Flexfuel Mod, Running Off of E85!!!! - Chevy Cobalt Forum / Cobalt Reviews / Cobalt SS / Cobalt Parts
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-28-2010, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Flexfuel Mod, Running Off of E85!!!!

hello everyone,

I just finished modding my car to run off of e85, yes I said e85 (although right not i have half a tank of gasoline and half a tank of E85, i plan to full it up fully with e85 on my next fill-up)

I purchased a FFI Platinum E85 Ethanol Conversion Kit (sold on changetoE85.com, I managed to find a 6 cylinder version on ebay for dirt cheap, works great despite only having 4 cylinders) Installation is easy and while I just installed and have only driven a little bit with the kit, the car appears to run quite well. no misses or lack of performance. anyway, here is my how-to:

here is a picture of my installation:



I mounted it on top of the fuse box with velcro, will make it easy to remove if i ever need access to the fuse box. and there is a great place to ground the unit nearby, as shown below:



Next, I had to connect the unit to the fuel injectors. it intercepts commands from the car's computer and sends different commands to the fuel injectors, thus changing the injector valve timings in order to pump more e85 into the engine. otherwise your car would likely stall as e85 is not as powerful as gasoline, but it is cheaper, burns cleaner and cooler, and is rated at 105 octane (just to clearify, octane rating refers to the likelyhood of autoignition of the fuel and not the amount of octanes in the fuel, this is a popular misconception, basically, the higher the octane rating, the less likely you will have fuel prematurely igniting, thus your engine will run more smoothly off of e85). my kit was a 6 cylinder version because i got it for cheap. so two of my conectors aren't used, I zip tied those off. for those wondering, my car uses ev6 connectors to the fuel injectors. I am willing to bet that most other cobalts use the same connector, in case you want to make sure this guide will show you how to get to the connectors to see. to get to the fuel injectors you have to remove an assembly which connects from the air intake manifold to the airbox. (yes, they made this install a pita on the cobalt, most other cars this install is super easy on). the screws you need to loosen to remove this assembly are shown below:



once you have removed the plastic parts over the engine you should have access to the fuel injectors (they are under the fuel rail, and a pita to get to) just connect the kit into the injectors, and the connectors coming from the computer into the male connectors on the kit, reassemble everything and you are good to go (make sure the wired are away from the fuel rail and anything else that would burn the wires, I used zip ties to accomplish this.) after everything is assembled start the car, make sure no check engine light comes on. and you are ready to start using e85 (the directions for my kit recommend after installation filling up with half gasoline and half e85, then the next tank going full e85, then you can do any mixture you prefer)
it is also recommended that you do an oil change and replace your fuel filter after 1000 miles of running off of e85.

the kit also came with an e85 flexfuel badge, I put it on the trunk lid:



I HIGHLY recommend making sure that you have gas stations that sell e85 nearby where you live, you can do that at Growth Energy Market Development. installing this kit would be pointless if you didn't have them nearby . you may lose up to 20% mpg on your vehicle due to the injecting of more fuel into the engine, but with e85 prices hovering around $2.30 per gallon, the fact that e85 is made in america, and it is cleaner both for your engine and the environment. I will be sure to post further news about my latest modification, as well as my mpg now, so that we can see if it is truely worth the 150-300 dollars that e85 conversion kits are.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-28-2010, 06:50 PM
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interesting, i didnt know it was this easy and fairly cheap to switch to e85. it may take awhile to save the $ on the initial investment for most people. i drive 15k a year, i wonder how long it would take to pay off (i dont wanna do the math...)

nice job on being green !!!

man am i glad i didn't buy an aveo...
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-28-2010, 06:57 PM
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I'd be more interested in the american sourced. but there's no e85 spots near me

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-28-2010, 08:06 PM
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how much? any noticeable difference in MPG? what happens if you run straight gasoline?



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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-28-2010, 08:31 PM
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I can't wait to swap to e-85. Won't be doing it this way but congrats to you..

07' LS 5 spd, bullseye S256 @ 17 psi wut?!, E85!!!, wiseco 8.9:1 pistons, eagle rods, spec stage 3 clutch, TTR motor and tranny mounts, ARK sts, Magnaflow catback, tinted windows, B&G coilovers w/ adjustable camber plates, front bowtie painted black, and ETX ME-2 rims wrapped in 235/40/18 Nitto invos.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-28-2010, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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@camopaint0707:

1. I have the ffi platnium 6 cylinder version which is about 450 bucks. the 4 cylinder version is about 350 bucks. (I managed to get one for about 180 off of ebay, the person bought it for a car but sold the car and never installed the unit). this site: White Lightning e85 conversion kit sells another e85 kit for real cheap (like 135 dollars) which is supposed to be pretty good. FFI and whitelightening are both the best kits for cold starting, which is very important when running e85. they have other kits out there but those are the only ones that I would recommend.

2. just installed it so I haven't had enough time yet to calculate mpg or see if I am actually saving money when comparing price vs mpg.

3. I currently have half gasoline half e85 in my tank. the system is designed to be flexible and adjust the amount of fuel dispenced via the injectors based on data gathered from the o2 sensors. the older analog kits require you to manually set the ratio on the device itself based on what is in the tank but this system dynamically adjusts. allowing you to put as much or as little actual ethanol in your tank as you want.

oh, and there is a myth that ethanol can damage cars which are not designed to run on it. for one thing, it has been found that flexfuel cars when compared to their non flexfuel counterparts were found to be exactly the same, except they have a yellow gas cap, an e85 sticker, and different programming on the car's computer. but I thought this video on the effects of ethanol on a non flex fuel vehicle were especially convincing: YouTube - Eighty-five percent ethanol fuels non FFV for 100,000+ miles
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-28-2010, 08:44 PM
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so what would happen if I installed this on my 2.2 supercharged cobalt? how the heck would i tune for all that



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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-28-2010, 08:47 PM
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Are you sure the fuel lines are able to run alcohol without it damaging them or eating through them? Are the stock fuel injectors able to handle the higher pressure? Im not 100% sure on everything that needs to be looked at but I thought those were important things to consider. Also is this on an L61 or the LAP? If it is this easy and ready to run E85 I may have to look into getting tuned for it and run more timing!
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-28-2010, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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I have read in other places that you pretty much have to take a whole other route in order to run e85 off a supercharged model. I doubt one of these kits would help you very much but my knowledge is limited in this area. and as far as the car's capability to run e85, in the video i linked in my previous post it has a chevy tahoe that run over 100k miles with e85 and the fuel lines werr actually in better shape. all modern gasoline is e10. meaning of course that all unleaded gasoline contains 10% ethanol. as a result all cars made after 1985 were made to handle possible ethanol corrosion. because even though it may only be 10%, your car does sit parked for periods of time with ethanol in the gas tank and ethanol in the fuel lines when not running. so the automakers designed modern cars to handle this.

EDIT: to answer your other question, I have an L61 engine.

Last edited by smiles0013; 08-28-2010 at 09:06 PM.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-28-2010, 09:26 PM
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camo you would probably just need bigger injectors and a new tune I don't think you would have to get any "conversion" kit.

07' LS 5 spd, bullseye S256 @ 17 psi wut?!, E85!!!, wiseco 8.9:1 pistons, eagle rods, spec stage 3 clutch, TTR motor and tranny mounts, ARK sts, Magnaflow catback, tinted windows, B&G coilovers w/ adjustable camber plates, front bowtie painted black, and ETX ME-2 rims wrapped in 235/40/18 Nitto invos.
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