E85 Hoonies and the Blowfish

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta

I recently ran into Moose, the famous employee of fabricating-badass Troy Trepanier and his " Rides" show on TLC. After tossing me in their award winning, Ethanol burning, Blowfish Salt Flat race car, Moose clued me into a new toy in Troy's shop: an EPA-blessed, plug n' play E85 conversion kit from Flex Fuel US. The bad news? Its only kosher for Crown Vic enthusiasts (for now). The good news: Troy's shop frequently cranks-up engine timing for extra power (20+ horsies) and marginal fuel economy losses (one to two mpg less) with the corn-fed fuel's 100+ octane rating. Sounds great, provided the government subsidies never run dry.

Sajeev Mehta
Sajeev Mehta

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  • KixStart KixStart on Dec 17, 2007

    CGraham, Ahhh... OK, in that context, 1 or 2 mpg less makes sense. Thanks.

  • Sajeev Mehta Sajeev Mehta on Dec 17, 2007

    cgraham: no, I mean 1-2mpg less than gasoline. From what I've seen (and what Moose said) the deficit for running on E85 on a OEM-equipped tune is significantly worse than 1-2mpg. (its more like 5-7 mpg) Put another way, crank up the engine timing to maximize the burn rate of 100+ octane fuel and the margin between E85 and gasoline becomes a lot more acceptable. And yes, taking advantage of high octane equates to more power. Remember that most every OEM tune on an engine computer is on the conservative side: and this is bad news when you start running E85 instead of gas. Just the Laws of Thermodynamics at work here.

  • Nick Nick on Dec 17, 2007

    I will still never understand how they got 1,200hp, albeit briefly, out of the 175cid four banger in that Blowfish.

  • Sajeev Mehta Sajeev Mehta on Dec 17, 2007

    Its pretty simple: turbo boost and programmable EFI are amazing. Just ask the Supra guys running 1000hp with a turbo swap and a little head/exhaust work. Make a Supra as unstreetable as the Blowfish and you'll see way more than 1,200hp. At this point, its just a matter of how quickly you want to die. And yes, the craftsmanship and attention to detail in the Blowfish is unbelievable. That thing could easily sit in a museum for decades, never bother with the 255 mph record, and still make my mouth water. No stone was left unturned on that car.