Ethanol Problems

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: Ethanol Problems
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Howard D. Dennis Byron, Georgia on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 09:48 am:

Guys, I Need your advice. I haven't been active in the old car hobby for decades until I acquired my Maxwell a few years ago. Because of that I've been out of the loop about this new gas. Last year I put my brand new mower in the shed as I've done for decades and come spring time and it won't run and had to be rebuilt. Now yesterday my Maxwell has the same problem and I'm spending this week re-restoring the carb that was perfect when parked. Here's my question, am I now condemned to running super expensive non-ethanol?, or is there an additive I have to start buying that actually has worked for you guys? The mower shop mechanic said NONE of these work? If I do have to start using additives I guess I'll have to figure which option is less expensive.

Anything that has worked for you guys is welcome information to me as I'm tired of having tried and true mechanical items destroyed by modern "Technology"!!

Howard Dennis


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By G.R.Cheshire on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 10:10 am:

When I put my small engines up even for a week I empty the tanks then run the carburetor dry. that is the only sure way to protect them from the ravages of ethanol poisoning. JMHO


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By G.R.Cheshire on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 10:14 am:

oops didn't read all of the post. Just run the Maxwell's carb dry before storage it will be fine. you don't need to drain it's tank!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan B on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 10:15 am:

Howard,

I looked on pure-gas.org and it appears that there are several non-enthanol dispensing gasoline stations near Byron, Georgia.

In Pennsylvania, the price per gallon of non-ethanol fuel at the pump is slightly higher than ethanol fuel, but is much cheaper than the cost of an additive or the cost to rebuild the fuel system. Not to mention the frustration and the time to do so.

Using pure gas only way to mitigate the harmful and destructive effects of ethanol fuel.

Here is the shortcut for Georgia:

https://www.pure-gas.org/index.jsp?stateprov=GA


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 10:16 am:

I put regular gas from the pump in my old Wards rototiller last spring, this spring I started on the same gas that was in the tank. :-) I run pump gas in my 1948 F2 6 and Model T. Both run fine. How long had the Maxwell been sitting? Even "Old Time" gas if left sitting too long could gum up the works. No comment on the lawnmower, except maybe to drain and run dry at end of season.
But then again, maybe we don't have the same gas out west here in Oregon as back in Georgia.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Codman on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 10:28 am:

I would either drain the tank and carburetor before storing the car, or be sure that the car has non-ethanol gas in it before storage. Gas with ethanol is not an issue in modern cars with non-vented fuel systems, but ethanol loves H20 and will absorb it in a vented fuel system. I had to replace the hard-to-find non-reproduced gas tank in my '27 T (not a fun job) for just that reason. Here in sunny Florida, I do not intend to store my T for any reason other then mechanical work, but I use ethanol-free gas in it anyhoo. Around here, ethanol-free gasoline is about .70 per gallon more expensive then the Panther pee 10% ethanol containing gasoline. It's worth the money to me. Everything else I own gets the ethanol diluted gas. I'm worried about our roto-tiller that has not been used in a year.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 10:34 am:

John is certainly correct about ethanol gas attracting water. What I've been doing for the last 4 years that I've had my Ts is to give 'em a heavy dose of Stabil (they claim it's good for ethanol, but who knows) and fill the tank COMPLETELY to the top. I mean right where the theads start inside. Put cap on of course and I tape over the vent hole. I shut off the potato, drain the fuel from the fuel line and carb, and then basically pray it'll work. So far, no problems. A completely, relatively air tight tank isn't gonna draw any moisture. And I have always believed in Stabil, even though that has become a boxing match here also! I proved the value of Stabil years ago with laying up my '94 T-bird amongst other engines with it, alleviating all the past problems.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R.V. Anderson on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 10:51 am:

Around here, ethanol-free is readily available, but only at 91 octane and the cost is around $3.30 per gallon, with regular 87 ethanol at $2.49/gal.

A tank of ethanol-free in my T runs about $8 more than the same amount of ethanol. A small amount, considering the trouble it saves.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 11:13 am:

Interesting that some of you can get away with regular in yuur lawn equipment. I know the manual for my weed-eater states 91 octane, so I run premium in all that stuff. The mowers are old, second-hand stuff, so I don't know what their manufacturers recommend. I do use stabil in all of it though, just for insurance.
PS the "gas" here in Callifunny is different than what's sold elsewhere, I'm told.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 11:31 am:

The brand new mower in the first post won't need to be rebuilt.

The carb probably just needs to be cleaned - the jets, the bowl and the float valve. The main jet can and bowl be cleaned without removing the carb. You may or may not need a new bowl gasket. If it has a diaphragm type carb, that takes a little more time but still easy.

I run my lawn mower dry in the fall and my snowblower dry in the spring. I used to run ethanol gas but now strictly non-oxy. That has greatly reduced carb maintenance.

