Bolt-on Kit Converts Vehicles to Ethanol

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Thread: Bolt-on Kit Converts Vehicles to Ethanol

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    Bolt-on Kit Converts Vehicles to Ethanol

    Full Link Here: http://blog.wired.com/cars/2007/12/bolt-on-kit-con.html




    A company located in the heart of corn country has developed what it calls the first bolt-on kit that safely and easily converts the most common fleet vehicles to ethanol, and it could offer kits for more popular cars and trucks by the end of next year.

    The Flex-Box Smart Kit from Flex Fuel U.S. allows fleet operators to fill their vehicles with gasoline or any blend of ethanol. The kit is certified by the Environmental Protection Agency, meaning it meets all emissions regulations and won't void the manufacturer's warranty.

    So far it only works on the Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car. Flex Fuel says it started with those models because they are the most common passenger vehicles used in police, taxi and municipal fleets.

    "Many government, city, state and federal and chauffeured fleets are major oil consumers, so our goal is to help this country save taxpayers money, wean itself off foreign oil and support our local farmers and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions," said Chris Disher, the company's chief financial officer.

    While automakers offer a wide variety of flex fuel vehicles and about 6 million vehicles on the road can burn E85, the Flex-Box Smart Kit allows older cars to be retrofitted. It works with existing fuel tanks, fuel injectors and other equipment, and a computer mounted under the hood continuously monitors the engine management and emissions systems to deliver supplemental fuel injection as needed.

    Flex Fuel spent more than a year developing the system and said EPA tests a vehicle with the Flex-Box under the hood returned 16.9 mpg in the city and 26.8 mpg on the highway. The Chicago-based company says the system brings a 15 percent reduction in fuel costs - nationwide, E85 is 58 cents a gallon cheaper than gasoline - and an 85 drop reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

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    Re: Bolt-on Kit Converts Vehicles to Ethanol

    So does that kit come with the new injectors you need or the new fuel lines that aren't eaten by E85? How about the new gaskets? No? Unless the entire fuel system is replaced, this kit is worthless and hardly bolt-on.
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    Re: Bolt-on Kit Converts Vehicles to Ethanol

    Yeah! Thats what I'm talkin about!!
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    Re: Bolt-on Kit Converts Vehicles to Ethanol

    I saw that on Autopia yesterday myself.

    Here's another site/company to check out:

    http://www.change2e85.com/servlet/StoreFront

    They have a page on ethanol myths:

    http://www.change2e85.com/servlet/Page?template=Myths

    It looks pretty inexpensive, but I would really like to see some independent verification of claims.
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    Re: Bolt-on Kit Converts Vehicles to Ethanol

    Sounds like good news, but I would like to see more research done. I wonder if you can make adjustments to vehicles with superchargers to improve performance further.

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    Re: Bolt-on Kit Converts Vehicles to Ethanol

    It's a great idea - but I'd be very interested in any effects on long-term durability. There was no mention of that in the Wired post, but I didn't have the time to go to the manufacturer's website to see if they mentioned it. The fact that they limit its availability to only a select number of vehicles actually makes it sound more legitimate to me.

    They could really alleviate concerns by offering to pick up any fuel system repairs that are not covered by the OEM warranty due to the conversion to E85 capability and use of that fuel.
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    Re: Bolt-on Kit Converts Vehicles to Ethanol

    Sweet! I was waiting for something like this to come out. I'm not in the market for it yet, but down the road I probably will be.
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    Re: Bolt-on Kit Converts Vehicles to Ethanol

    Quote Originally Posted by Saturn69 View Post
    So does that kit come with the new injectors you need or the new fuel lines that aren't eaten by E85? How about the new gaskets? No? Unless the entire fuel system is replaced, this kit is worthless and hardly bolt-on.
    Actually, you're wrong on all accounts - for most vehicles built within the last 15 years or so. However, if you're driving a stock '64 Impala, you'd probably have all of the problems mentioned above.

    Below is a quote worth reading and a link with a vid. They ran a NON-Flexfuel Chevy truck on E85.

