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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay > Ethanol-free gas in Chesapeake?
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Thread: Ethanol-free gas in Chesapeake? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-28-2011 12:27 AM
hellosailor "and the brittle rubber of our outboard."
I had an AR turntable, once considered a very simple and fairly good product. After it had been on the shelf for some years I took it down again, and found the rubber mat on top of the turntable proper had turned into black goo. That's when I found out that "rubber" is often an unreliable product, and foam rubber of all kinds is infamous for decaying as it ages. The folks who buy it have to depend on their supply chain, and that should go for engine makers as well.
Whoever built the parts for your carb, used the wrong rubber. That could probably be argued under federal warranty laws as being a hidden manufacturing defect, but I'm sure it is cheaper to just rebuild the carb and feed it caviar. Ergh, "E-0" real gasoline.

Of course the "auto parts" industry is also infamous for counterfeit problems, it is even possible that the carb rebuild kit wasn't genuine and the maker isn't to blame. There are plenty of "rubber" parts that have been in E10 both full time and seasonally for way longer--without degrading that way. And in the 70's, the float tips in my four year old Ford has the same problem--before there was any gasahol at the pumps.
10-27-2011 09:50 PM
wingNwing Dave ... SNOW??!!! I knew it snowed on our Colorado friends, but in the Chesapeake???Today's high here in Charleston, SC was 81, and we went walking around the historic downtown, then sat in the cockpit with rum drinks and watched an egret fish for his supper. Ahh, I love my life.
10-27-2011 09:38 PM
chef2sail Ethanol...= varnish in my dinghy outboard when not run dry. I have to agree with win here also as some of my PB friends have experienced rubber gaskets eaten away.

Jaye and Dan...aloha...be glad you are where it warm...forecast for Saturday is snow showers...way too early for this as we still have a few months sailing left.grrrrrrrr

Dave
10-27-2011 08:32 PM
wingNwing
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
You had to rebuild the carb 3 times. You've no evidence that it was due to ethanol. Let me go further - it wasn't. The main issue with ethanol is that the fuel can attract water long term. Easily fixed with a dash of Stabil.
Nope, the "really good mechanic" showed me the little black particles, and the brittle rubber of our outboard. And it was only the small, low-power nozzles that were affected, consistent with that diagnosis. And, since we switched to non-ethanol fuel once we got south of the Chesapeake, and avgas (also non-ethanol) when in the Chesapeake, 2 years ago, we haven't had any problems with that engine, so I'm going to stand by my initial evaluation.

(eryka, a.k.a. wingnwing - lost my previous screen name when all of my identity information was compromised last spring)
10-27-2011 08:00 PM
hellosailor kd3, I would never suggest that gasahol is a good fuel, but IF e10 was the whole problem, these failures would be endemic and literally everyone would be having them. Since the failures are still a minor fraction of the market, obviously e10 can work without issue. And supposedly gasoline as a whole today, in the US, is a better cleaner more stable product than it was pre-90s, due to some of those EPA-mandated changes. Less varnish is supposed to form--which was always the bugaboo of carbs and always required breaking them down to rebuild.

That Stihl was brain dead for so long, speaks to the management at that company, not to the larger market. There are always folks who are way behind the times. The good thing is, when they go bankrupt the breed is improved.

It is easy to condemn e10, because it does present real issues and only justificaiton for its existance is the Big Agro Lobby effort. I'm sure Archer Daniels Midland and a few other companies are laughing all the way to the bank at how they've managed to sucker the public into boosting corn prices.

But e10 can be made to work, can be dealt with. Maybe eryka has an engine from a brain-dead manufacturer. That's a whole other question.
10-27-2011 06:40 PM
kd3pc
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
You had to rebuild the carb 3 times. You've no evidence that it was due to ethanol. Let me go further - it wasn't. The main issue with ethanol is that the fuel can attract water long term. Easily fixed with a dash of Stabil.
Mark, I seldom say this, but you are wrong. And I am sorry to disagree, but what Eryka experiences is quite related to the ethanol and the subsequent separation of the fuel....that results in shellacing and varnishing of critical passages that will simply clog the carb. See the link below, it is not my experience, but many others that have credentials you will find tough to argue with. It is bad information such as that you provide that keeps the truth about ethanol from getting out.

