Author Topic: E15 ANOTHER FUEL FIGHT  (Read 335 times)

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Offline Eccentric

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Re: E15 ANOTHER FUEL FIGHT
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2014, 04:24:30 pm »
That administration is simply the latest (and most blatant) representation of those folks.  They're ramming through what they can while they hold most of the cards.  That's been going on here in Ca for decades.  The rest of the US is following.  I don't know enough about the governments north of the border to form an educated opinion about them...
-Aaron

For older saws:
Tune the H side so that it 4-strokes (burbles) at WOT unloaded and just cleans up when under load.
When you lift cutting load, the saw should immediately revert to 4-stroking.  Fine tune the transition point for the wood you're cutting.

Offline aclarke

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Re: E15 ANOTHER FUEL FIGHT
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2014, 06:36:32 pm »
Is this an issue of fuel going bad and not being usable because of the alcohol or an issue related to non alcohol resistant components being damaged. I've never noticed any issues with our  saws, weed eaters etc and we use alcohol laced fuel daily.  I would imagine that the main reason Rotax is against alcohol mixed fuels in their ultralight engines has a lot to do with water obsorbtion from the alcohol and subsequent carburetor icing issues? Or is there an issue with alcohol displacing lube? Do they have the same warning on their sled engines too or jus aircraft variants?   

Offline Eccentric

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Re: E15 ANOTHER FUEL FIGHT
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2014, 07:07:19 pm »
Is this an issue of fuel going bad and not being usable because of the alcohol or an issue related to non alcohol resistant components being damaged. I've never noticed any issues with our  saws, weed eaters etc and we use alcohol laced fuel daily.  I would imagine that the main reason Rotax is against alcohol mixed fuels in their ultralight engines has a lot to do with water obsorbtion from the alcohol and subsequent carburetor icing issues? Or is there an issue with alcohol displacing lube? Do they have the same warning on their sled engines too or jus aircraft variants?   

It's several issues.  These come to mind:

1)Water absorbtion. 
              A)Water in the fuel corrodes brass, steel, magnesium,  and aluminum carb components, including fuel tanks, metering lever pivot pins, metering lever springs, screws, and carb bodies. 
              B)Water corrodes bearings and rings during storage. 
              C)Water also displaces lubricant, especially if it has fallen out of suspension.
              D)When water falls out of suspension, it clogs orifices and screen/filters.  This can cause a drastic lean out.

2)Not all 2-stroke mix oils are compatible with ethanol.  Gotta look at the fine print............if it's even on the bottle.

3)Alcohol in the fuel causes the engine to run leaner and hotter at a given mixture setting.  IF the eth content is consistent, this can be adjusted for...

4)Pump gas ethanol content is often inconsistent.  See #3 for why this is bad...

5)Ethanol degrades rubber fuel system components. 
           A)Degrades diaphragms.
           B)Can degrade rubber needle tips (or seat inserts, depending on the carb). 
           C)Degrades hoses (both rubber and vinyl).  This deterioration often happens from the inside out.  The hose can look and feel fine on the outside, while rubber 'gunk' sluffs off from the inside of the line and clogs metering orifices.  Leaking hoses can also draw in air, causing a lean condition.
            D)Degrades purge/primer bulbs.  This can allow air to be drawn into the system, leaning things out during operation.
            E)Degrades plastic fuel tanks and caps.  Caps split.  Mostly an annoyance and possibly a fire hazard.
            F)Degrades rubber check valves ('duckbills') in carbs (when present) fuel tanks/caps, and other areas.

I've seen the damage from most of these issues firsthand.  Others seem to never have an issue.  Ethanol doesn't mess up your equipment..........................until it does...
-Aaron

For older saws:
Tune the H side so that it 4-strokes (burbles) at WOT unloaded and just cleans up when under load.
When you lift cutting load, the saw should immediately revert to 4-stroking.  Fine tune the transition point for the wood you're cutting.

