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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The whole concept of E85 and E## tuning is almost exclusively discussed in the context of chasing horsepower.
That's not exactly what I am asking about here, but the folks that have experience with doing so are likely the source for the questions I have regarding.

I'll premise the exact question with some anecdotal results of what I discovered with my current almost empty tank of fuel:
I pumped 5 gallons of E85 into a tankful of 93. The Powerboost is a 30 gallon tank, by the way.

Obviously my OAR was already pegged at -1 without the E85, but I thought I'd experiment with some extra ethanol in a safe quantity and see what happened. :)

There was zero drivability evidence.
There appears to be a small decrease in fuel economy, but it was only a 500 mile sample and so not strictly scientific, but the mpg for the tankful is down just short of 1 mpg. (22 mpg instead of 23)
The most interesting evidence is how common it was to be cruising along without locking out gears, thus allowing the low RPM oem strategy, yet seeing KR pegged at -6

Speedometer Odometer Vehicle Motor vehicle Trip computer


I am assuming that - KR IS evidence that the dose of E85 had some influence in the combustion chamber, even though OAR didn't need the E85 since the 93 fuel already maxed that out?


So the question:

With the primary intention being to maintain a great OAR value, (on a completely stock untuned Ecoboost) how reasonable would it be to blend just enough E85 with say E10 87 or 89 octane, rather than the 93?

Or put another way, my simplistic understanding has me thinking that there was so much OAR headroom in the E85/93 cocktail I was running that theoretically I could step down from the 93 to 89 or 87, add the appropriate E85 just enough to maintain the OAR I get from straight 93?

By the way, this is just me messing around. I doubt the cost savings at the pump is significant, and even if it was, I don't want to introduce the cost influence. Yet anyways.

I'm more curious whether it's a reasonable thing to even try since, for the first time, E85 is convenient for me to get. :)

Also note I am not tuning for any of this, so I'm guessing that there are limitations on what the oem pcm (and fueling system) logic can accommodate?
 

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Great thread! Just don't say Ethanol has Octane or you'll get tsk tsk'ed. I fully hope this is a spicy thread with some warnings and time outs thrown out.

I run E50, simply because E85 at the pump varies wildly. Some folks try to assign logic or laws to what should be available, but it's simply not what I see "on the ground".. one station near me, just last week, had E85 that tested to 55%. When I shoot for E50 it's much easier to adjust to the correct mix (between 45% and 55% is my sweet spot)

In my area of operation, "premium" is 91 octane with 0% ethanol. It makes my E50 mix really easy to calculate, and my OAR is consistently -.96

Also to note, my KR sticks to -5.99 in normal cruising. I very rarely see positive knock, even in WOT datalogs.

For a few reasons, I have an E50 "Stock" tune in my rotation that was provided to me by one of the tuners I have worked with. I asked for the only change from stock to be the adjustments needed to run 50% ethanol.

The big reason - I'm often towing for shorter trip that can be on a whim... hey, the weather is nice let's take the boat out! If I have a tank full of E50 and my spicy tune loaded up, I'm not going to strap 5000lbs to my bumper and head to the Bay... this tune allows me to quickly change configuration so I'm not worried about throwing 20lbs of boost at a stressed engine.

We're about to take a long (1600mile round) trip, and I'm not worried about fuel.. If I can find E85 along the way I'll maintain E50 and use that tune.. If I can only get 91/93, I'll fill up on that to E20 or below and flash the stock tune. It's giving me good flexibility!

Secondary, is I want the benefits of Ethanol! cooler running temps, cleaning out the injectors with every cycle, etc..

Be cautious of your %. The stock tune can only accommodate 20% ethanol. Above that and you will get lean fueling.

I'm sure there is some wiggle room, but if I was not set up with a gauge to monitor I'd try to keep it at 15% for safety.
 

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I’ve never actually seen an E85 station in all my travels. In Canada they are a mythical unicorn lol. Is there much benefit to this considering most Regular 87 octane gasoline will be blended to E10 now anyways?
 

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I have been toying with the idea of E85 and have been purely running 93 octane. I finally broke down to run a tank of 87 octane to see what the difference in towing and MPG on our next trip on Thursday. Then my plan is to do the following trip 8 days later with 15%-20% E85 and the 87 octane and compare since I have a pretty good base with the 93 octane. I am just curious really and run completely stock and will most likely go back to the 93 octane full time unless I see some real difference. 2012 F150 Fx4 Supercrew 4x4 Max Tow package pulling a 5600lb ish TT with 95k miles.
 

