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#4552249 - 10/23/17 05:57 PM E85 concentration level and pump signage
04SE Offline


Registered: 05/04/07
Posts: 927
Loc: IL
My usual station sells E10, E15, E30, E50 and E85. The E85 button says 51-83% ethanol concentration.

I wasn't able to make it to my usual E85 station so I used a station I haven't used before. Their E85 seems to be more gasoline than E85 as my truck has obviously reverted back to the gasoline tune (reduced HP/TQ). So, I have been trying to research the ethanol content minimum percentage required to trigger the E85 tune in my truck. Internet wisdom pins it between 70 and 80 percent.

Today I visited a third station in my quest for E85 with high ethanol concentration (still unable to make it across town to my usual station). I took the below picture at this third station. The button clearly states 70% minimum whereas the tag next to the nozzle cradle indicates 51-83%. I know the blend it down for the winter but which tag is the real/required specification?

I am planning on contacting my state's department of Ag (weights & measures) but per their website I am required to file a complaint to get it looked into. I just want to know which tag is what the station/blender has to follow.

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#4552272 - 10/23/17 06:12 PM Re: E85 concentration level and pump signage [Re: 04SE]
skyactiv Offline


Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 4521
Loc: The Midwest
That is cornfusing!
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#4552281 - 10/23/17 06:17 PM Re: E85 concentration level and pump signage [Re: 04SE]
Audios Online   content


Registered: 11/19/11
Posts: 965
Loc: Lyndhurst NJ
Im assuming the pump manufacturer makes one button for e85 across all of the machines, and the sticker is more of a state by state notice. Im assuming you guys get alot more options regarding ethanol, I havent seen a pump with it around me, all are 10-15% ethanol and below.
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#4552401 - 10/23/17 08:18 PM Re: E85 concentration level and pump signage [Re: 04SE]
bmod305 Online   content


Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 266
Loc: Minnesota
As you stated,depending on the time of year, E85 fuel's alcohol content varies greatly. During the winter to improve engine starting, the refiners greatly lower the percentage i.e in the 50% range-at least in Minnesota it does.. Maybe that is why the label shows the range. I agree the pump button percentage is probably from the pump manufacturer.

Non-related note: I used to build SBC dirt track motors. I had a few E98 fueled motors that would only start in cold weather (40-50 deg range) if we primed the carb with regular gas. They won't fire off on E98. They did run really cool on hot nights. Intake manifold would be ice cold at the end of a 20 lab feature in 90 deg weather.

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#4552581 - 10/24/17 05:29 AM Re: E85 concentration level and pump signage [Re: 04SE]
khittner Offline


Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 328
Loc: Michigan
If you get the low E85 price for fuel that actually has a higher concentration of gasoline in it, what's the basis for your complaint?

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#4552586 - 10/24/17 05:53 AM Re: E85 concentration level and pump signage [Re: 04SE]
shanneba Offline


Registered: 07/10/04
Posts: 896
Loc: Indiana (IN)
The 51 -83 % is the ASTM D5798 Standard Specification for Ethanol Fuel Blends for Flexible-Fuel Automotive Spark-Ignition Engines.

https://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/ethanol_e85_specs.html


Edited by shanneba (10/24/17 05:53 AM)
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#4552640 - 10/24/17 07:16 AM Re: E85 concentration level and pump signage [Re: 04SE]
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 7247
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
You can easily test it yourself using a proper "test tube" graduated cylinder.

http://www.waldeneffect.org/blog/How_to_measure_the_ethanol_content_of_gasoline/

Like you, my Ford F150 performs better with high ethanol content as the tune compensates for the ethanol content and the ignition timing is advanced.
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#4552703 - 10/24/17 08:11 AM Re: E85 concentration level and pump signage [Re: Cujet]
ZZman Offline


Registered: 03/17/08
Posts: 5850
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: Cujet
You can easily test it yourself using a proper "test tube" graduated cylinder.

http://www.waldeneffect.org/blog/How_to_measure_the_ethanol_content_of_gasoline/

Like you, my Ford F150 performs better with high ethanol content as the tune compensates for the ethanol content and the ignition timing is advanced.


Thank you
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#4552706 - 10/24/17 08:13 AM Re: E85 concentration level and pump signage [Re: shanneba]
ZZman Offline


Registered: 03/17/08
Posts: 5850
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: shanneba
The 51 -83 % is the ASTM D5798 Standard Specification for Ethanol Fuel Blends for Flexible-Fuel Automotive Spark-Ignition Engines.

https://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/ethanol_e85_specs.html


Thank you
_________________________
2003 Mercury Grand Marquis. Rotella T6 Multi-Vehicle oil
2008 Sebring Hardtop convertible. Rotella T6 Multi-Vehicle oil
2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 LT. Amsoil Metric 10w-40

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#4552792 - 10/24/17 09:19 AM Re: E85 concentration level and pump signage [Re: 04SE]
Crispysea Offline


Registered: 04/14/17
Posts: 423
Loc: TN USA
I often put E85 in my wifeís Grand Caravan. The 3.6 Pentastar loves it. I sniff it to check the alcohol content. Itís usually over 70%, since it smells like corn whiskey. Sometimes itís closer to 50%, and smells like gasoline.

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#4776125 - 06/03/18 09:05 AM Re: E85 concentration level and pump signage [Re: 04SE]
TiredTrucker Offline


Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 3248
Loc: Central Iowa
The percentage allowances at the pump are state certification directed. For instance, in Iowa, E85 must have a minimum of 70%, even for winter.

And all blends will usually test lower for ethanol than their pump label says. The other factor is that no blend may exceed their label number percentage. So to avoid the risk of having that happen, most blends are not quite the ethanol content percentage that they say they are. They can be under the percentage by a specified allowance, but they cannot be over the percentage.
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