Who said Neons can't run e85???

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TheRandom1
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Who said Neons can't run e85???

Post by TheRandom1 » Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:46 am

Yup, took me a whopping 3 minutes to make the switch a week ago. All you have to do is swap fuel injectors, and make the computer relearn it’s fuel curves and you’re all set!


Swapped the injectors from my Neon out with “new” ones that I picked up from a friend with a turbo car. The new ones are 24 lb/hr instead of the stock 19 lb/hr ( I think).

I decided to make the swap easier, and Erick gave me a spare fuel rail so I can keep my stock stuff in case I need to change back for any reason, but I don’t think I will be, unless I can’t find e85 anymore suddenly, haha!

I’ve been driving the car with e85 for about a week now without any problems at all (except that a car with e85 is a bit harder to start in winter than a car running gasoline for some reason) and, while the gas mileage is a few mpg lower (I’m getting roughly 18 now, was getting 20-21 before, and I tend to stand on the gas a lot) but paying 2.65 for fuel instead of 3.15 is pretty damn nice!

Definitely worth the 40 bucks I spent on the injectors and the few minutes it took me to do!

And for those of you questioning how safe it is... Erick has been using this stuff in his car (same basic thing, except he's turbo'd) for over 40K miles!
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Danteneon wrote:You doing this swap with your tech level is like asking a squirrel to land a 747.

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Post by esteinmaier » Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:08 am

Nice to see you finally post your results. Next time you're up in my neck of the woods, let's throw a new fuel filter in it. The ethanol cleans out the gasoline residue in in the tank, and gets trapped in the filter. After 3 or 4 tanks of it, it's like a seafoam treatment.

I can't wait until it gets hot outside. The cooling properties of the ethanol will post some pretty good gains. Way more so than that CAI you have on there.
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Post by Danteneon » Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:22 am

Are you talking about adding a fuel filter to the car, or changing the filter at the bottom of the pump?
If I could just figure out how to meld the Outback and the Neon into one car...

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Post by TheRandom1 » Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:27 am

Changing the fuel filter that's on the car... it's got about 40K miles on it right now, and can probably use to be cleaned.

Erick, if you have more free parts for me, I'll stop up, lol.
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Danteneon wrote:You doing this swap with your tech level is like asking a squirrel to land a 747.

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Post by Danteneon » Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:37 am

Ok, just wanted to be sure. Chrysler claims the filter is lifetime service...but we all know how that works. Although we have yet to change one in our shop...
If I could just figure out how to meld the Outback and the Neon into one car...

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Post by TheRandom1 » Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:41 am

Lifetime service?
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Danteneon wrote:You doing this swap with your tech level is like asking a squirrel to land a 747.

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Post by Danteneon » Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:50 am

yep...no service interval. Chrysler engineers claim the filter shouldn't need to be changed for the life of the car or truck. Other than a diesel, Chrysler has not put external fuel filters on anything since the 1st gen neon (except the left over AA, AJ etc bodies). Gas engine trucks haven't used external filters since '94. The only resent vehicles that used an external fuel filter where the minivans, but they don't have them on the '08 models.
If I could just figure out how to meld the Outback and the Neon into one car...

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Post by TheRandom1 » Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:52 am

Interesting, I did not know that.
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Danteneon wrote:You doing this swap with your tech level is like asking a squirrel to land a 747.

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Post by Danteneon » Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:52 am

Is ok, many people don't.
If I could just figure out how to meld the Outback and the Neon into one car...

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Post by TheRandom1 » Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:53 am

So you're a mechanic?
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Danteneon wrote:You doing this swap with your tech level is like asking a squirrel to land a 747.

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Post by Danteneon » Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:58 am

Nope. Been a parts counterperson for Chrysler dealers for 20 years. But I do all of my own mechanical work. You learn a lot from techs if you pay attention to the jobs they do, problems they run into. Plus, I'm a Chrysler geek. I ask a lot of questions, and read a lot.
Last edited by Danteneon on Tue Feb 05, 2008 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
If I could just figure out how to meld the Outback and the Neon into one car...

