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Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?


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  #21  
Old 01-02-2012, 06:46:00 PM
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

My biggest problem with ethanol is the "white rust" we find in small engine carburetors.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:19:03 PM
ArtInCONN ArtInCONN is offline
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldschoolwisconsin View Post
Aviation fuel has a shelf life of over a year. I used to be an airplane mechanic. The reason it dosnt make the white "smoke" is coz there is absolutely NO water in AvGas. The FAA is SUPER stringent on water in gasoline.
Ahh HAA! So that is why, when the engine was cold and running the Ethanol mix gasoline, it used to exhaust a white vapor! Like I said, when I switched to 100LL, all that went away.

Also, later this afternoon I started up a Locke 14R6 a 19R6 and a 23R6 each with a tad of Ethanol mix left in the tanks. I topped them off with the new 100LL. Just as the case with the old Model A Briggs, each will now idle alot slower, especially the 23R6. Amazing. They are all topped off with the 100LL. So I have just about dispensed all the av gas I had. Will get some more in the Spring.
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  #23  
Old 01-02-2012, 08:09:04 PM
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OTTO-Sawyer OTTO-Sawyer is offline
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Sherlock View Post
Otto, Otto, Otto,

How did I know you were going to come back on this thread??

Bill
Bill, Bill, Bill,

Probably the same way I knew you would. Although I am trying to stay civilized about it all, and hope you will continue to too. I have Nothing against you personally, we just disagree on a few subjects. If we can't debate it publicly and show both sides of the story, things get pretty one sided with nothing to make comparrisons with.

This has been debated back & forth many many times in several different threads, and likely will in many more. WE BOTH speak from experience, and while I originally found many of your stories to be as far fetched as you may have found some of mine, the Popular Mechanics article I quoted in a couple of the other threads did manage to explain some of your bad experiences, many of which are caused by the high water content you apparently have in your fuel supply up there.

Just to save people the time & trouble of searching for them, you've shared your examples of fuel 'going bad over night' (the Popular Mechanic story showed that to be caused by Phase Seperation because of the water content), and I've shared my examples of using fuel that was 7, 10, 14, and 21 years old without any problems of any kind. (with all but the 21 year old fuel having the 10% ethanol mix)

None of that has anything to do with this particular thread though, as Art was asking more about the AV-gas, and apparently didn't have any problems with running 10% ethanol in his engines other than the white smoke caused by what little moisture was in his mix, although some of the white smoke probably comes from the ethanol itself with or without any actual water in it. The only thing I base that last line on is that we have on occasion thrown a shovel full of seed corn in the Heisler Locomotive and it turns the black coal smoke into a nice white cloud until the corn gets burned away and it goes back to black coal smoke again.

Arts experiments with the Av-gas confirm much of what I said about the higher octane fuel making for nice smooth slow running engines though, and it was the aviation fuel that he was asking about, Not the Ethanol.

If he were try the same test with high octane racing fuel with Ethanol mixed in he would likely get the same results of a nice slow smooth running engine, but maybe with the white smoke present again, and if that happens, he would maybe be wise to continue running it the way he said he has been doing in the past, shutting off the fuel and running the carb dry before putting it in storage. Apparently, He hasn't experienced any problems with it.

Also as I have noted many times before.... I Am NOT Promoting Ethanol, I am simply stating that I have never experienced any problems caused by it, and out of the thousands of people I know, can't think of a single one of them that ever has either. That's not to say some people haven't occasionally run into trouble with it, but the vast majority hasn't. And like JHFoster said, I also don't like that they are making it out of food. I also don't like the fact that they're burning incredible amounts of fuel to make the fuel. So NO I Am Not Promoting it. But like it or not, it is here.

There has been mention of "Throw away" carburators that are cheaper to replace than to rebuild, and that's part of a trend that started back in the 1970s with starters and alternators and other parts that by the time you figured the dollar amount of the labor involved in rebuilding, it was cheaper to buy a new or factory rebuilt unit. I'm surprised the carburators didn't go that route 20 years ago.

Last edited by OTTO-Sawyer; 01-02-2012 at 08:27:47 PM. Reason: fix typo's
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:17:27 PM
Bill Sherlock Bill Sherlock is offline
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

Otto,

You have me at a disadvantage. I come from a small village and don't know thousands of people. But of the people I do know, many have had problems associated with the use of ethanol gas. I suspect there are many more and some of whom may not be aware that it's the ethanol that's the cause of the problem(s).

If you were to do a survey of small engine repair shops as well as vehicle repair shops, I'm sure you will find ethanol related problems to be wide spread.

