What You Need to Know about Ethanol Conversion Kits For Cars
Some of the biggest contributors to environmental pollution these days are cars. Thankfully, there are ways to make cars healthier and less harmful to the environment. One of them is by converting them into ethanol cars. Ethanol cars are cars that run on ethanol gasoline and burn only ethanol.
Ethanol gasoline has a lot of advantages; aside from being safer for the environment, it is a more affordable alternative to the increasingly costlier gasoline.
Indeed, a lot of vehicle owners have converted their cars to ethanol so they don’t have to be affected by the rising price of gas. Best of all, ethanol is a renewable fuel produced from plant-based materials, such as corn, wheat, and sugar, that can be easily grown every year, unlike regular gasoline that’s already in danger of shortage.
Some car manufacturers these days already provide flex fuel vehicles, or cars that can run on different types of fuel, including ethanol or e85, which consists of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. However, in the past, cars cannot run on fuel that contains more than 10% alcohol. So before anything else, check to see if your car can run on ethanol.
Your automobile’s manual may contain information regarding the types of fuel your car can accommodate. If ethanol or e85 is not included in the list, however, you have to convert a vehicle to flex fuel. To do so, you will need ethanol conversion kits for cars or e85 conversion kits.
How to Use An Ethanol conversion kit
Ethanol conversion kits are becoming more and more common these days, and anyone interested in reaping the advantages of ethanol powered cars can do so without spending more than $400. However, ethanol conversion kits are not like propane conversion kits; they contain only basic equipment so you may need to acquire other components to complete the procedure. These kits are only designed to get you started.
When you acquire an alcohol fuel conversion kit, the first thing you have to do is to carefully read the installation instructions included in the kit. This will help make the conversion process run more smoothly. Then, collect all the necessary equipment like a screwdriver, a wrench, and so on. Your kit’s manual will provide a full list of the materials you will need.
Once you’re ready to begin, remove the fuel injectors from the fuel rail one at a time. Just press the retaining clip with one finger. Once they are removed, you can begin installing the kit. Different types of kit have to be installed differently. Each kit comes with its own instructions for assembly; make sure to follow all the steps carefully. Included in the steps is the re-insertion of the fuel injector into the receptacle found in the conversion kit. After installation, insert the whole assembly into the fuel rail.
Once the kit has been installed, put in the fuel injector’s male end into the conversion kit’s female socket. Then put the assembly’s male end into the fuel rail. This means that the conversion kit will be the middle ground between the fuel injector and the fuel rail so that the fuel injector will not be directly connected to the fuel rail anymore. This process should then be repeated for all the fuel injectors. Once all the connections have been made, install the retaining clip to lock the whole assembly into place.
Next, you need to mount the control module in a location that is far from moving parts and from heat. Peel off the protective backing of the control module and press it against the location that you chose. You can use any kind of self-adhesive or hook and look material such as some double-sided tape to keep it secure. You will also need some plastic zip ties to keep the kit’s wiring harness secure.
Once the control module has been mounted, it’s now time to activate it. The module will come with a switch marked “A” for alcohol and “G” for gas. If you want to use alcohol, set the switch to the corresponding side. After doing so, close your hood, fill up, and you’re good to go.
How to Switch to An Ethanol Carburetor
For your non-flex fuel vehicle to be able to run on ethanol, it has to undergo several key modifications to the fuel delivery system, especially to the carburetor. This is because ethanol has a significantly lower level of energy than regular gasoline, but it also has greater corrosive effects. So aside from installing an ethanol conversion kit, you also have to know how to convert a carburetor to ethanol fuel.
To switch to an ethanol carburetor, you first need to acquire a spare carburetor that you can convert so you can still use your car while the conversion is in progress. Also, this way, you can still use your old gasoline carburetor if necessary. To save money, look for used carburetors in salvage yards.
Next, get any one of the available e85 carburetor conversion kits. These kits usually contain valves, gaskets, and other parts that you will need to completely overhaul the used carburetor. Mostly, these are the parts that are most prone to wear and tear.
Then, measure the jets, or the openings where fuel goes through as it is forced into the mixing chamber. Due to the lower level of energy present in ethanol, you need to increase the size of the jets by around 40% compared to the original. Use a drill bit to enlarge the jet. You also have the option to buy new jets with the right size if you can find them.
Lastly, since ethanol is also denser than gasoline, you need to adjust the carburetor float so it will not ride too high and keep the fuel from flowing into the carburetor. There are many ways to do this. First, you can bend the float arm, which can be a complex method. Another way is to add around 10% of weight to the float. To do so, take the float and weigh it, then calculate 10% of its original weight. Look for a lead weight equivalent to the result you get and solder it onto the float.
Once these steps have been completed, you can then put the ethanol carburetor into your vehicle. However, make sure it is installed properly before attempting to start your vehicle. One way of making sure is to note the control linkages and fuel lines before you remove the original carburetor from your vehicle.
Kinds of Conversion Kits for Cars
Ethanol conversion kits come in different types. There are kits that will completely convert your vehicle to run purely on ethanol fuel, while there are also kits that can turn your car into a flex fuel vehicle, which means you can use either gas or ethanol, or e85 fuel (a combination of the two). Flex fuel conversions are more preferred because they give you more fuel options.
There are a lot of ethanol conversion kits on the market. If you are looking for an e85 conversion kit, some of your best options are the e85 flex conversion kits by White Lightning Ethanol Conversion Systems and by Change2E85, both of which provide a 5-year warranty on their products.
What about Ethanol Motorcycles?
If you don’t have a car but are a proud owner of a motorcycle, you can also convert it to an ethanol motorcycle with the right kit. While there have been many concerns about how ethanol fuel can affect motorcycles, many motorcycle owners are now using ethanol fuel, especially e10 fuel, which is made up of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline. Do make sure to check your motorcycle’s specifications first to make sure it can take ethanol fuel.