I received the recent copy of Ageless Iron Almanac, containing the article on Dealing with Modern Gasoline. As the Model T was born at a time when gasoline/petrol was pure from the distillery to the time of various additives -- why is there still a concern if modern gasoline will affect the performance and operation of the Model T fuel system.
By 1915, publications stated that gasoline/petrol was no longer "pure". What was pure gasoline has been replaced (circa 1915) by a a "heavy gasoline". And the current article is now stating that the problem with modern fuel in "older" engines. Or as the article stated "The weight of the fuel is different from what the carburetor was designed for."
Interesting view when applied to a carburetor that will accept gasoline, moonshine, or coal oil.
It begs the question " How heavy can gasoline get before it is unacceptable for a Model T Fuel System?"
The car will run fine on the newer gas. However, when the gas is stored for a period of time it gets gummy or water separates from it and so you get some problems with the car which is only used a few times a year.
The ethanol now added to gasoline is quite corrosive, besides what Norm mentioned. I have my doubts about 'weight'....
The problem with early fuels is that they varied in octane from supplier to supplier and batch to batch. The Model T's tame compression could handle the variances and even the adulteration of fuel with kerosene common in the 1920's. As far as "weight' of the gasoline goes, I doubt it would have made much difference because most of the carbs were adjustable by using needle and jet configurations. By either enriching or leaning the mix, you could compensate for any differences in the fuels.
I do not think the issues is with any of the additives other than ethanol.
There are a couple things I have noticed over the years. If you do not drive your T or run your other small engine device, ethanol can cause damage. Ethanol absorbs it’s mass in water, I have read it only takes three months to do so. Also ethanol gas has a greater tendency to varnish, The varnish will plug up jets in carbs that are not used frequently. So any engine fueled with ethanol blended fuels need to run an every month ideally for an. Ethanol also has a tendency to dissolve the older formulation of rubber seals and gaskets, including fuel lines.
I have also found that my T runs much smoother on non-oxygen fuels, and pulls on hills with stronger power.
I have fund places that have non-oxygenated fuels, some of those places charge a small fortune for it. Luckily, I have lots of stations around me that sell it for the same price as premium.
The history of the development of gasoline for fuel is some times full of myths. First off not a myth - the "weight of gasoline" is the specific gravity. Gasoline of 1908 to about 1915 is lighter than gasoline of the 1920's and 1930s.
As for corrosiveness - consider to increase the power of an engine by mixing picric acid mixed with gasoline as described in Motor Age 1904: Vol 5,no 10 pages 15, Vol 5 page 18. There is a note about the use of the acid mixture -- corrosive to metals and the exhaust gases too are corrosive. The use of the acid can be found in the helpful hints of Dyke's too.
Point is the Model T fuel system is not as fragile as some think -- where in the 1908 to 1927 is aluminum/white metal used in the fuel system?
https://books.google.com/books?id=g43mAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA109-IA106&lpg=PA109-IA106&dq =Picric+acid+mixed+with+gasoline&source=bl&ots=1zhg4f34aK&sig=QcTaepJaXJ9UwevZed QFLLd-tjk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjR7pPewJjVAhWCOj4KHeVWDU0Q6AEIKjAB#v=onepage&q=P icric%20acid%20mixed%20with%20gasoline&f=false
The wide spread use of aluminum really only occurs in the late 3O'S and especially after WWII. Prior to that higher production costs and unfamiliarity with the product would have limited its use. Manufacturers are always hesitant to switch manufacturing processes and techniques unless forced to. For example: in our own era obviously Ford has known about the advantages of using aluminum in their vehicles for years, but only recently made the commitment to switch truck production to aluminum. Apparently Ford saw no advantage to using aluminum in the Model T drive train. And with some exceptions didn't use it in the body either. I doubt they were afraid of corrosive gasoline. They had a well designed (but somewhat obsolete) engine that worked fairly well for its purposes. Ford knew how to work with steel and cast iron. It would have made no sense to them to venture into incorporating aluminum into their vehicles when there was no need to. Go with what you know...keep production costs low!
" How heavy can gasoline get before it is unacceptable for a Model T Fuel System?"
You'll have to keep adding Marvel Mystery Oil until it stops running to find out.
Try this link to get know where the Ethanol free gas. https://www.pure-gas.org/
Higher grade gasoline doesn't use ethanol does it?
Check here for the joys of modern gasoline:
John, Some premium gas is "oxygenated" like regular no-lead. The only way to make sure you are not getting the stuff is to look on the pump and make sure it is labelled as "non-oxygenated fuel". I have seen a few retailers around here sell non-oxygenated regular 86/87 octane, but not many. About the only ones that have that available are stops along the snowmobile trails, marinas, and some farm co-ops.
Modern gasoline, a mix of actual gasoline and 10% alcohol, which, back in the seventies was known as "gasohol," is pretty bad stuff; worse than has ever been in automotive history. -Because alcohol and gasoline mixed together behave in a way similar to a mixture of oil and water, contemporary gasoline starts to separate out like salad dressing after period of time as short as a month.
Oddly enough, my Model T Ford doesn't seem to care. -I pour that garbage into the tank and the car just shrugs at it and runs. -I used to use Star-Tron Enzyme treatment, which is reputed to be excellent stuff, but forgot to use it a over the winter a few times and the car started up in the springtime like a rooster at sunrise.
There seems to be no limit to the number of ways a Tin Lizzie can be a pain in the posterior, but when it comes to this issue—which to owners of other types of collector cars is a real problem—it doesn't seem to matter. -Ol' "Penelope" doesn't care whether I give her Sonoco or Listerine. -I haven't tried Glenlivet, but I figure anyone who can't tell the difference might as well drink Johnny Walker Red.
My T will also run on just about anything that will burn. My objection to gasoline with ethanol added is it's water absorption characteristics. The T has a vented fuel system so it will absorb water from the air. This is not a significant issue with modern non-vented systems. The "improved" T has a fuel tank made of unobtanium. My '27 T gets non-ethanol gas only. If I had an earlier T with a reproduced tank I probably wouldn't care and would just use the 10% ethanol gas.
From mtfca.forum 16 May 2015
Some time between 1915 and 1920 the quality of gasoline (petrol) changed. From the period literature - pre ethyl - gasoline - the by-product of kerosene production was a purer lighter gasoline. There was less kerosene in the gasoline. The period text describes it as going from a lighter gasoline to a heavier gasoline - more by-products of kerosene in the mix. Has any one found modified carburetors that were machined to accept the new gasoline blend? From a 1921 text there is a description of a modified Holley carburetor. This modification was accomplished by opening up the mixing tube from 13/16 inch to 23/32 inch. This machining was to allow the newer and heavier gasoline to mix with air better for better mileage and power.
I believe light gasoline is described as light naphtha.
To John Keuhn - I think it depends on the state. Massachusetts does not allow the sale of non-ethanol gasoline to road-driven automobiles, so all pump gas has ethanol. You can get non-ethanol gasoline at a few speed shops, but it is racing fuel, very high octane, and very expensive. Here in Florida, you can buy non-ethanol gas at some stations - it's usually 91 octane and about $.50 per gallon more expensive then ethanol-laced regular. That's what my T gets.
Sorry about getting the letters reversed in your name, John.
No problems with modern gasoline.
although expensive Jack Daniels will get ya home
Want to know why you car started up so well after not using startron Bob? It's so simple it's almost nuts and here's the answer: THAT CRAP DON'T DO SQUAT!! One more news flash: These's no problem between Model T's and Ethanol fuel.
Just think. If Henry Ford had been smart he would have added some type of cast iron bulb under the gas tank to collect any water that separated from the gasoline!