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How much more power on premium fuel compared to 87?


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31 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   MrChubs1

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 05:00 PM

I just bought my EB flex and haven't had anything but 87 in it. How much more power should I expect if I run 93 octane? Anyone do any comparos (0-60, 1/4 mile, seat of the pants)?

#2 OFFLINE   CJ8Rockcrawler

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 06:33 PM

I just bought my EB flex and haven't had anything but 87 in it. How much more power should I expect if I run 93 octane? Anyone do any comparos (0-60, 1/4 mile, seat of the pants)?



Don't know... I've only run 87 in mine as well and it has plenty of power for me at that...

#3 OFFLINE   QSHIPWAGON

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 07:27 PM

I just bought my EB flex and haven't had anything but 87 in it. How much more power should I expect if I run 93 octane?


None... period.

#4 OFFLINE   MrChubs1

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 11:16 PM

None... period.



Ford says it will run on 87 fine, but more power will be had from 91 octane. They just don't tell you how much!

#5 OFFLINE   roush3

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 08:41 PM

Ford says it will run on 87 fine, but more power will be had from 91 octane. They just don't tell you how much!

I started with 87 but now all i run is 93. I feel it to be more responsive and more power u can feel for sure. Do to the engine being able to advance the timing with 93. PLus ford says it helps with MPG and i got about 2 MPG better then on 87.

#6 OFFLINE   Hoss427

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 02:53 PM

None... period.


I don't like to cause an uproar over this but I read twice that Ford says there is power to be gained by useing Premuim. One was a car magazine...and once in Detroit news. But Ford does not seem to want anyone to know exactly HOW MUCH. Only thing that was stated was "significant" what ever that means. Fuel milage is strictly a 'user" thing. My feeling is the more power I have the more power I use, .....THATS the way I drive. So fuel mileage can vary a lot. I have seen documentation of Flex's from 28.5 pmg (MPG OMATIC web site) to 14.5 in a magazine test but they were thrashing the crap out of it. My feelings again on Premium and MPG....you get what your right foot gives you.

Edited by Hoss427, 05 January 2010 - 02:57 PM.


#7 OFFLINE   QSHIPWAGON

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 10:31 AM

I don't like to cause an uproar over this but I read twice that Ford says there is power to be gained by useing Premuim. One was a car magazine...and once in Detroit news. But Ford does not seem to want anyone to know exactly HOW MUCH. Only thing that was stated was "significant" what ever that means. Fuel milage is strictly a 'user" thing. My feeling is the more power I have the more power I use, .....THATS the way I drive. So fuel mileage can vary a lot. I have seen documentation of Flex's from 28.5 pmg (MPG OMATIC web site) to 14.5 in a magazine test but they were thrashing the crap out of it. My feelings again on Premium and MPG....you get what your right foot gives you.



I'll be the very first one to admit my error when we can see a bit of proof. For now I remain unconvinced that 91 or 93 octane will yield any appreciable performance difference. It's possible, but when Ford decided to market the Eco-Boost as an engine that will deliver V-8 performance at the same mpgs as a V6 why would they just recommend premium (a point lost on many buyers) and then claim V8 performance and BETTER MPG... in any case, it will be interesting to see real data rather than a few assertions in the press.

#8 OFFLINE   Waldo

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 02:19 PM

The EB will get about 20HP more while running on premium. Compare that to about a 2HP difference for the base V6. The whole point of Ecoboost is to mitigate the risks of detonation caused by boost by using direct injection. Since the only advantage of higher octane is reducing detonation, it just helps the engine run higher boost.

#9 OFFLINE   QSHIPWAGON

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 02:58 PM

The EB will get about 20HP more while running on premium. Compare that to about a 2HP difference for the base V6. The whole point of Ecoboost is to mitigate the risks of detonation caused by boost by using direct injection. Since the only advantage of higher octane is reducing detonation, it just helps the engine run higher boost.


I'm not doubting you out of the box, but what's the source for your info on the 20HP and at how many lbs of boost. I'm not sure I understand how the "whole point" of Ecoboost is to mitigate the risks of detonation (what we must have) when the risk of running lower octane is PRE-detonation at higher compresion (thus why you might experience pre-detonation in older or turbo cars running at high temps). So, anyway, I guess the question is... Does the engine management system in the Ecoboost allow for higher boost if you're running higher octane fuel or does it back off and possibly retard timing at a fixed point attainable on lower octane fuel? I'd like to know.

#10 OFFLINE   Fitipaldi1

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 11:21 AM

I'm not doubting you out of the box, but what's the source for your info on the 20HP and at how many lbs of boost. I'm not sure I understand how the "whole point" of Ecoboost is to mitigate the risks of detonation (what we must have) when the risk of running lower octane is PRE-detonation at higher compresion (thus why you might experience pre-detonation in older or turbo cars running at high temps). So, anyway, I guess the question is... Does the engine management system in the Ecoboost allow for higher boost if you're running higher octane fuel or does it back off and possibly retard timing at a fixed point attainable on lower octane fuel? I'd like to know.



