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Fuels and Alternative Fuels Materials or substances that can be used as a fuel, waste oils, vegetable oils or animal fats, which can be used alone, or blended with fossil fuels.

Fuels and Alternative Fuels

Bad Gas?


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  #21  
Old 11-02-2012, 10:16:35 PM
Bill Sherlock Bill Sherlock is offline
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Default Re: Bad Gas?

OK, seeing as how my name was mentioned, all I'm going to say is anyone who hasn't experienced problems using ethanol gas is just plain lucky. Based on my experiences, if I was in charge of the country it would be illegal to put ethanol in gas. Period. Vodka, no problem.

Bill
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  #22  
Old 11-02-2012, 10:26:22 PM
1936JDB 1936JDB is offline
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Default Re: Bad Gas?

I suppose it's as hard for those that truely have had problems to accept, that some of us haven't. As it is for me to believe it is such an issue.
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  #23  
Old 11-02-2012, 10:27:35 PM
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Billy J Shafer Billy J Shafer is offline
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Default Re: Bad Gas?

In my part of Texas. We have a real bad problem with the fuel. I put some clear plastic fuel line on a weed eater.24 hours later it was hard as a brick. I still think it has to do with the blends around the country.

I am half way between Dallas and Houston on I-45.
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  #24  
Old 11-02-2012, 10:41:14 PM
LundMachineWorks LundMachineWorks is offline
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Default Re: Bad Gas?

I would be very interesting to know what the "other" components in the blends are. I am wondering if ethanol is getting a bad rap from some of these other parts of the mix.
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  #25  
Old 11-02-2012, 10:49:41 PM
1936JDB 1936JDB is offline
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Default Re: Bad Gas?

That is my suspicion as well.
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  #26  
Old 11-03-2012, 01:40:29 AM
Pete Deets Pete Deets is offline
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Default Re: Bad Gas?

Jeff raises an interesting question which I've been wondering as well, is it the oxygenates? For the record, the quickly deteriorating gas I've tied into was in the middle of Wisconsin during the late 80's and my brother had trouble a little bit later in the Rockford/Roscoe, IL area. Since then we've both sworn off ethanol fuels for the intermittent use items. It is the old "Fool me once" attitude, admittedly.

As I said before, in the car & truck I use gasohol with no trouble but the fuel never stays around long enough to go stale. Since I have to use high octane in my car I do seek out the non-blend because I get more percentage improvement in mileage than the percentage increase in cost over the blend. In this one case it ends up costing me slightly less per mile so, yes, I'll take the cheaper route.....PD
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  #27  
Old 11-03-2012, 06:48:34 AM
sdowney717 sdowney717 is offline
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Default Re: Bad Gas?

When the alcohol goes away by evaporation, the octane goes down.
Seeing gasoline is a complex blend of many different hydrocarbons, when the volatile ones are gone, the fuel is definitely not going to want to combust.
There is also oxidation reactions going on in the fuel. This produces gums that then clump together and form deposits.
The water that is in the fuel even from moisture in the air will form acids that corrodes metals. The fact that E10 loves water makes it more likely to go bad if it gets some age on the fuel.

Even just atmospheric air pressure changes can pump in moisture laden air into and out of these unsealed fuel tanks on engines.
So keep fuel tanks as sealed as is possible from the air.

I have a generator with plastic tank. I keep it covered with a vinyl piece of pool liner. The gen sits outside chained to a tree exposed to rain. I also placed a plastic food container over the fill cap that fits tight to the cap. I turn off the fuel valve and run the engine dry on shutdowns. The fuel in their is about 3 years old and still seems to work great. I think that if you can keep down the aire exchanges with the tanks that the fuel will stay fresh a long time. It is also best to keep the tanks fuller. Less air in the tank for it to oxidize the fuel. So keep tanks empty or full is best.
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  #28  
Old 11-03-2012, 08:41:39 AM
sprkplug sprkplug is offline
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Default Re: Bad Gas?

Keep in mind that fuel is blended differently for summer and winter use also. I see the most fuel related problems with two cycle equipment, and four cycle equipment that is used intermittently.

When a unit comes into the shop with suspect fuel, the first thing I do is stick a finger in the tank..... good fuel will cool my finger as it quickly evaporates, while stale fuel won't. Pretty crude test, but it does a good job of pointing out whether or not the gas has much volatility left to it.

It would also seem to me that storing your equipment with completely full, and sealed, fuel tanks would leave no room for the hydroscopic alcohol to attract any moisture....or at least not as much as it would with a half full tank.
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  #29  
Old 11-03-2012, 09:05:37 AM
1936JDB 1936JDB is offline
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Default Re: Bad Gas?

I'm down to just a couple 2 stroke motor around here, my old chainsaws. They only get run a few times a year. I leave them half full of gas, and the one can of mixed gas sits around for a year or two before its used up. Always works fine. The can sits half full on the concrete floor of an open front shed.
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  #30  
Old 11-03-2012, 09:33:36 AM
sprkplug sprkplug is offline
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Default Re: Bad Gas?