Bill
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:26:59 PM
ArtInCONN ArtInCONN is offline
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

Well guys I personally did have a problem with Ethanol gas. In 2010 I purchased a Stihl weed whacker. In the Spring of 2011 it totally refused to start. Brought it to my dealer. They dumped fuel, replaced it with new, and it would not start. They then replaced the carb. The dealer informed me that the Ethanol fuel had corroded the carburetor and Stihl had authorized a new carb. I was asked to drain the tank over the winter or if I expected long periods of non use.

Art
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  #26  
Old 01-02-2012, 09:46:51 PM
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

Wide spread Yes, but percentage wise to the number of engines that aren't affected by it still pretty low overall.

Where you are at, if the fuel is bad enough to cause the problems it does for you, it likely does for several, maybe Many others in your local area. It may even seem like an epidemic in your area, but still be one in a million nationwide.

Smaller communities probably sell less fuel in any given time, giving it a better chance of being contaminated in the underground storage tanks, which was also a problem for quite a few years before Ethanol.

As I also noted in a few other threads, believe it or not, I do feel for you with some of the problems you've encountered up there.

I don't doubt there are problems caused by Ethanol, but there are also a lot of people driving around that don't do any maintenance or repairs on their cars other than maybe regular oil changes and a set or two of spark plugs in a hundred thousand miles. Can't blame a problem on Ethanol when there's No problem to blame on it. Those that have a problem of some sort, there may be a high percentage of them that CAN be traced to it, but what about all the ones that Never had a problem, therefore No Record of any problems...Ethanol related or otherwise.

Reading Art's post that popped up right when I was ready to post this. I don't doubt that one bit, but at the same time, How Many Millions of weedwackers are out there still running. If Stihl authorized the replacement of the carb, where others keep saying that Ethanol will void the warranty, maybe Stihl knew there was a problem with a batch of carbs not holding up. There are factory recalls all the time these days for one thing or another.
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:30:44 PM
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

Here's my experience running 100LL avgas in my Cub Cadet 1250 garden tractor powered by a slightly modified K301 Kohler engine -

1) No noticeable difference in starting, running quality, or perceived power output.

2) The exhaust odor is delightful! If there was an aftershave that smelled like this, I'd buy it!

3) The inside of the exhaust pipe turned a whitish-grey color after a few hours of running. Reminded me of the good-ol' days.

4) The spark plug showed a slight deposit build-up after several gallons of 100 LL were consumed. I'm assuming this was a lead deposit. This deposit formation does not occur running unleaded auto fuels.

The only reason I tried this fuel was I got 5 gallons for free (fuel drain collection from the airport gas truck). My Kohler runs a 7.5:1 compression ratio and thus does not require a 100 octane fuel. In my area, I'm able to purchase 91 octane non-reformulated (no alchohol) automotive gasoline and this is what I run in all of my small engines (2 and 4-stroke). Thus, the 100 LL avgas would be a waste of money in my opinion.

Let us remember the thermodynamic fundamentals of power production from any internal combustion engine - Heat and Work are mutually convertible properties - the hotter a fuel burns in the combustion chamber, the more power is produced at the crankshaft, all other things being equal. All refined gasolines have thermal energy outputs within a few percent of each other, regardless of the octane rating, who the refinery is, or where the crude stock was extracted. The difference is in the RATE of energy released, which is accomplished by the addition of a knock additive. Tetraethel lead is the most effective knock agent ever discovered but is being discontinued do to it's being a deadly poison to both life forms and catalytic converters. It also forms combustion chamber deposits. With the low compression ratio that virtually all small industrial engines run combined with the desire to keep the combustion chamber as deposit-free as possible, I don't see any advantage to running 100 LL.

Just my humble opinion.

Dave Kirk
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:54:28 PM
oldschoolwisconsin oldschoolwisconsin is offline
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtInCONN View Post
Ahh HAA! So that is why, when the engine was cold and running the Ethanol mix gasoline, it used to exhaust a white vapor! Like I said, when I switched to 100LL, all that went away.

Also, later this afternoon I started up a Locke 14R6 a 19R6 and a 23R6 each with a tad of Ethanol mix left in the tanks. I topped them off with the new 100LL. Just as the case with the old Model A Briggs, each will now idle alot slower, especially the 23R6. Amazing. They are all topped off with the 100LL. So I have just about dispensed all the av gas I had. Will get some more in the Spring.
Heres why you could pull off a lower idle: when you have a MORE flammable and better fuel, it burns more efficiently, such as avgas. Ever wonder why the carbon from avgas really isnt too black? Its more white. The reason it isnt black is because it burns so compleately in the combustion chamber, all theres left is the lead, and that is what forms white exhaust deposits. It does, however build up nasty gunky stuff on intake valves, but that takes many thousands of hours. ANYWAY back to the white carbon. If you run avgas in an engine for a while, and take the head off, there will be very little black carbon deposits INSIDE the cylinder head even. Because of how efficiently it burns. This is why you can run a leaner mix, AND ALSO get a lower idle. Plus it wont clog up and corrode carburetors like regular gasoline does.
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  #29  
Old 01-03-2012, 05:11:36 PM
Bill Sherlock Bill Sherlock is offline
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

"Plus it won't clog up and corrode carburetors like regular gasoline does".

