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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I’m wrapping up my first full season of driving on ethanol here, so I thought I post about my impressions.

I’m gonna start by saying that I never really had intentions of running flex fuel. When Chris first called me to tell me about Insight and was making me a prototype supplemental harness, I told him to leave the flex fuel stuff out. “I won’t use it,” I told him. “I don’t need the extra wires bulking up my harness for no reason.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes,” I said. “Leave that and all the automatic trans stuff out. I will never use them.”

Well, I thought about it all night while lying in the hospital (true story, I was in the hospital for 3 days when Chris called me). Perhaps it was luck that I was in there because it forced me to think it over and over. “What’s a couple of wires? If I EVER decide I want to try it, I will regret telling Chris to leave them out.”

Next morning, who walks into my hospital room but Michael Plummer on crutches. He had just had a hip replaced. (Yeah, we are falling apart.) Side comment here, I can’t say enough about Michael for making that visit. Quite frankly I didn’t even know him that well at that point, and for him to show up in the hospital with a copy of 5.0 Mustang Magazine when he heard I was there is something I will never forget. Anyway, I digress. I told him about my conversation with Chris. Now, if you don’t know Michael, he is Mr. Meth. He wasn’t overly excited to hear about flex fuel, which made me play devil’s advocate and argue against him in favor of it. Well, when he left, I called Chris and told him to include the wires. “OK,” he said.

At this point I can say that that was the best decision I could have made. Flex Fuel controls are by far my favorite “newer” feature in Pro-M. I was historically anti-E85 because off all the complications that arise with a non-flex fuel vehicle running pump E85. I made all the arguments against it. You don’t know what E% you’re really getting. Your tune is only good for the E% that is in the tank at the time of the tune. Change % and your a/f will be off, spark might be overly advanced or retarded, etc.

I was wrong. Well, not exactly. I still believe I’m right if you don’t have a vehicle with a flex fuel sensor and a system that automatically adjusts for E%. But, if you have that, Flex Fuel is fantastic. The only drawback is availability near me. I have to drive about 30 min to get it.

So far this year I’ve put about 3000 miles on my car, the vast majority of which were on about E72. (And that’s only since August because of a giant fiasco with headers that killed the spring and early summer.) I made three pretty big hauls from the two stations closest to me, and it was E70-E75 every time. I made a few long trips in the Mustang like taking my son to the Mystic Aquarium in CT. I needed to get some gasoline to make it home. I just pulled up to a pump, pumped in enough gallons of 93 to complete the trip, and then dumped in more flex fuel when I got home. Seemless. The car never missed a beat. I don’t make all out WOT pulls with gas in it because I just don’t feel safe making a full load of 2.4 on 93, but I don’t have to baby it either. The spark automatically rolls back as the E% decreases.

If you’re on the fence about running E85 with a Pro-M system, I can’t say enough good things about it. Honestly. My only fear is that at some point E85 will go away with the market moving toward electric. However, until that time comes, I’m gonna enjoy E85 while it lasts.

If you want more details about my experience with flex fuel and the Pro-M system so far, or if you are just curious about fuel system changes I needed to make, or whatever, let me know and I’ll discuss it further.
 

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I don't have a ProM but I did equip my car with flex fuel strategy and I concur your feeling. Using a computer that self adjusts to whatever fuel you have in the tank is absolute perfect for a street car. More than once I was too far from an E85 station but no matter b/c a gas station was within a mile or so. Just pull in, add a few gals of whatever I wanted and off to home. My car is on kill at all times and I run E85 all the time unless...
E85 is SOOOOO fun and it's better when you don't have to run it if you can't and I keep telling people to at least plumb the fuel system for it. The best part is that I don't have to do anything b/c the computer adjusts automatically.
The Gent that tunes my car runs Drag Week in a 1700hp Vette and it's a flex fuel car - 100% meth for the races and cheap fuel for the cruising. Since he runs two tanks all he does is flip the switch to whichever tank he wants.

ks
 

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flex fuel is amazing. i did as instructed. pulled timing out because of detonation, 10:1 8" crank, 3" upper. added it to the ethanol spark adder. car is a ******* rocket.


my 1986 mustang has flex fuel, traction control, cop, blower, cubes, ac, ps.

cant say enough good things about the pro m.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

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You guys are all running boosted applications, so you can take full advantage of E85. But correct me if I'm wrong, naturally aspirated guys wouldn't see significant gains going with it? What would be the advantages for someone like myself that has a naturally aspirated setup?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You guys are all running boosted applications, so you can take full advantage of E85. But correct me if I'm wrong, naturally aspirated guys wouldn't see significant gains going with it? What would be the advantages for someone like myself that has a naturally aspirated setup?
As far as power goes, you're right that you won't see anywhere near the gains high boost cars do.

I believe there are still some benefits if you care about these:
  • Mild bump in power from more oxygen
  • Could run higher compression for more power
  • Seems to run smoother
  • Doesn't stink like gasoline exhaust and stick on your clothes making you smell for the whole day
  • Fewer emissions
  • At least around me right now, E85 is $3.20 and 93 is $4.30. Even with 30% more fuel consumption, it's still cheaper to run E85.
 

