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I converted a glow engine to run on E85

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Old 03-08-2009, 08:47 PM
  #126
wingspan99
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Well we won't get in trouble for hijacking the thread if we talk about using E85 in those Cox .049's now. I wouldn't even try it. There, that was easy. The only thing I found works in those motors is lots of NITRO in glow fuel and an electric starter! At least 25% nitro.
I have one of those .049 Mustangs, it's a shelf model only, it does look cool with the head sticking out at a 45 degree angle downward. Do post a pic when you get the Lil Satan done. -Tom
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Old 03-08-2009, 09:47 PM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Yeah, I don't think an .049 would much like E-85. And you are right, the key to success with those things is lots of nitro, and lots of castor.

wingspan99, You are involved in full scale aviation right? I'm a Private Pilot with a bunch of hours in various planes, an Ultralight Airplane instructor and Rotax certified mechanic, and I used to build the Van's RV series airplanes for customers at Custom Aircraft in Payson, Arizona. Built a couple of Harmon Rockets too. Sold both my ultralights when I moved here to Mexico. Big mistake. There are two of them flying here hopping passengers for $30.00 for a 10 minute ride, and they are hardly ever on the ground!! They are making some bucks, that's for sure...

So, anybody running E-85 on spark ignition, or just on glow?

Also, yeah, I'll get some pics of the Lil Satan to put on here.

AV8TOR
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:39 AM
  #128
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

It sounds like we have a lot in common on the full-scale side. I've got a Private pilot license, and A&P Mechanic license, and I've flown and built many kinds of experimentals and ultralights. I'd like to get my Sport Pilot Instructor rating next, I think some money could be made there, at least I could make a small fortune out of a large fortune. I have an experimental airplane I fly every weekend. Yesterday I did a 200 mile trip to Boulder, CO. I have some pictures of the plane and from my recent trips posted on a yahoo group's photo section. [link=http://groups.yahoo.com/group/starliteownersgroup/photos/album/9573070/pic/list]Star-Lite N166TA pics[/link].
Those guys in Mexico are smart, their hourly costs with an ultralight are nil, and at $30 a ride they're grossing $180/hr? That's about $100/hr more than you can do in the states. My hourly costs are about $10/hr including overhaul set-asides. I think it costs less than feeding a 60 size glow engine. Get a 2-place UL and go to it, there's going to be a bunch of E-LSA's for sale when the training exemptions expire in January 2010 (I think that's the right date, I know they do expire and require an S-LSA for training). I've thought about using E85 in my plane, except I'd have to blend pure synthetic oil, which is expensive and doesn't provide any corrosion protection between runs. (You probably already know this stuff). I'm already using E07 in the plane, all my parts are ethanol compatible.
I've been testing spark ignition on a Saito 120 with E-85. The E85 stoich is close enough to glow fuel that I can use the regular glow carb, and the spark ignition fires it off every time, very reliably with no glow plug costs. 10% castor is enough to lubricate the rod's lower end, probably because the lubricity of the 15% gasoline. I have to do some tach testing, I'm just waiting to get a spark plug boot that will hold on the little Rimfire plugs. I need a glow plug boot. -Tom
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:03 PM
  #129
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Tom.....did ya get that boot you needed? A boot from a on-board glow system may work!!!! Best Regards Capt,n ...in Forida on vacation!
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Old 03-25-2009, 09:49 AM
  #130
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Ya, I have been waiting to find just the lead rather than paying $10 for a nicely made glow adapter unit. I just found them at Hobby People for $3.50, for just the lead with boot. I ordered 3 of them. I accidentally broke one of my $15 Rimfire plugs, darn it. The upper ceramic insulator cracked off from abusing it while trying to make a clip to fit in the groove. I think I can still use it if I just put some additional insulator around it and maybe a touch of CA thin. In any case I have another one if that one is shot. One thing I noticed is the plug runs very black and dirty, probably from the high oil content, but I know they foul up at idle really fast, probably because it's very cool at idle. Not like the 2% oil mix I'm used to which runs tan in my 40hp 2-stroke. -Tom
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Old 03-26-2009, 06:32 PM
  #131
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Tom, I think it has more to do with the alcohol than the oil content because all three of my converted gassers have brown insulators. They all use the RimFire plug and the two bushing rod SuperTigre's get run on 16:1 mixed with either Redline two stroke racing oil or Pennzoil two cycle air cooled oil. I can also idle for extended periods without even the slightest hint of fouling. In fact the first plug in the 51 made over 35 hrs before I changed it.
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:24 PM
  #132
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Well that gives me some hope. Maybe it's the castor oil or the fact it's a four-stroke, or the cooler running due to using alcohol. I doubt the alcohol runs dirtier than gasoline, although now I want to try running gasoline with 16:1 Pennzoil mix. Maynard Hill ran a four-stroke on spark and his model crossed the Atlantic, obviously it did not foul up. Saito just came out with a sparker 4-stroke, it is bound to be a popular engine.
-Tom
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Old 03-31-2009, 07:12 AM
  #133
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

