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Galli
I am travelling throughout Florida and see that at the gas pump there is always and addition of approximately 10 % of ethanol in the gasoline.
I discussed this issue with several persons and got various opinions on this issue.
One issue that most if not all concur is that the ethanol is not good for outboards.
Is anyone here that can provide more accurate information on this subject ?
John Blue
Your information is correct. The two cycle engines will gum up on ethanol overtime. I have more and more problems keeping over lawn power tools running due to this mess. If engine sit a month of so you need to dump the fuel, clean fuel system, and start over. I talked to repair shop that works on lawn equipment and they also told me business is good due to the ethanol problem. I think BP stations have gas with no ethanol. Remember our government has fixed the gas shortage problem and now we are short on people to clean out fuel systems on engines.
Galli
QUOTE(John Blue @ Feb 15 2009, 11:48 AM) *

Your information is correct. The two cycle engines will gum up on ethanol overtime. I have more and more problems keeping over lawn power tools running due to this mess. If engine sit a month of so you need to dump the fuel, clean fuel system, and start over. I talked to repair shop that works on lawn equipment and they also told me business is good due to the ethanol problem. I think BP stations have gas with no ethanol. Remember our government has fixed the gas shortage problem and now we are short on people to clean out fuel systems on engines.

Thanks so much, as a matter of fact, I have a two strokes outboard and last year the mechanic had to rebuild the carburator
Florida Native
The actual sign says "Up to 10% Ethanol added". Ethanol plants are going under right and left and the actual usage is much ower than the stated max of 10%. Ethanol even with the 51 cents a gallon subsidity from the government (that's you and me) is a money losing deal unless the prices get back up over the prices of today. The congress can make a mandate, but ethanol producers can not continue o lose money and won't.
Galli
QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Feb 15 2009, 07:19 PM) *

The actual sign says "Up to 10% Ethanol added". Ethanol plants are going under right and left and the actual usage is much ower than the stated max of 10%. Ethanol even with the 51 cents a gallon subsidity from the government (that's you and me) is a money losing deal unless the prices get back up over the prices of today. The congress can make a mandate, but ethanol producers can not continue o lose money and won't.

laugh.gif Thanks Lindsay, this is one of the few times that I am happy for some thing to be belly up.
I think that the ethanol decision was more a political issue than economical.
RLM
It would be interesting to hear from an expert engine mechanic on this issue. That wouldnít be me. But I donít use the stuff in my vehicles for several reasons. First, I ask myself if Iíd want to put corn squeezings in my tank. Then I wonder - if itís so great then why is it only 10% and not more? I also havenít heard that the auto manufacturers are building engines to accommodate vegetable juice. Finally, if it was a government mandate, then how good can it be? Just take a look at the political mandate for ULSD (Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel). Al Gore and his wacko followers are jumping for joy on that one. If someone reading this is one of those types, I apologize in advance. No disrespect intended, but the facts are still valid.

I will take this opportunity to make a suggestion for those who have a diesel pusher. Insure that you get your fuel from a location that is a volume supplier. One where the storage tanks are replenished on a regular basis. Truck stops for instance. When diesel sits in a tank for long periods, it can be contaminated with water and algae. That algae then can get into the RV tanks. In short time, it will clog the fuel filter and you will loose both power and gas mileage. The only method to correct that problem is to take the tanks off and steam clean them. Very expensive.
Galli
QUOTE(RLM @ Feb 17 2009, 10:15 PM) *

It would be interesting to hear from an expert engine mechanic on this issue. That wouldnít be me. But I donít use the stuff in my vehicles for several reasons. First, I ask myself if Iíd want to put corn squeezings in my tank. Then I wonder - if itís so great then why is it only 10% and not more? I also havenít heard that the auto manufacturers are building engines to accommodate vegetable juice. Finally, if it was a government mandate, then how good can it be? Just take a look at the political mandate for ULSD (Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel). Al Gore and his wacko followers are jumping for joy on that one. If someone reading this is one of those types, I apologize in advance. No disrespect intended, but the facts are still valid.

I will take this opportunity to make a suggestion for those who have a diesel pusher. Insure that you get your fuel from a location that is a volume supplier. One where the storage tanks are replenished on a regular basis. Truck stops for instance. When diesel sits in a tank for long periods, it can be contaminated with water and algae. That algae then can get into the RV tanks. In short time, it will clog the fuel filter and you will loose both power and gas mileage. The only method to correct that problem is to take the tanks off and steam clean them. Very expensive.