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What baffles me is that we as a whole country could have been totally self dependant off petroleum YEARS ago! Ethanol can be made from anything that makes alcohol and every state could have its own refinerys for producing it. South America has been using ethanol for decades as there fuel source and it's stupid cheap. Politics and greed run this country sadly.
 

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As far as power goes, you're right that you won't see anywhere near the gains high boost cars do.

I believe there are still some benefits if you care about these:
  • Mild bump in power from more oxygen
  • Could run higher compression for more power
  • Seems to run smoother
  • Doesn't stink like gasoline exhaust and stick on your clothes making you smell for the whole day
  • Fewer emissions
  • At least around me right now, E85 is $3.20 and 93 is $4.30. Even with 30% more fuel consumption, it's still cheaper to run E85.
Thanks John, I live in a smaller town and the highest octane available is 91 but we also have E85. The closest 93 octane is about 40 minutes away. But, I've always wondered if it would be worth the switch, my motor is 10.75:1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks John, I live in a smaller town and the highest octane available is 91 but we also have E85. The closest 93 octane is about 40 minutes away. But, I've always wondered if it would be worth the switch, my motor is 10.75:1.
Ah ok. At 10.75:1, I expect the power difference between 91 and E85 would be more significant than I was originally thinking. I can't put a number on it though. I only have experience with boost.

Do you have the Pro M system?
 

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Ah ok. At 10.75:1, I expect the power difference between 91 and E85 would be more significant than I was originally thinking. I can't put a number on it though. I only have experience with boost.

Do you have the Pro M system?
Yes, just installed it this spring with the updated wiring harness and Insight software. I need to upgrade my fuel system as well. I have a 255 Walbro on the stock hanger. I purchased the new hanger from ProM with a 340 fuel pump and plan to install it this winter, I also want to upgrade the fuel rails and fuel lines while I'm at it as it's all stock.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes, just installed it this spring with the updated wiring harness and Insight software. I need to upgrade my fuel system as well. I have a 255 Walbro on the stock hanger. I purchased the new hanger from ProM with a 340 fuel pump and plan to install it this winter, I also want to upgrade the fuel rails and fuel lines while I'm at it as it's all stock.
Well now is certainly the time to build for it then. Use ethanol safe lines, a fuel filter with a stainless element, and large enough injectors and you should be good. If you’re redoing your lines anyway, I really see no point in boxing yourself out of the option of using flex fuel.

Activating the flex fuel controls is literally as simple as toggling flex fuel to “enabled.” That’s it. Fill up on any mix of gasoline and ethanol you want and you are good.

To optimize power you will need a dyno to find out how much spark advance you can put in the Ethanol Spark Table while filled with E85. That will get added to your base spark table to get your total spark advance. Once you get the Ethanol Spark Adder table dialed in, you’ll always have the extra spark advance while running E85 and it will ramp out gradually as E% in the tank gets less. You don’t need to touch a thing with fueling.
 

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Well now is certainly the time to build for it then. Use ethanol safe lines, a fuel filter with a stainless element, and large enough injectors and you should be good. If you’re redoing your lines anyway, I really see no point in boxing yourself out of the option of using flex fuel.

Activating the flex fuel controls is literally as simple as toggling flex fuel to “enabled.” That’s it. Fill up on any mix of gasoline and ethanol you want and you are good.

To optimize power you will need a dyno to find out how much spark advance you can put in the Ethanol Spark Table while filled with E85. That will get added to your base spark table to get your total spark advance. Once you get the Ethanol Spark Adder table dialed in, you’ll always have the extra spark advance while running E85 and it will ramp out gradually as E% in the tank gets less. You don’t need to touch a thing with fueling.
Thanks for the advice! My injectors should be good, actually a bit overkill, I have 60lb injectors. They were a package deal with the ProM system I bought off my cousin.
 

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Ive been banging my head on where to install these sensors. the FF and the FP sensors from pro-m take up a lot of real estate. Any install pics would be appreciated. I have both pro-m sensors to install.

You guys are all running boosted applications, so you can take full advantage of E85. But correct me if I'm wrong, naturally aspirated guys wouldn't see significant gains going with it? What would be the advantages for someone like myself that has a naturally aspirated setup?

As soon as i figure out where to mount mine I will do before and after dyno sessions since I an naturally aspirated.
 

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Man I wish that E85 or better yet blender pumps would be available where I live, but unfortunately a lot of people around here (geographically, I mean) seem to have made hating ethanol a part of their personal identity
 

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Ive been banging my head on where to install these sensors. the FF and the FP sensors from pro-m take up a lot of real estate. Any install pics would be appreciated. I have both pro-m sensors to install.




As soon as i figure out where to mount mine I will do before and after dyno sessions since I an naturally aspirated.
what intake are you running?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ive been banging my head on where to install these sensors. the FF and the FP sensors from pro-m take up a lot of real estate. Any install pics would be appreciated. I have both pro-m sensors to install.
See post 43 for a pic of where I mounted my FF sensor.

 
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