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I converted a glow engine to run on E85

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Old 10-18-2007, 05:38 PM
  #26
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Ok I just tried my second experiment with E85/glow fuel mix on glow. This time the same 2:1 E85:glow fuel (15/16 Powermaster) mix plus 10% additional castor oil to give 15% oil, in a GP .42 with K&B Idle Bar glow plug. I must say I was surprised because it ran even better than the larger ASP 108. It makes sense because the glow plugs are the same size in both engines but the GP 42 has a lot less fuel going into the cylinder to cool the glow plug. With 15% oil now the ASP 108 doesn't transition well or run on top end hot enough, and needs the glow igniter on full time to give a decent run. But the success with the GP 42 was very interesting. At first I had the 9.5% oil and it was slowing down and losing power after about a minute on that stuff. So I bumped up the oil content to 15%. It ran consistently then but it could probably stand some more oil for the bushing bearings. When I get the Morgan synthetic oil these engines will probably run even better, although I will still use some castor, especially at the low oil contents I have been using. Well my experiments aren't very scientific, but there sure are a lot of them, huh? It's the sharing that makes the forums rich. After the success with that GP 42 I will try them again with the synthetic, then maybe try the fuel in my heli. I'll have to convert the stoppers and lines to Tygon, although the stoppers might be ok, I have to see what they are made of. The tank on the Raptor will be tricky, it has a different stopper than the Dubro ones available. I'm really impressed even with the idle and transition. The next experiment will be on an OS 15 FP. Maybe I'll try that plane first, although it sure doesn't need it for the economy of it, but the small engine will probably be fine with the fuel mix on glow. I have a Saito 91 that might work with this mix, I'll try that one next week with the synthetic oil too, it might need on-board glow to work since the 4-stroke cools the plugs more. I must say this has been educational to me, just hearing the engines run with different fuel mixes and plug heat and spark ignition et al.
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Old 10-18-2007, 06:47 PM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Now I am starting to understand my success with my ST40 on E85. av8tor1977 had problems with it in larger engines and I couldn't make gas/glow work in my 40. Have you tried a four stroke plug in the ASP?
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Old 10-18-2007, 11:21 PM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Wingspan99: Have you used Klotz oil. It blends well with gas and alcohol. Real clean oil to run and some Klotz oils have castor added. Capt,n
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Old 10-18-2007, 11:28 PM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

I didn't try an OS F plug. I have some Enya #3 plugs which are hot plugs, I'll try them tomorrow. Here is the glow plug guide from OS Engines. [link=http://www.osengines.com/accys/glowplugs.html]OS Glow Plugs[/link] There's a lot of good information in there about glow plugs and choosing the right glow plug. One point they make is that the higher the nitro the more heat and the colder the plug needed just to withstand that heat. When they say high nitro they mean MORE than 20% nitro. I think we're finding that we need the hottest glow plugs we can find for ethanol use and probably for gas/glow. The A3 plug seems to be the hottest plug designed for standard aircraft engines. Confusing is that the OS F is called a medium heat plug but is shown at the cold end of the range on that guide. This plug probably seems hotter to us than the colder plugs commonly used like the OS 8 or A5 plugs. The long nose keeps the plug hotter at idle. This is probably why they work better in ethanol, it doesn't allow the plug to get cooled by the incoming air charge. Maybe a hotter plug with an idle bar would work better? If I am using 5% nitro with ethanol and a bunch of gasoline mixed in, then I need the very hottest plug made, which explains why with some plugs I have to heat it myself with a battery.
I think the new biofuel engine uses the new Turbo Head and Turbo Head glow plugs with the larger threads. They say it gives a better seal than can be gotten with a copper gasket. I'll bet the larger threads were used to allow more installation torque and a higher pressure seal.
Check out the new OS P3 Turbo Head glow plug. It is called "ultra-hot". Too bad it's in the Turbo Head form factor. I don't think it will be easy to convert a standard 1/4-32 head to the Turbo Head, you can't just run a tap through your existing head. There has to be a tapered seat at the bottom. That's probably a two-step process, and there may not be enough depth of material in most heads. But all that said, I don't think the Turbo Head form factor is a requirement for an ultra-hot plug. The P8 plug is a cold plug, made in the same Turbo Head glow plug shape. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Turbo Head plugs become standard on OS aircraft engines in the future.
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Old 10-19-2007, 12:02 AM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

CaptinJohn I haven't tried Klotz oils yet. I hear folks say good things about them. At $10.79 a quart for the KL-0100 synthetic/castor blend and KL-0200 pure synthetic they are more expensive than Morgan synthetic at $7.49 a quart and FHS 62-R synthetic oil at $7.00 a quart. FHS is at [link=http://members.aol.com/FHSoil/FHSprice07.html]FHS Oil prices[/link] Klotz BeNol, the purest castor racing oil, is {gasp} $7.19 a PINT or $14.38 a quart! FHS has Racing Castor at $7.00 a quart. Sig AA Castor is $20/gallon but fewer shops sell it because it has to be ordered directly from Sig. I guess Sig doesn't want a distributor. There's some other places selling synthetic 2-stroke oil, I haven't seen prices near these though. It seems kart racers are less price sensitive than me.
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Old 10-19-2007, 02:31 AM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Kart racers are price sensitive.