I drain the Model T gas tanks in the fall and use the gas in my snowblower or Grand Prix.

I'm not a fan if having a full tank of gasoline in an antique car during long term storage. I prefer empty.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Eagle Idaho Falls on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 11:36 am:

We have ethanol-free within 2 miles at nearly the same price as ethanol. It is offered in 3 grades. I use it in everything. The worst problem I have had with ethanol is it attacks old gas tank sealer in gas and vacuum tanks. With new sealer in the tanks I use ethanol when on a trip and no ethanol-free can be found. It works poorly in hot weather.
Rich


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 12:22 pm:

Some of us have to deal with summer vs winter gas.

I do a lot of driving and there is a noticeable difference in mileage between the two seasons.
I get higher MPG in the summer. At first I thought that it was because the choke stayed closed longer in the winter but learned that there is a difference in how the gas is made.

According to one write-up-
"Summer-blend gasoline has a lower RVP to prevent excessive evaporation when outside temperatures rise. Reducing the volatility of summer gas decreases emissions that can contribute to unhealthy ozone and smog levels. A lower RVP also helps prevent drivability problems such as vapor lock on hot days, especially in older vehicles."

Maybe summer gas is better to leave in the vehicles because it doesn't evaporate as fast a winter gas.
I don't know what happens to you guys in the south!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kohnke Rebabbitting, Clare, Iowa on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 01:06 pm:

Do not use Ethanol for anything!!!!!!!!!!!!

It will mess up your fuel system, but the worst thing is, it is highly Explosive.

I used it once about 4 years ago, an ended up with 3rd degree burns, and 5 weeks in the Iowa City, Iowa burn unit.

That was not a fun time, with them pulling long strips of burnt flesh off your body.

It took 8 Months after not having to use bandages, any more.

It started with about 1 teaspoon of gas spilled on the cement floor, and static ignited the alcohol.

Go to you-tube and bring up ethanol fires. I whish I would have before I used that crap, never again.

Herm.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Val Soupios on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 01:15 pm:

Since just about everyone who uses anything powered with gas has nothing but trouble with ethanol why are we letting the corn lobby and environmental nuts ram it down our throats? It cost more, performs poorly and drastically increases maintenance expenses. What am I missing here?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Troy Todd on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 01:29 pm:

Where I live Ethanol-free is not available. Every year I put Stabil in the tank and drain the carb. With lawn equipment I run them dry if possible. When running them dry isn't practical I add Stabil then Seafoam in the spring. I treat the motorcycles with Stabil then shut off fuel and run the carbs dry. Then come spring they get Seafoam also.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Vern (Vieux Carre) on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 03:22 pm:

We have a 1953 *cough* and ran ethanol in it only to leave me stranded on the side of the road. A.Z. had a fuel pump in stock for the car and had go get it at night, change it out, leaving it there two hours whilst I located the part. Basically, the ethanol ate up the diaphragm in the fuel pump. Since then we run non-ethanol in all our vehicles.
Vern


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Leo van Stirum on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 06:11 pm:

Ethanol in modern gas is becoming a big problem. Not only does it atract water wich corrodes the brass jets in your carb, it will also dissolve natural and older sythetic rubber fuel lines, and diaphragms. besides that it will make your nice brass fuel shut oof valve stick and hard to turn. As an added bonus it will corrode alluminum.
we have the same 10% ethanol crap here in europe too and it caused quit a few burnt out classic cars.
Only ethanol free gas we can get is 102 octane racing fuel wich is expensive, or the gallon cans of 'Aspen' chainsaw fuel which is very very expensive. best way is to run the carb and lines dry and keep the tank well sealed. and when in storage for more than a month or two empty the tank too.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Marv Konrad (Green Bay Area) on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 10:57 pm:

If you can get the non-ethanol gasoline - Do it! The guys are giving some good advice from my experience.
My own lawn mower, snow blower, 2-cycle leaf blower, and chain saw engines have provided longer-lasting lives without the ethanol. Just simple maintenance, like running tanks dry before longer-term storage, then spraying some carb/choke cleaner into the tank. There have even been past Forum discussions and suggestions on how to separate and remove the ethanol. Someone will speak up, I've just not had to resort to doing that. (There is a reason that the highly corrosive ethanol needs to be transported within stainless steel!)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Aaron Griffey, Hayward Ca. on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 11:19 pm:

Wow! Vern has a great user profile.
So many great pictures and soooooo much work to restore that car!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 11:27 pm:

The only time I know that cheap gas was a problem for me was last fall when I couldn't get my splitter to run. The aluminum carburetor had some kind of white stuff in it. Since I cleaned that out the machine runs normally. I suppose it's possible that ethanol was the reason I had to replace the filler hose in my Suburban, but maybe after 43 years the thing would have leaked no matter what gas went through it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eckensviller - Thunder Bay, ON on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 11:51 pm:

