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Converting engine to run on E85 - smallest size that would work?

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Converting engine to run on E85 - smallest size that would work?

Old 10-05-2014, 09:18 AM
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mranga
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Default Converting engine to run on E85 - smallest size that would work?

I am itching to tinker with a E85 conversion. I have a few old engines in the drawer : 46, 52, 60, 120 I'd like to try one of these out. OK I understand it is probably not worth the cost in terms of fuel savings etc. (46-60 engines are not that fuel hungry and I don't fly that often).

From another thread on this forum, it appears that E85 conversion is straightforward. I don't need a new carb. All I need is an ignition module and magnet. The fuel oil ratio stays the same. I can use Castor in the fuel oil mix.

I'd like to know the smallest reasonable size that one should attempt to do these things in order to have a chance of success. How much weight would the ignition module and battery add? I plan to put it on an Eindeker so plenty of wing area.

Thanks for you insights.
Old 10-06-2014, 06:48 PM
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Get a OS Max "F" four cycle glow plug...mix the fuel with some Klotz oil & go for it. Capt,n
Old 10-15-2014, 05:17 PM
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Barracuz
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Aren't we already running off "ethanol" already. Just grab a sharpie and black out the "M" in methanol on a gallon of glow fuel and you're all set.

I don't know if you can ignite ethanol off a glow plug but I'll give that a shot first. Ethanol is just a cheaper less powerful version than methanol shouldn't be too hard.

I would change my fuel lines though. With e85 you'll still have that 15% of gasoline which could easily make your glow lines swell up.

Also I think you'll see a noticeable diffrence in power with ethanol. Ethanol has less btus or whatever than methanol.
Old 10-17-2014, 05:30 PM
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Small engine conversions check this. http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/engi...onversion.html
Old 05-19-2015, 05:05 PM
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I tried this and ran my engines on E85 for a long time. E85 has much lower power than methanol based fuels. I made methanol fuel too. I did not use any nitro, as I was looking for a cheap fuel for fun flying. The only thing you need to do is find a very, very cold glow plug, meaning high platinum content. The plugs don't last long, but the ones that wear out can be used for methanol engines. The engines run colder, and the flight times are dramatically longer. You may have to wrap the cylinder head with hard paper to keep it hot. Starting may require methanol fuel injected in the carb. I found that the best plug I could find was the Thunderbolt # 115490 4 stroke plug. Idling is not as good as with nitro, but you can compensate with careful adjustments. You may want to buy an infra red heat meter to remotely measure the engine temperature to figure out how to insulate the head. Note there is a winter and summer fuel blend, it is better to use the summer blend. Older engines, especially ones that were made for no nitro fuel work best. Winter operation is harder, as the cold makes starting difficult. The engine temperature needs to be 250-350 degrees F. The best and most trouble free operation is to install a battery to keep the plug hot, then you can use any plug, even ones that are worn out but still have continuity in the coil. This has good running, even good idle with no problems. The ethanol does not create the degree of heat in the plug as methanol, so this solves the problems. Just install a AA battery holder and keep recharged batteries with you when you fly. Once the engine is warmed up, it runs fine. I keep my planes in an unheated barn, so winter operation is harder for me here in Colorado.
My typical fuel mix and operations for E85 was 10% oil (I used synthetic since caster oil congeals in cold weather), 8 drops of Armoral (to stop foaming), cardboard insulator on the head, Thunderbolt 115490 on an OS engines FP.25. Larger engines like the Vecco .61, Super Tiger .45, OS Engines FP .40, and other old engines were also on my planes.
My advice is to use an in flight plug heater, and have some methanol on hand, as adding some helps idling.
Good luck and let us know anything you discover. I have been using gasoline and electric motors lately so haven't been making my own E85 fuel for awhile.

Last edited by lamanchadale; 05-21-2015 at 05:44 AM.
Old 05-20-2015, 05:56 AM
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aspeed
 
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Welcome to the forum. Wouldn't an extra hot plug be the best? They seem to need the heat. We have trouble getting the E85 here, and they will not let us put it in a can. Just a car.
Old 05-21-2015, 06:01 AM
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The terms "hot" and "cold" are misleading for plugs. A cold plug has more platinum and gets hotter, as more platinum yields a stronger catalytic reaction with the methanol. Ethanol does not provide as much heat during the catalytic reaction, plus the fact that the amount of the alcohol in the E85 mix is less than conventional methanol fuel. The cold plugs are required for a 4 stroke engine since there is not a power stroke every cycle as in a 2 stroke, so the exhaust stroke cools the plug.
I have to drive to Colorado Springs to buy E85, a 3 hour round trip for me from my place in the boonies. If you have a hot rod shop near by, they sell methanol, as the cart racing circuit uses it for fuel for safety reasons. They might sell nitro also, but I don't use it so never asked. I buy the green synthetic oil on line, it is also used for cart racing, and may be available at the hot rod shops also, but I never asked. I will look to see where I bought it if anyone wants to know, The green mixed fuel is the place I buy it from but I can't recall the manufacturer's name at the moment.