You get what you pay for, or
Pay me now or Pay me later.

If cart racers are using a product they are very concerned about longivity.

Most need to make it through a whole season with out tearing down the engine
so the oil they use must be very good.
Some of the 100cc 2 strokes see 20,000rpm.
So it it works for them it should work for us too.
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Old 10-19-2007, 07:37 AM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

I don't think you can directly compare Turbo plug heat range to regular plugs. No you can't convert a 1/4-32 head to turbo. I buy Klotz from them at Toledo. I picked up three quarts for $14 last year. I have also used Maxima Castor 927. It has an additive to reduce carbon. I'd love to try FHS oils but they have no specifications and an email didn't turn any up. I'm going to try calling them.
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Old 10-19-2007, 09:39 AM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

FHS has a unique promotion. If you will put a link to them on your web page for at least 6 months they will send you four quarts of their oil or fuel, you just pay the shipping. I believe they use 62R oil in their Red Max fuel, and I used their fuel for years with good results. They are not just model fuel manufacturers, they deal with all kinds of racing.

I have a question about synthetic oil, there seems to be two types, one for alcohol fuels and one for gasoline. I thought synthetic would blend with either, or is the synthetic for gasoline blended with some mineral oil?

I think kart racing would be a real blast, you're close to the ground, the machines are light, with good traction, the courses have real tight turns. It sounds like something that would be hard for me to just dabble in.
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Old 10-19-2007, 10:08 AM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85


I have two questions for the forum:

Where is the Morgan synthetic oil available?

Is the E85 compatible with silicone fuel components (since it's mostly alcohol)?


Thanks
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Old 10-19-2007, 10:35 AM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Morgan synthetic oil is available through Horizon Hobbies, and most hobby shops have an account with them so most hobby shops can get that oil. You can order it direct as well.

I believe the 15% gasoline in E85 will swell and soften the silicone lines. It doesn't take much petroleum product to do it. Tygon lines can be used with either gas or alcohol, that's the yellow tubing.
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Old 10-19-2007, 10:56 AM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Tom,

Thanks for that feedback.
I'm following your E85 / methanol trials closely and greatly appreciate your sharing of the findings.
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Old 10-19-2007, 12:15 PM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Today I tried the Enya #3 hot plugs in the 42 GP and in the ASP 108. It made a difference on both engines but it made the biggest difference on the 42GP. That engine is ready to FLY. There is no difference on the top end with the glow driver on or off, and no difference in the idle, transition, and midrange with the glow driver on or off. I still don't know the rpm difference between glow fuel and the 2:1 E85/glow mix, but I know one thing, it sounds smooth and there's noises coming off the MA 10x6 prop tips which indicates supersonic tips. That GP42 is no fancy powerhouse but I'd say the gerbil inside is giving it all he's got. Darn my tach it picked a bad week to die on me. I ordered a new tach from Tower Hobbies, they were only $16.

The ASP 108 with Enya #3 plug on the E85/glow mix still has a few hundred rpm difference on top end between glow driver on and off. The transition and midrange improved a lot, although it still is having a slight hesitation on the transition with the glow driver off. This all indicates the plug is still not hot enough. It would definitely be flyable with on-board glow, but even a GP3300 cell at 4 amps is only about 45 minutes flying time if used full time, which it would need. I'll bet that somewhere out there is an ultra-hot glow plug in the 1/4-32 size. Tower lists about 100 glow plugs from 10 different manufacturers. Maybe one of those plugs will be hotter than the Enya#3.

