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Old 11 December 2008, 08:09   #1
Country: Sweden
Town: Gothenburg
Make: Nimbus 26 Nova
Length: 8m +
Engine: Volvo Penta D4-260
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 11
Outboard on Ethanol E85/E100

How difficult could this conversion be? Larger injectors, new software for the ECU and possibly a new set of fuel hoses, but other than that and the possibly difficult situation in finding a refueling station, what's to stop one from running your modern, ie Suz DF300/250 engine on it? Should produce a slight rise in power aswell. Any thought are welcome.

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Old 11 December 2008, 09:22   #2
Country: UK - England
Town: Hamble
Length: 9m +
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Can't see a problem, let us know how you get on.

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt!
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Old 11 December 2008, 09:45   #3
Country: Canada
Town: Rigaud, Que.
Boat name: Rigaud Explorer
Make: 6m Bombard
Length: 6m +
Engine: Yam115
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 90
If in your manual it doesn't mention the use of Ethanol to be acceptable for this engine than It's not recommended. Ethanol has major negetive effects on many non-ferrous parts and even many types of plastics. It may take a while for you to have problems but the cost to repair is enourmous. I write this from experience.
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Old 11 December 2008, 10:32   #4
Country: USA
Town: Oakland CA
Length: 3m +
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Posts: 6,618
I'd be suspect of soft (and softish) parts as well.

As far as injection goes, I don't think any mods are necessary.

Ethanol has less energy per quantity than gasoline, so I think you should expect a slight decrease in performance (nothing drastic, though.)

Talk to the folks in Brazil (I seem to recall there was at least one on here somewhere), as they routinely run E85.

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Old 11 December 2008, 14:05   #5
Country: Canada
Town: Rigaud, Que.
Boat name: Rigaud Explorer
Make: 6m Bombard
Length: 6m +
Engine: Yam115
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 90
Theirs a decrease in H.P. and consumption goes up but a small percentage. The benefits are very small when all is said and done and by benefits I don't mean performance wise.
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Old 12 December 2008, 03:25   #6
Country: UK - Scotland
Boat name: Wildheart
Make: Humber/Delta Seasafe
Length: 5m +
Engine: Merc 60 Clamshell
MMSI: 235068449
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,538

Assuming you want to keep approx. the same power, you will need bigger flow injectors or a far higher pressure fuel pump. I know of one 1.0l engine for South American markets that uses the same injectors as it's EU (pertol) 1.6l counterpart, if that gives you an idea of the volume flow change required. ECU may or may not need tweaked if you resize the injectors, but it's highly likely you'll need to update it - spark timing will need changed too....

So, even assuming you get it running, you then have the problem that you'd need to check all the rubber & plastic parts to make sure they don't absorb too much ethanol & expand to the point of letting go any fir tree connectors or decompress any O- rings and and also make sure there are no earth loops or dissimilar metals in the system - the alcohol is far more conductive, and so you get sacrificial corrosion in places you wouldn't get it with neat petrol. and because it corrodes from the inside out, the first you know of it is when the component fails! On he plus side, my 198? Merc has fuel hose branded "alcohol resistant" 'tween connetor, pump & carbs, and I think my tempo hose formn the tank is also branded same, so you might be lucky.

I do have to ask, do you have a large supply of very cheap / free gasohol? Otherwise it sounds like a lot of hassle, unless of coure you just like the challenge?
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Old 13 December 2008, 15:01   #7
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Country: Other
Town: Lima-Peru
Boat name: Nautile
Make: Sea Rider Boats
Length: 4m +
Engine: Tohatsu 18 /30 HP
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,706
Gasohol Dangers

Using gasoline that contains alcohol can have adverse effects on outboard engines, if only gasoline containing alcohol is available, must not contain more than 10% ethanol or 5% methanol.

You should inscrease your fuel system periodicaly check to look for fuel leaks or strange abnormalities, the use of this gasoline may cause the following problems to your motor & fuel system :

* Wear, damage, corrosion of internal parts
* Deterioration of elastomers and plastic parts
* Starting and operating engine difficulties
* Vapor lock, fuel starvation

Some of these adverse effects are due to the tendency of gasoline containing alcohol to absorve moisture from the air, resulting in a phase of water and alcohol which separates from the gasoline in the fuel tank. An addition of a high quality water separating fuel filter is highly recommended.

Had the opportunity to be in touch with 2 Brazilian rescuers who came down here to dictate a beach life saving course to surfer's sib towers. Had lots of technical problems associated with bad performance with their engines, so it's confirmed is not very adecuate to use on outboards. As don't know Ethanol 85/100 can't make any comments about them, we only use high quality standard gasolines.

Happy Boating

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