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Bad Gas?

1936JDB

Registered
I read threads on here all the time complaining about gas going bad in "2 weeks". I live in the middle of IL, buy only ethyl gas, store it in red plastic cans, leave it in my motorcycles, mowers, and generators for months an months. My Harley sits all winter full, so does the mower, start fine every spring. Hell, I had a generator that I know the gas was over a year old, started fine with a few pulls of the rope. Never use any kind of stabilizer. Never use any special care storing it, never a problem. Well, I have a push mower that sat for a couple years after we bought a zero turn that gummed up. So whats the deal? Are people exagerating? Or do I have magical anti gas gumming powers?? :shrug: :shrug: :shrug:
 

Pete Deets

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
01/01/2020
My guess (and worth what you've paid for it) is that by using ethyl (I'm guessing top octane) fuel you're using non-alcohol fuel. I have the same experience by not using corn liquor in my mower & motorcycles. It seems like not having the ethanol and the water it pulls out of the air in the system helps things last much longer. I'd be happy for more information from those better at chemistry than me....PD
 

1936JDB

Registered
By ethyl, I mean that I specifically buy ethanol fuel. I live in the corn belt, we grow corn, I buy corn gas, only. Not premium, 89 octane ethynol gas.
 

Wayne 440

Registered
FYI- "ethyl" is an obsolete term from the 60's for gasoline which contained an added amount of tetraethyl lead to raise the octane.

I have heard gasoline with ethanol additives referred to as "gasohol", but do not know if that is the correct term.
 

Pete Deets

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
01/01/2020
OK, where I grew up (in the northern end of the state) back in the dark ages, you had a choice of regular or ethyl meaning standard grade or high test gas. The Ethyl referring to tetraethyl lead additive. All this was B.G. (before gasohol). I'm glad you specified so others wouldn't stumble over the same assumption.
I will also be interested in the replies as over the last 15 years or more I have seen the ethanol fuels deteriorate faster than non- alcohol fuels in my own equipment that sees intermittent use. In the car & truck I've never had trouble with gasohol as the fuel never sits long enough to turn.
Not looking to start an argument, just passing along my personal observations & hoping to learn something.....PD

---------- Post added at 06:24 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:20 PM ----------

I have heard gasoline with ethanol additives referred to as "gasohol", but do not know if that is the correct term.
Wayne,
Looks like you & I hit reply about the same time. Gasohol was an early marketing term but hasn't been used for some years....PD
 

Wayne 440

Registered
...Gasohol was an early marketing term but hasn't been used for some years...
I suppose that is an attempt to lead us to believe that it is equivalent to actual gasoline. It should be illegal to market fuel with any percentage of alcohol as "gasoline".
 

1936JDB

Registered
Gasahol is just a combination of the two words, gas and alcohol. Just like it is a combination of the two ingredients. DO NOT turn this into a ethanol bashing thread. I want to know whats going on here, not hear anti alcohol BS. Thanks for the info on "Ethyl" gas, I was not aware.
 

Culy

Registered
Last Subscription Date
08/27/2010
I have to be on 1936JDB side on this issue. I do all the things you arent supposed to do when putting mowers, equip, toys w/engines up for the winter storage. I've never used a stablizer in my gas but I do top them off and have the fuel bowls full of gas. I use a stablizer in my diesel stuff to prevent gelling. I have yet to have problems starting next spring. I even found a 5 gal steel can full of gas that I knew was going on 3 1/2 years old this year. It ran fine in my 318 for mowing. Smelled a little rough but ran fine. So what is it that everyone has issues and a select few dont?
 

Power

Registered
I think stability varies state by state - You can purchase non ethanol gas in some states. Here, I cannot.
Here, they put more in for the winter, along with other stuff to "make it burn cleaner".
Our Winter blend builds up pressure in gasoline cans, you have to leave vent a bit loose so plastic containers do not get too much pressure and break. About 1/4 evaporates in a couple of weeks.
If left in non sealed container, like lawnmower or snowblower tank, it seems to absorb water, get cloudy, and after couple of months it separates with hard to burn stuff on bottom, which I think is water/alcohol mix.
Gas bought in the summer does not have this problem, and keeps for several months in a sealed gas can.

