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Important Ethanol Message!


R W Burgess
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From Tom Cox

AACA-VP Strategic Planning

We all know the problems experienced by old car owners, farmers, boat owners, and those with not so old cars when ethanol laced fuel is used. Currently, EPA allows gasoline to be blended with up to 10% ethanol. EPA chief Carol Browner is preparing to boost the amount of ethanol allowed in pump gasoline to 15%. This is ill conceived to say the least and should not be implemented until research provides cost effective additives to counteract the effects of higher ethanol concentrations.

I would not hesitate to contact my Congressional representatives on this issue , urging them to stop EPA from moving forward. However, since EPA is directly overseen by the White House, you should contact President Obama first at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

EPA has what is referred to as "Rule Making Authority", and does not require Congressional approval to institute these changes. Therefore, White House intervention is the easiest way to get this stopped, but lean on your congressional representatives to contact the White House. Please use your own words when writing. Politicians and their aides are likely to dismiss just about anything you send, but they don't even look at form letters...and please be civil, nothing is gained by giving these folks a verbal lashing...you can do that at the ballot box.

Just a few of the problems caused by Ethanol in older vehicles are as follows:

New Ethanol enhanced fuel deteriorates rapidly and leads to the formation of formic acid which rusts and corrodes your fuel system, creating leaks and clogs.

It destroys many rubber components as well which leads to fires and loss of life and property.

The added ethanol aggravates the vapor lock problems many of us experience , contributing to unsafe situations while driving.

Another big issue EPA ignores is the fact that these new heavily oxygenated fuels with ethanol deteriorate rapidly. When vehicles and equipment are used seasonally, fuel often has to be drained and discarded. While its against the law to improperly dispose of old fuel, its costly to pay an environmental firm to dispose of it, so much of it ends up in rivers, streams, and landfills which is a huge pollution problem. Additionally, this old fuel gums up carburetors and injectors leading to improperly running engines with increased emissions. Once again a government program to abate one problem creates more in its place.

Please check out the SEMA action alert below and pass this along to Region and Chapter members, friends, family, and other clubs in your area. Recent input from hobbyists to EPA helped soften new tighter restrictions on painting cars, so this may work as well. Numbers are important. Apathy is our greatest enemy. The time to get involved is now. At worst, you will feel better for having tried to save us from the evils of reformulated fuel.

Tom Cox

VP Strategic Planning

Web link to alert

http://www.semasan.com/main/main.aspx?id=62807

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A chemist addressed our AACA group a while back, informing us of the disadvantages of alcohol fuel (ethanol) aside from the potential damage to our cars, as Wayne states so clearly. Among these, it must be transported to the refineries by truck or train, as it cannot go in the underground pipe system. Also, it requires petroleum-based fertilizers as well as tractors, etc. to produce, costing almost as much in oil distillates to produce as the volume of alcohol produced. Also, it has less energy than gasoline, this reducing MPG. Finally, it detours corn production from food to fuel use. Perhaps others could add to or correct my analysis.

Phil

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Your friendly corn lobby at work! People just thought DuPont had a lot of influence in DC. They didn't count on ADM. My own opinion is that ethanol fuels and byproducts are going to be every bit as harmful down the road as tobacco has been made out to be, but the corn lobby is powerful.

My trouble here is the 5th District seat in VA is up for grabs and considered one of the most important races in the country. The R candidate has ties to the people who are pushing to mine uranium in this county so his efforts are gonna be concentrated on defending that. The other guy, not sure, but he's shown himself not to be a party-line D. So who knows if they'll lean on people to get rid of this ethanol nonsense.

The big problem I have always had with EPA is that it is a rogue agency with no oversight and accountable to no one. It does basically what it wants, and sometimes the consequences are near disastrous. You can count on whatever it implements making EVERYTHING more expensive. Then countries with less stringent or no environmental rules in place have us for breakfast and laugh all the way to the bank.

'Course if I were an EPA employee, I'd make sure I had plenty of rules and regs to enforce too. Job security and all that. I doubt much of their motivation is altruistic.

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I thought, obviously incorrectly, that they had more or less brought this issue to rest. The economic consequences, satellite to farming a given acreage due to increased corn ethanol demand, tended to move corn prices up, hence stressing feedlot costs in corn-feeding the beef. I thought it was determined that the advantages gained in moving more acreage to corn, was, after all, offset by these disadvantages affecting other markets! Did I read that wrong a few years ago that this was a consensus? Then there was this bad ass chemical MCE or something, that detracted from what was thought to be ethanol's environmental superiority as well! I would like to hear the other side of the story. There are some sharp folks trying to protect us from ourselves...(sarcasm NOT intended). Maybe my memory is starting to go limp like that other thing.

Edited by prs519
mis-worded (see edit history)
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Water, who needs water?

I seem to recall reading that Ethanol production requires huge amounts of water, enough to suck some sources nearly dry.

The issue was brought into focus last year in Granite Falls, where an ethanol plant in its first year of operations depleted the groundwater so much that it had to begin pumping water from the Minnesota River.