I had wondered if you could take advantage of ethanol's hygroscopic nature by mixing your fuel with water in a storage tank the draining the water after all of the alcohol bonded to it. Apparently you can, and our T's probably don't care much about the octane rating you end up with.
http://goldwingdocs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=14679


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Howard D. Dennis Byron, Georgia on Thursday, June 22, 2017 - 11:37 am:

Thanks for the suggestions guys. I'm wondering if the mixture has changed or something. I got away for years with old mower storage but this new mower gets gummed up after only 3 months. I thought Maxwell had sat only a short time but dated pictures show it was over a year, time flies when your NOT having fun. Local mower shop said Dawn dish soap and almost boiling water soak would remove the green ethanol sludge & goo and it worked great but I'm still cleaning out passages and will reassemble carb and see if it will run again.
When do we as consumers get our subsidies for putting up with the damage this crap causes?

Howard Dennis


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By G.R.Cheshire on Thursday, June 22, 2017 - 12:10 pm:

Howard; Not until Congress listens to the facts and not to the people who stand to make billions from Government subsidies! JMHO


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert Hoops - Burton,Texas on Thursday, June 22, 2017 - 12:11 pm:

Around the time we went from 5% ethanol to 10%, the carburetors in both of my Tís and Aís started leaking around their seams. This happened over about a three month period. The funny thing is that I saved one and after all of these years itís still full of gas. Now I continue to use the corn gas as the nearest station that handles non-ethanol gas is about 50 miles away but I always add Stabil to it. Sometimes (not often) when an engine wonít start I need to drain the water out of the carb and sediment bulb. Why is it easier to get ethanol-free gas in Iowa and Kansas than it is in Texas?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Thursday, June 22, 2017 - 12:24 pm:

Robert:

Minnesota has a very strong collector car lobby with the Minnesota Street Rod Association being very active and effective.

The above one of the main reasons why non-Ethanol gas can be readily found in Minnesota. However, you cannot put it in your modern, factory stock car. You can use it in collector cars, street rods, recreational vehicles etc. as well as anything with a small engine including boat motors. Therefore, the law is very liberal, in my opinion.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Shirley on Thursday, June 22, 2017 - 01:08 pm:

At the local airport aviation fuel (gas) is $3.50 a gallon. Av gas will sit for years and not gum a carburetor or fuel tank and lines. I wouldn't spend the money on something used on a regular basis, but it will save a lot trouble in something that sits a lot of time.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Craig Vechorik on Thursday, June 22, 2017 - 01:10 pm:

I agree, never use ethanol! go here: https://www.pure-gas.org/
for a list of every place, divided by states, in the US that sells REAL gas, complete with map links on how to get there. And, keep in mind that marine gas, has no ethanol in it. Obviously, you cannot directly pump marine gas into your car, but you can pump it into a 5 gallon can, take it home and pour it in the car. If you have a cell phone, and are on the road, traveling, there is a PURE GAS app, that will tell you who has real gas, and how far way they are, from you location, and give you directions! Very handy...


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Doris, AZ on Thursday, June 22, 2017 - 01:21 pm:

Craig, Thanks for the pure-gas link.

To my astonishment I found that the new Prescott, Arizona Maverick station has ethanol free gasoline available on all islands for $2.69 / gal. I believe this is the only ethanol free gas in this area.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert Brough on Thursday, June 22, 2017 - 01:30 pm:

I only run "clean" gas in anything that is carbureted. The closed systems in most cars will handle the ethynol and it is used quickly. Anything that allows air to it like small engines, lawn equiptment, or vintage cars, it is going to turn to glue. I would think that even running systems dry will leave enough residue that will turn to glue. And carb cleaners and fresh gas will not rewet it .
One suggestion is, that if the price of clean gas is prohibitive, purchase a small amount and use it to run through your cars the last drive of the season, last lawn mow, etc and the clean gas in the engines should be fine for the winter storage.

