How to Calculate the Correct Injector Size for an E85 Conversion in a Nissan 370Z?

Whether you’re an automotive enthusiast tinkering in your garage or a professional mechanic working in a shop, you’ve probably heard about the benefits of converting vehicles to run on E85 ethanol fuel. E85, a mixture of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, is known for its high-octane rating and the boost it provides to engine power. However, transitioning your Nissan 370Z to run on this alternative fuel is not as simple as filling your tank with E85. The conversion process requires a certain level of understanding of your engine’s fuel system, particularly when it comes to the injectors. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of calculating the correct injector size for an E85 conversion in a Nissan 370Z.

Understanding the Importance of Fuel Injectors

Before we dive into calculations and conversions, let’s spend some time understanding the crucial role the injectors play in your car’s engine. Fuel injectors are essentially small nozzles. They are responsible for spraying a fine mist of fuel into the engine’s cylinders for combustion. The exact fuel amount and the precise timing of its delivery are absolutely crucial for the engine’s performance and efficiency.

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If you’re thinking about converting your Nissan 370Z to run on E85, you’ll need to consider how this change will affect your fuel injectors. E85 fuel requires a larger volume per combustion cycle compared to traditional gasoline, meaning your vehicle’s existing injectors may not be capable of delivering the necessary fuel volume. Therefore, correctly calculating the right size for E85 injectors becomes imperative.

Calculating Injector Size for E85 Conversion

Let’s now get down to the business of calculating the correct injector size for an E85 conversion. There’s a bit of math involved here, but don’t worry, we’ll guide you through it step by step.

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Firstly, remember that E85 fuel requires about 30% more volume compared to gasoline to produce the same energy. So, if your engine currently requires 300cc of gasoline for a particular power output, it will need around 390cc of E85 to generate the same power.

To calculate the size of the injector that you need, you’ll need to know your engine’s horsepower (HP). Suppose your Nissan 370Z has a HP of 350. Multiply the horsepower by the amount of fuel a horsepower needs in an hour, which is typically 0.5 lbs. So, 350 HP will need 175 lbs of fuel per hour.

Now, divide this total by the number of injectors your engine has. In the case of the Nissan 370Z, this number is 6. So, 175 / 6 = about 29 lbs per hour per injector.

This figure is for gasoline. Since you’re converting to E85, you’ll need to account for the 30% more volume required. So, 29 lbs + 30% = about 38 lbs per hour per injector.

So, for your Nissan 370Z running on E85, you’ll need injectors rated at around 38 lbs per hour.

The impact of E85 Conversion on the ECU

Your Engine Control Unit (ECU) is the brain of your vehicle. It monitors and adjusts various aspects of your engine’s performance, including fuel injection, spark timing, and boost pressure. Changing the fuel type from gasoline to E85 can significantly impact the ECU’s operation.

Once you’ve installed the correctly sized injectors for E85, you’ll need to recalibrate or ‘tune’ your ECU to work with the new fuel type and injector size. This process, often called a ‘tune’, ensures that your engine will run efficiently and safely on E85.

The Importance of Regularly Monitoring Your Engine’s Performance

After the conversion is complete and you’ve had your ECU tuned, it’s essential to keep a regular eye on your engine’s performance. This is to ensure that the ECU is correctly controlling the new injectors and that your engine is performing optimally with E85 fuel.

Watch out for signs of poor performance such as hard starts, hesitation, or a decrease in fuel economy. These could be indications that there is a problem with the fuel injectors or that the ECU tune needs adjustment.

In conclusion, correctly calculating the injector size for an E85 conversion is a vital step in the process. It ensures that your Nissan 370Z’s engine will receive the correct amount of fuel for optimal performance. However, the injection size is only one aspect of the conversion process. Proper tuning of your ECU and regular monitoring of your engine’s performance post-conversion are also crucial to ensure the successful use of E85 fuel.

Ensuring Proper Conversion with Additional Components

Embarking on the journey to convert your Nissan 370Z to run on E85 fuel can be a rewarding, yet complex process. Alongside the crucial aspect of calculating the correct injector size, other components like the flex fuel sensor, launch control, and traction control systems need to be factored in to ensure a successful conversion.

A flex fuel sensor is pivotal for the conversion as it outputs a signal proportional to the ethanol content, which helps in adjusting the fuel delivery and ignition timing. The launch control and traction control systems, on the other hand, are designed to improve performance and safety by limiting wheel spin and enhancing the car’s stability.

Furthermore, it’s important to remember that E85 conversion will have an effect on your mass flow rate. The mass flow rate, measured in pounds per hour, indicates the amount of fuel that flows through the injector within a specific period. As E85 requires a higher volume of fuel, the system must be capable of handling this increased flow.

To ensure the compatibility of these systems with E85, it might be necessary to seek professional assistance or invest in a comprehensive conversion kit. These kits usually include appropriately sized injectors, an E85-compatible fuel pump and pressure regulator, and a comprehensive tuning tool for your ECU.

In Conclusion: Post-Conversion Monitoring and Care

In the end, converting your Nissan 370Z to run on E85 can be a worthwhile venture, boosting both engine power and fuel efficiency. However, it’s critical to remember that this process is not a "set it and forget it" operation. Regular monitoring and care are necessary to maintain optimal performance and longevity of your vehicle.

Once your Nissan 370Z is equipped with the right sized injectors and other necessary components, it’s time to test drive your vehicle and make note of its performance. Pay attention to any changes or abnormalities, like difficulty in starting, instability, or reduced fuel economy. These could indicate unresolved issues with the injectors or the ECU calibration.

In the event of any performance issues, it’s advisable to consult a professional or revert to the original fuel system until the problem is identified and solved. Regular maintenance checks, including a thorough inspection of the fuel system, are crucial to detect and rectify any potential issues at the earliest.

Despite the complexities and the need for ongoing maintenance, E85 conversion can offer significant benefits including a substantial boost in engine power. With careful planning, precise calculation, and regular monitoring, your Nissan 370Z will be ready to hit the road with its newfound power!