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The Great Ethanol Scam


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  #41  
Old 05-30-2009, 09:33:01 AM
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

Don't blame ethanol because your gas went bad. I worked my way through college cleaning carburetors at a 5 line motorcycle shop. I saw gummed up and stale gas that was both E10 and non-ethanol. As someone said earlier, the cracking process today does not leave us with gasoline with very long storage capacity. Use stable and keep the tanks topped off if you want to avoid stale gas problems. I try to avoid using E10 in 2 stroke engines and my old tractors with dirty tanks. However, I have been using E10 in everything else since I started driving in the mid 80s. Once I replaced the plastic fload in my 76 Blazer with a brass float, I never had any problems. It got about 1 mpg better mileage on E10 than it did on straight gaslone (11.5 vs 12.5). I burn E10 in all my current vehicles. I have not seen any loss of mileage compared to straight gas. Last year I experimented with mixtures in my non-flex fuel S10 by mixing E85 into the tank. No loss of milage up to about 30% ethanol. Lost about 2 mpg (10%) at 50% ethanol. Anything greater than 50% ethanol would cause the oxygen sensor to go out of range and cause the check engine light to go on. It would go back off once I put more gas in. I did not have any problems and the power was the same.
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  #42  
Old 05-30-2009, 10:28:46 AM
pegasuspinto pegasuspinto is offline
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

First, anyone who thinks ethanol turns to gum, hasn't seen my dad's 35 year old half drunk whiskey bottle. The gasolene is the crappy part, 10% ethanol is just going to be 10% less gum. Current gasolene is made to work best in current cars, and gasolene has evolved to work with the cars being made at the time for better then 30 years now. Small engine makers started to realize they were being left behind in the 80's, and now, while what is sold at the pump is great for newer cars, nothing is all that wonderfull for any small engine. Technically, they should probably have a "small engine and old car" pump. Of course, an added problem is that untill the last few years, the gas tank sealing scheme on most small engines was a hole punched through the gas cap. If anyone really can't stand the gas, just go to most any small local airport, walk up to the pump, and get your self-serve 100ll gas. If you get any crap out of them, tell them it's for your ultralight.

Robert
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  #43  
Old 05-30-2009, 10:52:52 AM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

Ethanol itself will not gum, but the fact that it absorbs water into the crap gas does have a great effect on what is left in your carb, once it evaporates.

Gasoline is not what it used to be - gasoline! It is now a chemical cocktail that also involves gasses injected into that chemical brew. Besides liquid alcohol, there is Iso-butane and Iso-propane. These are the first to volitize out of the mix, when the storage is left open, or a fuel can is left with less than a full can. The idea is to nget the gas to vaporize completely before it gets burned in the combustion chamber. Unfortunately, a lot of the volatile material decides to do it before it even gets inside the fuel tank! Fuel stabilizers like stabil help, but do not keep fuel like new forever,
Andrew
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  #44  
Old 05-30-2009, 11:03:52 PM
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

The only thing I have seen work on spiking evaporized ethanol gas is Star-Tron. It brings dead gas back to life after sitting more than 30 days. Ive heard Pri-G is supposed to do the same thing but havent used it. Stabil does NOTHING for todays fuels from my experiance.
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  #45  
Old 05-31-2009, 06:20:05 AM
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

Here is a link to some interesting info: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/fuels/rfg/waterphs.pdf
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Old 05-31-2009, 11:20:16 PM
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

Thats a good read but Im sure gasoline is blended much differantly today then 1995 when that was written. Some stuff jives, some does not.
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Old 06-02-2009, 11:23:01 PM
Bill Sherlock Bill Sherlock is offline
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

Had ocassion to take apart the carb on my employer's 5.5 HP Briggs & Stratton Intek engine on a banjo pump this afternoon. This engine was used in October of last year and has been stored in a heated shop since November. I drained the carb on the steel deck of a truck in the shop and attempted to light the fluid with a propane torch, with no hint at ignition so assume it was ethanol fuel that turned to water over the winter.

