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Technical stromberg and e85

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by chrisp, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. chrisp
    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
    Posts: 751

    chrisp
    Member

    So I'm finishing up my L4 with twin 81 rebuilt with all Genuine Stromberg parts, I'm planning to have this car as my daily driver when my daughter comes back from college and take my Prius off my hands, but with gas at about $6.5 a gallon it's going to kill me. I'm contemplating the possibility to run e85 which is about half the cost.
    I switched to an electric fuel pump and e85 compatible fuel line, am I asking for trouble with my Strombergs?
     
  2. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 9,956

    Petejoe
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Zoar, Ohio

  3. hrm2k
    Joined: Oct 2, 2007
    Posts: 3,570

    hrm2k
    Member

    Stromberg's don't like a lot of fuel pressure...…….my 48's seemed to like 2 PSI for them to run great. Watch out with that electric fuel pump unless you have a pressure regulator inline
     
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  4. Oldioron
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 726

    Oldioron
    Member

    I ask how e85 works with low compression.
     
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  5. Casey Riley
    Joined: Jun 27, 2018
    Posts: 354

    Casey Riley

    Boy, I'm not seeing anything in your post about compression questions…
     
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  6. Oldioron
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 726

    Oldioron
    Member

    I'm curious how it works, I run e85 in a 12.5 mopar but I haven't seen anything on low compression ratios and how it works that's all. I made the assumption that he had low compression, below 9.5 for e85.
     
  7. Casey Riley
    Joined: Jun 27, 2018
    Posts: 354

    Casey Riley

    I wouldn't let a single drop of that rodent piss to touch my car.
     
  8. walter
    Joined: Nov 4, 2007
    Posts: 596

    walter
    Member

    My Flathead with a pair of Stromberg's will run just fine on either type of gas but certainly likes the real stuff better. Stromberg carbs will not work for long with a pulsating pump. You need a recirculating pump with low pressure (2 - 3 PSI)
     
  9. I have run lots of E85 and E20. Most of our dailies around here run E10 or 15. If the internal carb parts are compatible with alky you will be fine. You will use a ton of it however. Like burning pure alky. I prefer the lower amounts like E15 due to having a bit more lubrication. When I ran E85, every 3rd tank was regular gas since the E85 is like running solvent thru the system.
     
  10. Pete1
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,630

    Pete1
    Member
    from Wa.

    I ran Strombergs on straight alcohol for years in my race car. No problems.
    I also ran various percentages of nitro, picric acid and hydrazine. No problems.
    I used neoprene float needles and 6 lb of fuel pressure. No problems.
    I used the neoprene accelerator pump seals that came with the alcohol conversion kits.
    Whether the current rebuild kit parts will work with alcohol is just something you will have to try.
     
  11. Model A Gomez
    Joined: Aug 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,043

    Model A Gomez
    Member

    I ran E85 in my 30 pickup with a Holley 94 and didn't have problems but run no alcohol gas when available. The concern for me would be the accelerator pump, don't think it would be a problem with a leather one but some are rubber. I ran E85 in my 60 T-Bird and had fuel pump problems, hard on the rubber parts.
     
  12. thirtytwo
    Joined: Dec 19, 2003
    Posts: 2,507

    thirtytwo
    Member

    With the extra amount of fuel burned I don’t think you would save much money, it works for guys in the US for big compression in lieu of race gas where e-85 is 2.00 gallon vs race gas at 7.00 gallon plus e-85 is at most pumps in Midwest
     
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  13. chrisp
    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
    Posts: 751

    chrisp
    Member

    Thanks for the replies. I had my cylinder head shaved to bring the compression ratio to 8.5/9 to 1 originaly it was 6.8. The fuel pump is is an S.U.
    I'll have to ask Stromberg 97 about the compatibility of their seals.
    Again at $6.5 a gallon (e85 at $2.60) and a gas mileage of about 14, the only option is e85 or lpg. Lpg install is way too expensive.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  14. Torana68
    Joined: Jan 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,071

    Torana68
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Australia

    E85 is ethanol, someone mentioned “alcohol” which is Methanol. Ethanol eats some things like rubber and plastic. As long as the parts and flex hoses are ethanol safe your fine. E85 is great fuel for high compression and boosted if tuned for it. Low compression will work it but there is no advantage and you will use a lot more than straight petrol ( gas).
     
  15. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 2,487

    carbking
    Member

    The octane (AKI) of E-85 is 102~105. Repeat this is AKI, not RON, not MON.

