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#4514758 - 09/13/17 02:36 AM e85 conversion
SnowDrifter Offline


Registered: 08/24/14
Posts: 391
Loc: WA
I'm trying to evaluate if it would be practical or even feasible to convert my rig to flex fuel (2005 Tahoe w/ 5.3). I've tried searching and got answers ranging from different injectors (32lb vs 26lb) and the associated reflash to different fuel pumps, soft lines, gas caps, and fuel composition sensors.

I'm at a dead end with my research and have yet to find any reliable info.

Anyone here know anything about it?

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#4514769 - 09/13/17 03:16 AM Re: e85 conversion [Re: SnowDrifter]
DoubleWasp Offline


Registered: 05/21/12
Posts: 5227
Loc: Fort Lauderdale, FL
The sensors make sense. E85 is rarely exactly 85% ethanol, so you would need something to be able to make adjustments according to alcohol content.
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#4514809 - 09/13/17 06:10 AM Re: e85 conversion [Re: SnowDrifter]
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 6966
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
Interestingly, some people find that their non flex fuel vehicles run just fine on E85. I don't know whether your setup is one of those without any issues.

Just a quick search and I found that your vehicle may in fact be flex fuel, without any badges or indication that it is.



QUOTE from link below: "I believe all tahoes of that style are e-85 capable"

http://www.gmtruckclub.com/forum/threads/do-all-00-05-z71-tahoes-accept-e85-fuel.22622/

And according to the old list at ethanol.org, your vehicle will run on E85. 5.3L Vortec-engine Suburban, Tahoe, Yukon and Yukon XLs http://www.walleyecentral.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-41121.html


Edited by Cujet (09/13/17 06:16 AM)
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#4514853 - 09/13/17 07:17 AM Re: e85 conversion [Re: SnowDrifter]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 16497
Loc: Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Gm shows 2 different vin numbers. The "T" is not e85 compatable I understand and the other is. I do not know where the difference lyes.
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#4514857 - 09/13/17 07:32 AM Re: e85 conversion [Re: SnowDrifter]
SubieRubyRoo Offline


Registered: 05/14/12
Posts: 826
Loc: Winchester, Indiana
Snow, unless you are getting the e85 for SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than 87 octane, it will be a lose-lose situation. E85 has about 30% less energy than gasoline, so your mileage will go down accordingly. You don't appear to have a turbo or supercharger, so the cooling effect of the vaporization temp of e85 will be wasted as well, and if your engine is otherwise stock, the roughly 105 octane will hinder combustion as well.

If you're insistent on doing it, yes, you will likely need significant fuel system upgrades to deal with the corrosive nature of ethanol, and you will need injectors that are roughly 50% larger. This isn't including getting your ECM tuned to deal with the additional fueling requirements, and unless your truck had been flex fuel from the factory, fuel composition sensors will probably be waaay more expensive and involved than would ever be worth it. IMHO gasoline has been the primary mover of cars and light trucks for over 100 years for a good reason- it's energy-dense, readily available, and pretty cheap. That's still not going to change anytime soon.

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#4514864 - 09/13/17 07:46 AM Re: e85 conversion [Re: SnowDrifter]
TinyVoices Offline


Registered: 09/12/16
Posts: 464
Loc: Vienna, VA
For a stock daily driver I would not bother with it. You won't save the money it's going to cost you to set the truck up for e85. You will get worse fuel mileage on e85.

The season people convert their modified cars (turbo cars) to e85 is because you can make more power with a simple tune and you can get it at most gas stations. For your situation, I'd say it's not worth it.
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#4514893 - 09/13/17 08:37 AM Re: e85 conversion [Re: SnowDrifter]
BrocLuno Offline


Registered: 09/06/15
Posts: 5205
Loc: Kalifornia Kollective
E-85 is a street racers dream. But to get the benefits, you need enough compression to make it worthwhile ... Even w/o boost (turbo, or blower) you can make E-85 work, but it means building an engine for alcohol. You wanna do that ...

I had an issued E-85 Flex Fuel truck at work. Running a basic gasoline motor of roughly 9:1 compression on E-95 was a waste of money and fuel. Sure, it ran OK, but got something like 2/3 the normal mileage, so range was way down. The fuel cost was about the same with the savings on the pump price. Not worth it.

