa location macewens and my Flex fuel sensor said it was 83 percent so pretty damn close.
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Old 05-03-2016, 05:39 PM   #5
Revolver
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My car isn't tuned for E85 - the fuel system isn't capable of supporting straight E85 without several thousand dollars in fuel upgrades. As mentioned in the OP I'm running a 95 octane tune. If the E85 is actually E55 in winter and you conservatively assume the octane rating of the ethanol is 105 blended with 87 octane gas, then the E55 would be a minimum of about 97 octane. Combined with Petro 94 I know the octane level is fine because my logs are super clean.
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Old 05-03-2016, 05:51 PM   #6
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You should still never even run any amount of ethanol in a vehicle with stock fuel system
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:33 PM   #7
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Why not? There are thousands of people running varying amounts of ethanol in the N54 engine without problems, me included. There are lots of benefits, and the only downside I can think of is the poor fuel economy.
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:59 PM   #8
NOTORIOUS VR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revolver View Post
If my fuel system is well within the limits of the volume of fuel it's able to supply and my tune is not asking for more octane than the fuel is supplying, how am I asking for problems? Why do you think it matters that I'm blending fuel?
You mistake is you're basing all of your calculations on octane rating.

You tune is as you've said many times for 95 octane (which doesn't make any sense to begin with... 94 is generally the highest you can get in Ontario - yes I'm aware there was some odd-ball 95 oct. stuff available, but it might as well be considered 94). You're tune is NOT for Ethanol blends higher than E10 from anything I can tell. You're not running a flex fuel capable ECU, sensor, and you're judging Ethanol blend by talking to someone in an office who have no idea what is actually in the tank of the pump station.

All kinds of wrong going on here.

Ethanol fuels require much more fuel to be injected, you should have a look at your fuel trims when running whatever blend/mix you think you're running. You will see that the ECU is trying to prevent your motor from running lean because of the Ethanol you're adding to your tank.

Small mixes are ok if you are careful and monitor the REAL ethanol content, and are watching your fuel trims so they're not out of control. What you're doing is playing with fire.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:11 PM   #9
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You've made a bunch of assumptions based on what I'm not exactly sure. I mentioned previously the fuel system is well within the limits of the quantity of fuel it's able to supply; the stock N54 fuel system is capable of running between e30 and e40 in stock form. I don't run that much because I don't need to, and as also mentioned previously my logs are very clean. In other words no timing pulls and LPFP, HPFP and fuel trims all look fine.
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:59 PM   #10
NOTORIOUS VR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revolver View Post
You've made a bunch of assumptions based on what I'm not exactly sure. I mentioned previously the fuel system is well within the limits of the quantity of fuel it's able to supply; the stock N54 fuel system is capable of running between e30 and e40 in stock form. I don't run that much because I don't need to, and as also mentioned previously my logs are very clean. In other words no timing pulls and LPFP, HPFP and fuel trims all look fine.
I made assumptions based on the fact you said you were basing the Ethanol content on what someone over the phone told you. No one should ever do that plain and simple.

I have no idea what "the fuel system is well within the limits means" when someone supplies no information, says they're running a 95 octane tune and mixing unknown amounts of Ethanol blends in blindly on a tune that isn't tuned to run Ethanol blend fuel ratios. Logs look good doesn't mean much either.

Obviously you think you have it all figured out, so I'll let you be to do as you will.
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