It takes between four and five gallons of water to produce a gallon of ethanol at a biofuel plant, ...

Source: Is ethanol tapping too much water? | StarTribune.com
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  • 2 weeks later...

At this point these are just questions and not observations. Does anyone have more knowlege about the flame propagation rates of ethanol ?

Only source I found says something that is counterintuitive namely that adding ethanol increases flame propagation rate (thought alcohol injecting was used in the past as an octane improver i.e. slows the flame rate)

Bottom line: I suspect engine control computer ignition maps need to be altered for ethanol but am not sure exactly what changes are needed or how to tell what is needed.

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Guest pfloro

Since E10+ may become a reality in areas already requiring E10 AND in areas now enjoying the luxury of NOT requiring ethanol, I believe it's necessary to learn how to best burn it in our carbureted engines...

BEGIN IMHO: I'm not just 'rolling over' to the powers that be, but just being realistic. No matter how you look at it, our cars represent a very small minority of motor vehicles travelling on the roads today. The marine & small gasoline engine industries may get some attention but our hobby is considered unimportant by many. END IMHO

I am presently designing a fairly simple system which will keep the carburetor casting itself cooler. This will hopefully reduce the percolation which caused some hot weather issues for my ' 84 Toronado. If successful, this home grown modification may benefit many of us.

I will report back (probably later next spring) on my progress.

Aside from the additional loss of fuel economy with E10+ and the increased possibility of fuel system deterioration (not that it's trivial), I wonder if E15 will be any worse than E10 in terms of a still lower boiling point. The petroleum chemists may increase the boiling point of the gasoline part of the mix (85%) to compensate for the increased amount of ethanol. I'd love to talk technical to these chemists.

Paul

Edited by pfloro (see edit history)
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  • 2 months later...

I live in Nebraska the state with a ethanol plant in every other town. Almost every gas station here has a e10 and once in a while e85 blend. Aside from all the risks of ethanol you know that the refineries stink bad. but on a good note alot of news has brewed about the raise in corn prices due to corn being used for ethanol. meat companies and ranches complain about the raise in corn prices. corn is everywhere and I drive classic cars daily and my experience with the nasty stuff raises some more concerns. It gets cold here in winter (sometimes 40 below zero in winter). Once I put some E85 in my tank to fill her up in my 57 Chevy with the 235. It has the automatic choke with the 1 barrel. Anyways went out the next morning to start her to warm up for my trip to work. Dumb me I shoulda had some starting fluid handly to say the least. Also my car took about 2 minutes longer to warm up to turn the heater on and temp that morning was same as the last. Then on my way to work I punched the gas to pass a slow driver ahead and the car backfired on me after a lag in throttle response. To say the least that rarely happened with the 57. The car also didnt run as hot but did notice I sucked the gas down more then usual and I could tell the difference even after 10 minutes on the road. I would say if you were to use ethanol blend fuel use neoprene seals in the carb and fuel pump along with reajustment of the carb and also have a can of starting fluid handly unless you wanta pump the pedal 5 times before starting. Just my 5 cents

Edited by Classic50s (see edit history)
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You if you use E-85 in a car that will use it , the fuel economy will usually be about 60-70% of the fuel economy of plain gas.

And that, to me, is the biggest fallacy of ethanol or other modified fuels. If you burn 30-40% more of it to go the same distance, what has been saved in the long run?

Seems to me that even if it burns cleaner, you're burning that much more of it, so any decrease in pollution is negated by an increased amount burned.

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Seems to me that even if it burns cleaner, you're burning that much more of it, so any decrease in pollution is negated by an increased amount burned.

If mileage was equal when running on e85 to running on pure gasoline, then the major concern about burning fuel, CO2, would be reduced by 85%. Of course that's not the case, and with the average 25% reduction in fuel mileage the actual savings of CO2 is more like 65%. You then have to account for the fossil fuels used to make the ethanol (good like finding an unbiased estimate for that!).

In the end analysis there is probably still a substantial savings to the environment. Future advances in ethanol production are the real hope for its use.

However if you put e85 in a 1957 Chevy that's not prepared for using it you'll likely ruin the car, which even worse for the environment than anything the car does no matter what fuel it uses.

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Since my 2006 gets 8-10% less mpg with E10 then straight gas, I would guess there is little CO2 saving and that doesn't count the CO2 emitted planting, picking, hauling and processing the corn.

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  • 6 months later...

This response is related to ethanol fuel and two cycle engines as used on weed wackers some roto-tillers, mopeds, and older Vespa scooters.

As a result of NOT draining the fuel tanks, and the fuel system on my Mantis roto-tiller, Sachs moped, and HPOF Vespa scooter I had to do complete fuel system clean outs, and a carburetor rebuild on the Vespa. The Mantis needed a new carburetor at a cost of $75.00.

There are new gas stabilizers on the market for preserving ethanol based fuel, and they work even with two cycle gas/oil mixes.

