Ethanol Free Baby!

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by elite1, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    Ethanol does nothing to reduce oil use.

    We use X gallons of oil or petrol, to havest crops to distill ethanol that replaces X gallons of oil or oil products.

    Zero sum, as far as oil goes.

    But in the process, we are diverting huge amounts of foodstuffs or potential food-raising cropland, to make ethanol.

    You don't need an engineering degree to grasp this.
    #21
  2. knucklehead90

    knucklehead90 Been here awhile

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    Better redo your math calculations. If you were using 2 gallons of gasoline per run and now use 3 gallons per run on ethanol your mileage just dropped by 1/3. This is born out by the fact that ethanol has ~34% less energy per gallon than pure gasoline. There is no way the average car motorcycle or scooter can get better fuel mileage from ethanol than on pure gasoline - unless you test the ethanol with a tailwind on a downhill run - and burn the pure gasoline on the way back - uphill with a headwind.

    Ethanol is purely a political football - the farmers win since they are raking in cash by the bucket when they sell their corn to the feedlots and refineries (highest bidders) and getting subsidies from us the taxpayers - and handing cash over to politicians who will keep the subsidies flowing because its healthy for their reelection campaigns. That is the 'new' cash flow in this country - and its funded by the stupidity of the American tax payers. Ethanol has nothing to do with 'getting off foreign oil' and everything to do with raping the tax payers for yet another subsidy. "Getting us off foreign oil" is about tantamount to the old saw "its for the children". Whenever you see that line you know its a scam.

    I live in the Columbia Basin in Washington State. I know many farmers - and they are either raising corn - or wish they were. Contrary to popular belief that farmers have it hard - BS - they are doing great.
    #22
  3. elite1

    elite1 Been here awhile

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    All I can say is, "drill, baby, drill!":clap
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  4. seraph

    seraph asshole on a scooter

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    Aren't American corn/ethanol subsidies being ended? It won't change the requirements some states have for E10 or whatever but it's a start.

    Also, unless you have an older vehicle - the requirement came sometime in the '00s, I can't recall the year, maybe '06? - ethanol really isn't a problem for it. It was part of DOT requirements that they be able to handle partial ethanol fuels.

    As for the gas mileage concern: it's overblown. E100 is significantly worse than pure gas, but E10 or E15 ain't that bad. Using the numbers from the previous page:
    E0 (pure gas): 114,000 BTUs
    E100 (pure ethanol): 76,100 BTUs

    So if you do the math --
    E10 [(0.90*114,000)+(0.10*76,100)] = 110,210 BTUs or 96.68% a full gallon of gas
    E15 [(0.85*114,000)+(0.15*76,100)] = 108315 BTUs or 95.01% a full gallon of gas
    Pennies!!

    Do I like ethanol? No. Not at all. It's not sustainable, it's unduly subsidised and/or required by misguided laws, it's not as energy dense, etc. etc. I'd much prefer pure gas.

    But unless you have an older vehicle - and even then, I know many people with high-mileage vehicles from well before the ethanol rule that survive it quite handily - it's not a problem. It's never been a problem on my 2-stroke Stella, or my car, or my previous scooters.
    #24
  5. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    It's a BIG problem with my BMW cycle - it addles the feedback loop fuel-injection system; my mileage drops by about 8 mpg.

    It's somewhat less apparent in my small Toyota automobile - but I lose about four mpg when I have to run gasohol. And I'm cognizant of what ethanol does to fuel injection parts and other metals - long ago, I bought rotgut gas, with alcohol in it, at an off-brand station. And kept doing so even after I got my first fuel-injected car.

    I wound up with about $1800 in repairs to the system.
    #25
  6. caponerd

    caponerd Kickstart Enthusiast

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    My fuel injected 1994 Toyota truck has been running E10 for over 6 years (based on when it was officially required in all gas for vehicles in Oregon; Southern Oregon, where I had to visit a couple of days a week for my job has been requiring it since the mid-90's).
    So far, I've had zero fuel system problems with over 100,000 miles using gasohol exclusively out of the total 230,000 miles on that truck..
    If you had $1800 in repairs to the fuel system in your car, it's more likely that something else caused the problem.