Thanks RLM, YOUR POINT OF VIEW IS WELL TAKEN and make sense, fortunatly in Canada we are still fueling with pure gas.
Thanks again Galli
Butch


Here in New York State, when they stopped using an additive, I believe it was MBTE, they pushed the 10% mixture on us. The fuel is terrible, small engine equipment requires extremely careful use as it pertains to the fuel....must run them dry or dump unused fuel from the fuel tank...gums up the fuel systems big time in a short time of non-use. Our vehicle's gas mileage dropped 2 to 3 miles per gallon, so what, if anything, did the consumer save when purchasing this excuse for motor fuel....
I purchased a Kubota tractor, which is diesel fueled, and I figured I would purchase diesel road fuel, with all it's additives, instead of using non-road fuel. My reasoning was to pay the higher pump price to get around the diesel fuel problems in the cold winter weather. What a waste of money, in cold weather the tractor fuel gelled up and the water in the fuel caused all kinds of problems...had to use dry gas additive. I guess the answer is: SPRING is coming........although it is snowing right now....
Galli
QUOTE(Galli @ Feb 17 2009, 10:28 PM) *

Thanks RLM, YOUR POINT OF VIEW IS WELL TAKEN and make sense, fortunatly in Canada we are still fueling with pure gas.
Thanks again Galli

Thanks for your input Butch I shall try to avoit the mixed gas, however, being a Canadian and spending my Winter in Florida I finally find a place here that sale pure gazoline at c.6 higher per gallon.
Good luck for your Winter and don't worry, MAY BE, the summer will come there too.
Regards,
Galli
DXSMac
The Seattle news just reported that there is "bad gas" across Washington State. They didn't way which stations, just that you should "complain" if you have this problem.

OOPS, the link I posted was from 2005. I'll see if I can find a more current link.

Ok, here it is:

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/39767957.html

KOMO 4 News wants you to complain if you are a victim of this.


JJ
RLM
QUOTE(Butch @ Feb 18 2009, 04:29 PM) *

What a waste of money, in cold weather the tractor fuel gelled up and the water in the fuel caused all kinds of problems...had to use dry gas additive. I guess the answer is: SPRING is coming........although it is snowing right now....


Butch> I have a friend up north who has a couple pieces of construction equipment with diesel engines. He is also a certified diesel mechanic. He always adds the anti-gel and anti-algae stuff to the tanks. He also goes so far as to drain the tanks - they're not that big - when not in use for any length of time. It's a hassle, but he hasn't had any problems doing it that way.
wpr
Another way is to add a certain percentage of regular gas to your diesel fuel. My car uses diesel, but I don't bother with gas, although I do use gasline antifreeze that also absorbs humidity.
Lee and Fran
As a retired auto mechanic I will say that ethanol does make a vehicle run rougher than regular and will reduce gas mileage. It is used because they tell us it reduces the harmful emissions, thank you Al Gore. I have noticed that most stations that sell E85 which is 85% ethanol are now higher priced than other stations. That was not supposed to happen but the market for corn and the cost to produce are far more than what it is really performing. Whether we will ever see ethanol done away with is another story. I know I saw a news report a year ago from states like Utah and New York who were talking about doing away with it because of reduced mileage but than again fuel than was 4 dollars a gallon.
Tom
The 10% ethanol fuel is terrible for small 4-stroke motors, mostly due to rotting the rubber fuel lines and carburator (sp?) gaskets. It does seem to "gum up" when sitting for a length of time, like over the winter. It is not necessarily difficult to take apart and clean a small engine carburator, but many times it is just easier to let a shop do it. If you are having problems with fuel starvation even after cleaning out the carb, I would suggest just replacing any and all fuel lines. They may look fine from the outside, but they will rot on the inside and restrict the gas flow. This can make it difficult to isolate the problem... the engine will start up and run for awhile (like it is getting the proper amount of fuel) after sitting, but then will stall. If and when you replace the fuel lines, try to get the new plastic fuel lines, if you can find the proper size to fit. The new plastic fuel lines are designed to work with the ethanol fuel.

Two-stroke engines are not affected as bad, if you use mixed fuel. The 2 stroke oil, when mixed with gas, seems to keep things in better shape. I would suggest using a "thicker" mix, like 50:1, instead of the 100:1 mix some engines suggest. You may note in the owner's manuals that almost all handheld 2 stroke equipment is fine with 40 or 50:1 mixes.

