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SS8_Gohan

E85/98 Flex-Fuel Mission Complete! Thanks To Chequered Tuning!

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It what i think may be an Australian, possibly world first for a GTR, Trent @ Chequered Tuning (formerly Status Tuning) has managed to turn my R34 GTR into a genuine Flex Fuel car :D

I can now run my car on ANY mixture of 98 unleaded to 100% E85, with constantly updating maps depending on the mix in the tank. Mega f*cking happy days!

This is something i've wanted to do for a while now, and i know there's been quite a bit of talk on the forums about this, so i know this will be of great interest to some of you.

We all know the benefits of E85, heap of extra power and torque, greatly decreased risk of detonation, lower temps in some areas, less-to-no carbon build-up AND perhaps most importantly, greatly reduced emissions coming from a renewable fuel source :) Win win win win win (especially when in Australia we make our ethanol predominantly from crop by-product, very sustainable)

Despite all the pluses for E85, there are invariably some draw-backs, the main one is availability and what seems to be the main hurdle for most people. Prior to Caltex, Melbourne only had two outlets. United @ Hoppers Crossing, and Fueltown @ Southland, but unfortunately due to the floods in Vic and Qld, the crops that allow the ethanol to be made were wiped out; no crops = no by-product = no ethanol :(

Consequently, United and Fueltown has been out for a few months and probably a good few months more to go (hopefully they get it back online once the crops come back). But Caltex has overlapped and now filled the void with their E-Flex - stated by Caltex to be E70% to E85% depending on the time of year, and this time of year definitely means E70% (but perhaps not even that high, read on...)

What i was hoping to achieve with this exercise was to prove that it needn't matter what fuel you were running, how far your closest E85 outlet was, what fuel map was loaded, avoiding filling up at Hoppers because you tuned on Fueltown, avoiding filling up at United or Fueltown because you tuned on E-Flex and vice versa, or just worrying about the varying E% and consistency - i didn't want to have to worry about any of that. I just wanted the FLEXibility (oh dear) to fill up with ANYTHING from 98 to any E85 option without having to drain fuel, change settings on a hand controller, pull out the laptop at the servo etc etc...

So i discussed things over with Trent @ Chequered Tuning and let him know what i wanted to do, he reckoned he could give it a crack and had a few ideas how to do it, and advised on how to proceed.

For those playing along at home you will need

- 1 x uber tuner (see Trent)

- 1 x Ethanol Content Sensor (GM Part, made by Seimens. I purchased mine from zeitronix.com - SENSOR)

- 1 x wiring harness from sensor to ECU -or- to Digital -> Analogue ethanol content analyser - found here (there may be a locally sourced ACDelco part for this, i'm checking that out)

- 1 x Link G4, beast of an ECU and thanks to the lovely people at Link, already have allowed for the ECU to take the raw digital signal from the content sensor without the need for some mid-way converter to change it to 0-5v signal. Thank you Link!

- 1 x Link G4 extra wiring harness (the digital input is in this part!)

- 1 x somet-a-rather Ohm resistor to make sure the ECU and the content sensor talk properly

- Some extra fuel lines, braided lines, fittings etc to hook up the sensor to the fuel lines.

- 1 x car

Take all those, and you get a car that can now fill-up with anything between 98 and E85, AND fill up at ANY "E85" outlet, regardless of brand. This seems to be even more important now as unfortunately, Caltex may give you E60(or less) to E70 at the moment.

We still have to finalise everything, but here are initial tests done with the setup for the first time..

Vid 1 is Trent pouring in some 98 ontop of some Glen Waverely E-Flex currently in-tank. The Glen Waverley E-flex was bang on E69-E70. As would be expected the E% drops :)

Vid 2 shows the ECU altering the ignition timing in response to the E% :smokin:

Vid 3 is Trent putting in some Springvale E-Flex. This is where it gets interesting. We max out at E60 with the Springvale E-Flex and it actually settled at around E57 i believe in the end. Yes, it's not a perfect test with some 98 in there, but it was only around 5-7 litres - we did 20L litres of Springvale E-flex in addition to the Glen Waverley E-flex that was already in the tank (over a quarter tank). The car ended up 3/4 full with out 5 litres or so of that being 98, and it ended up mid E55-E57 - I just filled up with Springvale E-flex tonight, and will only use Springvale until i'm back at Chequered, and we'll get a definite answer then.

