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Regarding the worsening Ethanol Fuel situation - a DIY solution

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Old 11-05-2011, 03:18 PM
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This "oiler" may help for upper cylinder lubrication but everyone is over looking the fact that ALOT of the damage that having too much Alchohol in fuel is caused by motor LEANING out, especially on 2 strokes. Example, I had a 180 hp 2 stroke arctic cat 900 cc snowmobile, it was jetted only 1-2 jets richer than the leanest it could run, the egts would stay around 1100-1150 degrees, burn down was at 1225-1250. I ALWAYS bought non-ethanol gas as I knew this and payed careful attention to my egts. I filled up at a station that always had good non-ethanol. Took off down the trail, with that days air density my egts were staying around 1050 earlier so I was pretty safe, after driving a few miles I see the egts past 1200 degrees, stopped and re-jetted. Stopped back at that station on my way home and talked to the owner, turns out they switched gas suppliers and were buying garbage gas with ethanol. Since then most places that is all you can get so you have to plan accordingly these days, jet things richer/map efi richer.
When I tuned my 1000 plus hp blower motor on the dyno i went out of my way to make sure the gas I bought HAD around 10% ethanol in it so my tune was safe enough BUT these days whenever I buy premium gas for my boat from any station I don't frequent often I do a simple alcholhol test before filling my boat as to NOT get a tank full of gas that has too much Ethanol in it (a COMMON occurence). I put together a very cheap and fairly accurate Alchohol test kit. I use a 200 cc/ml graduated cylinder and a small container of tap water that has a spout that I can drip water out of.
TEST: Pump a small amount of test sample into a clear jug, at least a 1/2 a gallon so you are getting it from the tank. Let it sit a few minutes and make sure you DON"T see a seperation near the bottom, if you see a distinct line that has a different color you are seeing PHASE separation, if you see this the gas is contaminated with water and the ethanol has fallen out of suspension from the low grade base gasoline and this station should be avoided like the plauge ( I have ran into this TWICE, in small town gas stations where not much premium gets sold). If there is NO sign of Phase separation , then you proceed to the actual test, fill your 200 m/l cylinder to as close to the 100 m/l mark as possible with your sample gas, drip your test water in a drop at a time until your meniscus (the curve at the line at top of your liquid) is now at the 105 m/l or 110 m/l mark. If you have a fancy graduated cylinder with a stopper or a screw on lid shake your sample pretty hard then let it sit, if you have no lid just swirl it around trying not to lose any liquid. Let your sample sit a minute or so, you will see the ethanol and water phase seperate, if you used 10 m/l of water and sample seperates at the 20 m/l mark you have 10% ethanol in your gas (10 m/l of Ethanol/10 m/l of water) if it seperates HIGHER than you have a even higher Alchohol content. I have done this test at MANY gas stations and in Mi I have found Speedway and Speedy Q have the worst garbage gas and should be avoided like the plauge. I have seen 18-20% Alcohol content, this could very easily lean out even a stock motor as you have to remember most boat engines are BLIND speed density/map and don't moniter the exhaust temp/how lean it might really be. This might sound like a complicated procedure but it actually only takes a minute or 2 once you get used to the test, I am VERY careful what gets pumped into my boat and Snowmobiles, Smitty
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Old 11-05-2011, 07:53 PM
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Smitty:

Great information and its obvious that you take a great deal of care to protect your engines and Kudos to you for your actions.

However, I think we are missing the real points here!
First, ethanol in boats, especially the E15 & E85 appear from this industry testing and engine manufacturers warnings and warranty issues appears to be an "ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN!" Lets face it the average boater, let alone the average performance boater is not going in any great numbers to test their fuel for ethanol percentage or fuel quality, nor should they really have to!

Second, lets not forget that the oil companies and refiners and distributors are selling a potentially bad and sometimes defective product for a NICE HEALTHY PROFIT! Why in Gods name should the purchasers of this product have to spend time and money to test fuel and why should they the fuel consumer be responsible for the damage and the expense of damage repair when that (EXPENSIVE) product is defective or damages their property.