E-85 would be great stuff if it was not made from corn. If it was made from grass or other crops grown on marginal land, sure good stuff. But primary food crop conversion is not a sensible thing.

In Argentina and Brazil where they have a large amount of sugar cane refining by-products, it makes great sense. Here, not so much ...
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#4514909 - 09/13/17 08:50 AM Re: e85 conversion [Re: BrocLuno]
Virtus_Probi Offline


Registered: 06/25/15
Posts: 3789
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: BrocLuno
E-85 is a street racers dream. But to get the benefits, you need enough compression to make it worthwhile ... Even w/o boost (turbo, or blower) you can make E-85 work, but it means building an engine for alcohol. You wanna do that ...

I had an issued E-85 Flex Fuel truck at work. Running a basic gasoline motor of roughly 9:1 compression on E-95 was a waste of money and fuel. Sure, it ran OK, but got something like 2/3 the normal mileage, so range was way down. The fuel cost was about the same with the savings on the pump price. Not worth it.

E-85 would be great stuff if it was not made from corn. If it was made from grass or other crops grown on marginal land, sure good stuff. But primary food crop conversion is not a sensible thing.

In Argentina and Brazil where they have a large amount of sugar cane refining by-products, it makes great sense. Here, not so much ...


I know that E85 is popular with Subie turbo modders, but I believe I read that they have to modify the entire fuel delivery system since they need to pump so much more of it in a given time than with gas?? I've never seen an E85 pump around me and there seem to only be a few in all of New England, so E85 is just an academic topic as far as I'm concerned.
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#4514936 - 09/13/17 09:21 AM Re: e85 conversion [Re: SnowDrifter]
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 6966
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
I have a turbo S2000 that I can run on E85, when I want. I have a stand alone computer that is easily configured to either setting.

However, I can easily put E85 in it and drive it home on the conventional gas program. Like most cars, the system operates in closed loop (relies on the (wideband in my case) O2 sensor) to adjust Air/Fuel. It only has lean operation difficulty when under boost on E85 and the Gas program.
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#4515732 - 09/14/17 01:06 AM Re: e85 conversion [Re: SubieRubyRoo]
zorobabel Online   content


Registered: 01/27/11
Posts: 437
Loc: Anaheim, CA
Originally Posted By: SubieRubyRoo

If you're insistent on doing it, yes, you will likely need significant fuel system upgrades to deal with the corrosive nature of ethanol, and you will need injectors that are roughly 50% larger. This isn't including getting your ECM tuned to deal with t

I've seen this corrosiveness mentioned a lot, but haven't run into evidence. In my mind, if the rubber can take E10, it should be able to handle E-85.
I do remember a Finn on this board blowing up his Saab engine on E-85-ish fuel.
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#4515736 - 09/14/17 01:29 AM Re: e85 conversion [Re: SnowDrifter]
SnowDrifter Offline


Registered: 08/24/14
Posts: 391
Loc: WA
Looks like the cost/benefit isn't there for this one. Though for anyone interested, the major bits in the conversion require the following: L59 fuel injectors, flex fuel comp sensor ACDelco 12570260, and an ECU for an L59. Will likely need some other minor parts like fuel lines to connect to the fuel comp sensor too

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#4520684 - 09/19/17 08:24 PM Re: e85 conversion [Re: SnowDrifter]
jhellwig Offline


Registered: 07/01/13
Posts: 1411
Loc: Ottumwa, Iowa
Originally Posted By: SnowDrifter
Looks like the cost/benefit isn't there for this one. Though for anyone interested, the major bits in the conversion require the following: L59 fuel injectors, flex fuel comp sensor ACDelco 12570260, and an ECU for an L59. Will likely need some other minor parts like fuel lines to connect to the fuel comp sensor too


It only takes around a 50 cent spread on these vehicles to make e85 more cost effective.

I think that 04 was the last year gm used the alcohol sensor but I may be wrong. They went off o2 trim after that. You shouldn't need any line upgrades as there wasn't a difference between flex and non.

I have no proof of this but I belieave the only difference between flex fuel vehicles and their non flex fuel twins in the mid to late 2000s is that the money wasn't paid to certify the emmisions for e85.
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