Car seems faster with ethanol - Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum
Ford Focus Forum
HomeContact UsAbout UsGalleryDiscussion ForumsMarketplace


Go Back   Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum > Ford Focus Discussions > Ford Focus & General Car Chat

Ford Focus & General Car Chat Discussion Forum relating to nonspecific Ford Focus models, car purchasing, auto industry news and any car talk.

Search This Forum | Image Search | Advanced Search    
Ford Focus Tire & Wheels FocusFanatics Merchandise

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-06-2012, 02:50 PM   #1
huxrules
Focus Rookie
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Fan#: 104576
Location: Austin, TX
What I Drive: 2012 Titanium

Posts: 2
FF Reputation: 1 huxrules Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Car seems faster with ethanol

I recently tried some E85 in my car. Just because I can. The focus now seems faster which I didn't think was possible with ethanol. Is the engine capable of changing the timing due to ethanol's higher octane? The milage has gone down but if I can easily get more performance I'll do it. Anyone notice a change with ethanol?


huxrules is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 10-06-2012, 02:54 PM   #2
lyonsroar
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Fan#: 63166
Location: Midwest, NE
What I Drive: 2009 Volkswagen GTI

Posts: 8,043
FF Reputation: 31 lyonsroar Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
http://health.howstuffworks.com/medi...ebo-effect.htm
lyonsroar is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 03:45 PM   #3
GMconvert
Focus Enthusiast
 
GMconvert's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Fan#: 101277
Location: York, PA
What I Drive: 2010 Sangria Red Metallic Focus SES

Posts: 71
Points 243, Level 4
Points: 243, Level: 4 Points: 243, Level: 4 Points: 243, Level: 4
Level Up 86% Completed
Level up: 86% Level up: 86% Level up: 86%
Forum Activity 1%
Activity: 1% Activity: 1% Activity: 1%
FF Reputation: 2 GMconvert Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
FI guys do quite well with E85, at least the S/C and turbo Buick crowd does. It burns at a lower temperature than gasoline and some have compared it to a small intercooler. They have also upgraded all fuel system components (pump/lines/injectors if needed) and have tuned for the different AFR of ethanol.

Putting ethanol in any gas engine that's not tuned or designed for it usually results in lower mileage and less power. When E85 was whole dollars cheaper than gas, it made sense because the cost offset made up for using more E85 for the same amount of miles that gas would give you. Now that it's within a few coins, it's not worth it.

And yes, all modern cars will alter timing based on air temp, fuel octane, etc. to a certain extent, but there are still parameters outside of which it can't extend. Unless you specifically tune for it, it's best to use what the manufacturer calls for. On my '00 Blazer, I actually get more miles out of 89 than 87 - enough where it's actually cheaper to use 89. My S/C Regal required 93 so that's what it got. There was definitely a drop in power if you used anything lower because the PCM pulled timing to safeguard the engine from the lower octane. The '10 Focus sees no advantage in mileage (which is why I bought the car) for anything above 87 over the course of dozens of tanks of each grade, so it gets 87.

CLIFFor Sale: In non-forced induction cars, ethanol and ethanol blends generally result in less mileage but not necessarily better performance, unless you're specifically tuned for it.

I'd wager that the new ST would do better on E85 than gas once it's tuned due to the turbo.
GMconvert is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 04:36 PM   #4
whynotthinkwhynot
Captain TMI
 
whynotthinkwhynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Fan#: 18416
Location: the armpit of TN, Memphis, TN
What I Drive: 05 ZXW; 02 Windstar; 13 C-Max SEL

Posts: 20,154
Points 27,115, Level 97
Points: 27,115, Level: 97 Points: 27,115, Level: 97 Points: 27,115, Level: 97
Level Up 77% Completed
Level up: 77% Level up: 77% Level up: 77%
Forum Activity 4%
Activity: 4% Activity: 4% Activity: 4%
FF Reputation: 270 whynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Member whynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Member whynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (1)
The fuel system is not designed for it. I know people who have tried it and had problems. DiscipleRocks is one FF who has been running E85 for a long time IIRC.

Newer engine software might contain an algorithm to advance spark to the point of knock, and then back off X deg. It might test for this regularly to keep the most advance. It would be nice to know for sure, but that would explain your power bonus. Of course, the new Focus has compression ratios closer to what works best for E85 anyway.

I personally would like to see more interest in isobutanol myself. It reduces hydrocarbons more than E does, and doesn't cause fuel separation. Maybe in the next 10 years or so. Right now, it's an emerging tech, but E plants could be converted, and we wouldn't be 100% reliant on corn for fuel additives.
__________________
Be eclectic.
---The Complete How-To Archive--

Moderating everything now, let me know if I can help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the user formerly known as ZX3_Chick View Post
You're special aren't you.
whynotthinkwhynot is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 05:51 PM   #5
mjd4277
King of all blacks!!
 
mjd4277's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Fan#: 64900
Location: Fitchburg, MA
What I Drive: 2013 Fusion SE,2012 Fiat 500 Abarth

Posts: 2,676
FF Reputation: 7 mjd4277 Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Quote:
Originally Posted by whynotthinkwhynot View Post
The fuel system is not designed for it. I know people who have tried it and had problems.
Agreed. It's clearly marked on the gas cap of my 2010 that gasoline with E80-E85 is a no-no.
__________________
1975 MG MGB Mk IV "Downshift"
2012 Fiat 500 Abarth "Scorpion"
2013 Fusion SE "Epyon"
2003 Nissan Frontier SVE "Trailbreaker"
Team Duratec #241-Bailout Money?!?! WTF is that??
mjd4277 is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 09:57 PM   #6
GreySkorpion
saved from the grave
 