Alot of 2 stroke outboard boat engines use oil injection, not mixed gas, so you then go back to the problems that 4 stroke engines have.

These are suggestions from a long time lawn service owner, not a liscensed mechanic.
dog bone
this isn't about ethanol, but someone brought up the diesel thing. i use a product called stanadyne. i use it all year long. it is a little expensive, compared to the other additives out there. there web site is www.stanadyne.com . my dodge has 250,000 + and the ford is about 150,000. haven't had a fuel problem with them.
deanintemp
Lets see, where should I begin? First, ethanol burns MUCH cleaner than gasoline and engines designed to burn E85 (85% ethanol) last much longer when running E85 fuel. The emphasis is on "engines designed to burn ethanol", such as E85 or FlexFuel vehicles, as these engines are able to sense the higher ethanol content and adjust spark timing accordingly. Now, even though ethanol is generally cheaper than gasoline (due to tax dollar subsidies), it is not more cost effective from a fuel consumption viewpoint. You see, ethanol contains less energy per gallon than does typical gasoline. Fuel economy goes down when burning E85 in such a manner that is is about a wash to run it in your car from a cost stand-point. However, any experienced car and engine mechanic will tell you that E85 is much better for your engine and burns much cleaner than gasoline - provided your engine is set up to run it!
Galli
QUOTE(deanintemp @ Sep 16 2009, 12:39 PM) *

Lets see, where should I begin? First, ethanol burns MUCH cleaner than gasoline and engines designed to burn E85 (85% ethanol) last much longer when running E85 fuel. The emphasis is on "engines designed to burn ethanol", such as E85 or FlexFuel vehicles, as these engines are able to sense the higher ethanol content and adjust spark timing accordingly. Now, even though ethanol is generally cheaper than gasoline (due to tax dollar subsidies), it is not more cost effective from a fuel consumption viewpoint. You see, ethanol contains less energy per gallon than does typical gasoline. Fuel economy goes down when burning E85 in such a manner that is is about a wash to run it in your car from a cost stand-point. However, any experienced car and engine mechanic will tell you that E85 is much better for your engine and burns much cleaner than gasoline - provided your engine is set up to run it!

DEANINEMP, I see that you are an expert regarding gas an methanol,. therefore, I am asking you if you don't mind explain what' s a difference between engine built to run with gasoline and those with ethanol. I have a two strokes outboard, quite old and I was told to avoid ethanol because it is damaging the motor.
Off course I complied with the suggestion, however, I would nice to know why ?
deanintemp
QUOTE(Galli @ Sep 16 2009, 05:22 PM) *

DEANINEMP, I see that you are an expert regarding gas an methanol,. therefore, I am asking you if you don't mind explain what' s a difference between engine built to run with gasoline and those with ethanol. I have a two strokes outboard, quite old and I was told to avoid ethanol because it is damaging the motor.
Off course I complied with the suggestion, however, I would nice to know why ?

Yes, it can damage the motor. There are three (3) main differences in engines designed to burn ethanol.
(1) Ethanol is very corrosive to rubber compounds and will eat away typical seals and o-rings in an engine, potentially ruining an engine not designed for ethanol.
(2) The fuel lines are also manufactured with "other" materials that can withstand ethanol.
(3) Ethanol is not as volatile (less energy than gas) and requires different ignition timing. If ignition timing is not correct, engine will run very rough and will not burn off all the fuel - causing issues with the engine and spark plugs.

However, an engine designed to run ethanol will burn MUCH cleaner than regular gas. Now, I am speaking more in reference to E85 (85% ethanol) and i would guess that even today's regular gas, which can contain up to 10% ethanol might damage older 2-strokes not built to run today's common fuels.
Galli
QUOTE(deanintemp @ Sep 17 2009, 07:04 AM) *

Yes, it can damage the motor. There are three (3) main differences in engines designed to burn ethanol.
(1) Ethanol is very corrosive to rubber compounds and will eat away typical seals and o-rings in an engine, potentially ruining an engine not designed for ethanol.
(2) The fuel lines are also manufactured with "other" materials that can withstand ethanol.
(3) Ethanol is not as volatile (less energy than gas) and requires different ignition timing. If ignition timing is not correct, engine will run very rough and will not burn off all the fuel - causing issues with the engine and spark plugs.