I don't argue with your questioning of Waldo's assertion, but I think you are confusing detonation with combustion. We absolutely must have combustion, but detonation (Knocking) is bad bad bad.

#11 OFFLINE   QSHIPWAGON

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 11:36 AM

I don't argue with your questioning of Waldo's assertion, but I think you are confusing detonation with combustion. We absolutely must have combustion, but detonation (Knocking) is bad bad bad.


You're right, my bad. What I should have said was that we do want combustion at the optimal point and not detonation which I incorrectly substituted for combustion.... and I've done that a number of times in speaking with my fellow motorheads...I should know better by now. Further, saying PRE-detonation is probably incorrect as well since detonation need not occur prior to the main combustion (I believe). Next, we can start along the confusing path of pre-ignition ;-)

Edited by QSHIPWAGON, 07 January 2010 - 11:40 AM.


#12 OFFLINE   Waldo

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 04:41 PM

I'm not doubting you out of the box, but what's the source for your info on the 20HP and at how many lbs of boost. I'm not sure I understand how the "whole point" of Ecoboost is to mitigate the risks of detonation (what we must have) when the risk of running lower octane is PRE-detonation at higher compresion (thus why you might experience pre-detonation in older or turbo cars running at high temps). So, anyway, I guess the question is... Does the engine management system in the Ecoboost allow for higher boost if you're running higher octane fuel or does it back off and possibly retard timing at a fixed point attainable on lower octane fuel? I'd like to know.


Well I can tell you my info, or I can tell you my source, but not both!

What's special about Ecoboost is the COMBINATION of turbos and direct injection. As you pointed out, old-school turbo engines required very low compression ratios in order to avoid detonation. But direct injection provides a cooler fuel charge, which helps prevent detonation. So essentially you can add more boost with direct injection than without it. Basically Ford has used direct injection to offset the lower compression ratio requirement, thus an Ecoboost engine runs about the same compression as a normal naturally aspirated engine. But detonation is stil the main thing that holds back the amount of boost that can be safely run, and higher fuel octane can prevent detonation. So yes, the engine computer is smart enough to know when kind of fuel it's running (as they have been for many years already) and can thus adjust the boost and timing accordingly. You can get a lot more benefit on an Ecoboost engine by running higher octane fuel because the computer has both the boost and the timing to take advantage of, whereas a naturally aspirated engine will only be able to optimize timing.

#13 OFFLINE   QSHIPWAGON

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 08:36 PM

Well I can tell you my info, or I can tell you my source, but not both!

What's special about Ecoboost is the COMBINATION of turbos and direct injection. As you pointed out, old-school turbo engines required very low compression ratios in order to avoid detonation. But direct injection provides a cooler fuel charge, which helps prevent detonation. So essentially you can add more boost with direct injection than without it. Basically Ford has used direct injection to offset the lower compression ratio requirement, thus an Ecoboost engine runs about the same compression as a normal naturally aspirated engine. But detonation is stil the main thing that holds back the amount of boost that can be safely run, and higher fuel octane can prevent detonation. So yes, the engine computer is smart enough to know when kind of fuel it's running (as they have been for many years already) and can thus adjust the boost and timing accordingly. You can get a lot more benefit on an Ecoboost engine by running higher octane fuel because the computer has both the boost and the timing to take advantage of, whereas a naturally aspirated engine will only be able to optimize timing.


Fair enough... sort of... we'll still need to see something on a dyno I guess then ;-) The benefits of direct injection are clear. so the question is not whether today's electronics can handle the changes, but if they WILL as programmed from the factory. What you are saying is that Ford has indeed mapped out the proper logic where it will allow the engine to utilize the benefits of a less volatile fuel (high test) while still meeting EPA and other requirements for today's lean burn. So, IS this what you are saying? Thanks!

#14 OFFLINE   MrChubs1

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 06:40 AM

These comments about how the computer works are accurate and YES all new cars do exactly this: retard timing when detonation is seen. When running higher octane, there will be less detonation so the computer will not have to pull timing.....creating more power. At the same time this allows maximum programmed boost to be applied....creating more power as well. This isn't any different than was just said above by our Ford insider friend.

I'm not about to spend the $ to run a dyno test to see the difference, but I did my very simple experiment by racing my wife's car while on 87 vs. while on 93. Results? Not too exciting. This of course will need to be a guess since I don't have ET or MPH numbers to report, but judging the difference between the cars (which was easy because it was just about dead even on 87), switching to premium fuel gained about 10-15 hp. This isn't out of range of the 20 hp figure posted above. It is very minimal and hardly noticable. The difference between fuels was a little less than 1 car length from a dead stop to about 80 mph.