As recently as 2007, Stihl and several other manufacturers, thought they were getting correct plastics for their fuel line systems and found out otherwise, so to say that anything made since 1990 (or any other date) is ethanol tolerant/resistant/etc is actually not true.

Ethanol has been found to be the problem in MANY fuel line systems, including carbs. See this website for a recent release of information relating specifically to boat motors and out boards....

http://www.tradeonlytoday.com/home/5...marine-engines
10-27-2011 06:04 PM
fendertweed
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
You had to rebuild the carb 3 times. You've no evidence that it was due to ethanol. Let me go further - it wasn't. The main issue with ethanol is that the fuel can attract water long term. Easily fixed with a dash of Stabil.
I've used Marine Sta-bil in every tank for some time and had no problems ('98 Merc 15hp 2 stroke) ... also use it in our lawnmower & snowblower with no problems, the snow blower starts up after sitting for a year, even 2 ...

I always run the carb dry on the outboard, and on the snowblower at the end of the season.
10-27-2011 05:39 PM
hellosailor Flyby, VMP Naphtha is still just a highly refined naphtha, and co-incidentally naphtha is the predominent ingredient in gasoline!

I's suggest that you're basically buying raw gasoline stock without all the good stuff in it, so you can skip the VMP and just add the butyl c. if that's really doing anything for you.

eryka-
I have to agree with Mark on this, it is easy to blame ethanol for lots of sins but for rebuilding a carb? Unless someone showed me rubber parts (like a float tip) that had been dissolved by the alcohol, I wouldn't believe it. Unless someone rebuilt it with a cheapass Chinese generic rebuild kit, anything with a brand name on it should be alcohol resistant on the "rubber" and plastic parts.
Far more likely it was a bad rebuilding job. I'd have to guess that 90% of the carb rebuilds I've had any experience with, from shops of all kinds, have simply not been done 100% to spec. Or worse. To do the job correctly, you need the patience and precision of a watchmaker, not a greasemonkey and not underpaid unmotivated hourly labor.
I'd bet that if you use a name-brand kit and DIY, you'll have no problem with pump gasahol in that engine. It's not a hard job--just one that requires patience and attention to detail.
10-27-2011 03:59 PM
MarkSF
Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor View Post
I think there is evidence that ethanol does indeed breakdown the resins in fiberglass fuel tanks, but that's another issue.

Also, Stabil will not change the nature of ethanol. The water will still be in your fuel. If anything Stabil will just cause the water to stay in suspension longer, so its more likely to go through the engine and out as water vapor.
True the water will still be there but it can't do any harm in suspension. The percentage can't get high enough, even with ethanol. When it comes out of suspension, the problems start - corrosion, and the engine won't like running on 100% water.

If there's so much water in your ethanol gas that it's coming out of suspension with Stabil in it, you have a serious problem with water contamination.

The real keys to a happy outboard are :

Stabil or similar in the fuel
Cycle the fuel often to keep it fresh (put it in the car if it's more than a few months old),
Always run the carb dry
Don't let water get in the gas

Do those things and it could not matter less if the gas is 10% ethanol.
10-27-2011 03:39 PM
PalmettoSailor
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
You had to rebuild the car 3 times. You've no evidence that it was due to ethanol. Let me go further - it wasn't. The main issue with ethanol is that the fuel can attract water long term. Easily fixed with a dash of Stabil.
I think there is evidence that ethanol does indeed breakdown the resins in fiberglass fuel tanks, but that's another issue.

Also, Stabil will not change the nature of ethanol. The water will still be in your fuel. If anything Stabil will just cause the water to stay in suspension longer, so its more likely to go through the engine and out as water vapor.
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