Heck, I am not a lawyer, but I am sure any halfway knowledgable lawyer could make that case on almost any consumer product!

This is what really pisses me off! Our inept enviromental agencies have given a license to these oil compnay, refiner, distributor companies to raise the price of the product to cover this great new enviromental fuel protection system that destroys the consumers property and everyone, even a lot of boaters seem to believe that it's perfectly OK!!

Hell, I don't think its OK and I think a lot of boaters and others who will suffer from this problem greatly should start raising their voices, votes and influence and stop this ripoff until a more reliable and property safe fuel blend can be found and PROVEN to be safe for engines and equipment that will use it.
Why should we take our time and expense to test the fuel they make billions selling us?? That sounds OK to you??
Not to me! Let the companies who make the product and profit from its sale ,test, certify and provide a product that is safe and relaible to use in our engines PERIOD!

Heck, I know, I am back on the soapbox again, but we have to keep it simple and remember we have been given a problem we did not ask for. We need to give the problem back to those who created it and profit from it!

Best Regards,
Ray @ Raylar
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by articfriends View Post
This "oiler" may help for upper cylinder lubrication but everyone is over looking the fact that ALOT of the damage that having too much Alchohol in fuel is caused by motor LEANING out, especially on 2 strokes. Example, I had a 180 hp 2 stroke arctic cat 900 cc snowmobile, it was jetted only 1-2 jets richer than the leanest it could run, the egts would stay around 1100-1150 degrees, burn down was at 1225-1250. I ALWAYS bought non-ethanol gas as I knew this and payed careful attention to my egts. I filled up at a station that always had good non-ethanol. Took off down the trail, with that days air density my egts were staying around 1050 earlier so I was pretty safe, after driving a few miles I see the egts past 1200 degrees, stopped and re-jetted. Stopped back at that station on my way home and talked to the owner, turns out they switched gas suppliers and were buying garbage gas with ethanol. Since then most places that is all you can get so you have to plan accordingly these days, jet things richer/map efi richer.
When I tuned my 1000 plus hp blower motor on the dyno i went out of my way to make sure the gas I bought HAD around 10% ethanol in it so my tune was safe enough BUT these days whenever I buy premium gas for my boat from any station I don't frequent often I do a simple alcholhol test before filling my boat as to NOT get a tank full of gas that has too much Ethanol in it (a COMMON occurence). I put together a very cheap and fairly accurate Alchohol test kit. I use a 200 cc/ml graduated cylinder and a small container of tap water that has a spout that I can drip water out of.
TEST: Pump a small amount of test sample into a clear jug, at least a 1/2 a gallon so you are getting it from the tank. Let it sit a few minutes and make sure you DON"T see a seperation near the bottom, if you see a distinct line that has a different color you are seeing PHASE separation, if you see this the gas is contaminated with water and the ethanol has fallen out of suspension from the low grade base gasoline and this station should be avoided like the plauge ( I have ran into this TWICE, in small town gas stations where not much premium gets sold). If there is NO sign of Phase separation , then you proceed to the actual test, fill your 200 m/l cylinder to as close to the 100 m/l mark as possible with your sample gas, drip your test water in a drop at a time until your meniscus (the curve at the line at top of your liquid) is now at the 105 m/l or 110 m/l mark. If you have a fancy graduated cylinder with a stopper or a screw on lid shake your sample pretty hard then let it sit, if you have no lid just swirl it around trying not to lose any liquid. Let your sample sit a minute or so, you will see the ethanol and water phase seperate, if you used 10 m/l of water and sample seperates at the 20 m/l mark you have 10% ethanol in your gas (10 m/l of Ethanol/10 m/l of water) if it seperates HIGHER than you have a even higher Alchohol content. I have done this test at MANY gas stations and in Mi I have found Speedway and Speedy Q have the worst garbage gas and should be avoided like the plauge. I have seen 18-20% Alcohol content, this could very easily lean out even a stock motor as you have to remember most boat engines are BLIND speed density/map and don't moniter the exhaust temp/how lean it might really be. This might sound like a complicated procedure but it actually only takes a minute or 2 once you get used to the test, I am VERY careful what gets pumped into my boat and Snowmobiles, Smitty
Smitty,

