E10 ethanol effects on our engines? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 08, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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E10 ethanol effects on our engines?

What the heck is it?
What does it do to my BBC?
Why in the heck can't I / not supposed to run it in my lawn mower??


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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 08, 01:27 PM
 
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Re: E10 ethanol effects on our engines?

E10 would refer to 10% ethanol being added to 90% typical unleaded gasoline. The opposite would be E85, which is 85% Ethanol and 15% unleaded.

If you live in a Smog area, like AZ, the fine print on the pump says the 10% maybe added to your fuel without your knowledge depending on the time of year.

In Iowa, for instance, you usually have 87 octane, then 89 octane E10, for the same price, then 91 octane. Lots of Ethanol in Iowa. The "E10" designation is a new marketing/ clarification tactic, "E10" has been available as long as I can remember in IA.

I have used E10 in every vehicle, motorcycle, etc., that I've owned without issue. When it is/ was available.

Compared to pure gasoline, an alcohol based fuel like ethanol is going to be more corrosive to your fuel system, but I'm not sure what the effects are with only 10%. Ethanol also has a higher octane rating then the same volume of Gasoline, but has less BTU per gallon, so you may notice slightly lower fuel economy when using E10, and definately while burning E85- which can only be used in vehicles designed for it. I have hand calculated hundreds of tanks in a variety of vehicles and have not personally noticed a decrease in MPG while running E10- though I will point out I was not necessarily looking for one in the numbers. If there is/ was a difference, it was less then my normal tank to tank variation in MPG.

I *assume* the warning against using it in small engines is to cover their asses, due to the more corrosive and less lubricating nature of the fuel.

I personally have never had an issue, in the several hundred thousands of miles I've put on E10 powered vehicles. I have heard people say negative things about "corn gas", etc., but when pressed they never seem to have any first hand negative experience with it.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 08, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: E10 ethanol effects on our engines?

I guess my next question would be if there is any benefit with adding "octane boost" to your gas. I always figured that it must make your hot rod faster because there is a "flame" on the bottle. I guess the octane booster is another link because I have never understood just what type of vehicles benefit from it. I know it helps with higher compression engines, but what is the breaking point. It seems that if gas is getting worse, that would be an easy fix!


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 08, 02:19 PM
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Re: E10 ethanol effects on our engines?

My 02 on this and I have posted the results of using 10% ethanol. What actually happens is that Ethanol " alcohol " will create moisture in the fuel and separate. This happens more so in areas that have climate changes. I have seen fuel lines rot... carb gaskets spider... and the worse thing that happened to me was calling for a tow on my boat while I was fishing out in the Atlantic ocean... cause the engine died and the cuprite was from water drawn up from the tank into the carb. Back in the day up here in NewEngland we used to add dry gas to the tank so the fuel would not freeze. I guess someone decided if 12oz of alcohol added to the tank was a good thing why not try using 10%.....They guessed wrong. I believe most of the tuning issues and engine related problems are cuased from the current fuel we are forced to use. I can go on and on but you get my point.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 08, 02:25 PM
 
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Re: E10 ethanol effects on our engines?

Disclaimer: This is an over-simplified view of octane/ answer to your question. This can be as complex of a subject as you want to make it, and someone will probably chime in and tell me I'm wrong. Whatever.

As a rule of thumb, you should use the MINIMUM octane that your engine can run on. Octane is basically a measure of how detonation resistant your fuel is. Detonation being when the gasoline being compressed in the combustion chamber begins to explode uncontrolled instead of burn. The higher the number the slower and cleaner it burns. This is a double edged sword of sorts, as the slower cleaner burn is going to put out slightly fewer BTU's of energy. If you took an engine that is designed to run on 87 octane and put 91 in it, assuming a lot of things like good gas, typically you are going to see no difference or perhaps a SLIGHT decrease in output on the higher octane fuel. Probably not enough to notice.

At higher engine speeds, or in an engine prone to detonation, then the higher octane fuel can still burn cleanly while lower octane fuel begins to explode instead of burn in the controlled manor that it was meant to. The benefit of higher octane is the ability to increase the compression ratio, timing, or amount of boost or nitrous without introducing detonation.

IF you are having issues with your engine that are related to the octane of the gas you are using, then octane boost can help. It is useless in a vehicle that does not require high octane, and is not a band-aid for bad gas.

