Aluminium fuel tanks and E85 fuel

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Steve G., Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2004
    Oddometer:
    7,473
    Location:
    West is the Best
    I'm looking at a Bartel fuel tank for my Norton, as a bit of a project to dress it up the odd time as a Norvil proddy racer. I was recently told that alloy is also very sensitive to E10 and E85 fuels. This is a new one on me! I know fiberglass tanks have a very short life with E15, and of course the widely known and documented issues with E15 and vinyl/nylon tanks.

    But alloy??? WTF,,,,,
    #1
  2. Cogswell

    Cogswell Spudly Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,800
    Location:
    Riding with my pal Richard Cranium
    Sounds like misinformation to me, I have never heard of such.

    I would think you are fine, but why E85 in a bike ?


    Mike
    #2
  3. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Adios Mexico

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,659
    Location:
    Back in Seattle, FINALLY
    Yeah, running E85 I'd be more concerned about the engine than the tank.
    #3
  4. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    6,260
    Location:
    Dearborn, MI
    The ethanol in E85 isn't a big problem. I think that it's being confused with methanol, which will corrode things if left in a fuel system.

    To get the full benefit from a fuel like E85, the engines' compression ratio needs to be increased and more ignition advance is also required.
    #4
  5. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2004
    Oddometer:
    7,473
    Location:
    West is the Best
    Geez, I'm sorry guys. When I was talking about E85, I meant E15. Yes, you are right, that total avoidance of E85 is of the highest priority.
    I'm getting the picture that the info I got about E15 and alumimium tanks [from the Norton Commando forum] is not correct. I've been forced a couple times to use E15 in my RC30, which has an alloy tank. To this day, the inside of this tank is pristine.
    #5
  6. CoyoteCowboy

    CoyoteCowboy Easily Distracted

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Oddometer:
    317
    Location:
    Medicine Lodge, Ks (Gyp Hills)
    Yeah, you should be fine with that in there. Now, methanol left in an alloy tank :huh...over time forms kind of this slimy shit thats about the consistency of calf snot and will plug up a fuel filter in a heartbeat. EVEN IF you drain the tank that crap will form. You have to wipe it out with a rag on a stick then swish a lil WD-40 around to keep it at bay. (I've got buddies with alcohol drag cars :lol3 )
    #6
  7. Tripletreat

    Tripletreat Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    601
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    An interesting take on this subject was aired last week on TV. It detailed the many problems Oregon boat owners are having with gasoline/alcohol mixes. I think it would be very prudent to coat any alu tank with Casewell's excellent product. I plan to do just that myself after viewing this: http://www.opb.org/programs/ofg/
    Sadly, government seems to be mandating fuel use without weighing the costs to users. In the case mentioned in the above cite, it could have fatal consequences.
    #7
  8. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    833
    Location:
    Da frozen tundra eh? 1.5 mile west of Lambeau
    E10, E15 and E85 are all ethanol based blended fuels. In my opinion ALL of them should be avoided in motorcycle engines whenever possible. If you are going to simply run the fuel through the engine such that the bike won't be sitting around with ethanol blended fuel in the engine, then the only loss is fuel mileage. Fuel mileage is proved to be down from 5% to over 15% on ethanol blended fuels.

    If the bike will be sitting around unused for any length of time I avoid ANY ethanol blended fuels. The ethanol blended gas degrades quickly, and ethanol attracts water. It forms acids in the oil if left in the engine. Nothing good about it as regards motorcycle engines.
    #8
  9. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    6,260
    Location:
    Dearborn, MI
    Ethanol's not the only bad actor in motor fuel today. There are plenty of other unstable hydrocarbons in there as well. Surprisingly, today's fuel keeps better in an airtight steel container than anywhere else, and low temperatures retard chemical changes. If you want to see fuel go bad quickly, leave an uncolored plastic jug of it in direct sunlight for a few days. UV breaks it down rapidly.
    #9
  10. robtg

    robtg Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    728
    Location:
    san jose
    I have had aluminium tanks on all my motorcycles for the last 10 years using E10 or whatever it is now with no problems.
    #10