Anyone consider, or actually do, an E85 conversion kit?

Discussion in 'Mazda' started by Slick26, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. Slick26

    Slick26 Member

    I'm considering doing an E85 conversion kit for my Mazda 3. Anyone got any good info I can read up on?
  2. bomber991

    bomber991 Well-Known Member

    I just read up a bunch last week about converting to E85. My reasoning is that the gasoline equivalent price of E85 comes in very close and sometimes slightly cheaper than the price of premium fuel that I'm required to put into my car.

    It looks like there's conversion kits that run about $300 out there. You just plug them into the cables running into your fuel injectors and they make the fuel injectors squirt gas slightly longer to make up for the lower energy density of E85.

    For most of the kits they seem to recommend replacing your fuel filter after running 2 tanks of E85.

    I ended up coming up with the conclusion that the conversion kit costs too much, and that the price of E85 is not cheap enough for the gasoline equivalent price of premium fuel. Also it looks like with E85 and the kits, you take a 30% hit in fuel economy. So right now, I've averaged 34mpg since september, if I was on E85 that would only be 24mpg. Instead of being able to go about 440 miles before the low gas light comes on, I could only go 308.

    So even if the E85 price came out being 5 cents cheaper than premium fuel for the equivalent price, putting in 10 gallons of gas a week and saving 50 cents a week just doesn't add up for me.
  3. Taliesin

    Taliesin Well-Known Member

    A conversion kit is not cost effective from what I have seen.

    However, if you are in the market for a new vehicle, the flex fuel option doesn't cost any more than the regular engine (at least mine didn't).

    The next step is a vehicle that can not run of gas, but runs only on E85. With a few modification (including an increase in compression) you can get the same mileage from E85 as you do from gas. However, E85 availability is not up to that yet.
  4. I've been running E85 for several months now and the availability of the fuel coupled with the very low cruising distance of my SUV doesn't make it very practical. Of course an suv isn't practical :)
  5. Taliesin

    Taliesin Well-Known Member

    My '07 Dodge Ram 1500 is a FFV. The only reason I have it is to tow my boat.
    Having said that, running E85 for me is VERY practical, at least when I am towing.

    Not towing MPG:
    Gas: 15
    E85: 12

    Towing MPG:
    Gas: 10
    E85: 10

    On top of this, E85 also gives a 10% boost to my horsepower.

    The sad part is, with the gas prices (until lately) and how busy I have been lately, I haven't had the boat out nearly often enough this year.:(
  6. cam2000

    cam2000 New Member

    Hi I have a conversion Kit on my 323 mazda 2000 1.6L engine, its older than the Mazda 3. It goes well at higher revs. looses a bit of power at low revs on hills.

    I have put some details about the conversion on, with economy changes and the things I have done to try and get best preformance. The Kit paid for itself a long time ago.

    I am still considering fuel pump, injector, and fuel pressure regulator changes, to deliver more fuel when on E85, but car is ok for now. If on highway I can drop back a gear a cruise up hills at 120Km/h. I think you will be happy you have added flex fuel capability to your car if you do it.
  7. psyshack

    psyshack He who posts articles

    Don't do it.....
  8. Elixer

    Elixer Well-Known Member

    E85 makes no sense - it's not cheaper, it's not environmentally friendly, and you don't get more power or FE.

    Cellulostic ethanol will make sense, but it's not being made in mass scale. Currently the only ethanol in mass production in the US is from corn fermentation, and it's energy efficiency is very low (only get about 33% more energy out than in).
  9. Slick26

    Slick26 Member

    Oh crap, I almost forgot about this thread. Sorry!
    Thanks for the responses guys... will take all into consideration.

    At this point, probably not going to waste my money on it.
  10. BillyK

    BillyK Active Member

    Range Fuels is constructing a cellulose plant near Soperton, Georgia that is to be in production in 2009. Coskata is finalizing an agreement to build a cellulose plant near Clewiston, Florida using discarded sugar cane products. This plant should open in 2010. Coskata has a pilot cellulose plant in Southwestern, Pa. It is possible make ethanol out of sewage!:eek: via cellulose production.

    There is a new E85 conversion kit to be released in 2009 that addresses fuel efficiency issues. This kit is from the state of Minnesota.

    As for the other items mentioned in this thread, oil is not environmentally friendly either. Massive hidden costs with this product.
  11. Slick26

    Slick26 Member


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