The only thing you can do about the QUALITY of your gasoline is to purchase it from a known station that gets it from a good distributor, "Top Tier" gasoline can be purchased from QT, Shell, Chevron, and BP/Amoco among others. This is not to say other gas is crap, but buying the cheapest gas you can find, or gas from a place that has it sitting in it's storage tanks for months can end up costing you much more in the long run.

Finally, gas has a limited "shelf" or storage life, and it is only a couple of months. You can smell a varnish like smell from old gas, and it will clog up your fuel system/ carb/ etc. If you are going to store a vehicle or gasoline, add some Seafoam or Stabil to avoid any potential problems and extend the useful storage life by up to two years.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 08, 03:28 PM
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Re: E10 ethanol effects on our engines?

When it first came out in IA it was known as Gasohol, I've used it in various cars/trucks/boats/bikes/'tillers/snowblowers/mowers/chainsaws & weed-wackers and have not had a problem,...wait, I did have a rubber fuel line crack on a 'tiller a couple years ago. May have been the fuel, but I think since it was a 20+ yr old all original hand-me-down tiller, I chalked it up to old age.

My poor Camaro has had the same tank of gas in it for at least a year, it'll start right up. My weed-wacker, chainsaw, tiller and mower get put away in the fall w/o draining the gas, and they've started back up every spring, same with the snowblower other than the seasons, and I don't put fuel stabalizer in the gas.

Maybe I'm just lucky, I've heard of so-called problems linked to acohol but I haven't had any trouble with it myself.

I don't think E10 will do anything bad to your BBC (it didn't mine) and can't think why it would do anything to your mower, I agree someone is likely covering their tail.

It may be different in other areas, but outside of 1 gas station w/ racefuel near me, all gas here in cedarburg has up to 10% alkie. And I don't think any of my neighbors are using race fuel in their Lawn Boys.

Can you get gas w/o alkie in your areas?
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 08, 04:16 PM
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Re: E10 ethanol effects on our engines?

My slightly educated opinion is that most of the alcohol related problems are from improperly formulated "gasohol". If my feeble ole memory is correct I think carburated vehicles while run with out a noticeable change in performance on about 15% alcohol, more than that is were trouble begins. I can't figure out how alcohol got Camjoe63 stranded in the Atlantic, I don't think the Alkie put the water in the carb by itself... The water had to get in the fuel tank somehow. I think it would take an awful lot of condensation to cause a motor to quit running as alcohol absorbs moisture.

Something I haven't heard anything about in years is the lack of lead in gasoline. Does it still cause recessed valve seats in old vehicles with out hardened exhaust seats? (like a original 1st gen Camaro motor?)

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 08, 04:36 PM
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Re: E10 ethanol effects on our engines?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dubs68camaro View Post
I guess my next question would be if there is any benefit with adding "octane boost" to your gas. I always figured that it must make your hot rod faster because there is a "flame" on the bottle. I guess the octane booster is another link because I have never understood just what type of vehicles benefit from it. I know it helps with higher compression engines, but what is the breaking point. It seems that if gas is getting worse, that would be an easy fix!
Octane Boost is Pure S*** in a bottle. (my opinion)
If you put some in a glass jar with fuel it will separate and float on top, meaning it consists of oil. It kind of smells like jet fuel which is some what like kerosene and diesel. It's funny when people say they use jet fuel in their cars... I think they mean Aviation fuel or avgas.
Oil in a carb is no good. Seafoam is the only additive anyone should use in my opinion, maybe lead substitute if you have an older motor...

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 08, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Re: E10 ethanol effects on our engines?

It's funny because the only reason this question came up is that I watched a guy go off on a gas station owner because he didn't have a choice of E10 or regular gas. It got me thinking.....and that's when I tend to get into trouble. Just look at my "help me slam ford engines" link!! LOL


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 08, 06:12 PM
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Re: E10 ethanol effects on our engines?

haha, try not to over analyze.
bowtiepower (Name?) that's an excellent explaination of octane. Accurate, thoroiugh, and understandable.

We got "gasahol" here in Illinois in the early 70's. Every pump, every octane, all pump gas has and has had for 35 years, 10% ethanol.