    I go out of my way to buy real gas at a local marina to put in my vintage bikes and my 1949 Dodge whenever I can, but I don't worry about it in any of my modern stuff, among which I include my 1982 BMW R100 (like my Toyota truck; zero problems so far due to alchohol in fuel)

    The only problem I've ever seen due to ethanol was when I bought a tank full of it for my 1976 BMW 2002 car shortly after Southern Oregon gas stations began using it. I experienced a clogged fuel filter after running it for about 100 miles, due to the detergent action of the ethanol flushing a bunch of deposits out of my fuel system, which ended up in the filter.
    Put in a new fuel filter, problem solved.

    I won't address the idea that it takes more fuel to make ethanol than you get out of it (but I suspect that these claims are propaganda from the petrolium industry), and there are certain issues (such as the plastic Ducati fuel tanks) resulting from ethanol in some vehicles, but this whole idea that it causes nothing but problems is BS. It's a tempest in a teapot, and like it or not, we're stuck with the stuff, so get over it.
    #26
  7. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    I'm not a mechanical engineer or a mechanic. I understand the theory; but how well each product does with rotgut gasohol varies.

    The car that didn't like ethanol gas, was a 1989 Dodge minivan with the Mitsubushi V6 engine and fuel injection. Cost a nice pile to make it right again; and after that I quit running no-brand gas.

    No doubt cars today are better able to handle it. And cars made this year have the advantage of having been modified to use ethanol - since it's pretty much across the board, except for pockets with high-priced straight gas.

    Some cars were ready for E85 all along. Many Chryslers were...apparently they got burned early;and Latin American nations have been running rotgut for decades.

    But the BMW...is not for the common man and not for a Third World market. Those arrogant Krauts..."Ve believe alcohol is for DRINKING - after the workday!!" They KNOW it shouldn't be added; so they're not going to mod their products to make it run on that substandard fuel.

    I know what I know. It doesn't perform well with ethanol. It loses power and economy; and probably is susceptable to corrosion on close-clearance FI parts.

    On the Toyota...probably it's more resistant. The Japanese engineers love a challenge; and have answered most of them well. Which still, doesn't make ethanol a clever idea.
    #27
  8. alicethomas

    alicethomas Been here awhile

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    BMW motorcycle says all their motorcycles ever build may use E10. And as I told you, we ("the arrogant Krauts") know Ethanol fuel since 19th century.
    Prove that E10 caused the problem and sue them - if you can.
    BTW: Ethanol is a well known race fuel. High octane, good inner colling, less residua. The famous Silberpfeils in the 193x area used fuel with 10% Ethanol too.
    #28
  9. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    I have not seen their endorsement of ethanol fuels in my papers.

    Be that as it may...when the government mandates ethanol use and pressures manufacturers to support it...a rote endorsement in the manual is not an engineering feature.

    They know of ethanol since the dawn of the internal-combustion engine. That doesn't mean they believe it's superior or that their products are engineered for it.

    The incompatibility of ethanol and some vehicles isn't necessarily ignorance - simply a rejection of the fuel as suitable and a choice made before government mandates.

    Finally...you can spout all the "Talking Points" about that inferior fuel all you want. Engineering laws and reality, are not like political expediencies and propagaganda - engineering laws are immutable. Racing venues choose ethanol for other reasons; and race crews are unconcerned with long-term durability of their engines or systems.
    #29
  10. hexnut

    hexnut Been here awhile

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    I don't much care for it, I try not to use it in my scooter, but...we have had E10 around here for over 20 years. I have never had a problem with it in any vehicle I have owned, and I have owned a bunch. My 17 year old lawn tractor has always had e10 in it. It sets all winter and always starts up in the spring. Last year I took the carb off to see how it was doing and it was clean as a pin. No corrosion what so ever.