Fortunately I have a non-ethanol gas station close by, and after last year's hassles I have switched to non-ethanol fuel in the two cycle engines, and my air-cooled Volkswagens. The non-ethanol costs about $.25 more per gallon. It comes in 87, 89, and 94 octanes. Go with the 89 octane for two cycle engines. :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Jim, Can you tell me the name and location of the station that still has ethanol free gas near you? I'm about 1 1/2 hours east of Harrisburg and all of the stations I was aware of that had ethanol free gas can no longer get it.

I used gas with ethanol (E10) in my '29 Packard and after only the second tank the alcohol dissolved the rubber gasket in the pressure regulator (it turned into a soft gummy substance) and I had gas spilling all over the garage floor when I turned on the electric fuel pump. I was lucky the car and house didn't both go up in flames.

Ethanol in our gas will only destroy our beloved antique vehicles, as well as our everyday cars. The only ones that benefit from Ethanol are the lobbyists and corn growers. We have a very loud voice and powerful voting block if we stick together, please write your legislators and join the Sema Action Network.

Edited by jjohnb (see edit history)
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Here's a website that has ethanol free stations listed. Check it, and the stations out. There is a provision on the site to remove and add stations as their product changes. Good luck to us all!!!B

Ethanol-free gas stations in the U.S. and Canada

A dubious web site discussed here several times, most specifically here: http://forums.aaca.org/f120/found-online-list-stations-selling-ethanol-295701.html .

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It seems like to me that the old car hobby is not paying enough attention to the effects of Ethanol. It causes rotting gas tanks full of rust and vapor locks and heaven knows what else. I put some stuff in a blue bottle that NAPA sells into my tanks to hopefully fight the rot when they aren't run regularly. I finally think I solved the constant vapor lock in hot weather by wrapping the fuel lines in the foam like tubing stuff you use to insulate water pipes to and from your hot water heater.

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We got to Williamsport, Pa yesterday, all ready for the Vintage Tour. On the way up, I stopped at a gas station to top off my towing vehicle. As I was filling the tank, I noticed the sign........."enriched with up to 10% ethanol!"

Enriched! One word, no two words..."That's RICH!"

Calling this caustic stuff, enriching is a really big laugh to me.

My Essex started leaking from a gas line this morning, so I had to fiddle with it. Of course everywhere I stopped, I left a small puddle of gasoline. My last stop at my transport trailer, got my attention as the gasoline was dissolving the sealer right off the pavement. I quickly replaced a brass fitting, but noticed that the rubber gas hose had damage from the gas leak too.

Man, this gas up here is worse then Chemo treatments! To think we're supposed to be protecting the environment, really???

Well we park downtown tonight to show up to the locals. We've had a good time so far.

Wayne

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Jim, Can you tell me the name and location of the station that still has ethanol free gas near you? I'm about 1 1/2 hours east of Harrisburg and all of the stations I was aware of that had ethanol free gas can no longer get it.

Was away on vacation. The station is GAS USA on Route 22 (Colonial Park) east of Harrisburg. Get off the Colonial Park Exit from I-83 and head east for about 1.5 miles. Station is on the left at the 3rd. traffic signal after you exit.:)

In response to the leaking fuel lines, etc caused by ethanol I am going to tell you all that about 10 to 15 years ago I brought this up to the AACA. Why? Because I remembered the problems several years earlier when a product called GASOHOL was used as a gasoline additive to save on the use of crude oil in the refinery process. Gasohol was alcohol based, and did the same things to fuel systems, and engines that ethanol does.

I fail to understand how an additive that causes engine damage, produces less power, and fewer miles per gallon is saving us anything.

I must be STUPID!:rolleyes::D

When will we learn?

It is long overdue for the car collector world to start letting our often times mis-informed/under-informed government officials the results of their actions.

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Jim, our weakness is that, even as a bloc, we cannot match campaign contributions of the big agricultural corporations.

I know, but we still need to make our concerns known. There are AACA members who are in government offices, and these are the people who have to be asked to help the car hobby.

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Gasahol = E10 = 10% ethanol = virtually all of the gas we currently have and ever will have until even that is replaced by something. It is also virtually the only fuel that's been available in several midwestern states since 1979. There are large areas in this country that have nearly no memory for 2 generations of 100% "pure", crude oil derived gasoline.

There is no doubt that ethanol is a problem in old cars, and must be dealt with on several levels to avoid problems. Those problems are endemic to carbureted fuel systems, which simply haven't existed in any form in cars or light trucks for 20 years or more. It is nice that you can take any telephone ever made, hook it up to your land line phone, and it will work. It is nice that (as long as it's not a TV) any antique electronic device can be plugged in and used. It is nice that antique refrigerators (so long as they still have their original freon and never need a charge) can still be used.

,,,But it should be obvious to us all that the carburetor is (in modern terms) a deficient, obsolete device that has been discarded by society and is no longer supported by its infrastructure. Fuels made available to the public will increasingly be engineered for the VAST majority of the vehicles that use them, ECM monitored fuel injection systems.