I believe you inadvertently omitted the word "ethanol" from the above sentence?

Hard to find any regular gas without ethanol these days.

Bill
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  #30  
Old 01-03-2012, 06:11:53 PM
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

Otto, I think you should look at the other thread - what's up with gasoline. I just came from a Snapper dealer. I asked him about Ethanol fuel in lawn mowers and he showed me a barrel full of carbs he said were ruined by it. Said they are unrepairable.
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  #31  
Old 01-03-2012, 09:05:33 PM
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

Power:

I will take you at your word on that, while at the same wonder if the Snapper dealer actually tore all of the carbs apart to check them for damage (if you say he Did, I will take your word for that too), or checked a few and found he could replace them cheaper than rebuild them. Also have to wonder what percentage of alcohol was run through those carbs, was it E-10, or do enough people concider lawn mowers to be disposable throw away items anyway that maybe some of them try running E-85 in their $150.00 to $300.00 mower even though they may not be brave enough to try in their $10,000.00 to $40,000.00 car. I've tried a couple tanks of E-85 myself, in the mower And in the car, although the car was only a partial tank of it and only one time, but I went through 5 gallons of it in the lawn mower over several weeks time before going back to the E-10 that I normally run in it. Bear in mind too, that when people take things in for repair and the mechanic asks them what happened when it quit running the same people that will lie about having hit a tree root that sheared off the key and bent the blade and maybe the crank itself, will likely also lie to the mechanic about having been using E-85 to save money.

I have acknowledged many times that ethanol CAN cause problems in some cases, but you also have to factor human nature into the equation.... whether it's running the wrong fuel or doing 5 grand hole shots and reverse drops and tearing out the transmission, when they get busted, they will lie about what happened. Hell, my cousin used to drive the car backwards on the way home from the store so it wouldn't read any miles on the odometer. He jokingly admitted that to his Dad the one time he got caught doing it, but he never told him he did it all the time when they were gone and he wasn't supposed to be driving.
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  #32  
Old 01-03-2012, 10:35:40 PM
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

Otto,

"wonder if the Snapper dealer actually tore all of the carbs apart to check them for damage"

Why don't you go down to a small engine repair shop and check out the carbs they are replacing to check for damage caused by ethanol, and see for yourself, instead of constantly trying to downplay the problem? As far as E85 being used inadvertently or intentionally, I can see that possibly happening but to the extent of carbs being replaced, really?? This phenomenon is happening in this part of the country as well where E85 is non existent or you have to hunt to find it. I personally do not know of a single source of E85 within 200 miles of home.

Bill
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  #33  
Old 01-04-2012, 12:08:52 AM
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

Carbs are being replaced more often now because #1 - they are not easily rebuildable with replacement parts like they used to. and #2 - It is cheaper to replace a $50 carb than to pay a shop $70 labor to rebuild one.

I used to rebuild a lot of motorcycle carbs. I remember having to replace 2 of them out of the hundreds that I rebuilt. Some, I saw signs of ethanol (white crusty stuff). Most were just gummed up non-ethanol gas. Passages in a moped or small motorcycle carburetor are far smaller than any lawnmower engine. I have seen them gum up from bad non-ethanol gasoline in 6 weeks or less to the point where the motorcycle woundn't idle.
I can't believe that no one else has ever seen a plugged up carburetor on an old tractor or engine that was caused by rotten gas before E10 started being popular.
I am pretty sure that the Snapper dealer's standard procedure was to replace the carburetor on any engine that wasn't running righ. Most of us who work on our own equipment would be thrifty enough to easily rebuild 95% of those carburetors without even needing to buy any parts.
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:28:19 AM
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

They do not sell E85 here.
They were partly dissasembled and left that way From what I saw of the ones on top - corroded.
I do not understand it fully - I have kept E10 in approved steel gasoline can - no problem, then last time, in 40 days or so, it ate up the galvanize on the bottom, while the gas in the plastic can still looks good. I asked him about that, and he showed me shelves full of red plastic cans, said he don't sell steel anymore.
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:39:04 AM
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

Jim,

I'm not disputing the fact that it can be cheaper to replace a carb than repair it. What some people can't grasp is the fact that an abnormal number of carbs are being repaired or replaced due to damage from ethanol gas.

I've seen carbs somewhat gummed up by pre ethanol gas but usually only after sitting for many years. In a lot of cases, spraying WD40 into the carb and letting it sit for a few minutes was enough to dissolve the gum and engine would start and run without any further work necessary. Can't do that with a carb filled with white corrosion or gummy bears stuck to the bottom of the float bowl due to ethanol gas.

