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Discussion Starter #1
Well... been looking at some of my options for an alternative fuel vehicle. The bio-diesels caught my attention long ago, but I do not have much experience with diesels having only rebuilt one single diesel from a 80's F250 in the past. I've never owned a diesel engine. Worked on them, yes.

Another possibility my friend(who took a alt. fuel class) suggested is "flex-fuel." They are basically gasoline engines converted to run E85 or mixture of distilled alcohol with or with out gasoline mixed in. Only thing is though, E85 costs more than regular pump gas right now. To brew your own fuel, you must learn to make high potency moonshine, then learn to distill it to at least 180 proof. yet another issue is that once you tune your fuel and ignition to run alcohol, it will run like crap on pump gas. Unless you have a fuel/ignition control that can either sense what fuel you are using (from O2 readings etc.) or a "switch" of some sort with settings for the different fuels. Sounds a bit more complicated than bio-diesel.


Flex-Fuel wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flexible-fuel_vehicle


Bio-Diesel wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bio-diesel


What do you guys think? Maybe even a flex-fueled SV650.
 

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From what I've herd Flex fuel is a waste. Around here E85 is cheaper than pump gas, but you get less MPG with E85 and it takes more energy to make E85 so it's not really any better for the enviroment. There are a lot of ethonol plants around here that are going bankrupt and shutting down that were just built a couple of years ago.
 

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I know this will be of no help, but we recently purchased an '07 Impala program car for my wife to drive.

I was busy at work one day, and my mobile phone started ringing. Wife was at the gas station and was upset because there was no pump labeled "Flex Fuel".

She absolutely refuses to read any manual that comes with any product we buy. She was basing her fuel selection purely upon the "flex fuel" emblem GM stuck on the car....

;D
 

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frankly both kinda suck (waiting for donniej to say i'm wrong ;)) ethanol is crap and doesn't give the energy output that is needed, sugar cane fuel is the most potent, but a little down is hemp (insert joke about drivers getting the munchies :p)

biodiesel has more potential but the technology is a buncha years away, not to mention the volitity of the diesel prices, you can get fry oil, but F that, i don't have the time or desire for that

buy the best most fuel efficent (gas) car in your range, it's the best solution at this time, or, just buy a big fackin diesel ;)
 

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Good luck finding either e85 or Biodiesel at a pump.

Alcohol is corrosive to rubber and plastic, it's also less viscous than gasoline and contains much less energy. Flex fuel vehicle's fuel system has all chemical resistant seals. More importantly they also have a fuel density meter which allows the ECU to compensate for alcohol, gasoline or any mixture of the two.
Ethanol is less expensive but gets terrible mileage.

Regarding DIY home ethanol brewing; getting ethanol over 90% purity is tough because as you increase its purity, its boiling point gets very close to that of water (which is what you're trying to separate it from).

BioDiesel has roughly the same energy density as Diesel fuel so the mileage is similar. BioDiesel is also partly made from alcohol (methanol) so it can also eat rubber but this only effects some pre-1994 vehicles. No compensation needs to be done to switch between Diesel fuel and BioDiesel. If you're buying a newer vehicle then you have to see if it can use BioDiesel... it's beyond the scope of this post but some 2007+ Diesels use emission systems that don't play well with BioDiesel.

And brewing your own BioDiesel out of veggie oil is much easier than distilling ethanol.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just for the fact that it is much easier to make bio-diesel makes it the obvious choice. Just trying to see if there are any options without having to replace my vehicle.

Pre-obd2 diesel in a 6 cylinder or small "light" v8 with SUV-like cargo and towing capacity. Ideally +30 mpg, but more realistic numer is probably somewhere around 20 mpg. I don't think such a vehicle exists.

Maybe a 90's Mercedes E-class is a good compromise. Should be able to tow quite a bit of weight with the rear suspension set up for it.


E300


25mpg according to this site: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/noframes/25780.shtml
 
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