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Ethanol gas


65VerdeGS
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Have any of you had issues with running gas having up to 10% ethanol in your older Rivieras?

 

I've heard that ethanol can be harmful to carburetor parts and rubber hoses.  What specifically is the issue?  What goes bad?  

 

I typically use non-ethanol 94 fuel in my '65 Gran Sport.  This grade is available locally at Chevron stations only.  However, on occasion if I'm somewhere that doesn't have a Chevron station so must fill up with 91 or 93 octane gas.  This is labelled "May contain up to 10% ethanol".  I don't notice any difference in how the car runs, but wonder what damage I might be doing by running ethanol containing gas.  

 

Do recent carb rebuild kits contain ethanol-resistant gaskets and parts?  What other parts of the fuel system are susceptible to damage from ethanol containing fuels?  Does the percentage ethanol matter?  

 

Is there anything that can be added to the tank to combat whatever damage the ethanol does to fuel system parts?

 

 

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I've been running ethanol gas in all my old cars for decades with no issues whatsoever.......but it

is important not to let the car sit for months without driving it....that's when damage is done.

If your carb has an old style black plastic accelerator pump plunger you will eventually need to

change it out for a blue ethanol resistant plunger when the black one swells to the point that

the car starts hesitating on acceleration. If you let ethanol gas just sit in the carb bowl for many months

without driving the car, it will form deposits in the bottom of the carb bowl that set up like concrete, but

if you drive the car at least once every six weeks you won't have any problems. It is important to drive the car often enough that

the fuel tank gets fresh gas in it every 4 or five months.......What I do is I don't fill my old cars up all the way so I buy

gas more often to keep the gas in the tank fresh. People claim you should put STA-BIL in the gas tank but I've never

done that and I haven't had any issues. If you have an NOS mechanical fuel pump on your car that was manufactured

before ethanol came out in the early 90's, you will have much less life out of your fuel pump than you would with a newly

manufactured one with an ethanol resistant diaphragm, but in my experience you will still get at least six years out of

your non ethanol resistant pump before it starts leaking. On most of my old cars I stocked up on NOS AC fuel pumps

for them that I bought back in the early 90's and that's what I run on my cars but I have to change them every six to ten years

on average. I just run them till they start leaking or quit pumping then i change them.

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Gents, I experienced water content in ethanol gasoline in my small engines.

I was naturally concerned about the kind of gasoline I put in my 63 Riviera.

There is no ethanol free gasoline at the pumps in central Maryland.

There are additives purported to dry out the gasoline of water content. 
A University of Nebraska study reported a few additives in fact do dry out the gasoline of water. Sta-bil was one of the totally ineffective additives that was suppose to dry out water in 10% ethanol gasoline.

My contention ethanol gasoline is not ruinous to your engine, but the water in the ethanol gasoline that causes havoc. If you want the University of Nebraska study on gasoline additives let me know I’ll send the link.

As an aside there is a water paste you can buy that can tell if water is in your gasoline. Second, draw a sample of your gasoline in a glass jar. Let the gasoline sit for awhile and see if water blobs lay on the bottom of the sample jar.

I’ve had more experience with water in gasoline for my small engines than I want to talk about. No problems with water in my Riv gasoline tank.

Turbinator

Edited by Turbinator (see edit history)
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ALL that's needed is the good dry gas. NOT the cheap stuff which contains methanol that can be bought for $1.00 a bottle or less BUT the dry gas that contains Isopropyl & costs more than $1.00 per bottle. Use at every tank full. The cheap stuff will let the water fall out of suspension when you hit a bump & revert back to big water droplets. The Isopropyl keeps the droplets in suspension even going over bumps & can pass through the system going mostly un noticed.

Just my thoughts on the subject.

 

Tom T.

Edited by telriv (see edit history)
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It may sound weird, but carburetor results depend on WHERE you live (all fuel is not equal)!

 

Possible short term issues include failure of modern neoprene accelerator pumps and foam floats (ALWAYS coat a new foam float prior to installing).

 

Possible long term (25+ years) issues may include electrolysis holes in the bottom of carburetor bowls.

 

IF POSSIBLE: use leather accelerator pumps (totally impervious to any blend of alcohol) and ORIGINAL (definitely NOT modern C...... reproduction) brass floats.

 

Re-calibration of carburetors (for best performance) is also a good idea.

 

All of the above is for carburetors on car & truck size water-cooled engines. For small engines (lawn mowers, weed eaters, etc. ) avoid ethanol fuel (or watch for the engine running too hot).

 

The running too hot MIGHT not be a bad thing ;)  My John Deere 425 lawn & garden tractor will run fairly well on ethanol fuel up to ambients of around 90 degrees F. Above that, the engine starts to run badly (does NOT do this on real gasoline) "Honey, the mower is too hot, I will have to come in for awhile and let it cool, is the ice tea ready?" ;) 

 

Same is true for other mowers I have, as well as weed-eaters.

 

Jon.

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Thanks to all who provided feedback on using ethanol gas on our old cars.

 

My engine was rebuilt in 2005.  At that time mymechanic rebuilt both stock Carter AFB's (this is a 2x4 Gran Sport).  However, I don't know if carb kits back then were supplied with ethanol-resistant floats and accelerator pumps.  

 

You're reassured me that no harm will likely come from using ethanol fuel as long as it isn't allowed to sit for months in the tank and in the carb bowls.  So that's good news!🙂

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37 minutes ago, telriv said:

ALL AFB's I know about came stock with Brass floats.

Most of the better carb. kits have leather accelerator pumps.

AND, just use the better dry gas as I mentioned. The BEST is BGProducts.

 

Tom T.

What brand of dry gas additive

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5 hours ago, telriv said:

ALL AFB's I know about came stock with Brass floats.

Most of the better carb. kits have leather accelerator pumps.

AND, just use the better dry gas as I mentioned. The BEST is BGProducts.

 

Tom T.

Agree on the AFB brass floats. Also, I don't remember a genuine Carter AFB with anything except a leather pump. Maybe some of the very latest, I don't know. Some of the very latest Carter TQ's did use a man-made accelerator cup.

 

Jon.

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11 hours ago, XframeFX said:

My AFB was rebuilt last summer with a NAPA Kit. Would it have had the better accelerator pump? The box was thrown out.

Unless the kit had been sitting on the shelf for decades, it should have had the alcohol resistant accelerator pump. All the kits

I have used for a long long time have had the blue accelerator pumps which are the alcohol resistant ones.

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  • 1 month later...
On 3/15/2022 at 5:39 PM, telriv said:

the best is BGProducts

An study completed by University of Nebraska found BGP product for ethanol gasoline moisture problems along with the better HEET ethanol gasoline treatment were the only two gasoline treatments that were effective on ethanol gasoline with moisture.

Turbinator

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