E85 Conversion

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E85 Conversion

Post by driveit on Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:54 pm

Rolling over the idea. Any thoughts?

What would it take?
Is it possible for a Gen 1?
What are the pros?
What are the cons?

Found this article. Here are a few clips from it.
http://www.superchevy.com/how-to/0808chp-holley-750-e85-conversion-kit/viewall.html

"So what does it take to make the switch to E85? In general, any carb and fuel system modifications must do two things: inhibit corrosion and increase fuel volume. On the first count, material choice is critical: brass floats as opposed to plastic, stainless steel needle/seat assemblies, and so on. On the second, QFT's conversion kit instructions say that running E85 requires 25 to 30 percent more fuel than gasoline, which in turn requires increasing the flow in all areas of the carburetor. And those two things, along with the necessary jetting changes, are exactly what the Billet Metering Block Conversion Kit and complementary parts accomplish.

Read more: http://www.superchevy.com/how-to/0808chp-holley-750-e85-conversion-kit/#ixzz3FNuNJUnY

Of course, converting to E85 means more than reconfiguring the carburetor-the rest of the fuel system must be tended to as well. According to Montgomery, you'll need higher volume pumps and fuel lines. QFT recommends an AN-10 line from the tank to the regulator, and an AN-8 line from the regulator to the carb. All should be braided stainless or hardline; there should be no rubber at all. The regulator should be set at the carbureted norm of 6 to 61/2 pounds of fuel pressure, and the pump should be capable of producing 250 gph. Lastly, paper fuel filters are a no-no when running E85; go with steel micron in this area.

Read more: http://www.superchevy.com/how-to/0808chp-holley-750-e85-conversion-kit/#ixzz3FNufEIxP"


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Re: E85 Conversion

Post by driveit on Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:07 pm

Found this. just under the 600$ mark! Yikes!
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/qft-ss-650-e85

"These Quick Fuel SS-Series carburetors are designed to offer the power of a race carburetor in a streetable package that weighs 5 lbs. less than other carburetors. Manufactured completely from aluminum, they allow you to change the idle feed and offer power valve channel restrictions and idle and high-speed air bleeds for the ultimate in tunability. The solid-state, electric-choke Quick Fuel SS-Series carburetors have billet throttle bodies, billet metering blocks, 4-corner idle systems, secondary jet extensions, and notched secondary floats. The vacuum secondary carburetors feature fuel bowls with a single-sight glass window, while the mechanical secondary carburetors have dual-inlet, dual-sight glass 4500-style fuel bowls and include additional links to tune the secondary opening rate. Quick Fuel has done it--they've created all-aluminum Super Street carburetors that are perfect for your high performance street machine."
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Re: E85 Conversion

Post by driveit on Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:31 pm

Looks like once you do a conversion on an Edelbrock it become no longer useable for straight gas. You have to drill out several areas for more fuel volume through the passageways in the carb. Everything has to be prepped for an increase in fuel flow. This may not be worth the trouble. It sounds like you will be using quite a bit more fuel with the e85. On the plus side it looks like everyone is saying that it is 110 octane, runs cooler and is cheaper than gas. I bought e85 for the journey last week at 1.99/gallon and this week at 2.04/gallon. This is what got me started on this process.
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Re: E85 Conversion

Post by 77mali on Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:48 pm

What is E-85 going to do to your combustion chamber?  Do piston rings need to be changed?  Different spark plugs & gaps, etc?  Is it really worth it?  650 cfm carbs compared to fuel injection systems are pigs.  I don't think you get that much better economy with a carb set up & E-85 vs conventional gas.  Try using a higher octane fuel with an ethanol gas treatment such as Lucas' or Seafoam's.  Maybe switch out to a 2 BBL set up?

I think E-85 is a lot more here than what you're paying in the heartland.  Not much of it here in the Northeast.


Last edited by 77mali on Mon Oct 06, 2014 5:29 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : convensional gas not convensional octane- LMAO)
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Re: E85 Conversion

Post by driveit on Mon Oct 06, 2014 3:08 pm

Well I don't want to drop in power level. I was told this engine should be using at least a 650 or 700 by a technician at Edelbrock. I currently am running a 600. I don't think I want to go to a two barrel with the setup I have. I would be willing to go to an efi setup and have thought about it. I was just thinking of the options since the e85 fuel is so much cheaper at the pump. Around 2.00 vs. 3.50 makes you start thinking, but if it is going to be using more fuel by switching I don't think it would be worth the trouble as far as an e a85 swap.
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Re: E85 Conversion

Post by 77mali on Mon Oct 06, 2014 5:26 pm

I just got a Holly 670 cfm for my small block based on the recommended threshold from Comp Cams. It's a vortec manifold & heads, so the airflow design is slightly better than the standard small block (pre 1986 or 87). Are you taking about the motor you got from Wally? Is it a 383? I forget. Maybe your carb just needs a little tweaking with jets & adjustments.
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Re: E85 Conversion