I'd rather use Diesel, and thats because all the alcohol products suck, and so do corn based, they have'nt been refined enough for me. I'd like to see a Diesel Heli!
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:31 PM
  #134
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Hi Tom, My Saito 91 four stroke has been converted to gas/spark and the insulator runs brown in it as well. I haven't tried Castor so I can't comment on that but I agree that it does run cooler on the alky. (I did run it on glow fuel for a tank just to see how it ran but I did not pull the plug afterwards to check it.)
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Old 08-27-2009, 01:32 PM
  #135
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Hi guys,

I'm running a Super Tigre 90 on E85 and ~10% Klotz Super Techniplate. We're using a CDI system for spark. I'm still trying to get the carb set right. The needle adjustment is very sensitive, a couple of clicks can make it go from too lean (engine won't pickup RPM when the fuel line is pinched) to so rich that the engine sounds like it is only running at 3/4 throttle when it is at WOT. It seems like most people are able to tweak their carbs enough to not have any major problems so maybe I'm missing something.

I have the fuel tank about 3 inches from the carb to keep it closer to the CG so I may try some tuning with the tail raised up to see if that makes any difference. I did see winspan99's post about soldering the spraybar and leaning out the midrange, I might try that but I don't know if that will make the top end less sensitive. My goal is to get the engine to run just a little bit rich as you would with glow fuel without having it unflyable. I already had one small crash due to it being too lean and quitting right after takeoff, enough of that!

I'd like to stay away from having to add any nitro as we're trying to keep the cost down. Any advise or lessons learned would be great!

Thanks,
Charlie
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Old 08-27-2009, 05:04 PM
  #136
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Go to a Walbro carb from a gas engine. You will have to make an adapter but it is not really a big deal. I run my Super Tiger .90 on the Gas/Glow system with a Walbro carb and it works flawlessly. As a matter of fact, at the field the other day a fellow flyer asked me about my setup because it ran so well and was so responsive.

You might be able to get a carb adapter for a Walbro ready made either from BME or Ken Lambert.

AV8TOR
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Old 08-27-2009, 05:33 PM
  #137
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

I've heard that you can add more of a taper the the needel by sanding it.

This makes the needle less sensitive.

You might get another needle and try that.

But the Walbro setup will answer many questions.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:20 PM
  #138
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

I think CH ignitions has the Walbro carb adapters as well.
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Old 08-28-2009, 11:19 AM
  #139
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Charlie, I'm not sure whether the solder adjustment on the spraybar was necessary due to the difference in fuel stoich or the altitude I'm living at which is 6840' MSL. I did not get nearly the same RPM at top end with E85 that I did with methanol (9100rpm), I didn't even bother trying to fly it because I want more power, not less. It was about 800rpm less. I'm sure there's a lot of planes that can fly happily all day on a Saito 120 running at 90% RPM which was about 8300rpm with a MA 14x6, but any aerobatic plane already wheezing at 6840' MSL needs all it can get. I will probably convert it to electric power which doesn't suffer from oxygen starvation at altitude. The top end of the needle wasn't an issue on the ground tests, although I did not use muffler pressure and so that might have had something to do with it. I think a fuel pump would probably help out as well, the fuel feed becomes erratic without muffler pressure during acro. A Perry Micro-Oscillating pump can be adjusted for output pressure, although that might make the top end more sensitive than no muffler pressure since some pressure will certainly be added. The Walbro is probably the best carb ever for model airplanes, it has a pump and a regulator built in, and a separate idle circuit with great atomization of the fuel. For a 2-stroke it is perfect, and I know Saito just released a 4-stroke with one as well, probably using crankcase pressure to work the pump and regulator, same as the 2-strokes. For gasoline it's a must because the fuel amounts are much smaller and harder to meter. It would certainly be nice for an E85 conversion as well. -Tom
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Old 08-28-2009, 11:45 AM
  #140
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Thanks for the suggestions. I have a couple of things that I am going to try. I found that the main needle was not centered in the brass adjuster so I stole the needle valve/spraybar off of an old ST 40. The spraybar has a round profile instead of the two flats so we'll see if that and the concentric needle will help. I'm also going to tweak the timing to see what effect that has. I did find a bit of crap around the original needle so I added an inline filter right before the carb. Hopefully some or all of these changes will help and if it would stop raining I could find out [sm=drowning.gif]
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Old 01-25-2011, 02:05 PM
  #141
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

wingspan99 Have you ever had the chance to try E85 in your Raptor 50, You asked the question about if it runs warmer than an airplane well the answer is yes it does. You typically need at least 20 percent oil content in a heli. I know that coolpower uses like 18% and it is a very good fuel but they use a special synthetic. a safe bet is 20-22% oil.

