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Ethanol in fuel, E10 USA

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by colin7673 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:31 pm

Is it possible to have a definitive answer to this question.

What would be best to keep our UK cars running, with as little problems as possible, while in the US next year running on US fuel.

I ask this as I have been reading many different things,, ( Much of this I can't make head nor tail of, I will be honest.)

Is there a additive that can be added while filling up.. and which is best to use..

On eBay, you can get lead pellets to drop in the tank, does this help?

If your in the US hopefully your know the answer... :?
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by Chris_R » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:30 pm

Colin, I don't think it is possible to get a truly definitive answer. There are many scare stories around, most often propagated by those who have something to sell you.
Ethanol in petrol is nothing new.
Until 1968 Cleveland Discol petrol was widely available across the UK which contained no lead and up to 25% ethanol. Cleveland Discol and another petrol whose name escapes me was introduced in the early 1930s as the power petrol and the cleaner petrol with added ethanol! It was available across the country right up to the outbreak of war and then again from 1953 when pool petrol disappeared and the different petrol companies again marketed their own blends. Consequently our kinds of cars would very likely have used petrol with ethanol content at far higher percentages than what is available today. And they didn't have catastrophic results from using it.
Secondly, petrol with up to 25% ethanol was widely used in the USA during the oil crisis period in the 1970s when oil prices rocketed, this again at a time when our type of cars were in widespread use. What this means also is that cars of the 1970s in the USA were running around on petrol with higher concentrations of ethanol than is used today.
Having said all that, on the 2016 Turin trip, Nigel apparently filled up with E10 somewhere and then a few days later noticed a leak from his petrol pump. Was this coincidence? Was it already leaking and he hadn't noticed before? It was the original pump, by then 49 years old.
I've used E10 in mine in Europe, most recently on the Saxony tour, when I needed to fill up and there wasn't an alternative and haven't had any bad experiences.
You could consult the FHBVC website where there is further information.
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by Joerg » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:54 pm

We have it on any fuel station - just fill it in your car and use it. You will not notice any difference from your normal British stuff. It does not harm the engine or the fuel system.

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by slotcarone » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:43 pm

Plenty of Interceptors here in the States running on it with no problems. :)
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by colin7673 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:22 pm

Other than the normal things you do before a long journey would you recommend anything else?
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by jvcarrier » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:18 pm

I was told by SU carbs that I should drain down the fuel if I was not useing the cars for a while as the ethanol attacks the solder on brass floats?

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by Richie » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:44 pm

Surely though that if the car was being regularly used the floats would still be in contact with the fuel and consequently still under attack?
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by jvcarrier » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:54 pm

The slight moisture in the fuel tends to split out and the water plus the ethanol does the damage. Should be run twice a week to keep fuel fresh.
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by AbnJensen » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:40 pm

Here you go..try this link!
https://www.pure-gas.org/

I use Shell premium (91 Octane) in Canada as it has no ethanol.
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by Martin R » Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:10 am

AbnJensen wrote:Here you go..try this link!
https://www.pure-gas.org/

I use Shell premium (91 Octane) in Canada as it has no ethanol.

The issue with the "pure gas" web site, one I'd already looked at, is that it quite clearly states that not all listed Gas Stations sell to cars - some only sell for boats, lawnmowers etc:

"please don't remove stations simply because they don't sell to autos – many folks use this site to find pure gas for their boats and planes and lawnmowers and pumps and whatever. If you have to go behind the station to get gas from the secret pure-gas pump, that's fine here. If you can only buy pure gas in 5-gallon containers, that's also fine here. If a place sells pure gas, they belong on Pure-Gas.org. Period."

Not terribly useful in a practical sense, for a driving tour around parts of the USA...
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by slotcarone » Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:51 am

Just so you gents know my Interceptor usually sits in the garage from October or November until about April when the weather gets nice again and the salt is off the roads. Unless I need to use the garage I don't touch the car over the winter. It is best not to start it unless it is going to be driven. I have not had any problems at all from the gasoline sitting in the tank. Hope this helps! :D
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by kees » Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:15 am

Ethanol is nothing new in petrol, be it up to 5% or 10% now or more during certain times. For many years the usual in most parts of Europe is/has been up to a maximum of 5% ethanol (Euro95, Euro98), 5% up to 10% has to be indicated as E10. At present there is no petrol that contains more than 10%.
In the past much higher percentages of ethanol have been used. In general this did not cause any problems other than perhaps a faster deterioration of rubber fuel hoses and diaphragms. There may have been the rare occasions of corrosion of certain metals but I never came across them.

I have rebuild well over a hundred old SU-fuel pumps, but it is rare that the old (sometimes well over 50 years old) diaphragms are damaged. The pot metal pump bodies are usually squeakingly clean, without any corrosion.
You do find corrosion in pumps that have been left unprotected on the shelf in a damp place.

I have used all combinations in my Jensen-Healey with DellOrto's and never had any issues. They are always clean and shiny inside.

You have a little less power from E10. However you would not normally notice. It has a lower caloric value, meaning that the lower price you pay for it is completely outdone by a higher consumption. In fact you lose although you are given the impression by the fuel companies that you win!!

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by Tony Wilde » Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:55 am

I agree there should not be a problem using Ethanol fuel in a car, particularly if the car is used regularly meaning the fuel in the tank is effectively changed on a regular basis. I recall using it many years ago whilst living in the UK

It has however caused me a problem (and an expensive one) in my boat. The boat is not used as much as I would like mainly due to working on the Jensen 541R.

The boat has a large aluminium tank (550 litres capacity). Ethanol is hygroscopic and so the water gradually accumulates in the fuel, drops to the bottom of the tank and causes corrosion in that area over a period of time. In the 11 years I have owned the boat I thought I was saving money by using E10 ethanol but the cost of a new custom made 550 litre tank proved otherwise.
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by kees » Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:08 pm

Water will enter a fuel tank regardless of what fuel is used. It enters because of condensation. Some water is absorbed by 100% petrol and even more so if ethanol is added. When the fuel gets saturated the water will drop to the bottom and may react with metal, possibly more so when ethanol is present as it contains more oxygen.
Storing a fuel tank full up to the brim with fuel will generally solve this as there will be no room for damp air to enter which means no water can condensate in the tank.
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by Chris_R » Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:03 pm

kees wrote:Ethanol is nothing new in petrol

kees wrote:In the past much higher percentages of ethanol have been used.

Which is what I posted in the first response to this thread.
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