Flex Fuel Sensor

bs009

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Has anyone ever added one of these to their cars? I know there isn't really a good table or input for the stock pcm for these, but I'm thinking it could be cool to add one of these to help with tuning.

I know there can be a pretty wide range of ethanol content in e85 from pumps so it would be cool to see exactly how much is in the tank especially when mixing fuels.

I wonder if I could grab something like this sensor and output it's data into a datalogger or maybe some other cheap gauge.
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/nal-13577429/overview/
 

sickmint79

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viglink oddly blocks your url for me. i have a flex fuel kit and tune from delicious tuning for my brz. e85 by my shell is more like (barely) e60, the thorton's by my house e70, the route 66 in joliet next to autobahn e85. before it was covered up i think it said it was a continental sensor. there's some brain box they call an eca that plugs into it, that makes it so i can see what it's working with via bluetooth and also does some other magics. i believe it got more granular once i had that box replaced. it burned out from poor construction initially i think, and i sent the sensor and box both to them to fix/return.
 

RICH17

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I always thought the pcm didn't have a way of reading it to self adjust like the new cars can?
 

bs009

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viglink oddly blocks your url for me. i have a flex fuel kit and tune from delicious tuning for my brz. e85 by my shell is more like (barely) e60, the thorton's by my house e70, the route 66 in joliet next to autobahn e85. before it was covered up i think it said it was a continental sensor. there's some brain box they call an eca that plugs into it, that makes it so i can see what it's working with via bluetooth and also does some other magics. i believe it got more granular once i had that box replaced. it burned out from poor construction initially i think, and i sent the sensor and box both to them to fix/return.
It's crazy the amount of variability in the E85 mixtures.

I just googled what you were talking about, I didn't realize that such a thing existed.
Continental Ethanol Sensor & Fuel-It! Bluetooth ECA w/ 0-5 volt output Flex-Fuel | eBay

It looks really cool, but it's a bit more than I'd want to spend for now.

I always thought the pcm didn't have a way of reading it to self adjust like the new cars can?
I don't think it does either, but I was thinking of adding it as an extra gauge somewhere in the car or just as an input to DHP for datalogging.

I might have to order one of the cheap sensors and see what kind of data it puts out. If it's a just a 0-12v or 0-5v signal it would be really easy to work with.
 

RICH17

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b4black

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I find flex fuel to be very consistent during the summer. It's always E83, which is the maximum it can be.

Gasoline is added to bring up vapor pressure in the winter. During the summer, this isn't an issue, so it's at the maximum.

I have a friend that works in a lab and he tests it for me. I find that the those hand testers (test tube and water/glycol) are very inaccurate. I usually go to Speedways and haven't seen the minimum go below E70 in the winter. That's consistent enough that LTFTs can handle it without changing the tune.
 

bs009

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Good info here, I'll have to keep that gauge in mind for the future. That thread also has some really good info there too!

I haven't tried E85 yet, but I'm going to give it a shot this weekend and see how it goes. I'm sure initially it won't be bad but I'll keep an eye on the fuel trims after each fill up. I've got 80# injectors so I can't wait to see how well it works out.
 