The political might of the ethanol infrastructure, as great as it is, is not the reason 1932 Chevys have to be modified and monitired to prevent massive fuel leaks due to ethanol. It's simply a matter of the infallible logic of the market. Pump "gas" will be made in quantity for what's currently in the showrooms, and what was there recently. When it's determined that every car for the previous 15 years or so can run on E15, E20, or Egodknowswhat fuels, then they will be the dominant fuel available.

I've been saying for years now that I expect to see the day when I'm buying real gasoline for my antiques only in 5 gal. cans at the hardware store. I have not changed my view. I believe that to even attempt to stem the progress (and that is what it is) in fuel development is to be marginalized and disregarded by society. I have only one hope that (for any extended future) we are able to drive our cars on the street in any substantial form...

I know, but we still need to make our concerns known. There are AACA members who are in government offices, and these are the people who have to be asked to help the car hobby.

..., there has to be some means of allowing licensed, identified antique cars to obtain real gas (>10% ethanol) from select outlets, be they marinas, hangars, fuel depots, or whatever. Instead of using "pump gas", touring with an antique car would require the use of a specific fuel source available in various areas, possibly from sources exempted from road taxes (like marine & aviation fuels).

This needs to be pursued now, before we start seeing E15 only gas stations dominating the market.

It'll be inconvenient as he!!, and many of us will have to drive miles just to fuel up the car. But at least we will have avoided the 5 gal. can fate for a while. I know my Triumph is not set up to cross the U.S. in 1909 Thomas-style, and neither am I.

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I don't expect our federal government to realize its mistake on Corn based Ethanol, but then again, I never expected Al Gore to admit that he was wrong on it... Maybe there is still hope. The boaters and the small engine owners share our concerns. Our local TV news ran a story on massive lawnmower carburetor problems due to Ethanol just yesterday. There is still demand for fuel suitable for carbuertors and will be as long as Americans like to mow the lawn.

Al Gore: I Was Wrong About Ethanol : TreeHugger

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I don't expect our federal government to realize its mistake on Corn based Ethanol, but then again, I never expected Al Gore to admit that he was wrong on it... Maybe there is still hope. The boaters and the small engine owners share our concerns. Our local TV news ran a story on massive lawnmower carburetor problems due to Ethanol just yesterday. There is still demand for fuel suitable for carbuertors and will be as long as Americans like to mow the lawn.

Al Gore: I Was Wrong About Ethanol : TreeHugger

Lawn mowers and other small engine tools are the main reason I expect to see gas in cans for sale before too long.

Also corn based ethanol is not now and never was viewed as a long term proposition, and therefore wasn't a "mistake". It is a transition fuel to more appropriate ethanol sources (most likely algae, sawgrass, and other fast growing plants {possibly kudzu}). As corn is supplanted by these sources the infrastructure for large scale ethanol use will already be in place. If corn were not used it would have been much harder to incorporate ethanol in the fuel stream in meaningful amounts, almost certainly causing devastating disruptions in supply.

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Dave,

Your "gas in cans for sale" might work for lawmowers but I don't see that as solving the problem for the small boat owners. There are probably a lot more of them than there are those of us who collect antique cars, so I still say we are not the only ones who would like to see "real" gasoline continue to be available.

I have seen nothing to suggest that there is any serious governmental effort to move away from corn based ethanol to any "more appropriate ethanol sources". I attribute this to purely political and not scientific reasons.

We have had this argument before. I tend to agree with Al's new position that he made a mistake. Maybe we should just agree to disagree and not waste any more time staking out our differing opinions on the subject.

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Too bad in 2006 more people didn’t voice their concerns and oppose the “Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007” when it was signed into law on December 19<SUP>th</SUP> 2007. Many think it is a recent mandate however that is just not the case.

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Dave,

Your "gas in cans for sale" might work for lawmowers but I don't see that as solving the problem for the small boat owners. There are probably a lot more of them than there are those of us who collect antique cars, so I still say we are not the only ones who would like to see "real" gasoline continue to be available.

There's no argument there, however cars are a special case. You run whatever you want in a boat or lawn mower. It is a Federal offense (not to mention breaking state laws) to fuel a road going vehicle with fuels that are not taxed for it.

If you consider 10% ethanol too much, it is already critical. It won't be long before even 10% ethanol gas starts to decline in availability. Knowing what I do about efforts in this area, I'll be surprised if "gas" with only 10% ethanol is the primary fuel available in even just 10 years. If you go through the pure-gas.org web site you'll see that already well more than 1/2 of the outlets listed as not using ethanol are marinas. In many states they are the only outlets listed.

Currently fueling up your collector car (or any car/truck) at one of these outlets (with marine fuel, av-gas, etc.) is illegal. I'd like to see that changed as a concession to the reality of needing to keep historic cars running for historical purposes.

That could succeed. Trying to stop progress isn't going to.

