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hydro

Just for fun......E-85 mods to an auger motor?

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Since there are quite a few posts going now about ice auger motors, carb issues, non-oxy fuel beliefs etc, I thought I would post a quiz to see who knows their stuff when it comes to fuel. In the automotive horsepower contest world the current fuel of choice is E-85 and those guys are making thousands of ponies using it. The same principles could be applied to an auger motor. Here are the questions:

1. Exactly what is E-85 and what makes it a good fuel? What is the drawback?

2. What specific modifications would need to be done to an auger moter to use this fuel to make more horsepower that the gasoline baseline motor?

Let's see who can get the best answer!

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All I know about it is that is will give you higher octane fuel which can give more horsepower (closer to alcohol), but it is also more likely to leave a residue in carb ports and jets on motors that are run less often (lawnmowers, chainsaws, big-boy toys). That is why you see places that sell "Non-Oxygenated", high octane fuel at a higher price than Premium, and guys with a trailer full of sleds filling up there.

Non-oxy fuel will not be as likely to gum up your carb on engines run weekly, monthly, or even less often. Plus some big boy toys do run better on higher octane fuel. For engines run often and throughout the year it isn't that big of a deal because fuel is always running through the carb cleaning itself out. Storing an engine with gas theat has ethanol for a few months can make for a fight to get it started when you want it, and I always empty my tanks and run the lines and carb dry before letting it sit for the summer/winter.

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Leech, you are on the right track but why does that work?

McGurk- Wrong way. The question is not about non-oxy gasoline at all.

Keep it coming and I'll check back later in the day!

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Called out the drawbacks, but it would be fun to see this. I think you'd need to pick the right auger to start with; one with an engine that you can swap parts out on readily, and that aftermarket parts are made for.

A carb that you can tune.

More air flow and a less restrictive filter.

You need to advance the timing to use E85.

Stronger spark.

Tighter rings to up your compression.

A tuned 2-stroke expansion chamber exhaust pipe.

Once you do all that, you'll want to change out the gearing on the transmission to take advantage of the additional speed and torque. You might want to alter the blade pitch as you'll have more torque so you can bite the ice better, and wider handles so the powerhead doesn't turn in your hands.

From another HSOforum:

"...In cold climates, a cold start injection system may have to be created; either a gasoline injection or coolant heating system can be used, because ethanol does not ignite at temperatures below 65 degrees Fahrenheit."

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Getting closer. Keep in mind that the question is E-85 and not the “E-15” pump gasoline. (There’s a clue)

The advantages and drawbacks are still undefined and still need to be hit but the “cold start” is one of the issues with E-85. Why is that?

A carb that can be “tuned” is another part, but how and why? You cannot just tune the carb and then run E-85. What do you need to do to it specifically?

As McGurk mentioned E-85 is a higher octane fuel. What is a ballpark value and why does it affect the ignition timing?

Ignition CAN be advanced when running E-85 as part of the process but it does not NEED to be advanced to run E-85, again why?

Keep the ideas coming!

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a motor is a air pump if you put more air and more fuel in there it will make more HP the reason people are using e-85 is cause its a high octane fuel and the higher the octane the slower the rate of combustion for that fuel will be thus being able to run more timing and creating more HP so it really more air more fuel more spark means more power all surerchargers and nitros and turbos do is add the air then its up to the tuner to take care of the rest

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Since alcohol has less btu's per gallon than gas you need more of it to make the same power so you need bigger jets to make the same power. If you want more power then you need more compression, timing curve to match. If it is a 2 stroke engine then a tuned pipe will increase power.

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This reminds me of an old H-D XLCH a buddy of mine had. It had a Tillotson carb you had adjust to start (no choke or enrichener). You then needed to retard the timing by turning the magneto. Forget the pre-start settings and go flying over the handle bars.

I don't know much about 2 strokes and even less about E85. So this is a fun read.

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a motor is a air pump if you put more air and more fuel in there it will make more HP the reason people are using e-85 is cause its a high octane fuel and the higher the octane the slower the rate of combustion for that fuel will be thus being able to run more timing and creating more HP so it really more air more fuel more spark means more power all surerchargers and nitros and turbos do is add the air then its up to the tuner to take care of the rest

Some truth here but there is no turbo, fuel injection, nitrous oxide injection, or computer to manage on an auger motor. Timing only ALLOWS the motor to burn fuel more efficiently in a correctly modified motor. Still need to know how to change things are needed to make E-85 work in a carbuerated two stroke auger motor. The critical changes have not yet been identified.

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Operational cost is not part of the original question, but you are correct, in an automobile it actually costs more to operate on E-85. Why specifically is that? That "why" is part of the original criteria list.

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Since you seem to know more than most on the subject why don't you just go ahead and give us the details? (not trying to sound sarchastic)I don't see why anyone would want to run an auger on alcohol, E-85, or E-98... We have guys that already build "good" augers, and unless we were in a competetive situation and needed to change gearing, pitch, and rake of blades I don't see the need. (chainsaw motors seem to work great for this application.) I can understand the "tinkering" aspect and respect the wishes to be able too, but in my wheelhouse, I get enough shavings on the floor not using a "Super Auger" or auger on steroids. I also think this thing sounds like it could get to be a cumbersome auger. I know of people using this fuel in racing applications, and have quite a few problems in the summer with it, or at least the temp fluctuations.

