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Thread: E85 Myths

  1. #1
    Rookie RJWolfe3045's Avatar
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    Default E85 Myths

    Myth #1: You have to change all braided lines to "blue" line because the ethanol will corrode the rubber. False. You can use braided line and all components of your current fuel system if you switch to E85.

    Myth #2: If you run an aluminum fuel cell, E85 will corrode the aluminum. False. I actually have a pickle jar with E85 and have thrown rubber hose, o-rings, pieces of aluminum, etc with absolutely no corrosion.

    Myth #3: Switching to E85 requires a high volume, billet fuel pump. False. I run a Holley Black with no problems. Car runs 6.0s in the eighth and 9.20s in the quarter.

  2. #2
    CRO Founder Marcel's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing RJ! Glad to see you're conversion is doing well.

    I'm not familiar with conversions to E85 fuel systems but I am familiar with ethanol's chemical characteristics. Ethanol is hydroscopic meaning it absorbs water. Water corrodes metals including aluminum, it's an unfortunate fact. Also gasoline fuel is not conductive, but the presence of ethanol or ethanol and water will conduct electricity leading to Galvanic corrosion as well.

    Here is what the Texas State Energy Conservation Office lists as "issues" for gasoline distributors preparing to sell ethanol-blended fuels:

    These quotes are coming from a source that supports the use of ethanol in fuel.

    Transportation obstacles:
    like other alcohols (and unlike gasoline, natural gas and oil), ethanol absorbs water and chemicals. For that reason, ethanol cannot travel through the established pipelines and tanks that move petroleum products without picking up excess water. Furthermore, as gasoline travels through pipelines or tanks, it leaves some solids that ethanol will pick up and dissolve into itself if it flows through the same pipeline or tank. Ethanol also corrodes pipelines, making the fuel unusable. To remain uncontaminated, ethanol must be transported by land separately from gasoline and it must be blended with gasoline just before distribution. This lack of infrastructure for shipping and blending ethanol with gasoline adds cost to the end product and eats away at profits.

    because the alcohol in ethanol corrodes aluminum, FFV components are made of stainless steel and E85 pumps must be modified or manufactured with stainless steel to prevent corrosion. Repeated exposure to E85 also corrodes the metal and rubber parts in older engines (pre-1988) designed primarily for gasoline.
    As for rubbers, plastics and fiberglass resins. That's a toss-up. It really depends on what type of rubber was used in your car. Neoprene and other high quality rubbers are very resistant to ethanol attack/damage but a lot of the rubbers that were used in some older cars and in small engines will see damage from contact with ethanol. A Google search for folks who had to replace a fuel line, diaphragm or some other rubber part (especially in boats/PWC) will get a lot of results.

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  3. #3
    Resident Dawg & Moderator dawg's Avatar
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    I strongly disagree with the statement about the hose!
    I ran regular stainless covered hose for one full season and went to using a mix of 93 octane and race fuel.
    I kept smelling gas after about 3 months
    I check tightness on all fittings (aeroquip AN fittings)
    nothing loose ?
    ran car and put on the lift overnite.
    found fuel on the floor next morning.

    no leaks evident at fittings but the braid was saturated with fuel?
    changed to teflon coated lines and never had an issue!
    also its not the E85 that will corrode aluminum but the water the alcohol attracts will!
    Last edited by dawg; 07-26-2011 at 11:16 PM.
    "As I lay rubber down the street, I pray for traction I can keep, but if I spin and begin to slide, please dear God protect my ride." -Amen


  4. #4
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    Curious RJ...where does your info come from?

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