Helis drink Fuel and this would be a huge thing for heli pilots to run cheaper fuel.
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Old 01-25-2011, 04:19 PM
  #142
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

The big SuperTigers will run on E85 real good. Use a OS Max 4 cycle glow plug! Capt,n
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:40 PM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

I have
Quote:
ORIGINAL: wingspan99

Ya, I have been waiting to find just the lead rather than paying $10 for a nicely made glow adapter unit. I just found them at Hobby People for $3.50, for just the lead with boot. I ordered 3 of them. I accidentally broke one of my $15 Rimfire plugs, darn it. The upper ceramic insulator cracked off from abusing it while trying to make a clip to fit in the groove. I think I can still use it if I just put some additional insulator around it and maybe a touch of CA thin. In any case I have another one if that one is shot. One thing I noticed is the plug runs very black and dirty, probably from the high oil content, but I know they foul up at idle really fast, probably because it's very cool at idle. Not like the 2% oil mix I'm used to which runs tan in my 40hp 2-stroke. -Tom
I have some moulded silicone boots with contact spring for rim fire plugs.Send me a SASE and I will send you a couple no charge. Remember rim fire is non resistor plug and does put out some RFI with out metal cap.
BCCHI
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Old 01-27-2011, 02:24 PM
  #144
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

I haven't tried the E85 mix in my heli, I'm still trying to get a working mix for my 4-strokes. I think the castor oil is what's fouling my spark plug so fast, it's not designed for the high heat of the spark ignition I think. My plug get's black in about two minutes of idling. I need some synthetic oil I think. And some better spark plug boots, I do need one for the Rimfire plug I have. Can you PM me with an address? Thank you very much. -Tom
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Old 01-27-2011, 02:30 PM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Sorry if these questions annoy anybody, I'm totally new to this and just trying to get some general info.

Can a smaller 40-60 size nitro engine be converted to run on E85 and run well?

Do you just mix E85 with gas 2-cycle oil or the oil used in nitro fuel for the 40-60 size engines (castor/synthetic)?

I see a lot about carbs, would you keep the same carb for the smaller engines (if it works)?

How about the crank position pickup and ignition? Is that off the shelf parts?

Thanks.
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:33 PM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Some people are running E85 with glow plougs

You have to put castor/synthetic oil in the E85

Some people mix the E85/oil with some glow fuel.
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:53 PM
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

There's two ways to run E85, use spark ignition, or use glow ignition. Large gassers work well if you mix two gallons of gasoline with one gallon of 10%nitro, 10% oil glow fuel and run on glow plugs. Smaller engines can use E85 with glow too, some people power the glow plug continuously. I'm using spark ignition, the original carburetor, and 10% castor for lubrication on a Saito 120. I've run a .40 on E85 too. It doesn't yet have the same power as a glow fuel but I think a similar two gallon to one mix like the large gassers is where it's at. Except more oil is needed to lubricate the glow engines, especially the conrod bottom end. 10% oil is minimum for large Supertigre's. The gasoline in the E85 has more lubricity than methanol so less oil is required, but it's still 85% ethanol alcohol. I'd try 10% oil on a glow engine and watch the conrod carefully for egging and slop. Of course, it may just blow up.
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:23 PM
  #148
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

Thanks for the reply. Maybe I'll try it someday. But for now, I can get glow fuel at the LHS for a reasonable price. But good to know just in case....
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:35 AM
  #149
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

With enough expirimenting I assume that I can get my ST3000 running on e85. My question is what is the downside to this type of fuel? If is works and cuts down on cost so much why don't more people do it? There are a lot of OS 160s out there that drink a lot of glow fuel and some owners that would love to cut costs to fly.
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:03 AM
  #150
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Default RE: I converted a glow engine to run on E85

The downside is that there is not as much power, and you still have to add the most expensive ingredients, the nitromethane and the oil. E85 can be a lot easier to find than methanol though, thus the conversion. The other downside is that it has gasoline in it which stinks like a skunk compared to glow fuel.
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