The SS running on E85. - Page 2 - Chevy Impala Forums
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post #16 of (permalink) Old 03-26-2019
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Originally Posted by sheila View Post
^ If your vehicle is ffv and you want to try E-85, go for it. Be warned your mpg's will suffer.
Thanks. It is and I know that.
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post #17 of (permalink) Old 03-26-2019 Thread Starter
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Giving another update. Engine Is still running fine but be warned It will kill your catalytic converter unless It's e85 safe. My factory catalytic converter died back In January after 150k and I had a universal Flowmaster put on. But since I switched to e85 It killed the Flowmaster pretty quick as I'm getting a p0420 code again. So Im gonna order a cat for a 3.9 flex fuel since they have the same exhaust but the 3.9's cat Is safe for e85 and the 5.3's Isn't. But other than that the engine Is happy. Took It out and played with It and let It go Into the higher RPM's for awhile and It performed great. Other than my power steering pump dieing everything's good.
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post #18 of (permalink) Old 03-26-2019
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When I first got my Impala (had 23,000 on it) and I took it to the dealer for minor interior fix on the back seat belt. So they said they re-flashed the computer for the E-85 stuff would work (mine has a "K" in the VIN so I know it will work). Anyhow, since then the car runs terrible on anything less that 89 octane. If I try running anything less in octane the valves clatter when the car is first started and it's idling (fast idle) and power is pitiful. Is a re-flash in my future and how long does it take? Will a tech 2 tool do the trick? All this talk about E-85 got me thinking (sometimes that's good and sometimes it's not).

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post #19 of (permalink) Old 03-27-2019
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Originally Posted by kbz1960 View Post
So does that mean we shouldn't run E85 or we should always run what has always been used in it?

I was thinking about letting my tank get close to empty and trying some E85.
That's the best way to go about it. The ECM confusion seems to be most prevalent on vehicles that don't make a sharp change over from one to the other because they're re-fueling on partial tanks. Re-fueling changeovers to E10 or E85 at low fuel levels avoids that problem.

Up to 2005 or so Flex Fuel vehicles had a $$$$$ Flex Fuel Sensor to determine the ethanol percentage in the fuel... No way that could end badly is there?

The 06 and later Flex Fuel vehicles are somewhat better. The Ethanol level is supposed to be detected by the ECM/PCM by examining fuel trims called for by the O2 sensors over time... it's called VFFS (Virtual Flex Fuel Sensor). The VFFS is based on the fuel trims. The ECM/PCM selects the proper fuel map based on the VFFS recommendations. The sensing seems to get confused at times and it sticks on one Ethanol level. Again. The ECM confusion seems to be most prevalent on vehicles that don't make a sharp change over from one to the other because they're re-fueling on partial tanks. Re-fueling changeovers to E10 or E85 at low fuel levels avoids that problem.

