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  1. #1
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    The N54 e85 thread

    I'm trying to collect information about e85 usage for the N54 engine.
    I'm starting with a few questions:

    - What is the effective octane rating of e85 based on observed knock activity ?
    - What is the expected power increase with e85 vs. 95 octane gasoline?
    - Will e85 raise power more on higher RPM than on middle an low RPM and why, if so?

    People with insight and experiences in this area are welcome to contribute. Or just throw in your questions and ideas to maintain a constructive discussion.

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    I run a 60/40 mix of Shell v-power (99RON=94-95RM2) and E85 and have fuel trims in check and full timing advance on JB4 map7 (for with you are supposed to use 100RM2).
    Click here to enlarge
    997.1 tt
    Kline 200cell exhaust
    997.2/GT2RS IC's
    Cobb E85 custom stage3 tune by Mitch
    ID1000 injectors
    Sachs stage 2.5 clutch

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by xbox_fan Click here to enlarge
    I run a 60/40 mix of Shell v-power (99RON=94-95RM2) and E85 and have fuel trims in check and full timing advance on JB4 map7 (for with you are supposed to use 100RM2).
    Plus meth?

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    No even without meth (but with DCI, DPs & FMIC), fuel trims are much better with it though.
    Click here to enlarge
    997.1 tt
    Kline 200cell exhaust
    997.2/GT2RS IC's
    Cobb E85 custom stage3 tune by Mitch
    ID1000 injectors
    Sachs stage 2.5 clutch

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    E85 seems to not be perfectly suitable to be used with our injectors according to @dubversion and his conversation with the continental/vdo engineer who has brought us a lot of the facts on the n54 fuel system capabilities. Search this forum for his posts but as far as i recall it may have issues due to heat of E85 and injector internals..dont recall tge details..many have run up to 40/60 e85/gas with success...higher mixes seemed to cause trims problems

    If you run e85 100% expect to require 1.5x (50%).more fuel volume than.pure gas...so a 20% mix will see your trims go.up +10%...40/60 mix will see your trims go +20% on top of what you get on pure gas, etc

    IMO if you're pushing high boost and you're running a piggy and your fuel trims are already consistently maxed, you need to stay away from e85 as you'll run lean since additional fuel will be required for the same tune...with a flash you can gwt more fuel so that wouldnt be an immediate issue there but you'd possibly still hit a fuel ceiling with e85 and same injectors than say 100% race gas due to 50% higher fuel volume demand that e85 brings
    Last edited by dzenno@PTF; 04-21-2012 at 10:05 AM.
    Click here to enlarge

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    I've been running cobb stg2+ agg since it dropped, I've experimented with various mixes of E85, up to 60%. For the low timing that sgt2+ runs, a 20% mix results in clean logs with no timing corrections. 93oct alone would usually produce some timing correction activity on 2-3-4 pulls (still "normal", nothing to worry about), and the 20% mix has cleaned them up.

    I'm just patiently awaiting ATR, so I can explore how much power cobb leaves on the table with the OTS mapping for 93 compared to the det supression that various mixes of E85 provide.

    For what it's worth, I've been logging countless 3rd gear pulls on a very flat/smooth stretch of road. I've found that a 20% E85 mix does in fact produce more power up top, but same peak torque - generally due to the solid E85 timing every time. Right now, I see low % mix of E85 as a great octane booster. Once Cobb releases ATR and/or their race maps, I can see E85 mixes being a great alternative to meth for those on stock turbos (I just don't want the hassle).

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    Besides tuning for it. Is the N54 suitable for e85 without damaging?

    The gain of power is not worth what can happen to the car. For the increase in HP, just use water/meth. Even if you don't keep the car long enough it will be far cheaper as your MPG will go up instead of down. I don't even think the fuel pump could even move that much e85. Injector seals, fuel pump, fuel lines would get $#@!ed up. Etching and eroding of cylinder walls after long periods of time. Dont forget once it starts to get around freezing though... you will have to crank it a couple of times in some places. And the lower the temp, the more you need that cold start injector. IMO e85 isnt worth it, at least for a DD.
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    I don't think anyone would or is intending to run E85 100% of the time on the car. However, from @dubversion and his Continental engineer contact once again, the only issue that may happen is related to injector heater element which over time may malfunction. The rest of the components should be just fine.
    Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dzenno Click here to enlarge
    I don't think anyone would or is intending to run E85 100% of the time on the car. However, from @dubversion and his Continental engineer contact once again, the only issue that may happen is related to injector heater element which over time may malfunction. The rest of the components should be just fine.
    Is there a heater element in each injector, which need to work harder due to ethanol cooling effect?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by R1000K3 Click here to enlarge
    Is there a heater element in each injector, which need to work harder due to ethanol cooling effect?
    That's how I understood it
    Click here to enlarge

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    It shouldn't be a big issue. The heater is probably designed to work overtime during the cold season anyway, hopefully...

    Good info dzenno !