However, an engine designed to run ethanol will burn MUCH cleaner than regular gas. Now, I am speaking more in reference to E85 (85% ethanol) and i would guess that even today's regular gas, which can contain up to 10% ethanol might damage older 2-strokes not built to run today's common fuels.

Thanks again, I have a further question, if you don't mind. In Florida they are selling an additive to add to the gas to obviate this problem. I wonder if, in your opinion, is a good solution to protect the engine or if I can find a 100% gasoline is better.
I appreciate your assistance,
Galli
deanintemp
QUOTE(Galli @ Sep 17 2009, 11:01 AM) *

Thanks again, I have a further question, if you don't mind. In Florida they are selling an additive to add to the gas to obviate this problem. I wonder if, in your opinion, is a good solution to protect the engine or if I can find a 100% gasoline is better.
I appreciate your assistance,
Galli

I am not familiar with and therefore would not want to comment on additives. Sorry, I think I have reached the end of my knowledge on this subject. I would contact a small engine service shop and get their opinion - good luck.
Galli
QUOTE(deanintemp @ Sep 17 2009, 06:55 PM) *

I am not familiar with and therefore would not want to comment on additives. Sorry, I think I have reached the end of my knowledge on this subject. I would contact a small engine service shop and get their opinion - good luck.

Thanks for your honesty
Galli
rgatijnet
As mentioned, 10% ethanol works OK in engines DESIGNED for alcohol use. If you check you owners manual it will tell you what percentage of ethanol your engine will tolerate. It will also probably state that you should not use a METHANOL alcohol blend.
Ethanol does not have the same BTU output as straight gasoline so therefore your engine MUST automatically adjust to increase the fuel fed into the cylinder or the engine will not run properly, or most efficiently. In an older engine, that does not have a computer system, the jets would have to be enlarged in the carburetor to compensate for the alcohol mix. The problem right now is that you need to read the pumps carefully to see what you MAY be getting out the nozzle. In Florida, by 2010, all stations must have 10% ethanol. Until then, you can get anywhere from 0% to 10%. On the pump it will say that this gasoline may contain up to 10% ethanol. Since you don't know exactly what you are getting, it is impossible to make a permanent change to your fuel system. Those with a modern electronically controlled fuel system will not have any problems. it is only the older vehicles that have to worry about the fuel mixture, and the damage done to any rubber parts or other fuel system components.
The biggest problem is that ALL of today's fuel begins to degrade much quicker than the old fuels. This means that if you are going to let your coach set for any length of time over 30 days, you should use a fuel preservative. This goes for both gasoline and diesel fuel. Keep in mind that just using your coach every 30 days or so doesn't really matter, IF you do not add fresh fuel. Starting the engine every week will not prevent fuel breakdown. You must use and refresh your fuel regularly OR add a fuel preservative.
The fuel has changed and most of the old practices no longer apply. Basically we will be paying more for an alcohol mix gasoline and we will be getting less fuel mileage. The more ethanol, the more I fuel mileage declines. E85 reduces your fuel mileage by 30%. Whether any of this is good for the environment has yet to be proven. Right now the corn farmers love it, especially with all of the government subsidy payments they receive.
I could be more in favor of ethanol in our fuel if it were produced from algae, or some other non-food product, that did not use our valuable farm lands.
deanintemp
QUOTE(rgatijnet @ Sep 18 2009, 11:56 AM) *