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So far, there are still several legal sources for road taxed non-ethanol gasoline in my town. I am happy that I can simply drive about one mile and pull up to the pump and get my fuel without ethanol. The funny thing is that the marina fuel pumps are so overpriced that it is normal to see boats on trailers pulled up and fueling up with road taxed gasoline here.

The reasonable approach is to allow the free market to keep a source of legal non-ethanol fuel available for those who desire it for marine, antique and small engine uses. Hopefully the government will be convinced of the merit of this.

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..., there has to be some means of allowing licensed, identified antique cars to obtain real gas (>10% ethanol) from select outlets, be they marinas, hangars, fuel depots, or whatever. Instead of using "pump gas", touring with an antique car would require the use of a specific fuel source available in various areas, possibly from sources exempted from road taxes (like marine & aviation fuels).

This needs to be pursued now, before we start seeing E15 only gas stations dominating the market.

It'll be inconvenient as he!!, and many of us will have to drive miles just to fuel up the car. But at least we will have avoided the 5 gal. can fate for a while. I know my Triumph is not set up to cross the U.S. in 1909 Thomas-style, and neither am I.

DAVE@MOON, I only saved part of your quote.

What you stated is correct. The carburetor is dead for new cars. Fuel injection is more efficent. All I have to do is to compare a 1984 VW Rabbit with carburetor against a 1985 VW Jetta with fuel injection. Better mpg and fewer oil changes thanks to a superior fuel delivery system on the Jetta.

Perhaps you are correct, and someday the only way to buy fuel for our antique cars will be to go to the local hardware store. One in my area sells wood, coal, and kerosene for home heating.

Out of curosity I need to ask the following. You mentioned that mid-western states have been using ethanol/alcohol based fuel since 1979. Why haven't we heard problems from out there way? Or did I just not pay attention?

Looking forward to your response. And thanks for taking the time to educate me a bit more with your previous response. :)

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Out of curosity I need to ask the following. You mentioned that mid-western states have been using ethanol/alcohol based fuel since 1979. Why haven't we heard problems from out there way? Or did I just not pay attention?

Looking forward to your response. And thanks for taking the time to educate me a bit more with your previous response. :)

I did three years in Iowa (1980-1983) going through graduate school at Iowa State. At the time I was driving a 1960 Ford Falcon. Iowa had passed tax credits the previous year (1979), as I understand several states had in the "corn belt", which made "gasohol" cheaper than "real gas" (something otherwise impossible then and now). Only the comparatively rare Conoco stations where I lived did not use 10% ethanol.

I ran up 35,000+ miles on E10 in Iowa using that car, and never noticed any major negative effects. I did notice that my Falcon would frequently stall out once on hot days when restarted while the engine was still hot, but had sat for a few minutes. If I anticipated this I could gun the engine when it strted to stumble and avoid having the stall occur. Restarting the car immediately after stalling ended the problem, which was probably caused by fuel percolation in the carb (which no one had ever heard oif at the time). Some of the older cars I knew at the time had similar problems on hot starts, but most didn't have any symptoms at all. It was almost a total non-issue then.

If there were problems with E10 since then I haven't heard of them either, although that doesn't mean they weren't there.

I've been told since then that we didn't have serious issues with ethanol at the time because we were running up so many miles on the cars. Regular use (it has been said) negates the problems ethanol causes. These supposedly only appear with long term storage and disuse. I don't see why myself, other than issues related to humidity absorption.

People tend to forget that the vapor pressure of gasoline was reduced in the mid-1990s in many markets in response to the pervasiveness of fuel injection, allowing lighter components than previous. At the time I had a 1960 Buick, which went from having no problems in 1995 to having debilitating fuel percolation issues in 1996 that required major surgery. This was before wide use of ethanol, which I'm sure hasn't made things any better since for our old cars. I think that the gasoline of 1980 and the gasoline of 2011 probably aren't directly comparable, ethanol or no.

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One thing not mentioned about Ethanol in gasoline.....

The Ethanol is added to the trucks that deliver the gasoline, NOT in the pipeline. Thus, they are relying on the truck sloshing, and adding the gas to the underground tank, to mix Ethanol and gasoline.

You may get more or less than 10%, depending on the mix while traveling and unloading, with short runs to a service station from oil jobber being the most likely to have uneven mix....

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As pointed out in charts in both a "research paper" funded by an ethanol-friendly organization and also in a recent "High Performance Pontiac" issue, the optimum air/fuel ratio for prior-normal gasoline is about 14.7 to 1. In the charts, the optimum ratio for E10 is 14.2, with E15 coming in at about 13.8 to 1. This means that with increasing ethanol concentrations in the blends, the bigger the carburetor's main jets will need to be. For the ratio needed for E15, that 13.8 is approaching the "part throttle enrichment" level for most carbureted engines on prior-normal gasoline. If you jet up to get that mixture ratio, it'll make it too rich should you find some non-ethanol fuel. Maybe not rich enough to smoke, but rich enough to decrease fuel economy at cruise at approximately sea level locations. Higher altitudes will probably be worse.