In winter, Premium gas seems to be a bit better, does not build up pressure as much, keeps for months.
I and neighbors have had carburetors on small engines get "white rust" inside. Lawnmower shop I go to has barrels out back with discarded carbs. He says they have scrap value, and sells the metal.

I took advice on this site, and now run ATF in my small engines before storing them. No longer have carburetor problems.
 

Pete Deets

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
01/01/2020
DO NOT turn this into a ethanol bashing thread. I want to know whats going on here, not hear anti alcohol BS.
That is precisely why I was careful to relate my own, limited actual experience. Not bashing, just reporting first hand information and only 1 source. As I stated above, I use the blended fuel without trouble in the greatest part of my consumption and am looking to learn more.

As a side note, be careful when you ask a question. You may hear things you don't want to hear.....PD

---------- Post added at 07:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:59 PM ----------

So what is it that everyone has issues and a select few dont?
Can't even guess what it may be, but count it as good luck & I hope it continues for all who enjoy it.....PD
 

G Willikers

Sponsor
Last Subscription Date
05/01/2019
Have generally used gas with, as it says on the pump, up to 10% ethanol. Use it in everything from lawn mower to 1913 tractor and also in my vehicle. As soon as I get a can of gas, it gets a bit of stabilizer and the can stays tightly sealed - it will expand on a hot day and contract on a cold day so it is tight. I always use stabilizer in the old tractors and try to run them out of gas before winter and always shut the tractors, lawn mower, etc, off by shutting off the fuel and then drain the carb after.
Yes, the ethanol gas will go bad if not properly stored. I use ethanol because I cannot afford to buy premium gas and the lowest price gas sold here generally contains some ethanol. Also, some local farmers invested heavily in an ethanol plant west of here using corn so it is nice to support the locals!:O
 

Wayne 440

Registered
1936JDB- With all due respect, when you are made a moderator, I will allow you to dictate what I may or may not post. As a courtesy I will over look the virtual shouting.
 

krawlr

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Last Subscription Date
07/09/2019
I had a mason jar for a fuel tank on the little hit'n'miss in my avatar. I stored it in a room that gets lots of sunlight. Some kind of green gunk developed and plugged the inlet screen and jammed the check ball. The stuff was stuck to sides of the jar and I couldn't get it off. Ended up pitching the jar and switching to camp fuel.

No sun=no problems for me. Except cheap Walbro carbed stuff, nothing seems to help those diaphragms once they contact fuel.

I've also read about the newer vehicles with the mpg meter show a noticeable drop in fuel mileage with the ethanol mix.

I really wish they would put it in a separate pump so we could choose.
 

1936JDB

Registered
In all but the most chaotic and unmoderated forums that I frequent does the original posters request for a thread to stay on topic go unheeded. I can read plenty of anti alcohol threads elsewhere. Here I am looking for an answer as to why this happens to me (and many locals that I speak to). I capitalized my words for emphasis, if you find that offensive, I appologize. I am certain that if I were "shouting" at you, you would be well aware of my intent.
 

sdowney717

Registered
whether the gas goes bad or stays good has to do with if water can be absorbed by E10 gasoline.
Just a tiny amount of water causes a phase separation. Then the alcohol tends to dissolve gum up rubber and plastics parts. And the water causes corrosion..
I have an expensive TORO lawnmower fairly new electric start power drive mower. That mower tends to get water in the carb. Then the rubber needle valve seat in the carb swells up and the engine wont run. It also ate the rubber fuel hose and sent sticky gums into the carb.

I have an expensive Lawnboy which has never had any problems.

If you leave gas in the engine, the fuel evaporates from the bowl, so the then fuel drains from tank, moist air enters tank, then over real long time, you can get phase separation.

Also you can have leaky gas caps which if engine sits outside, rain can get in the tank. So put the engines under cover.

---------- Post added at 08:51 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:48 PM ----------

I also have several older Brigs engines which have rubber diaphrams in the carbs and metal fuel tanks. E10 fuel just destroys them, tanks all rusty, rubber diaphragm disintegrates.

