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Iambjm

Flex Fuel Question

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Your brake fluid is also hydroscopic. Yet people will drive for hundreds of thousands of miles with brake fluid that has had it's boiling point lowered by moisture and not think twice about it.

As far as vapor lock, modern fuel injection has pretty much resolved that issue. Whether your running on gas or ethanol.

The last thought is since ethanol absorbs moisture we have just about eliminated gas line freeze up. A plus in winter whether your using regular unleaded or e85. Yet bottles of "Heet" still fly off the shelf when the temps get low. We still get the occasional "old timer" that thinks their fuel lines are frozen when the car won't start.

"Old timer" have looked at your picture? What does poor brake maintenance have to do with the usefulness of ethanol? That's really a stretch of faulty logic with that one. I know people who hardly change their oil. Still has nothing to due with ethanol. You get more worked when their antilock system fouls up with all that moisture corroding the internals so what are you complaining about?

Fuel lines still do freeze up when it gets very cold especially with Ethanol in it that has been sitting in a low tank for awhile. The problem is the fuel becomes saturated with water. Pure gasoline will not freeze in MN. Niether will pure ethanol. It is the water that freezes. Gasoline is not hydroscopic. Water and oil do not mix well. Water and ethanol do and ethanol absorbs it from the air. Water settles to the bottom of the tank and freezes up.

Modern closed fuel systems have done much to eliminate tank condesation that was present in open vented systems that were common some time ago. Less condesation= equals less gas line freeze up occurences. Your antedotal cause and effect theory is off on that as well. Ethanol absorbs moisture out of the air, gasoline does not by any significant amount. My old chevy classic still has an atmospheric vent but it never runs in the winter and gets a full tank of off-road gas every fall, no ethanol as it would rust out the tanks over winter storage.

10% ethanol mixed with water freezes at 25 degrees. It is not likely to get that concentrated with water but it illustrates a point. 40% ethanol freezes with water above some low temps we see. Try a little experiment. Take an old gas can leave it about 1/3 full of E85 and open the cap all winter. You will see much more moisture than one with pure off road gasoline. Why? Because ethanol is hydroscopic. It likey water. Why do they have a special stabil for ethanol fuel? Because it likey more water which means more corrosion. Why does the refinery not mix the ethanol until they put it in the tanker trucks? Because it is hard on tanks and pumps because it likey more water and is corrosive. Yes they store it separate and do not mix until they put in the tanker truck. Why do underground tanks that store ethanol get special ethanol corrossion resistant linings and special materials in pumps? It is also hard on certain rubbers and synthetics.

As far as vapor lock you may have not lived in Texas or another hot state in the summer. Vapor lock is less common because refineries formulate fuel differently depending on local conditions. The fuel you buy in the winter would likely cause vapor lock on a hot July day. Your injector theory is off also but close. Most injection systems place the pump in the tank which keeps it away from a hot engine like old mechanical systems which sat on the hot block which was the the number one cause of old mechanical fuel pump vapor lock. E10 does increase vapor pressures by 1 psi RVP which results in higher occurrence of vapor lock. And ford had a problem with vapor lock in some of their hybrid vehicles when filled with E85 in the summer. Google it. However the trend has been to reduce the RVP in order to reduce the occurrence of vapor lock from ethanol especially with summer blends.

If your intent was to make someone look stupid I am more than capable of returning your favor. Chemistry and physics is not for everyone. I know many mechanics as I am one and have worked on boat motors since I was 12 and on aircraft since 19 and in every area of aircraft maintenance.

Maybe you have a special place in your heart for grandpa's old farm and you cannot be subjective. Many here do. I grew up hunting on my grandpa's farm. That was a different era with less government welfare for all including farmers. Less government mandates that made no sense. Today there are very few like that romantic old farm. Today it is big ag business with big campaign contribution to legislators who are not even in their state many times. It is large corporate farms. 500 acres is considered small nowadays.

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I wasn't trying to make anyone look stupid. I wasn't referring to any one specific as "old timer." What I can tell you from real world experience is I don't see any of the problems you suggest are occurring all over the place on a regular basis. I have no doubt your numbers and facts are correct and I also have no doubt that that my experience in the automotive field is also correct.

If the problem is as bad as you say than why did I spend more time last week thawing washer bottles and not fuel tanks? If gasoline becomes so corrosive why am I not replacing fuel injectors like there's no tomorrow? How can a late model car run for a couple hundred thousand miles will no fuel system problems?