There's a service bulletin about the VFFS (Virtual Flex Fuel Sensor) getting confused and sticking on several vehicle families.
Service Campaign Bulletin 06162C includes at least 2006 & 2007 Impala Flex Fuel vehicles. The fix requires an ECM/PCM programming update. If you have a laptop and a Tech 2, MDI, or GM VXDIAG... get a 24month $40 TDS subscription, fully charge your battery, and update your ECM/PCM to the latest and greatest. Flashing the PCM/ECM with a low battery is a good way to brick it.
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Last edited by hatzie; 03-27-2019 at 08:26 AM.
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post #20 of (permalink) Old 03-27-2019
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That's the best way to go about it. The ECM confusion seems to be most prevalent on vehicles that don't make a sharp change over from one to the other because they're re-fueling on partial tanks. Re-fueling changeovers to E10 or E85 at low fuel levels avoids that problem.
My Flex Fuel Terrain owners manual is pretty clear about the change over. As much as possible, but a minimum of 3 gallons and drive a minimum of 7 miles after re-fueling.
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post #21 of (permalink) Old 03-31-2019
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My 2014 limited did great on E85, with the exception of lower MPG. It was especially great when the price difference between E85 and 87 octane was almost a $1. Then they jacked the E85 price up and made the difference negligible. I have not run E85 during the winter because I feared my MPG would be worse yet. I am considering going back in a few weeks when it warms up consistently... cost difference last I checked was about .65 cents.
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post #22 of (permalink) Old 04-03-2019 Thread Starter
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Another update. Been 3 weeks now and things have definitely changed. At first long term fuel trim was the only one that Immediately changed but after about a week and a half short term followed. Everything Is still running great. On cold mornings after It's sat for about 10 hours or more It will start fine but stall Immediately (unless you give It gas) but start right back up. Another thing If It's running and you shut It off and Immediately try and restart It. It will do a long extended crank and crank over for about 5-10 seconds. While It's cranking over It try's to catch and fire. Sometimes It will fire after a few seconds and sometimes If It cranks too long the ECU will kill the starter to prevent damage to It. Idk If It's getting too much fuel or not getting enough but It's never failed to start or have drivability problems. Fuel range and Instant economy have also adjusted. Before this trip fuel range on a full tank was only around 170 miles. That's city driving and me gunning It every chance I get. Also before when It would go Into 4CYL MODE It would switch back to 8CYL MODE when the Instant MPG dropped to 18-17. But now with e85 In 4CYL MODE It will drop as low as 12-11 MPG before switching back to 8CYL MODE. I actually drove It to zzperformance to get the dog bone poly mounts set as I only live an hour away from them. State Troopers were all over the highway so I couldn't speed too much. So with the cruise set between 70-80 MPH according to the car I averaged 15-16 MPG. I drove It gentle but did get on It at times when passing people. I started out with a little over 3 quarters of a tank (75% full) and ended with a little under a quarter of a tank (25% full). Round trip was about 80 miles both ways so 160 miles In total. But It still consumed quite a bit of fuel for as gentle as I was driving. Anyway I just put another $30 bucks In the tank (e85) and that almost filled It up and now fuel range Is at 240. Obviously fuel range goes up the more efficient you drive.

Bottom line Is when I first started this little experiment I just wanted to see how the LS4 reacted with e85 and If It would run correctly. So It's good to know that the ECU can compensate for e85 and make It run correctly and the pump and Injectors have no problem keeping up with e85. Im not saying I won't ever go back to normal gas but It's just good to know that I can run either fuel without problems other than a check engine light for lean conditions. I also stated In a previous post that I thought e85 killed my catalytic converter. Apparently It didn't kill It as the computer was just adjusting and the p0420 code only appeared one time and has not been back after 2 weeks. So In the end Im happy with the way the engine runs on e85. It has great performance but you do pay for It In MPG's. And to top It off I added these...The SS running on E85.-flex-fuel-badge.png

The SS running on E85.-e85-cap.png
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post #23 of (permalink) Old 04-07-2019
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I filled mine on Friday morning because I saw the one station was almost a $1 cheaper on E85... $1.59 a gallon... $21 to fill it. I drive fairly conservatively but work called and bumped my start time by 45 mins so I had to hustle in... almost 80 the whole way in... so there goes this weeks real mpg test. Looks like the weather is going to stay 60 to 70 pretty consistently here.