In the research papers "out there", when you see who funded the research you can generally predict the outcome of their "findings".

Whether it's carburetor jets or fuel injectors, there is a certain limit to the fuel they will flow. With E10, most will tolerate it pretty well, especially if the stock jetting might be on the rich side to start with. If the stock jetting was leaner (as many emission controlled engines were), then E10 tolerance can be decreased.

If the particular engine's fuel injectors have enough capacity to flow the additional fuel for E10, things will be taken care of by the ECM. If the particular injectors are at their flow limits with E10 and E15 is used, it will probably set a "lean mixture" code, which can send technicians looking for failed intake manifold gaskets or other causes of vacuum leaks. Therefore, as the paramaters of the individual engine's fuel injectors' flow rates are known, there's no real way to predict how they'll act with E15 . . . as only the engineers who designed and the purchasing people who procurred them might know the answer to that question . . . unless the vehicle is a factory flex-fuel capable vehicle.

Ford, GM, Chrysler, etc. have been building and selling vehicles in southern hemisphere locales, where E100 has been used for decades (sugar cane sourcing rather than corn). They know how to make cars work and last in that environment. In that respect, no real new testing is needed. In a carburetor part listing for (about) 1985, I found an accelerator pump cup listed for a QuadraJet 4bbl carburetor for "high aromatic fuels" in the "Export" applications. That would be for alcohol-based fuels, I suspect.

The whole issue of ethanol-extended fuels is problematic. First, the amount of ethanol added to gasoline was set in legislation during the George W. Bush presidency. The amount started out lower, then increases each year. Those projections probably would have been more accurate had gasoline not had the price increases it has over the past decade or so. The reason for the E15 level was to keep pace with the mandated ethanol for gasoline useage. Now, add in the push for greater fuel economy, which will mean fewer gallons of gasoline used and it sets the stage for the need for even higher ethanol concentrations in our now-normal gasolines. All of this to stop the "addiction" to foreign oil?

One observer recently noted that if the first presidential primaries were moved out of "middle America" (where corn is grown), the whole ethanol issue might become less of an election issue. It would seem that in consideration of more recent health developments, it might be better to replace the corn fields with grass fields to raise "grass-fed beef" on and then also put up wind generation farms for a steady monthly income (as many west Texas farmers have done). Might even opt for "solar" rather than "wind"! That would get us eating more healthy meat and also producing "green" energy to boot!

The problem with the EPA is that "cost is no object" is their stated orientation. Cost effectiveness is not supposed to be considered, according to what I've read. It's not supposed to be a politically-influenced governmental agency, yet its administrator is appointed by the sitting President, which puts some basic orientations in play right up front. Political and social agendas of the sitting President (and his party) can and do influence what the EPA does and how it does it.

In the first budget "negotiations" of the Republican House of Representatives, some of the members sought to de-fund the pump labeling requirements for the implementation of the sale of E15 fuels. That would have stopped it for about 6 months. That provision didn't make it into the final budget, though. Other Republicans have given notice to the EPA that more scrutiny of the EPA will be one of their agenda items, too. Still, though, it appears that E15 is getting ready to happen at some time in the future.

SEMA and others are "on record" as opposing the sale of E15 fuels. There are many Democrats who are, with all due respect, "open ears" for environmentalists . . . historically. Nothing wrong with that, except that big-monied lobbys can exert more "force" than a band of citizens might seem capable of. The two plays . . . "renewable energy" and "Get us off of our addiction to foreign oil" seem to be the rallying cries being acknowledged by many in the current Obama administration. While valid concerns, they are NOT the only concerns NOR are they supported in solid science as to their complete impact upon the environment and the ozone layer (which seems to be a major concern). To me, this is why sending your concerns to the Obama operatives might well not be completely heeded. On the other hand, considering the orientation of many newly-empowered Republican operatives, that avenue might be the most beneficial, in this situation. This might be one area where funding decreases might actually be beneficial for some citizens!

In some of the news articles I've read over the past year or so, the ethanol advocates have seemed somewhat arrogant in being sure to get their way, no matter what. Their orientation is that with increased ethanol concentrations in gasoline, all we'll have to do is add some chemicals to the gasoline and it'll work fine in the older vehicles . . . which may or may not be accurate in all situations. They also seem to forget that the workers who help harvest the corn which will be used in ethanol production most probably get to work in older vehicles, too, with all due respect. I wonder if they'll get a pay raise to keep their older vehicles on the road, or a bonus to purchase a newer one?

End result is that as the ethanol in gasoline issue has so many emotional ties on the environmental side of things and solid evidence of damage on the vehicular side of things, with each side funding research projects to prove their particular respective points, it's gotten to be a big mess. Even moreso in Australia, as I've seen some news accounts of.

On the SEMA website, there's a list of legislators which are friendly to the vintage vehicle hobby . . . even owning some of those older cars, too. They should be aware of the issues of ethanol in gasoline in vintage vehicles. It might be good to send EACH of them an email stating your orientations on current levels of ethanol in gasoline (E10) and the proposed increase to E15 and higher in the future. It might also be good to do this in your own words, rather than with a pre-formatted Internet document. Still, though, pre-formatted Internet documents from various websites can be good too. Key thing is to make the contact with them and state your views!

