Many sportsman racers are discovering the advantages of using E85 Ethanol fuel over standard gasoline and race gas. Aside from the fact that E85 fuel has a higher octane rating than pump-gas, 105 in most formulas, it’s about 20-40 cents less than 91 octane unleaded fuel, and considerably less expensive than 100 octane or 114 octane racing fuels. Depending on its availability, the additional benefits of a cleaner combustion and additional power created from the fuel’s improved oxygenation properties, are making E85 the popular fuel of choice for use in full-race and dual purpose street-strip cars.
In the past, converting an entire fuel system to E85 was a bit more difficult. Carburetors had to be extensively modified to provide the unique air/fuel ratios and tuning capabilities necessary for proper combustion, as well as deal with the corrosive properties of ethanol. But now that some carburetor manufacturers like Holley Performance have designed E85 specific carburetors, many of the hassles with converting have been eliminated. “We took Holley’s E85 carb out of the box and dynoed tested it. The calibration was spot on,” says Jack Cornett of Cornett Racing Engines in Somerset, Kentucky. “Stock car driver Craig Reece took it to the track and both he and the carb ran like a champ. We still didn’t have to touch it and he has won several times since!”
Holley’s new E85 4150 Ultra HP carburetor features unique components and calibrations specifically made for ethanol fuels. Built with the racer in mind, it allows easy and full adjust-ability to properly tune the carburetor to the specific mixture of gasoline-to-ethanol that can vary, depending on where it’s refined and purchased. Because the new Holley E85 carburetors are available in a variety of configurations from 600 to 950 cfm, they’re applicable for a wide variety of racing venues and can be used on anything from a street-strip car to a full race vehicle. The carburetors come in a Hard Core Gray, hard -anodized finish that provides extra protection against the corrosive properties of ethanol. They also feature billet aluminum metering blocks that have improved gasket sealing and are fully adjustable. The Holley E85 4150 Ultra HP’s fuel bowls are also completely redesigned and have 20 percent more capacity, as well as internal baffling to help control fuel slosh and minimize float level fluctuations during hard launching and cornering.
Aside from the new E85 calibrated carburetors, Holley also offers E85 compatible fuel pumps, fuel pressure regulators, and fuel filters that are necessary to complete any conversion. For racing applications where precise tuning is mandatory for optimum power, Holley also recommends checking the exact percentage of gasoline to ethanol with the Holley E85 Checker. The E85 Checker can quickly determine the exact mixture of ethanol in the fuel, allowing you to properly calibrate the carburetor for optimum power.
While the use of E85 still depends on its overall availability, those that have easy access to it and have the ease of using an E85 performance carburetor, definitely have an advantage over the competition. For more information on E85 carburetors and components, visit www.holley.com.