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Hello everyone. 

 

I am having a Seven (Birkin) built with a 2.5 Duratec motor. I was going to reach out to Tom to ask about E85 as an option but was wondering if anybody knows off the back if that is an option with these motors and how much of an additional cost I may be looking at?

 

I am not necessarily looking to make more power but I was told that running E85 for AutoX or track applications can help with temps anyone have any experience with the Duratec's in this application, Is it even worth it if you are not looking for power gains?

 

thanks in advance.

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I'm looking forward to the responses on this one as it sounds interesting!  But having said that, my gut feeling is temperatures for the purposes you mention may not be much of an issue.  But if I'm wrong, then I might consider spraying methanol instead.

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Sorry, forgot to mention that the cost for methanol isn't too steep, a few hundred for a kit was my one experience.  I think the tune cost more.  As for E85, I'm not aware of a cost, but it will require a tune too and coming up with a baseline for pump E85 will be harder than for a consistent mix of methanol and water.  And that is the extent of my knowledge, so let the correcting begin!

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Beware E85 is not available everywhere, Here in MD I have never seen an E85 pump. I was at a track day I think VIR and the guys had to bring all there gas with them for the entire weekend. Maryland only has 7 station, VA only has one in the state!

 

Graham  

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My Duratec (2.0 not 2.5) runs very hot, the trigger for the fan on for my Duratec is 105C and cuts off at 101C, which freaked me out the first time I ran the engine, but Caterham confirmed this is correct. Once running at speed it cools to 94C. You could maybe add a switch to override the ECU output to the fan and keep the fan on so the engine stays cooler than the 105-101 range (or whatever the 2.5 is), it'll be a cheap mod anyways.

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Thank you for the replies everyone. Heat is for sure going to be my number one concern living here in California.

 

I am lucky that E85 is fairly common around where I live but of course a friend told me "Just drive the car" maybe I should stop over reacting.

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E-85 will make your engine run cooler. You can probably add some timing and get a small increase in power. The biggest gain is E-85 has oxygen in it. You can get a controller that is compatible with a number of ECUs that will allow you to switch from gas to E-85 without doing anything. Having one is highly recommended because the ethanal level in E-85 varies from 51 to 85 percent. Your engine needs a different amount of fuel as the percentage changes. If you want the full benefit of E-85 you need to raise the engine compression ratio. If you do it the engine will run like you are using 100 Octane race gas, but you will no longer be able to switch back to regular high test gas. The down side is corrosion. Everything in the fuel system needs to be compatible. Aluminum is not compatible with out being anodized. Only some of the AN hose is compatible.          

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What are the specs of the engine? Is this a big power build?  Also, what types of temps do you anticipate it will see when doing track days?  With that information in hand, you might get some real world feedback from folks that heat isn't an issue provided you have an adequate radiator and/or oil cooler. 

 

-John  

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2 hours ago, sf4018 said:

My Duratec (2.0 not 2.5) runs very hot, the trigger for the fan on for my Duratec is 105C and cuts off at 101C, which freaked me out the first time I ran the engine, but Caterham confirmed this is correct. Once running at speed it cools to 94C. You could maybe add a switch to override the ECU output to the fan and keep the fan on so the engine stays cooler than the 105-101 range (or whatever the 2.5 is), it'll be a cheap mod anyways.

 

I had the exact same experience with my 420R.  For grins I read the actual temp from the ECU rather than the gauge and found the gauge was reporting back about 5C higher.  They still run hot, presumably for emissions, but it wasn't quite as extreme as I thought.

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It's going to be an expensive exercise for a situation you think might happen. You will need a fully E85 compatible fuel system, a E85 programmable ECU, most people use the GM Flex Fuel sensor. Then your going to have to have it custom mapped for both regular gas and E85.

 

https://www.amazon.com/ACDelco-13577429-Original-Equipment-Sensor/dp/B01GQR9C5O

 

Graham 

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There is quite a bit of info on this subject on the Ford Focus forums, esp, FocusFanatics. The Duratec is the Focus engine, so relevant to you. Ditto the Miata forums under Power Mods.

 

TurboTom, known here as 1 Turbofocus, is a big contributor there. He says the pump e85 is of poor quality and that he's tested it many times. So stick with the e85 in 55 gallon drums as its consistently better. And he questions whether the modest gain is worth the hassles.

 

The Miata forums paint a much rosier picture of the benefits. Miatas run a version of the Duratec (or visa versa, I think) and claim that most pump e85 is good stuff. Power seems to go up in the range of 10-15%. Mileage drops by about 30%, and finding it in the wild is not guaranteed.  And you can't run gas on an e85 tune. The engine runs much cooler, built up deposits in the engine are washed away, etc., etc. You need a separate tune, and have to schlep the e85 drums (or 5 gallon jugs) to the track if that's where you are hoping to see the benefit of reliable hp gains.

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And herein lies why I think spraying methanol/water is a better option.  You need only a single tune as the ratio is fixed, and you get all of the cooling benefits, perhaps even more so.  BTW, anyone want to buy some bottles of methanol mix?  :classic_dry:

 

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E85 is pretty available in my area, what it sounds like is I will need an actual Tune and if possible a flex Tune.

 

I was more concerned that I would need different injectors or maybe even a different fuel pump? Sounds like I need to reach out to Tom to find out if I can run some kind of Flex tune.

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You will definitely need different injectors. The energy content of fuel is directly related to the weight of the fuel and and ethanol is much lighter than gasoline.  You will burn 30 to 40 percent more E-85 than gasoline.

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