Gasoline??/Y2K/this could be corny----Ethanol : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Lots of posts have been put up lately about the oil industry and the problems they face. The chances of gas shortages looming after the 1st of the year have become real, I've done a little research with regards to running cars on ethanol, methanol, etc and switching over to that type of fuel. I should mention during the summer I race stock cars in the upper midwest so the people I know and talk to have already done some of these things. I asked a suplier of mine who builds race engines and used to work for Ford engineering before he started his own shop/business how hard this would be. (I will condense what he said) On newer vehicles the process to change fuel requirements from gas to ethanol, etc is simple, he has a laptop computer which he can hook directly into the car's fuel system and change the mixture settings. I had to make sure he knew what I was asking with regards to everyday driving and not racing, he agreed. I decided to post this possible positive answer for a possible big problem. As some of the pollies might have already rolled their eyes and said "another doomer is added to the fold" think about all the posts with regards to "all doom & gloom and no answers" well here's one that might help. Now for those of you who think oh another mech head, I'm that, plus work at a Large National Computer co.(which is not a neeeewww co. but I give you 2000 guesses), I have gone through college with a doulbe major(ain't bragging if you've done it), married, with a three year old son and beautiful wife. Also as much as I like racing I have not been behind the wheel since early June then stopped, and starting preping, stocking, praying, hoping, lurking. If some of you don't believe me thats okay you don't have to but the truth is still the truth, if things go bad I hope this info might help someone.

-- fuel boy (, November 17, 1999


Say, fuel boy, would you give us a short run down on what's necessary to convert an older, normally aspirated, gasoline engine to an ethanol mix (like, say, something someone might brew at home) assuming a modicum of mechanical skills and familarity with gas engines?

Some of us would appreciate it.

- Greybear

-- Get Wrenches!

-- Greybear (, November 17, 1999.


Lots of people have been using a 10% ethanol mix for decades. Here in Iowa it's the best combination of anti-knock vs. price. Within limits, the car's computer will adjust to the mixture (maybe the limit is 10% ethanol?).

-- Dean -- from (almost) Duh Moines (, November 17, 1999.

Greybear, sure. Engines that have carburetors are actually a little tricker. The main trick with switching fuel types is idle speed, highway speeds generally mean enlarging the main jets about 50% or more. Changing idle mixtures (richer) you really have to also enlarge the idle passageways. Right now I'm also working a carb from a V-8 Ford, on a 80' Ford pickup, and it's tricky. The best advice I could give would be to buy or rent etc a repair book on the vehicle your thinking about working on. They usually have a good illustrated section on all the carbs that could have been on that vehicle. That will give a good "exploded" view of the carb, follow the route that the fuel would take and that would give you a idea where to work. Then talk to a local performance person and see what they say. My guess is they might have a company that they send work like that off to. The reason for all these adjustments is alcohol burns slower and actually cools intake temps down at the right mixture levels. If you were to put "alky" in a car and not adjust any thing most likely it would "lean out" and start burning internal parts, pistons, valves you get the picture. Also the timing needs to be changed because of the slower burning fuel the spark needs to fire before a gas engine would fire. The actual amount of time is very, very small but it makes a difference in a engine. I hope I didn't confuse the issue but I wanted to reply and I'm a little pressed for time right now. Later on tonight I'll check here again, but thanks for the question maybe all this info I've been reading might be used for other than racing.

-- fuel boy (, November 17, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