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post #24 of (permalink) Old 04-18-2019 Thread Starter
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Giving this another update. Been about a week now since I switched back to 87. I ran the tank very low and filled with 87. Fuel trims went Into negative obviously. But power went up. I Immediately noticed an Increase on 87 vs the E85 as at WOT the PCM Ignores the 02 sensor's and defaults to the factory programming weather It's running lean or rich. The reason I switched back was It started hiccuping anytime I would put It to the floor as It was going Into open loop and taking away that extra fuel and It was starting to have trouble starting up when sitting overnight. So now everything Is back to normal and the power Is back. 0-60 on E85 on a cool morning with a perfect launch was a tad over 7 seconds. 0-60 on 87 with a bad launch was dead at 6 seconds. So even though E85 Is cheaper It's not worth It without a tune. I filled up about 4 days ago and just hit the half mark.
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post #25 of (permalink) Old 04-19-2019
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Originally Posted by Mr312712 View Post
Giving this another update. Been about a week now since I switched back to 87. I ran the tank very low and filled with 87. Fuel trims went Into negative obviously. But power went up. I Immediately noticed an Increase on 87 vs the E85 as at WOT the PCM Ignores the 02 sensor's and defaults to the factory programming weather It's running lean or rich. The reason I switched back was It started hiccuping anytime I would put It to the floor as It was going Into open loop and taking away that extra fuel and It was starting to have trouble starting up when sitting overnight. So now everything Is back to normal and the power Is back. 0-60 on E85 on a cool morning with a perfect launch was a tad over 7 seconds. 0-60 on 87 with a bad launch was dead at 6 seconds. So even though E85 Is cheaper It's not worth It without a tune. I filled up about 4 days ago and just hit the half mark.
Why do you think things started acting up? Will be curious to see how things go on from there. The alcohol in flex fuel is not good for cars not designed to run on it, think some here said as much. With seeing the after effects of small engines run on gas "with less than 10% ethanol", I have my suspicions.
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My 6 year constantly asks why. What adults can learn from 5 and 6 year olds, to listen with your ears and mind open. Hard to learn when you don't listen ......
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post #26 of (permalink) Old 04-19-2019 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 12 lt View Post
Why do you think things started acting up? Will be curious to see how things go on from there. The alcohol in flex fuel is not good for cars not designed to run on it, think some here said as much. With seeing the after effects of small engines run on gas "with less than 10% ethanol", I have my suspicions.
I'm not sure. I'm guessing fuel trims are playing a big role. I lived with It hiccuping for about 2 weeks and then on my way home the other morning me and a 3.6 Impala punched It around 80 and It gapped me so much It wasn't funny. That's when I realized something was wrong. Again at WOT It Ignores the 02 sensors and goes back to the factory tuning and doesn't give It that extra fuel that Is required when running E85. If It was tuned that would be different but It's not. Leaving work after It had been off for 8+ hours would make It start and Immediately stall, It stalled 4 times before It would stay running and that was with me holding the pedal about 75% down any further and It would just go Into clear flood mode. Even when the engine was hot It was starting up poorly. It even threw an 02 sensor code P1133. But everything Is good now, no more engine light, no more stalling and no more extended cranks.
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post #27 of (permalink) Old 05-15-2019
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Originally Posted by Mr312712 View Post
The engine Itself Is e85 safe as every Internal engine component Is Identical to a flex fuel model with the 5.3.
What year is this again? The reason I ask is the wife's cousins husband is the 2nd in charge at a large salvage lot here in Eastern South Dakota, Nordstroms Auto and he even said back when E-85 was first popular that the engines are assembled differently because the E-85 has more corrosiveness. I wouldn't take the chance myself.

Can I ask who told you the engine parts are all the same?

Rule always has been if it's E-85 capable it'll have it marked in the fuel door on the fuel cap and in the owners manual. I'm sure the VIN# may have a designation or the RPO code could tell you that as well.

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post #28 of (permalink) Old 05-15-2019
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Originally Posted by dtnel View Post
Rule always has been if it's E-85 capable it'll have it marked in the fuel door on the fuel cap and in the owners manual. I'm sure the VIN# may have a designation or the RPO code could tell you that as well.

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Good point, hope the op removes the flex fuel cap and emblem. Could make for confusion for others.
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My 6 year constantly asks why. What adults can learn from 5 and 6 year olds, to listen with your ears and mind open. Hard to learn when you don't listen ......
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post #29 of (permalink) Old 05-24-2019 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 12 lt View Post
Good point, hope the op removes the flex fuel cap and emblem. Could make for confusion for others.
Nope leaving the cap and emblem. I may get a tune for It eventually.
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