    To really utilize 102 AKI, compression needs to be probably 12~13 to 1. At 9 to 1, a lot of your E-85 is going to go unburned out the tailpipe.

    Just guessing here, but a guess would be with a 9 to 1 engine, you will use maybe twice the E-85 that you would with real gasoline. This will involve seat of the pants jet calibration until you get it right, plus a MUCH LARGER fuel valve to keep the bowl full.

    As others have mentioned, good for trailered racecars, not so good for street engines.

    I really do not see any savings.

    Jon.
     
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  16. Tri-power37
    Joined: Feb 10, 2019
    Posts: 183

    Tri-power37
    Member

    One word ETHANOL PHASE SEPERATION ! I try to keep all ethanol out of my old cars. I use only Chevron 94 here in Canada it claims to contain no ethanol. When my cars sit for longer than I like the gas seems to hold up better. Just google - ethanol phase separation- it explains it better than me. Also if all the old cars support REAL gasoline then maybe it will stay around longer?
     
  17. King ford
    Joined: Mar 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,190

    King ford
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from 08302

    Greetings all!.....it seems to me as if we aren't all using the same terminology, in NEW JERSEY we are sold what I believe to be E85 which I also believe to be 85% gasoline.it definitely requires larger jets than straight gasoline. Also to clear up any confusion ethanol is corn alcohol and I believe requires something around 5 or 6 to one fuel ratio and methanol is wood alcohol and requires something around 9 to one fuel to air ratio.....both will stand a TON of compression!
     
  18. chrisp
    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
    Posts: 751

    chrisp
    Member

    Over here all gasoline have ethanol mixed in. Minimum is 5% then 10% then it's 85%, nothing in between.
    So my understanding from what you guys are saying is that the carbs are not the real problem but it's more the engine itself.
    I'll look again in the lpg install which was actually my first choice, but the direct injection using the carbs as throttle bodies is expensive, ethanol seemed so much easier...
    As for gasoline I sure ain't gonna spend 1/4 of my salary just to drive around in style, I'd rather have something to eat.
     
  19. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 2,487

    carbking
    Member

    Chris - LPG is another fuel that REQUIRES engine modifications, or issues ensue. Hardened valves, hardened valve seats, higher compression, etc.

    Obviously, cost of each type of fuel is to be considered, but in mid-Missouri, USA, gasoline is by far the cheapest fuel available UNLESS you are custom-building an engine anyway.

    One of the benefits of LPG here USED to be no road tax, until the government got wise, and started accessing a road tax when LPG was sold for other than heating; PLUS a ridiculous annual license fee.

    Obviously, costs are going to vary in different parts of our planet, and all aspects of the costs need evaluation, not just the initial cost of the fuel.

    If cost reduction is your goal, possibly your current configuration could be optimized and still use gasoline, rather than an expensive fuel conversion.

    Jon.
     
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  20. I'd suggest doing base line testing. Test 1 drive vehicle on common easy to get gasoline and record mileage and cost. Test 2 drive vehicle on E85 and record mileage and cost. Now compare the two and what does the math tell you? Second round of testing again, gasoline vs E85. Which one performed best per performance? Now but that against prior cost figure. These in my opinion should be done before jumping into more parts and labor to do lpg conversion.
    Also one detail not known to us. How much will you be driving this vehicle? This is another factor to consider when doing base line testing as mention above.
     
  21. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,180

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    E85 refers to 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. E15 is what it sounds like some people are confusing. The actual percentage of E85 varies quite a lot depending on the season, E85 will not reliably start as well in cold weather so they reduce the ethanol percentage and increase gasoline to almost 50/50, they still call it E85.

    As mentioned E85 needs BigAss™ jets and inlet valve compared to gasoline, increased compression, and more ignition advance timing to work. It might be doable if you setup your engine to run it, but I'm not sure you can switch back and forth too easily. OT flex-fuel vehicles do "OK" but they don't have variable compression.
     
  22. 28dreyer
    Joined: Jan 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,093

    28dreyer
    Member
    from Minnesota

    For once, Pete1and I agree. Methanol will not create any problems with the Genuine Stromberg parts the OP is using. I suspect the ethanol in E-85 will not either.

    I also believe the F/A ratio for methanol is also in the 5 to 6 to 1 area.
     