The interior of the carb was coated with a white fuzz that resembled what you see on an alkaline patch of ground. Now before someone says the gas tank should have been drained last fall and the engine ran until the carb was dry, done that before and still had the white powdery corrosion, so appears doesn't make any difference if ethanol gas is drained or not.

Anyway to make a long story short, I used CLR to clean up the corrosion and worked pretty good. Now I just need to bring some non ethanol gas from home to fill the tank and see if the engine will start and run after the cleaning. I noticed the throttle shaft has a lot of play so may effect the engine somewhat.

Bill
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  #48  
Old 06-03-2009, 09:16:15 PM
Bill Sherlock Bill Sherlock is offline
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

Drove past a dumpster in a nearby city that was heaped up with lawnmowers today. Suspect that most of them were casualties of ethanol gas??

Bill
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  #49  
Old 06-04-2009, 09:34:02 AM
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

Well eventually lawnmower engine companies will have to catch up to everyone else. What needs to happen is have a consistent fuel formulation accross the country, and not keep changing it every 2 years. Be it 10, 20 , 30 percent ethanol, or whatever they want. The engine companies build accordingly and life is good. As fas as older product not being compatible, well if there is a market, conversion kits can be made. If not, well thats tough. Change is nothing new, and every generation that has had a major change, has griped about it. Gasoline as you knew it from 50 years ago is gone in the automotive world, never to return. We are stuck with cracked blends, and alcohols. You want the old fuel, Go buy Avgas, its the closest your going to get.
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  #50  
Old 06-04-2009, 10:35:56 AM
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

A bit of tough love there and, for me at least, long over due.

I believe I may have been spending too much time wondering what happened to my youth, why things couldn't be like they used to be etc.

Thanks makoman 1860...it's not only the gasoline of 50 years ago that has changed and it is time that, I for one, stop wishing for the past (and whining about my bad back and hip) and catch up!

I just joined Face Book, but I guess that is old hat...Twitter ?

Baby steps....
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  #51  
Old 06-04-2009, 02:31:47 PM
Jim Metzger Jim Metzger is offline
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

Well boys and girls, get used to it... As we are led to believe, our ultimate future will be with fuel cells and electric powered vehicles. Early fuel cell technology used hydrogen and now I am reading that methanol fuel cells will be the technology of tommorrow because of all the fresh water used in producing hydrogen fuel cells.
As with all new products such as the original contraption that Orville and Wilbur started with and with what became mainstream aviation that started in the late 1930's and the original horseless carriage of the late 1890's to the Model T Ford some years later there were many, many false starts, exotic ideas and failures before a usable, partical,reliable and affordable product was offered to the consumer. After all, we the consumer are the test bed for all manufacturers, and will pay the price ulimately for all of their good ideas gone bad.
History has taught that not much changes only more of the same. It could be worse where we could all be living in a third world country where technology is an ox and a walk behind plow and a conservation such as this could not exist.
Thank You Harry for this great site.
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  #52  
Old 06-04-2009, 10:22:25 PM
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

I realize things change but a lot of times it isn't for the better. Ethanol is one of those things. Might have to get used to it but sure don't have to like it! What I can't figure out is why so many people are willing to pay so much for an inferior product and consider it's alright!

Design has nothing to do with the problems that ethanol gas poses for air cooled engines that are not used on a daily basis. A Honda engine sitting for a long period of time with ethanol gas in the tank will be just as hard to start as a Briggs or Tecumseh, speaking from experience.

Bill
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:55:45 AM
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Exclamation Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

If the government didn't make changes in gas formulation and oil additives, engines and carbs would not become worn out/obsolete. People would not have to buy new engines/parts. Programmed obsolescense at its best!

Throttle shaft wear will definately have an effect on engine performance. Poor idle due to excess air getting thru the shaftway, poor governing speed control due to the throttle wandering around in the bore, valve and cylinder wear due to dirt getting around the shaft (this will accellerate shaft wear as well). Replacement carbs are not all that expensive.