Thanks for sharing! Have you done this test on Shell gas? Do you think that Shell gas in SoCal is worse than Shell gas where you live?
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:51 AM
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the oil companies are having this pushed on them also. realize this also, going to water base paint has left varnish stock that is getting mixed with gasoline and no more mogas(motor gas; low grade fuel). check out gasoline MSDS and you'll see acetone, xylene and toulene in fuel gas along with ethanol and/or methanol. the addition of stabilizers or oil products(top-end lube, 2-cycle oil and possibly MMO) reduces the attraction of humidity to get to the alcohol. the solvents(alcohols) react with the 2-cycle diaphragm pumps(compatible rubbers are too hard or soft) when water gets with alcohols it forms acid that eats aluminum(carb, fuel pump bodies, fuel rails and filter housings) this leaves white residue(similar to lead in old fuel tanks) that clogs carbs(especially EPA carbs with reduced passages) and fuel injectors. i live in iowa and have seen problems since Katrina, they used ethanol to stretch gasoline capacity. quikleen helps get engine performance back, put it in wifes van about once a quarter, the new octane booster with MMT seems to work for roadtrips so her vans not a total dog. they use ethanol to raise octane, water combines with alcohol and falls out of suspension and you now have low octane gas. Shell V-Power Premium seems to be lowest % 6-7 when tested. NMMA is fighting EPA with testing by Mercury and IH;International is fighting them over diesel treatment. maybe we can get back to reality.
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:28 AM
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I always wondered if you blew a motor and had gas at over 10% if the gas station or fuel suplier would be liable? It says 10% MAX on the label.... So if I was to blow a motor and test the fuel and find it to be at say 20% wouldn't they be liable?
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Old 11-06-2011, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by articfriends View Post
This "oiler" may help for upper cylinder lubrication but everyone is over looking the fact that ALOT of the damage that having too much Alchohol in fuel is caused by motor LEANING out, especially on 2 strokes. Example, I had a 180 hp 2 stroke arctic cat 900 cc snowmobile, it was jetted only 1-2 jets richer than the leanest it could run, the egts would stay around 1100-1150 degrees, burn down was at 1225-1250. I ALWAYS bought non-ethanol gas as I knew this and payed careful attention to my egts. I filled up at a station that always had good non-ethanol. Took off down the trail, with that days air density my egts were staying around 1050 earlier so I was pretty safe, after driving a few miles I see the egts past 1200 degrees, stopped and re-jetted. Stopped back at that station on my way home and talked to the owner, turns out they switched gas suppliers and were buying garbage gas with ethanol. Since then most places that is all you can get so you have to plan accordingly these days, jet things richer/map efi richer.
When I tuned my 1000 plus hp blower motor on the dyno i went out of my way to make sure the gas I bought HAD around 10% ethanol in it so my tune was safe enough BUT these days whenever I buy premium gas for my boat from any station I don't frequent often I do a simple alcholhol test before filling my boat as to NOT get a tank full of gas that has too much Ethanol in it (a COMMON occurence). I put together a very cheap and fairly accurate Alchohol test kit. I use a 200 cc/ml graduated cylinder and a small container of tap water that has a spout that I can drip water out of.
TEST: Pump a small amount of test sample into a clear jug, at least a 1/2 a gallon so you are getting it from the tank. Let it sit a few minutes and make sure you DON"T see a seperation near the bottom, if you see a distinct line that has a different color you are seeing PHASE separation, if you see this the gas is contaminated with water and the ethanol has fallen out of suspension from the low grade base gasoline and this station should be avoided like the plauge ( I have ran into this TWICE, in small town gas stations where not much premium gets sold). If there is NO sign of Phase separation , then you proceed to the actual test, fill your 200 m/l cylinder to as close to the 100 m/l mark as possible with your sample gas, drip your test water in a drop at a time until your meniscus (the curve at the line at top of your liquid) is now at the 105 m/l or 110 m/l mark. If you have a fancy graduated cylinder with a stopper or a screw on lid shake your sample pretty hard then let it sit, if you have no lid just swirl it around trying not to lose any liquid. Let your sample sit a minute or so, you will see the ethanol and water phase seperate, if you used 10 m/l of water and sample seperates at the 20 m/l mark you have 10% ethanol in your gas (10 m/l of Ethanol/10 m/l of water) if it seperates HIGHER than you have a even higher Alchohol content. I have done this test at MANY gas stations and in Mi I have found Speedway and Speedy Q have the worst garbage gas and should be avoided like the plauge. I have seen 18-20% Alcohol content, this could very easily lean out even a stock motor as you have to remember most boat engines are BLIND speed density/map and don't moniter the exhaust temp/how lean it might really be. This might sound like a complicated procedure but it actually only takes a minute or 2 once you get used to the test, I am VERY careful what gets pumped into my boat and Snowmobiles, Smitty
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Im going to have to print this one and bring it out to the garage.
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Old 11-06-2011, 11:56 AM
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Be carevull with the green bottle additive it takes the clear coat off the boat made mine like gel. I was using it because of ethanol .
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:09 PM
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Smitty,