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bigger ignition coil, thicker plug wire, hotter plug. to change the timing you need to install a different electronic ignition module.

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Haven't they proved that they could plant certain kinds of ditch weeds and harvest them and still produce E-85 style gas?

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Rob, I am just having fun trying to see who out there knows their stuff on the subject of using ethanol mixtures as fuel. It seems to be getting some good response and I expect someone who knows much more that I do on the subject may chime in. This is a discussion forum and it will be interesting to see what the evening crowd has to say.

I agree with you that there is no real reason to do this on an everyday auger so that point can stay on the table. Do your buddies who use alcohol for racing have anything to add?

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Ok here are my thoughts on this-

E85 is a higher octane (up to 105) fuel. Contrary to belief, higher octane does not necessarily mean more power . A stock engine that was not designed (compression, timing curve, etc..) for higher octane will likely not benefit from the increased pump rating. E85 can run a more advanced timing curve because it is less likely to detonate than gasoline (higher flashpoint temp). The advance in timing is not a necessity but it will increase performance. Also, the difference in flashpoint is the reason for hard cold weather starting. Gasoline will still be able to turn to vapor at -45. Straight alcohol on the other hand is not able to vaporize under +55 degrees and this number changes depending on the mixture with gasoline- more gasoline= lower flashpoint. The E85 blends vary in the winter months because alcohol does not ignite as well in colder temperatures. In a two stroke carbureted engine this variance COULD mean changing A/F settings between different tanks of gas.

Leech, I am not sure that throwing more air into it is necessary, unless of course you want to REALLY increase the amount of fuel needed as well. Without changing the intake flow of air at all you still need to richen up the jetting by 20% or more to make things work. This leads to a lower "mileage" for your auger, so maybe a bigger fuel tank as well?? BUT if you want the most performance that can be had by all means add the supercharger to it and richen the carb accordingly. This thing is getting HEAVY!

Hydro, you didn't say when this "test auger" was made. 70's Jiffy?? If that is the case and it is stock, the diaphragm,lines, needle,etc.. probably could not handle the alcohol. If the auger is newer and manufactured and certified for use with the 10% blends that are at the pump now theoretically it will be safe with E85. However, alcohol/ gasoline mixes DO have a shorter "shelf live" and will go bad faster.

I would also be concerned with finding a 2 cycle oil that will mix well with a high ratio of alcohol that is E85. Maybe the same rule as above applies?

I would not consider a two stroke ice auger as a good application for E85, mainly due to the cold start issues, it could be done...but why fix what isn't broken?

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I've been actually waiting to see someone come up with an old-style motored auger something like what was used on an old steam engine. I'm sure it would be huge, and akward to handle, but really fun to see in person! I will agree that the hp would be higher, and the fuel consumption would be much higher. Probably need a 8 gallon tank for some of the hole hoppers out there. Some of the guys using E-85 are doing well and winning championships and others who haven't found the exact tuning have had problems and have even switched back to racing fuel. Who knows there probably already is someone who has made an E-85 auger.

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Grum, The hotter plug may be helpful but may not be needed. Timing of the spark is set by the position of the coil relative to the flywheel at TDC so you could just move the stock unit to get more advance.

Colt, E-85 is much higher octane than gasoline (how much?) but higher octane does not effect how much fuel is needed for combustion. What parameter does higher octane allow? A clue is that it burns slower under pressure.

Riffraff, Thanks! You nailed the octane number and a bunch of the points that would be needed to make this work. You also hit on a major drawback, the flashpoint and cold weather starting. Your 20% increase in jetting is very important here and hopefully someone will chime in with why that is needed. Also, I did not really have a specific test motor in mind but an assumption is that the materials would be compatible with ethanol as most are today.

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i think it around 114 but could be wrong, also for the hotter plug... a "hotter" plug wont create a hotter spark the heat range of a plug has to do with how much heat the porcilin sp? will disipate.

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Riffraff, Yeah, I stay at the Holiday Inn Express a lot, and I like Google, so I must be an expert, eh?

I have always been fascinated by the two stroke motor, ever since modifying them for my racing hydroplane back in high school. We ran them on methanol back then and the principle is almost the same as the E-85 question, methanol is just a much nastier fuel to work with.

Colt, you are correct on how the heat range of the plug works. The longer the porcelain extension, the longer it takes for heat to dissipate, and the hotter the tip of the electrode runs during operation. Too “hot” a plug can create a “hot spot” in the combustion chamber and too low an octane rated fuel will cause detonation which can ventilate the pistons in a hurry. Not a good situation, but with E-85 ethanol blend (105 octane) that is not as much an issue as with gasoline (90 octane).

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Some truth here but there is no turbo, fuel injection, nitrous oxide injection, or computer to manage on an auger motor. Timing only ALLOWS the motor to burn fuel more efficiently in a correctly modified motor. Still need to know how to change things are needed to make E-85 work in a carbuerated two stroke auger motor. The critical changes have not yet been identified.
Mainly you would have to re-jet it and change some of the gaskets so they doen't get eaten. wink

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