Offline aclarke

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Re: E15 ANOTHER FUEL FIGHT
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2014, 12:12:55 am »
I agree with all the potential issues associated with alcohol and know this first hand running saws on alky and nitro. I don't, however, feel that this is as big an issue running two strokes on the 5-10% alcohol we see in the pump gas in Ca.

The last batch of saws, blowers, weedeaters we purchased for our crews were 2+ years ago and none  exhibit any negative signs of alcohol in the fuel. 

Regular use vs sitting May be a factor but I'm not convinced the small alky content is so horrible

Adam

Offline Eccentric

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Re: E15 ANOTHER FUEL FIGHT
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2014, 01:38:58 am »
I agree with all the potential issues associated with alcohol and know this first hand running saws on alky and nitro. I don't, however, feel that this is as big an issue running two strokes on the 5-10% alcohol we see in the pump gas in Ca.

The last batch of saws, blowers, weedeaters we purchased for our crews were 2+ years ago and none  exhibit any negative signs of alcohol in the fuel. 

Regular use vs sitting May be a factor but I'm not convinced the small alky content is so horrible

Adam

I'm not trying to convince you of anything.  You asked a question, and I answered it with my observations based on experience.  Like I said before.  Some folks seem to never have a problem running eth gas.  Others....

I've seen lots of damage from that crap in California over the last 20+ years.  It's not always 5-10% either.  I've seen test results of over 20% ethanol in pump gas in northern California.  I said all this earlier.  Are you  saying I made it up?  If eth gas works for you, keep running it.  Rest easy running your equipment on the stuff.

My guess is that you are able to get eth gas that's always fresh, and has a low, consistent ethanol concentration (at least for now).  I can tell you first hand that your situation (if that's what it is) is NOT a constant in this state.
-Aaron

For older saws:
Tune the H side so that it 4-strokes (burbles) at WOT unloaded and just cleans up when under load.
When you lift cutting load, the saw should immediately revert to 4-stroking.  Fine tune the transition point for the wood you're cutting.

Offline 660magnum

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Re: E15 ANOTHER FUEL FIGHT
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2014, 09:03:02 am »
I haven't had any gas trouble myself but I bought a Craig's List Stihl trimmer a few years ago. The engine wouldn't idle. Taking the carb apart, there was white crud inside the metering chamber of the carburetor. I tried to unplug the idle circuit but wasn't successful. A new $28 carburetor finally fixed it.
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Offline KilliansRedLeo

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Re: E15 ANOTHER FUEL FIGHT
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2014, 09:08:43 am »
My opinion is that as long as you are running fuel through the engine regularly (several tanks a day) the effects of the ethanol are probably reduced. Every saw that I see with damage from ethanol is an occasional use tool. My pro cutter customers run it on a daily basis and are not having any huge problems, small things like fuel lines and such.
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Offline aclarke

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Re: E15 ANOTHER FUEL FIGHT
« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2014, 09:39:03 am »
Aaron, not doubting your findings. The internet as a whole is difficult to glean accurate info from and the quote from the Popular Mechanics article saying saws run hotter on methanol is a perfect  example of how misinformation gets spread.  When the mtbe gas was replaced with the ethanol fuel there were many issues created from mixing mtbe and alky laced fuels. The result of the mixing of these two fuels was a "brown sludge" which caused tons of issues and was blamed on the ethanol fuel. It didn't surface until much later that the issue was in fact the mtbe/mixed with the replacement fuel.

imho, inactive tools stored with any type fuel are going to experience more issues than regularly used power equipment . Alcohol laced fuel is clearly more corrosive and with its water holding qualities thats a big problem for tools that sit.   

Offline aclarke

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Re: E15 ANOTHER FUEL FIGHT
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2014, 10:22:36 am »
Aaron, what types of issues are you seeing specifically and would they be
Exclusive to alky fuel? 

Offline Eccentric

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Re: E15 ANOTHER FUEL FIGHT
« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2014, 03:40:17 pm »
Aaron, what types of issues are you seeing specifically and would they be
Exclusive to alky fuel? 

