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Old 08-17-2014, 05:25 PM   #1
paulter OP
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Modern fuel/old carburetor

I recently cleaned the carburetor from a 1971 CT 90. In the float bowl was a powdery gray sludge, which also plugged the filter screen in the carburetor. Do the ingredients in modern fuels dissolve the metal in the older carburetor?
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:30 PM   #2
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No.
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:35 PM   #3
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Yes.

(ethanol can get into an old porous aluminium casting)
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:45 PM   #4
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Ethanol is corrosive. It can attack brass, zinc alloys, and some older types of rubber. So my answer to your question is "quite possibly". I'd strongly suggest finding and using pure gas in all your gasoline engines, but in particular the vintage engines and any 2-strokes.
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:15 PM   #5
paulter OP
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Thanks. The surfaces of the float bowl and the filter screen cover appeared etched, and the residue/sludge was the same color. So, it seemed to me that the gas was doing the scouring.
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:47 PM   #6
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I use this web site to find stations that sell ethonal free gas.

http://pure-gas.org/
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Old 08-18-2014, 07:09 AM   #7
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Thanks, all. Especially for the list of ethanol free gas sources. Unfortunately nothing in my area, but I'll keep looking.
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:05 AM   #8
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The ethanol free fuel up here in northern N.Y, seems to be all "super" high octane? not sure why. I think the new fuels also attack/dissolve the old varnishes in a fuel system and you could be seeing that.emti
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:23 AM   #9
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Gas goes through the fuel filter part of the carb before it gets into the float bowl so if the filter is plugged with gray sludge it's not from the carb, it's coming from the tank. Most of the CT90 owners I know (and I know many) use regular gas with ethanol and have no problems with the carbs.
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emti View Post
The ethanol free fuel up here in northern N.Y, seems to be all "super" high octane?
Same here. I'd love to have an answer from an industry insider. My theory is that they know people looking for ethanol-free are willing to pay whatever it takes to get it, so why not bundle it with your highest-cost, highest-margin fuel grade?
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:49 AM   #11
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The alcohol in ethanol attracts water from the atmosphere in the container. (Gas tank, carb..)
The alcohol also cools faster than gasoline creating further condensation.
Water is your enemy, and ethanol is a water magnet.
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:12 PM   #12
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hugemoth is 100% correct. I run cheap gas in my CT and in my similar vintage chain saws. I never drain the carbs and I've sometimes gone 6-9 months without starting and they are just fine.

The white powder is most likely aluminum oxide, a result of water sitting in the carb for an extended length of time. I had a 68 CT that had the same problem when I bought it and by the time I cleaned all the white powder out I found a pin hole and had to replace the carb..
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:26 PM   #13
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If you don't like the ethanol gas, go to your local airport and fill your gas can with Avgas. It's good old fashioned leaded gasoline. No ethanol. Stores well for long periods of time and won't corrode your engine parts.
(airplane fuel tanks are mostly all aluminum)
You can tell it's different 'cause if you get it on your hands, it evaporates quickly and leaves absolutely no smell behind on your skin!
But....(there's always a but)
It costs around $6 a gallon.
I'm a pilot. I know these things.
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danedg View Post
The alcohol in ethanol attracts water from the atmosphere in the container. (Gas tank, carb..)
The alcohol also cools faster than gasoline creating further condensation.
Water is your enemy, and ethanol is a water magnet.
Non-Ethanol gas is also a water magnet. Ethanol blended gasoline holds more water in suspension that non-ethanol gas can, and is still a viable fuel even with large amounts of water being held in solution (approaching the saturation point). Ethanol PREVENTS water from dropping out of solution. Ethanol is your friend.
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:41 PM   #15
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I have had some really old carbs with modern gas and they were all fine.
From 1969 to 1982, to a modern carb.
The carb in my 82 XT 200 was the worse looking thing I ever worked on.
Soaking in pine sol has it looking like new.
Its always been the additives in the gas that built up and caused problems for me.
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