(i'll put in 2nd post)

This explains the less than spetacular numbers we got when Trent tuned from 98 to E-Flex for the first time 357rwkw on 98 to 387rwkw on E-Flex (i provided Springvale E-flex) - So unfortunately, it "seems" even E-flex can vary between stations OR all E-flex can be less than 70% this time of year, and it just happened Springvale was the place i filled up. I'm thinking the latter more than the former... it's got to all be delivered from the same truck/company etc

+30rwkw is great, but on some TRUE E85, i'm hoping we can crack 400 :) - Soooooo, i went and bought a drum of Powerplus E85 - 100% guaranteed real deal E85 (mixed with 98 i believe). We will drain the system, run up the Powerplus and get our baseline E85 reading. I know United and Fueltown E85 sometimes ran higher, E90 etc, so when those come online we'll do some more testing and the car will have broader parametres to work off

So it's been done. The content sensor that has been linked so many times in the E85 threads has been installed, hooked-up, altering fuel maps and it's happy days

Time to acknowledge those that have helped me and will no doubt be able to help you guys should you wish to give this a go (in no particular order)

- Rob @ RIPS NZ; we all knows these guys, uber engine builders, makers of so many drool worthy things. Rob provided the Link G4 and extra wiring harness (you NEED this!)

- Racepace Motorsport; made the bracket for the sensor and found a nice spot to mount it + being the usual great workshop we've come to expect (servicing/mechanical undertaken there, fantastic work as usual, thanks guys)

- Zeitronix for the sensor and wiring harness,

- TuffCarParts for the injector help (getting the ID1000's to fit my fuel rail and coming up with a MAP sensor last minute when the one i had acquired was DOA)

and last, but definitely not least...

- Trent @ Chequered Tuning

I've been a customer of Status/Chequered Tuning for... 4+ years maybe? from the GTT and now to my GTR, and there really is just no other place i would ever take my car to get tuned. when it comes to tuning, in my mind there is only one place to go. It's all they do now, 100% tuning, it's the speciality, and it shows.

Trent is meticulous with his work and not only came up with a great install for the sensor, but even helped me choose the parts as i don't really have a clue when it comes to 'engine bays' and making sure everything ties in, has a theme etc. But the end product with Trent's help basically makes it look like it's something Midori themselves had installed when building the car. It's neat, clean, ties in perfectly with the engine bay and looks trick too :)

Trent even special ordered this wiring sheath from the U.S. to match the same stuff used for my Okada project ignition wiring.

I really cannot recommend Trent/Chequered Tuning enough, the care taken with the car, the quality of the tuning but i guess most of all, just a unyielding willingness to do the job right. Sounds simple, but is unfortunately lacking in some workshops here.

The sensor install

flex2.jpg

flex3.jpg

flex1.jpg

As for the fuel setup, the other big q people have, i'm running genuine ID1000's and a Nismo intank pump. No twin this, surge thank that etc - just one intank and some bigger injectors.

I thought i needed this big fuel setup, but both Trent and Racepace said that the Nismo might be up for the job and not to change it yet :) We'll know for sure after the Powerplus E85, but if it can go this far, i think we're good.

So those worrying about fuel supply, don't. Big enough injectors, a good intank, and you're ok :)

Sorry for the essay, but it's something i'm excited about (for environmental and performance reasons) and hope because of this, more people jump on board with E85. The more people use it, the more we'll see of it, and that can only be a good thing. Especially when the waste plant ethanol project gets kicked off. Exciting times people :)

Thanks again to Cat + Trent

cheers,

daniel

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Vid 3

Trent putting in some Springvale E-Flex. This is where it gets interesting. We max out at E60 with the Springvale E-Flex and it actually settled at around E57 i believe in the end. Yes, it's not a perfect test with some 98 in there, but it was only around 5-7 litres - we did 20L litres of Springvale E-flex in addition to the Glen Waverley E-flex that was already in the tank (over a quarter tank). The car ended up 3/4 full with out 5 litres or so of that being 98, and it ended up mid E55-E57 - I just filled up with Springvale E-flex tonight, and will only use Springvale until i'm back at Chequered, and we'll get a definite answer then.

Even though this "only" resulted in 387rwkw, it's still stupid fast :D lol - the Powerplus E85 will be interesting...

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Great work very interesting project youve taken with what seems to have payed off. When you say glen waverley caltex are you talking abOut the One on springvale rd oposite the glen?

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There has been at least one other such a project here in Oz but I believe that was with an Evo 9 and the ViPec V88 version of those Link Computers .

Its actually an exciting time in this area because many would like to have the opportunity to remove the fuel blend hassles and have the hardward handle it all like OE flex fueled cars do .

I hope this is something all the aftermarket management mobs will cater for and that some data gets published on how the compensations are made for the varying ethanol content .

