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Rebuilding an engine for ethanol

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:13 am
by Ethanol
I bought an Essex engine off eBay, it was an ex-MoD radar station emergency generator, I'd read that as ethanol was only 3/4 the energy density of petrol you had to compress it more to get the same power out of it. I thought that as mileage and power weren't the same things you'd probably get good mileage when you compressed ethanol enough to get comparable power. The Essex was designed to be dual fuel with different pistons, heads and fuel system. So I had the piston replaced by one listed for a Ford 200 along with six of the eight con-rods listed for a 351 Windsor the Gudgeon(wrist)pins sharing a size. I did have to have the Essex Crankshaft ground down to 3'10 so the big end would fit. Ethanol engines are a pig to start from cold so although the engine would run in a heated workshop or lab on carburettor starting on a frosty morning outside isn't going to happen.
To make ethanol work pretty much anywhere in Europe or North America a multipoint injection system needs to be fitted.

Rebuilding an engine for ethanol

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:41 am
by willholderogri
My engine in my se5a was also a generator engine running on LPG I only changed a few bits after contacting the company that made the generator set they assured me the only modification they make if hardened valve seats .it runs well and was like a new engine inside

Rebuilding an engine for ethanol

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:32 am
by scimjim
were the inlet manifold and pistons okay? I thought the generator engines were generally low compression with the single choke carb?

Rebuilding an engine for ethanol

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:23 am
by Ethanol
scimjim wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:32 am
were the inlet manifold and pistons okay? I thought the generator engines were generally low compression with the single choke carb?
That may have been the case it did have a single choke carb but my rebore and fitting of the +90 thou Ford 200 CID pistons and the longer con-rods changed the CR to 16.51: 1. The inlet manifold was designed for a single choke carb but I got a Weber-pattern manifold and carb off eBay.

Rebuilding an engine for ethanol

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:07 am
by roymck
Tell us more about the Ford 200CID pistons?

Rebuilding an engine for ethanol

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:09 pm
by willholderogri
scimjim wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:32 am
were the inlet manifold and pistons okay? I thought the generator engines were generally low compression with the single choke carb?
yes compression seems high enough to be about 9 to 1 and the engine came with a gas carburettor which I did not use

Rebuilding an engine for ethanol

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:39 pm
by philhoward
roymck wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:07 am
Tell us more about the Ford 200CID pistons?
I did find some +080 ones: https://www.summitracing.com/int/parts/ ... /make/ford
Bore (in): 3.762 in.
Bore (mm): 95.555mm
Piston Style: Dish, with two valve reliefs
Piston Material: Cast aluminum
Compression Height (in): 1.500 in.
Wrist Pin Style: Press-fit
Pin Lock Rings Included: No
Wrist Pin Included: Yes
Pin Diameter (in): 0.912 in.
Piston Ring Thickness: 5/64 in. x 5/64 in. x 3/16 in.
Piston Rings Included: No
Quantity: Sold as a set of 6.

Rebuilding an engine for ethanol

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:38 pm
by scimjim
+60 with standard pistons is 95.25 so that's a big overbore - has this engine run ethanol? if you haven't measured the cam, how do you know the valves aren't going to hit the pistons when it's up to temp?

Rebuilding an engine for ethanol

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:42 pm
by Coupe Racing
Bet the cylinder walls are thin

Rebuilding an engine for ethanol

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:06 pm
by scimjim
the GAA was 100mm bore so the block must be able to take it? I suspect with standard pistons only going up to +60, no-ones tried too hard to fit something else?

Rebuilding an engine for ethanol

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:55 pm
by Coupe Racing
I imagine the GAA was sleeved to be honest as a lot of engine shops are reluctant to bore above 60thou in my experience
Could be wrong though

Rebuilding an engine for ethanol

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:17 pm
by philhoward
Selected blocks? Most likely I would have thought.

Rebuilding an engine for ethanol

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:44 pm
by efi_sprintgte
philhoward wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:17 pm
Selected blocks? Most likely I would have thought.
That’s what I was always told, using Fords grading system.

However I have heard more then once that the blocks were perpose made.

Rebuilding an engine for ethanol

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:13 pm
by scimjim
I thought they were specifically selected - not sure if they were sleeved or not but we’re talking 4+ mm bigger here, so I don’t think the standard block will have any problems at 96 ish mm?

Rebuilding an engine for ethanol

Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:06 pm
by Ethanol
roymck wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:07 am
Tell us more about the Ford 200CID pistons?
They where the biggest oversize Eege in California did, they could have been +80 thou +30 would have done. I've got sets of Essex pistons both +20 and +30 thou, I had thoughts of building an engine for E85.