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I heard it when I was a kid. The engine was ruined because sugar was put in the gas tank. Truth or fiction?

Had a hired man on the farm with a long time lover that he had lived with and had childern with. Once in a while he would venture to town on a saturday night, hang out in the local bars, and romance a local lady. Of course this would piss off the lover at home. One day the engine went south in the local ladie's car and the hired man said it had to be the jelous woman at home who put sugar in it. ( Real rednecks, she use to smoke cigars. LOL) This was on a 1960's car. ( Maybe an Oldsmobile 88 Rocket. It was a long time ago and I can't really remember though.) It happend in the early 1970's.  

Edited by Dandy Dave (see edit history)
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"she use to smoke cigars" so did Bonnie Parker.

Around here the legend was about sand dumped in the carb. I shudder every time the Roadkill crew disappears in sand without an air filter (not often but happens)

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, padgett said:

"she use to smoke cigars" so did Bonnie Parker.

Around here the legend was about sand dumped in the carb. I shudder every time the Roadkill crew disappears in sand without an air filter (not often but happens)

LOL.. Yep. But bonnie was cute. This one wore combat boots, was what we called a three bagger, and would cus and fight better than most of the men around here Padgett.

Edited by Dandy Dave (see edit history)
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The disolved sugar does indeed "cook" in the internal areas with latent high heat, carb, fuel line, fuel pump.........

 

Bought a nearly new Ford '57  Taunus from a Junk yard in '63.  It had been "suggared".

Would partially run using pepsi bottle with gas slowly poured into carb.  Took off carb, soaked it in hot water and other things more volitile.  Carb kit, and cleaned fuel pump and drained gas tank. 

Got it running and used probably 40 gas line filters to keep stuff from getting to carb, or so I thought.

 

It became a very reliable second car,  until distributor drive gear sheared the cross pin connection.

 

Gave it to a Michigan, West coast, farmer in exchange for a ride to the bus station to get home. 

 

Edited by Hans1
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What did the fed require to be put into Gas Guzzler engines so they became useless ?

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On 4/6/2021 at 8:55 AM, Hans1 said:

The disolved sugar does indeed "cook" in the internal areas with latent high heat, carb, fuel line, fuel pump.........

 

Bought a nearly new Ford '57 Taurus from a Junk yard in '63.  It had been "suggared".

Would partially run using pepsi bottle with gas slowly poured into carb.  Took off carb, soaked it in hot water and other things more volitile.  Carb kit, and cleaned fuel pump and drained gas tank. 

Got it running and used probably 40 gas line filters to keep stuff from getting to carb, or so I thought.

 

It became a very reliable second car,  until distributor drive gear sheared the cross pin connection.

 

Gave it to a Michigan, West coast, farmer in exchange for a ride to the bus station to get home. 

 

😀

Edited by Locomobile (see edit history)
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This was the subject of an episode of Myth Busters. They concluded that it is BS, Sugar will not dissolve in gasoline nor will it do any damage other than, maybe, clogging a fuel filter Popular Mechanics also debunked the legend also.

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The only way to verify stories like that is to go right to the source.

Crackerbarrel.jpg.fb0bb90aa202cfb2aa59b3551c43e231.jpg

 

I started running into them when I was about 11 years old. My mother reading to me as an infant and listening those old liars inspired me the read and buy a lot of books in my lifetime. Lots of shared second, third, and fourth hands stories. Always told in first person.

 

Never cared much for old men because of that and the older I get the less I like them.

 

Just had a good conversation this morning about the importance of "Tell me, don't teach me".

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1 minute ago, 60FlatTop said:

 

Never cared much for old men because of that and the older I get the less I like them.

Bernie, and now you are one!  As am I.....

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On 4/6/2021 at 11:36 AM, CarlLaFong said:

This was the subject of an episode of Myth Busters. They concluded that it is BS, Sugar will not dissolve in gasoline nor will it do any damage other than, maybe, clogging a fuel filter Popular Mechanics also debunked the legend also.

 

😀

Edited by Locomobile (see edit history)
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On 4/6/2021 at 12:22 PM, 60FlatTop said:

started running into them when I was about 11 years old. My mother reading to me as an infant and listening those old liars inspired me the read and buy a lot of books in my lifetime. Lots of shared second, third, and fourth hands stories. Always told in first person.

😀

 

 

 

Edited by Locomobile (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, Dandy Dave said:

LOL.. Yep. But bonnie was cute. This one wore combat boots, was what we called a three bagger, and would cus and fight better than most of the men around here Padgett.

 

 

Nope, Bonnie not that cute.  

12006221_831360380317168_5433638906619913777_n.jpg

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Myth busters did a show on this,results sugar does nothing.Google to find out more. Ethanol gas will give a white residue in fuel systems that can be mistaken for sugar 

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This is a topic in high school chemistry. It is "like dissolves like." And it is about "polar" molecules versus "non-polar" molecules.

 

Oil and water does not mix because water molecules are polar and oil non-polar.

 

Sugar dissolves in water; they are both polar. Gasoline (the octane molecule) is non-polar like an oil, only smaller so as a fluid it is thinner.

