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Discussion Starter #1
Our local press has been running stories about how ethanol (E-10) added to gas is causing all kinds of problems, especially in small gas engines. Problems like fuel line / tank deterioration and carburetor clogging. The mechanics interviewed didn't seem to have a consistent answer on how to counter the problem. Any thoughts / solutions on this?? How about on our 1800s?

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There are several problems related to ethanol. The first problem is with regard to the rubber components in older fuel systems getting damaged by ethanol. I believe all vehicles made after about 98 or so utilize new rubber compounds that are more resistant to ethanol, as long as it is below a certain percentage (usually 10% or 15%). I believe this is a requirement for the manufactures, but I am uncertain of the exact year when it took affect.

The second problem with ethanol is that it is highly hygroscopic, which means it absorbs water, and can suck it right out of the air if it is humid. The result is added water into your fuel system and it can become corrosive and cause rust, as well as decrease engine performance due to the water content. The problem is aggravated by the storage tanks at the stations, as any water in them will now go into solution into the gas instead of laying on the bottom of the tank like it used to with regular gas. Many times this will show up as a clogged fuel filter shortly after switching to ethanol, as the water will sometimes come back out of solution at the filter.

The third problem with ethanol is that it reduces the shelf life of gas from a few months to a few weeks at best. Ethanol laced gas will go stale very quickly, so it should not be stored for long periods of time.

The best thing you can do if you have to run ethanol, is to try to get it from a station that pumps lots of gas, to insure it isn't already stale, and has the least amount of moisture in it. Keeping your tank full will also reduce how much moisture it can absorb. You also can have problems if you switch back and forth between ethanol and regular gas, as sometimes the moisture content in your tank can cause the ethanol to come out of solution and separate if the water content exceeds the ethanol content. If you add 3/4 a tank of regular gas to a 1/4 tank of ethanol, you now have decreased it from 10% ethanol to about 2.5% ethanol or less. In these lower concentrations, you can sometimes cause the ethanol to separate out if the moisture content is high enough.

Fuel stabilizers are probably a must in any bike that is stored with ethanol in it, though I don't know how effective they are on stabilizing ethanol laced fuels.

Personally, they recently switched to 10% ethanol where I live and while I am thankful they finally got rid of the MTBE (which causes cancer) I am not happy about having to use ethanol. I have had to change the fuel filter on one of my cars twice in the past 3 months due to ethanol, and I now drive 10 miles out of town so I don't have use the ethanol laced stuff they sell around here. I do the same with the bikes, and avoid putting it in them at all costs. It just isn't worth it.
 

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Interesting info Fred. These could be some of the problems the auto manufacturers are encountering in trying to move to E85 gas.
 

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The water that Fred mentions is a problem for steel tanks rusting. I don't think its an issue for the Wing's plastic tank. As for ethanol attacking rubber parts, I can check with the chemists here at work. I know rubber compounds have a problem with methanol for sure.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The water that Fred mentions is a problem for steel tanks rusting. I don't think its an issue for the Wing's plastic tank. As for ethanol attacking rubber parts, I can check with the chemists here at work. I know rubber compounds have a problem with methanol for sure.

Pete
Thanks Pete. All information is welcomed. Perhaps they may have some "counter-measure" suggestions too.

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What Fred says may be true, however, I've been told ethanol also works as a cleansing agent for injectors...it clogs the fuel filter because it's cleaning the fuel system of deposits left by regular gasoline.
 

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ethanol used in current gas is 5% and supposely is harmless minus the fact that it cuts down mileage 5-10% E85 is alternative fuel and should only be used in specially equipted engines AND WILL SCREW UP THE WING AND ANY OTHER ENGINE NOT SET UP for it. In Dallas,Houston and SanAntonio there is 5% ethanol, which is much different than E85
 

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Ky. Slim said:
What Fred says may be true, however, I've been told ethanol also works as a cleansing agent for injectors...it clogs the fuel filter because it's cleaning the fuel system of deposits left by regular gasoline.
That is true, not only will it clean and loosen deposits it also will remove any moisture from the fuel system (eventually). The problem is that sometimes in loosening deposits that were stuck on the inside wall of a fuel line (where they did no real harm) they now are free to flow through the system and clog an injector. It isn't a real problem on a newer vehicle, but it can be on older ones. Eventually after you run several tanks of ethanol blend through a vehicle, it will probably flush out the system pretty good. Which is why it is a good idea to change the fuel filter shortly after switching.

As for rusting fuel system components, it isn't all about the tank, which of course is plastic in most vehicles these days, there are many other metal components in the fuel system that come in contact with this water. The fuel pump itself is the first one that comes to mind. Not to mention that it eventually flushes this moisture right down into the combustion chamber itself.

I can't say I know exactly how serious a problem it poses, but I do know that more and more reports of problems related to ethanol blended gas are surfacing, and I suspect this trend will continue.

British Petroleum is apparently convinced that the hygroscopic nature of ethanol is enough of a problem to spend millions of dollars on developing an alternative to ethanol (they call it Bupanol) that is not hygroscopic.
 

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Ky. Slim said:
What Fred says may be true, however, I've been told ethanol also works as a cleansing agent for injectors...it clogs the fuel filter because it's cleaning the fuel system of deposits left by regular gasoline.
Most of the gasahol that I've seen is 10%. I've been using gasahol since it came out years ago (we've had it for years in IL) without any problems. Granted, when I first started using it when it first came out, I may have had to change the fuel filters, but every engine I've got now runs fine on gasahol. The only exception was my brothers' rototiller, which had a rusty tank to begin with. If you put Drigas or Heet into your tank, it's nothing more than alcohol to absorb the water.