Another culprit in modern gas is the alchohol. It dissolves shellac. so if you have cork floats or gaskets in your vehicles, they were originally sealed with schellas that will now dissolve and your floats will sink.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R. S. Cruickshank on Thursday, June 22, 2017 - 09:05 pm:

Most of the use of our cars is on a tour of several hundred miles over long weekend or week. I start with non-ethanol because that is what I end up with as I return the car to the barn. During the trips, I use regular gas (ethanol). I have not had a problem with the T's or my Marmon. However, I never use ethanol gas in my small engines. This has always kept me from start-up issues.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By keith g barrier Savannah Tn. on Friday, June 23, 2017 - 11:19 am:

I don't take the oil companies word for anything, how do you know it's non ethanol? Years ago I had a small station when gas was first going to unleaded, whole sale price was the same they just raised the retail on the unleaded. The delivery man told me they had been out of leaded for months. I felt as though it was a scam but had no choice as in those days they set the pumps up. I just add the star tron for the last several years and have had no problems. KGB


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Friday, June 23, 2017 - 12:25 pm:

If you have a new or newer tool with a gas engine, read the instructions. They should tell you what gas to use how and how to store etc.
Moisture/condensation gets into gas tanks, gas tanks rust out or rust. This is nothing new. Pot metal type carbs get white powder coating inside even if they have never be exposed to "NEW" gas and have been sitting on shelf for years. I think most Model T and A owners don't have problems with the new fuel, we fill our cars up and drive.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chadwick Azevedo on Saturday, June 24, 2017 - 02:03 pm:

Bump to get rid of the spam


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Corey Walker, Brownsboro TX on Saturday, June 24, 2017 - 02:16 pm:

I bought a new gas tank in 95. Sometime later, I'm assuming when they started adding ethanol, a white powdery substance started to accumulate in the sediment bowl and in the carburetor bowl. I don't know if the inside of those tanks are galvanized or not but that stuff was coming from somewhere. If the car wouldn't start I'd have to run a piece of wire through the petcock through the sediment bowl into the tank and that stuff would come out. Had to do it to the carburetor too. Whatever the stuff was it finally quit accumulating. It sunk my shellacked float so I had to coat it with something different. I think ethanol ate up a little hose in my 88 GMC truck. It wouldn't start and I pulled the tank. There is a small hose from the in-tank pump to the steel line that exits the tank. The pump was pumping but the fuel was just pumping right back in the tank, or never left the tank.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jason Given - St. Paul, MN on Sunday, June 25, 2017 - 12:38 am:

Check out this link, might help locate non-ox gas in your area.

My t runs fine on non-ox, but it runs much better on non-ox. I also only use non-ox in all my small engines.

Good luck.

https://pure-gas.org/index.jsp?stateprov=GA


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Lloid on Sunday, June 25, 2017 - 07:53 am:

I use the ethanol free gas and run the carb empty and use fuel stabilizer. No problems. Before yes the same problems you are experiencing. Tim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Lloid on Sunday, June 25, 2017 - 07:57 am:

I also use VP race fuel and it's will sit for 6 months at a time with no issues but it's $7 -$10 a gallon. Hard to get in my area but I use it in my mustangs. Tim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Whelihan Danbury, WI on Sunday, June 25, 2017 - 08:20 am:

Kinda depends on the use and time frame of oxygenated fuel. My rule of thumb is to use up all oxygenated fuel in a few weeks. If I don't, I add Marine Stabil. Seems to do a better job preventing problems. For small engines I would put a fuel shut off on them or run the tank and carb dry for long term storage. I'm not afraid to gas up the Model T with oxygenated fuel with a little Marine Stabil included in the mix IF I'm going to drive it periodically. And I always run the fuel out of the carb at the end of the day. For some things I just prefer non-oxygenated fuel, and sometimes i still add Marine Stabil. For those engines that operate in "Juicier" environments (snowmobiles, outboards) I stick with non-oyxgenated fuel. For long term storage I prefer to get all the fuel out of the Model T and store it dry. Same goes for marine engines and snowmobiles.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Sunday, June 25, 2017 - 09:36 am:

What exactly is your problem Howard? If it's whiteish particles in the carb its from the ethanol dissolving the "varnish" left by the old style fuel. The older stuff won't affect it's own leavings but the alcohol in ethanol fuel will. The marinas here went nuts when the switch over took place. Many many filters were changed many times until it completely dissolves. Some sort of filter will keep it out of the carb but you'll need to have spares handy.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Howard D. Dennis Byron, Georgia on Sunday, June 25, 2017 - 11:01 am:

Charlie, after you ask what is my problem?, I have to ask " Did you start at the bottom of my post or did you read through all the posts from everyone who is experiencing damage from this garbage? I'd give anything to go back to the "Good Ole Days" when dried up gas only left behind a whiteish stain or powder. This crap eats parts from the corrosion it promotes, gums up everything with an epoxy like syrup and generally makes re-restoration of your fuel system an annual occurrence! I wished I had taken pictures to show you the damage this garbage did to my Stewart speedometer cable after I soaked it for 2 weeks to remove grease. It went in clean enough for painting and came out looking very similar to the very first pictures of the metal surfaces of the Titanic!!

Howard Dennis

Howard Dennis


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Frost on Sunday, June 25, 2017 - 12:57 pm:

In everything without a cat. convertor, I use 100LL in the Fall, setting up for Winter storage. Should be able to find it at any small airport. Pricey, but worth the price IMHO.


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