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Any way to prevent problems from Ethanol?

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  • Any way to prevent problems from Ethanol?

    Don't know how many of you are aware that the Prez has approved the oil refineries to up the level of ethanol in fuel to 15% which is a considerable jump. It's good for the farmers but it is going to cause problems with older engines. I have a 1990 Chevy Box truck for my business that is in excellent shape, several 1960's Honda motorcycles, older lawn equipment and other toys that I am concerned about. I use Seafoam religiously in all of my older equipment now, and Stabile when storing for the winter. So maybe just keep doing the same old, same old? Maybe some other additive?

    15% is also probably going to affect anything with an aluminum carburetor which is pretty much any carb today including Roadies. Don't know about the FI system on my '09 RS.

  • #2
    Yes, posted this the other day. My impression is that it would allow E15 to become available, not required or the only option.


    • #3
      Grubsie you pretty much nailed the cure. All you can do is not let gas sit in tanks and if you do use some type of additive. Some places have non-ethanol gas and we have it around here. Problem for me when asking on the Indian forums those guys are sayign the lower octane rating of the non-ethanol gas around me would cause more issues then the ethanol. Best I can get is 89 octane and the Chieftain wants 93.


      • #4
        If it's FI, and computer controlled, the ECU is probably flashed with parameters that will set the timing back to prevent knock, like exists in nearly all premium autos that say, Use Premium Gasoline Only. That's not entirely true. I've owned Jags and Benz's that 'required' premium gas, and ran them on regular for literally years, since '03, 15 years, and the computers simply adjusted for it, and there was never a problem. They have to just because the manufacturers know that there are places in the world where the gas is just crap, and their cars will have to cope....


        • #5
          I don't think E15 will affect our carburetors and if it's the right octane there shouldn't be any pinging. What it will affect is the correct fuel mixture to run the bike. The A/F mixture for non ethanol is 14.7:1 but as alcohol is added the mixture goes down - 14.08 for E10 and 13.79 for E15. Cars made after 2000 will run E15 okay but the fuel mileage will be lower. Flex fuel vehicles running E85 won't go very far at all on a tank of gas.

          If you do run E15 in the bike then you would probably need to richen it up a little. At least check the plugs after a while.

          Stabil is the only additive I use and when I fill up the gas can for the lawn mower it'll last all year with Stabil added.

          One could probably modify one of the carbureted bikes to run E85 but I don't think it would be to enjoyable running around getting close to half the fuel mileage you're used to.
          Scott B.


          • #6
            Just keep Seafoam in the tanks, and add a bit of Stabil in any of your storage cans. I don’t think the E15 will make any difference over the E10 that I always run in everything.


            • #7
              The FI bikes might be able to adjust for it, I don't know. Read your owners manual. During closed loop part throttle operation they might be okay. During open loop, idle and higher throttle settings, the mixture is set at the factory.
              Scott B.


              • #8
                If I remember correctly from the old drag racing days- it takes around twice as much alcohol in an engine to equal gasoline.
                The 10% ethanol causes power losses vs. running pure gasoline. If they go to 15%, I would expect more losses. I'm guessing that FI bikes MAY not be affected as much as carbed bikes.
                I can tell you that running 10% ethanol gas in small engines chain saws, weed wackers etc. will damage the diaphragm used to pump fuel in the carbs and fuel lines can turn to jelly. Holley makes special carbs for alcohol due to alcohol being corrosive to the normal carbs. What 15% might do to engines and fuel systems not specifically built for it could be detrimental to your wallet.


                • #9
                  My bike is not finicky about fuel. I'm particular to Chevron or Shell myself. It may have ethanol or it may not, I don't even bother to look. I think it would run on Mogas if it had to.


                  • #10
                    With 15% ethanol id rec running a stronger dose of 1oz per 5 gals fuel (not the weaker 1oz per 10 gals fuel as daily use dose re ) of sta-bils newest gen " MARINE GRADE STA-BIL " in each tank of fuel on you bike,small engine equipment,classic car etc & you should have NP.

                    But thats as long as there isnt already prior ethanol damage present in the fuel system & if thats the case then it's just a matter of time before something in the fuel system will crap out in the carb,rubber fuel lines etc requiring attention.

                    I have used marine grade sta-bil with fuel containing ethanol for many yrs in my classic car,motorcycles,small engine equipment with carb & or EFI with never a an ethanol/ fuel system related problem at all.

                    I use the marine grade sta-bil at every fillup with 10% ethanol for daily use car 1-1.5 oz per 10gals fuel & for storrage of longer then 2-3wks i fill tank with fresh fuel,add marine grade stable @ 1oz per 5 gals & then run motor or drive vehicle long enough to ensure entire fuel system get's the fresh treated fuel before shutting down for storage.

                    And again i have never had any ethanol fuel related issues with my classic car & motorcycles that sit for 5-6+ months in off season storage here in upstate NY and they always fire right up 6 months later in spring time like they had just been fired up a wk ago.

                    Keep in mind it's when you introduce air & moisture to ethanol that it can get real ugly esp if your not treating it wioth a robust product like marine grade sta-bil thats specifically designed & formulated to deal with harsh fuel storage cond boats are in which is why i use it vs their std wearker red sta-bil.

                    The latest version of marine grade sta-bil also has new tech that deposists some kind of material that coats the fuel tank (if half empty) and metal parts of fuel system to stop or at least greatly reduce ethanol related corrosion/pitting issues when in storage.

                    So dont leave fuel tanks half empty for a few months or longer with old untreated ethanol fuel in them .

                    Bottom line is if you always properly treat the fuel with robust marine grade stabil at the healthy dose i rec above you will not have ethanol related issues as long as there isnt already an x-amount of existing ethanol damage in the fuel system to begin with which unfortunately is more often the case the begin with because ethanol has been in the fuel for many yrs.

                    Again,thats as long as there isnt already ethanol damage present in fuel system and that you use fresh fuel treated with marine grade stabil thats fully introduced to the entire fuel system prior to storage etc which is key to not having issues with ethanol,always ensure the tank is topped off with fresh fuel with the stabil in it in entire fuel system and you should be good to go.

                    I havent had 1 issue with fuel gauge sending units going bad in my classic car or both R*'s i have had either because the i always use marine grade stabil.

                    I bought my 69 chevelle ss 396 from the original owner in 1978 and it still to this day has the original (still working properly) fuel sending unit it 49yrs later which is testament to what i am saying here.

                    And we all know its very common for R* fuel gauge sending units to crap out due to issues with ethanol so me not having any of fuel sending unit issues on the 1st 06 r* i had till end of 2015 being 9+ yrs old at the time and then my current 2012 R* thats almost 7 yrs old says something too.

                    My friends 05 R* had the fuel gauge sending unit go bad due to ethanol issues approx 4-5 yrs after he got the bike,he installed a new sending unit and then did what i suggested using marine grade stabil @ every fillup and now going on 9 yrs later (approx 2x more yrs later) the fuel sending unit is still doing just fine.

                    Yeh marine grade stabil is a little pricey but it does the job and is well worth investment (for all my vehicles& motors approx $40-50 yrly) to have no ethanol related fuel system issues wrecking my day!

                    I found best price on marine grade stabil online on ebay and also @ Walmart that handle it too,i get the 32oz bottle that lasts up to " 2 yrs after you open it " .

                    This info is also coming from just under 5 decades of 1st hand exp i have wrenching motorcycle,classic cars,small engine equip ect which enables me to have a better then the avg person background to draw on with respect to this issue.

                    Hope this helps out.

                    Happy motoring.



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