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    There is a thread on N54 tech with some dyno results of an N54 running 60:40 E85:93 ratio with JB4. I'd link it but don't have a high enough rep score yet. Click here to enlarge

    I know of guys in the local Subaru community that have run 100% E85 for nearly 10 years without damage to the stock fueling system. They are able to swap fuel pumps and injectors to get their volumes up; we don't the ability to do that, but looks like 50:50 blend will still give great results. As mentioned above, you will get a hard crank in winter temps. Nice thing is you can run the tank empty before temps fall and go back to 100% 93 before winter sets in.

    Interesting to hear about the injector heater problems - I hadn't thought of that as a potential issue before. I wonder at what blend ratio it really becomes a struggle that may damage components.

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    Just to throw in $.02 we've had quite a few customers using an E85 mix and it works quite well. Normally we suggest 20-30% as this gives the fewest headaches and does not require any special tuning settings other than bumping up the "open loop" settings from the default of 80 to say 90 or 95. With that mix you should use map 2 and generally customers max out their advance curve with it. Map 5 is also an option but it can float the boost target higher than your fuel trims will properly support. With a 40-45% E85 mix you can use map 7 but it gets a little sketchy on the fuel trims. So that is for more advanced users only who know how to read logs, adjust AFR and open loop settings, and generally are familiar with how to tune cars.

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    I thought the N54 was cloosed loop all the time, except during warm up. Is it open loop in any high load situation too?

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    It runs closed loop full time. But has base fuel maps. If fuel trims exceed 34% then the DME stops adding fuel and the result is leaner air/fuel ratios. In some cases it reverts to open loop mode all together during certain o2 sensor faults, etc. The JB4 detects this and switches to map 4 (stock w/ CAN active) if encountered.

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    Aah, good info Terry.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dzenno Click here to enlarge
    That's how I understood it
    I looked into old threads here and in the brief BMW N54 description (the four PDF's). What I could find is a thread by dubversion with a warning from the Continental engineer that some part of the injector will not take more than 100 Deg C (spec. wise). In the N54 description it is mentioned that the injector has a temperature compensation but I've not seen that it is actually heated. It seems to me as the heat influence on injectors by e85 is a non-issue then since the cumbustion should be colder than for fuel. What is you opinion in this?

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    I know the Ford 3.5L DI V6 (ecoboost) is 100% e85 compatible. Wonder how similar it is to the N54 setup.

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    I posted some E85 mix logs before, here is a map7 log (FBO but meth off for those logs)

    Click here to enlarge
    Click here to enlarge
    997.1 tt
    Kline 200cell exhaust
    997.2/GT2RS IC's
    Cobb E85 custom stage3 tune by Mitch
    ID1000 injectors
    Sachs stage 2.5 clutch

  20. #20
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by xbox_fan Click here to enlarge
    I posted some E85 mix logs before, here is a map7 log (FBO but meth off for those logs)
    Misc is fuel trims, this is with a standard 18ohm JB4 board, I am changing to 15ohm will try to post some logs when I done the upgrade.
    Click here to enlarge
    997.1 tt
    Kline 200cell exhaust
    997.2/GT2RS IC's
    Cobb E85 custom stage3 tune by Mitch
    ID1000 injectors
    Sachs stage 2.5 clutch

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Terry@BMS Click here to enlarge
    Just to throw in $.02 we've had quite a few customers using an E85 mix and it works quite well. Normally we suggest 20-30% as this gives the fewest headaches and does not require any special tuning settings other than bumping up the "open loop" settings from the default of 80 to say 90 or 95. With that mix you should use map 2 and generally customers max out their advance curve with it. Map 5 is also an option but it can float the boost target higher than your fuel trims will properly support. With a 40-45% E85 mix you can use map 7 but it gets a little sketchy on the fuel trims. So that is for more advanced users only who know how to read logs, adjust AFR and open loop settings, and generally are familiar with how to tune cars.
    Thanks for the info Terry. Any thoughts about E85 and the IS-specific maps on JB4? My understanding is that the timing advance is the primary difference between 'normal' and 'IS' N54 tunes. Curious to know whether your statements about maxing out advance on Map 2 with 20-30% E85 would still apply.

    Cheers
    Current: '00 S2000
    Previous: '15 M235i xDrive | '15 Macan S | '15 WRX STi | '06 Cayman S | '12 E92 335is w/JB4 | '10 STi

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    What does the timing curve look like on the IS?
    Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by SlicktopTTZ Click here to enlarge
    I know the Ford 3.5L DI V6 (ecoboost) is 100% e85 compatible. Wonder how similar it is to the N54 setup.
    You sure about this? I have one and it clearly says no E85 inside the fuel filler door.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by mattsfeir Click here to enlarge
    You sure about this? I have one and it clearly says no E85 inside the fuel filler door.
    Looks like there are both "flex-fuel" and regular V6 Ecoboost.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by whoosh Click here to enlarge
    Thanks for the info Terry. Any thoughts about E85 and the IS-specific maps on JB4? My understanding is that the timing advance is the primary difference between 'normal' and 'IS' N54 tunes. Curious to know whether your statements about maxing out advance on Map 2 with 20-30% E85 would still apply.

    Cheers
    With the 1M and to a lesser degree the 335is the internal advance limiter table is set much lower, so you need more boost to compensate. The fuel trims are also more favorable. With an open loop mapping setting of 70-80 a 1M or 335is can likely get away with map 7 on a 30% E85 mix.

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