My reference to brake fluid was to support the idea that even though there is a problem ( the fact that the brake fluid is saturated with water and the boiling point is seriously compromised) nobody cares these days unless the brakes stop working. Nobody cares about there oil level until there engine seizes (just had one Monday that got towed in, ran out of oil, stalled, 20k overdue for an oil change). That little light that tells you the tires are low, nobody cares (every day I pull in cars with the light on and the tires 10 to 15 pounds low). Nobody cares about the gas in there car unless it doesn't start after filling up. The point is the general population just doesn't care unless there is a problem.

Believe it or not we are both on the same side. I don't think ethanol is the solution.

Can we all just settle down and relax for a bit?

wink

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I don't know what got you excited, pete. Ethanol is, I believe, the only EPA approved oxygenator available. And "blending credits" are required.

The ethanol thing was an effort to help out farmers by raising the price of corn, lo these many years ago.

(here is blast from 1983)

http://youtu.be/joNzRzZhR2Y

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If the problem is as bad as you say than why did I spend more time last week thawing washer bottles and not fuel tanks? If gasoline becomes so corrosive why am I not replacing fuel injectors like there's no tomorrow? How can a late model car run for a couple hundred thousand miles will no fuel systtem problems..... Nobody cares about the gas in there car unless it doesn't start.... The point is the general population just doesn't care unless there is a problem.

Believe it or not we are both on the same side... I don't think ethanol is the solution.

Answer: Pure water freezes quite easily. Water mixed with methanol alchol in washer fluid still freezes easily, that makes my point about the water and alcohol mixing even though methanol (wood alchohol) is different than Ethanol (grain alchohol) but similiar enough. It is fine to use ethanol in a car provided you drive it all the time. Leave it sit to long and your tanks and fuel system corrode at a much faster rate than pure gasoline. That is well known among many experienced mechanics. That is why mechanics on toys do a lot of fuel system repairing. My experienced automotive mechanic brother found that out the hard way on his Honda outboard. He knew better he thought but chemicals do not care what one wants to believe.

It is hated among aviation guys because bad gas kills. Yes some aircraft have an STC to run automotive fuel and many ultralights do also. An unethical fuel station selling off-road gas which is only rebranded ethanol has killed people due to vapor lock. The FAA investigates very thoroughly and has found mis-labelled fuel containing alcohol as a cause of vapor lock.

Ethanol is also bad in your toys which sit for extended periods and that is also well known among experienced mechanics and operators. And again it is garbage from an environmental standpoint for many reasons I covered. Ethanol is a welfare program for big corporate corn growers. Soybeans as a biofuel is a much more sound agrifuel but it also causes many land over use and chemical run off issues. I am also tired as a taxpayer of spending billions to support millionaires. It also raises the price of feed for meat and dairy producers. They are the farmers who get the shaft due to ethanol mandates.

And you created the issue wth your snarky comments to my first post so lets both leave it alone.

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[That is why mechanics on toys do a lot of fuel system repairing. My experienced automotive mechanic brother found that out the hard way on his Honda outboard. He knew better he thought but chemicals do not care what one wants to believe.

It is hated among aviation guys because bad gas kills. Yes some aircraft have an STC to run automotive fuel and many ultralights do also. An unethical fuel station selling off-road gas which is only rebranded ethanol has killed people due to vapor lock. The FAA investigates very thoroughly and has found mis-labelled fuel containing alcohol as a cause of vapor lock.

Ethanol is also bad in your toys which sit for extended periods and that is also well known among experienced mechanics and operators.

A couple of points....

Unethical people selling off-spec product, as you assert, has nothing inherently to do with the fuel itself. That's a people problem.

I'd guess my cylinder count is right up there with most, if not more, and to the point made, if ethanol was the disaster some proclaim, I'd have had a ton of problems by now. But, despite the rhetoric of gloom and doom, I have not had the problems some proclaim are routine. Nor, have the people I personally know had such gloom and doom problems.

I agree with much of what's said about the politics of Ethanol, but all the gloom and doom rhetoric of damage from it just hasn't come to pass from my personal experience and observations.

Have things happened somewhere, for some people? Probably. But, again, the mass casualty some profess just isn't there.