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2022 Powergrid KingRanch in Sparkle White
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I’ve never actually seen an E85 station in all my travels. In Canada they are a mythical unicorn lol. Is there much benefit to this considering most Regular 87 octane gasoline will be blended to E10 now anyways?
Honestly, I can't answer that question (benefit) except that in theory, you could use E85 to increase the anti knock characteristics of 87 or 89 or....

Which is exactly what I am experimenting (dabbling) with "gently". :)

I filled up this morning with the same 5gallons/25gallons ratio as I previously did.

Except this time it is 5gallons of E85 with 25 gallons of 89 octane.
Previous tank was E85/93 octane

Here is the result of the previous tankful: (indicated)

21.9 mpg
666 miles
OAR -1 (pegged max, and never varying)

Font Auto part Technology Electric blue Circle


So my experiment is to see the hit in fuel economy and OAR (result of KR)

And even though economic$ is not primary, just for fun here are the savings at the pump today :

30 gallon Powerboost tank
93 octane = $118.20
5/25 (gallons) with 93 = $115.20 (<$3.00> savings)
5/25 (gallons) with 89 = $108.70 (<$9.50> savings)

Font Rectangle Gas Electronic device Signage


$9.50 would be like everytime I fill up I get a gift certificate for (#2 with cheese and jalapeños)

Food Bun Sandwich Ingredient Staple food
 

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On our extended trip in May/June I was watching MPG and the types of fuel used monitored OAR and vac/boost. The most ethanol by the pump was 88 octane 15% ethanol essentially just shy of 91 octane 10%, 22 MPG . Not as good in any measure as local 93 10%, 24.5 MPG higher OAR and ran less boost. But the variables tween years tunes and many other specific make generalities moot. Experimentation is the only way to decide with what ya use. KM
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have been toying with the idea of E85 and have been purely running 93 octane. I finally broke down to run a tank of 87 octane to see what the difference in towing and MPG on our next trip on Thursday. Then my plan is to do the following trip 8 days later with 15%-20% E85 and the 87 octane and compare since I have a pretty good base with the 93 octane. I am just curious really and run completely stock and will most likely go back to the 93 octane full time unless I see some real difference. 2012 F150 Fx4 Supercrew 4x4 Max Tow package pulling a 5600lb ish TT with 95k miles.
Exactly!

So I'm NOT the only one wondering :)

I'm not exactly chasing the fuel economy or the economics as much as the curiosity of if I can leverage the VERY sophisticated Ford engine management system to adjust and still have a happy combustion chamber with anything other than what I have always contributed.... Which is 93 octane.

I'm hopelessly addicted to the technology in these trucks and I want to know more than I do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I do this all the time with my crap CA 91. 3 gals e85 gets me to ~e16 and 92+ octane. Still doesn't peg oar most of the time, but definitely helps.
Can I ask what gallons/gallons you usually use with E85/91?

Just curious because I'm scientifically keeping to the one constant (currently) of 5/25 for a 30 gallon tank.

Obviously I am not exact between fuelings because I am filling up with about 5 gallons left in the tank of the previous cocktail. But at this point the margin of error is wide enough to accommodate that fact.
 
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SnakeB, try and calculate the cost in $ per distance traveled as a comparison. Such as figure the cost of the mix in $ per gallon divide by the MPG result and you will come in the range of 3.7 to 4.7 miles driven per dollar spent.
I did this on the trip and the best Miles Per Dollar was 4.5 +- for 93 10%. Worst was 87 around 3.75. KM
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
On our extended trip in May/June I was watching MPG and the types of fuel used monitored OAR and vac/boost. The most ethanol by the pump was 88 octane 15% ethanol essentially just shy of 91 octane 10%, 22 MPG . Not as good in any measure as local 93 10%, 24.5 MPG higher OAR and ran less boost. But the variables tween years tunes and many other specific make generalities moot. Experimentation is the only way to decide with what ya use. KM
Thanks for that information.
As stated, I would have to acknowledge what appeared to be about 1mpg drop in fuel economy between 30 gallons of E10 93 octane (my normal purchase) VS 5gallons of E85 and 25 gallons of 93.

My average tank of 93 is very close to 23mpg. And pretty consistent. (interestingly the same as the EPA estimate for mixed driving)

As stated above, the experimental E85/93 cocktail was 22mpg. Far from scientific because it was only one tankful sample.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
SnakeB, try and calculate the cost in $ per distance traveled as a comparison. Such as figure the cost of the mix in $ per gallon divide by the MPG result and you will come in the range of 3.7 to 4.7 miles driven per dollar spent.
I did this on the trip and the best Miles Per Dollar was 4.5 +- for 93 10%. Worst was 87 around 3.75. KM
That should be easy enough to do as I document (with pictures) each cocktail choice.

