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Thread: Malibu LTZ w/ LTG and E85 kit? Or any LTG with E85 kit?

  1. #1
    Advanced Tuner metroplex's Avatar
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    Malibu LTZ w/ LTG and E85 kit? Or any LTG with E85 kit?

    Has anyone adapted the ZZP E85 kit for the Malibu with LTG (specifically 2015)? I ran some E85 in the Malibu and got P0171. I didn't realize GM did this differently than Ford, where on my Ford EcoBoosts, even on the stock tune I could run quite a bit of E85 without throwing a code as the LTFT will adapt very readily even w/o a Flex Fuel logic enabled.

    I heard there is a way to enable this type of "virtual" tuning on the LTG engines or install a physical alcohol sensor. Any ideas or tips?

  2. #2
    What ecu? Have you looked to see if you can enable a sensor? I installed a sensor with an e78 but I still am trying to figure out if I will be able to enable it or if my OS will prevent it from working. Meaning I see the enable option and the tables just not sure if switching it over will work. If it does, I would go the DIY route with a sensor as the actual parts are cheap (assuming you already have hp tuners)

    Now that my car is back together I'll try it and let you know if I get a reading in the scanner. I've been running e85 in my spark but I want the flex fuel aspect for fluctuations in content
    Last edited by LittleBlue; 08-09-2019 at 05:40 PM.

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    Advanced Tuner metroplex's Avatar
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    E39A ECU. There is an option to enable a sensor. Right now sometimes it will throw P0171 (Bank 1 Lean) but not all the time.

  4. #4
    If your car or a different model that uses that ecu has flex option you could look at what pins in the ecu the sensor should plug into. For mine, I looked to the chevy Cruze service manual through an electronic subscription . I pulled two grey plastic pins out of the plugs that go into the ecu and plugged wires on from the sensor. My hope is for it to read but also be able to be tracked through HP tuners. Not sure if I'm on the right track or way out in left field yet.

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    Advanced Tuner metroplex's Avatar
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    I figured out why it is throwing P0171, the Ltft is 33% and stock stoich is 14.64 which is wrong due to the mandated E10 fuel.

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    After much experimentation, it looks like the only way to get it to work with E85 blends is by changing the stoich AFR table for the 0% alcohol cell. I also learned that these early LTGs do not have wideband O2 sensors which explains why it didn't automatically compensate like it did on my Cobalt LNF or any of the Ecoboost engines. GM really cheaped out on the LTG for the Malibu.

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    Advanced Tuner metroplex's Avatar
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    For the E85 mixing project I had ended up setting the base stoich to 12.97 to cover E30 and based on my math, should allow LTFT to cover an even wider spreader. From something like E47 down to straight gas. We've been using E30ish for a month without any MILs and we've covered about 2000+ miles on a variety of fuels from 87 octane E0, to 88 octane unleaded regular plus E10 in the mountains, to E15 something octane and basically whatever we could find that was 87 octane min. So far so good even on the E0 straight gas. LTFT is always within 15% so it never sets off the MIL. I didn't do much tuning for power other than raise torque limiters and copy over Camaro 2.0 spark tables. At 10,000 ft above sea level, the car really had a hard time accelerating.

    The Malibu is my girlfriends and she claims that in the past it sets of a MIL when running 87 octane which I didn't believe, so I have no idea what code it was that she saw but haven't seen anything myself.

    Gas mileage has been 30 to 32 mpg actual on pure freeway driving. No difference between straight gas and E30 on the freeway.

    The only problem this LTG has is oil consumption. I believe the crankcase vent tube at the turbo inlet sucks down oil. She was a quart low at 6000 miles into the oil change, and it is about another 0.5 qt low after 2000 miles. There is a lot of oil pooling at the turbo inlet and air intake attachment. I replaced all her PCVs except the one in the valve cover.
    Last edited by metroplex; 09-07-2019 at 10:08 AM.