A few times a year is sometimes all it takes to prevent problems. Also, most two-cycle oil has a fuel stabilizer already in it.

The problem is bad enough around here that I get asked by my customers what should they do.....drain the fuel, or add stabilizer? My response is to go ahead and add the stabilizer on four cycle fuel, but most importantly, run all of their equipment once a month. Start everything up and run it for a few minutes. Most of the problems that I see are on equipment that has set for a year or more. A small engine carb has a lot smaller passages than an automotive, or farm tractor carb, and they will not tolerate much restriction before causing problems. This time of year, when I'm servicing customers equipment for next spring, I add stabilizer to all of them.

Also, older saws are more forgiving of alcohol laden fuel in one important aspect....they are pre-emission, and the carbs reflect that by having those slightly larger passages I mentioned earlier. Two cycles built in the last 10 years or so are designed to run as lean as possible for emission purposes.... it doesn't take much to restrict the carb and cause a problem. The same is true with four cycle outdoor equipment also. An old K301 Kohler will tolerate a fuel restriction better than a one year old Briggs, AND those old carbs are adjustable... I'll bet that at least some of the folks who don't have problems are running older equipment, and when they fire up in the spring and the engine doesn't sound right, they simply back out a mixture screw and go on, telling everyone that they don't have problems, when in fact they do.

The difference is they corrected the problem themselves, without even giving it any thought. Can't do that on modern carbs.....
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:49:43 AM
1936JDB 1936JDB is offline
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Default Re: Bad Gas?

There are threads over at the harley sight about guys traveling, having to put ethanol gas in their bike when in areas where there is no choice. Then the bike starts spitting and bucking, and won't run right till they drain it out and refill with regular fuel. Of course, then 50 other guys pile on, with similar stories, and the idea that it is all the fault of the ethanol. I just don't get it.
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  #32  
Old 11-03-2012, 10:15:47 AM
sprkplug sprkplug is offline
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Default Re: Bad Gas?

I don't know that I have seen running problems due to ethanol....storage, and the damage caused from storage, is what I see the most.
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  #33  
Old 11-03-2012, 11:24:58 AM
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OTTO-Sawyer OTTO-Sawyer is offline
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Default Re: Bad Gas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sprkplug View Post
I'll bet that at least some of the folks who don't have problems are running older equipment, and when they fire up in the spring and the engine doesn't sound right, they simply back out a mixture screw and go on, telling everyone that they don't have problems, when in fact they do.

The difference is they corrected the problem themselves, without even giving it any thought. Can't do that on modern carbs.....
As I've stated before in a few other threads.... my 37 Ford that sets in a shed with a dirt floor and high humidity, sat for 14 years with a broken spring in the distributor before I finally got around to rebuilding the distributor and getting it out and driving it again. It was setting there with a 1/4 tank of fuel (or less) with a vented gas cap. Yes, I DID Prime the carb with new gas just to save cranking time waiting for the fuel pump to refill the card, but That's All that was done to the carb which I Have NOT Touched since I rebuilt it in 1979 (34 years ago). I have not touched the idle mixture screws, or the idle speed adjustment, or anything else on it in all those years. I let it set in the yard running for 1/2 hour or so, and then drove it 4 miles to the nearest gas station and added 2 or 3 gallons to it, cleaned it up a little and drove it 7 miles to a local car show on a mixture of fresh gas and the 14 year old gas.

Other than those 14 years it sat, it usually gets driven 14 to 20 mile round trip twice a month during the summer months, getting 2 or 3 gallons of new gas mixed with the old for each 14-20 mile trip, never filling it above 1/2 tank, and parking it in the shed with a 1/4 tank. When parked in the fall, it sets until the following spring under those same conditions.

My 69 Firebird DID get the carb rebuilt before digging it out from its 11 year storage, only because I parked it after having it backfire one cold winter day and set the carb on fire and putting it out with a chemical fire extiguisher, so IT needed to be rebuilt again before I got it out again. I drove it a few times after getting it going again, but lost the brakes and haven't had the time, money, or ambition all at the same time to tear into it and fix them, so it sets outside getting fired up a couple times a year for the last 8 years. When I started it to move it over in the driveway last month, I had to clean the points again to get spark, but haven't touched the carb again since the rebuild 8 years ago.

Those are BOTH with the 'up to' 10% ethanol, (which some people claim is actually "Up To 15% or 21% or higher"), setting for extended periods with vented caps, and roughly 1/4 full tanks.
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  #34  
Old 11-03-2012, 11:36:42 AM
1936JDB 1936JDB is offline
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Default Re: Bad Gas?

I'll just take the Firebird off your hands Otto.
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  #35  
Old 11-03-2012, 12:04:25 PM
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Default Re: Bad Gas?