 

image.png.aad37be77adb576c9e1c63bd0ade5ac1.png  image.jpeg.eb369f08f506f4457917fc3cc3464418.jpeg image.png.cdeea65672849f72b0f2c2a21fe9650e.png image.png.4bc1fb57fe450082b77cd16555e02a7b.png

Edited by mike6024 (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Locomobile said:

What are you attempting to write exactly?? I hope you aren't calling me a ''liar''? 

 

 

If you don't believe,  go get your gas can, pour out a glass full and stir in some sugar. After the test, come back and post your results.

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I wont tackle whether it dissolves or not. Just think of it as a gas tank full of rust. You know how much trouble some people have getting a car to work when a gas tank is full of rust. The threads can go on for pages.

 

The grains of sugar turn brown and look like rust, and they clog everything. It is very hard to get rid of. It is easy to miss that it is sugar. You may have seen it before and not realized what you were looking at.

 

To help estimate how soon the car will be working reliably again, pretend that an hour ago drug you the car out of some Oregon blackberry bushes and the newest tags on the license plate are 1957.

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28 minutes ago, TexasJohn55 said:

If you don't believe,  go get your gas can, pour out a glass full and stir in some sugar. After the test, come back and post your results.

After the Myth Busters episode I had to try it. After several days of soaking and shaking the sugar remained in  a pile in the bottom of the jar. Myth busted in my eyes. Most people are unable to give up old beliefs regardless of the facts that show that they have been duped. BTW, all Model "T"s were black. Rolls Royces have sealed hoods and returning Viietnam vets had to endure a gauntlet of angry filthy hippies hawking loogies on them at the airport. John Holmes played Eddie on Leave it to Beaver

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No, just had to dodge hoards of Moonies and had to break the habit of diving into a store every time a mailbox blew up.

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I was generalizing about the old fable makers in the 1960's. It wouldn't apply to anyone on the forum. Those were the old men who wore their blue or green work clothes into their retirement. The ones whom always hooked the kids with their cane and pulled them over to give the kids head a knuckle rub. They would finish off by pinching the kid's forearm to prove they were still man enough to hurt someone. They were bitter and complained about how anyone young was wet behind the ears,, ignorant of hard work, spoiled rotten. And they sat with their cronies trying to out tell stories they heard to the point of believing they actually did the things. Pretty indelible memory. So I grew up to favor younger people and be productive with them on their behave. Nonproductive time I will spend with the 70 and 80 year old guys more my age. When they start paraphrasing Aesop's fables I usually get up and leave. I know those stories.

 

On the sugar, when we cleaned the firesides of Navy boilers we would mix sugar and 20-weight oil for hand cleaner. It was the only thing that would get carbon soot out of the pores. Those sharp little crystals don't dissolve.

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)
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5 hours ago, CarlLaFong said:

This was the subject of an episode of Myth Busters. They concluded that it is BS, Sugar will not dissolve in gasoline nor will it do any damage other than, maybe, clogging a fuel filter Popular Mechanics also debunked the legend also.

No idea on the sugar in the tank thing, but Myth Busters also debunked the myth that if you strike 2 hammers together one will break apart. They were WRONG! I had a guy that worked for me that did that exact thing, put his eye out. Cant believe everything you see on tv.

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There are a few you tube videos about the sugar deal and in the ones that I saw, the engines ran just fine during and after the sugaring. There was also a good scientific explanation about why gas won't dissolve sugar. The Popular Mechanics article also concluded that it is a load of hooey. I suppose if people still want to believe in the Easter Bunny it is no big deal. Sorry if I find it quaintly amusing in spite of the alleged fact that someone "seen" it

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Oboy. Here I go again.

Frankly, I do NOT know the final answer to this. What I DO know is that the answer has NOTHING to do with whether sugar will dissolve in gasoline or not!!! It is all about chemistry (not one of my strong subjects!), and thermal dynamics. 

Again, whether or not sugar in the gas CAN ruin an engine? I don't really know. I do know that part of that answer will lie in how much sugar in how much gasoline, the type, quality and condition of fuel filters, and how long one runs said engine.

 

A few things I know. Nearly all elements, and most relatively stable compounds can exist in the three major forms of existence, known as solids, liquids, and gaseous. All of which have very predictable temperatures at which they will transition from one form into the next. Sugar is one of the compound's exceptions. It exists naturally as a solid at any temperature at which most life can exist, and on down to near absolute zero. Sugar can also exist as a liquid at a range of higher temperatures (I would have to look up those temperatures). Sugar CANNOT exist in a gaseous state because the compounds break down before that state can be achieved.

This is where things get different. The sugars separate into lesser compounds and base elements. Burning, under very high temperatures then created new compounds. One of those new compounds is a seriously abrasive molecule with a hardness factor near carborundum used to make grinding stones!

 

Fact, MOST sugar that gets past filters and sediment eventually finding its way into the running cylinder WILL blow right on out the exhaust! However, some amount, could, and likely would embed into the rings and cylinders, in effect creating grinding stones within the critical running pistons and cylinders. IF (my wonderful big IF again) enough of that did manage to form, it wouldn't take much longer to destroy an engine.

