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ethanol question

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:20 pm
by jvan1954
Thanks to all who responded to my power loss question. One possibility being carb icing, the fix was adding alcohol to fuel when conditions were right for icing, My question now is what is the truth about ethanol? Seems like an easy fix for icing. However, I get conflicting info concerning ethanol. some say it's good, some bad. I am not a chemist at all and don't know who to listen to. I get my fuel as much as possible from one place mainly because of a horrible experience with dirty fuel. and they make a thing out of never selling gas with the ethanol additive. I learned long ago that sincerity does not always mean that people are correct. Whats the skinny on ethanol?

Re: ethanol question

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:40 pm
by harryball
Reduces efficiency, runs hotter, eats rubber (not designed for it), attracts water thus promoting rust, takes about 1 gallon of diesel to produce 1 gallon of ethanol, paid for by the tax payer to subsidize the growing of nonedible corn while people starve, one of the biggest scams ever pulled by the US Government... did I miss anything?

So long as you fuel up and run it out it's fine in modern vehicles. Don't let it sit for more than a week or two at most depending on your climate.

Re: ethanol question

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:44 pm
by propwash
harryball wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:40 pm
. did I miss anything?
Yes, you did. Lower energy density. :P

Re: ethanol question

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:49 pm
by Marine Corps Codu
I find when I am forced to use ethanol containing fuel I get about 10% LESS mpg.

Re: ethanol question

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:46 pm
by jvan1954
well damn, now I know thank you. I will continue to avoid it

Re: ethanol question

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:34 pm
by FlyingMonkees
In addition to all mentioned above about adding ethanol, it will have zero effect in solving your problem of carb icing. When a carb ices it is not the fuel freezing, it is the moisture in the atmospheric air being sucked into you engine. What happens is as air is sucked through the carb and goes through the venturi the pressure drops creating a vacuum, this is how it sucks fuel up from the bowl, along with this pressure drop is a drop in temperature. Further, as the fuel gets sucked up from the bowl through the jet it mixes with a bit of air to atomize the fuel charge, this atomized fuel as it hits the airflow further lowers temperature. The overall cooling in the venturi can lower the air temperature by as much as 50-60 deg F (i.e. you can ice up a carb in temperatures in the 70's depending on humidity, barometric pressure, etc). If the humidity is high, the moisture in the air will start to freeze in the venturi often on the butterfly restricting airflow through the carb. Being close to the engine, heat conduction usually should heat things to make any icing negligible, but it can happen. I've seen it happen to a carburated Harley on a foggy (high humidity) 60 deg morning. This is a problem encountered in carburated airplanes, they use carb heat to melt/prevent icing.

Re: ethanol question

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:50 pm
by chaos2
Around here non-ethanol in not an option. I'd have to travel 50 miles or more to get pure gas. I run regular, 10% corn, get about 32 mpg (good for a carbie) runs cool starts easily and have not experienced any problems. Just don't let it sit for more than a couple months.

Re: ethanol question

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:56 pm
by jvan1954
I ride every day, its my main transportation,so fuel does 'nt sit long. e free gas is not common, but you can find it in arkansas with a little effort. I;m just amazed that I've ridden for 50 years and never had this come up. I think I'm just gonna ride on and hope it's another 50 before it rears it's wierd and ugly head again. Thanks to all

Re: ethanol question

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:39 am
by Lee Pape
I have used ethanol in both of my Urals, 2000 and 2007. Here in the land of corn we have a choice of 87 octane with or without 10% ethanol. Myself and a couple of other Ural drivers here in Iowa use ethanol almost all of the time. When Lloyd Colleman was still alive he would get the best MPG I have ever seen a Ural get with his Retro. And he only ran ethanol. Lloyd, Eric and I have never had any fuel related issues. Between us we have owned 8 Urals ranging between 1997 to 2014.

Re: ethanol question

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:46 am
by windmill
Have been running E10 since 2007 without issue in my Urals. Have used non ethanol here and there, also ran it for a while to determine if there was a difference. Other than a very small increase in fuel economy, I didn't experience any difference.
Taking everything into consideration, I find E10 to be the better option.

Re: ethanol question

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:13 am
by jaybird
I find it helpful to drain the carburetor bowls on a regular basis, or at any sign of poor or irregular running.

Happy trails,
Jaybird

Re: ethanol question

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:18 am
by OHScot
chaos2 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:50 pm
Around here non-ethanol in not an option. I'd have to travel 50 miles or more to get pure gas. I run regular, 10% corn, get about 32 mpg (good for a carbie) runs cool starts easily and have not experienced any problems. Just don't let it sit for more than a couple months.

Casey's in Trenton, Ohio is the station that has non alcohol fuel. Been using them for storage fuel and occasional fill up. Price is a little higher but less then premium most of the time. Maybe a Casey's station closer but that is the one I drive by.

Re: ethanol question

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:29 am
by OHScot
Years ago when a station did not properly manage its tanks ( stick for level and water ) we would get water in the fuel problems that usually could be solved with Drygas. Which was alcohol. Note: if the pumps seem to run slow could be water inclusion, long story I do not want to type.

People forget how it was. The biggest problem with the E10 was the fact it did not play well with rubber not designed for it. Or if your fuel is overwhelmed with water it will not mix well ( so same problem as above probably poor station manaegment ).

Still would rather just have gas that was just gas and not the storage worries. Seems like in the 60's gas took forever to spoil.

Re: ethanol question

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:41 pm
by jvan1954
Allrighjty !!! I think now all can see my issue with e gas, knowledgable people cannot agree at all on the subject. I do thank all for their opinions. I myself have never been able to tell any difference in any bike I have owned and that will be my guide going forward.

Re: ethanol question

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:43 pm
by chaos2
OHScot wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:18 am


Casey's in Trenton, Ohio is the station that has non alcohol fuel.
Thanks, still out of the way, there may be closer stations but haven't checked lately because it not really an issue. But it would be nice to have real gas for the mowers, chipper, tiller, weedwhacker, & snowblower just so I don't have to worry about them. No issues so far but it is a pain keeping on top of all of it.