Bill

Last edited by Bill Sherlock; 01-04-2012 at 12:43:55 AM. Reason: rewording
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:39:29 AM
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

I am pretty sure that the Snapper dealer's standard procedure was to replace the carburetor on any engine that wasn't running righ.
I think you are correct most of the time - The large Honda power equipment dealer about 15 miles away always sells new parts - fix nothing. That is why I go to this guy. He will get parts for any make.
This is an old guy - old school. His shop is a building in front of his house. He has been repairing forever. He actually works hard to get the lowest cost solution for his customers - seems to enjoy it. Spent a LOT of time finding parts to help me. Porter Cable gen Briggs powered. I looked all over his shop while he was looking in parts books and on computer. He takes apart and then decides.
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:31:08 AM
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Sherlock View Post
"Plus it won't clog up and corrode carburetors like regular gasoline does".

I believe you inadvertently omitted the word "ethanol" from the above sentence?

Hard to find any regular gas without ethanol these days.

Bill
Bill, you are 100% correct. I must not have been thinking strait coz I forgot compleately to put in the word "ethanol". My bad. here in Colorado, we DO happen to have E0 gasoline with absolutely NO ethanol in it. But because of how its stored underground, moisture STILL condensates into the gasoline, so you still get watery fuel.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:52:03 AM
ArtInCONN ArtInCONN is offline
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

Guys, I did ask to see my Stihl carb that was fubar'ed by the ethanol gasoline. The inside of it looked like tiny white deposits of corrosion. Much like the white coating or oxidation that forms on unpainted aluminum, such as on old storm window frames. But this was on the inside of the carb bowl and all internal parts that the gas touched. The repair manager said that this was the new reality with Ethanol and "Arent you glad you have a Stihl warranty?" (read sales pitch). In any case, he informed me, I needed to empty the gas tank and run the whacker dry if any layup were to be expected due to none use. Also, he told me that Stihl sells jugged fuel for their chain saws and blowers and whackers. However they were sold out of it at that time.

As far as I am concerned there is something going on with Ethanol gasoline and from my experience, it is not good. This is why I am trying the 100LL.

A wonderful mechanic I know said that Coleman fuel could also work in our B&S engines, but it may be way too costly to make any sense.

In addition, I then began treating my Ethanol gas with Lucas Ethanol Eliminator. This is a new product that I saw at Autozone however I do not really know if it works but Lucas does make some fine oils and lubricants so I do think it would be effective.
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:02:34 AM
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

Hi

I would not use the Coleman fuel in an engine. It doesn’t have any anti-knock compound.
It is closer to Naphtha than gasoline.

Phil P
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:19:20 AM
sprkplug sprkplug is offline
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Default Re: Aviation Fuel - 100LL for Small Engines?

As someone who makes his living repairing Outdoor Power Equipment, let me add my two cents to this discussion. First and foremost, I would like to say that there is a big difference between repairing a piece of equipment, and just "making it run". When you do it for yourself, you are more likely to be satisfied with just being able to get it started, no matter if you have to prime it 12 times instead of 3, or tip that pushmower on its side first to run fuel down into the engine, or remove the air cleaner and squirt gas into the carb throat, or run with the choke half closed. I have personally witnessed those four instances, and a host of other contortions required after someone had "got it running".

When you're performing work for a customer, paid work, that behaviour won't cut it. It has to be start and go, no tricks or techniques required. To that end, I now choose to replace, rather than repair, 90% of the carb related issues that come into my shop. I still can't bring myself to automatically order a carb without taking the float bowl off first and nosing around, but that's just me. Old habits die hard.

If it's a 2-cycle diaphragm type carb, no question it's getting replaced, unless a new one is NLA, in which case I will reluctantly try to clean and install a kit. Which works about 20% of the time.

Certainly I believe that ethanol plays a part in many carbs getting replaced. However, it is not the only culprit. Sitting idle for several weeks, months, or god forbid, years at a time, is equally responsible. Added to the list of culprits is the complete lack of a decent, bath-type carb cleaner. That wouldn't help a carb with white dust in the bowl, but it might enable a few others to be saved. The sad truth of it is, if a carb cleaner won't cause cancer in field mice, reproductive harm, turn your hands white and cracked, or cause you to lose all feeling in your fingers for a couple of hours, then it's probably not going to do a good job on your carbs. That's just the way it is.

As I've stated in other posts, the small engine manufacturers are scrambling to find answers, too. Nearly every week a rep will walk in with some new product for me to test. They know that ethanol is probably here to stay, and they're trying to find a solution to the off season storage issue, which is where you're most likely to have a problem with it.

In the end, carb replacement vs. repair is more economical, and it makes for a better job, which looks good on me, and keeps the customer happy.
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