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FMF

Sta-Bil Ethanol Treatment

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Does anyone have any experience using Sta-Bil Ethanol Gas Treatment?

I've been told to use this product in order to prevent damaging effects from using ethanol blended fuels.

Edited by FMF (see edit history)

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The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs site is definitely worth a look, fbhvc.co.uk, they will be testing a number of Ethanol Gas Treatment products in the near future FBHVC Bio Fuels

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FMF

I read your post and went into one of my local car stores and asked them about Sta-bil. The guy says 'It's OK but what do you do about the alcohol?' I said does it not 'kill' the effects of the alcohol. He says no and the alcohol will remain and continue to dry out any rubber diaphragms. I had the fuel pump diaphragm tear in my '33 last year and everybody tells me it's because of the alcohol. We have 10% now and the word is it's going up to 15 %. So he says why not just change over to high test as there is no alcohol in it. At least not yet.

What do you guy think of putting high test into our old flat head 6s? I don't drive it very much so cost won't be much of a question. Anybody doing this?

BTW. I have had decent but what I called low oil pressure over the past several years. Maybe 20/25 psi at speed and maybe 10 at idle. Then I had this huge drop in oil pressure while I was on tour last Summer and it was traced to oil dilution of the crankcase caused by the ruptured diaphragm. So I drain/clean/replace and start driving. Lo and behold I have 45 psi on startup and 35 at 45/50 mph and 15/20 at idle. I'm going to stick my neck out here and say I had small holes in my fuel pump diaphragm for a long time and partial oil dilution of the crankcase for just as long. But of course no indication of a fault because the car ran and always had got crappy gas mileage. It gets better now but not a whole lot. I think that even a small hole/rip/tear in the fuel pump diaphragm can,over time, dilute the sump and give low oil pressure.

And you thought you had all the faults figured. This is new one for me.

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All our fuel in Oregon has alcohol including premium. SOME stations have non alcohol premium for sale for use in 1954 and older vehicles or can be pumped into gas cans. When running premium fuels you need to advance the timing as higher octane fuels burn slower.

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For an old flathead you need low octane not higher. Some find the engine runs better on a mix of kerosene and gas, 1O to 25 % kerosene depending how low the compression is.

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I read the Star Tron ad for 'eliminating ethanol problems' but it only mentions sludging and gumming. Says it allows better burning of the alcohol. But my understanding the problem is the long term application of alcohol on the surface of rubber hoses and diaphragms. The alcohol is 'drier' than gasoline and drys out the old rubber in our old cars causing cracking and splitting. Are our new daily drivers immune to the effects of ethanol? I put in a new 'late model' neoprene fuel pump diaphragm and I've been told it should last for several years? It's appears to be pure rubber, the original appeared to be a cloth impregnated with rubber. Most likely natural rubber.

Does the clerks advice to use high test still hold up? Is what he's saying true? The alcohol must be removed, it's effects cannot be stopped?

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If your Canadian "high test" has no alcohol, that might be an option, but as ethanol is an octane booster, it not being in there might not be completely true.

The "ethanol problem" which most additives as Sta-Bil will generaly make less of a problem would be the "phase separation" of the gasoline when it's stored for extended periods of time (as in the vehicle's fuel tank). Sta-Bil is supposed to extend the useable life of the fuel, preventing phase separation for up to about a year. It'll delay it, but not completely prevent it. There's a "blue" Sta-Bil for marine use, or where higher humidity levels are prevalent. Lucas Oils also has a "green" additive. Conklin also has an anti-ethanol fuel additive.

Not all areas of the USA have ethanol in the gasoline. Some due to local/regional environmental issues, must have it or something different. If you Google "Mobil Ethanol Map USA", or something similar, it'll probably bring up a link to a USA map with all areas of "specialized fuels" highlighted for 2011. But, ethanol'd fuels can still be sold where they aren't required to be sold. Some states have gas pump markings requirements as to the amount of ethanol in the fuel as others do not.

There's also a website which is a "Wiki" listing of sorts for gas stations which sell non-ethanol fuel. There are some discrepancies, though.

Also check out the Fuel Test Kits website for a massive amount of ethanol-in-fuel and alcohol-in-fuel system-additives.

There is a procedure to "wash" the ethanol out of the gasoline, as in add water to the fuel to encourage phase separation, then siphon off the top level of the remaining gasoline. It'll be a few points lower in octane rating, but that should not matter in the more vintage, lower compression ratio engines. It would be nicer to not have to do that, though.

Ethanol has been in fuel blends since the first "reformulated gasoline" of the 1990s. The federally-mandated level was about 5.67% back then. MTBE made up the remainder of the 10% of oxygenates. All rubber products for vehicles have been re-compounded to work with these newer alcohol-laced fuels since about 1992. One reason to NOT purchase any fuel system rubber parts which are NOS, unless they will be used purely for show purposes.

In a recent issue of "High Performance Pontiac", there are two articles. One is on the composition of the newer fuels and the other is how to make older Pontiacs (in this case, 1960s hot rods) to run on the newer fuels. Some good information in there, especially on optimum fuel/air ratios for the various amounts of ethanol in the gasoline. This can be helpful in up-sizing the carburetor jets for the newer E10 fuels, and especially for the proposed E15 fuels.

Enjoy!

NTX5467

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