When I spoke to Scott at Insight about this he said its not a linea thing where you can start with E85 and do an E0 tune and expect to have linea compensations . I didn't like to ask if you have to say tune for every 10% increase in ethanol content and get the computer to extrapolate from there as its not my intellectual propety - read development dollar - to know .

I have to give 10 points to people taking on these projects because its something that will benefit many/most eventually so its a win for all .

For my part thanks , cheers A .

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good work and well done, v detailed write up

it is handy being able to fill up with whatever and let the ecu adjust, thats what computers are good at

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Great result Daniel, what did the Seimens sensor end up costing? Around $400 delivered?

I wonder how other ecu's will deal with the sensor as an input, it always seems simple on paper doesn't it. Keep up the ground breaking developments. :thumbsup:

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OK this is seriously amazing and I really want to follow your path here (also take my cars to Trent so woot there ;)).

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Awesome stuff :)

its funny I always thought the E content sensor wouldve been similar to an o2 sensor in the exhaust. but actually metering the fuel in the lines is a much better idea.

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thanks for the fantastic response guys!! I was listening to House of Reps the other day, and it looks like Ethanol will still be excise free for another 5 years (i think it might have even been 10 years) :) Which is obviously good news for us :)

disco - i have embarrassingly little knowledge when it comes to.... well, most things car related :blush::teehee: but all i know is that you need 2 base tunes, 98 and E85. That's it, Trent hasn't tuned anything else, but setup the extrapolation in between. Obviously running winter E-Flex i really only have a 98 and E70 tune at the moment, but in the next couple weeks, we'll get the real deal E85 tune done (powerplus) and then have things a bit more spot on.

I forgot to mention, I will also be running a wideband setup to monitor AFR's - the Seimens sensor should be good for quite a few km's. Trent thinks it might be a bit of a consumable item, but we're talking tens of thousand of km's, so nothing to really worry about there. But being a new setup, i want to have a back-up parametre for the ECU, so the AFR will be monitored by the ECU as well :)

Scotty, add about $30 usd (i think) from the Zeitronix price on the website, so that's about $380 USD, a touch cheaper with the aussie at the moment, so you're about right :)

Guys, if you don't want to spend that much money on a sensor, the Zeitronix website has a list of cars with that particular part (Factory). If you have access to US wreckers, you could probably pick it up for like $20-$50 usd. I wasn't going to go second hand considering it hadn't been done before, and wanted to take out as many variables as possible, so everything started new.

As for the humble, albeit fantastic, ECU that is the PowerFC, it may not be suited for this application :( But i'll let Trent correct this if need be.

The sensor outputs a digital signal, a frequency where between 50hz and 150hz = Ethanol percentage. The wave form is able to give both E% and Fuel temp (both of which the Link G4 can read) - You can buy the digital to analogue converter from Zeitronix, but it's an all-in-one unit that has the E% display. About $170USD, which isn't too bad. This will then output an ANALOGUE signal of 0-5V, which might bring some more ECU's into play.

The next test to come is to make sure on full noise and a mixed tank, everything is changing fast enough.

Oh, this is a PLUGIN G4 everyone, not a full-on wire in G4 Extreme. I believe it cost me $1300 from Rob, a few hundred more than a powerfc but a whole lot more ECU. I HIGHLY recommend this option to anyone. There's a plug-in version for most of our cars

And for all the rebadged Link owners :nyaanyaa: i'm assuming you guys are good to go with the exact same setup :) If you have Vipec's, they're probably tuned by Trent anyway (for Melb), so just grab all the parts, take it to Chequered and ask "one Flex-Fuel car please"

Trent did say he should be able to replicate the setup on most cars, so shoot Chequered an email and see how you go :)

cheers,

daniel

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Nice results dan.

So you made 387kw on the 56% ethanol?

Did trent or racepace comment on how much the single nismo should make on e85?

Im doing a e85 tune next week and have 2 nismo's intank just hoping iv got enough fuel supply...

:cheers:

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hey mate was always curious on your progress after seeing your car at chequered when you were picking it up. I had the red gtr32 and was speaking to you a bit about your eflex setup, coming along very nicely. Does the link support direct wide band sensor direct plugin? or do you need to use a wideband controller then hookup 0-5v analog to ecu? Do you lose the factory knock sensor functionality? the link is starting to become very appealing :D

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Nice results dan.

So you made 387kw on the 56% ethanol?

Did trent or racepace comment on how much the single nismo should make on e85?

Im doing a e85 tune next week and have 2 nismo's intank just hoping iv got enough fuel supply...