Regards,

NTX5467

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How do you know if you're buying ethanol gas? Are the gas stations required to post a sticker on the pump? I have never had a problem till last week, while driving my 67 olds in 93 degree heat it seem to run out of gas but it had1/2 tank full. After an hour to cool down I poured a little gas in the carb and drove it home. I have'nt checked the filter yet ,or is this caused by vapor lock? Thanks Tony

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As pointed out in charts in both a "research paper" funded by an ethanol-friendly organization and also in a recent "High Performance Pontiac" issue, the optimum air/fuel ratio for prior-normal gasoline is about 14.7 to 1. In the charts, the optimum ratio for E10 is 14.2, with E15 coming in at about 13.8 to 1. This means that with increasing ethanol concentrations in the blends, the bigger the carburetor's main jets will need to be. For the ratio needed for E15, that 13.8 is approaching the "part throttle enrichment" level for most carbureted engines on prior-normal gasoline. If you jet up to get that mixture ratio, it'll make it too rich should you find some non-ethanol fuel. Maybe not rich enough to smoke, but rich enough to decrease fuel economy at cruise at approximately sea level locations. Higher altitudes will probably be worse.

In the research papers "out there", when you see who funded the research you can generally predict the outcome of their "findings".

Whether it's carburetor jets or fuel injectors, there is a certain limit to the fuel they will flow. With E10, most will tolerate it pretty well, especially if the stock jetting might be on the rich side to start with. If the stock jetting was leaner (as many emission controlled engines were), then E10 tolerance can be decreased.

If the particular engine's fuel injectors have enough capacity to flow the additional fuel for E10, things will be taken care of by the ECM. If the particular injectors are at their flow limits with E10 and E15 is used, it will probably set a "lean mixture" code, which can send technicians looking for failed intake manifold gaskets or other causes of vacuum leaks. Therefore, as the paramaters of the individual engine's fuel injectors' flow rates are known, there's no real way to predict how they'll act with E15 . . . as only the engineers who designed and the purchasing people who procurred them might know the answer to that question . . . unless the vehicle is a factory flex-fuel capable vehicle.

Ford, GM, Chrysler, etc. have been building and selling vehicles in southern hemisphere locales, where E100 has been used for decades (sugar cane sourcing rather than corn). They know how to make cars work and last in that environment. In that respect, no real new testing is needed. In a carburetor part listing for (about) 1985, I found an accelerator pump cup listed for a QuadraJet 4bbl carburetor for "high aromatic fuels" in the "Export" applications. That would be for alcohol-based fuels, I suspect.

The whole issue of ethanol-extended fuels is problematic. First, the amount of ethanol added to gasoline was set in legislation during the George W. Bush presidency. The amount started out lower, then increases each year. Those projections probably would have been more accurate had gasoline not had the price increases it has over the past decade or so. The reason for the E15 level was to keep pace with the mandated ethanol for gasoline useage. Now, add in the push for greater fuel economy, which will mean fewer gallons of gasoline used and it sets the stage for the need for even higher ethanol concentrations in our now-normal gasolines. All of this to stop the "addiction" to foreign oil?

One observer recently noted that if the first presidential primaries were moved out of "middle America" (where corn is grown), the whole ethanol issue might become less of an election issue. It would seem that in consideration of more recent health developments, it might be better to replace the corn fields with grass fields to raise "grass-fed beef" on and then also put up wind generation farms for a steady monthly income (as many west Texas farmers have done). Might even opt for "solar" rather than "wind"! That would get us eating more healthy meat and also producing "green" energy to boot!

The problem with the EPA is that "cost is no object" is their stated orientation. Cost effectiveness is not supposed to be considered, according to what I've read. It's not supposed to be a politically-influenced governmental agency, yet its administrator is appointed by the sitting President, which puts some basic orientations in play right up front. Political and social agendas of the sitting President (and his party) can and do influence what the EPA does and how it does it.

In the first budget "negotiations" of the Republican House of Representatives, some of the members sought to de-fund the pump labeling requirements for the implementation of the sale of E15 fuels. That would have stopped it for about 6 months. That provision didn't make it into the final budget, though. Other Republicans have given notice to the EPA that more scrutiny of the EPA will be one of their agenda items, too. Still, though, it appears that E15 is getting ready to happen at some time in the future.

SEMA and others are "on record" as opposing the sale of E15 fuels. There are many Democrats who are, with all due respect, "open ears" for environmentalists . . . historically. Nothing wrong with that, except that big-monied lobbys can exert more "force" than a band of citizens might seem capable of. The two plays . . . "renewable energy" and "Get us off of our addiction to foreign oil" seem to be the rallying cries being acknowledged by many in the current Obama administration. While valid concerns, they are NOT the only concerns NOR are they supported in solid science as to their complete impact upon the environment and the ozone layer (which seems to be a major concern). To me, this is why sending your concerns to the Obama operatives might well not be completely heeded. On the other hand, considering the orientation of many newly-empowered Republican operatives, that avenue might be the most beneficial, in this situation. This might be one area where funding decreases might actually be beneficial for some citizens!

