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Are BOSS 302 engines E85 ready?

Below is how the 5.0 F150 truck engine is advertised. It implies the truck's 5.0 will run fine with E85. I think it's the same basic short block as the Boss. Does anyone know if either of these engines will actually run fine on E85?

5.0-liter four-valve dual-overhead-camshaft Ti-VCT V8
The 5.0-liter V8 in the 2011 F-150 offers many class bests compared with competitors’ standard V8s, including:
•Best-in-class 360 horsepower at 5,500 rpm
•Best-in-class 380 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,250 rpm
•Best-in-class 21 mpg highway, unsurpassed 15 mpg city (4x2 configuration)
•Best-in-class 10,000 pounds maximum trailer tow
•New strengthened block and new cylinder head optimized for performance and enhanced cooling
•Unique intake camshafts, combined with Ti-VCT, composite intake manifold and optimized compression ratio for improved low-speed torque and towing capability
•Forged-steel crank and all-new oil cooler enhance durability
•Piston-cooling jets, which squirt oil on the underside of the pistons to keep the piston crowns cool under extreme operating conditions
•E85 flex fuel capability
•Built at Essex Engine Plant; Windsor, Ontario
 
Have done a search on this forum. I know someone on here got a tune and really like the results. Here's a link that might help. https://trackmustangsonline.com/index.php?topic=2317.0
 
Yep Justin is running E85 with an AED tune.
 

pufferfish

Supporting Vendor
1,094
66
Maryland
All modern fuel injected engines have the capability to run E85 through their systems, since they switched from buna-n rubber seals to viton, but the capability to effectively burn it is in the ECU. As stated, you need a special tune to run E85 in the mustang. That tune does not allow switching back to gasoline at will. Vehicles that can run both fuels, have either dual tunes or algorithms that can determine which fuel is being used and adjust the parameters to suit.

There are 3 big differences in the fuel. First, E85 eats rubber, hence the viton seals. Second, it has a lower BTU output, so it requires more fuel to achieve the same combustion energy. Third, E85 has a higher octane level, so the timing needs to be advanced to get it to completely burn in the chamber.

These traits make E85 extremely effective in forced induction engines. Also useful, it E85's ability to dissipate heat. It actually cools the air charge.
 

Sesshomurai

Depending where you live, finding E85 at the pump can be difficult. Sunoco has an "E85 locator" web app you can find on google.
I would consider this down the road for my purposes but there aren't any E85 pumps at the tracks I go to so I'd have to haul the fuel with me. I'd also want some 'long term' use reports showing the boss motor can hold up to E85 over time. I'd say a fuel rail and/or injector upgrade would help the cause too.
 
pufferfish said:
All modern fuel injected engines have the capability to run E85 through their systems, since they switched from buna-n rubber seals to viton, but the capability to effectively burn it is in the ECU. As stated, you need a special tune to run E85 in the mustang. That tune does not allow switching back to gasoline at will. Vehicles that can run both fuels, have either dual tunes or algorithms that can determine which fuel is being used and adjust the parameters to suit.

There are 3 big differences in the fuel. First, E85 eats rubber, hence the viton seals. Second, it has a lower BTU output, so it requires more fuel to achieve the same combustion energy. Third, E85 has a higher octane level, so the timing needs to be advanced to get it to completely burn in the chamber.

These traits make E85 extremely effective in forced induction engines. Also useful, it E85's ability to dissipate heat. It actually cools the air charge.

Thanks for the in depth answer. I guess my question is actually this. Does the Boss computer utilize the algorithms needed to use E85? If not, I wonder if the F150's computer does? I ask because Ford states that the F150 is E85 compliant. I doubt Ford intended their customers to get custom tunes.
 

PeteInCT

#LS-378 - So many Porsche's, so little time....
Moderator
2,848
14
Connecticut
I'm not exactly sure why anyone would want to outside of helping the environment - and that's a question and not a opinion on use/disuse.

Everything I've read shows that E85, at least in flexi-fuel cars/trucks, doesn't get the MPG's that gasoline does. Maybe that's the tune, who knows, but this -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasoline_gallon_equivalent basically shows that E85 does not have as much potential energy per gallon as gasoline, 71.94% to be exact.

Also, I've read that E85 is less expensive - that may be true but not in the Northeast from what I've seen (and that has been minimal because I've rarely see E85 sold). For areas where E85 was less expensive (i.e. I read a comparison test article on Edmunds recently) the difference in MPG's wasnot offset by the price of E85, so cost per mile was still more with E85.

Lastly, if you do get an E85 tune your warranty goes out the window.

So outside of being good to the planet (I'm not knocking that), why would you ?

-Pete

PS: Rick, tell Gary you'd like to buy him a tankful of gas at Chuckwalla and fill with E85. Then send me the video of you lapping him ;D
 

pufferfish

Supporting Vendor
1,094
66
Maryland
The "green" fuel is a misnomer. Producing and distributing Has a huge carbon footprint and the fact that mileage suffers by about 25%, the cost savings are irrelevant. The advantage is domestically produced fuel.
 

Sesshomurai

PeteInCT said:
I'm not exactly sure why anyone would want to outside of helping the environment - and that's a question and not a opinion on use/disuse.