That's just about all that I've ever put into my 02, except the times when gasahol wasn't available, mostly out west. Alot of my engines may sit for months w/o being started; mowers and snow blowers, and run/start w/o any probs. My '58 Chevy also sits for months at a time w/o problems. I guess we've got the jump on the rest of the country.

The really bad thing about ethanol is that so many ethanol plants are being built around the midwest. If it takes more energy to produce a gallon of ethanol than you get back, what's the use? Plus, I believe that it's gov't subsidized. Geez....we're paying for it twice.

BTW, I want that corn for my corn burning stove to heat my house. :lol:
 

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There's so much BS about elthanol I'm very cynical regarding the info posted. When ethanol first appeared, the oil companies were up it arms because corn producers/corn refiners were now playing in their sandbox. The oil companies came up with their own chemical additive (MTBF or something) which was found to be a carcinogen. I believe some gas companies still add it in their fuel.

My advice... be very cautious what you read and hear concerning ethanol... oil companies have lots of money for spreading propaganda in innocous places.
 

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Using the number in the article we only save .002 cent per mile for E85. Not worth it to me to buy a vehicle that burns it or find someone that sells it.
 

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IMO, ethanol's benefits far outweigh the few negatives.

As for ethanol requiring more fuel to produce than it yields. That highly publicized theory has been proven to be totally false.

IMO, the problems ethanol supposedly creates in engines are blown out of proportion. After all, bad news gets all the attention. Kind of like the "broken frames" on Gold Wings, I reckon.

As for fuel economy, how can a 5% ethanol blend lower fuel economy by 5-10%? That's illogical.

My own experience from using a 10% ethanol blend over hundreds of thousands of miles of driving is that if there is a reduction in fuel economy, it is not significant enough to be noticed. I have had absolutely no problems of any sort with using ethanol blends in my cars, motorcycles or pickups over many years.

IMO, it's unfortunate that some people choose to ignore the importance of things like ethanol, soy-diesel and electrical generation by wind in improving our environment, energy independence and national security. I would much rather improve the farm economy in this country than fight wars over middle eastern oil or prop up regimes that seem determined to destroy America. I'd like to see somebody put a price tag on that!
 

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i have been using ethanol for years

some say ethanol goes bad in 2 weeks, what a bunch of baloney that is !

i have a 250 gallon barrel that gets filled ethanol gas about twice a year and i have NEVER had any problem with it, if it went bad in 2 weeks i would have learned a lesson a long time ago, i use ethanol gas in everything lawn mower,chainsaw,weed eater,ATV,rototiller,pickup,motorcycle,tractor etc

don't invest any money in ethanol though because it might look pretty good rite now but i think theres a big problems comming for ethanol made here if they start importing it
 

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cycledude said:
don't invest any money in ethanol though because it might look pretty good rite now but i think theres a big problems comming for ethanol made here if they start importing it
Cycledude,

You may have a point there but, IMO, very few countries in the world have a surplus of grains that they can dedicate to ethanol production. Canada would be the one country that has the ability to export large amounts of ethanol but they seem to be more content to export the grain, potentially filling in the voids that will be created when the USA exports less of it's grain. Canada is sitting on large reserves of coal and oil so they are not concerned with energy independence or producing ethanol.
 

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Gizmo said:
IMO, ethanol's benefits far outweigh the few negatives.
My problem with ethanol has nothing to do with the politics, or whether it actually saves money or is cheaper or more expensive to make. What matters to me is simply how it performs when compared to regular gas and the technical aspects of using it in an engine that was originally designed to run on regular gas. I don't think it measures up, and it just causes more problems for vehicles.

I have a car in the garage that won't run on 10% blended gas. It stalls and misses every time I use it and it gets worse the hotter the temperature. I can put a tank of regular gas in it, and it runs fine.

The last time the EPA tried to mandate a fuel additive in the name of cleaner air, they forced use of MTBE, which now has polluted ground water supplies all across America with a carcinogen that never breaks down. Many wells have had to be filled with concrete as result, and it has been linked to birth defects and cancer. And to make matters worse, it has also been shown that adding an oxegonator to gas is very questionable as to whether or not it actually reduces air pollution. Several scientific studies were done in the last 10 years on MTBE and showed it had no significant impact on pollution levels measured at the tail pipe. So the whole basis for it is suspect in the first place. The only folks who championed MTBE were the lobbyists for the company that made it who stood to make billions on it when the Feds forced it be added to gas.

So now they want to switch to something that doesn't cause cancer, it just causes your vehicle problems instead. The Federal Government does it best work when it leaves things alone, and this is yet more proof of just that. They need to stop mucking with our gas.
 

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I put BEER in my tank and the alcohol hasn't corroded anything. It's more expensive but the bike has a lot more fun. :lol: The only side effect has been stuttering once in awhile. :lol:

Besides, as Fred said, those MTBE's cause cancer, and I don't want my bike to get cancer. :lol: :lol:
 

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At my local Chevy dealer I asked my saleman what was the difference between a E85 truck and a non E85 version. He said the E85 trucks all have stainless gas tanks.
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Norton said:
The water that Fred mentions is a problem for steel tanks rusting. I don't think its an issue for the Wing's plastic tank. As for ethanol attacking rubber parts, I can check with the chemists here at work. I know rubber compounds have a problem with methanol for sure.

Pete
 

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E85 is not a good answer to gasoline it cost as much and give you less mpg (about 10 Percent less) Have read many articles on E85 and it does cost more in fuel to produce than you have returned!!! Most vehicles on the road CAN"T use E85 without a lot of cost to upgrade them. I am dead set against E85! Thats my .02 worth! :)
 
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