  8. #8
    I have been wondering on this too, my buddy has a 2019 Malibu with the LTG and when we tuned it we were wondering about doing e85. The option is there for a sensor on the file but don't know the pins. Didn't try to fill her up because of course no sensor and didn't want to go full e85. I believe it has the e39a ecu

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    Advanced Tuner metroplex's Avatar
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    Check your primary O2 sensor. If you have more than 4 pins, it is a wideband and you can basically run E30 to E40 without messing with a sensor. My LNF and all of my Ford's with wideband a can do it. The fuel trim adjusts automatically up to a certain point and I never had a problem even with E47. The 2015 Malibu is a narrowband so I had to go old school with the stoich.

  10. #10
    So what you?re saying is I can put e85 in my solstice as long as I mix with gasoline? And will not have to adjust the fuel trims?

  11. #11
    Advanced Tuner metroplex's Avatar
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    Not full E85 but a good mix of it. The proper way in LNF is to adjust injector offset to keep the LTFT close to 0. on my Cobalt SS, I kept injector offset stock and ran up to E30. On my EcoBoosts, I could run E47 without changing anything.

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    Advanced Tuner metroplex's Avatar
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    Dunno about your Envision but the narrowband e39A needs the E0 stoich changed in the table otherwise it sets off P0171 with E30. GM didn't even tune it for E10 mandated in most states, where Ford uses 14.08 as base stoich. I got 35.5 mpg going through Beartooth Pass and averaged 25 mpg doing 85 mph for over 400 miles.

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    Sorry, 2016 Envison was E80 as is 2018 Regal TourX.

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    I think they may have gone to wideband on E39A for 2016 or later, not sure. But if they are wideband you can pretty much go to E50 without changing anything at least on EcoBoost and LNF.

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    no, the E39A cannot support a wideband.
    Starting in model year 2016, the LTG moved to E80 controller, and they have a wideband.

    To clarify: with or without wideband, if you put Ethanol in a non-flex fuel vehicle it will not run right. This is absurd, why would anytone think that a non-flex fuel will work as a flex fuel. IT BOGGLES THE MIND!!! I'm ... I mean ... WHAT! ... just speechless. Yes i know you can get away with some ethanol mix because the fuel trims will adjust by themselves, that doesn't make it right.

    You simply can't use the car as IT WAS NEVER INTENDED, and then complain that it sets a DTC.

    If you're gonna start running some ethanol blend on a non-flex fuel vehicle, you need to tune for it if you want to do it right.

  16. #16
    Advanced Tuner metroplex's Avatar
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    PS flex fuel is different from running an Ethanol blend. While it would be nice to have on the E39A, I think my method is working out well. I've been on a cross country road trip with the base stoich set for E30 but have been running E0 straight gas for thousands of miles without any codes or driveability issues. Even at 10,700 feet ASL in the Beartooth Pass, the car was fine.

  17. #17
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    I just changed base stoich on E39A and it runs fine with E0 to E40, no codes or problems. EcoBoost uses wideband and speed density, has predictive flex fuel using O2 on flex fuel models, but otherwise I have run E47 with a stock stoich of 14.08 no problems for thousands of miles. I decided to do the same on my LNF Cobalt out to E40 and never adjusted injector offset.

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    you posted on this forum enough, and i'm sure you know what you're doing; but please don't advice others to run ethanol mixtures that don't have your understanding of engine control and ethanol mixtures. If the engine runs without setting a DTC does not make it the right thing to do.
    I get it fuel trims learn the difference since you're using a wrong blend of fuel, that's fine (kinda). But then when you go WOT, and it goes open loop, and the learned fuel trims (at low loads, low rpm) aren't there to save you, do you think it's running at the correct air-fuel-mixture?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TurboCobalt View Post
    no, the E39A cannot support a wideband.
    Starting in model year 2016, the LTG moved to E80 controller, and they have a wideband.
    Not so sure about that. I just bought a 2016 Regal with the LTG and (at least according to rockauto) it uses the same sensor as the 2015 Malibu LTG.

    Maybe some 2016 LTG moved to the E80 controller, but it doesn't appear they all did.
    2013 Lincoln MKS Ecoboost
    2002 Regal GS (3800 Supercharged V6)
    1996 Dodge RAM 2500 Cummins Turbo Diesel
    1982 Buick Grand National
    1965 Hemi Barracuda (43 jr)