GreySkorpion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Fan#: 94674
Location: B'game, KS
What I Drive: 2004 LG ZX5 2.3D

Posts: 6,079
FF Reputation: 11 GreySkorpion Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (5)
Add stickers, that will make it faster.
GreySkorpion is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2012, 03:33 AM   #7
StingRay
Focus Fanatic
 
StingRay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Fan#: 67421
Location: Phoenix, AZ
What I Drive: 2013 Ingot Silver ST

Posts: 2,231
Points 1,436, Level 21
Points: 1,436, Level: 21 Points: 1,436, Level: 21 Points: 1,436, Level: 21
Level Up 36% Completed
Level up: 36% Level up: 36% Level up: 36%
Forum Activity 0%
Activity: 0% Activity: 0% Activity: 0%
FF Reputation: 4 StingRay Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (1)
I'm not sure on the 2012's but my '13 is flex fuel capable, so yes the fuel system is designed for it. The new computer system on the MK3 is supposed to be able to adapt to any amount of ethanol content and change the tune to achieve optimal AFRs, or at least that's what I've read. Technically the car could add more timing and therefore make a tad bit more power, but I'd have to see a dyno sheet that proves it's making more power because I wouldn't think the factory ECU has performance in mind when it changes the tune.
StingRay is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2012, 05:09 AM   #8
iminhell
C2H5OH
 
iminhell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Fan#: 36222
Location: Darwin, MN
What I Drive: 2000 & 2001 ZX3's

Posts: 10,615
Points 18,065, Level 85
Points: 18,065, Level: 85 Points: 18,065, Level: 85 Points: 18,065, Level: 85
Level Up 44% Completed
Level up: 44% Level up: 44% Level up: 44%
Forum Activity 27%
Activity: 27% Activity: 27% Activity: 27%
FF Reputation: 48 iminhell Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (4)
Hearsay and conjecture.


The fuel system wasn't designed specifically for Ethanol. That does not mean it's not compatible with it.
People will say 'you'll run lean and blow up your engine'. Though the possibility is there, the odds are low. As far as the fueling is concerned, nothing in the system knows what type of fuel you're using. All it knows is that it's shooting for ~0.5v average during closed loop and a preset Short Term Fuel Trim during open loop. Providing the injectors can supply enough fuel, these presets will be hit even on E-85.
The Flex Fuel vehicles have an added Ethanol content sensor that measures the specific gravity of the fuel. Ignition timing is adjusted according to Ethanol content.

Yes more power can be made on Ethanol than pump gas. But it is also correct to say that the majority of the time this will not be the case unless you can adjust the ignition timing to take advantage of the added Octane.

Best advise I can offer is that if you wish to try it, please do so safely and know the risks going in. It would also be a good idea to be able to view live data; that way you have a little warning if something isn't going well.
__________________
Don't "think outside the box".
There is no box.
Do it correct, or do it twice.
iminhell is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2012, 11:12 AM   #9
huxrules
Focus Rookie
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Fan#: 104576
Location: Austin, TX
What I Drive: 2012 Titanium

Posts: 2
FF Reputation: 1 huxrules Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
The focus in question is a 2012 and is a flex fuel version.
huxrules is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2012, 11:23 AM   #10
whynotthinkwhynot
Captain TMI
 
whynotthinkwhynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Fan#: 18416
Location: the armpit of TN, Memphis, TN
What I Drive: 05 ZXW; 02 Windstar; 13 C-Max SEL

Posts: 20,154
Points 27,115, Level 97
Points: 27,115, Level: 97 Points: 27,115, Level: 97 Points: 27,115, Level: 97
Level Up 77% Completed
Level up: 77% Level up: 77% Level up: 77%
Forum Activity 4%
Activity: 4% Activity: 4% Activity: 4%
FF Reputation: 270 whynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Member whynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Member whynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (1)
Quote:
Originally Posted by huxrules View Post
The focus in question is a 2012 and is a flex fuel version.
Then it would be nice to know power output, fuel consumption, and $/mile comparison. It would be nice to know if it works great if you have E85 readily available. In my market, it's not so easy to find.

There have been some advances in fuels and energy in the past 4 years or so that we're going to see the benefit from in a few years. So much of alternative energy options are in their toddler stages- slightly past infancy. I'm curious to see what happens in the next few months. The battle between fossil fuel advocates and future tech rages on.
__________________
Be eclectic.
---The Complete How-To Archive--

Moderating everything now, let me know if I can help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the user formerly known as ZX3_Chick View Post
You're special aren't you.
whynotthinkwhynot is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks & Social Networks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:42 PM.


Copyright 2002-2014 FocusFanatics.com. All Rights Reserved : Terms of Use : Privacy Policy : Advertise Information

Focus Fanatics Ford Focus Forum offers many fun ways for you to engage with other Ford Focus Owners from across the world. Whether it be about the aftermarket performance modifications, technical how-to's, European tuned suspension or awesome fuel economy similar to the Acura TLX or Fiesta ST. You can find all Ford Focus and Focus ST related information here. Join our Ford Focus discussion forums and chat with local Focus enthusiasts in your area.