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I'd guess my cylinder count is right up there with most, if not more, and to the point made, if ethanol was the disaster some proclaim, I'd have had a ton of problems by now. But, despite the rhetoric of gloom and doom, I have not had the problems some proclaim are routine. Nor, have the people I personally know had such gloom and doom problems.

I'd have to agree.

The only thing I "winterize" for storage is the boat motor. Otherwise all the other toys sit either all winter or all summer with no storage prep. I had to rebuild the carb on the auger last year but after 13 years I'm not pointing fingers at the gas I use. I don't use non oxy in anything I own. The snowblower, going on 12 years, sat all summer with half a tank and fired right up when we had the first snow his year. I have a five gallon gas can that I fill maybe twice a year. Everything gets filled off that can. If the gas was a problem I certainly should have seen something by now as well.

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I'm starting to get the feeling there's a definate possibility of a firm maybe that someone doesn't like ethanol. Just a guess on my part.

I'm with Jer on this one. My CI is right up there. As far as seasonal storage, it's hang it up, put it on a shelf, or put it in the corner of the garage until next season and things start right up. The exception would be my classic car. She gets parked behind the garage and I toss a tarp over it. I haven't bought non-oxy gas in years.

Disclaimer- I'm not a fan of ethanol either and I used to be middle management for many years in the industry.

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I have been a mechanic for about 20 years, and now work on an automotive hotline. I get calls on problematic vehicles, that shops cant figure out. They call me when they cant figure them out, and give up. I have worked here for 8 years. I can't recall ever having a vehicle with a fuel issue that was caused by ethanol. Except a few diesel trucks that people accidentally pull up to an E85 pump and think it is diesel instead. I can honestly say in the 8 years of taking calls from the hotline, I have never heard of a fuel issue caused by ethanol either.

I am not counting lean codes from people putting E85 in their non Flex Fuel vehicles.

As for my toys, I never do any special storage, when they are done being used, they get put in the shed. I never had an issue with any of them, except last spring, my 11 year old boat had water in the fuel storage tank. But I think that had more to do with the sending unit on top of the fuel tank leaking, and allowing water to get into the gas tank.

I dont think ethanol is the answer to an alternative fuel, but as a additive to help emissions, if that is the cheapest, eco friendly option, I am all for it.

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I am not counting lean codes from people putting E85 in their non Flex Fuel vehicles.

We just had our first one in the shop about a month ago. Talk about a head scratcher!

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I get a lot of calls for this. But mostly when gas prices are really high, people trying to save that buck.

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I don't know what got you excited, pete. Ethanol is, I believe, the only EPA approved oxygenator available. And "blending credits" are required.

The ethanol thing was an effort to help out farmers by raising the price of corn, lo these many years ago.

You are correct ethanol is a form of a farm subsidy. Unfortunately it benefits a few at the expense of many. It is inefficient to produce and mostly benefits large agricultural corporations not the small family farmer. It raises the price of feed for meat producers and consumers. The artificially inflated price of corn has resulted in marginal lands being plowed under, loss of game, greater pollution of the watersheds from more fertilizer and less untilled land to catch the fertilizer.

I read a great deal of anecdotal evidence and guys bragging about how poorly they care for their equipment. If I was on a government welfare plan I guess I could afford to abuse my equipment but being I do not receive farm subsidies or benefit from political engineered mandates I take care of my gear.

What you believe about Ethanol is incorrect. Look up MTBE, another oxygenator but I would not recommend it. Ethanol and MTBE are cheap ways to raise the octane ratings. Better gas can be made but it costs more. And it is worth putting in off road equipment that is used sporadically. All I have read here is bad maintenance advice based on anecdotes that may be true or made up for argument sakes. I could care less if somone never takes care of their equipment and recommend leaving ethanol sitting in a tank for several months without out even stabilizing the fuel at a half tank level. They all violate good maintenance practices and common sense as well. Everyone pat their buddy on their back now and dump some other nonsense on the ill informed.

My recommendation is if someone does not know is to get out a manual and look up winterizing and not use the information posted above. Some know better than manuals, experienced industry leaders and the scientists who study the properties of different fuels who were consulted by the ones who published the manuals. Ethanol promoting is politically motivated not sound science and definitely not good for the environment. That is a lie of the ethanol lobby.

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Pete, you would be right at home in any of several threads in the outdoor discussion forum. Ethanol and its effect on agriculture and the environment has been quite a heated discussion.