Read Steve's post above. E85 is useful in some racing applications for better cooling, more horsepower and faster burning. This, of course, leads to more consumption and worse MPG, but who cares about that. ;)
 

Justin

Save the dawn for your dishes!!!
I have ran the E85 and it is great. My MPG dropped big time to I would say going from 16 city to 10. The car ran really smooth and it made it pull to 8200 like it was nothing. I switched back to 93 a feww months back as I was going to do a bit of dyno testing and was planning on driving it out of the area. You will find here on the east coast its really hard to find the stuff.

It requires a swap to larger injectors and a tune to run E85. It is cheaper to buy but it still ends up costing more to run than 93 with the MPG difference. But if you compare it to race fuel it is a bargain. As it gets colder out it will be a little harder to start. It would take two turns of the key sometimes to get it to fire. So in the winter I would just run gas tune as you wont be getting traction anyways lol.
 

PeteInCT

#LS-378 - So many Porsche's, so little time....
Moderator
2,848
14
Connecticut
DGRacing said:
Read Steve's post above. E85 is useful in some racing applications for better cooling, more horsepower and faster burning. This, of course, leads to more consumption and worse MPG, but who cares about that. ;)

I agree about better cooling, but I believe we can use methanol injection to accomplish at least some of that (which brings up another point, is Gas + Methanol better than Ethanol + Gas. Methanol had even less potential energy than Ethanol). Faster burning yes, from everything that I've read (see http://www.prosystemsracing.com/amerigo.html, it's pretty informative - assuming these guys are really doing what they've said they have done). However the faster burning means you need to deliver more (see Justin's post above on bigger injectors) and if you believe Pro Systems Racing you need a tune that can adjust timing based on the gear your in (Justin - does our ECU do that or have the capability to do that ?).

As usual, it's just not as simple as we would all wish it was ;D

-Pete
 

Justin

Save the dawn for your dishes!!!
I dont know about the gear question. I got the tune from AED and it works perfectly.

I have a sour taste in my mouth about meth injection. I tried it out on my 96 cobra back when it was all the rage and the new thing to do. long story short it ended up costing me a motor. finding someone that can tune for meth injection is tricky. dont take that just because they are praised tuner in a mustang mag to mean they know how.

For me I would rather run E85 over meth injection. but getting E85 is a lot harder than getting a jug of boost juice from snow.
 
One thing goes wrong with the meth when the car and the tune is relying on it, Youre done. I had meth on my 14:1 CR modern hemi and it failed and it wasnt fun. I switched to E85 and never went back. A perfect example was running 11.60's at the track, ran out of Ethanol and switch back to 112 Octane, Went down 10 12.20's and lost 6mph. first time i ran it i ran it for about 250 miles, pulled the intake manifold for a swap and could see where it had burned the build up out of the head ports. After swapping heads with about 4,000 miles of E85 use there was not one bit of carbon build up on the pistons or Inside of heads. When i am ready to tune my Boss i will be using E85 for sure. I love it.
 

Justin

Save the dawn for your dishes!!!
Bloodykisses said:
One thing goes wrong with the meth when the car and the tune is relying on it, Youre done. I had meth on my 14:1 CR modern hemi and it failed and it wasnt fun. I switched to E85 and never went back. A perfect example was running 11.60's at the track, ran out of Ethanol and switch back to 112 Octane, Went down 10 12.20's and lost 6mph. first time i ran it i ran it for about 250 miles, pulled the intake manifold for a swap and could see where it had burned the build up out of the head ports. After swapping heads with about 4,000 miles of E85 use there was not one bit of carbon build up on the pistons or Inside of heads. When i am ready to tune my Boss i will be using E85 for sure. I love it.
+1 on the meth it cost me a motor in my 96 cobra.
 
Everything said so far is in the right direction. Any engine can be tuned to run on E85 but you also have to look at durability. E85 is a dry fuel very little lubrication so the valve seat to valve interface has to be upgraded to prevent seat recession. Just like when the switch was made from leaded to unleaded fuel. Most E85 applications run a nitrited valve and Ford has a patent on a valve seat design to help with E85 corrosion behind the valve seat. The Boss 302 valve seats do not have this feature. For short term it may run great but who knows how long or short term until the valve seats start to recess into the cyl head, the valve seat faces get to a knife edge and then the hydraulic lash adjusters run out of travel due to the wear then major damage happens. Just want people to be aware of what could happen to their expensive Boss motor if the right precautions aren't taken. Also a comment was made E85 is all USA. It is not some is corn based which is from the USA but some is sugar based comes from South America which I think NASCAR was running. Just my 2 cents.
 
Using a food for fuel is big mistake IMHO ;D E85 has a much higher temp discharge, which can ruin a lot of things in an engine without a proper tune. You need a filter in there to keep it from burning too hot on the inside. I hope that makes sense.
 

zzyzx

Steve
299
0
seca954 said:
I guess my question is actually this. Does the Boss computer utilize the algorithms needed to use E85? If not, I wonder if the F150's computer does? I ask because Ford states that the F150 is E85 compliant. I doubt Ford intended their customers to get custom tunes.

I dunno, let's look at what the fuel filler doors say...

My Boss:

boss-fuel-door.jpg


My F-150:

f150-fuel-door.jpg


To me, that doesn't leave any room for uncertainty about the situation. ;)
 

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