In some of the news articles I've read over the past year or so, the ethanol advocates have seemed somewhat arrogant in being sure to get their way, no matter what. Their orientation is that with increased ethanol concentrations in gasoline, all we'll have to do is add some chemicals to the gasoline and it'll work fine in the older vehicles . . . which may or may not be accurate in all situations. They also seem to forget that the workers who help harvest the corn which will be used in ethanol production most probably get to work in older vehicles, too, with all due respect. I wonder if they'll get a pay raise to keep their older vehicles on the road, or a bonus to purchase a newer one?

End result is that as the ethanol in gasoline issue has so many emotional ties on the environmental side of things and solid evidence of damage on the vehicular side of things, with each side funding research projects to prove their particular respective points, it's gotten to be a big mess. Even moreso in Australia, as I've seen some news accounts of.

On the SEMA website, there's a list of legislators which are friendly to the vintage vehicle hobby . . . even owning some of those older cars, too. They should be aware of the issues of ethanol in gasoline in vintage vehicles. It might be good to send EACH of them an email stating your orientations on current levels of ethanol in gasoline (E10) and the proposed increase to E15 and higher in the future. It might also be good to do this in your own words, rather than with a pre-formatted Internet document. Still, though, pre-formatted Internet documents from various websites can be good too. Key thing is to make the contact with them and state your views!

Regards,

NTX5467

A few points:

"High aromatic fuels" refer to fuels based primarily on benzene compounds instead of carbon chain molecules. It has nothing to do with ethanol.

Allowable ethanol levels in gasoline were set at a maximum of 10% in the late 1970s under President Carter, not under either President Bush. Oxygenate levels in fuel were set under G.H.W. Bush in the early 1990s, ethanol being an acceptable oxygenate. (It's now the dominant oxygenate now that the Haliburton-sourced push for MTBE has run it's course.) However those levels (in areas where oxygenated fuels are required) are well below 5% when using ethanol strictly as an oxygenate.

Fuel injectors set the fuel mixture by the length of their operation during intake, firing for set periods of time (in milliseconds). Cars are presently being tested backwards in time (by date of manufacture) to see the compatibility with E15. Thus far everything from 2006 on is compatible, but nothing has been said for some time so possibly there are problems with some cars.

With EPA regulations during development and promulgation cost is ALWAYS a major consideration, especially cost to the consumer. To believe otherwise is just plain silly, although some people who expect to never have any cost (or use that motivation to inspire others) like to make that specious argument.

For good or bad, both political parties are deep in the pockets of the moneyed powers behind ethanol fuels. In fact the rural areas that benefit financially the most from ethanol production are predominately represented by Republicans, who support ethanol in numbers at least as strong as environmental-leaning Democrats. The idea that this particular issue is divisible along party lines is naive.

Few people in America can't afford a fuel injected car these days, even farm workers, because the cheapest cars you can buy today are fuel injected. If someone can afford a car at all, they can afford a fuel injected one. To say that there is a problem with people affording ethanol-compatible fuel injected cars is to say that they're new. Fuel injection has dominated the auto industry for 30 years, to the complete exclusion of carburetors for 20 years.

Sadly, our hobby cars are an afterthought at best in this issue. That is why access to appropriate fuels needs to be the emphasis of any such collector car lobbying on this issue. Nobody in public service with any brains is going to stop or limit a biofuels program of any kind to make driving an antique car for fun more convenient for the owner.

We are a special interest with special needs. To pretend to represent our interests as the mainstream interest is folly.

Edited by Dave@Moon (see edit history)
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There are people in public service with brains? You could have fooled me... Agendas and ideologies do not necessarily equate with brains.

So, Moon, we are now a "special interest group"? Then the politicians should be bending over backwards for us if I read your logic right.

We all know that even as an organised bloc, we cannot compete with campaign money being funneled by large corporate interests, and that is why I have become convinced that lobbyists should be outlawed, campaign contributions severely curtailed if not eliminated, and strict term limits for politicians at all levels enforced. Get the campaign and price support money out of it, and you will see ethanol die a quick economic death.

There's rumour here in tobacco-land that biofuels can be made from it. Maybe I should start the farm back up? No, I'd have to pay back my buyout that according to most uninformed people made all the tobacco farmers (excuse me, murderers) millionaires.

And no one has yet satisfactorily explained why aviation gasolines contain no ethanol, and are still leaded fuels for the most part. Guess it's no problem to inconvenience a driver or homeowner whose car or yard equipment is not designed to tolerate ethanol or other oxygenate fuels, but we cannot have gasoline-fueled aircraft falling out of the sky due to compromised fuels, can we? The pollution is still going into the air, just from a different source.

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