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Originally Posted by 1936JDB View Post
I suppose it's as hard for those that truely have had problems to accept, that some of us haven't. As it is for me to believe it is such an issue.
Since I'm the one that brought up Bills name, knowing about all the problems he's had with it, I can understand his hatred of ethanol, but, just like he thinks only a few of us can run it trouble free, I feel that only a few actually have problems with it. There are Billions and Billions of engines out there in cars, trucks, tractor, lawn mowers, etc., running just fine on it compaired with hundreds of thousands or MAYBE Millions that have had problems 'apparently' related to it. Yes, Millions is a big number, but it's still just a drop in the proverbial bucket.

People tend to jump on the bandwagon when there's something to complain about, but the vast majority of those that are trouble free stay out of the conversations because they don't search for them to get involved, making it all pretty biased towards being problematic when it isn't as widespread as everyone thinks it is simply based on what they read.

---------- Post added at 11:01 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:55 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1936JDB View Post
I'll just take the Firebird off your hands Otto.
JDB:

I Might concider selling the rough old bird.... but the motor stays here.

Eventually it will either go back in the other 69 bird that I built it for, or maybe in my 40 International. I've pissed off too many people over the years with that engine because of how I threw it together, some of the modifications I made on it, and how virtually indestructible it seems to be.... so I can't let it fall into the wrong hands.

---------- Post added at 11:04 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:01 AM ----------

And, I Did THANK Bill for his comment, knowing all the problems he's dealt with up there....
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  #36  
Old 11-03-2012, 12:33:24 PM
sprkplug sprkplug is offline
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Default Re: Bad Gas?

I'll bet the carb on that Ford has idle passages big enough to run a pipe cleaner through...:
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  #37  
Old 11-03-2012, 12:33:59 PM
1936JDB 1936JDB is offline
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Default Re: Bad Gas?

I'm not exactly rolling in dough at the moment, but I'd take pics and a price just for curiousity. I passed up on a 69 trans am as my first car. Ran and drove fine (except for the bias ply's), $800, blue and white.
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  #38  
Old 11-03-2012, 01:11:21 PM
Bill Sherlock Bill Sherlock is offline
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Default Re: Bad Gas?

"I don't know that I have seen running problems due to ethanol....storage, and the damage caused from storage, is what I see the most."

I've experienced vehicle engine running problems due to ethanol gas numerous times. Had an '84 Chevy 1/2 ton with a 305 engine that would ping like hell when accelerating on the highway or driving up a steep grade while crossing a bridge. Know several other people that experienced the same problem after filling up at the local station so wasn't just me. Probably more that I didn't hear about.

My latest experience with ethanol cost me a $277 tow job. Had the engine for a '95 Ford Contour removed at a garage in a nearby town and sent to an engine rebuilder for a complete rebuild. They reinstalled the engine and then drove the car to check that everything would be working OK before I picked it up. The mechanic phoned me saying there was something badly wrong as the engine was acting like the timing was out and suspected it was the valves not set right by the rebuilder. I had him talk to the engine rebuilder and was decided to have it towed there (at my expense of course). Turns out there was nothing wrong with the valves and had another mechanic check it out. First thing he asked me was how old was the gas?

Well the car had sat for 6 years without being started. I would have thought that I would have had a problem starting it then, but after installing a new battery it started like it had run the day before. I can't say for sure but I don't think the gas in the tank had ethanol as the service station where I would have bought it was ethanol free at the time. I used up that gas and refilled the tank several times since then with gas containing ethanol. I didn't drive the car last winter and it sat at the shop, where I had the engine removed and reinstalled, for a couple of months.

The second mechanic drained the gas tank, changed the fuel filter and put in some non ethanol premium gas. Engine runs fine now, with no more pinging.
I will be avoiding the use of ethanol gas in this vehicle if at all possible in the future.

Since I quit using ethanol gas in all my air cooled engines, don't have the hassle of draining the gas tank & carb and having to clean the carb whether the gas tank was drained or not.

For my chainsaw and weed wacker 2 cycle engines I'm buying True Fuel premixed at 40-1 as it's ethanol free. At $7 a quart it is well worth it just for the aggravation factor alone.

Bill
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  #39  
Old 11-03-2012, 03:11:22 PM
Power Power is offline
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Default Re: Bad Gas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1936JDB View Post
Thanks, I understand the mechanism, I just don't understand why it doesn't seem to be a problem around here. Seems like our blend must be different or something.

Please read post #9

---------- Post added at 03:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:04 PM ----------

[QUOTE=Billy J Shafer;832828]line on a weed eater.24 hours later it was hard as a brick. I still think it has to do with the blends around the country.QUOTE]

RIGHT! NY, NJ, CONN have a lot of oxygenators and other addatives to supposedly make it burn cleaner. When we visit family in Virginia, truck seems to have more pep, and according t oMPG readout, gets better mileage, but I don't put much into that, as wind, # of stops, etc make a difference.
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Old 11-03-2012, 03:15:50 PM
1936JDB 1936JDB is offline
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Default Re: Bad Gas?

I read it when you posted it, and just re-read it. I am aware that diferent areas recieve diferent blends of fuel. But It makes me think that it is some other ingredient besides the ethanol that is causing the trouble, since most folks around here run the ethanol fuel without problems. Or possibly another ingredient that compounds the issue, that isn't used locally.
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