    Problems happen and its easy to blame the gas. Although I have got bad gas a few times but it had nothing to do with e10. Actually the last tank of bad gas I got was ethanol free gas. That was last month.
    #30
  11. Woodsrat

    Woodsrat Gone ridin'

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    Reckon there's a reason Briggs and Stratton doesn't approve ethanol fuels in their engines and won't honor warranty problems caused by it??? Same goes for two-stroke small engines like weedeaters and chain saws. Stories about shorter engine life are rampant.

    A friend of mine owned a Honda shop and if he prepped the small scooters and let them sit on the floor a week with ethanol gas in them they wouldn't hit a lick without a carburetor cleaning. The tiny passages within them would clog up with a gel-like goo. After he'd cleaned a few he wouldn't put a drop in them until the customer was ready to ride them home. This mirrors my experiences with my own small bikes.

    The most ardent supporters of corn gas are farmers and people involved with it's production. Everyone else thinks it's terrible.
    #31
  12. Woodsrat

    Woodsrat Gone ridin'

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    By the way until recently race cars used methanol, not ethanol. Ask any IRL crew chief which fuel he'd rather run and every one of them will tell you methanol.

    My biggest gripe about running the stuff in normal street vehicles is alcohol's affinity to water which it soaks up like a sponge right out of the air. There's a paste available that you can check your fuel for water content with (can't remember it's name) and it horrifies me how much water I find in my vehicles' gas tanks. Since it settles to the bottom it accellerates the rusting of steel gas tanks, too.

    Hopefully the political winds of change with do away with this horrible "fuel".
    #32
  13. ABritOnMaui

    ABritOnMaui Been here awhile

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    A fricking men. The long and the short of it is that we end up paying more money to the gas companies directly and indirectly for something that doesn't help us. It is money better invested elsewhere. Ethanol is a complete con that achieves non of the stated objectives and actually causes far more damage that the good it allegedly does. The sooner this crap is gone the better. Election times ahead, time to get the truth out there and see if any of them have the bawls to go against the gas companies bankrolling them.
    #33
  14. Motovista

    Motovista Parts is Parts

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    I've tried Ethanol Free Gas in all my vehicles, and the problem I've encountered is that of getting bad gas. Last time I filled up the ET4 with a very expensive tank of 93 octane ethanol free, it got about a quarter mile down the road and started bogging. Then it wouldn't idle. I ran the gas out and put in 87 octane, and it ran fine and idled like it's supposed to.
    We have a high water table here in Charleston, and a lot of tanks have been in the ground for years, and the new fuel EPA approved formulations start to degrade in 2 weeks. Betweeen that and the economy, the high end gas often sits longer in the ground than it should. We've been telling people to buy 87 octane from any station that sells a lot of gas and have been pretty successful as far as avoiding bad gas in most bikes. Keep in mind that one of the treatments to remove water from gas is Ethanol, so it is more likely to carry the bad stuff through the engine than straight gas, which will allow water to separate out into the bottom of the tank.
    The use of Ethanol in Gasoline is one of the reasons world food prices have risen so radically in the last few years, and it's been said that producing ethanol from corn takes more energy than is created.
    Yamaha has been building Ethanol resistant vehicles since the late 80s, and sent a memo out to this effect when the E10 first hit. Most of the Vespas I see from the mid 2000s have disintegrating fuel and vacuum lines. I attribute that to alcohol, but it could be something else. Most of the mail order Chinese bikes are not built with ethanol resistant rubber and vinyl, and that's one of the reasons you see them using so many carburetors. One area where we haven't seen a problem is in the 2 Strokes, because their carb is little more than a giant main jet, and everything goes through and comes out the other side, so there's not much for ethanol to attack, even on the cheap ones.
    #34
  15. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    Nobody else has experienced that.