I also tried a used and abused OS F plug on the ASP 108, which didn't do as well as the Enya#3 plug. There was slightly more rpm drop with the glow driver off at top end and the transition wasn't as good. I didn't try the OS F in the GP 42, it wouldn't light enough to run. Admittedly it wouldn't light before I put it in the ASP 108 but I pushed the coil down a little to get it lit for the experiment. That OS F was a used plug with a disconnected coil, and it really wasn't a fair comparison to the other plugs because the coil was not in good shape. But I really don't think the OS F is the answer, it's a medium range plug. It does have the extended nose to shield the element, so that's helping it work better than a regular medium plug. I have some other four-cycle plugs like the YS 4-cycle plug. That's probably a colder plug though, because YS recommends 20% nitro for their engines.
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Old 10-19-2007, 12:46 PM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Foamcut thanks. I'm getting back way more than I'm giving, but it's nice to be appreciated.
One thing I've noticed is that all the large OS engines from the 120 to the BGX 3500 come with the OS #8 glow plug, which is their cold plug. The manuals for the engines recommend 5-10% nitro. Usually the conventional wisdom is to use a cold plug with high nitro applications (over 25% nitro) so I think I'm missing something about glow plugs in large glow engines. But I'm pretty sure I need a hot plug in my E85/glow application. I ran out of oil for mixing up fuel, so it may be next week before I can continue my experiments. By then I should have my new tach as well and quantify the total power output. I suspect the power output will be very close to glow power. I'll be able to compare spark ignition on the same engine so I'll have three power output readings for the exact same engine, the ASP 108. I'll probably mix up gas/oil for a trial on spark as well, making it four output readings for one engine. Ought to be interesting.
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Old 10-19-2007, 01:03 PM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85


Tom,

If you'll send me a PM with your mailing address I'll donate a couple of Fireball 4 stroke plugs to the cause. I'd really like to know whether they're a viable candidate since they're readily available and cheap.

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Old 10-19-2007, 01:23 PM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85


Tom,

Since the desired air / fuel ratio for ethanol is closer to that of methanol than gas, the E85 / methanol mix might have the potential to minimize the sensitive needle problem associated with a glow carb running a a gas mix.

I'm curious to see if the E85 mix would also solve the probelm with diaphram swelling in Zama carbs for the larger conversion engines.




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Old 10-19-2007, 03:34 PM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

You're absolutely correct, E85 works better in the glow carbs, and the needle is not overly sensitive, especially with 5% nitro. I don't know about ethanol and the Zama carbs, but I'm going to find out, I put it in my leaf blower last week. It still runs but without a teardown I can't say if it's causing damage.
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Old 10-19-2007, 03:44 PM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

I have a spare Zama carb that I lost the needle valve for. I'll soak the diaphragm by itself in E85 tonight and see what happens. It shouldn't take too long if anything is going to happen. It's either going to break down and some black will rub off, or it will swell and deform into a cup shape, or nothing at all will happen. You'd think that they'd design these things to use pump gas which can have up to 10 percent ethanol in it.
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Old 10-19-2007, 03:50 PM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Tom,

Great idea...from what I've heard the most likely effect (if any) will be the swelling of the diaphram.

The glow plugs will be in the mail tomorrow.

Thanks for your continued efforts in this evaluation.

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Old 10-20-2007, 02:44 PM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

The Zama diaphragm has been sitting in E85 for 24hrs with no deterioration or swelling. If I rub it hard it still feels ok, no black comes off or anything and it still has it's nice shape. I had to top off the E85 about half way through and then cap it because some of the fuel evaporated. So maybe it sat in E80? I don't think I have to worry about my leaf blower now.
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Old 10-20-2007, 09:35 PM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Tom,

That's great news since it opens the possibility of using Zama carbs in this mix.

The Fireball glow plugs went in the mail today. You should get them Tuesday. I sent 2 RC idle bar and 2 of the 4 stroke "hot" plugs.

Thanks for your collaboration...

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Old 10-22-2007, 01:47 PM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

I got the plugs today, thank you. Those plugs labeled HOT I'm hoping will give good results in the ASP 108 on the E85/GLow mix. If they do work well, I may try increasing the ratio to 3:1, using more E85 with less nitro and I'll just add more oil to get at least 15% synthetic. My Morgan synthetic oil is supposed to arrive on Thursday, that's when I'll be trying both types of plugs. My tach should be here about the same time.

One thing I've been reading about lately is the addition of anti-static agents to fuels. They break the surface tension of the fuel, allowing better vaporization of the fuels from what I can tell. Incredibly small amounts are all that is needed, similar to a single drop of soap breaking the surface tension of water in a bucket. One thing a lot of folks have been experimenting with is acetone in gasoline to do this. Of course there's patented and branded versions like oxytane (.com). The acetone is harsh and can swell most gaskets at least a little, but the ratio used is 3 ounces of acetone to 10 gallons of gasoline. That's 1:433. Reports of increased gas mileage by 20% are not uncommon, and smoother operation and slightly more power at top end. It makes sense to me, fuel is not completely vaporized before combustion takes place so some of it gets wasted or burned late in the power stroke. Some experiments with E85 and Oxytane on a 5hp Briggs motor indicate that the mixture gets richer after it's added to the fuel, and so a stock carb's needle mixture control range is sufficient without re-jetting. That would tell me it changing the stoich of the fuel. I know some glow fuel manufacturers used to add acetone to their fuels, probably for the same reason. I don't know what to think about all these claims made by magic-in-a-bottle manufacturers, so I'm going to just say hmmm, that's interesting. I'm going to try 0.2% acetone in my bike motor's fuel tank on gasoline and see if the mixture goes richer. I've heard the acetone reacts with ethanol to produce ketone, I need more research on that, although acetone is already a ketone. There's so much misinformation and confusion about fuels out there. Sometimes I think an hour spent trying a few things is worth about a week of asking what works, just like the gas/glow thread.
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Old 10-22-2007, 02:34 PM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Interesting experiments you are doing, and good work with your thoroughness and patience. I enjoy reading your posts/results.

