I put E85 in my Ford F150 xlt lariat 302 2wd truck for the first time I think it's ever been used, an now there is a slight shake in the engine when I accelerate also it's difficult to get my truck to start an once started I have to rev the engine to keep it on. When I slow down or shift to reverse or when reach an incline my truck shuts off. If there is anyone out there willing to offer any bit of information or advice I would be much obliged.

2 Answers 2



Your 1988 F150 is TOTALLY NOT set up to run "flex fuel" E85.

Please, don't do that. Just don't.

Basically you are suggesting running your vehicle on 85% moonshine. Truth is, due to some hygroscopic stuff and regulatory nonsense, it might only be 75% alcohol.

ETOH, ethyl alcohol, ethanol, moonshine, flex fuel, corn fuel, boogie juice. Whatever you call it, whether you drink it or race with it, it's a totally different animal than gasoline. (but please don't drink the stuff from Home Depot, that's been "denatured" probably with toluene or methanol and that really tastes extra bad plus death is a really bad weekend.)

Hoses that will last forever on gasoline will dry out and leak on E85. Vehicles that are tolerant of E85 will have badges all over the place telling you so. But the fuel system hoses use different elasotomers that are compatible with alcohol. And the computer that regulates fuel management knows about that, but only a few vehicles after 1996 or so. For an FoMoCo F150, it takes you all the way to 2007 before Ford felt the need.

E85 is awesome. I'm a turbo kind of guy, so E85 is a godsend. It has special properties which cool intake charge, enabling high boost levels, burns clean, and has some truly magic properties at the dragstrip. (On a special vehicle that you have prepared for such a fuel)

BUT... that's not where we be. The number of carbon molecules that must be oxidized with oxygen molecules is different with E85 than pump gasoline. Your 1988 engine isn't smart enough to deal with that.

Besides, I don't know where you live, but E85 has less BTU content (ultimate energy) than gasoline, and is typically quite expensive, gallon vs. gallon compared to gasoline.

Maybe I should ask "why" ... what are you trying to accomplish with E85? I doubt your truck is capable of using it to your advantage. Save the corn for popcorn and Jack Daniels.



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    This is the answer I wanted to write, but was too nice to do so haha. But this is the answer. A 1988 ford 302 will not run well on e85 without some serious work. Jun 1, 2016 at 6:20
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    Oh, but just imagine... if you DID that work... [sigh}
    – SteveRacer
    Jun 1, 2016 at 6:24
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    In my imagination, there's also a 70mm Holsett hanging off the side of that crazy 302 ;) Jun 1, 2016 at 6:25
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    It better be TWO, otherwise your lag is too long or you're lacking some crazy!
    – SteveRacer
    Jun 1, 2016 at 6:33
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    I like the cut of your jib! Jun 1, 2016 at 6:34

The first thing to check is the fuel filter. The ethanol can dislodge dirt etc in the tank that's been sitting there, and will go into the filter. I've often found that when running e85 the first few weeks/months you need to change the filter a couple of times.

But beyond that, is the engine tuned to run e85? It has very different combustion properties to regular unleaded.

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