E85 For Everyone! Maybe.

Glenn Swanson
by Glenn Swanson

Want to join the E85 generation but can’t stand/afford the flex-fuel vehicles on offer? CarJunky.com reports that XcelPlus International will sell you a small black box that converts any car or truck to run on ethanol. Designed by AGE Technologies in Brazil, the FlexTek system includes a controller unit and chemicals which “permanently plate internal engine parts to protect them from wear and oxidation.” To assuage the skeptical, FlexTek offers a free warranty covering the box (of course) and (more importantly) the vehicle's engine. While the article proclaims ethanol as a widely available fuel, it isn’t. According to the U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center, there isn’t an E85 pump within 75 miles of Saluda, Virginia, where XcelPlus is based.

Glenn Swanson
Glenn Swanson

Glenn is a baby-boomer, born in 1954. Along with his wife, he makes his home in Connecticut. Employed in the public sector as an Information Tedchnology Specialist, Glenn has long been a car fan. Past rides have included heavy iron such as a 1967 GTO, to a V8 T-Bird. In between those high-horsepower cars, he's owned a pair of BMW 320i's. Now, with a daily commute of 40 miles, his concession to MPG dictates the ownership of a 2006 Honda Civic coupe which, while fun to drive, is a modest car for a pistonhead. As an avid reader, Glenn enjoys TTAC, along with many other auto-realated sites, and the occasional good book. As an avid electronic junkie, Glenn holds an Advanced Class amateur ("ham") radio license, and is into many things electronic. From a satellite radio and portable GPS unit in the cars, to a modest home theater system and radio-intercom in his home, if it's run by the movement of electrons, he's interested. :-)

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4 of 8 comments
  • Martin Albright Martin Albright on Jul 20, 2007

    Can't you do the same thing with a handful of magic beans?

  • Puppman Puppman on Jul 21, 2007

    The fact is that these converters do work. They are talked about all over the web in detail. E85, contrary to what the media and the Oil supporters want you to believe, has way more positives than negatives. These Kits do in fact work and are not some magic bean gimmic.

    As far as Xcelplus' lubricants, they do work exactly as stated. Before they brought on the Flextek they were suppliers of Bishop's original formula. I as well as many others have used these products in their vehicles and it does make a noticeable difference. As far as the Flextek and the other e85 conversion kits out there, they have been tested many, many times and the Emissions where reduced in a shocking fashion.

    In the next 3 years I see these as mainstream as many will not want to buy a new FFV just for the ability to burn Ethanol.

  • Dean Dean on Jul 22, 2007

    Puppman sounds like he's shilling. I have no doubt the converter will work. I'm no expert but I'm sure that all it does is modify ignition timing and fuel ratios. Much the same as the devices you can buy to modify fuel injection maps for motorcycles or cars with modified intakes/exhausts. What leaves me skeptical is any claim of coating or plating engine components. Sounds like Slick 50 B.S. to me. And I'm not sure what benefits E85 offers over gas, unless you are a fan of starving Mexicans. Or maybe you are a corn farmer, making far more money than you would if the government wasn't subsidizing a fantasy.

  • Puppman Puppman on Jul 24, 2007
    What leaves me skeptical is any claim of coating or plating engine components. Sounds like Slick 50 B.S. to me. That's the funny thing. Many years ago when slick50 came out it was exactly the formula that Xcelplus has today. After awhile the inventor of this formula pulled it from slick50 as they where adding Tefelon to it. Slick 50 when on to sell a different formula and keep the same claims as the original and that is why Slick 50 got sued and lost. This formula "Lubrilon" is the original Slick 50 and can make these claims as they have many tests proving these facts. Check out the website as it will give you all the tests from Nasa, army, US DOE, etc. This is fact as of now. Currently Ethanol from corn has approx 1.25 to 1 Energy input to output. Not that great but way better than what previous numbers were from years ago. Using sugar cane gives the ratio of approx 6 to 1, way better than gasoline. There are ways of making Ethanol from Switchgrass, garbage, etc. The problem is the chicken or the egg. Investments in cellulose ethanol is slow as everyone is waiting if E85 will take off. Most major gas stations will not carry it as they are owned by big Oil companies like Shell, BP, Citgo. It would only hurt their profits to carry E85 and there isn't enough Ma and Pa chains that will make the switch to E85 because of cost. We are in the Age of Oil and just like the Ice age when the Oil starts running out, we are SOL. For once we should be looking for a solution to an inevitable problem before it happens rather then WHEN it happens