I need to pour water in the fuel can shake, then decant off the pure gasoline for those type of motors.
 

1936JDB

Registered
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.
 

OTTO-Sawyer

Subscriber
Age
57
Last Subscription Date
07/15/2019
My THANKS button is burned out at the moment, but I will be posting a few THANKS (or THANKING a few posts:shrug:) on here when I can.

I've repeatedly stated the facts from my own personal experiences as well, and have yet to have ANY fuel related problems with old gas, whether it's been setting for 3 weeks in the lawn mower, or 11 years in 69 Firebird, 14 years in 37 Ford, and 21 years in 51 Ford, with all but the 51 Ford having the 'up to' 10% ethanol and/or 20% mixtures, and stored with 1/4 full tanks in an uninsulated building with a dirt floor and high humidity. Firebird got pulled out of the shed in December 2003 after setting since 1992, and has been setting outside alongside the driveway since 2004 getting run once in a while, but not driven till I get time and ambition to do a brake job on it again sometime.

Don't know what was in the 51 Ford, but whatever it was had the worst Varnish Smell of anything I'd run accross in years, and after breaking the engine loose, cleaning the points, and priming the carb just to save cranking time, it fired right up, ran smooth (albeit smoking like hell the first few minutes), and smoked the tires up the driveway. Parked it in the shed for the winter, and dug it out again the next summer running on the then 22 year old gas which was what was still in the tank when I drove it on the new owners trailer when I sold it.

The only thing I own that MAY HAVE had a fuel related problem was my Poulan chain saw that the flimsy plastic fuel line rotted off in, but given the age and what the line was made of, I don't know if it would lasted any longer with regular unleaded (non-ethanol) fuel in it.

Even my hit and miss engines will run on what's been setting in the tank for who knows how long.

I ran my loader tractor and lawn mowers on whatever gas I drained out of cars and trucks when I scrapped them after setting for several years sinking into the ground.... until I finally ran out of tanks to drain. Sold the loader tractor, and now the lawn mowers get 'new' gas that sets anywhere from from 1 day to 3 weeks before getting used up, and whatever is still in the plastic cans in the shed will get used in them next spring just like it did this spring.

37 Ford got backed into the shed October 31st and will set there on the dirt floor with a 1/4 tank of 'up to 10% ethanol' untill I drive it out again next Memorial day. 69 Firebird gets fired up once or twice a year just to make sure everything gets oiled up good and the exhaust dried out, and is still running on what I put in the tank in 2004 (just looked at the calendar to confirm that) after setting for 11 years prior to that.

After selling the loader tractor, I fired up the bird and moved it over in the driveway last month, leaving a nice posi burnout half way up the driveway at 1/4 throttle (on a mixture 8 year old & 20 year old ethanol/gas;)).
 
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1936JDB

Registered
Otto, we are both in IL, and only what, 3-4 hours apart? Maybe if people would post there state, or region, and weather they have problem or not, we could find a pattern. I'm still thinking either different blends. I have also had a few old chainsaws loose fuel lines, but not convinced that is an issue. And my jet boat refused to start on 5+ year old fuel. But fired right up on new fuel, with no other ill effects. But it is fairly high compression, especially compared to a 51 ford.
 

OTTO-Sawyer

Subscriber
Age
57
Last Subscription Date
07/15/2019
Very True.

I know Bill Sherlock has had LOTS of problems up in Alaska or Canada (forgot which one he's in), and I've read of problems in New Jersey.

But I also know people here in Illinois that have been complaining about bad gas since the mid 1970s, if not earlier, though I've never run accross any of it. I took some that a former friend said wouldn't run in his engine and dumped it in mine and ran it 22 or 23 years ago, (late 1980s) and then I asked him why it wouldn't work in his engine.:shrug:

I still suspect a handful of people actually have problems, and everyone else then assumes that they have the same problem.
 

1936JDB

Registered
Yep, I hear alot of "Well, dad used to say ethanol ruined his car, so I never use it" type stuff. But rarely anyone, that I trust, that actually seems to have a problem. The guys on the Harley forum all complain about it, but mine has run fine on it for years. But alot of them are out on the east coast.
 
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