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E85 Damage

Frank Z

NAXJA Forum User
Location
Colorado Springs
Most of you have have probably seen at least one of my threads regarding my stroker issues and I've got some info that you may find interesting. First off I''m 100% certain that the cam failure and valve spring failures had nothing to do with improper assembly or the fact I'm running a stroker, or that I'm cursed. Sometimes shit just happens. Okay? Alrighty then...
I'm a fookin' moron for running E85 in my heep! Yep I admit it. I read stuff on the WWW and believed that my rig was more than capable of running on E85 without further modification.
WRONG!!!!!
I got a call from the machine shop today and Robbie proceeded to tell me that all of my intake valves were useless because they were tulip-ed (like the flower). He also told me that they also should signs of getting very hot, so much so that the stems near the head were blue. He also told me that the cylinder head should signs of excessive heat as well.
Needless to say I has floored! I knew I was going to need a little machine work to replace a guide and a valve seat, but now I'm looking at at least 3 new seats and 6 new intake valves.
Here's a pic of the #1 combustion chamber. The yellow arrows point to the discolored area adjacent to the exhaust seat. The metal has yellowish color that turns to blue as you get closer to the valve seat itself. Hopefully the picture quality is good enough for you to see what I'm trying to describe.
rm7gy1.jpg


Here's another chamber without the arrows added.
5wmbn7.jpg


So what was the root cause? Insufficient fuel. Yep, that simple. In order to run E85 the Pulse Width must be increased to allow for more fuel to reach the cylinder. The extremely lean mixture burned so hot that the margin of the intake valves bent, giving it a concave shape.
So what now? 6 new intake valves, 3 new seats, removal of money from the bank to pay for it.
I know that some of you are wondering why the exhaust valves weren't affected and I asked the same question. Basically it's because the exhaust valve is smaller and the margin is larger than the intake valve.
This should clarify it...
28a3o8i.jpg


Just so there's no confusion, this is not a result of simple overheating. It's all about improper combustion as a result of poor fuel management. I've got no one to blame but myself for this one.
Flame suit is on, have at it folks.
 
I could have told you you needed to bump up your fuel flow to run E85, thats the whole trick to flex fuel. A stock non-flex fuel ECU can make small adjustments to the fuel flow to adjust air/fuel for different altitudes, with a stock set-up you can safely run about an E30 mix. The ECU can make the needed adjustments to compensate for the added ethanol. Aftermarket flex fuel systems piggyback off of the stock ECU, broadening the range of air/fuel adjustments enough to increase fuel flow enough for E85.
 
Might have survived with some good valves and guides,heads are no place to cut corners.
 
Yeah, E85 or better is good stuff. Problem is you do have to adjust for it, and can't just fill your tank. I picked up the book/dvd "Alcohol can be a Gas". Problem is the amount of feedstock to make your own fuel. My dad could do it, but I don't have the room.

http://www.alcoholcanbeagas.com/
 
At least your combustion chambers don't have a lot of carbon build up....
Actually it loks like its been cleaned.I sure dont like what looks like (wire wheel on a grinder) marks on the head mating surface!!
 
Actually it loks like its been cleaned.I sure dont like what looks like (wire wheel on a grinder) marks on the head mating surface!!
No wire wheel has ever touched the mating surfaces!! It had just been removed from a hot tank. A little scotchbrite for the stubborn stuff but that's it. It was also checked for flatness...checked well within spec's.:thumbup:

dam Frank, that is the MAJOR SUCK. Good luck and hope you can get that thing working.
It'll be running in 2-3 days at the most!
 
Going through Nebraska burning E10 I found my MPGs about 2 points low, call it about 20% less fuel economy.
My understanding is that to burn ethanol mixes (effectively the same as higher octane, right?) efficiently / safely you need to be running higher compression ratios or a hotter ignition setup, correct?
I guess with E85 you need to add more fuel to the mix as well...
 
Reguardless sorry to hear about your engine, hope it hasn't entirely turned you off of E85, just tought you a lesson,
This incident shouldn't turn you off of e85 but everything else about it should. Its a scam. The reason that it is significantly cheaper than regular 87 is that it is subsidied by our government. In other words, you have a less efficient fuel that is paid for partially by our tax dollars.:shhh:
 
Fair enough, didn't mean to hijack.
My condolences on your loss there. Hindsight is pretty strong after the fact and it makes you feel sick to your stomach.
 
This incident shouldn't turn you off of e85 but everything else about it should. Its a scam. The reason that it is significantly cheaper than regular 87 is that it is subsidied by our government. In other words, you have a less efficient fuel that is paid for partially by our tax dollars.:shhh:

E85 itself is a pretty cool fuel, I've seen some companies do some wild stuff in high boost/high compression(11:1 compression w/15lbs boost) applications that would be retarded to try with gasoline, even the high octane stuff, and it works more efficently doing stuff like that, you just have to know how to tune for it. I look at E85 as a 105 octane fuel thats cheeper than regular gasoline, not to mention that it burns cleaner and cooler than 105 octane gasoline. the product is gold, but the prosess to make it is crap, but that can be changed.
 
It definitely has potential for modders. I meant as a whole to our nation, it is a scam. But thats for another thread in respect for the OP.
 
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