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Post by BlackRoseRacing » Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:10 am

What to Be Aware Of
Because these vehicles can burn E85, they require specialized fuel system components. How come? It’s the alcohol content. E85 contains 85 percent ethanol, which is considered a caustic compound. Even in concentrations as low as 20 percent, the alcohol can deteriorate the non-synthetic, rubber parts in fuel systems. Therefore, these systems require synthetic gaskets and seals.

In addition, some metals can be damaged by high levels of alcohol, and vehicles with these systems often need to have stainless steel or another composite metal that will not be damaged by the alcohol.
some food for thought....

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Post by TheRandom1 » Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:32 am

I thought about that too, but with over 40K on Erick's car without a hitch, I think it's fairly safe to say this can be done without much worry..
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Post by esteinmaier » Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:56 am

The only failure I've had that I can associate with the fuel is the fuel level sender. Easily replaced, but Sean knows about that, and I'll be changing that for him if it ever fails. We've seen them fail in plenty of cars that run gasoline, so it's obviously a weak point in the design. But all *vital* components of the fuel system have not even showed signs of wear, much less failure. Ethanol is much less corrosive than methanol, keep in mind. And because Ethanol is an alcohol, people like to lump them in together and talk like Ethanol is some space-age acid that eats through steel.

Since e10 was introduced, automotive engineers have been using seals that are designed to withstand 10% concentrations of ethanol for decades at a time. Imagine the law suits that would ensue if suddenly all the neons left on the road in 2014 just started bursting into flames. Up the concentration of the ethanol, and expect faster decay, of course. But as such that 5 years of the seals submerged should not pose a threat.
Also keep in mind that one of the primary reasons of failure of moving parts in a fuel system when using alcohol is lack of lubrication. Seeing as alcohol is a "dry" liquid of sorts, it does not lubricate fuel pumps and such. That is why the last 15% remains gasoline.
FFVs are typically designed so that they can run full 100% ethanol for extended periods without failure. That's mostly due to the fuel pump design and metallurgy. Not much has changed in the lines and seals. That 15% gasoline provides cold start ability, and lubricates the pump as it was designed.
So yes, it will deteriorate a fuel system faster than e10 gasoline. If I saw a vital component of a neon fuel system fail because of it within a decade, I would be shocked.
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Post by kornholio788 » Sat Jan 26, 2008 12:24 pm

Meh. You are only paying 20 cents less (2.89 here) at the pump than I am. And you are getting worse fuel economy. I'll stick to gas. Maby when e85 is at like 2 bucks and gas is like 4 or 5. But at only 20 cents less and having to fill up more. It isn't worth it. I get like 22 mpg. And I hate filling up. Not paying for it just having to physically get out and do it. I will spend the extra little cash to not do it more. And plus it might even cancel itself out?? IDK I am not that good at math. Cool find though.
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Post by TheRandom1 » Sat Jan 26, 2008 12:53 pm

You'd have to look at what e85 is up there by you too... it's 2.65 or so down here, and gas is 3.15, that's 50 cents a gallon, or 5 bucks per tank I'm saving!
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Post by kornholio788 » Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:15 pm

True. But another thing to think about is where all teh e85 stations are. There aren't all that many around here. And If I am taking a trip someone long distance than I have no idea where that certain staion is.

Not doggin your mod. Just m .02
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Post by Hudson_Neon » Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:43 pm

if i were to use 24lb injectors with gas, can i then use them with e85?

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Post by NickKo » Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:02 pm

Hudson_Neon wrote:if i were to use 24lb injectors with gas, can i then use them with e85?
I *think* they will work.....
Erik can confirm this, or let us know if this is wrong.


kornholio788 wrote:Meh. You are only paying 20 cents less (2.89 here) at the pump than I am. And you are getting worse fuel economy.
True.... BUT since the E85 is MUCH higher octane, it can help your engine make more power !!

I tried a 1/2 tank of E85 in my '95 ATX Neon a couple of times !! (not a full tank)
I didn't notice any difference....with the stock PCM.
BUT with the MoPar Performance PCM, I DID feel a noticeable difference !! :D
Since the MP PCM runs more timing advance, the engine was able to really use the E85.