I also watched my mileage over two tanks of using premium and I actually did notice a slight improvement with 93 over 87. I didn't see 2 MPG like was stated by someone else, but I did see about .5 to .75 MPG improvement. The only thing I can't account for is the fact that the car is still loosening up and MPG is going to increase a little over the next 10K miles, so that might account for a small portion of this improvement.

The bottom line here (for me anyways) is that the tiny performance improvement in a vehicle I don't consider to be performance orientated at all plus the tiny MPG improvement does not offset the increased cost of the premium fuel. I think I'll be running 87. Maybe I'll try the "experiment" again in a few months to see if the results change any.

#15 OFFLINE   Waldo

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 01:30 PM

What you are saying is that Ford has indeed mapped out the proper logic where it will allow the engine to utilize the benefits of a less volatile fuel (high test) while still meeting EPA and other requirements for today's lean burn. So, IS this what you are saying? Thanks!


Yes that's what I'm saying, but this is nothing new. My dad's 93 Taurus SHO did the same thing. It's the same logic as the E85 vehicles, the computer can learn what kind of fuel it's burning and will take advantage.

#16 OFFLINE   MrChubs1

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 04:05 PM

Yes that's what I'm saying, but this is nothing new. My dad's 93 Taurus SHO did the same thing. It's the same logic as the E85 vehicles, the computer can learn what kind of fuel it's burning and will take advantage.


All new cars do this. The FlexFuel ones just take it to another level because E85 requires a completely different volume of fuel to flow through the injectors.

#17 OFFLINE   QSHIPWAGON

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 07:08 PM

Yes that's what I'm saying, but this is nothing new. My dad's 93 Taurus SHO did the same thing. It's the same logic as the E85 vehicles, the computer can learn what kind of fuel it's burning and will take advantage.


You're right, it's nothing new, but there are limits placed on the mapping and only you seem to know what they might be ;-) For instance, I'm not going to see anything really dramatic in my turbo car running CAM 2.

#18 OFFLINE   ACDII

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 01:44 PM

Hyundai uses an Octane sensor in the fuel system so it knows which table to pull from for ignition timing and fuel spread. It gives roughly a 10 HP increase over 87 Octane, the Ford should be no different, so you should expect to see about a 10 HP increase on about the third tank of 93. It doesn't happen on the first tank unless it was completely empty, the first full tank of 93 will reprogram the PCM, the second helps refine it, the third sets it . Going the other way works about the same way as well. Three basics of an ICE, Fuel, Air and Timing(includes ignition) The more fuel you use, the more air you need, and a turbo can double the size of an engine, not sure the ratio for this if it is 1 pound of boost or 15, which I believe is the air pressure at sea level, that doubles the engine size. The more air you can pack in, the more HP you can make.

#19 OFFLINE   Maestro

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 06:57 AM

I can tell you after owning the BMW 335I for many years which has bi-turbos, the average person will not notice the power difference between the octane levels. The only place you will notice it is on the drag strip. There could be as much as 0.5 second difference between 87 and 93 Octane. I know some people who put in 100 Octane race fuel to get another 0.5 seconds out of the car, but it required modifications to the computer to take real advantage of the octane increase.

I personally ran both fuels in my car and could not for the life of me tell if the car ran any different. Unlike cars form 10 yrs ago which increased the compression ratios to get more power and if you did not run premium the engine knocked and pinged and such. The modern turbo engine is lower compression and like it was said the computer controls are so sophisticated that it knows you're running lower octane and adjust timing and such so you never notice the performance change.

However, with that said, your gas mileage will suffer especially on the highway. I did see my mileage go down when using 87 octane verse 93. I personally tend to run mid to premium in my car most all the time since I do not want to risk over working the engine to compensate for the lower octane.

The other major factor in the gas is the manufacturers not all premiums are the same. Most are garbage and you have to be careful. Many times people with Turbo cars who ran into problem was due to the gas they were using. The other issue is with direct injection which requires very high pressure pumps (like 3000 PSI) if you use bad fuel through them it can be damaged, so watch where you fuel up. I personally tend to stay with Sunoco and Shell/Philips 76 since both are well know for producing race grade gases and have lots of experience making gas for race cars which tends to make it way to the gas pumps

Edited by Maestro, 23 March 2010 - 10:44 AM.


#20 OFFLINE   ACDII

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 10:52 AM

I read through the owners manual regarding this very subject. This is directly from the owners manual.

Your vehicle is designed to run on regular fuel with an octane rating of
87 or higher. For best overall performance, premium fuel with an octane
rating of 91 or higher is recommended.The performance gained by using
premium fuel will be most noticeable in hot weather or in severe duty
applications such as towing a trailer
.


I ran a tank of 91+ through it, didn't notice anything but a drop in FE. When I did it in my VC, I saw an increase of both performance and MPG. In the Flex I saw neither, but a reduction of MPG. Unless I plan to tow with it, or take it on a trip in hot weather, I think I will stick with 87 Octane.






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