Last edited by lamanchadale; 05-21-2015 at 06:23 AM.
Old 05-21-2015, 06:27 AM
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The oil I use for my home made fuel is made by Morgan fuels. I use the "Cool Power racing oil" made for cart racing. I would buy it by the case, 4 gallon bottles per case. I would typically mix 10% oil, as it lubricates better than caster oil. Sometimes I would use less and never experience engine failure. Morgan fuels is in Alabama (at least at the time I bought it).
Old 05-21-2015, 06:29 AM
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How can they not let you put the E85 in a can, do they hover over you when you fill up??? I only know one place to buy it, and never had any problems putting it in a can.
Old 05-21-2015, 06:37 AM
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There was only one place that carries it in that city, and it was not a self serve. I have moved since then, so maybe I could get some in Detroit. There seems to be some there. I think it would be better just to hunt down a place that sells Methanol cheap. There seems to be much less tax on it than automotive type fuels, at least in this country/province.
Old 05-21-2015, 07:58 AM
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E15 and E85 as well as other "eco friendly" auto fuels, contains Ethanol, and no methanol. To the best of my understanding, Ethanol does NOT react catalytically with platinum or any other material in common use. If the engines using ethanol based fuels with no methanol included continue to run after the plug ignitor is removed, it must be the heat produced by the burning fuel, not any catalytic action. Comments please?

Sincerely, Richard
Old 05-21-2015, 12:22 PM
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Yes, that is correct.

AV8TOR
Old 05-21-2015, 01:52 PM
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I believe you to be right about the plugs not liking the ethanol. Having said that, there is the Norvel GX .40 that runs on regular gasoline. I would assume it would work nicely on the E 85. Is that the smallest? I don't know. That motor uses a extra hot Turbo style plug, and a slightly reworked carb. I would get one, but think I have enough motors for the next 50 years, and the methanol glow fuel isn't too expensive, yet.
Old 05-24-2015, 07:05 AM
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At present the NV-Engines GX40 gas engine is the smallest production gasoline engine. It uses a OS P5 glow plug. It works with any of the gasoline mixes out there. The engine is a .40 cubic inch displacement size or in metric 6.5cc. NGH makes the 9cc gas engine but it is spark ignition. I never tried it, but it make work OK with the OS G5 glow plug too. There is a 3.5cc RC car gasoline engine out there someplace. One of the RC car companies makes the engine and sells it with some RC cars. It uses spark ignition though. There may be a RC car .18 engine out there too I remember reading about it somewhere.

The regular glow plugs do not work as a catalyst for ethanol. But if you use methanol the glow plugs work fine. There is a minimal amount of methanol needed in the fuel too.Some guys in the past used to mix gasoline with glow fuel, mostly as a experiment, but it did work Ok. You could add methanol to gasoline too. Some guys did that as well. They called the special mix "Glow Gas" fuel.

Now there is a M85 gasoline out there. It is used mostly in China, but there are some gas stations in the USA that sell it. I think they are mostly located in Washingon state and Oregon though. M85 fuel uses methanol instead of ethanol.

Also for glow plugs, the OS P5 ultra hot turbo plug works with gasoline. It doesn't matter what type either. Also OS just came out with another G5 glow plug that works with gasoline too.
I know they use the P5 plug with the NV-Engines GX40 gas engine. You use Klotz Benol oil with it. OS is selling their 10cc gas engine that uses the G5 glow plug. Also the ultra hot P5 glow plug was originally used in RC cars, so there may be some other competitor ultra hot heat range glow plugs that may work with gasoline too.

Last edited by earlwb; 05-24-2015 at 07:10 AM. Reason: add more info
Old 05-27-2015, 03:16 PM
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When I visit new RC fields, I check out the better sounding engines. A good way to learn how to do the same. One guy had a big SuperTiger engine ( a 3000 size) and he was using E85 for fuel. His engine really run good with good power. So I know E85 will work with a high compression & the right glow plug....with out the aid of external glow driver. Capt,n
Old 06-05-2015, 04:57 AM
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You can do it without a an ignition module but you'll need a hot glow plug, the carbs will generally tune and run on E85, the problem is E85 will ruin the rubber parts in the stock carb because of the 15% gas. The second problem is that E85 contains much less energy than our standard glow fuel, so you will see a noticeable power loss.

