2.4 liter "LE5" vs. "LE9" engines

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Thread: 2.4 liter "LE5" vs. "LE9" engines

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    2.4 liter "LE5" vs. "LE9" engines

    Can anyone tell me, with authority, exactly which parts are different in the two versions of the 2.4 liter engine?

    the LE5, and the flex-fuel LE9, appear to be exactly the same in almost all respects. But I cannot find exact fuel injector data to show whether or not they use the same fuel injector, and I cannot find if there are ANY other differences between the two.

    I am trying to make a Malibu with the 2.4 into a Flex-Fuel car. Any help would be appreciated- if you have access to parts manuals, or can cite exact part number differences. Thank you in advance.

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    Re: 2.4 liter "LE5" vs. "LE9" engines

    From here:

    E85 Flexible-Fuel Capability (LE9)
    GM has led the industry in introducing flex-fuel capability to its cars and trucks, and the new flex-fuel 2.2L I-4 VVT ( LE8 ) extends availability to an even broader range of customers. E85 is a clean-burning alternative fuel made in the United States from corn and other crops, composed of 85 percent ethanol alcohol and 15 percent gasoline. The 2.2L's flex-fuel technology is both sophisticated and durable.

    Flex fuel engines require special valves and valve seats to withstand the wear and corrosive effects of ethanol. The nitrided Silcrome 1 intake valves and 21-43 exhaust valves used in the 2.2L I-4 are up to the challenge. Compared to conventional iron-alloy valve material, nitrided Silcrome 1 includes tungsten, vanadium, manganese, silicone and higher chromium content. It is harder, and it improves durability, even under the rigors of ethanol operation. The 21-43 exhaust valves work equally well. Valve seat inserts have been upgraded to premium materials with a high percent of tool steel and solid lubricants resulting in excellent durability whether E85 or gasoline is run in the engine.

    Hardware changes for flex-fuel operation are limited to the injectors. Because ethanol has fewer BTUs (less energy) than the same volume of gasoline, more fuel is required to produce the same horsepower at wide-open throttle. Flex fuel engines use unique stainless injectors with a greater cone angle and higher maximum fuel-flow rate. The fuel rail matches the injectors, but it's manufactured of the same stainless steel used for all 2.2L I-4 fuel rails.

    The flex-fuel 2.2L doesn't require a special fuel sensor. The first flex-fuel engines used a light-reactive sensor to measure fuel composition from 100 percent gasoline to 85 percent ethanol. The 2.2L has a virtual sensor-software programmed in the E37 ECM with no separate physical sensor whatsoever. Based on readings from the oxygen (O2) sensors, fuel level sensor and vehicle speed sensors, the ECM adjusts the length of time the fuel injectors open for the type of fuel used. Within a few miles after filling up, the E37 controller determines what fuel is powering the 2.2L I-4 and manages the engine accordingly.

    E85 fuel provides an environmentally friendly companion or alternative to gasoline. It is biodegradable and doesn't contaminate the water supply. Ethanol can be produced from various feed stocks, including corn and wheat stalks, forestry and agricultural waste, and even municipal waste.

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    Re: 2.4 liter "LE5" vs. "LE9" engines

    The amount of money needed to convert it would make the conversion cost-prohibitive. You'd be better off selling your car and buying one that is already flex-fuel.
    Additionally, E85 capability is mostly employed by GM to get the E85 credits for CAFE. Without those credits, E85 capability would go away.

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    Re: 2.4 liter "LE5" vs. "LE9" engines

    Why do you want to make the conversion? As already mentioned, it will be a bit expensive, and even if a gallon of E85 costs a bit less than regular unleaded...it will still take you a while to recoup costs considering your overall MPG's will go down. And if you're doing it for environmental reasons...well, I don't want to start a debate in this thread, but just keep in mind that every energy source has an environmental cost either directly or indirectly.
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    Re: 2.4 liter "LE5" vs. "LE9" engines

    Quote Originally Posted by NoxNoob View Post
    Why do you want to make the conversion? As already mentioned, it will be a bit expensive, and even if a gallon of E85 costs a bit less than regular unleaded...it will still take you a while to recoup costs considering your overall MPG's will go down. And if you're doing it for environmental reasons...well, I don't want to start a debate in this thread, but just keep in mind that every energy source has an environmental cost either directly or indirectly.
    It has nothing to do with money, or the environment.

    I'm a retired U.S. Army officer. I promised a dead soldier of mine that I would never buy gasoline again. and I won't.

    Ethanol is cheaper than blood. Period.

    So, if I read the above correctly, you are saying that the fuel injectors are the only difference.

    What is the correct part number for a flex-fuel fuel injector? I presume then that the Malibu uses the same LE9 that the HHR does- so what I need is the injectors off an HHR to put onto the Malibu. Anything else? Do I need to change the computer flash? Is there a book anywhere that identifies what computer programming is an HHR/Flexfuel, and is it any different?

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    Re: 2.4 liter "LE5" vs. "LE9" engines

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Show-Me View Post
    The amount of money needed to convert it would make the conversion cost-prohibitive. You'd be better off selling your car and buying one that is already flex-fuel.
    Additionally, E85 capability is mostly employed by GM to get the E85 credits for CAFE. Without those credits, E85 capability would go away.