But remember, the primary question I have is how much OAR hit will I take if I purchase less than 93 fuel IF I use E85 in safe quantities (5 gallons per tankful)

I am not favoring my wallet over my combustion chamber. I LOVE OAR and - KR. But this new truck is ridiculously happy with what appears to be untapped headroom regarding those parameters. At least compared to my 2 previous 3.5 Ecoboost motors. They were harder to please. Lol
 
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Do you have a way to monitor and track spark advance? It won't be a consistent number like OAR, but maybe watching min/max as you change mixes.. That will be a really good indicator of what the stock tune is doing with the extra -KR
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sure, I could swap PIDs on the Ngauge.

For this specific experiment, what would be the best complimentary Pids to OAR and KR?
 

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Very interesting question and timing!
Just yesterday I asked Boostking his thoughts on using a splash of E85 as an OAR-improving supplement.

I am having terrible trouble with -0.1 to -0.3 OARs at best, on the 91 available around here.

I also asked him about whether OAR is relative to the fuel, or relevant to the state of tune.

See, I have been seeing decent OARs of -0.7 to -0.9 when I run stock tune.
But as soon as I flash a custom tune and the OAR resets to 0.00, I simply cannot get it better than -0.3, even after hundreds of miles of driving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm blessed to have the combination of:

1. Good 93
2. A motor that was built on a good day?
3. Enough torque in stock tune to keep me from wanting. (severely)

There's deviation between one motor and the next on these 3.5 Ecoboost. More than I expected. I already was aware of it just based on seat of the pants because I had access to switch between 2 2018's almost daily. Driving both back to back often. Then on occasion I would get behind the wheel of a third 2018.

They just felt and ran differently enough to notice.
The 3 10r80's differed even more! Clouding the judgment of how much variation was motor VS transmission.

Well it's the same exact thing between my 2021 Powerboost and the 2022. Only this time the variations are even data-driven! It's more variation than I was thinking was likely.
 

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Very interesting question and timing!
Just yesterday I asked Boostking his thoughts on using a splash of E85 as an OAR-improving supplement.

I am having terrible trouble with -0.1 to -0.3 OARs at best, on the 91 available around here.

I also asked him about whether OAR is relative to the fuel, or relevant to the state of tune.

See, I have been seeing decent OARs of -0.7 to -0.9 when I run stock tune.
But as soon as I flash a custom tune and the OAR resets to 0.00, I simply cannot get it better than -0.3, even after hundreds of miles of driving.
I use a BDX and after installing a tune or KAM restet my OAR 0's out. I have to get into serious boost over a period of days to see it drop to -.72 or better, long term use and it will eventually be -.97. I think it needs to see some knock to adjust the OAR. Everyday driving will not do it. KM
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The airflow may not be the best indicator for this experiment on my truck. I say that because the Powerboost accomplishes meeting ordinary torque requests with far less boost than my Ecoboosts did.

It has ~100ftlbs of electric torque that it draws from before it asks for forced induction, so you get the NA torque + 100Etorque before you get 1psi of boost.

The best way to describe what that's like is that it's AMAZING how quickly you can get to the speed limit without boost! I spent 4 years driving at the same daily pace in my Gen2. Same Boost PID on my Ngauge. I was in boost almost continuously if I was accelerating driving normally as I drive. I'm not in anyone's way, let's just say.

This Powerboost might never spool 2psi and I've left traffic behind in the rear view. Not enough to get the LEO to consider me a nuisance or anything, but I definitely have them looking.

Admittedly in these parts an old man wearing a cowboy hat in a white truck probably gets a buffer. Lol
 

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I use a BDX and after installing a tune or KAM restet my OAR 0's out. I have to get into serious boost over a period of days to see it drop to -.72 or better, long term use and it will eventually be -.97. I think it needs to see some knock to adjust the OAR. Everyday driving will not do it. KM
The secret to this was shared with me, and it's quite simple and effective.

After flashing the tune and your OAR is 0, you'll need to do 3 or 4 "pulls". Not WOT, I usually do 20-30% throttle.

Each pull, find the throttle position that introduces a KR change. Does not matter negative or positive, as long as KR is getting a reading. Hold that EXACT throttle position for 6 seconds, then let off. If you did it right, you should see the OAR update immediately.

Mine will go to -.39 in the first, then to -.78 and finally -.96. If I do it right, I can get there in two miles or less.
 
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