    Quote Originally Posted by AutoblogGreen

    Don't try this! We mean it. DO NOT TRY THIS! The American Coalition for Ethanol ran a 2000 Chevy Tahoe, not a flex-fuel vehicle, exclusively on E85 for 100,000 miles. Then they stripped down the engine and took a look. Everything looked fine. Fuel lines, fuel pumps, etc. In fact, they say a few things looked better than normal. The video includes a look at the parts of the engine from that Tahoe.

    Again, DO NOT TRY THIS but car companies know they must comply with small percentage blends of ethanol. So most cars made since the early '90s can handle ethanol. The only problem is that non flex-fuel vehicles don't have the sensors necessary to detect ethanol content. They also don't have the control software to manage the air fuel mixture properly. So your car might run on E85, it just won't run well. It could also cause major damage and using E85 usually voids your warranty. So that's why you should not try it.

    This leads to an interesting potential. What if a private or public group went to car manufacturers or did tests on their own to find out which cars could withstand E85? Then this was made available to the public. This would be great for the ethanol market. Many people think ethanol is bad because it's more polluting and less efficient. The creation of a mild or soft flex fuel standard won't make them happy.

    Full Link here: http://www.autobloggreen.com/2007/08...y-car-use-e85/
    One might criticize the fact that the study was done by the American Coalition for Ethanol. I would agree with the criticism, but only to the point that a non-interested organization needs to do the same.

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    Re: Bolt-on Kit Converts Vehicles to Ethanol

    This could be really cool for engine swaps, I'd love to put an E85 V8 in a '72 Nova. Yes, I'd need a new fuel system for that application but that would be in the plans anyway.
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    Re: Bolt-on Kit Converts Vehicles to Ethanol

    This is very interesting. But, I would want to see more testing results on this system for fuel system problems, even on newer vehicles.
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    Re: Bolt-on Kit Converts Vehicles to Ethanol

    You guys should check out http://www.change2e85.com/servlet/Page?template=Videos and listen to Gear Head Radio and Drive Radio. The two mechanics say that the conversion kits work great and there are no negitive effects on fuel systems. I could see where the water in ethanol could cause steel in the fuel system to rust - but when was the last time steel was used? 1983? Fuel systems today are all plastic, composites or stainless. I have not seen a rusted out system or tank for over 20 years. I also checked out the these kits and they have been around for over twenty years in Brazil. I don't see anyone in Brazil posting negitive things on the web about using E85 or converting. I think these myths are being perpetuated by misinformed people.

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    Re: Bolt-on Kit Converts Vehicles to Ethanol

    Quote Originally Posted by Saturn69 View Post
    So does that kit come with the new injectors you need or the new fuel lines that aren't eaten by E85? How about the new gaskets? No? Unless the entire fuel system is replaced, this kit is worthless and hardly bolt-on.
    agreed. long term effects.
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    Re: Bolt-on Kit Converts Vehicles to Ethanol

    Quote Originally Posted by Saturn69 View Post
    So does that kit come with the new injectors you need or the new fuel lines that aren't eaten by E85? How about the new gaskets? No? Unless the entire fuel system is replaced, this kit is worthless and hardly bolt-on.
    Couldn't have said it better. We'd have been better off if the car companies would have studied how much of a blend a standard car could properly run on and then just sell that blend. E20 or E30, whatever. It would have made a better dent in things. We americans demand our answers in easy, short term, easy to digest bites. It leads to knee jerk solutions that make no sense in the long term. We just quickly demand E85 gas pumps without counting the cost. If the USA wouldn't dink around with the sugar growers and the like, we would have an ethanol program more like Brazil. All we are doing here is running up the cost of corn. We're no more ready for this than the man on the moon. Lets get the switch grass production going and then we'll talk.
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    Re: Bolt-on Kit Converts Vehicles to Ethanol

    Quote Originally Posted by Saturn69 View Post
    So does that kit come with the new injectors you need or the new fuel lines that aren't eaten by E85? How about the new gaskets? No? Unless the entire fuel system is replaced, this kit is worthless and hardly bolt-on.
    Most of the Crown Vics fuel system is already E85 ready, not much change is needed.
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