    I would doubt your veracity.
    #35
  16. baloneyskin daddy

    baloneyskin daddy bikaholic

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    Just to piss everybody off on here I will say that on all my personal vehicles , 2 TRUCKS-1CAR-A SHITLOAD OF BIKES, I can not see any difference in mileage or performance between the 2 fuels and I routinely check mileage.I have a station near my house that sells 3 grades of non eth gas and have experimented many times. The only times I'll pay the extra money for non eth gas is near the end of the riding season when the bikes usage starts to decline.In my tractor ,mower and snow blower I simply either run them out of fuel or shut off the fuel and run them dry after each use and have had no fuel related problems yet.I have replaced a shitload of in tank fuel pumps though which is one of the things they say is caused by the ethanol but they were all in the 8-10 yr age and that seems to be status quo for fuel pumps these days.
    #36
  17. knucklehead90

    knucklehead90 Been here awhile

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    You might want to check to verify that station is in fact ethanol-free. Most people do get a boost of mileage with ethanol free fuel.

    For the past 9 years I had been buying all my gas at the same station with 10% ethanol mix summer and winter. I've kept records of my purchases with mileage written on the receipts for my SUV. Almost without fail I've been getting 20-21.3mpg those 9 years. When the station a little out of my way began advertising ethanol-free gas I gave it a try. My first tank of that gas I registered 24.6mpg. I've yet to get under 22mpg even in winter conditions. I expect to get about 24 as the weather warms up with the ethanol free gas. I just filled up my Burgman earlier today - I'm getting 48.54mpg in mostly city driving - with jaunts to the golf course with 5 miles of 60mph and a couple of miles of 25-35mph. Thats also with ethanol free gas. I should be able to get over 50mpg on sustained 55-60mph with the Burgman.
    #37
  18. baloneyskin daddy

    baloneyskin daddy bikaholic

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    I'm pretty certain about the no eth gas as the station was just featured in the local papers as the only one in the area to carry multiple grades. However, I tend to be a leadfoot and twisthappy on the throttle so my experience may differ from someone intent on maximizing their fuel usage. I did just get the best mileage ever out of my 86 Renault,40mpg on a highway trip running ethanol gas. Best I ever got before was 37 . I did however, have a new exhaust made for it due to the fact that a replacement wasn't available any longer and I believe the tubing is of larger diameter all the way back where the factory exhaust was pretty skimpy at some of the bends.Whats more amazing is I've had this car from new and it still gets better mileage then most new cars 25yrs newer. where the hell is the progress.
    #38
  19. rv-rick

    rv-rick Been here awhile

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    The "progress" is the extra 300-500 pounds of mandated stuff. Air bags, stronger frames, doors, pillers, etc.
    I got better hwy MPG out of my '64 Valiant "6" than I do out of my 2012 Kia Soul. 34 MPG hwy vs 31.9.
    Is your Renault a Le Car by chance?
    #39
  20. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    Ethanol contains LESS energy than gasoline. Not more; LESS.

    Which means for the same power, an engine needs to burn more of it. This is physics; not opinion and not variable.

    I suspect your local paper writer did NO research - just ran a puff piece, maybe a paid piece. A lot of places have mislabled gasoline; grades; additives; even whether it's ethanol free. I used to live just off an Indian reservation in New York State. They had the right to sell gasoline tax-free; which made the gas about thirty cents a gallon cheaper.

    Their regular grade was fine; but when I had a car that needed premium, it would ping like mad on Indian alleged-premium gas. Had to buy highly-taxed High Octane in town; only then would the ping disappear.

    So...if nobody's watching, your station is probably passing gasohol off as straight gas. And regular out of the premium pump, too. It happens...when you find it, change brands.

    If you're REALLY curious, there's probably ways of testing. Buy a gallon of gas and test it with a hygrometer or whatever you can find to test for alcohol.
    #40