As mentioned, 10% ethanol works OK in engines DESIGNED for alcohol use. If you check you owners manual it will tell you what percentage of ethanol your engine will tolerate. It will also probably state that you should not use a METHANOL alcohol blend.
Ethanol does not have the same BTU output as straight gasoline so therefore your engine MUST automatically adjust to increase the fuel fed into the cylinder or the engine will not run properly, or most efficiently. In an older engine, that does not have a computer system, the jets would have to be enlarged in the carburetor to compensate for the alcohol mix. The problem right now is that you need to read the pumps carefully to see what you MAY be getting out the nozzle. In Florida, by 2010, all stations must have 10% ethanol. Until then, you can get anywhere from 0% to 10%. On the pump it will say that this gasoline may contain up to 10% ethanol. Since you don't know exactly what you are getting, it is impossible to make a permanent change to your fuel system. Those with a modern electronically controlled fuel system will not have any problems. it is only the older vehicles that have to worry about the fuel mixture, and the damage done to any rubber parts or other fuel system components.
The biggest problem is that ALL of today's fuel begins to degrade much quicker than the old fuels. This means that if you are going to let your coach set for any length of time over 30 days, you should use a fuel preservative. This goes for both gasoline and diesel fuel. Keep in mind that just using your coach every 30 days or so doesn't really matter, IF you do not add fresh fuel. Starting the engine every week will not prevent fuel breakdown. You must use and refresh your fuel regularly OR add a fuel preservative.
The fuel has changed and most of the old practices no longer apply. Basically we will be paying more for an alcohol mix gasoline and we will be getting less fuel mileage. The more ethanol, the more I fuel mileage declines. E85 reduces your fuel mileage by 30%. Whether any of this is good for the environment has yet to be proven. Right now the corn farmers love it, especially with all of the government subsidy payments they receive.
I could be more in favor of ethanol in our fuel if it were produced from algae, or some other non-food product, that did not use our valuable farm lands.

Great point on the fuel mileage - I tried to make that point earlier as well - not as much energy in Ethanol, therefore you burn more gas. Currently, the only reason ethanol fuel is cheaper than regular gas is because you and I pay for it in our taxes through government subsidies. If we ever become dependent on ethanol, the subsidies will disappear and costs will go through the roof. If subsidies subside, food corn prices would also go through the roof! Sorry, but I learned long ago in engineering class that there is no such thing as a free lunch!
DXSMac
Oh my. I hadn't considered that as I drove back from Kentucky. In Iowa and Nebraska, I encountered the 85% gas, and bought it because it was the cheapest!

JJ
Galli
QUOTE(DXSMac @ Sep 20 2009, 02:57 PM) *

Oh my. I hadn't considered that as I drove back from Kentucky. In Iowa and Nebraska, I encountered the 85% gas, and bought it because it was the cheapest!

JJ

Ha, ha, ha, all political skims and in the long run we are paying more for every thing else
rgatijnet
Prices updated as of 9/22/2009 2:58:46 AM
National Unleaded Average

Regular, Mid, Premium, Diesel, E85, **E85 MPG/BTU adjusted price

Current Avg. $2.544 $2.702 $2.798 $2.656 $2.042 $2.688
Yesterday Avg. $2.551 $2.710 $2.806 $2.658 $2.040 $2.685
Week Ago Avg. $2.563 $2.721 $2.818 $2.664 $2.055 $2.704
Month Ago Avg. $2.627 $2.789 $2.889 $2.690 $2.088 $2.748
Year Ago Avg. $3.739 $3.900 $4.017 $4.108 $3.116 $4.101

Highest Recorded Average Price:
Regular Unl. $4.114 7/17/2008
DSL. $4.845 7/17/2008


Note that using the ADJUSTED price for E85 that even tho it is cheaper, the reduced mileage more than offsets it's cost and in reality, it costs more than regular gasoline. Sometimes what seems like a bargain is not.
deanintemp
QUOTE(rgatijnet @ Sep 22 2009, 09:13 AM) *

Prices updated as of 9/22/2009 2:58:46 AM
National Unleaded Average

Regular, Mid, Premium, Diesel, E85, **E85 MPG/BTU adjusted price

Current Avg. $2.544 $2.702 $2.798 $2.656 $2.042 $2.688
Yesterday Avg. $2.551 $2.710 $2.806 $2.658 $2.040 $2.685
Week Ago Avg. $2.563 $2.721 $2.818 $2.664 $2.055 $2.704
Month Ago Avg. $2.627 $2.789 $2.889 $2.690 $2.088 $2.748
Year Ago Avg. $3.739 $3.900 $4.017 $4.108 $3.116 $4.101

Highest Recorded Average Price:
Regular Unl. $4.114 7/17/2008
DSL. $4.845 7/17/2008
Note that using the ADJUSTED price for E85 that even tho it is cheaper, the reduced mileage more than offsets it's cost and in reality, it costs more than regular gasoline. Sometimes what seems like a bargain is not.

Great chart, thank you for the effort.

Keep in mind that as the "net" price of Ethanol approaches the price of regular gas it might be wise to opt for Ethanol as it burns much cleaner in the engine...much, much cleaner! Therefore, much less gunk and build up on the pistons and exhaust system.
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