I don't have the time, (and sometimes the patience) to do much testing right now. I was glad to get the Gas/Glow thing to a nicely working point and I enjoyed doing it. It sure is a kick when I tell people that the engine, for example the one on my Giant Stik, came from a chain saw. Then when they see it doesn't need a spark plug or ignition system, they really get baffled...

As I mentioned, I haven't had any problems with numerous Walbro carbs running the Gas/Glow system, and I've run it on engines successfully from 15cc up to 42cc (so far). However I did have problems with two different Zama carbs. Even after running the carbs dry after a tuning session, after sitting overnight the diaphragms swelled and distorted. This was with my standard Gas/Glow mix of two parts of high test gasoline to one part of 10% nitro/10% oil Byrons glow fuel. I have several Walbro carbs that have run on this mix for a year or more with no problems nor parts replacements.

Have fun, and keep up the good work!
AV8TOR
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:12 PM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Quote:
One thing a lot of folks have been experimenting with is acetone in gasoline to do this. Of course there's patented and branded versions like oxytane (.com). The acetone is harsh and can swell most gaskets at least a little, but the ratio used is 3 ounces of acetone to 10 gallons of gasoline. That's 1:433. Reports of increased gas mileage by 20% are not uncommon, and smoother operation and slightly more power at top end. It makes sense to me, fuel is not completely vaporized before combustion takes place so some of it gets wasted or burned late in the power stroke.
Combustion efficiency is 98% or better in an engine these days. If it wasn't emissions would be far worse than they actually are. This means there is nowhere to gain 20% fuel economy simply from burning more of the fuel that is mixed in the cylinder. Universities have done studies with acetone and found no difference when acetone was added to gasoline.

http://www.kettering.edu/visitors/st...p?storynum=406

When I put Lucas fuel system treatment into my truck, 96 Dakota, it would average about 10% better fuel economy. Yes, I have over 100,000 miles of records to support it. The same additive in my 96 BMW 328 did nothing for economy.
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:45 PM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Greg....Good point...not all engines react the sames way to experiments with fuel mixtures. Capt.n
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Old 03-02-2008, 01:59 PM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

I only use E85 in my glow engines now (because I AM TOO CHEAP). No conversion is required, just a change in glow plug. Standard plugs do not work, as the catalitic effect of ethanol is much less than methanol. You need a very cold plug (cold means more platinum, hot means less platinum), and the best is a 4 stroke cold plug. Some cold and 4 stroke plugs don't work (fireball super cool, Fox miracle plugs do not work). The gold Duratrax is the best cold plug I have tried, and is cheap. The OS R5 cold plug is not as good and costs more. Most 4 stroke plugs I have tried work reasonably well, but are more costly. The Thunderbolt 4 stroke from Hobby People is cheap and works very well.

The needle valve sensitivity is severe, more so than with pure methanol (I do not use nitro since I AM TOO CHEAP). Having a rich mixure causes dead sticks just as much as a lean mixure, unlike methanol where only a lean mixure causes problems. Some engines run well on E85, some don't. An old OS FP .25 I have runs very well on E85, a new super tigre .46 runs poorly. Generally an older engine made for little or no nitro runs well (hello Ebay). European engines generally use little or no nitro.

I also use only synthetic oil, the Morgan fuels green heavy 4 stroke kart oil. It is cheaper than caster oil, lubricates better, and does not congeal and stick up your engine in cold weather (I do alot of cold weather flying, my planes and fuel are stored in an un heated shed). I never add more than 10% oil, and have never had an engine failure due to low oil. The Morgan green heavy oil works great. Adding less oil makes up somewhat for the lower power you get using E85 fuel and no nitro. In very hot weather (over 100 degrees F) I sometimes mix about 5% water to aid in cooling, but that isn't mandatory.

All in all E85 is a poorer fuel than Methanol, you get substantially less power, poor starting, require more expensive glow plugs, and have severe needle valve sensivitity. On the up side your fuel is less than half the price of methanol, and the run times are generally close to twice that of pure methanol and much more than twice compaired to methanol fuel with nitro.

I hope this helps those wanting a cheaper glow fuel. Please post your experimental results, especially what engines and glow plugs you have tried so we can avoid expensive trial and error.

Sopwith
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