 

By the way, SOME of the previous information was given to me by two people that were chemistry majors in college, both specializing in petroleum chemistry. One of those people was my uncle who worked in the petroleum industry for nearly all his working career. The other was a young fellow that worked in my father's business while he was paying his way through college, specializing in petroleum chemistry. They both seemed to think sugar in the gasoline could (I said 'could'!) ruin an engine. Nothing says it will like magic always ruin an engine.

 

Sorting facts from fictions can be difficult. Especially when some of the fictions have become ingrained into cultural status. And shows like 'Myth Busters' can be very educational as well as entertaining. But they have been wrong several times! I never saw the one 'debunking' sugar in gasoline. But I saw enough of their episodes to know they do not always go through things thoroughly enough to be right.

Edited by wayne sheldon
I hate leaving typos! (see edit history)
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60FlatTop.... as a tangent question, what is that film clip from ?  I can recognize Andy Devine, Dabbs Greer, and Howard McNear, can't quite identify the fellow with the hat and a couple others. I love to try to identify old character actors.

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19 minutes ago, 40Clubcoupe said:

60FlatTop.... as a tangent question, what is that film clip from ?  I can recognize Andy Devine, Dabbs Greer, and Howard McNear, can't quite identify the fellow with the hat and a couple others. I love to try to identify old character actors.

Twilight Zone Hocus Pocus and Frisby

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Years ago I bought an 81 Cadillac with a sugared gas tank. I got it cheap because everyone was afraid of it. Fuel injection hadn't been out long and was still a little mysterious. I had the tank cleaned out,fuel lines filter and new injectors etc. Fuel system wise everything was fine. It ran terrible. Four lifters were stuck in the collapsed position. They were glued down solid with hardened sugar. Maybe the sugar got there from the gas or they also sugared the oil. It ran fine after a new set of lifters.

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On 4/6/2021 at 11:34 AM, padgett said:

What did the fed require to be put into Gas Guzzler engines so they became useless ?

It was poured into the oil pans and was basically fine silicon grit that turned into glass, ruining the motor. It got into everything. Ruined the block, the pistons, the bearings.... 

The salvage yards hated the program because there were no parts to resell.

 

Mythbusters were doing was science on that show, I remind you it was classified as a reality show. Meaning it was anything but.

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I am not sure I have ever seen a 'reality' show? I know I have seen a lot of unreality shows, and most of them, I exceedingly dislike seeing more than two minutes of them! I cannot understand what so many people like about those?

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I would test this theory but I'm busy getting all my stored batteries off concrete. After which I need to break off every other fin on my water pumps so they don't move coolant too fast.

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1 hour ago, Restorer32 said:

I would test this theory but I'm busy getting all my stored batteries off concrete. After which I need to break off every other fin on my water pumps so they don't move coolant too fast.

Don't forget clothespegs on fuel lines to prevent vapour lock!

Clothespins on fuel line.jpg

Edited by Ozstatman (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Ozstatman said:

Don't forget clothespegs on fuel lines to prevent vapour lock!

Clothespins on fuel line.jpg


Where is your magnet?? Really, it saves you so much gas...

 

People ignore science whenever it doesn’t suit their personal opinions. The one I heard about as a kid was adding borax...

Edited by Mark Wetherbee (see edit history)
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17 hours ago, Locomobile said:

What's likely missing from the testing is the heat and constant agitation/flow of liquid over trapped granules in lines and filters which melts it by erosion.

Go get your gas can, pour some in a glass, stir it some "powdered sugar" and report back with results. Then heat it to a rolling boil, report back with results.

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Posted (edited)

Stired up some conversation here. So, enough Sugar in the oil pan could make a mess. Of course anything in the pan that prevented the oil pump from moving lubricant to the proper places would do a motor in. Even a 5 LBS bag in the gas tank could clog things up even though that route may not do any serious internal damage like it would in the oil pan. Interesting conversation here. I thought this would be a good disscusion.

Edited by Dandy Dave (see edit history)
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Offering help with sugar in gasoline is fine. Argumentative comments are not helpful and will be remove without further notice.

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Vegas were originally designed cheap and may find that most still remaining either have been sleeved or have AC.

 

Problem was the high silicon aluminum block did not respond well to overheating and whether silicon particles were dislodged (think sand in the carb) or the aluminum distorted I am no longer certain. Just to overheat was bad and mostly cured with a 160F thermostat (no computer) and an AC radiator (bigger).

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  I actually had two cars sugared. 1947 Chevy which I sold immediately at a discount price ($35) and full disclosure. Fellow that bought never had any problems.

  Then a 1949 Ford. No problems. Both cars had sediment  bowl filters. Nothing solid ever showed up in bowls. It’s possible someone just spilled some sugar around gas cap area and a little in filler neck just to worry me.

  All over a girl I didn’t care much for at the time, but later married. She’s still here. Married 62 years last month.

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49 minutes ago, Jubilee said:

All over a girl I didn’t care much

 

I resemble that remark.  👩‍⚖️

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