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Post by racer12306 » Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:11 pm

the octane doesn't help make the power, its the additional mods that do that. and it takes more than your standard bolt ons to take advantage of the extra octane, however...

alcohol makes more power than gas in identical situations.

the hard starting in the winter is another characteristic of the alcohol. you would have a similar problem with high octane race gas (aka 112+).

think of it this way, alcohol may take a little more to light, but its a bigger bang when it goes.

i will definitely keep an eye on this. i wouldn't mind running e85, if they ever get e85 stations in this area. i just need more proof that it is save. when people start hitting 100,000 on e85 then i'll be satisfied and be ok to run it in my own car.
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Post by Hudson_Neon » Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:14 pm

NickKo wrote:
Hudson_Neon wrote:if i were to use 24lb injectors with gas, can i then use them with e85?
I *think* they will work.....
Erik can confirm this, or let us know if this is wrong.
well i'm just wondering cause if i can't get my build to work on 91 and stock injectors next comes 91 and bigger injectors, and if that still pings, well then i'm doin an e85 swap

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Post by TheRandom1 » Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:36 pm

kornholio788 wrote:True. But another thing to think about is where all teh e85 stations are. There aren't all that many around here. And If I am taking a trip someone long distance than I have no idea where that certain staion is.

Not doggin your mod. Just m .02
Not taking it as a badmouthing or anything, no worries.

As far as the long trip thing is concerned, that is why I have the stock injectors installed in a rail and in the trunk. If I'm just too low on gas to get where I'm going and need to fill up, or I'm taking a long trip and don't know where the stations are... I just swap the injectors back in, reset the computer, and I'm back in business.
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Post by Hudson_Neon » Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:06 am

TheRandom1 wrote:
kornholio788 wrote:True. But another thing to think about is where all teh e85 stations are. There aren't all that many around here. And If I am taking a trip someone long distance than I have no idea where that certain staion is.

Not doggin your mod. Just m .02
Not taking it as a badmouthing or anything, no worries.

As far as the long trip thing is concerned, that is why I have the stock injectors installed in a rail and in the trunk. If I'm just too low on gas to get where I'm going and need to fill up, or I'm taking a long trip and don't know where the stations are... I just swap the injectors back in, reset the computer, and I'm back in business.
does that mean that you can't go back and forth on the new injectors if need be?

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Post by TheRandom1 » Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:09 am

I don't think so.
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Post by Hudson_Neon » Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:11 am

hmm... ok, i might just be tired, but i didn't completely understand your answer... so you're sayin that if i need to put in 91 cause i can't find an e85 station i'm screwed?

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Post by TheRandom1 » Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:14 am

I think that's the way it was explained to me, which is why I have the original injectors in the trunk with me at all times.

That way, if I need to use regular gas, 3 minutes later I have my regular injectors back in and I can use regular gas.

Again, Erick knows a lot more about this than I do, so maybe he'll have a more clear answer.
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Post by Hudson_Neon » Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:19 am

damn. ok, well... ERICK!!! where are you?!?! i need your almighty e85 knowledge!!! i'm goin crazy. :runaway: this question's been buggin me all day.

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Post by BlackRoseRacing » Sun Jan 27, 2008 9:53 am

What really sucks here in WNY, they manufacture the ethanol here 20minutes east from me and there are no E85 pumps anywhere....

Some more E85 info:
http://www.ethanolfacts.com/ETHL2007/ebasics.html

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Post by Hudson_Neon » Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:13 am

after reading some stuff on that site... it seems that i shouldn't matter if i go back and forth between 91 and e85. the flex fuel vehicles can do it. as long as i got big enouth injectors, i don't see why i can't

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Post by He Hate Me » Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:16 am

The ethanol in E85 is essentially produced from corn. Because alcohol fuels are corrosive, FFV engine and fuel systems are specially designed to accept gasoline/alcohol combinations. The fuel mixture is detected by sensors in the system that in turn signal the engine control unit to adjust the fuel injection rate and spark timing for optimal performance, fuel economy, and emissions.
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