The third thing is just me, due to the way we make E85, I won't use it. I consider it a thoroughly immoral act to make fuel out of food, even now I feel an overwhelming desire to publicly crucify government officials for forcing me to by gas with 10% ethanol made from food for my vehicles, shameful!
Old 06-05-2015, 01:23 PM
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I am all for farmers making money instead of oil companies, but now the corn price is up because of the fuel, Now my beef and pork costs wayyyy more, maybe it was not a good idea after all. It ruins the carbs on the old cars too. Another hobby of mine.
Old 06-05-2015, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by HunkaJunk View Post
You can do it without a an ignition module but you'll need a hot glow plug, the carbs will generally tune and run on E85, the problem is E85 will ruin the rubber parts in the stock carb because of the 15% gas. The second problem is that E85 contains much less energy than our standard glow fuel, so you will see a noticeable power loss.

The third thing is just me, due to the way we make E85, I won't use it. I consider it a thoroughly immoral act to make fuel out of food, even now I feel an overwhelming desire to publicly crucify government officials for forcing me to by gas with 10% ethanol made from food for my vehicles, shameful!
I agree 100.....%

Last edited by captinjohn; 06-05-2015 at 02:04 PM.
Old 06-06-2015, 09:53 AM
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I totally can not understand why the ethanol is being made out of feedstocks from present crops. Why in the hell not plant new crops of sugar cane instead??? That's what Brazil does, and the sugar cane crops aid in carbon sequestration. There are literally millions of acres in the USA that could be planted in sugar cane, and ethanol could be made cheaply and without affecting food prices. But hey, our government always knows best right? We've got the best government (oil) money can buy....literally.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanol

http://news.yahoo.com/wind-energy-vs...hfMQRzZWMDc2M-

(Scroll down and start reading from "Subsidies for the fossil fuel industry")

AV8TOR

Last edited by av8tor1977; 06-07-2015 at 12:10 PM.
Old 06-07-2015, 12:16 PM
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No comments.... Sorry if my post offended. But it doesn't change the bare facts.

AV8TOR
Old 06-09-2015, 03:04 PM
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Here's my comment: It's all part of a vast Left Wing, Global Government Conspiracy to Tune Down the Middle Class, make them more dependent on Government, and eventually seize our guns.
Old 06-09-2015, 06:12 PM
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Like AV8TOR says...scroll down

with 69% of the world supply coming from Brazil and the United States.[SUP][34][/SUP] More than 20% of Brazilian cars are able to use 100% ethanol as fuel, which includes ethanol-only engines and flex-fuel engines.[SUP][35][/SUP] Flex-fuel engines in Brazil are able to work with all ethanol, all gasoline or any mixture of both. In the US flex-fuel vehicles can run on 0% to 85% ethanol (15% gasoline) since higher ethanol blends are not yet allowed or efficient. Brazil supports this population of ethanol-burning automobiles with large national infrastructure that produces ethanol from domestically grown sugar cane. Sugar cane not only has a greater concentration of sucrose than corn (by about 30%), but is also much easier to extract. The bagasse generated by the process is not wasted, but is used in power plants to produce electricity
Old 06-09-2015, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by captinjohn View Post
Like AV8TOR says...scroll down

with 69% of the world supply coming from Brazil and the United States.[SUP][34][/SUP] More than 20% of Brazilian cars are able to use 100% ethanol as fuel, which includes ethanol-only engines and flex-fuel engines.[SUP][35][/SUP] Flex-fuel engines in Brazil are able to work with all ethanol, all gasoline or any mixture of both. In the US flex-fuel vehicles can run on 0% to 85% ethanol (15% gasoline) since higher ethanol blends are not yet allowed or efficient. Brazil supports this population of ethanol-burning automobiles with large national infrastructure that produces ethanol from domestically grown sugar cane. Sugar cane not only has a greater concentration of sucrose than corn (by about 30%), but is also much easier to extract. The bagasse generated by the process is not wasted, but is used in power plants to produce electricity
Thanks Captain. Finally here, it seems like someone besides me "sees the light" about the realities of ethanol. People just don't have the foresight it seems to imagine all the acreage that could be planted in sugar cane here in the states. I'll tell you, when you're a pilot and have flown over much of this country, it astounds you just how much land we have that could be used for such projects, and still have millions of prime, beautiful land to save for future generations.

AV8TOR

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