    A lot of my fellow soldiers don't give a rats ass about CAFE credits. They care about fellow soldiers dying in the desert. Period. All of the soldiers I know are now in the process of switching off gasoline and onto American made E85.


    I have been trying to order or buy a Flex-Fuel 2.4 liter, 6-speed trans, 33 MPG Malibu for months. You can't order one. They only make them for fleet and government purchases. You can't buy one if you're just an average American. GM won't sell you one. So I am going to make myself one.

    That's why.
    Last edited by James48843; 03-16-2011 at 06:36 PM.

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    Re: 2.4 liter "LE5" vs. "LE9" engines

    Here is a 2007 Malibu with a 2.2 liter, NON-flex, driving on E50 splash blend.

    Starting with an E50 blend to see if that throws a CEL or not. This is with the stock NON-Flex fuel injectors, and E50 fuel.


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    Re: 2.4 liter "LE5" vs. "LE9" engines

    when i took my G5 with the 2.4L 5 speed across country 3 summers ago i was avg 42.3 mpg that was with a trunk full and back seat full of stuff me and 1 friend and the a/c on max.

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    Re: 2.4 liter "LE5" vs. "LE9" engines

    Quote Originally Posted by James48843 View Post
    A lot of my fellow soldiers don't give a rats ass about CAFE credits. They care about fellow soldiers dying in the desert. Period. All of the soldiers I know are now in the process of switching off gasoline and onto American made E85.


    I have been trying to order or buy a Flex-Fuel 2.4 liter, 6-speed trans, 33 MPG Malibu for months. You can't order one. They only make them for fleet and government purchases. You can't buy one if you're just an average American. GM won't sell you one. So I am going to make myself one.

    That's why.
    But, you're not an average American. You are a soldier, well, a retired soldier. Thank you for your service to this country and good luck with your project.
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    Re: 2.4 liter "LE5" vs. "LE9" engines

    Thanx for your service, sounds like injectors and a flash. Lots of guys with forced induction go E85 for the increase octane benefits. The biggest challenge will be finding a tuner that works on such a mundane engine (IE not a performance oriented vehicle).

    The year of your car would help figuring it out, GM uses lots of different PCM's with the same motors over the years/models.
    Last edited by zinner; 03-17-2011 at 12:01 AM.
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    Re: 2.4 liter "LE5" vs. "LE9" engines

    Quote Originally Posted by James48843 View Post
    It has nothing to do with money, or the environment.

    I'm a retired U.S. Army officer. I promised a dead soldier of mine that I would never buy gasoline again. and I won't.

    Ethanol is cheaper than blood. Period.

    So, if I read the above correctly, you are saying that the fuel injectors are the only difference.

    What is the correct part number for a flex-fuel fuel injector? I presume then that the Malibu uses the same LE9 that the HHR does- so what I need is the injectors off an HHR to put onto the Malibu. Anything else? Do I need to change the computer flash? Is there a book anywhere that identifies what computer programming is an HHR/Flexfuel, and is it any different?
    That's probably the best reason I've ever seen for doing a modification. (not that anyone really needs a reason) Kudo's for feeling so strongly about keeping your promise!
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    Re: 2.4 liter "LE5" vs. "LE9" engines

    I would look into the rest of the fuel system not the engine as well, like lines, pump, etc. Since E85 is more corrosive, those may also be different as well.
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    Re: 2.4 liter "LE5" vs. "LE9" engines

    Depending on where you live you can get pure American oil in your fuel. Check that out as well.
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    Re: 2.4 liter "LE5" vs. "LE9" engines

    Quote Originally Posted by Cphelps View Post
    I would look into the rest of the fuel system not the engine as well, like lines, pump, etc. Since E85 is more corrosive, those may also be different as well.
    Everything that I am finding is saying that the ONLY thing different in the Malibu Flex-fuel version are the injectors themselves. The fuel lines, the pump, the fuel rail, etc are all the same in both versions. Only the injectors themselves, and the chip software are different.

    But I can't find the actual P/N for the injectors to be able to go research the difference between the two. What is the fuel injector part number for a flex-fuel injector? On-Line sources don't appear to have it listed anywhere yet- the parts are too new to show up in most fuel injector company databases. I need a GM catelog or parts manual to find out the injector part number.

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    Re: 2.4 liter "LE5" vs. "LE9" engines

    Any update on the project? What you're doing is exactly what I'm trying to do with the company I work for. We've gotten a 2007 HHR to run as a flex fuel vehicle with a 2010 computer. Still trying to figure out the exact internal programming to make the 2007 run off flexible fuel. All computers [E37 is what we're using] after 06/07 seem to have the flex fuel tables, just not the algorithm to make them run as a FFV.

    The injectors are different sizes [24 lb/hr vs 30 lb/hr I believe] but we haven't upgraded the injectors for E85 or M100 [Methanol]. The car actually runs great on any of the fuels we've fed it thus far. Just needed to replace a single o-ring in the gas tank.

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