ethanol test

I’m just going to touch on a couple things and work on my health. I have pneumonia again and I need to get a little better before I do any heavy thinking. I wanted to mention a little experiment my buddy and I have been doing on ethanol vs. regular gas. Some weekends my trucks sits in driveway and I noticed that when I jumped back in it for the first time I had some problems. The exhaust would smoke after it sat and my automatic transmission wouldn’t shift into high. I traced the culprit to low intake manifold vacuum which didn’t tell me much since it’s a healthy smallblock. My buddy’s Mustang was the same way so we decided to run only regular and no oxygenated fuel (ehtanol) for 1,500 miles. After doing this we got together and compared notes. Because his car was newer and made to run ethanol we thought there would be problems. There weren’t. What we both noticed comparing our mileage logs is that we both got about 15% better gas mileage with regular. With the cost difference of 5% it still sounds good and I for one am not going back to oxygenated fuels unless it becomes the only fuel available. This wasn’t scientific by any means, but I haven’t had the old problems since I switched.

A friend of mine goes to the Back to the 50’s car show it St. Paul every year. Of course he’s from Minnesota, and a member of Minnesota Street Rod Assn. who host the show. This year out of over 10,000 show cars his was chosen for the cover of Rod & Custom magazine. Jim owns a street rod building business in Oak Grove, Minnesota called Tin Man Fabrication. But the neat thing to me is, out of all those cars his is in a magazine and he built it for $5,000. That’s just about impossible today.

6 Responses to ethanol test

  1. Nitrous55 says:

    Congrats to your friend. What issue is his car on the cover?

    Car Craft has an interesting story on E-85. It told the good/bad points of it and how to convert to E-85.

  2. cruiser says:

    Believe it or not it’s on the January 2007 cover. It’s at newstands now through november 28. I haven’t looked into E-85 lately, but of course being oxygenated it burns a lot hotter and richer on older vehicles due to the oxygen added. Also if I remember right; isn’t the conversion a little costly? Jim’s car is a 27′ T modified.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Be careful with the pneumonia! I had it for the first time in August and ended up with blood clots on my lungs! Very dangerous. Good luck.

  4. cruiser says:

    Thank you anon and I hope you’re feeling better yourself.

  5. Nitrous55 says:

    Just got the issue in the mail Saturday. Nice Tee.

    What I got from the E-85 story, is that it would be nice for higher compression engines. It has an octane rating of around 105. The downside is that it has a lower BTU rating than gas. So, you loss some fuel millage. The conversion didn’t seem too hard. Mostly just adding more fuel and having the fuel system to supply it.

    If you have compression that is a little too high for pump gas, it may be worth it. Otherwise, I’d stick with pump gas since you would go further with a tank of gas.

  6. cruiser says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head nitrous55. You have to set everything richer, it doesn’t burn as efficient, and it lowers gas mileages. The only upside I could see to E-85 is it would help farmers and hire some workers.

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