Flex Fuel Woes

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earlrengland

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I recommend testing your fuel with a test kit if you’re running the dedicated E85 tune, otherwise, I’m not sure it’s safe to be going WOT on the dedicated tune with more aggressive timing If your ethanol content is too low. Maybe run that tank out on the dedicated tune without going WOT and then switch back to the flex tune. My car lives on the flex tune because it’s Always hit or miss finding E85 with 80% or higher ethanol at the pump.
I think there's something wrong with the FF tune I got. My car has never acted up like it did on that tune, and quite frankly, I'm concerned going back to it. If it acted the way it did with just a little 93 in the tank, what's the use in using it at all? Just my thoughts about that, but yes, I will be getting a tester very soon. The only downside, is that in my area E85 is only sold by a couple of stations, so after the dedicated E85 is dialed in by PBD, I'll probably go back to the 93 tune anyway. If the FF tune, didn't act like it did, I would've stayed on it.

 

guzie

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I recommend testing your fuel with a test kit if you’re running the dedicated E85 tune, otherwise, I’m not sure it’s safe to be going WOT on the dedicated tune with more aggressive timing If your ethanol content is too low. Maybe run that tank out on the dedicated tune without going WOT and then switch back to the flex tune. My car lives on the flex tune because it’s Always hit or miss finding E85 with 80% or higher ethanol at the pump.
I get pretty consistent E85 in Michigan. Its been pretty much in the low 80s. I hated test tube checks so I added a ethanol sensor with gauge setup to monitor real time. As long as he is getting at least high 70s he should be good on the straight tune.
 

guzie

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I think there's something wrong with the FF tune I got. My car has never acted up like it did on that tune, and quite frankly, I'm concerned going back to it. If it acted the way it did with just a little 93 in the tank, what's the use in using it at all? Just my thoughts about that, but yes, I will be getting a tester very soon. The only downside, is that in my area E85 is only sold by a couple of stations, so after the dedicated E85 is dialed in by PBD, I'll probably go back to the 93 tune anyway. If the FF tune, didn't act like it did, I would've stayed on it.
there is a learning process you need to do with the flex tune loaded before you drive it and open it up. You load the tune and then need to let it idle for say 5 minutes as the ECU adjusts. You then give it a bit of throttle to raise the rpm a bit and continue the learning. Do not go WOT before doing the learning.

Below is the procedure from Lund. It would be the same with others.


With the Flex Fuel tune loaded, the easiest way to switch fuels is to get the tank down to close to 0 miles to Empty, then fill up with the other fuel. It'll take a good 10 mins of idle and neutral rev holds for the fuel to start mixing and for the ethanol % to start learning properly. Do not drive it immediately. It may learn incorrectly since the other fuel may remain in the lines and it may lock too soon to the wrong ethanol %. On the nGauge you can monitor ALCH_PCT in the Gauges menu to see when the % is moving up. Once it's moving up around 30-40% you can probably drive on it to get it to learn further and lock in. You can monitor when it locks in via the ALCH_LEARN flag when it goes from 0 to 1. On SCT you can't monitor the learn flag but you can monitor the ethanol percentage PID. REMEMBER, the Flex tune is a TRANSITION tune. It may not learn accurately every time. And it's supposed to be used for convenience when switching between 93 and E85 and having the fuels blended. If you're having issues with the Flex tune learning we just recommend using your non-flex pump gas tune we first sent or use the E85 only tune explained below.
 

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@guzie, which ethanol sensor and gauge kit did you install on your car? Got any pics of it that you can post here? Thanks
 
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earlrengland

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there is a learning process you need to do with the flex tune loaded before you drive it and open it up. You load the tune and then need to let it idle for say 5 minutes as the ECU adjusts. You then give it a bit of throttle to raise the rpm a bit and continue the learning. Do not go WOT before doing the learning.

Below is the procedure from Lund. It would be the same with others.


With the Flex Fuel tune loaded, the easiest way to switch fuels is to get the tank down to close to 0 miles to Empty, then fill up with the other fuel. It'll take a good 10 mins of idle and neutral rev holds for the fuel to start mixing and for the ethanol % to start learning properly. Do not drive it immediately. It may learn incorrectly since the other fuel may remain in the lines and it may lock too soon to the wrong ethanol %. On the nGauge you can monitor ALCH_PCT in the Gauges menu to see when the % is moving up. Once it's moving up around 30-40% you can probably drive on it to get it to learn further and lock in. You can monitor when it locks in via the ALCH_LEARN flag when it goes from 0 to 1. On SCT you can't monitor the learn flag but you can monitor the ethanol percentage PID. REMEMBER, the Flex tune is a TRANSITION tune. It may not learn accurately every time. And it's supposed to be used for convenience when switching between 93 and E85 and having the fuels blended. If you're having issues with the Flex tune learning we just recommend using your non-flex pump gas tune we first sent or use the E85 only tune explained below.
So, if I read this correctly, is it saying that on the FF tune, you have to run the car down to almost 0 miles and then fill up with either E85 or 93 and let it relearn each time? Sounds easier to just switch between the E85 and 93 tunes instead of messing around with the FF tune.
 


guzie

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So, if I read this correctly, is it saying that on the FF tune, you have to run the car down to almost 0 miles and then fill up with either E85 or 93 and let it relearn each time? Sounds easier to just switch between the E85 and 93 tunes instead of messing around with the FF tune.
You don’t have to run it down to zero exactly. You run it down as much as you can. The idea is getting it as clear as close a tank of E85 as you can so the ecu can get a better reading. Once it’s learned it you should be able to handle a mix better. I only use it when I’m transitioning from one fuel to the other like when I’m coming out of or going into storage. Or if I want to run the 93 tune do to being somewhere for awhile where E85 is not available.
 