Post by driveit on Mon Oct 06, 2014 5:57 pm

Yeah, it is a 355 not a 383. It runs great and has plenty of power for me. I think the 600 might be a tad small for it but it definitely gets better fuel mileage than the 750 did. It drank the gas for sure. I think the 750 did give it quite a bit more power as well. Maybe it is just in my mind, but I don't know. Been thinking about throwing it back on to see.
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Re: E85 Conversion

Post by 77mali on Mon Oct 06, 2014 6:05 pm

Do you know what your cam's specs are? That is one of the biggest factors as far as choosing the right carb/intake set up.
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Re: E85 Conversion

Post by driveit on Mon Oct 06, 2014 6:47 pm

Here are all of the specs I have.  

TRISTAR Performan
350/350 HP
4Bolt Main Block
OE Cast Crank
H/P Connecting Rods
High Tensile Rod Bolts
Hypereutectic Pistons
Moly Rings
Bored Aluminum Alloy Rod Bearings
Bored Aluminum Alloy Main Bearings
TRJ Metal Cam Bearings
Double Roller H/P Timing Set
Comp Cams - 268/280 Dur., .477/.480 Lift
H/P Hydraulic Lifters
High Volume OIl Pump
Dart Iron Eagle S/S Cylinder Heads
2.02 Stainless Swirl Polished Intake Valves
1.50 Stainles Swirl Polished Exhaust Valves
H/P Valve Springs
Long Slot Rockers
Herdened Pushrods
Edelbrock Perfermer RPM Intake
Edelbrock 600 CFM Carb
Accel 9200 Series Distributor
H/P Harmonic Balancer

Ignition Recomended Timing from builder was:
Base Timing 15 Deg. BTDC
Total Timing 38 Deg. BTDC


Last edited by driveit on Mon Oct 06, 2014 6:57 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: E85 Conversion

Post by 77mali on Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:18 pm

Very similar cam to mine.  Mine is a 262 and 650 was what came up for mine on the comp website.  I got a 670 for more airflow because of the vortec intake & heads and for any potential upgrade down the line- like a full roller set up.  I think 650-670 would be good for your set up as well.  The heads & Intake are a very good set up for an older style non vortec system.
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Re: E85 Conversion

Post by driveit on Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:26 pm

I really love it. I have a question for you and whoever might know. When I start the engine it has a really good lope and sounds mean, but once it warms up a bit the idle really smooths out. I guess that is good, but I just really love that lumpy idle.
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Re: E85 Conversion

Post by 77mali on Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:43 pm

Mine sounds fairly consistent cold or warm.  I did have to adjust timing to get it smoother as well as curb idle speed and the electric choke settings.  My idle speed spec is 1700 rpm on the cam.  Most "stock" cams for these older style GM motors are between 500-800 RPM.  You can retard your timing slightly (try 2 to 4 degrees) and or your carb settings to see what it sounds like.  I really don't know why it would sound too much different cold vs warm though. Maybe just a cold exhaust system?
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Re: E85 Conversion

Post by Wallyuph on Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:14 pm

77mali wrote:Mine sounds fairly consistent cold or warm.  I did have to adjust timing to get it smoother as well as curb idle speed and the electric choke settings.  My idle speed spec is 1700 rpm on the cam.  Most "stock" cams for these older style GM motors are between 500-800 RPM.  You can retard your timing slightly (try 2 to 4 degrees) and or your carb settings to see what it sounds like.  I really don't know why it would sound too much different cold vs warm though.  Maybe just a cold exhaust system?

He has no choke hooked up
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Re: E85 Conversion

Post by 77mali on Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:27 pm

Wallyuph wrote:
77mali wrote:Mine sounds fairly consistent cold or warm.  I did have to adjust timing to get it smoother as well as curb idle speed and the electric choke settings.  My idle speed spec is 1700 rpm on the cam.  Most "stock" cams for these older style GM motors are between 500-800 RPM.  You can retard your timing slightly (try 2 to 4 degrees) and or your carb settings to see what it sounds like.  I really don't know why it would sound too much different cold vs warm though.  Maybe just a cold exhaust system?

He has no choke hooked up

That might be why then, LOL.
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Re: E85 Conversion

Post by bigredlaguna on Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:33 am

I've considered an E85 setup also, but It would be a one-way street if I do because the engine itself would be built with higher compression to take advantage of the higher octane. I think this is the key for a N/A engine. You might be able to use boost to raise compression on your engine.