I think the current "corn power" craze, not to mention the price of oil, is sending our gasahol to parts of the country that haven't seen it before, and many are asking the same questions we midwesterners asked 3 decades ago.

10% ethanol in your gas behaves no differently that 0% ethanol zipo, nada, nuttin, no diff. everything and anything will run on it, long term, with no ill effects at all.

Would you believe back in the 70's people were afraid the alcahol in the gas would clean the crap out of their gas tanks and clog thier carbs with it?





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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 08, 06:51 PM
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Re: E10 ethanol effects on our engines?

I'm just waiting for the day that we'll be able to run our motors with our own farts, pressurized, of course, in a fart bottle, hooked up to the intake manifold!
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 08, 07:51 PM
 
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Angry Re: E10 ethanol effects on our engines?

This is PROVEN!!

E10 will lower your mileage up to 4 percent in vehicles and E85 up to almost 25 percent in FFV's!

Gasohol is more SMOG creating VOC polluting b/c the mixture of Ethanol and regular unleaded gasoline causes the mixture to evaporate at a higher rate!

To hold the mixture's evaporation rate the same as regular unleaded, the regular unleaded base stock has to have right a 1-point lower evaporating rate! This rate is called the fuel's "RVP", (Reid Vapor Pressure).

Gasohol when burned create's MANY other hazardous products of combustion which also contribute to SMOG formation!

Imo, Gasohol is a gigantic MONEY transfer!! And that's about it!

The GOV subsidizes it to the tune of about 52 cents per gallon made and then it also has a tariff on Brazilian Ethanol of right at 50 cents per gallon imported and Brazil can make the stuff 30 percent cheaper than we can so go figure!

And per the Corn Growers Association, there's GOOD Ethanol made out of CORN and all the rest is BAD Ethanol made out of NON-CORN stuff!!

And here in MO, our esteemed Governor mandated it's use in gasoline so we have to buy it regardless!! And he is doing OR has done the same thing w/ bio-diesel!!

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 08, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: E10 ethanol effects on our engines?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Badbird View Post
I'm just waiting for the day that we'll be able to run our motors with our own farts, pressurized, of course, in a fart bottle, hooked up to the intake manifold!
If that day ever comes, my wife and I will be instant millionaires. MY lower end runs at about 13 lbs of boost but it's currently only being used to make the kids laugh!!!


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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 08, 10:33 PM
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Re: E10 ethanol effects on our engines?

I don't know if it's me or others may have experienced the samething with today's Gasoline either 89 or 91 octane - I'm not mentioning E-Gas, although I don't think E10 would be much different. I designed my Camaro motor to run on this fuel; however, I did not consider my MotorCycle Engine which is a 72 with 9:1 Compression(Laverda 750SF). This is a Dual Point set up. I eventually burned a hole in a Piston on this bike after approx 3000 Km this summer running modern gas for the Ist time after a long period of storage. For some reason I couldn't not get the Bike to Idle good while the top end was Great or visa-versa have the Idle good but the top end poor. My Friend with an 81 Harley FXWG has the same problem which he says he never had before using older formulated gas. To have a good Idle I advanced the spark and indoing so I had too much at WOT and burned a piston. After Repairs I will have to look into limiting total advance. One thing that really bugged me was that I never noticed "PING" or the so called rattle when you have too much advance when using this new gasoline formula. I don't know if it's me but has anyone else noticed that it is hard to recognize over advance when using this new gas compared to the Old Formulas?

Has anyone noted similar crap with this new Formulated gasoline? It must burn considerable Faster then the old stuff.

I've some experience adding Methanol to Gas as I live in Ontario and have had to run Vehicles and 2 stroke Snow Machines when it was 40 below. I've often added the Old Red-X or something similar as Kemco Supreme130 Octane Booster along with a Lead Additive to Pump gas when it was extremely cold and I must say it is very effective. If anything the Methanol not only stopped Water and Icing of Fuel Lines and Carburetors it did, I believe, increase Hp somewhat - particularly in 2 stoke engines.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old Sep 6th, 08, 01:13 AM
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Re: E10 ethanol effects on our engines?

we've had E10 in MN for about 20 years, and i haven't seen any problems from it.

you don't plan sincerity.
you have to make it up on the spot.

wanna hear about 20 years ago when i was too smart to know any better?
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