  23. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 9,558

    Tim
    Member
    from Raytown Mo

  24. thirtytwo
    Joined: Dec 19, 2003
    Posts: 2,507

    thirtytwo
    Member

    Another thing I found out minor researching e-85 , is that apparently the octane ratings are all over the place , I think fieburger touched on this in one of his engine masters videos when they did a comparison between e-85 and race gas
     
  25. You need to remember e85 may have a higher octane rating but it has less energy content. Basically it takes twice as much as regular fuel to do the same. E85 may be cheap but it kills fuel mileage, you mentioned 14mpg on gas, if you get 10 on e85 I'd be amazed. My c10 loses almost 1 mpg average when I run 15% blend instead of ethanol free
     
  26. chrisp
    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
    Posts: 751

    chrisp
    Member

    Things I didn't mention is that during the rebuild of my engine I already went with hardened seats, custom Manley valves (cost $2 each more than Nos ones for my engine) and the guides were also replaced. Like I said lpg was my first thought.
    20 years ago I was driving an lpg converted sbc 73 chevy truck as a daily.
    Lpg conversion in France exists since the late 70's it's about the same price as the e85 which comes from beets here.
    E85 is relatively new and we've been using it for a year on both our non flex-fuel Prius II with an about 12% gas mileage decrease. This is why I started thinking about it for my 58 if it becomes my daily.
    I like the idea of driving it with e5 recording then e10 then e85 and comparing the results it's just a matter of rejeting the carbs and retuning the engine if I understood correctly.
    Older cars here are in a real danger of becoming only museum pieces because they are talking about getting rid of the e5 in the coming years and liquid gasoline by 2050... Until then I'd like to drive my car.
     
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  27. Torana68
    Joined: Jan 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,071

    Torana68
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Australia

    Ok.... direct injection uses injectors and one of them new fangled computer things. There are economy and performance advantages.
    LPG using a throttle body is cheap, look up impco stuff on eBay. I’ve done two successful conversions but straight lpg is best. I ran one at 12-1 with ported head and mild cam and it was great, before lpg prices went up to near petrol prices down here.
     
  28. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 2,111

    Baumi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Chris, I don´t know what car your L4 with a Stromberg is in, but facing the same problem as you, high gas prices while daily driving an old car, here is my approach. I have a 55 Chevy with a 235 I6 / 3 sp and overdrive. I changed the axle ratio from 4.11 to 3.55, that gives me a total ratio of about 2.45:1 in Overdrive. Great for cruising 125kmh @ 2400rpm. Fuel conspumtion is @ 12 liters of E10 per 100 km average. Going long distances at about 100-110kmh will give me about 10l/100km or even lower, city and backroads cruising will be about 14l/100kms. I ´m also thinking about better fuel economy since I´m driving the 55 about 15-18000 km every year. The old Rochester 1bbl is not famous for being a great carb, so I´m thinking about converting an EFI system to run on the 235. Maybe a TBi off a 4.3 V6 or a Bosch Motronic off a 3.5 Liter BMW could be made to work, euso stuff would be easier and cheaper to find for us I suppose. I also played with the idea tof putting a 3l turbo diesel with auto trans out of an old 530d in an old car. I got 9,5/ 100km towing a 64 Electra 225 and 6,5L average with one. I have no idea if all that effort would be worth it after all beans have been counted. Maybe keeping ingnition and fuel system stock but well maintained and stay out of the load pedal is the cheapest way to good fuel economy..
    All said and done, if you want real fuel eceonomy we are getting really far away from trad hot rodding, so I´ll shut myself up now. But I hear you. I have a 65 Riviera with the 425 and I only drive it a couple of km per year .... its a shame.
     
  29. 28dreyer
    Joined: Jan 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,093

    28dreyer
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Actually, King ford had this reversed, ethanol is just over 9:1 and methanol just over 6:1.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
  30. chrisp
    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
    Posts: 751

    chrisp
    Member

    My car is a Renault Fregate, I want to keep my old engine, it's a 2.6L instead of the 2.2L. When I first got the car I thought of swapping a chevy L6 because it gets the same mileage but half the performances... Then I thought of the Honda S2000 engine, trans and rear but I didn't want a Honda nor a modern car. So I kept it all Renault with the Saviem engine (Renault truck). I can't swap gears because other than stock none is available, I can't swap the rear end easily because from the get go in 1951 these cars had an IRS, I'm thinking about making an hybrid between the Renault and a Jag or Corvette pumpkin but first I want to see how it performs with the engine mods I did.
    Torana68 here Lpg install must be done by a pro to get it registered otherwise with tech inspection you end up with a suspended registration... My chevy truck had a throttle body over the carb, yes it works but it's a really archaic system, I don't even know if those are still available in the EU.
     
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