If you just want to change because of the lower fuel price, then I think you may have to drive quite a few miles to break even on the money spent on parts made to handle alcohol.
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Re: E85 Conversion

Post by driveit on Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:00 pm

Yeah. I don't think that it would be worth the trouble, time and money spent on the setup. Not to mention there is only one place around here that sells it.
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Re: E85 Conversion

Post by bracketchev1221 on Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:04 am

Carburetor size is irrelevant for a street driven car.  A really ROUGH formula,

(Engine size X rpm) / (3456 X volumetric efficiency)

A street engine has poor efficiency.  So even giving the benefit of the doubt at .9

355 X 5500= 1952500
3456 X .9= 3110.4

1952500 / 3110.4 = 627 cfm.  

So considering you don't drive around at 5500 rpm all the time the extra 27 cfm isn't hurting you.  If you were racing this car more often THEN I would worry about going larger.  I ran a 750 on my 355 in the Nova, but it was shifted just over 6000 rpm when I beat on it.

As far as the E85 question unless you have the compression in the motor to use the high octane it won't help you. E85 is a benefit because you can run 12:1 compression on a PUMP gas. But for a 9:1 engine, it will be harder to burn.
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Re: E85 Conversion

Post by driveit on Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:50 am

The information on their engine does not specify the compression ratio. I don't think it is no where near that high though.
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Re: E85 Conversion

Post by alowerlevel on Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:28 pm

driveit wrote:Yeah.  I don't think that it would be worth the trouble, time and money spent on the setup.  Not to mention there is only one place around here that sells it.


And if your worried about your fuel economy now, it will be worse running E85
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Re: E85 Conversion

Post by driveit on Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:24 pm

That was the whole point of trying to make it cheaper to drive. I am going at about 40$ per week. I drive a total of about an hour and a half per week. 20 to 30 minutes of driving 5 days per week. I would like to cut that in half. I know it is a big challenge. I will get there at some point, but it will be a long time and a lot of custom work down the road.

I am thinking fuel injected Aluminum block LS of some sort, six speed. Custom lighter build and strengthened chassis. Fiberglass parts where possible without weakening the structure. Anything I can do to make it lighter and more aerodynamic without hurting driveability and comfort. I still want it to be a fully functioning car to be able to be driven in all road conditions as I currently do. A tall order I know. I need to get with someone that can help me design the chassis.

Dang it I need to hit the lotto!
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Re: E85 Conversion

Post by alowerlevel on Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:35 pm

driveit wrote:That was the whole point of trying to make it cheaper to drive.  I am going at about 40$ per week. I drive a total of about an hour and a half per week.  20 to 30 minutes of driving 5 days per week.  I would like to cut that in half.  I know it is a big challenge.  I will get there at some point, but it will be a long time and a lot of custom work down the road.  

I am thinking fuel injected Aluminum block LS of some sort, six speed. Custom lighter build and strengthened chassis.  Fiberglass parts where possible without weakening the structure.  Anything I can do to make it lighter and more aerodynamic without hurting driveability and comfort.  I still want it to be a fully functioning car to be able to be driven in all road conditions as I currently do.  A tall order I know.  I need to get with someone that can help me design the chassis.

Dang it I need to hit the lotto!


Even just a basic ls swap (4.8 or 5.3) should get you in the high teens low 20's mpg on regular. Figure those motors were rated about 15 city / 20 highway MPG in a truck that weighs 1000lbs more than even our cars.

Hell I did a bare bones 4.8 ls swap into my 73 re-using everything I could, and Im only into the swap for about 2 grand, but thats including some unessasary parts. It should make about 300hp now and get 18+mpg on regular.
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Re: E85 Conversion

Post by driveit on Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:15 pm

That is definitely the goal. After I have gotten a taste of the power in this little 350hp motor I don't think I could go back. I like it too much. I will have to ballance that out. We shall see where it goes from there. What comes out with a 350hp LS engine?
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Re: E85 Conversion

Post by alowerlevel on Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:26 pm

driveit wrote:  What comes out with a 350hp LS engine?

Not sure I understand the question (Ive been drinking, lol), but the early 4.8's (like I have) are rated at 270hp/270tq and the 5.3's are 295hp/315tq stock, the later models '06+ are rated higher.
On the 4.8/5.3's just getting rid of the factory clutch fan is worth ~10hp, then a better air intake and exhaust system is worth at least another ~15-20hp. Add a small aftermarket cam and good tune and you should see 400+hp
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Re: E85 Conversion

Post by driveit on Fri Oct 10, 2014 7:20 pm

That is getting close to what I would be wanting. I want around 400 hp. I was just wondering if anything came out with an LS that was close to 400 already.
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Re: E85 Conversion

Post by dynchel on Fri Oct 10, 2014 7:45 pm

The 6.0 ls that came in Escalade's was factory rated at 345 h/p.
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Re: E85 Conversion

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