Top Lube for E85?


Christa adds some Power Plus top lube to a full tank of E85 in Project STI. We were a bit worried about Project STI because it has iron armature Injector Dynamics 1000cc injectors and the Power Plus lube claims to protect against corrosion, a claim that was backed up by Methanol users in the rating area on their web site.

We found that there are a number of top lubes made for alcohol on the market. No need to run two stroke oil made for gasoline. Top lubes are usually made of a castor oil derivative, if you run go karts you know that this works well with both gasoline and alcohol. Some lubes are also made of PAO, an alcohol derived synthetic oil. VP, Kloz, Pro-Tuff, Redline and others all make alcohol top lubes along these lines.


Power Plus top lube claims to protect pumps, injectors, cylinder walls, valves from wear, scuffing, and corrosion. Power Plus is also claimed to be compatible with gasoline, diesel fuel ,or any mixture of the three. It is also safe for O2 sensors and catalytic converters.

To test a top lube, we chose Power Pluses product. When using Power Plus top lube, we mixed it at 2 oz per tank full on a street car and one bottle per 55-gallon drum on our competition drift car. This equates to about a 440:1 mixing ratio. When handling the fuel, we noticed that it went from having a dry rubbing alcohol feel to an oily slippery feel that was very noticeable. Although this isn’t a very scientific evaluation, it was very obvious that the fuel was much more slippery even at these very diluted ratios.

On Project STI the injectors and fuel pump went from being loud with E85 to very quiet. The injectors went from being so noisy that once we briefly thought we had a spun rod bearing to way quieter than gasoline operation.

We think that running the Top Lube will help extend parts’ lives greatly, and we have also started to use it in our FD endeavors. Some direct injection engines also have issues with the high-pressure fuel pump when running E85. We think that running top lube may help in this case.

Although is isn’t a product test, this is documenting the start of a long-term experiment, and we will see how well Top Lube works in field use for preventing parts’ failures and possibly extending engine life.


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