MonzaRacer

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Ok so some education for the E85 masses. E10 was developed for several reasons to meet EPA mandate for motor fuels having an oxygenate, a left over rule from carburetor equipped cars days. BUT hijacked by supposed clean air/renewable fuels crowd. And they used "evidence " from other EPA reports to " support" pushing it.
THEN the money lobbyists got ahold of it, started spinning about money for farmers, which is true, then they added that no human based starch/sugar produced foods can be used unless condemned as inedible,ie rotten fruit, bad alcoholic beverages, etc. Motorfuel ethanol is solely based from residuals from food production, cattle based feed stocks.
Now the beginning rule was E85 max ethanol content per denaturing rules from prohibition days. Even though fuel based ethanol can be drank it's contaminated as there is no control over distillery construction ie they can solder materials together use thinks other than food grade tools.
So now beginning standard was max E85 out of distillery, appropriate E83 on transport(remember ethanol absorbs water, if you put ever clear out in glass it absorbs water THEN evaporates more than just evaporation.
Ok so E85 at pump USED to have to maintain E70 testing level or tank had to be adjusted to GET that output ethanol content.
Ethanol is a great fuel up to a point with both good and bad points. Ford/Holley developed a dual fuel carb back when ol Henry started building cars as in certain rural areas ethanol WAS used as fuel , distilled with drinking liquor at same time. Pull lever on carb, run gas, move back run gas. Generally in the 55 to 65% it ran good in 5 or 6 to 1 compression T engines, and many NEVER saw gasoline after leaving factory!
Now bit of gasoline info, it was called "white gas" because of how it was emitted from oil cracking column when kerosene was produced(and in much finer grade than we even get now too!) In certain areas the column collected this "white gas" in liquid form. Ever see/use Coleman camp fuel, or charcoal lighter fluid (before it started being more mineral spirits like today) as Henry Ford had developed. It was poured in drains and ditches. Said to be catalyst for great Chicago fire also but not confirmed.
So first time E10 became fully ensconced, September 05, same week as Katrina.
E85 was an offshoot of gasohol and was INTENDED to move basin area cities to a less pollution causing fuel,,,,but put in place wrong as was gasohol.
So move forward 10 or so years from Katrina, the government TEMPORARY subsidy to build production/infrastructure to handle E85 was to end, marketing never pushed E85 as it should.
So it has limited availability in certain areas as the population never embraced it fully even when buying flex fuel cars, and car manufacturers never fully equipped fleets to handle it as it does require bit more cost to add it to lines. Now we have Corvette/Camaro/performance crowd starting to convert. Heck Street Speed 717 is supposedly talking E85 in his Vette��.
Now as of the decade horizon on subsidy accross the Ethanol fuel spectrum the pump standard was dropped to E51.
Now on to Ethanol compatibility, if we have to repair fuel lines switching to plastic or Ni-Copp lines or even stainless fixes majority of issues, all relavent orings/seals have been in use since flex fuel became mainstream. Gas tanks now are mostly plastic so only issue would be ethanol level sensor, bigger injectors, proper volume pumps and software. If your cars computer was used in flex fuel cars, your programmer MIGHT be able to crossbreed the fuel scaling bins into certain pcms/tunes. It's simply modifier to fuel volume and timing curve. Kind of like MAF over SPEED DENSITY tables. SD uses air temp, MAP, rpm, engine temp, to compute air/fuel ratio, where a MAF equipped car uses those tables to FINE TUNE the A/F ratio.
I know certain Monte Carlo got flex sensor,which is basically a temp sensor, ethanol sensor and out puts a scaled reading the pcm uses in adding fuel.
Certain cars scale A/F ratio based on ethanol content, some scale fuel addition IE using sensor reading to simply add percentage higher due to engines required needs based on input, the latter also moves projected O2 scaling.
It's using one of several methods to make computer adjust for ethanol content.
All engines basic function is add X fuel for X air and adjust timing per instructions, at idle/startup your going to get static advance. After it starts and stabilizes it starts constantly adjusting timing based on load/speed/knock signal return.
Some cars the module adjust retard with ecm help some don't.
Some of older flex cars don't appreciate E51 spec, EPA is debating this foolish change.
I wish all cars had been sold as flex fuel rated, just jump in. But first badged cars manufacturer gets a credit for producing
 

GTPpower

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There really isn't a need for a sensor, unless you are switching from regular fuel to e85 constantly, which the pcm will never have the ability to do anyways.

Your o2 sensor will adapt your fueling anywhere from e60 to e98 without issue. No need to adjust the tune.
 

MonzaRacer

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Actually a flex sensor would be awesome as you could switch back and forth as needed due to fuel availability. Most would deny possible uses but I know one fellow that crossbred some scy/ty parts with flex fuel swapped hybrid Silverado. It's one of them that shuts off at lights, now has a Comp oilless turbo feeding it, ra ess on E85/E100 daily drives on premium with Snow Performance water/meth kit.
 

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