The new gasoline is not kind to any engine, no matter what the brand/age, it does damage if left in the engine more than 30 days. if the fuel system is an open system (not closed as in a fuel injected system), then the fuel will degrade and cause damage. The best way to prevent damage - top off fuel tank to minimise fuel exposure to air, run engine once a week for a minimum of 15 minutes, to get fresh fuel into carb and keep seals fresh. If the engine is to be left idle for more than 30 days, drain tank (put the gas in your car and use it up), run the engine until it quits, using the choke to completely empty the carb. If the carb has a fuel drain, after the engine quits, open the drain to remove any trace of fuel from the fuel bowl. Store the engine in a cool dry area. Remove the spark plug(s) and add some oil to the cylinder(s), turn the engine over a few times and re-install the plug(s) If the engine is a single cylinder, turn until the engine hits the compression stroke in order to close the valves and keep condensation out of the cylinder.
Andrew
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:54:48 AM
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

Bill, Andrew,
Trust me I know where you are coming from, remember I restore old engines as well. I also work for a company that designs and builds "small" engines today. Material compatability problems can be overcome, we have done it with our small carb engines. Yes from the comsumer side of things alcohol fuels can be more work, ask any person that runs model glow engines. But again, it really isnt worth being upset about, its here to stay, for a while. Just think of all the people in the midwest that had their houses powered by Edison plants when electricty was new. Imagine their shock when they were told DC low voltage current was going away in favor of AC high voltage. I bet they grumbled about having to insulate their indoor wiring and how that "buzzing" AC was going to hurt their livestock. Now we dont give it a second thought. Neither will the next generation when it comes to fuel, alcohol will be the "norm" and they will have never known the days of being able to let fuel sit for a year and still be fine. So rack up true "gasoline" with returnable pop bottles, the milkman, customer service, and small government on the shelf of nice things, never to return.
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  #55  
Old 06-06-2009, 06:47:34 PM
Don Naismith Don Naismith is offline
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

Small engine manufactures won't warrantee engines run on fuel containing greater than 10% ethanol and methanol is not to be used. The 10% ethanol limit is currently mandated by the government.

From the original article it appears some of the fuels tested from cars with damaged engines had greater than 10% ethanol. Sounds like a quality control problem.

Then again who has the $$$ to take on big oil for reimbursement of a repair bill?
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  #56  
Old 06-07-2009, 10:45:11 PM
Bill Sherlock Bill Sherlock is offline
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

Decided to fire up my main lawnmower today for the first time since about last September. It's been sitting outside with the gas tank about half full of regular (non ethanol) gas which had Briggs & Stratton Fresh Start added to the jerry can that I keep my lawnmower/rototiller gas in.

Before attempting to start the mower I removed the bowl from the carburetor to compare it to the one on the Briggs Intek engine with the ethanol gas that I took apart last week as mentioned earlier in this thread. The bowl was as clean as a whistle with no sign of water damage or white corrosion and the gas that drained from the bowl even ignited!! Imagine that, what a concept!!

Bill
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  #57  
Old 06-12-2009, 10:53:15 PM
mrxlh mrxlh is offline
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

Ethanol is a scam. It is not a green energy. It takes 6 units of energy to produce 1 unit of ethanol energy. The biggest flop is that the government is proping it up. Subsudies to the farmers to not grow crops and tax breaks to ethanol blenders to make it compete with gasoline. Bio diesel is much the same way. It has to have a $1 per gallon blending credit to compete head to head with petroleum diesel fuel. The problem with hydrocarbons is it is non replaceable. You cannot make fertilizer and other needed farming chemicals from corn or soybeans. Plus the nat gas or electricity needed to convert both products.
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  #58  
Old 06-13-2009, 02:27:33 AM
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

Petroleum is a renewable energy source - just not a very quickly renewable one. It is just millions of years of dead plants and animals. It is not like animals and plants stopped dying and decaying/leeching into the ground, its just that we happen to be using them up quicker then they can naturally be replenished.
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