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Oil Field Engines & Related Equipment

Water in Fuel


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Old 03-05-2019, 10:31:17 AM
Joel Sanderson Joel Sanderson is offline
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Default Water in Fuel

A little background: I have a 15 horse Reid which powers my shop, consisting of 90+ feet of line shaft connected to 30 or so machines. This puts a constant load on the engine. Whenever the engine's running, so is the dynamo for my lights. I'd guess the steady draw on the engine is around 8 horsepower before more load is added by other machines.

I start the engine on propane with a hot tube and run it until it's warmed up. Then I switch to the carburettor (which I made) and liquid fuel. Once I switch from propane, I turn the hot tube off, and the Reid has no ignition other than compression.

As often as it's available, I burn reclaimed gasoline. This varies from lot to lot, but as a whole, it works much better than new gasoline. Some lots burn well just as they come; other lots need kerosene mixed in to get it to ignite by compression. I'm burning my most recent lot in a 3:2 ratio, gas/kero. New gasoline, even mixed with kerosene 1:1 does not run well under heavy load. It knocks--pre-ignites--when the engine comes under heavy load.

(This is acting as a carbureted diesel; in other words, the volume varies with the load and changes the ignition temperature depending on how much air mixture is being compressed--unlike a true diesel which has a constant volume and varied fuel only.)

I haven't had to buy new gas for a few years now, but I'm sure I will again, so I'm trying to answer the question: why doesn't it run as well? There is water in the old gas. (Who knows what else is in that stuff!) My guess is the water slows the burn enough to prevent the knocking under load. New gas cannot run the whole shop without knocking or flooding the engine; on old gas, the Reid just leans into the load, makes a little more noise and pulls harder on the belt.

Does anyone here have any experience mixing water with gasoline? Shouldn't it be possible to add a certain amount of water to E-10 and have the alcohol absorb the water? Wouldn't that take the place of the water valve that some of the all-fuel engines (like a Fairbanks Z) have on them to prevent knocking under load? How much water can I add before it can no longer be absorbed? Are there oil field engines with water valves?

(I don't think I've asked this question here before. If so, I'm sorry. I did a search though and didn't find one. I wish I could order a new memory.)

Thanks for helping. .

Joel

P.S.: I'll try not to be so windy in future posts.
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