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Check the manual about oil change intervals. E-85 typically requires a much shorter one, due to more corrosive blowby.

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Right now at my Local Coop there is $1 difference per gallon difference between e85 and regular. I burn ethanol as much as I can in my flex fuel vehicles. Lawn mowers, boat motor everything I own gets regular pump e10. I have never had one issue with anything fuel related. And how long has the ethonal mandate been in our gas?

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Oxidizers were federally mandated in 1997. Politicians took big contributions from the ethanol industry which is set up to benefit ethanol manufacturers and big operations. It has in fact hastened the demise of small and medium farms and the rural communities that depended on them. The farm belt has suffered greatly as a result of regulations passed that benefit the big operations. Small & medium farmers cannot compete with growing ag corporations who can buy seed with big discounts, often exploit illegal workers and can ship product cheaper. Corn had it's short 10 year or so boon after 1997. But that went bust as more marginal land was tilled under & overproduction was achieved to the benefit of ethanol producers. Many farms are still going bust or selling out to the big corporations. 75% of the land in production is owned by big corporate farms. 30 years ago you could flip that number around. So what has this gov't subsidy done for most farmers? Put them out of business!

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Here is some of the jelly from water being absorbed by ethanol and then bacteria acting on it. Luckily I caught this early before it caused more corrosion. Will post pic of rag with "jelly" (bacterial slime) I pulled out of this carb bowl. Stihl also has some wonderful pics & warnings of damage done by ethanol you can google.

20180118_182158.jpg

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Bacterial growth in carb bowl filled with water & ethanol. The ethanol component of the fuel becomes saturated with water and settles to bottom of fuel tank. Over time it goes down fuel line by gravity into carb bowl as fuel evaporates out. The water saturated ethanol separates from gasoline as it is heavier.

Message_1516321382804.jpg

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I tell people all the time do not use ethanol at all in equipment your store for extended times. I often hear but, but I use it in my car all the time. I respond do you drive your car often? Yes they say. I tell them then your fuel did not have time to become water saturated. There is good reason wise car collectors store their prized classics with non-ethanol fuel only.

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I say don't keep any gas in anything that is going to sit. Any problems with fuel are water problems not the alcohol. You take out the alcohol in Minnesota in winter you get frozen fuel lines. This was common in winter for decades until ethanol was added but they used isopropyl rather than ethyl alcohol. In fact many of the " remedies" are just other forms of alcohol. If you get so much water in the fuel that the alcohol gets saturated and phases out then you have a contamination issue and the problems won't be solved by  removing the alcohol. You will just have more unbound water sitting at the bottom of your tank building sludge.

 

Lots of the problems with small engines are derived from the chemicals that come up with the crude in the well. Companies blend this into the fuel rather than pay to dispose of it and that is what gunk's up the fuel system. Gumout was invented long before ethanol and carb cleaner was a regular maintenance procedure needed because of those chemicals mucking up the fuel system. Alcohol is a very good solvent and it does a good job of cleaning up deposits left from those chemicals but as a consequence of that cleaning action you will get clogged Jets and such periodically. But in that case alcohol is the good guy that is cleaning up the dump left behind by the fuel. 

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On 3/22/2019 at 9:06 AM, pheasantpete said:

Here is some of the jelly from water being absorbed by ethanol and then bacteria acting on it.

 

LOL  

 

Why is this ancient thread being revived?  I'm waiting for the product placement in this saga.

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22 minutes ago, bobbymalone said:

 

LOL  

 

Why is this ancient thread being revived?  I'm waiting for the product placement in this saga.

And when it happens it will probably have one if it's main ingredients just happen to be alcohol based. Strange how that works.

 

 

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20 hours ago, PurpleFloyd said:

And when it happens it will probably have one if it's main ingredients just happen to be alcohol based. Strange how that works.

 

 

 

I recognized pheasantpete’s handle.  Been registered since 2008 and posted in this thread back in ‘14.  Maybe he just finally checked his notifications. 😁  

 

Never heard of a spammer that was THAT patient! 🤣

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1 hour ago, Wanderer said:

 

I recognized pheasantpete’s handle.  Been registered since 2008 and posted in this thread back in ‘14.  Maybe he just finally checked his notifications. 😁  

 

Never heard of a spammer that was THAT patient! 🤣

Maybe he finally remembered his password? 🤷‍♂️😁

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