I'm not having any issues with my equipment now, as I switched to non-eth fuel a couple years ago.  When I still ran eth pump gas I saw the issues I listed a couple posts ago. I did not get those from some PM article or the internet.   I still see many of the issues I listed in the equipment owned by friends and family that run eth fuel. 

Not letting old fuel sit in machines does mitigate the water issues..............except when the water is already in the fuel from the gas station storage tanks.  As with ethanol concentration, the water contamination levels are inconsistent.

Running fresh eth gas does not mitigate the rubber/vinyl/plastic fuel system component degradation issues.  That's what I'm still seeing with equipment owned by friends who only run 'fresh' eth fuel (and who sometimes use the 'wonder' treatments like Startron). 

Unless the machine is drained immediately and completely after each use, the fuel system components are in constant contact with ethanol.  It's fresh..............but it's still ethanol.  There's a reason why the manufacturers keep changing the materials they use for fuel lines and other components.  I don't like running machines dry all the time either.  There are issues that come with that practice (but that's another discussion).

I also continued to see these same rubber/vinyl/plastic component issues with my own equipment before I finally found a good source of somewhat reasonably priced non-eth gas and switched for good.  Fuel lines were lasting months rather than years (same with 'duckbills').  Carb diapragms were lasting a year (at most) as opposed to multiple years.  O-rings swelled and/or ****.  Fuel caps and other plastic parts started cracking.  Etc...

Eth gas does make machines run leaner/hotter compared to non-eth gasoline at the same carburetor mixture settings as I stated previously.  That's not something made up by PM or others.  IF you are able to tune for the ethanol fuel, this can be compensated for.  Fixed jet carburetors don't allow us to compensate for it.  Limited adjustment carburetors may not allow enough adjustment to compensate either. 

Then there's the issue of eth concentration consistency (or lack thereof).  If you tune your machines for fuel with 5% concentration, and the next batch is 20%, you're going to have issues unless you can retune for that batch of fuel.

The damage I saw in the 1990's was not just "in fact" brown sludge from MTBE/eth mixing.  Saw some of that, but it wasn't the sole cause of the problems.  Letting fuel sit in machines wasn't the sole problem either.  Corrosion was not the sole problem either.  As I stated before, I saw many new (as in bought on Friday and burned up on Saturday) machines damaged by eth gas. 

MTBE was terrible stuff for different reasons, including groundwater contamination.  Heck, stations in my area had JUST completed the mandatory tank replacements (using fiberglass tanks) when MTBE became mandated.  Not long after that, it was discovered that the MTBE was goin' right through those tanks into the ground.  Several stations were shut down.  Not good.  MTBE was also terrible with rubber components.  Turned fuel lines to chewing gum.  Saw that with my own equipment.  I still remember a guy arriving at work as his fuel line (1980's S10 Blazer) completely failed.  Gas pouring onto the parking lot.  He's lucky it didn't catch fire and burn to the ground.  His fuel line was like taffy.  I actually sought out the stations that were using ethanol instead of MTBE as their mandated oxygenate (just to get away from the MTBE).  Those were mostly 76 stations at that time.  Learned (first hand) of the problems with running eth gas shortly after that...

I don't intend to keep going over this.  I've stated my observations and experiences enough.  Either you agree with my conclusions or you don't.  Doesn't matter to me.  You asked a question and I answered it.  I'm sorry that my answers don't agree with your conclusions.  Doesn't make my answers less 'valid' or give cause for suspicion that I got them from some magazine article or blog.   I'm not some yokel that read a bunch of 'internet' paranoia and/or got spun up by a PM article.   
-Aaron

For older saws:
Tune the H side so that it 4-strokes (burbles) at WOT unloaded and just cleans up when under load.
When you lift cutting load, the saw should immediately revert to 4-stroking.  Fine tune the transition point for the wood you're cutting.

 

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