Thanks for sharing! Have you done this test on Shell gas? Do you think that Shell gas in SoCal is worse than Shell gas where you live?
In Mi the Shell gas is the BEST you are going to buy from the pump, I find the 93 that is supposed to be 10% Ethanol is actually 3-4% here alot, Smitty
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:33 PM
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Last winter a few of my friends had their two stroke snowmobiles burn down. These sleds were maintained well etc, etc. We started thinking about the ethanol levels prompting a call to two refineries. I spoke with a chemist at each company asking specifically about additives to mitigate these effects.

Long story short there are none. While neither one of the employees would say for sure that these additives are "Junk" they did say that the biggest problem with ethanol fuels are phase separation. Simply put when ethanol in the fuel absorbs all the water it can (Saturation) any additional water will cause the water/ethanol mix to separate from the gas lower the octane level at least three points (I was told likely more).

I was told that fuel ought to be used in a two week period. If stored, use stabil (Helps, not a cure). If in amrine environment drain the tank. I know its contrary to what we all have been told in the past.

Common sense regarding additives, if one were the magic bullet, it would have mobil, bp etc. on the bottle and sold at every station. Ethanol is detrimental to ALL of our hobbies.

I was also told that it will not increase higher than 10% due to auto manufacturers not having fuel systems that will survive.
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by keith2500hd View Post
the oil companies are having this pushed on them also. realize this also, going to water base paint has left varnish stock that is getting mixed with gasoline and no more mogas(motor gas; low grade fuel). check out gasoline MSDS and you'll see acetone, xylene and toulene in fuel gas along with ethanol and/or methanol. the addition of stabilizers or oil products(top-end lube, 2-cycle oil and possibly MMO) reduces the attraction of humidity to get to the alcohol. the solvents(alcohols) react with the 2-cycle diaphragm pumps(compatible rubbers are too hard or soft) when water gets with alcohols it forms acid that eats aluminum(carb, fuel pump bodies, fuel rails and filter housings) this leaves white residue(similar to lead in old fuel tanks) that clogs carbs(especially EPA carbs with reduced passages) and fuel injectors. i live in iowa and have seen problems since Katrina, they used ethanol to stretch gasoline capacity. quikleen helps get engine performance back, put it in wifes van about once a quarter, the new octane booster with MMT seems to work for roadtrips so her vans not a total dog. they use ethanol to raise octane, water combines with alcohol and falls out of suspension and you now have low octane gas. Shell V-Power Premium seems to be lowest % 6-7 when tested. NMMA is fighting EPA with testing by Mercury and IH;International is fighting them over diesel treatment. maybe we can get back to reality.
I am dynoing a Pontiac 455 that has moderate compression the past week or 2, I been using Shell V-power 93 octane, the first batch of 25 gallons I bought was 3% "other" when I tested it so it had very little Alchohol, I tested another 20 gallon batch I bought 10 days later and it was bewteen 6-7% so it is by far the best pump gas I have ever found, Smitty
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