:cheers:

I was going through this big logistical exercise on surge tanks, twin bosch this, under-car surge that... but when i had a chat to Trent and Racepace, they both thought the single Nismo might be up to the task and leave it for the time being. Suits me, saved a stack a cash!! hahah lol - And when this is all sorted, i hope this will resolve a few headaches for people in the same boat. Built 26 with 2530's (or for a lot of people -5's) might only need 1000cc's and a good intank, and that's it. If that is indeed the case, a lot of you guys'n'girls will probably only need to change injectors and that's it. Pretty simple really :)

But for you, 2 x Nismo sounds like heaps!! I think people might be going overboard with fuel setups. What's the rest of your setup like?

I should clarify, the first E-flex tune was done BEFORE the sensor was in etc, we had a few obstacles to get around with the install, but Trent sorted it all out. So we're not 100% sure of the EXACT ethanol % on the base E-Flex tune, but as i said, judging from our tests with Springvale and Glen Waverley, and the low'ish # we got (+30rwkw) it seems like the first tune may have been perhaps E60. I have a full tank of Springvale E-flex in at the moment, and will know for sure in a week or so. Everything is tuned on the conservative side at the moment as well. The powerplus E85 will give us the benchmark and our first run next time will tell us the exact % of Springvale.

As for the wideband, i'm not 100% if direct in or 0-5v, will confirm that.

Actually, i might see if i can get the software on my laptop and i can check the E% for everyone

Linkems: Ironic username :D - I haven't even touched the other features yet, anti-lag, launch control etc - and really, only a few hundred more than a powerfc, it's a fantastic ECU. The other thing for me when i bought it was supporting a Christchurch company. I know it's not Australian, but i was in NZ earlier this yeah and Christchurch is really hurting and unfortunately Link lost their HQ in the earthquake :( - I was more than happy to buy from them, as the whole city definitely needs a bit of help :(

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Awesome! Congrats!

My old mans corolla has this done too but he never uses ethanol as there's no traction already with the 98 tune being fwd lol. Done on a prototype standalone vipec wire in several months ago in syd pretty sure.

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Linkems: Ironic username :D - I haven't even touched the other features yet, anti-lag, launch control etc - and really, only a few hundred more than a powerfc, it's a fantastic ECU. The other thing for me when i bought it was supporting a Christchurch company. I know it's not Australian, but i was in NZ earlier this yeah and Christchurch is really hurting and unfortunately Link lost their HQ in the earthquake :( - I was more than happy to buy from them, as the whole city definitely needs a bit of help :(

What's even more ironic is used to have one of the original plugin links in my 300zx and i hated the thing. As a computer it was not bad for it's age (10years ago), my problem was at the time there was only one reputable tuner in Melbourne. Their results were less then impressive, in fact when i went back to stock ecu with an off the shelf chip i gained 40rwkw and the car ran as smooth as factory. I swore to never get a link again but given there are good tuners now and it being packed with features i want it's hard to ignore :P.

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I was going through this big logistical exercise on surge tanks, twin bosch this, under-car surge that... but when i had a chat to Trent and Racepace, they both thought the single Nismo might be up to the task and leave it for the time being. Suits me, saved a stack a cash!! hahah lol - And when this is all sorted, i hope this will resolve a few headaches for people in the same boat. Built 26 with 2530's (or for a lot of people -5's) might only need 1000cc's and a good intank, and that's it. If that is indeed the case, a lot of you guys'n'girls will probably only need to change injectors and that's it. Pretty simple really :)

But for you, 2 x Nismo sounds like heaps!! I think people might be going overboard with fuel setups. What's the rest of your setup like?

I should clarify, the first E-flex tune was done BEFORE the sensor was in etc, we had a few obstacles to get around with the install, but Trent sorted it all out. So we're not 100% sure of the EXACT ethanol % on the base E-Flex tune, but as i said, judging from our tests with Springvale and Glen Waverley, and the low'ish # we got (+30rwkw) it seems like the first tune may have been perhaps E60. I have a full tank of Springvale E-flex in at the moment, and will know for sure in a week or so. Everything is tuned on the conservative side at the moment as well. The powerplus E85 will give us the benchmark and our first run next time will tell us the exact % of Springvale.

I went down the dual 044 surge tank in the boot path i hated ever minute of it. Ever since installing the intanks iv been so much happier no smells, noise, lines, $$ ect

My setups pretty basic - PowerFC Z32's ID1600 2530's built 2.6.. Hoping for 450awkw+ on the next tune using ELF E85...

Congratulations on fantastic outcome your really in good hands with trent at the keyboard so it seems.. :thumbsup:

Edited by Ryan1200

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any good link tuners in sydney??

im beginning to think e85 and its availability issues will be the end of the good old pfc

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