guzie

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@guzie, which ethanol sensor and gauge kit did you install on your car? Got any pics of it that you can post here? Thanks
I did with my first GT350 when I did the investigation on how to set it all up. I had a earlier post on the board about it. On my current one I repeated the setup except for the ethanol sensor and gauge used. This time I went zeitronix kit. I got their controller and sensor which I wired the analog signal into my ngauge for the display. Since the ngauge crapped out on my during winter storage I bought a gauge from zeitronix and vent mounted that. Now I’m switching over to a SCT tuner for tune loading so I need to do the whole tune loading and data logging with 93 and then switch to E85. Here are some pics of my current setup. You need to make a custom fuel line setup to tie the sensor inline. You disconnect to line where it connects to the fuel rail hard line and sandwich the sensor in there, In my first go around i had used some clamp on fuel connect adapters and flexible fuel line from the local parts store to connect to the factory locking fitting. The fuel line with barbed fittings and hose clamps started leaking. I went to Fragola and got their stuff instead to make my own custom lines with their adapters and elbows. Much better and no leaks.
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I recently had PBD tune my car. I opted for the E85 tune as well, and as a bonus, was given a Flex Fuel tune, as they saw it as a 'novelty' tune. The 93 tune went very well, and since today, 04/29 has been one of the first days without rain, I got the car out. Seeing as the car sat for the Winter with a full tank of 93, I drove the tank down to about a quarter and then filled up with E85 and flashed the car with the FF tune. Not sure what it did, but I can barely drive the car now. It seemed fine for about the first 15 miles. Seemed smooth, but as soon as I hit the gas, the car bucked, and got a message on the dash that active exhaust was not available. I let off the pedal, and the car smoothed back out. I informed PDB about this, and they told me to do a KAM reset on the car, which I did. After the KAM reset, I took the car back out, and it was even worse! It dies at idle now, and along with bucking, it's now backfiring as well. I don't want to ruin the engine, but don't know what else to do. Has anyone else experienced this type of thing when going to Flex Fuel?
The FF tune learns the Ethanol once the car notices the tank being filled with ~4 Gallons of fuel. If you filled the car up, then did the FF tune, the tune never got the signal to "Relearn" the Ethanol. Now, IDK exactly how the GT350 works vs a new GT. However, I imagine it is the same thing. So, I recommend throwing the dedicated E85R tune. That should set your Air/fuel to 9.8 (Stoic for E85). Drive very liberally and don't exceed 3500 RPM. That will allow you to drive enough to burn 4 gallons of fuel. Then, write the FF tune to the car BEFORE you fill up. That should "Trigger" the relearn process. Look at your A/F Ratio, if it is ~14.6 with the FF tune, it does not know there is E85 in the car.
 

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Ahhhhh, kept stock lines and did a loop back.


I ran a full gauge before, and for how much you actually need that info, not worth the trouble for me lmfao!

Going to go bluetooth this time around.
 

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@guzie, nice work! When you routed a cable to your nGauge did it just plug into the unused cable port on the back of the nGauge?
 

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Ahhhhh, kept stock lines and did a loop back.


I ran a full gauge before, and for how much you actually need that info, not worth the trouble for me lmfao!

Going to go bluetooth this time around.
Which Bluetooth kit are you going with deuce?
 
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The FF tune learns the Ethanol once the car notices the tank being filled with ~4 Gallons of fuel. If you filled the car up, then did the FF tune, the tune never got the signal to "Relearn" the Ethanol. Now, IDK exactly how the GT350 works vs a new GT. However, I imagine it is the same thing. So, I recommend throwing the dedicated E85R tune. That should set your Air/fuel to 9.8 (Stoic for E85). Drive very liberally and don't exceed 3500 RPM. That will allow you to drive enough to burn 4 gallons of fuel. Then, write the FF tune to the car BEFORE you fill up. That should "Trigger" the relearn process. Look at your A/F Ratio, if it is ~14.6 with the FF tune, it does not know there is E85 in the car.
The car runs with an AFR of around 9.6 to 9.8 after I did the E85 tune. When it was on the FF tune, AFR was all over the place, and the car acted like a bucking bronco. When I flashed the car the first time with FF, I had just started filling the tank up, so maybe it was simply a timing thing. I always thought with FF, you could run any mixture of 93 and E85, and the car would compensate, but maybe that's only for cars with the sensor?
 
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The car runs with an AFR of around 9.6 to 9.8 after I did the E85 tune. When it was on the FF tune, AFR was all over the place, and the car acted like a bucking bronco. When I flashed the car the first time with FF, I had just started filling the tank up, so maybe it was simply a timing thing. I always thought with FF, you could run any mixture of 93 and E85, and the car would compensate, but maybe that's only for cars with the sensor?
like I said, the FF tune needs to be flashed BEFORE filling. It uses the O2 sensors and MAF (I believe) to (rough guesstimate) the E%. Both of our mustangs do not have a dedicated FF sensor. Sounds like it just didn’t get the signal to calculate. That’s why your dedicated tune dropped the A/F to the correct stoic level. (Assuming the E85 you put in is above 75% ethanol).
Make sure to check that stations ethanol content before doing any WOT or otherwise.
Drop the FF tune before you fill up next time. That should fix your problem.
 
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The car runs with an AFR of around 9.6 to 9.8 after I did the E85 tune. When it was on the FF tune, AFR was all over the place, and the car acted like a bucking bronco. When I flashed the car the first time with FF, I had just started filling the tank up, so maybe it was simply a timing thing. I always thought with FF, you could run any mixture of 93 and E85, and the car would compensate, but maybe that's only for cars with the sensor?
But, yes. The only tune that even gives a crap about Ethanol % is the FF tune. The 93 and the dedicated E85r tunes doesn’t calculate that.
 

 
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